The Talbot Fair Plays headed north to the village of Mumford, NY to participate in the National Silver Ball Tournament this past weekend. It was the club’s seventh trip to the western New York event. The Fair Plays displayed great defense all weekend and were attempting to win the tournament again, just as they had in 2013. Unfortunately their efforts fell a little short.
The team from Maryland opened their slate of games against the local Flower City club. Talbot consistently put runs on the board, scoring in almost every inning, while holding their opponent scoreless until the bottom of the ninth. The match ended with the Fair Plays victorious by a score of 18-3. Next up was the excellent Spring Creek club, also from the western New York village. The Spring Creek team entered the weekend with an unblemished record on the season and were fresh off of a 30 run outburst in their early morning game. Once again the Fair Play defense was on full display as they held the fine striking club to only one run en route to an 11-1 win.
The final match of day one for Talbot pitted them against one of the finest clubs in the Midwest, the Cleveland Blues. Runs were hard to come by for both teams in this match as the score was tied at 2 in the middle innings. Then Talbot was able to put a rally together, plating the 4 runs that would hold up as the difference in the game as the Fair Plays won the match 6-2. This put the Marylanders in excellent position for day 2 of the tournament.
Sunday morning the Fair Plays took on the local Live Oak club. After allowing 3 runs in the top of the first the Talbot defense tightened up, allowing only one additional tally in the ninth inning on the way to a 16-4 victory and a berth in the championship match for the fourth consecutive season.
The afternoon’s championship match in Silver Base Ball Park would be a rematch from Saturday as the Cleveland Blues defeated the local Victory Base Ball Club, last year’s runner-up, to earn the right to take on the Fair Plays. The names of these two clubs have been all over the Silver Ball hardware in recent years, with Cleveland winning in 2010 and 2011, while the Fair Plays shared the title in 2012 and won it outright in 2013.
Sunday’s championship match began with Cleveland striking early, putting up 4 runs in the top of the first. Cleveland added more runs in subsequent innings, building a 9 run lead. Talbot was able to get several rallies started but was not able to find the timely hits it needed, leaving multiple runners on base on several occasions. After pushing a couple of runners across the plate in the middle innings and a couple more late Talbot gave up one more run to the team from Ohio. This would prove to be more than enough for the Blues as they defeated the Fair Plays by the score of 10-4. It was a good weekend for the Fair Plays but they came up a little short to the excellent and very deserving champions from Cleveland.