The History Center of Olmsted County vintage base ball program was established in 1997. The name Roosters was chosen to symbolize pride and strength and harken back to the days when farmers and townsmen heard the cockle – doodle- doo to signal the start of each new day. Since Rochester’s first base ball club was formed in 1867 but adopted the 1860 rules, the Roosters portray the late 1860s era.
The Hens were established in 2004. They portray the ladies, and sometimes children, of the area in their desire to also experience the fresh air and this new scientific game of base ball that has so excited their men.
Over the years part of the money raised by the base ball program has funded the creation and naming of Schmitt Field and the building of the scoreboard, concession stand and storage addition.
Roosters and Hens are an important outreach program for the History Center. Not only do they take part in numerous area community celebrations and parades, various sesquicentennial celebrations events, and visits to day cares, schools, senior living centers, and service clubs, they have traveled to festivals as far away as Nebraska and Ohio. About 30,000 base ball card schedules are distributed each season and are popular with young and old alike. Recruits are always welcome with players ranging in age from teens to their 60s. The common thread is that 1860 rules base ball sounds like fun! Volunteers also perform many other tasks. Young children may be mascots (bat boys), food vendors, scoreboard operators while whole families or people of all ages may find ways to participate.