Waconia baseball teams have faced some formidable opponents over the years, but none quite like the Quicksteps.
The legendary ball club brought their own vintage equipment and baseball rules here Sunday, Aug. 1, for an 1860’s style baseball game held at the historic Andrew Peterson Farmstead off Highway 5 just east of Waconia.
Some 250-300 fans lined the outfield fence – literally a farm fence and field – and brought their own blankets and chairs to watch the locals play the visiting Quicksteps in a gentlemanly game of yore.
The Quicksteps barnstorm an average of a dozen historic sites around the state each year to bring their game and a slice of history to baseball fans, according to team members. The team has been around since the early 1990s and two original members are still playing.
The fielders wear no gloves and the ball is composed of a rubber yarn covered with leather. The bats are wood and the bases are canvas bags filled with sand or sawdust. A couple special rules are the pitching is underhand and a batted ball caught in the air or off one bounce is an out, according to the rule book of 1860.
The game was a celebration of baseball in advance of the Minnesota State Amateur Baseball tournament coming to Waconia later this month, according to event organizer Miles Jewell, curator of education and exhibits for the Carver County Historical Society. It was also a celebration of the Peterson farm as a venue for history and special events, and “just a sample of the things that will be coming up at the farm as we restore more of the buildings,” said Wendy Peterson Biorn, CCHS executive director.
Waconia’s baseball old-timers more than held their own in the historic match-up, defeating the Quicksteps. And at the end of the game each team offered a hearty hurrah to their opponent.
As a footnote, the hometown team chose the name the Waconia Patriots. There are no players from this newspaper on the ballclub, but Biorn points out that the paper used to sponsor the local team.