Strasburg, PA– On Saturday May 11, 4 familiar foes reaquainted themselves in the farm fields east of Lancaster, PA in a perfect day for 19th Century Base Ball. All four clubs made the trek to the field via steam engine aboard a train car from the Strasburg Rail Road. The Strasburg Rail Road put on a great vintage base ball tournament at the Verdant Farm about 1 mile east of the main station at Strasburg. Scores of people came by train during the day to witness four fine games of base ball.
In the first semi final the Athletics from Philadelphia gave the Neshanock from Flemington all it could handle before the visitors from New Jersey pulled away and won a hard fought 14-7 match to get to the finals. There they would find their pupil, the Eclipse Base Ball Club of Elkton who defeated the Keystone Base Ball Club of Harrisburg 18-13. In that second semi final, the match was back and forth the entire game with Harrisburg holding slight leads until the last two innings when the Eclipse scored 6 runs in the 7th and 8th to hold off the Keystones.
In the consolation match, Harrisburg jumped out to an early 6-0 lead after one, but the Athletics were not going to go away quietly. They tallied 6 themselves in the top of the 3rd to tie it. Harrisburg then posted a 7 spot in the 5th after Philadelphia briefly took a one run lead. In the 7th though, the Athletic jumped all over the Keystoners with 12 runs to take a large lead in to the bottom of the 7th. Harrisburg chipped away at the lead little by little until the 9th when Philly held a ace advantage. The Capitals though stormed back and posted 6 tallies in 2/3 of an inning to win 24-23 in a great match
In the championship Flemington took advantage of the tired Eclipse with a six spot in the 3rd inning to go up 10-6, but the Eclipse came right back with 5 to take an 11-10 lead after 3. In the middle 3 frames the Neshanock put up 10 runs to only 4 by Elkton and it looked like Flemington was going to give Elkton a knock out punch to end the game. After scoring 2 in the top of the 7th to have a 16-12 lead, the New Jersians were white washed while the Marylanders scored 3 in the 7th and 3 in the 8th to take a 18-16 lead. After 2 quick dead hands, the Neshanock were down to their last out before a triple had the winning run up to plate. Then with a mighty blast to center field in to the wheat fields on a shot that looked like a sure home run, Lee “Brew” Donelson made a tremendous stab running away from home plate to preserve the hard fought victory for the Eclispe who won their first tournament outside of the Maryland State Championships for the first time ever. Special thanks to the Strasburg Rail Road for a great event and to the Verdant Family for use of their fields.