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Why would anyone play 19th century baseball? Let's investigate

We've all seen Conan O'Brien's vintage baseball bit, in which the late-night host playfully mocks the throwback uniforms, the no-glove rule and old-school terms like "hurler" and "crank." It's a comedic classic that Conan himself apparently wants shown at his funeral:

But in all (OK, some) seriousness, why would anyone spend their free time playing the game with the rules and costumes of 150 years ago. I traveled to Long Island's Old Bethpage Village - the site of Conan's piece -- last weekend to find out.

-- Matt Monagan /