Civil War-era baseball game played at Rickwood Field

(WBRC) - When it comes to baseball, it doesn't get much better than playing at the oldest ball park in America. On Saturday, The Tennessee Association of Vintage Baseball played an exhibition game at Rickwood Field.

What is vintage baseball?

"We play by the rules and customs of 1864, the Civil War era. In other words, it's called bare-handed baseball," said Kenneth Roberts, Director of the Tennessee Association of vintage baseball.

The biggest difference between playing vintage baseball compared to the game today is players use their bare hands to catch the ball.

"The biggest difference is we don't use gloves, also if they ball is caught off a bounce, the batter is still out, and we don't run over first," Roberts said.

Players say there's a certain technique catching the ball barehanded. "It's like catching an egg. You want to have soft hands to help absorb the shock," said player Heath Farris.

"Your hands toughen up a little bit after a few weeks of practice. Your hands sting and bruise, but over time you figure it out," said another player Larry Kaye.

There are more than 400 vintage baseball teams throughout the United States.

"It's really a unique game. We love it," Roberts said.

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