The two MAVBBL entries in the Silver Ball Tournament in Mumford, New York represented the league well. After several years of going up to the event, both the Neshanock and the Fair Plays were scheduled to meet in the championship of the 3 day event in upper New York State. Flemington took one of its best clubs up to Mumford and walked away with 4 wins against the Rochester Grangers, the Cleveland Blues and two local clubs-the Live Oak and the Rochesters. The Blues and Grangers are two of the best vintage base ball clubs from the Mid West and the Neshanock won 6-4 and 16-11 respectively. Talbot faired almost just as well as they downed two local clubs- the Live Oak and the Victory BBC and then squeaked by the Rochester Grangers 13-12. The Fair Plays tied the Sylvania Great Black Swamp Frogs 11-11 to get to the championship for the 3rd year in a row. Alas, though, mother nature wouldn’t cooperate and the Neshanock and Fair Plays were declared co-champions of the 2012 Silver Ball championship.
Arundel 16 Chesapeake Nine of Baltimore 9
Jerusalem Mill Village in Kingsville, Maryland held their 8th Annual Civil War Weekend Encampment; commemorating CSA Major Harry W. Gilmor’s 1864 raid across Baltimore and Harford Counties from June 1st to June 3rd. As part of those festivities, they held an official 1864 base ball match between Chesapeake and Arundel. There were between 25-50 cranks watching the well-fought match, many asking questions throughout. Some of the fans stayed for up to a hour afterwards to ask questions about the teams, vintage base ball and the game itself.
In the end, Arundel won 16-9. Arundel held a short lead throughout the early innings, until Chesapeake steadily rallied to tie the game at 7 in the sixth frame. Arundel scored 5 runs in the seventh with some aggressive base running, well-placed hits and a few powerful drives into the gaps. Chesapeake was unable to complete a final comeback.
There was some sterling defense played throughout. Some of the offensive standouts include Vassar (4-4, 7 stolen bases and 2 runs scored), Moonshine (2-2, 4 stolen bases and 2 runs scored), Spanks (3-4, 2 doubles) and Turbo (2-4, double, stolen base, run scored, RBI).
There were a few bang-bang plays at a few different bases, but sportsmanship prevailed throughout. Both teams gave their best efforts and appeared to have a grand time. The fans appeared engaged and interested in this unique game they were watching.
Lewes at Elkton
The Lewes BBC made its way to Terrapin Station Winery for its first visit ever to see the Eclipse. The new club felt right at home going out to a 6-0 lead after 3 innings. Lewes was in the drivers seat the entire first game until the bottom of the 9th with a 14-9 lead. The Eclipse made a furious comeback attempt though plating 4 runners and having runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs before Lewes got the Eclipse to ground out to hold on to win its inagural game in Elkton. In the second game the Eclipse took it out on the newbies and piled on an 11-0 lead after 6 inni ings and finally winning 12-1 to split the match. Elkton finished its season series with Lewes going 2-1.
Hundreds of fans and curious onlookers crowded in to the base ball grounds in Delaware’s capital city of Dover to witness a great match between the Talbot Fair Plays and the host Diamond State BBC of Delaware. What promised to be a great match up was everything that was advertised as two great clubs squared off. Terrific defense and timely hitting ruled the day in a very well played match. Fittingly, the game went in to extra frames and in the 11th inning, Talbot broke though and then held off the Diamond States 10-9 to pick up the victory and improve to 6-1 and remain in first place overall in the MAVBBL.
Saturday was Opening Day for Vintage Base Ball on Long Island. On a beautiful sunny day with a light wind, the Vintage season began with ceremonial first pitch by the honorable Vice-President Andrew Johnson. To celebrate the season opener the Atlantics invited the Flemington Neshanock from New Jersey and the Gotham BBC from New York to take part in a round-robin triple header.
The first match between the Flemington Neshanock and the home club Brooklyn Atlantics was umpired by Rafael ‘Wickets’ Garcia of the Gotham BBC and featured a pitching match-up of Richard ‘Tree’ Ness against Robert ‘Bobby’ Ritter The Neshanock batted first but would not score an ace until the sixth inning. Meanwhile the Atlantics offense methodically tallied aces in bunches to take an 11 run lead through five innings. The Neshanock scored 5 aces over the last four innings but ultimately fell to the score of 12-5 to the home team. The second match featured the Flemington Neshanock against the New York Gothams umpired by Dean ‘Dream’ Emma. The teams went back and forth, tieing the game at 4 aces each after two innings and 6 aces each at the end of the four innings. Poor defense by Flemington in the 5th and 6th innings allowed the game to get away and lead to a 17-9 victory for the Gothams. Excellent defensive play by Oates of the Gothams kept the Neshanock players off the bases for most of the game. The third match of the day between the New York Gothams and Brooklyn Atlantics was umpired by Dirt of the Mutual BBC. After both clubs scored in their first at bats, the Gothams tallied 7 aces in the third inning on timely hits and some poor defense by the Atlantics. Meanwhile the Gothams played excellent defense and their pitcher Billy ‘Coach’ Piela kept the Atlantic batters off balance for most of the game.
The Atlantics scored four aces over the final two innings and left two men on base in the 9th to stage a late rally. However it was too late as the Gothams were victorious by the score of 11-7. In a complete game effort, Frank ‘Hammy’ Obidienzo kept the Gothams scoreless in the final four innings but suffered the first loss of the season. The Atlantics next play on Saturday April 14th at 11AM at the Smithtown Historical Society Grounds against the Providence Grays. There will be an underhand/overhand doubleheader featuring games played to the rules of both 1864 and 1884..