Not everything the MAVBBL does is on the field. Besides showing the public what base ball was really like in the mid 19th century, member clubs also educate the public about the history of the game and its evolution. Teaching 2,000 school children on a weekday in May is no exception and that’s just what the Brooklyn Atlantics, Brooklyn Eckfords, Hoboken Nine, Flemington Neshanock, and Providence Grays did.
The Atlantic Base Ball Club headed back to their roots in Brooklyn to show over 2000 school children what baseball was like in the 19th century at MCU Park. With the help of other teams in the New York City area, the Atlantics put on a presentation demonstrating how the game evolved, which was followed by three exhibition matches. Students learned how the rules and game changed by seeing what baseball was like in 1864, 1873 and 1884. “
Also, check out two of our Southern clubs, the Potomac Nine and the Talbot Fair Plays as they show off for some modern invention called television…
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..