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.
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..