Sunday, June 23, 2013

Caught in the Nick of Time

Saturday, the Flemington Neshanock continued their New Jersey tour with a match at the Howell Living History Farm in Lambertville.  I was planning on writing about antebellum base ball in this Delaware River community as I had found an 1858 New York Clipper reference to the Olympic Club of Lambertville or at least I thought I had.  Checking my source before publishing (which can never be done too often) I realized I had made a mistake.  The aforementioned team was from Lawrenceville another community not too far from Trenton.

Brad "Brooklyn" Shaw tells the crowd how it was in the 19th century

The article actually says there were two clubs started in Lawrenceville that year which is interesting as there are no obvious reasons for base ball activity there prior to the Civil War other than its proximity to Trenton which had a club as early as 1856.  One possibility is a connection with the Lawrenceville School much like how preparatory schools in Bloomfield Township helped get the game started in that Newark suburb.  It's a subject (how many times have I written this) that I need to look into in more detail.

With that correction, there is no evidence of base ball clubs in Lambertville prior to the Civil War.  Interestingly there was significant amount of cricket activity there with a local club traveling up and down the Delaware to play both Pennsylvania and New Jersey clubs.  So with the historical side of this post coming up empty, I'll just share a number of Mark "Gaslight" Granieri's pictures and a brief description of the match and hopefully do better on the history side with the next post.

Joe "Irish" Colduvell about to get one part of his clear score

Saturday's match was with the Gotham Base Ball Club of New York who recreate one of the earliest clubs to play the New York game.  Unfortunately, just happened in the game's early days, other commitments left the Gothams short handed and only able to field a team of seven.  A number of "muffins" from the crowd along with Ken "Tumbles" Mandel of the Neshanock gracefully and manfully filled out the Gotham's line up, but a nine run first inning put the Neshanock on the way to a commanding victory.  Of special note was a clear score by Joe "Irish" Colduvell who batted five times without making an out.  The win improved the Neshanock's overall record to 12-7 going into next Sunday's matches with the Delaware Diamond State Base Ball Club in Princeton. 

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