Muscotah Honors Former Cubs' Player with Vintage Game

Muscotah Honors Former Cubs' Player with Vintage Game

Kansas town celebrates first official "Joe Tinker Day" with a step back in time.

(MUSCOTAH, Kan.) The tiny town of Muscotah, Kansas celebrates baseball every year on July 27th, but this year's occasion was a true step back in time.

"This is the first time it's officially 'Joe Tinker Day," Marci Penner of the Kansas Sampler Foundation said. "The Kansas House of Representatives declared it.

Joe Tinker Field, named for the town's resident major leaguer and former Chicago Cub, was the site was ripe with nostalgia on Saturday as fans were treated to an afternoon of vintage baseball between the Cowtown Bulldozers and Red Stockings, complete wit 1870s rules. 

The two Wichita-based teams pulled off a real-life 'Field of Dreams', even as far as coming in from the outfield trees.

More importantly, they personified: "If you build it, they will come." That's a dream Muscotah resident Jeff Hanson has been chasing.

"Jeff said: 'How can we help my hometown?" Penner said. "Just listening to their dreams, Joe Tinker, and what they were thinking about, we said: 'We'll support you."

Hanson's been working for a year and a half to turn the town's old water tower into a museum dubbed: "The World's Largest Baseball." Although it's not expected to be ready for visitors until next spring, t's already putting the spotlight on his home.

Bricks and dirt from Wrigley Field wer donated by the Cubs and attracted the Tinker family, one granson and three great-grandsons of Joe, to come from Maryland and California.

"I've been meaning to get back here for some time," Joe's grandson, Jay, said. "This is a big thing and it's a big thing for the town. If my wife were with me she'd be pushing me to move here. 

 The locals sent the love right back to Chicago, going as far as bringing live goats to the game to try to help break the Cubs' long-standing "Curse of the Billy Goat." 

A big spectacle for a town of less than 200 people, but proof of what a community can put together.

"That's the beautiful thing about baseball," player and founding member of the association, Don Alvord, said. "You've seen 'Field of Dreams' and 'Major League'. It's just a sport that everyone can relate two.

"To be able to honor someone like [Tinker] and what he did for Major League Baseball, this is a big opportunity for us," Alvord said.

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