Potomac, Arundel and Old Dominion Play in Manasas Festival
Old Town Manassas, VA commemorated the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War and the Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run) July 21-24 with living history demonstrations, speakers, art, music, and Civil War base ball.
Members of the Chesapeake and Potomac Base Ball Club and the Excelsior Base Ball Club of Arundel braved the conditions July 23-24, playing vintage (Civil War) base ball in a wonderful environment organized by Historical Manassas. Playing nearby a Civil War encampment, the Clubs played their finest in front of dozens of cranks who really enjoyed watching vintage base ball, despite the 110 degree heat index.
The first game between the Potomac Nine of Washington DC and the Arundel Excelsiors was a close one through the last out. After spotting Potomac two early runs, Arundel clamped down on defense and pushed across 6 runs in the second and third innings through timely hitting and solid base running. Potomac’s Erik “Cannon” Christensen cleared the center field fence in the eighth inning with a mammoth 2-run home run that cut Arundel’s lead to 3, but that was as close as Potomac would get. Arundel’s Fred “Bones” Fontz made two spectacular throws from behind to nail base runners at third and Tim “Shakespeare” Grieb’s timely hits solidified the 8-5 win for Arundel.
The second game featured the Old Dominions of Northern Virginia taking the field for the first time versus the Arundel Excelsiors. With 7 Northern Virginians in the line-up, including 4 players playing for the first time, the Old Dominions scored 7 runs in the top of the first and never looked back, winning 11-6 in their inaugural game. Jerry “Ranger” Sparks crushed two 2-run doubles in his first two career at-bats, while Tommy “Scout” Carlyle, Nathan “Smokey” Sparks, and Matthew Davilia had tremendous at-bats and showed great hands in the field in their first game. The future looks good for the Old Dominions, who will formally join the MAVBBL for the start of the 2012 season.
Overall, it was a tremendous weekend of base ball in Old Town Manassas. Despite the heat, players and cranks had a great time and demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship. Many thanks to Kenny Loveless and Historic Manassas for organizing the special Civil War base ball event.