Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekend in New England - Base Ball and Grandchildren

Based on the large number of vintage base ball teams currently promoting games on social media as well as the many accounts of tournaments and festivals, the new version of the old game seems to be in good shape.  Perhaps like any American enterprise, approaches to vintage base ball, while always honoring historical accuracy, differ even in such basic issues as how to structure a schedule.  Many clubs like the Brooklyn Atlantics and the Elizabeth Resolutes follow the historical practice of playing primarily home and home matches with some games and tournaments at neutral sites.  Implicit in this approach is a home field, like that of the Atlantics in Smithtown, Long Island or the Resolutes' grounds at Rahway River Park.  The Flemington Neshanock, on the other hand, schedule matches as part of special events throughout New Jersey on the premise that such events, as a rule, draw bigger crowds.  It's an approach that works for Flemington, but I will admit that playing a certain number of games at a conveniently located home field has a certain appeal.

Photo by Mark Granieri

All of this came to mind this past weekend when the Neshanock traveled north to Massachusetts for a series of matches with the Essex Base Ball Association.  Founded in 2002 as the Essex Base Ball Club by the Danvers Historical Society, the Essex Club is now the traveling team for the larger  Association. which plays at the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury, Massachusetts, not far from the New Hampshire border.  What's different about this, at least to me, is that the Association sponsors four other clubs which play most of their games at the farm, an historic site in its own right.  The net result is a lot of vintage base ball in one place, offering fans and visitors multiple opportunities to witness the 19th century game.  Not only does this expand access for spectators, the relatively limited travel almost certainly facilitates player participation.  In keeping with historical accuracy, the other four clubs are modern re-incarnations of 19th century teams from Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  The Granite State representative is the Portsmouth Rockinghams while the Massachusetts clubs are the Lowell Baseball Nine, the Lynn Live Oaks and the Newburyport Clamdiggers.

Photo by Mark Granieri

The Neshanock's last visit to the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm was in 2012, shortly after our granddaughter Sophie was born, and there was a certain symmetry to this year's trip as her baby brother, Henry, arrived at the end of June.  So for the Zinn family the stage was set for a great weekend of vintage base ball and grandchildren.  The farm is a beautiful venue for base ball and the weather which was forecast to be wet, turned out to be sunny and comfortably warm with a refreshing breeze.  Flemington's first opponent was the Rockingham Club, the newest member of the Association, based on a club that played in nearby Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1866 and 1867.  As has been the case for most of the season, Flemington won the bat toss, sending the home team to striker's line first.  Off to a good start defensively, the Neshanock set Rockingham down without a run and then got off to a hot start in their first two at bats, to take a 6-1 lead after only two innings.

Photo by Mark Granieri

However, based on today's play, Rockingham is a solid club and they battled back to tie the game at 6-6 after four innings and then went ahead 7-6 going to the bottom of the sixth. However, the Neshanock were far from done and scored four times to take a 10-7 lead.  Rockingham quickly got back to work tying the match at 10-10 and then shut the Neshanock out over the last two innings (the game was limited to 8 innings due to time constraints) while scoring two in the top of the eighth for a hard fought 12-10 victory.  Flemington did well at the striker's line throughout the match, led by Chris "Sideshow" Nunn, Dave "Illinois" Harris and Ken "Tumbles" Mandel with three hits apiece.  They were ably supported by one of the Neshanock's two father and son acts, Brad "Brooklyn" Shaw and Danny "Batman" Shaw each with two hits.

Photo by Mark Granieri

After a very short respite, again due to time limits, Flemington took the field for a match with the Lowell Baseball Nine of Boston, a team that was founded in 1861 and named after John A. Lowell, one of the founders and a top ball player of the time.  According to the Association's web site, the team played their matches on Boston Common and were one of the top New England clubs at the end of the decade.  The modern re-incarnation was certainly worthy of the original as they quickly got off to a 3-0 lead.  Flemington came back just as quickly to tie the game and the two teams settled down for another back and forth affair.  Lowell led 5-4 going to the bottom of the fifth, but another Neshanock big inning plated four runs and an 8-5 lead headed to the top of the sixth.  Unfortunately teams that live by the big inning sometimes die by the big inning and that was the case in this match as Lowell scored seven times in the sixth on their way to a 14-9 win.  It was another good offensive performance for Flemington with "Sideshow" repeating his three hit performance, joined this time by his dad, "Jersey" Jim Nunn and Brad "Brooklyn" Shaw.  Further offense came from"Batman," "Illinois" and Mark "Gaslight" Granieri with two hits each.

Photo by one tired Grandfather

As on the Neshanock's 2012 trip to  Massachusetts, the Sunday games were at Fort Warren on George's Island, a short ferry ride into Boston Harbor.  However, since grandchildren outrank almost everything, Carol and I didn't make the Sunday games, but instead spent the rest of our visit in on-the-job training in watching a three year old and a two month old simultaneously.  If I'm lucky I'll recover by the time of our next visit in October.  Fortunately, as always, Mark "Gaslight" Granieri, having successfully found Georges Island, was kind enough to provide pictures and a brief recap.  Sunday's games were scheduled against the Lynn Live Oaks and Newburyport Clamdiggers.  The Lynn club recreates a team from Lynn, Massachusetts which played in the International League in 1877 and 1878.  Regardless of the team's talent levels in 1877, their pitchers got plenty of guidance as the team was managed by Hall of Famer, Candy Cummings, whose plaque credits him with inventing the curve ball.  Newburyport, which if I understand the geography correctly, is the adjoining town to Newbury, the site of the farm, was home to the Clamdiggers Club, a team which played in the New England League in 1885 and 1886.

Apparently, Newburyport only had a few players available, but there is strength in the numbers of having four different teams so the Neshanock with the help of players from the other two teams, played the Lynn Live Oaks twice.  In the opener, Flemington got off to an early lead and held it for a 17-8 win behind the pitching of Danny "Batman" Shaw.  Reportedly a key part of the Neshanock attack was a three run home run by Ken "Tumbles" Mandel which is hard to visualize, but since the New York Mets scored two runs on Sunday on back-to-back wild pitches, I suppose nothing should surprise me about base ball.  The second match was limited to six innings to allow both clubs and their fans to catch the 2:00 ferry and it was a relatively easy win for Lynn which prevailed 12-2.  Although the overall record was only 1-3, it was an enjoyable weekend and it's clear that the Essex Base Ball Association has a good approach that works well.  While I'm sure many people make it happen, special mention should be made of Brian Sheey, president of the Association and his brother, Chris, captain of the Lowell Club.  On October 17th, the Association's final event of the year will be the third annual Jan's Pitch, a fund raiser for breast cancer research and the arts, in honor and memory of Brian and Chris's mother, Jan, an art teacher, who died from breast cancer in April of 2013.  It is an event and a cause well worth the support of the entire vintage base ball community.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Why Did the Fireman Take a Balloon Ride?

For the second consecutive year, the South Bound Brook Fire Company, under the leadership of Nashanock emeritus, Harry "Cappy" Roberts, hosted an afternoon of vintage base ball at Memorial Park in that central New Jersey community.  This year's event consisted of an 1864 match between long time rivals, the Elizabeth Resolutes and the Flemington Neshanock, followed by an exhibition match between the Neshanock (with some help from the Resolutes) and a team of firemen, much younger firemen.  Resolute-Neshanock matches are by definition close, intensely played games and today was no exception.  The early going indicated it was going to be a low scoring affair as the match was scoreless until the bottom of the third when Flemington broke through with one tally.  Elizabeth answered quickly in their next opportunity at the striker's line, scoring three times which the Neshanock answered with one in their half of the inning.  Elizabeth was busy again in the top of the fifth scoring twice, but Flemington responded with three tallies of their own to tie the match at 5-5 after five innings.

History of Jersey City 

Although both clubs put the lead off batter on base in the sixth inning, neither advanced any further and the game went to the seventh still tied, but it didn't stay that way for long.  Jesse Tomlinson belted a triple to lead off the inning and promptly scored on a singly by Shawn Kelly who shortly thereafter tallied a run of his own.  Flemington managed to put two runners on base with two out in the bottom of the seventh, but the Resolutes recorded the final hand without any damage.  Elizabeth batted in the eighth with a chance to expand their lead, but the Neshanock got three hands without allowing a base runner.  Having held the field in the top of the inning, the Flemington offense got going in the bottom of the eighth keyed by a resounding double by Mark "Gaslight" Granieri and extremely well placed hits by Chris "Low Ball" Lowry, Ken "Tumbles" Mandel and Will Murray.  By the time the third out was made, the Neshanock had scored four times to take a 9-7 lead into the top of the ninth.  Although the Resolutes got a man on with two out, Flemington recorded the final out to take the match behind a second consecutive strong pitching performance by Dave "Illinois" Harris.  Special thanks to Kyle and Mike Roberts, two muffins who helped out a somewhat shorthanded Flemington squad.  Thanks to "Cappy" and the fire company for sponsoring this fine event.

Photo by Mark Granieri

Like South Bound Brook, the majority of New Jersey communities rely upon volunteer fire companies for protection and related services.  Larger urban areas, like Newark and Jersey City, on the other hand, understandably have large full time professional fire companies.  It wasn't, however, always like that, back in the 19th century, New Jersey's largest cities also depended upon volunteers who were ready, willing and able to answer the alarm at a  moment's notice.  A case in point is Jersey City which, although it covered a smaller geographic area in the 19th century, was one of the state's largest communities.  Volunteer fire companies in Jersey City actually date back to 1829 when the local population was barely over a 1000.  However, the perceived danger was sufficiently lethal that residents demanded fire protection from the local selectmen.  Money for a fire engine was the first problem.  Alexander McLean wrote in his 1895 History of Jersey City that not only did the governing body lack funds, they had "no means of raising it [the money] by tax."  Fortunately the residents were prepared to back up their demands with their wallets and a public subscription raised the $800 needed to purchase the city's first fire engine.

Photo by Mark Granieri

With the equipment provided, manpower was next so an organizational meeting was held at the home of Hugh McCutcheon on September 21, 1829.  While this is a good 25 years before the first Jersey City base ball clubs (New York game any way), it's hard not to notice the similarities between volunteer fire companies and base ball clubs, a point discussed by Warren Goldstein in his book, Playing For Keeps.  This is hardly surprising since in both cases, young men joined a formal organization calling for both commitment and teamwork.  And just like the early base ball clubs, one of the new fire company's first actions was to establish a constitution to govern their affairs.  Since behavior was significantly more important in fighting fires than on the base ball grounds, it's no surprise that an even more extensive system of fines was adopted and applied.  According to excerpts from the company's minutes which appeared years later in the Evening Journal, multiple firemen were fined 12 1/2 cents (a penny went further in those days) in the department's first year of existence, primarily for not showing up for the onerous task of washing the fire engine.  One miscreant, William B. Jenkins was fined $1 (a hefty amount at the time) for an unspecified violation of section 12 of the constitution.  The constitution must have been both rigorous and all encompassing as on at least three separate occasions, members were fined 50 cents for declining to serve after being elected to a company office.

History of Jersey City

Many early base ball clubs were short lived due to the inability to recruit new members and Engine Company Number 1 in Jersey City experienced similar problems in 1834 when there ranks dwindled to  just 13 members.  Notice was sent to the Board of Alderman that "without some aid and more encouragement," that is, help in recruiting new members, the remnant would return the engine to the city.  Something must have worked as the company was able to continue serving the city and its residents.  Even with an engine and a sufficient number of men, fire fighting at the time presented challenges undreamed of today, especially regarding the supply of water.  Several of the accounts published in the Journal, describe the difficulty of connecting the engine to a pump or the Hudson River and then sucking out sufficient water to put out a fire.  Fortunately these accounts also reflect a relatively limited number of serious conflagrations.

Evening Journal - July 11, 1916

Neither base ball clubs nor fire companies lacked for unique personalities and Jersey City's first fire company certainly had one in Charles F. Durant.  Born in New York City in 1805, Durant's family moved to Jersey City in 1811 where he was a founding member of the fire company, including serving as its first secretary.  Durant also served for eight months as foreman (the company's highest elective office), but he was better known for his scientific and aeronautical feats.  Among his scientific works was Algae of the Bay and Harbor of New York, which almost a century later, the Evening Journal called "one of the greatest works on the subject."  As gripping as the title may sound, public demand did not, however, match the level of scholarly achievement as supposedly only a dozen copies were printed, one of which is reportedly in the Jersey City Public Library.  Durant also cultivated silk worms at his home at 103 Hudson Street which earned him a medal from the American Silk Institute for  the first silk made in the United States.

Durant's 1834 Ascent in Boston 

From a popular standpoint, however, these achievements paled in comparison to Durant's exploits as one of the country's first balloonists.  On September 9, 1830, he became the first American to make a balloon ascent (the Philadelphia Inquirer hoped he would be the last).  According to one newspaper account, some 10000 people crowded the the streets near Castle Garden in lower Manhattan "to witness the interesting spectacle."  Inflating the balloon took some three hours so it was not until 5:00 that the "undaunted voyager" stepped into "his frail bark."  The fragile vessel barely cleared Castle Garden's walls, but once past that impediment, the wind took Durant and his balloon southwest across Staten Island, eventually landing on Peter Johnson's farm in South Amboy, an journey of some 25 miles.  Later that month another large crowd, estimated at twice the original number watched a second launch which this time took Durant and his craft near Hackensack, New Jersey.  All told, Durant made 13 separate voyages, all before his 1837 marriage, including the one from Boston Common which could have proven fatal had not a boat in Boston Harbor come to the rescue.

Philadelphia Inquirer - September 11, 1830

Although Durant stayed on terra firma for the rest of his life, it was by no means a retired existence.  In 1841 he ran for Mayor of Jersey City as the Whig candidate, losing to Jacksonian and prominent Jersey City resident, Dudley S. Gregory by a three to one margin.  Vote totals of 201 for Gregory and 60 for Durant give an indication of the limited numbers of voters at the time.  Clearly not one to walk away from a fight, Durant's obituary commented that he had "many pugnacious encounters with the authorities" about "rights" and clearly enjoyed a full and robust life.  He is buried in the Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery.  No record survives of any attempts at base ball, but like some of the firemen in South Bound Brook, it's not hard to envision him witnessing a match and taking a turn at the striker's line.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

"But for Tumbles"

After heading north and east last weekend to Bethpage, Long Island, the Neshanock moved south on Saturday to Pennsauken, New Jersey not far from Philadelphia.  Play was hosted by the Pennsauken Historical Society which  attracted a good crowd for two seven inning games of 1864 base ball.  The opposition was provided by the Bog Iron Boys of Allaire Village, aided and abetted by volunteers from the Diamond State and Atlas Clubs of Delaware, the Brandywine Club of West Chester, Pennsylvania and the Athletics of Philadelphia, all coming together to play as the vintage all-stars. Thanks to all of these gentleman and I apologize if I missed any of the participating clubs.  Twelve was apparently the Neshanock's magic number for the day as Flemington finished with the same tally total in both matches.  In the opening contest, the Neshanock scored seven times in the bottom of the second for a 9-2 lead only to see the all-stars tally five times in the fourth to close to within 9-7.  Fortunately, Flemington added three more in the fifth and hung on for a 12-9 triumph.  

Sinnickson Chew - Editor of the West Jersey Press

Leading the offense for the Neshanock were Scott "Snuffy" Hengst and Chris "Low Ball" Lowry both with clear scores, the second time in a row for both strikers.  They were supported by "Jersey" Jim Nunn, Dave "Illinois" Harris, Joe "Mick" Murray and Danny "Batman" Shaw each with two hits, "Batman" also pitched for Flemington.  After a brief break, the second match got underway with the all-stars jumping out to an early lead which they held until the top of the third inning.  It was all Neshanock after that, however, as Flemington scored twice in the third and seven times in the fifth en route to a 12-1 victory.  Two more Neshanock players recorded clear scores as both Tom "Thumbs" Hoepfner and Joe "Mick" Murray achieved the feat in support of Dave "Illinois" Harris at the pitcher's line.  In keeping with tradition, the day also included an addition to the living legend that is Ken "Tumbles" Mandel.  Although his performance in the second game was brief, Tumbles had two "but for's," as in "but for" Tumbles' errant throw, "Illinois" would have had a shut out and "but for" Tumbles' pinch running base blunder, Jack "Doc" Kitson would have had a clear score.  All in a day's tumbles!

Photo definitely not by Mark Granieri

Saturday's match was reportedly the first vintage game, not just in Pennsauken, but in all of Camden County, a place that has its own unique place in New Jersey base ball history.  To date, the City of Camden is the only documented community in New Jersey to have an organized club playing a bat and ball game other than base ball or cricket.  Founded in 1857, the Camden Club played something called Philadelphia town ball.  Town ball has become a catch-all term for many different kinds of bat and ball games, but Richard Hershberger's in depth research and analysis has provided a clear understanding of the Philadelphia version which I've summarized in prior posts.  As the name suggests Philadelphia town ball was developed by clubs from the City of Brotherly Love, especially the Olympic Club, and was played until the early 1860's when the Philadelphia clubs converted to the New York game.  The Camden Club played town ball at least through 1863, but it too came around to the New York game in 1864 and played against the leading Philadelphia clubs through the early post war period.  At least one future major league player, Weston Fisler, got his start with the Camden Club before playing many years with the Athletic Club of Philadelphia, including participating in the first National League game in 1876.

Photo definitely not by Mark Granieri

In addition, the Camdens also have the distinction of being the only ball club of any kind, excluding cricket, south of the state capital in Trenton during the antebellum period.  This began to change towards the end of the Civil War and in the late 1860's numerous clubs were formed throughout the southern part of the state.  In Camden County there was a team in Haddonfield and within Camden itself, the Union Club supplanted the Camden Club which gradually faded out of existence.  Extensive knowledge of base ball in Camden County is somewhat limited because, for some reason, the media didn't pay a lot of attention to the game.  The two leading newspapers of the period were the Camden Democrat and the West Jersey Press neither of which seemed to make base ball much of a priority.  That's understandable to some extent as these weekly newspapers with the typical political missions of the era had limited the space for leisure events.  But even so, the West Jersey Press in particular seemed less than enthusiastic about base ball's expansion.  One example is the below article, describing not game action, but two somewhat gruesome injuries and suggesting that the game might not be worth the risk.  

West Jersey Press - October 10, 1866

Those comments pale in comparison, however, with the below article published three years later in the same newspaper which seems to be a combination of wishful thinking and incredibly inaccurate opinion when base ball was in the midst of rapid post war expansion.  The exotically named Sinnickson Chew was the editor of the Press throughout the period and clearly was no base ball enthusiast. 

West Jersey Press - May 19, 1869

However, Mr. Chew seems to have changed his tune, at least to some degree, when the honor of Camden was at stake.  One of the early clubs in southern New Jersey was the Mosacsa Club of Salem which was founded on May 31,1865 (thanks to J. Harlan Buzby of the Salem County Historical Society for providing the date) and by 1870 had developed into a formidable team in their own right. Reportedly undefeated for two years, the Salem team entertained what was advertised as the Union Club of Camden for a match on their grounds.  As "S" sadly informed the readers of the Salem newspaper, the local heroes had, however, taken on not just another group of amateurs, but a team "many of whom were professionals" representing "the best clubs in the country."  Because of the makeup of the opposition, "S" felt there was no dishonor in the 23-20 defeat.  The quasi-anonymous author was still confident enough in his club to throw down the gauntlet to any club "south of Newark," which encompasses a number of clubs in central New Jersey with much more experience than the Mosacsa or any south Jersey club.

National Standard August 17, 1870

Although editor Chew chose not to enter the debate himself, he was at least willing to give the local club a platform by printing a letter from "U," refuting the claims of "S," while at the same time derisively calling the Salem team a "Country Club."  With regard to the claim about "professionals," the Union man insisted that six of the nine were, in fact, club members while the others were substitutes, but not necessarily active members of other clubs.  Analysis of the Union line up confirms the first assertion as six players were  members of the Union Club in prior years.  Of the three who could not be positively confirmed as members of the victorious Camden team, only Hayhurst appears on any of the Philadelphia club rosters in Baseball Founders.  Hayhurst could conceivably have been Elias Hicks Hayhurst, the well known Philadelphia player and manager who three years earlier led the ill-fated effort to admit the black Pythian Club of Philadelphia into the Pennsylvania State Association of base ball clubs.  Although Hayhurst was over 40 in 1870, he had been a back up player for the Athletic Club of Philadelphia a year earlier so it's not impossible he could have helped out the  short handed Union Club.  Since the Hayhurst in the Union line up that day made six outs without scoring, at least one "professional" didn't contribute much to the Union victory.

West Jersey Press  - August 24, 1870

It doesn't appear that the two clubs met the following year, but the competitive aspect of base ball was clearly taking hold in the the southern part of the state.  That by itself was enough to ensure that Mr. Chew's vision of imminent doom for base ball had no chance of coming to fruition.  Hopefully his political prognostications were more accurate.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Poorly Begun Is To Be Undone

Photo by Mark Granieri

On September 2, 1963, in the second game of a Labor Day doubleheader, New York Mets pitcher, Jay Hook, lost 1-0 to the Cincinnati Reds which by itself wasn't that unique.  After all, the Mets were in their second year and not that much better than their horrendous inaugural 1962 season.  What was unique about the game, however, is that the Reds scored their only run on rookie Pete Rose's home run, not only as the game's first batter, but also on the very first pitch.  While I didn't see the game, I've always remembered either a sportswriter or a Mets coach saying that Hook should have thrown one more warm up pitch.  The Flemington Neshanock had a day like on Saturday at the 18th Annual Base Ball Festival at Old Bethpage Village on Long Island, the birthplace of vintage base ball, although in Flemington's case it would have taken entire warm up inning, not one pitch. Hosted by the Mutual Base Ball Club of New York and this year honoring base ball pioneer, Daniel "Doc" Adams, the event drew vintage clubs from as far away as Rhode Island and the Washington, D.C. area.

Photo by John Zinn

In their first match, Flemington drew the Rising Sun Club of Maryland, a first time opponent, but hopefully a future one as well.  At best the Neshanock were going to be short handed for the day, but when the Nunn family got struck in traffic and Mark "Wrong Way" Granieri somehow ended up in the middle of Queens, the first match was marked for a bad beginning.  Although graciously assisted by "Hawk" of the Atlantics, "Mister" and "Dirt" of the Newtown Sandy Hook Club and "Bar Keep," wearing a Bridgeport uniform, the Maryland club struck quickly for a 6-0 lead in their first at bat.  Once the Neshanock were fully assembled and got organized, everyone settled down and Flemington held Rising Sun to only four runs over the remaining eight innings.  Unfortunately stout defense by the Maryland club limited the Neshanock and others to just four aces and a 10-4 defeat.  Too bad "Mulligans" aren't part of base ball.

Photo by Mark Granieri 

One high point for Flemington was a clear score by Brad "Brooklyn" Shaw who batted four times without making an out, using his many years of experience to strategically place his hits.  Once Mark "Gaslight" Granieri finally found Old Bethpage Village, he added to the growing list of victims of his "foul ball ploy."  The maneuver begins with the Flemington catcher coming up with a foul tip or foul pop and then throwing the ball into the outfield.  Unsuspecting or not totally informed base runners, mistakenly think they can advance which is, in fact, prohibited under 1860's rules.  Once recovered the ball is then thrown to the pitcher who then doubles off the runner by either throwing to the base or going to the base himself.  After using the trick play to pull of an inning ending double play at Gettysburg, "Gaslight" put another notch in his gun in the top of the ninth against Rising Sun, this time for a triple play, I believe the second in recent Neshanock history.

Famous picture of an 1859 match at Elysian Fields between the Knickerbockers and the Brooklyn Excelsiors, "Doc" Adams is the fourth from the left.

As noted earlier, this year's event honored Daniel "Doc" Adams, a base ball pioneer whose story was seemingly lost to history.  Thanks to John Thorn in Baseball in the Garden of Eden and a Society for American Baseball Research biography (, Adams role in the legendary Knickerbocker Club of New York and the early days of organized base ball is now better known.  With degrees from both Yale and Harvard (Medical School), the young doctor came to New York City in the late 1830's and began playing whatever form of base ball was played at the time.  Just a month after the Knickerbocker Club was founded, in October of 1845, Adams joined, became president the next year and held the position until 1862.  While the Knickerbockers sometimes get credit for things they didn't do, the club did introduce the shortstop's position and Adams recalled that "he was the first to occupy that place."  Beyond initiating this key defensive position, "Doc," also played a crucial part in the first efforts to standardize the rules as the chair of the National Association of Base Ball Players Rules Committee. In the latter role he helped establish the ninety foot distance between the bases, often taken for granted today, but such a vital part of the game.  "Doc" was well represented at Old Bethpage by his Great Granddaughter Marjorie Adams, who is spearheading an effort to get this base ball pioneer into the Baseball Hall of Fame - best wishes to her and everyone working towards that end.

Photo by Mark Granieri

After the first game ended, the Neshanock didn't have long to digest the result (or anything else for that matter) as the second match began almost immediately against the Capital City Stars, a select group from the Washington D.C. area.  This time Flemington made the first inning their own, scoring seven times and coasting to a 15-2 victory in a match limited to four innings due to time constraints.  The Neshanock knocked out 20 hits in just four at bats, featuring clear scores from Chris "Low Ball" Lowry and Scott "Snuffy" Hengst plus a double and a triple from "Gaslight" who remarkably found third base without difficulty.  Free of the stress of traffic on the Southern State Parkway, the Neshanock's father and son act, "Jersey" Jim Nunn and Chris "Sideshow" Nunn each had two hits.  "Dirt," "Mister," and "Bar Keep" stayed with us for the second game and contributed both at bat and in the field.  Thanks also to Sam "Israelite" Bernstein who for this day, exchanged his umpire's regalia for a Neshanock uniform and added a hit to the Neshanock attack. Old Bethpage Village is a beautiful venue for base ball and the New York Mutuals deserve high praise for hosting such a quality event over such a long period of time.