Lose the Mitt: Lumber City Gears Up for Historical ‘Base Ball’ Season 


The history of baseball in the U.S. goes back all the way to the 18th century, but the Lumber City Base Ball Club prefers to play a more modern version — one that follows the rules and customs from the late 1850s or so. 

The club, which is gearing up for its 2016 season, is one of more than 20 vintage base ball clubs that compete in Michigan each spring/summer. The teams wear historically accurate uniforms, spell base ball using two words instead of one and don’t subscribe to the “three strikes and you’re out” concept.

“One of the most visible differences is the fact that the players don’t wear mitts,” said Samantha Engel, ‎Executive Director at the Whaley Historic House Museum. “Also, it was a gentlemen’s game. There was no swearing, and you were supposed to cheer on each others’ teams.”

Fans, also known as cranks, will have the opportunity to cheer on the Flint-based club during one of several upcoming home games, which take place along the Flint River on the University of Michigan-Flint’s campus. Games are scheduled for the following days:

  • April 30: vs. Rochester Grangers (2 p.m.)
  • May 21: Stockton Cup Base Ball Festival (noon)
  • June 4: vs. Regular Club of Mt. Clemens (2 p.m.)
  • June 11: Carriage Town Classic, Gatling Gun Base Ball Tournament (1 p.m.)
  • July 30: vs. Midland River Hogs (2 p.m.)
  • August 27: vs. Early Riser Club of Detroit (2 p.m.)
  • September 17: vs. Wyandot Stars (2 p.m.)

In the meantime, the club is still building its roster and welcomes potential “ballists” to try out the sport during a scrimmage against the Richmond Bees on Saturday, April 16. For more information, click here.

To learn more about the Lumber City Base Ball Club, check out their website, follow them on Facebook or call 810-471-4714.

To learn more about the Vintage Base Ball Association, click here.

4 Cool Ways to Break a Sweat in Flint & Genesee


Considering that health and wellness are ever-popular New Year’s resolution themes, here are a few ideas for staying fit in Flint & Genesee this winter.

  1. Check out a pair of snowshoes at For-Mar Nature Preserve. On the off-chance the snow doesn’t stick this winter, the Burton-based nature preserve also offers walking sticks for visitors looking to stroll the property’s seven miles of hiking trails.
  2. Scale a wall of ice at Peabody Ice Climbing. The Fenton-based venue provides both a great place for experienced climbers to train as well as a controlled environment where newbies can learn the ropes from a certified guide.
  3. Skate around the University Pavilion Ice Rink. Starting Jan. 2, the outdoor rink will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and from 6-9 p.m. Wednesdays. Local indoor options include Crystal Fieldhouse Ice Arena in Burton on Flint Iceland Arena, both of which offer public skating sessions and gear rentals.
  4. Take a winter run. The Ididarun 8 Mile Challenge will take runners along snow-covered roads at trails in Linden on Jan. 9. Afterward, they can warm up with hot, homemade soups and breads provided by the high school’s cross country team. Then, on Feb. 6, participants will carry logs and climb over cars during the Frozen Fun Run in Davison.

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? Find out here. 

Catch a UM-Flint Hockey Game at Crystal Fieldhouse              


The University of Michigan – Flint may not have its own hockey rink, but that hasn’t stopped its students from hitting the ice.

In fact, the season is already underway for UM-Flint Women’s and Men’s Hockey Clubs, both of which play at Crystal Fieldhouse Ice Arena in Burton.

If you haven’t had the chance to cheer on the teams this fall, no worries. Both still have a few home games left on the calendar.

The women’s team will play:

  • Sunday, 11/1/15 from 1-3 p.m. (vs Michigan State)
  • Sunday, 11/8/15 from 1-3 p.m. (vs Aquinas)
  • Saturday, 12/5/15 from 9-11 a.m. (vs Central Michigan)
  • Sunday, 12/6/15 from 9-11 a.m. (vs Central Michigan)

The men’s team will play:

  • Saturday, 10/31/15 at 7 p.m. (vs Hope College)
  • Saturday, 11/7/15 at 7 p.m. (vs Lawrence Tech)
  • Friday, 11/13/15 at 7 p.m. (vs Aquinas)
  • Friday, 11/20/15 at 7 p.m. (vs Michigan State)
  • Saturday, 11/21/15 at 7 p.m. (vs Michigan State)
  • Friday, 1/15/16 at 7 p.m. (vs Central Michigan)
  • Friday 1/22/16 at 7 p.m. (vs Adrian)
  • Friday, 1/29/16 at 7 p.m. (vs Northwood)
  • Saturday, 2/6/16 at 7 p.m. (vs Oakland)

The Michigan Collegiate Hockey Conference playoffs will also take place at Crystal Fieldhouse, at 5371 Daly Farms Drive, Feb. 12-13.

For more information, visit www.crystalfh.com or call 810-744-0800.

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible right here.

‘Tunes at Noon’ Perks Up Lunchtime in Downtown Flint


tunes_at_noon_logo-01_categoryFlint’s Wilson Park – located along Wallenberg Street, between East Kearsley and East 1st streets – is hosting various musical artists and bands each weekday through August 14.

Dubbed “Tunes at Noon,” the program is free to the public and runs from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. each day.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesday, July 15: Kevin Collins
  • Thursday, July 16: Mike Epsey Group
  • Friday, July 17: Greg Ellis
  • Monday, July 20: Paul Vanson Trio
  • Tuesday, July 21: Blue Mykals
  • Wednesday, July 22: Gwen Hemphill
  • Thursday, July 23: Richlin Small
  • Friday, July 24: Sam Rainwater
  • Monday, July 27:  Kent Davis Unleashed
  • Tuesday, July 28: Faatima
  • Wednesday, July 29: Standard Issue
  • Thursday, July 30: Briane Ali
  • Friday, July 31: Just in the Nick of Time
  • Monday, August 3 – Down by the Law
  • Tuesday, August 4 – R’Chive
  • Wednesday, August 5 – Free 2B
  • Thursday, August 6 – Glen Holcomb Project
  • Friday, Aug 7. – Eddie Barney & Friends
  • Monday, August 10 – Don Korth
  • Tuesday, August 11 – Dan & Jerry
  • Wednesday, August 12 – Dave Huber
  • Thursday, August 13 – Slice
  • Friday, August 14 – T Smooth

The event is presented by Presented by Greater Flint Arts Council and Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee?  See What’s Possible right here.

Catch a Game of ‘Base Ball’ with Flint’s Lumber City Club

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Back in the good ole 19th century, baseball was spelled with two words. Teams played without gloves, and players were referred to as ballists.

Yes, the game changed dramatically over the next 150 years or so – but not for everyone.

Take the Lumber City Base Ball Club, for instance. The team is one of more than 20 vintage baseball clubs that compete each summer in Michigan. Its members wear historically accurate uniforms and follow rules and customs that date back to 1858 to 1867.

“Some of the spectators – who are called cranks, which is a 19th-century term for fans – come dressed up in costume, too,” says Samantha Engel, ‎Executive Director at Whaley Historic House Museum, which co-sponsors the club with the history department at the University of Michigan – Flint.

According to Engel, the team provides a historical interpretation of an important aspect of life in the 19th century – a time when sports and leisure activities were starting to gain in popularity.

“As workdays became more regulated, people were moving from farms to towns and cities, where they didn’t have to work from sun up to sundown,” Engel says. “Something like base ball was a way for friends to gather and enjoy the day, while also engaging in a little bit of gentlemanly, goodhearted competition.”

The Lumber City team will play about 20 games this year, with home games taking place along the Flint River on the University of Michigan-Flint’s campus.

Home games start at 2 p.m. and are scheduled for the following days:

  • Saturday, May 23 vs. Wyandot Stars
  • Sunday, May 31 vs. Bay City Independents
  • Saturday, June 20 vs. Detroit Early Risers
  • Saturday, June 27 vs. Mt. Clemons Regulars
  • Saturday, July 11 vs. Richmond Bees
  • Saturday, July 25 vs. Rochester Grangers (at Camp Copneconic)
  • Saturday, Aug. 8 vs. Fallsburg Flats
  • Saturday, Sep. 5 vs. Saginaw Old Golds
  • Saturday, Sep. 26 vs. Sydney Stars

For more information about the Lumber City Base Ball Club, check out their website, follow them on Facebook or call 810-471-4714.

To learn more about the Vintage Base Ball Association, click here.

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible right here.

‘Laughter on the 23rd Floor’ at UM-Flint Theatre

Chazz Irwin and Paul Docter are two of the cast members in this comedy. Photo by Shelby Newport.

Chazz Irwin and Paul Docter are two of the cast members in this comedy. Photo by Shelby Newport.

If you love “30 Rock,” there’s a good chance you might like “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” a play based on Neil Simon’s experience writing for the 1950s weekly variety show “Your Show of Shows.”

This week and next, the University of Michigan-Flint Theatre, at 303 E. Kearsley St., will bring the hit Broadway comedy to life. The characters are based on Simon’s former co-workers, including Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Sid Caesar, giving the audience a sneak peek into the jokes and banter of the original kings of comedy.

The show will run March 27-29 as well as April 3-4. Friday and Saturday performances start at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for students, seniors, alumni, faculty, staff and veterans.

For more information, visit www.umflint.edu/theatredance or call the box office at 810-237-6520.

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible right here.

Young People’s Ballet Theatre Presents ‘Beauty and the Beast’ on Feb. 26-March 1


Enjoy the timeless story of a courageous girl, a magical rose and the power of true love as the Young People’s Ballet Theatre presents “Beauty and the Beast” this Thursday through Sunday (Feb. 26-March 1).

This two-act ballet was created by Attila Mosolygo for the Junior Company at the Grand Rapids Ballet. The highlight of the ballet will be the enchanted objects of the castle coming to life and dancing with Belle. The energetic choreography will have the audience dancing in their seats.

Performances are 7 p.m. Thursday, 6 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at the University of Michigan-Flint Theatre, 303 E. Kearsley St., Flint. Learn more here.

Young People’s Ballet will also host a “Belle’s Enchanted Tea Party” from noon-1:30 p.m. Sunday at Blackstone’s restaurant in downtown Flint. The party will feature tea sandwiches and refreshments, photo opportunities with the characters, premium seating to Sunday’s show and a special gift from Belle. Reserve your spot here.

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible here.