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.

Elkton Hoists Pennock Cup

Unionville, PA– The 1st Pennock Cup named in honor of Kennett Square’s own Hall of Famer, Herb Pennock was played Sunday, October 19th at the Walker Polo Fields just outside of Kennett Square.  8 clubs from the Federal Conference of the MAVBBL participated in a great event hosted by the Mohican BBC.

In the first round the Diamond State BBC of Delaware defeated the Delaware City Atlas while the hosts downed the Athletic BBC of Philadelphia.  In the other bracket, Elkton downed the Brandywine BBC of West Chester while the Excelsiors from Milford (with help from the Talbot Fair Plays and Harrisburg Keystones) downed the Washington Capital Stars.  In the semi finals Delaware beat Kennett Square while Elkton knocked off Milford setting up a much anticipated final.

In the championship, the Eclipse defeated the Diamond States 12-10 in a close one to take home the Cup.  Great job by the Mohican BBC and others for putting on a quality event to end the season!


Pennock Cup to be Sunday October 19th

Unionville, PA– 8 clubs primarily from the eastern conference (Federal Conference) will be squaring off in the inaugural Pennock Cup named after Kennett Square’s own Hall of Famer, Herb Pennock.  Pennock the ace pitcher for the 1927 Yankees and architect of the Philadelphia Wiz Kids as a General Manager, died suddenly in 1948.

The match will take place at the Unionville Polo Grounds and will feature each club playing 3 7 inning games.  Losers of the first round drop to the Reserve Champion Bracket, while losers of the 2nd Round drop to Place games.  Clubs expected to participate including the host Mohican BBC of Kennett Square, the Brandywine BBC of West Chester, the Diamond State BBC of Delaware, the Milford Excelsiors with help from the Talbot Fair Plays, the Athletic BBC of Philadelphia, the Eclipse BBC of Elkton, the Washington Capital Stars and the Atlas BBC of Delaware City with help from the Minerva Club of Bridgeton.

Fans who come out will get to witness how base ball was played in 1864 before million dollar contracts, televisions,…and gloves.  Bring your picnic baskets, lawn chairs, and blankets and step back in to time.

Fall Strasburg Rail Road Tourney Success

Lancaster, PA– 410 spectators came out and took a ride on the Strasburg Rail Road a mile out to the Verdant Farm to witness a perfect Fall day of 19th century base ball.  In 2 years, the Strasburg Rail Road Tournaments have drawn quite an audience as teams who play in the event are drawn back in time with the fans.  There is nothing to remind anyone of the 21st century as spectators pile out of 19th century train cars to witness 4 clubs each Spring and Fall.   This Fall was no exception as Harrisburg, Elkton, Rising Sun and Philadelphia squared off in 3 games each during the day.  While the scores were not the important factor of the day, Elkton flexed its muscles and won all 3 of its matches quite handily.  Harrisburg downed Rising Sun 6-2 to reach the finals.  After losing to Elkton in the championship, they turned around and defeated Philadelphia in their third match.  Rising Sun came back and won the 3rd place game against Philadelphia while dropping its finale to Elkton.

Any clubs interested in one of the two Strasburg Rail Road Tournaments in May and October next year, contact the Elkton club for more information.

Atlantic Competes in World Base Ball Tournament

The Atlantic Base Ball Club answered the call of the World Tournament held in Dearborn, Michigan this past weekend.  Teams gathered to recreate an actual tournament that occurred in 1867 with a $300 top prize, just like it was back then!  Half of the team traveled by carriage while the other half was hurled through the air in a tin can yet somehow arrived safely many states away.


The Atlantics first round opponents in the single elimination tournament were the Petoskey Mossback BBC.  The Atlantics took the field first and although a batter reached base he could not make his ace.  When it was the Atlantics turn to bat, bat they did.  Seven tallies were counted before three hands were down.  The Mossbacks had difficulty getting hits off of Ed “Pigtail’ Elmore’s pitching while the Atlantics scored five more aces in the third inning and four more in the fifth.  The Mossbacks eventually scored an ace in the fifth and one more in the seventh but it was too late as the Atlantics prevailed by the score of 18-2.  Great defense was played at every position to keep the Mossback base runners to a minimum.  Richard ‘Cuz’ Baruso, Frank ‘Shakespeare’ Van Zant, Dean ‘Dreambucket’ Emma and Kevin ‘Flash’ Harrison all had three hits to help the Atlantics move on to the second round.


Awaiting us in the second round was another Brooklyn team, the Walker Tavern Wheels BBC (Brooklyn, Michigan) who had just defeated the Columbus Buckeyes.  The defenses of both squads started strong with the game scoreless into the bottom half of the third inning.  There the Atlantic offense burst out scoring six aces from singles by ‘Tricky’ Rick Stattler, Mike ‘Money’ Hill, Vincent ‘Tuna’ Aurora, a triple by Anthony ‘Dirty Pirate’ Cannino, more singles by Shakespeare, Dreambucket, Sean ‘Toothpick’ Ness and a double by Flash.  The wheels seemed to come off for the Tavern Wheels as they had runners on second and third with one out in the second inning, a runner on third in the third inning with no outs, runners on first and third with two outs in the sixth inning, and the bases loaded with two outs in the seventh inning but could not tally an ace in all of those opportunities. The pitching of Tuna and some good defense kept the Tavern Wheels from scoring just a single run until the last inning where they mounted their last attack to keep their championship dreams alive.  After scoring three aces, with one out a sizzling line drive flew off the bat that Money knocked down at second base and threw to first for the second out and snuffing the spirit of the comeback.  The Atlantics held on for the 10-4 victory and a trip to the semi-final match on Sunday.

Shakespeare led the Atlantics with three hits, while Greg ‘Hawk’ Dengel, Dreambucket, Toothpick and Flash each had two hits as well.


The semi-final match on Sunday morning was against the Bay City Independents BBC and would decide who would play later that day against the winner of the Columbus Capitals and Saginaw Old Golds BBC.

The Bay City team came out strong with three aces in the first inning, but the Atlantics responded with one ace of their own in the first and four more in the second on a bases clearing triple by Cuz.  Bay City got one back in the third inning and the Atlantics kept the pressure up by scoring three more with a double by the Dirty Pirate and singles by Shakespeare, Dreambucket and Flash.  The Bay City Boys kept their heads up though and scored five aces in the fourth, three more in the fifth and one more in the sixth to take the lead.  In the seventh inning, Matt ‘Krawler’ Kouyoumdjian cut down a runner at home on a base hit to right field but it would not be enough as the Atlantics fell by the score of 13-9.

The Dirty Pirate led the Atlantics with three hits and three aces, while Shakespeare, Hawk and Krawler each contributed two hits a piece.


Although the Atlantics did not reach the championships they did not go home empty handed.  The team was awarded the ‘Farthest Traveled’ prize and two Atlantic marksmen, Tuna and Flash were awarded 2nd and 3rd place in the Throwing Accuracy competition.


Talbot Comes Up Short in Silver Ball Bid

    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.


Gettysburg Festival Great Time Had By All

Gettysburg, PA– Many of the MAVBBL clubs headed west this past weekend to Gettysburg for the 5th Annual Gettysburg National 19th Century Base Ball Festival.  In what has become one of the best if not best vintage base ball events in the country, many of the league’s clubs outdid themselves.  18 vintage clubs from all over the country joined up  for games that were filmed by HBO, Comcast SportsNet, local news and many newspaper and photograph accounts.

The New York Gothams came out as the only undefeated club in the whole festival winning all 4 games it played.  The Atlantics finished 4-1 while 3-1 records were had by Talbot, Elkton, the Eckfords and Southern Delaware which was made up of Lewes and Milford.  Also participating was Philadelphia which showed a marvelous display of town ball against the Columbus Capitals; the New York Mutuals, the Flemington Neshanock, the Providence Grays, the Harrisburg Keystones, and the Washington Capitol Stars.

For more information about the Festival go to its website.  If you are interested in participating next year, send the Elkton club an email as soon as possible and throw your name in to the hat for one of the few spots that remain already for 2015!

Chessies Sweep Arundel

On Saturday afternoon, June 21, an overcast day with occasional sprinkles, the Chesapeake Nine of Baltimore hosted the Arundel Excelsior Base Ball Club in a pair of matches at Jerusalem Mill Village.  In sharp contrast to their last outing against Rising Sun, the Chesapeakes racked up plenty of hits and aces and took both ends of a double header.  In the first match, every Chesapeake contributed mightily at the dish.  Pittsburgh led the attack, scoring four aces, while Spider, Weasel, and Moonshine tallied three aces each.  The final score was 23-15!  The second match proved to be more of a pitchers’ duel.  Silver Fox and Commodore held the Excelsior to four runs, and the Chesapeakes battled back from an early deficit and took the match 5-4.
Special thanks to the Arundel Excelsior Base Ball Club for a pair of well-played and gentlemanly contests, and to our Friends at Jerusalem Mill for providing both teams with a beautiful place to play base ball and for erecting a brand new scoreboard on our home field!  It looks great!  Huzzah!  And special thanks to Rehab’s wife Catherine, who did a great job as our inaugural scorekeeper.  Huzzah!

Rising Sun Wins Mid Summer’s Night Classic

Elkton, MD– The first midweek 19th century vintage base ball game in Cecil County, Maryland was played Wednesday night, June 18 in front of over 125 fans at the Terrapin Station Winery.  It was a benefit for one of the Eclipse’s fallen players, Alberto “Taco” Soto.  Mr. Soto succumbed to sarcoma over the winter.  He played for Elkton and had several friends on the Rising Sun Club.

In a great twi-night match, Rising Sun jumped on the Eclipse to take an early lead.  Elkton was never able to get going offensively and ended the night with just 12 hits and 6 runs.  Great base running and play by the Rising Sun club led to a 9-6 win.  It was their first win over Elkton since 1867.  In all, it was a great night that saw over $300 raised for the family of Alberto Soto and for Sarcoma Awareness and research.


Atlantics Win on Old Dutch Day

On a sunny Saturday in June the Elizabeth Resolutes joined the Atlantics to honor the memory of their founder Al ‘Old Dutch’ Dieckmann. Alongside them was his daughter Candice who traveled up from North Carolina to attend the event. These games hold a special meaning to the veteran Atlantics who remember Old Dutch well.
The first game featured a pitching matchup between Vincent ‘Tuna’ Aurora of the Atlantics against Danny Jurgens of the Resolutes. The Atlantics struck early and often scoring one ace in the first, three more in the second and three more in the third inning to take an insurmountable lead. The Atlantics combined hits with some opportunistic baserunning to take the first game in a shutout 12-0. Dean ‘Dreambucket’ Emma led the Atlantics with three doubles while Richard ‘Cuz’ Baruso and Kevin ‘Flash’ Harrison struck two hits each off the Resolute pitcher.

At the between game ceremony Atlantic Captain Ed ‘Pigtail’ Elmore presented Candice Dieckmann with a token of appreciation from the squad and also awarded the “Old Dutch Day” award to George ‘Wildhorse’ Ferchland for all of his efforts to support the Atlantics and vintage base ball over the years.
The second match was played to the rules of baseball as they were written in 1870 where there was no longer a bound out in fair territory and the first tossed pitch was never called. Although George ‘Blackjack’ Pappas was outwitted by Resolutes Captain Paul ‘Quickstep’ Salomone in the bat toss that would be the last misfire by the Atlantics that day. Five aces tallied in the first inning followed by seven more in the second. In fact the Atlantics scored in every inning except the eighth leading to a 41-4 victory.
Wildhorse pitched the second game and had four hits alongside Greg ‘Hawk’ Dengel, and Sean ‘Toothpick’ Ness. But four others managed to swing their lumber even better as Blackjack, Dreambucket, Flash and Richard ‘Fingers’ Effinger all accumulated five hits in this game.
Next week the Atlantics travel down to Maryland and Delaware where they will take on some of the best teams in the Mid-Atlantic region. On Saturday they will play the Lewes Base Ball Club and Milford Excelsiors, while on Sunday they will play the Diamond State Base Ball Club and the Fairplays Base Ball Club of Talbot where they will commemorate one of Talbots fallen leaders ‘Curly’.