Throwback

Sharpen your cleats and hit the field

SAT 3/27

Baseball's modern era began in 1901, and since then, fans have witnessed scandal, greed and a lot of divas piling on notes to the national anthem. Were times simpler before steroids, cocaine and penicillin? Yes -- way back in the 1800s, when a Port-O-Let was better known as an outhouse and teams like the Troy Trojans and the Worcester Ruby Legs drew fans from the farms, factories and stockyards of pubescent America to cheer on players like Cap Anson and King Kelley. For those who want that genuine 19th-century baseball experience, the George Ranch Historical Park in Richmond is offering vintage baseball camps on the last Saturday of each month. If you are willing (and at least 16 years old), you can learn about the origins of America's pastime (pre-ESPN), the evolution of rules and teams and how that space disappeared between "base" and "ball." In the future, a team of ringers will be selected from the camp participants to play in a real game against the park's own team. Carpetbaggers and outlaw cowboys need not apply. 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 27. 10215 FM 762 in Richmond. For information, call 281-343-0218 or visit www.georgeranch.org. Free for participants. $5 to $9 for others. -- Eric Norvell

Baby Steps

It's been three months since you made that drunken "get in shape" resolution. Your fancy sit-up machine is still in the box, and those stupid metabolizing pills have left you shaking like a crack fiend. Perfect time for a triathlon, right? At the slacker-friendly My First Triathlon, beginners as young as six and as old as 70 can tackle a modest three-mile run (or walk), a quarter-mile swim in the Moody Gardens bayou and a 12-mile bike ride around Galveston Island. Better still, there's no actual time limit, and a crowd awaits you at the finish line with cheers and a medallion. Strap on your helmet. Push yourself. Don't look back as you swim to victory. Hell, take a break for lunch and a beer. You're a triathlete now. 7 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Wednesday, March 26, 27 and 31. Moody Gardens, One Hope Boulevard. For information, call 800-343-4466 or visit MyFirstTri.com. $89. -- Steven Devadanam

 
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