A Rochester Rooter player catches a flyball. The Byron 150s took on the Rochester Roosters on Sept. 23. Carleane Cappelle
By David Richards
The rules are completely different.
Catching a ball on a bounce is an out. A runner must not overrun a base or they're out, the grass over the homerun fence is in play and there are no mitts.
With those basic instructions, the Byron 150s baseball team, a group that had never played baseball or any sport for that matter together, took the field against the Rochester Roosters, a team of revolving players that plays a full summer season of old time baseball.
The game, as part of Byron's 150th celebration, was held Sept. 23 on the Byron Middle School's softball field.
"Everyone had some baseball experience," said Curt Gilbertson, of the Byron team he organized. Gilbertson is a member of the 150th committee. "I was really happy with it, but the heat probably kept some fans away."
Nearly 90-degrees at game time, the teams took the field, with Rochester taking an early lead and looking comfortable.
"We don't want to come out and just knock a ball around, we also want to educate the fans and have a good time," said Corky Gaskell, who umpired the game and was the MC for the crowd.
Educate they did.
The Byron team made adjustments as the game went on, moving the infielders back for instance to cover more of the outfield, and putting two outfielders over the fence instead of one.
"I could see the intensity of your guys trying to figure the rules out," Gaskell said.
The Roosters won 14-5 in the nine-inning game, although Byron found its rhythm and was outscored just 5-3 in the final three innings.