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Illinois historic site to host baseball games by 1860s rules

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HARTFORD, Ill. (AP) – A state historic site is hosting a day of baseball next month when games will be played by 1860s rules.

The Lewis and Clark State Historic Site in Hartford will host the games on May 6 at 10 a.m.

Visitors are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets for the free event.

In the 1860s, baseball was pitched underhand and the distance from the pitcher to home base was 45 feet, not 60-feet, 6 inches as it is today.

The competitors will be the Vandalia Old Capitals, Springfield Long Nines, Alton Baseball Club and the Belleville Stags.

William Clark arrived at the site that became Camp River Dubois in December 1803. That spring they made preparations for the expedition, which formally began the next year.