Eckford Capture MAVBBL Championship

The Eckford from Brooklyn won the 2016 MAVBBL Championship on October 14 in Old Bethpage, New York.  The Eckford downed the Eclipse BBC of Elkton 13-3 in the championship to take this year’s crown.

6 clubs from the MAVBBL took place in the championship tournament.  In the first round the Brooklyn Atlantics downed its cross town rival the Mutual BBC of New York to set up a semi final against the Elkton Eclipse.  The Eclipse were too strong for Brooklyn and won the match 10-6 to go to the finals.  On the other side of the bracket, the Diamond State BBC from Delaware downed the Providence Grays to earn a spot in the semi finals against the number one seeded Eckford.  The Eckford put the Diamond States away to set up the championship against the Eclipse.

A special thanks to all 6 clubs who participated in the championship as it closes the books on the 8th season of the MAVBBL.  Hurrah!

Fair Plays Claim 3rd Silver Ball Trophy

The Talbot Fair Plays returned to Mumford, NY to participate in the National Silver Ball Tournament and came away as champion for the third time. Genesee Country Village & Museum was the setting for the 14th annual event that featured 12 clubs from the U.S. and Canada. The two day event featured stormy weather on Saturday and plenty of great matchups throughout.
On Saturday the Fair Plays got off to a good start by defeating Northville Eclipse of Michigan by a score of 25-9. After a two hour break followed by a one hour rain delay the Talbot team took the field against the Victory Base Ball Club of Phelps, NY. The Victory Club got off to a fast start with 6 in the first inning and took an 8-0 lead before the Fair Plays broke through with 5 in the bottom of the third. After enduring two more short rain delays Talbot was able to tally 5 more runs before the game was halted by a nearby lightning strike with the Fair Plays getting a 10-8 decision in the rain-shortened contest.
Saturday’s third match saw the Fair Plays take on the Spring Creek Nine from western, NY. Talbot held an early lead but could not take advantage of an opportunity to widen the margin before the team from Spring Creek battled back. The game ended in a 5-5 tie after six innings after another storm quickly washed out the rest of the match.
Sunday morning the Fair Plays took on the local Flower City club. After leading for most of the contest the Fair Plays found themselves with a two run deficit heading to the bottom of the ninth after two late rallies from Flower City. Fortunately the Fair Plays found just enough timely hits combined with aggressive base running to score the decisive run with two outs and come away victorious by a score of 11-10. After sitting through another match to see if the boys from Talbot would get to play another game things fell just right and the Fair Plays were on their way to the championship match.
It seems fitting that the final match would feature the Fair Plays and Spring Creek, the only two teams without a loss, but who shared a tie the previous day. The Fair Plays left little to chance as they jumped out to a 9-1 lead after one inning before eventually securing the championship with an 18-10 victory. It was a tough weekend as the Fair Plays competed with some excellent ball clubs and the weather but had just enough good fortune to come home with the trophy in one of the finest vintage base ball events in the country.

Brandywines in St Louis Cup

The Brandywine BBC of West Chester, PA made the trek out to St. Louis, MO at the end of July to participate in the 3rd Annual St. Louis Cup hosted by the St. Louis Brown Stockings. The trip was originally planned as a visit home for Matthew “Pins” Hagnauer, but it turned into a club reunion with their former player. The team flew into town on Friday and got right down to business the only way Brandywine BBC can…they rented a party bus. This would be the team’s means of transportation throughout the weekend setting the tone for how things were going to go. They drove through St. Louis a bit on Friday checking out the St. Louis Gateway Arch and the Budweiser Brewery, before heading to Pins’ mom’s house just across the Mississippi River in Dupo, IL where she generously put up the ENTIRE club.

Fast forward through some club hooliganry to Saturday, to the 3rd Annual St. Louis Cup. The setting for the matches was the beautiful Forest Park, home of the St. Louis Zoo and the site of the 1904 World’s Fair. Brandywine BBC was concerned about the rule differences going into their matches being that in the Midwest they play by modified 1860s rules instead of 1864 rules. The biggest concern was that someone would forget that taking a large lead, sliding or stealing was prohibited by the modified 1860 rules. One other major adjustment was that defensive positioning did not allow for any shifts. This meant that the first basemen, second basemen and third basemen must be within two steps of their respective base before the pitch is thrown. Only the shortstop was allowed to play anywhere on the field. Even the outfielders were not allowed to shift. This took some getting used to for the club. The Brandywine BBC played 3 matches in the St. Louis Cup and were defeated by the St. Louis Perfectos (11-3), the St. Louis Brown Stockings (9-5), and the Belleville Stags (31-9). All 3 teams played hard and earned their victories over the Brandywine club. Though Brandywine got beat, they didn’t let that get the best of them. Instead they vowed to come back with a vengeance on Sunday and let St. Louis know how the east coast plays base ball.

Sunday, the day of reckoning, it was hot and humid and a perfect day for base ball. The Brandywine BBC played 2 great matches against their opponents, the St. Louis Unions (8-7) and the Indianapolis Hoosiers (3-2), to pick up two one-run wins. The Brandywine boys were more relaxed going into these games and it showed in their on-field antics. The boys were jabbering back and forth from across the field at each other, something the home teams didn’t seem too accustomed to, but both wins were a combined effort from every player on the club, Bullseye got on base in almost every at bat; Splinter was about the smoothest shortstop you’d ever seen; Colonel was intimidating at the plate and kept the outfield guessing; Pins was stretching and scooping up balls like it was nothing at all; Shaggy displayed his best hitting so far this season sending two the opposite way; Rockwell didn’t let a ball bounce, showing just how manly he is in left field; Shield had the defensive play of the game coming from 2nd to 1st with a flip of the ball to make a crucial out late in the game; Stonewall brought out his heater and left the opponents as lost as a duck in high weeds; Manny broke out not one, but back-to-back triples; Slowhand was our “Midwest Muffin” displaying the poise of a veteran vintage player in left field, at the plate, and with a 6-string later that night!; King played so well his uniform and shoes couldn’t contain him! The captain of the Brandywine BBC more than earned his stripes in this Midwest trip.

MAVBBL Blacken Your Shoe Weekend

As we wish one of our clubs safe travels on their way to St. Louis this weekend, the MAVBBL can take the time to follow one of St Louis’s traditions and that is blacken your shoe out Weekend.  As the MAVBBL strives to be as authentic as possible, one of the things a spectator will notice is that we wear modern cleats or spikes for safety reasons.   One thing we all can do though with our black shoes is to darken out any logos that may appear on the shoe.  Just take 5 seconds to erase the modern logo off of your shoe and go out there and have fun.  Most clubs are in the middle of festivals over the next 2 months.  Each player wants to put their best foot forward and try to look as authentic as possible.  On a related note, best of luck and safe travels to the Brandywine Club as they head out to St Louis for a festival out there!

MAVBBL Grabs Top Spots in VBBA Election

Chicago, IL– The MAVBBL is proud to announce that several of its club executives were elected to the top posts of the Vintage Base Ball Association.  Brad “Brooklyn” Shaw from the Neshanock was voted in as President and is the first sitting member of a MAVBBL club to be elected to such a high position.  In addition, Matt Bartnicki from the Diamond State BBC of Delaware was named Vice President.  Eric Micklich from the Eckford Club of Brooklyn was re-elected as historian.  Brian Travers from the Providence Grays and Bruce Leith from the Eclipse BBC of Elkton still have 1 more year left on their terms as trustees.


Play Ball!


The 8th season of the MAVBBL kicks off this weekend with the Brooklyn Atlantics traveling to the Garden State to take on the Flemington Neshanock at the Somerset Patriots Fan Fest in Somerset, New Jersey.  Meanwhile in Easton, Maryland 4 of the states finest clubs will get together for the first Maryland State Festival.  Talbot, Elkton, Arundel and Chesapeake will be enjoying their first matches of the season on Sunday.

The first game of the season took place on April 2nd as the highly skilled veteran Delaware Diamond States introduced the Ellicott’s Mills club to the league with a 68-7 victory.  Flemington and Furnace Mills were rained out.

Make your plans now to attend as many 19th century games as you can.  This year, the clubs are entered in to many tournaments and festivals including the Silver Ball, the World Tournament, the Gettysburg Festival, the Old Time Base Ball Festival and of course the League Championships.  Check back often for scores, highlights and a lot of information.  See you at the ball yards!

2016 Kickoff

The 2016 season is still 4 months away, but on January 16, the MAVBBL will hold its annual President’s and Scheduling Meeting.  The 2016 edition of the League looks to feature up to 24 clubs from Rhode Island to Washington DC and as far west as Harrisburg, PA.

Each year, the club presidents gather to discuss the previous season and look ahead to what can be done to improve the play of member clubs for the upcoming year.  Loop holes are discussed as well as new research in to the history of the game that could alter the way member clubs have played.  Each year, new language is found from the 1860s that member clubs didn’t know about.  Sometimes, even new ways of play from pitching to hitting stance is introduced to make our game more authentic to spectators who come out and watch us in the upcoming year.  For example, up until just a couple of years ago, clubs would exclaim “Huzzah” after matches.  After research it was found that the correct language should be “Hurrah”.  Words like “hurler”, “behind” and “cranks” have been eliminated from our vocabulary and replaced with “pitcher”, “catcher” and “spectators”.  (Words that are common today and were actually used in the 1860s as well!).  At the end of the meeting, in a scene that looks like its straight off the trading floors of Wall Street, everyone takes about a half hour to meet with other presidents to fill out their 2016 schedules.

If you are interested in playing for one of our clubs or if you have an interest in starting your own club for the future, please contact us.  We have a strong interest in placing clubs in Richmond and Fredericksburg, Virginia as well as Scranton, Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.