More than five hundred people lined Joe Tinker Field in Muscotah on July 27 to watch the Hodgeman Nine play the Cowtown Vintage Base Ball Club in a match up that included 1860s uniforms, equipment, and rules.
With those rules, the pitcher throws underhanded, no gloves are used, and if a fielder catches the ball on one bounce, the batter (striker) is out. During the game the umpire explained the game to the crowd and the players would go into the crowd to show the equipment.
The Hodgeman Nine won the game.
The crowd lined the foul lines in lawn chairs and on straw bales, blankets, and the back of pick-up trucks. Local ladies hawked peanuts, popcorn, and CrackerJack to the crowds. Hotdogs, apple pie and ice cream were also sold.
July 27 had been declared Joe Tinker Day by the Kansas House of Representatives. Tinker, a native son of Muscotah, was born on July 27, 1880 and died on the same date in 1948. He achieved fame as part of the Hall of Fame double-play combination Tinker to Evers to Chance that helped the Chicago Cubs win the World Series in 1907 and 1908.
Tinker's grandson, Jay Tinker, and his two sons Chris and Jon, came from Baltimore, Maryland for the festivities. Richard Clapp, another grandson, came from California. The four Tinker relatives participated in a Question and Answer session in the city building that drew a standing-room only crowd.
Representative Randy Garber presented framed proclamations to Muscotah and the Tinker families. The teams presented Muscotah an old-time ball and bat for the museum. The Chicago Cubs sent three bricks from their famed outfield wall and a bucket of infield dirt. A letter from the owner of the Cubs, Tom Ricketts, congratulated Muscotah on their efforts to celebrate a former Cub.
Artists Erika Nelson and Matthew Farley remain in town to paint a historical baseball mural on the concession stand wall. When finished, it will fit in with other Joe Tinker attractions including the World's Largest Baseball made out of an old water tower tank.
At the end of Joe Tinker Day, C.J. Hanson, one of the Muscotah residents who worked so hard to make it all happen said, "I, for one, am proud to be from Muscotah."