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Official NorthWestern League statement

     We the people of the NorthWestern League recently have announced our intentions to start a vintage base ball league in our area. This decision has been in the works for quite a while and we have received enough interest to believe we can start this in 2020.

While it is correct that leagues did not start until the 1880's there are numerous tournaments today that did not exist in the 1860's yet they seem to happen every year with success. Our scheduling will be simple. Our clubs are only required to schedule 1 date against their division rivals, that will be 3-5 matches. Other than that all clubs will schedule as they have in the past. Clubs will not be changing how they have conducted scheduling. It is not our intent to interfere with any clubs schedule. Non-league clubs won't even notice a difference in the season. We do not exist to harm the game, quite the contrary, it's our love for the game that allows us to come together and try to create a special experience for players, umpires, cranks and sponsors.

     To address the concerns that “a league will only create a softball atmosphere” We say that we love vintage base ball very much. There is over 40 years of 19th century base ball experience on our committee. We will have a very specific code of conduct that each club must adhere too as the "softball atmosphere/mentality” will not be tolerated. We strive to put an emphasizes on historic interpretations, which we feel can occasionally be over looked by clubs. We have no desire to be a governing body. We want vintage base ball to be special through our league as an ode to what we interpret what 1860's base ball was. We will bring back the vocabulary, we will have time period music and PA announcers, we will try to win and celebrate the winner when we don't. We are going to put on a show.

     To those that feel “putting an emphasis on winning is not vintage,” we understand that while during the formative years of this game, it a was a viewed as form of exercise. The founders of the game included keeping score for a reason. It is without question what was once view as a form of exercise grew into competitive game. The Northwestern league is going to be competitive, it's going to be fun and it's going to be vintage, and it will be played for a love of the game. We know we can accomplish all those attributes. We would like to thank all the players who have contacted us with their thoughts, whether we agree or disagree we value your gentlemanly way and manners.


-The NorthWestern League Committee
Matthew BarnardRudy FriasAdam JohnsonScott Hamblin and Mike Fini

















President: Matthew Barnard

Vice President: Rudy Frias

Officer: Mike Fini

Officer: Adam Johnson

Officer: Scott Hamblin






The Northwestern League was a minor league baseball league that operated from 1883-1884 and again from 1886-1887

The original teams were as follows:

Peoria Reds

Toledo Blue Stockings-League Champions

Ft. Wayne Hoosiers

Saginaw Greys

And also teams from:

Bay City, MI

Grand Rapids, MI

Quincy, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois


There are not to many specifics yet, however I can give you a few details

-You would be required to schedule a match against all clubs in your division, alternating home and away on a yearly basis. And also will be required to have a minimum numbers of league matches.

-Any matches scheduled with a Northwestern Club not in your division will still count in the standings, if played by NW rules.

-Standings will be based on winning Percentage.

-Divisions will be based on geography

-There will be a 1 or 2 day event that will end each season, with playoffs, a championship and basically a big party. This would happen the same weekend every year, but has yet to be determined. Hopefully at a location neutral to all clubs, as yet to be determined. A lot of details will have to wait until we have a grasp on # of clubs.

There will be a committee that will determine what clubs are invited and the rules, however this will be open to fly and bound clubs. All clubs would have to understand that this will tilt towards competition. Not every club gets a "trophy". This will be special. 

Every decision is made by majority decision of committee, including invitations to clubs and invitations to be a committee member.