Williston State students play 1800s-style baseball

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WILLISTON, N.D. - “Take me out to the ballgame” took on a whole new meaning at Williston State College Monday night..

History Professor Richard Stenberg's baseball class celebrated the end of the course by bringing the game to life. But not the game of baseball you know and love today. The class focused on bringing back baseball as it was played in the 1870s. That was when the game first made its way to the area at Fort Buford.

"The 1800s baseball game, we can't over-run first base, we can catch fly balls on a one-hop for an out and the hurling, or pitching, has to be from a side-arm position. To put the ball in play is the object of the game,"says Corbin Phelts, class participant.

"I think it's good for the kids, and I think it's good for the professors and teachers to all join in. It's a small college, so anytime you can get all the staff and students together and these kind of events is worthwhile," says John Bowkus, WSC Hockey Coach/

"Very much a hitting game. The rules state, of the period, that the purpose of the game was to put the ball into play. And that's why the strike and ball count are generous. It was almost unheard of both to strike out and to take a walk," says Richard Stenberg, WSC History Professor.

This is the eight time Stenberg has hosted the class. He says as long as there is interest, he will continue to offer it.