In the spirit of celebrating everyone's favorite city park, here is another spotlight on Schiller Park and its link to the history of "base ball" in Columbus. (No, that isn't a typo; the kind of base ball that was played in Schiller would have been expressed as two words.)

In the spirit of celebrating everyone's favorite city park, here is another spotlight on Schiller Park and its link to the history of "base ball" in Columbus. (No, that isn't a typo; the kind of base ball that was played in Schiller would have been expressed as two words.)

Everyone should read James Tootle's "Baseball in Columbus." It's a quick read about the history of the sport in Columbus and it's great because one doesn't immediately associate Columbus with baseball these days.

The very general history of baseball is that it spread throughout the country right after the Civil War. Troops played during their spare time, soldiers taught other soldiers and, ultimately, veterans taught those still at home when they returned.

In 1866, Columbus residents Allen Thurman and brothers W.G. and Daniel Deshler purchased Stewart's Grove, which today is known as Schiller Park. The Thurman and Deshler families had players on teams named the Excelsiors and the Capitals, and with the purchase of Stewart's Grove, the teams had a new site to practice and play.

One year later, the Washington Nationals used Schiller Park, then called City Park, when they played the Capital Club. The Nationals were a big deal and their trip to Columbus garnered considerable attention. As expected, the Nationals scored a lopsided victory, 90-10, but it was an exciting day for the city, and the traveling party of the Nationals praised Columbus for its "good sportsmanship, hospitality and the skill of its players."

This Nationals game has been replayed by the Ohio Village Muffins in Schiller Park in all their 1860s-style base ball best for the past few decades.

For 30 years, the Ohio Historical Society has sponsored the Ohio Village Muffins to teach the importance of group recreation in the mid-19th century. The team is America's first full-time vintage base ball program, and since its beginnings in 1981, the Muffins have assisted in the formation of nearly 50 other vintage teams throughout the United States.

The Muffins play in uniforms patterned after a Currier and Ives lithograph titled, "The American National Game." The uniforms consist of plain long pants, a pillbox hat and a bow tie - anyone who watched last year's Muffins-Cupcakes game knows how dapper the players look.

Last summer, as part of the German Village Society's 50th-anniversary celebration, we fielded a team to play vintage base ball against the Muffins. Thus, the Cupcakes (sponsored by Bakery Gingham) were born.

The Muffins bested the Cupcakes, but like the Nationals-Capital Club game, that was kind of expected. Though the skills fell short, the enthusiasm didn't, so this year, the "Showdown at Schiller" rematch is on! Captained again by Kelly Clark, the team is looking for players and an audience at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 10, at the park. If you missed last year's game, here is your chance to see vintage base ball and your friends in Schiller Park. If you want to play, let Kelly know at kclark@playnetwork.com.

This weekend, join your neighbors, the Muffins and the Friends of Schiller for a truly unique sporting event that you know could only happen in German Village!

Jody Graichen is director of historic preservation programs for the German Village Society.