Burlesque Baseball Promises Family Fun Saturday

Saturday, May 18, at Old James Stadium


Saturday, May 18, marks the second annual Burlesque Baseball game, at least in this century, and the Silver City Museum Society promises an afternoon of laughs, children's activities and good, clean fun for the entire family. The game begins at 1 p.m. at Old James Stadium on the campus of WNMU, when Senator Siah Hemphill tosses the first pitch, following the singing of the national anthem by local musician Keana Huerta.

Burlesque baseball originated in Grant County in 1888 when the "all-male teams  - the Fats" and the "Leans (also known as the "Slims") -  donned creative costumes, and entertained the crowd with silly antics and outrageous game "rules."

After the U.S. Civil War, British burlesque troupes travelled the U.S. satirizing opera, popular music, politicians, business leaders and favorite pastimes, like baseball. 

"Burlesque was the first British invasion, before the Beatles," said Bart Roselli, director of the Silver City Museum. "Burlesque baseball offered an opportunity for everyone to enjoy America's favorite pastime."

The term "burlesque" is derived from the Italian word, burlo, meaning joke. By the 1920s, burlesque theater, competing with the new inventions of radio and movies, turned its attention to the female form and became more sexual in nature.

This year's event features something for everyone, not the least of which will be crazy antics of the two, 15-member teams, coaches and umpires. Trophies will be awarded to the winning team, as well as for best dance, best costume, best audience participation and other categories.

Free children's activities include a bouncy house, running bases, T-Ball, sidewalk chalk art and face painting.  The DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) mascot will also make a special appearance, along with the Silver City Fire Department.

Open Space Brewery will be on site, offering their delicious, locally brewed beer. Popcorn,  hotdogs and non-alcoholic beverages will also be available for purchase, and souvenir game programs will be available. This event is a fundraiser for the Silver City Museum, and all proceeds will support educational programming and other museum events.

Sponsors include Griffin’s Propane, Silver City Food Basket, Ruth Seawolf & Associates, LLC, and event partners are WNMU, the Town of Silver City, WILL Community and the Silver City Museum Society Board of Trustees.  For more information, please contact Brittany Beers, community engagement manager, at 575-597-0230, or communityengagement@silvercitymuseum.org.