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.

Mid-Atlantic BBC claims the 2015 National Silver Ball Tournament

Posted on Monday, August 10th, 2015 and is filed under WNY Sports.

Photo by SUE KANE @skane51


MUMFORD, N.Y. — Run differential determined the contestants. Defense decided the outcome.

“Black Bart” made a sliding catch in foul territory to secure the final hand down as the Mid-Atlantic BBC defeated the Cleveland Blues, 4-3 in the finals of the 2015 National Silver Ball Tournament played on the Silver Base Ball Park at Genesee-Country Museum, Sunday afternoon.

Mid-Atlantic took the lead in top half of the inning when the club nine’s hurler, “Sledge” tallied the winning ace. With one hand down, “Sledge” made his first on a hit up the middle. After a stolen base, “Dream Bucket” made his first with a hit to right center allowing “Sledge” to cross the dish.

But this game was a battle of two teams intending to show a little a ginger in the field.

“Black Bart” made four straight put outs and six of seven between the second and fourth innings.  The Mid-Atlantic left fielder made three consecutive catches in left field after Cleveland’s first two striker’s in the third made their first.

“Moonlight” added to the Mid-Atlantic defensive display with a spectacular catch in center field for the first hand down on the fifth.

Photo by SUE KANE @skane51

The Blues were not to be outdone in the field. Trailing 2-0 with the sacks loaded, Cleveland’s hurler, “Plow,” delighted the cranks when he snared a stinger at the mound and threw to first for an inning-ending double play.

Mid-Atlantic took an early lead. “Sledge” made his first and stole second and third before tallying the match’s first ace when “Dream Bucket” reached. After “Moonlight” made his first, “Dream Bucket” tallied the second ace when “Doc” made his first.

Both teams were whitewashed until the bottom of the fifth.

With one hand down, “Duke” made his first. The left-handed hitting “Plow” used an inside-out swing to make his first on a hit down the third-base line. “Meal Ticket” reached and “Duke” tallied on a muff. “Plow” tied the game at two, but the inning ended when “Moonlight” made a throw from center field to get “Meal Ticket” at the dish.

“Pins” gave Mid Atlantic a 3-2 lead when he tallied an ace in the seventh.

“Stump” tallied as Cleveland knotted the score at three in the eighth.

Photo by SUE KANE @skane51

Cleveland and Mid Atlantic were two of four teams to finish the round-robin portion of the tournament without a loss. Cleveland tallied 68 aces in their first four matches. Mid Atlantic had 70.

The Mid-Atlantic team was assembled just weeks prior to the tournament when another organization withdrew from the competition. Mid-Atlantic consisted of players from several different clubs along the east coast.

Friday’s results:

Flower City 16 Woodstock 2

Spring Creek 18 Melrose 10

Live Oak 11 Rochester 6

Saturday’s results:

Mid-Atlantic 15  Hill Toppers 0

Victory 24 Swamp Frogs 8

Melrose 12 Akron 6

Live Oak 9 Hill Toppers 6

Cleveland Blues 11 Flower City 2

Spring Creek 24 Woodstock 16

Victory 8 Akron 5

Mid-Atlantic 17 Rochester 3

Melrose 21 Swamp Frogs 15

Akron 9 Flower City 7

“One Side” made his first as four of the first five Akron strikers reached in a decisive five-ace seventh.

Spring Creek 8 Hill Toppers 6

Spring Creek tallied five aces in the eighth and three in the ninth for the come-from-behind win.

Cleveland Blues 14 Live Oak 5

Victory 16 Melrose 7

Mid-Atlantic 24 Swamp Frogs 4

Woodstock 14 Rochester 6

Woodstock erased a two-run deficit with five aces in the sixth. Rochester took a 5-1 lead in the third. “Meat Cleaver” made his third to start the stanza. “Piano Man” and Angel made first to bring home aces, but Woodstock stopped the rally with a double play.

Sunday’s results:

Spring Creek 7 Swamp Frogs 6

Cleveland 26 Woodstock 3

Victory 21 Hill Toppers 4

Cleveland Blues 17 Rochester 3

Cleveland put crooked numbers on the board in three of the first four innings to take a 15-0 lead. Rochester showed a little ginger in the eighth. “Stubby” made his second to start the inning and scored the club nine’s first ace of the game when “Meat Cleaver” made his first.

Akron 26 Live Oak 8

Mid-Atlantic 14 Flower City 4

6th Annual Gettysburg Festival in the Books

Gettysburg, PA– A driving thunderstorm right before the 6th Annual Gettysburg National 19th Century Base Ball Festival nor the searing heat could keep the thousands of fans away  as 18 clubs converged on Gettysburg on July 18 and 19.  The setting was once again at the Schroeders Farm just minutes from the Peach Orchard and the day 2 battlefields.  Fans were not disappointed as some of the best matches in the history of the festival took place.  Many clubs from the MAVBBL joined the Tennessee Hog and Hominy Club, the Columbus Capitals, the Spring Creek Nine and the Maine Dirigo club for an epic weekend of base ball and friendship.

Some of the highlighted games included a 1-1 11 inning battle between the Eckfords and the Fair Plays.  The Eckfords also lost a 8-7 squeeker at the end to the Elkton Eclipse.  The Eclipse also gave up 2 runs in the top on the 9th but scored 3 in the bottom frame to down the Dirigo Club from Maine.  Maine also lost a heartbreaker to the Atlantics 11-10  in the same fashion.

It was once again a great event and look for the 7th one to take place the 3rd weekend in July.  We hope to see you there!

Mohican Wins Strasburg Tournament

Ronks, PA- The Mohican Base Ball Club of Kennett Square became the first club outside of the Elkton Eclipse to win the Strasburg Rail Road Tournament on Saturday, May 16.  On a warm, muggy day in Lancaster County 4 clubs, the Mohicans, the Eclipse BBC of Elkton, the Minvera BBC of Bridgeton, and the Rising Sun BBC took the field after riding the rails of the Strasburg Rail Road to the Verdant Farm.  In the first match, Kennett Square got by the Rising Sun Club 11-9 although Rising Sun put up a fight and scored 4 late but couldn’t plate the other 2 runs necessary for the tie.  In the other semi final, the Eclipse played the Minvera for the first time ever and came away with a 23-2 win setting up a show down with Kennett.  In the championship, it was a low scoring affair in the beginning of the game and after 5 innings it was 3-2 but then the Mohican pulled away at the end winning their first Strasburg Bat 13-5.  In the 3rd place game, Rising Sun downed Bridgeton.



The next Strasburg Rail Road Tournament will be in October as 6 clubs compete for the coveted trophy bat.  Those 6 include:  the Keystone BBC of Harrisburg, the Excelsior BBC of Milford, the Bog Iron Boys of Allaire Village, the Flemington Neshanock, the Rising Sun BBC and the Elkton Eclipse.



Neshanock Win NY/NJ Cup

Reposted from “A Manly Pastime-A Base Ball History Blog”
By John Z.

Battle at Bethpage

Photo by Mark Granieri

Base ball, of course, has no birthplace, but vintage base ball is of, well, more recent vintage so more is know about its origins.  My good friend Eric Miklich once told me that Old Bethpage Village on Long Island is the place where the on-the-field recreation of the early game began and while Eric isn’t always right, he’s never in doubt.  The game continues to be played at this restored village including a four team tournament in April and a much larger two day event in early August.  Saturday marked the renewal of the four team, one day tournament known as the New York – New Jersey Cup.  I believe for some time the Neshanock were the only participating New Jersey club joining the New York Mutuals (the home team) plus some other New York clubs, most frequently the Gotham Club of New York.  However when the Hoboken Nine starting participating, I think three years ago, it became a more geographically balanced field with the two New Jersey clubs playing each of their New York counterparts.

Photo by Mark Granieri

The Neshanock won the 2013 version, I believe, the first time, a New Jersey club took the cup home and retained it last year when the 2014 event was rained out.  So Saturday saw the Neshanock and Hoboken Clubs making the journey out to Old Bethpage under sunny and warmer than usual conditions.  In their first match, the Neshanock drew the Gothams who fielded a very strong team, bringing back a number of their fine players from prior years.  As with last week’s Neshanock-Resolutes game it was a well played, relatively low scoring match especially given it’s still early in the season.  This was, in fact, the Gothams first match of 2015.

Photo by Mark Granieri

The pitching and defense of both squads was so strong that no  tallies were scored until the top of the fourth when the Gothams scored two aces.  Flemington quickly cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning and after blanking the Gothams in the top of the fifth, scored three times for a 4-2 lead after five.  The New York club also answered quickly tying the score at 4-4, but the Neshanocks regained the lead in the bottom of the inning and led 5-4 after six.  Strong pitching and continued good defense kept the Gothams off the score board in the 7th and 8th while Flemington added three more runs for a 8-4 lead headed to the ninth.  However, the Gothams are always dangerous and no one on the Neshanocks was entirely comfortable even after there were two out with one on.  Two straight hits plated two runs before a ground out ended the game for a 8-6 Flemington victory. Danny “Batman” Shaw, Mark “Gaslight” Granieri and Chris “Low Ball” Lowry led the Neshanock attack with three hits apiece.  Right behind this trio were Tom “Thumbs” Hoepfner, Brad “Brooklyn” Shaw and Scott “Snuffy” Hengst with two each.  The Neshanock defense backed up “Brooklyn’s” strong pitching, making only two errors over the course of the match.

Photo by Mark Granieri

The Neshanock’s second contest was with the host club, the New York Mutuals who had topped the Hoboken Nine, 16-14 in the other morning match.  With the two morning winners playing in the afternoon contest, it was a winner take all affair.  Flemington continued to support strong pitching with good defense, but this time the Neshanock offense also got going scoring nine times in the first two innings for a 9-2 lead, adding one more in the fourth to lead 10-2 after five.  In the last four innings Flemington broke things open scoring 11 times while holding the Mutuals to only two more tallies for a convincing 21-4 triumph in a successful defense of the Cup.  Every Neshanock player made at least two hits with five different players getting three apiece.  Included in the latter group were Dave “Illinois” Harris, Rene “Mango” Marerro and Tom “Thumbs” Hoepfner who joined “Gaslight” and “Low Ball” who repeated their feat of the morning game.  Both “Mango” and “Thumbs” hit home runs in the contest.  All told the Neshanock left only five runners on base, but, in this case, that’s not as positive a statistic as it might seem as five of Flemington’s nine at bats ended with a base runner making the last out.

Photo by Mark Granieri

In the other afternoon match, the Gothams defeated the Hoboken Club 21-9.  It was a good day of base ball under pleasant, but a trifle warm conditions.  The Neshanock are, obviously, very pleased to retain the Cup and look forward to a return visit to Old Bethpage, the beginning of August.  Off to their best start in years, with a 4-1 record, next Saturday, Flemington journeys to Monmouth University for a match with some college students.

MAVBBL Set To Kick Off the 2015 Season

Its Spring time and that means the return of 19th century base ball to the Mid Atlantic region.  In 2015, a record 24 clubs will be in action this year from Virginia to Rhode Island.  The Bog Iron Boys from Allaire Village, New Jersey have been added to the League and will compete in the Empire Conference to take on veteran clubs including the Brooklyn Atlantics, New York Mutuals, Flemington Neshanock, Providence Grays, New York Gothams and Hoboken Nine to name a few.

This year’s schedule for just about every club is now posted.  Some highlights of the upcoming year include clubs participating in the Philadelphia Festival, the Smithtown, NY 350th Anniversary Base Ball Festival, the Gettysburg National 19th Century Base Ball Festival, the Cream City Classic in Wisconsin, the Silver Ball Tournament in Mumford, NY; the Omegang Brewery Festival in Cooperstown, the Old Time Base Ball Festival in OldBethapage, NY and the MAVBBL Championship Tournament that will be held in Kennett Square, PA at the end of the season.

Make sure to check back weekly for score updates, schedule changes as well as directions to fields and write ups each week.

If you are looking to play contact us and we’ll put you in touch with a club.  We are also actively looking for people who want to start clubs in Lancaster, York, Gettysburg, Allentown and Scranton, PA; southern New Jersey, Fredericksburg and Richmond, VA, and West Virginia.

We hope to see you either out on the diamond or in the stands rooting on your favorite club!

Banner Year for the MAVBBL

As the 2014 season winds down, we look back on the banner year for the MAVBBL.  A record 24 clubs participated in the MAVBBL this year which encompasses just about every club that plays vintage base ball from Washington DC all the way up to New York and even Rhode Island.  A record number of 19th century matches were played in the region this year as well.  This year, clubs showed the American public how base ball was played back in its formative years with clips on Comcast Sports Net, PBS and many local news channels all over the region.  They were featured in print on, the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and so many others.

Clubs this year also traveled more than in years past showing the American public the authenticity of the game that each member pledges to hold up.  Member clubs played in the following tournaments and festivals:  The Silver Ball Tournament in Rochester, NY; the World Championships of Base Ball in Greenfield, MI; the Gettysburg National 19th Century Base Ball Festival; the New York/New Jersey Cup, the Pennsylvania Cup; the Delaware Cup; the Maryland State Championship Series; the Strasburg Rail Road Tournament (Fall and Spring); the Berks Vintage Base Ball Festival in Reading, PA; the Old Tyme Base Ball Festival in Old Bethpage, NY; the Philadelphia Base Ball Festival; the Ommegang Brewery Festival in Cooperstown, NY; the Pennock Cup in Kennett Square, PA; the Gotham Cup in New York City; Old Dutch Day in Smithtown, NY; Dover Days in Dover, DE; and Jackie Robinson Day, Philadelphia, PA to name a few of the bigger events.

If you are interested in playing next year for one of the 24 clubs please contact us.  Most clubs are always looking for players and some are in dire need of more players.  You don’t have to be an ex-pro player or a former softball all-star, just a love of the history of baseball and the desire to meet a lot of similar people from all over the region.  If there isn’t a club near you and you’d like to start one, contact us.  We have a strong desire to start clubs in Virginia (Richmond, Norfolk, Fredericksburg); Pennsylvania (especially in the Gettysburg, Lancaster/York region as well as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Allentown areas); western Maryland, and southern New Jersey as well as Connecticut.

A big HURRAH to all the players who participated this year.  We do hope that 2015 will be even better as we learn more every day how base ball was played in the 19th century and we set out to show the country the correct way to play.