the very first time he encountered vintage base ball, "Old
Dutch" knew he had to be an active participant. He knew all
about the origin of base ball, and about the rules of the early
years. "Home plate should be round", he said. He
informed us of the things we were doing wrong and helped us correct them
so that we were presenting the vintage game properly. Then he put
on a uniform. "Old Dutch was the consummate vintage base ball
player. He looked the part. He knew all the vintage rules,
and taught us all how to look at the rules to properly understand
them. He was probably the leading expert on vintage base ball
rules in the country. And he just loved to talk about the game.
His utmost joy was playing in a vintage game with his kids- John, Rob,
Al was a trustee of the VBBA, a member of
SABR, and President of the HBBA. He engineered the HBBA Festival
'98, in which teams from all over the country gathered to play base ball
by the rules of 7 different eras. It was all his wonderful idea to
exhibit the early years of base ball in this unique manner. Al was
one of the founders of the Atlantics, and one of the captains.
From the beginning, he primarily was the Atlantic pitcher, and
occasionally played second base. He was the master of the
fair/foul hit. In his last game with Atlantic he had 5 hits, and
stole a bunch of bases. Old Dutch missed playing many games
because he would fill the role of umpire. He enjoyed umpiring as
much as he enjoyed playing.
Al brought the concept to us that playing
the game was the important part, and if you enjoyed the game, and had
fun playing it, then you won. It shall never be "Win one for
Old Dutch", but rather "Enjoy one for Old Dutch".
There is no doubt that he is smiling down on us from that great base
ball field in the sky. "Old Dutch" will be missed, and
remembered, for all he did for our re-creation of vintage base ball.