On Saturday, the Neshanock participated in the Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair at Monmouth Battlefield State Park. Since I was unable to attend, Mark "Gaslight" Granieri not only played and took his usual fine photos, but kindly filled in as guest blogger. Thanks to "Gaslight" for making sure the Neshanock's international fan base can stay current with the club's latest exploits.
This weekend the Neshanock along with the Hoboken Nine Vintage BBC and Monmouth Furnace BBC (formerly known as the Bog Iron Boys) appeared at the “Spirit of the Jerseys” NJ State History Fair held at Monmouth Battlefield State Park in Manalapan NJ. Visitors were able to experience NJ history from over 140 organizations which included military drills, historical characters, war era music, vintage automobiles (including the Trenton produced Mercer) and of course 19th Century Base Ball.
In the first game, Flemington faced Hoboken who has been troublesome to the Neshanock in the recent past. The first familiar face of the day was from Bob “Melky” Ritter who returned to the mound as starter after a lengthily absence. “Melky “showed some initial rust by giving up 2 runs in the first inning but blanked Hoboken over the next three while Flemington built a 14-2 lead. “Melky” was followed by a parade of pitchers which included Rene “Mango” Marrero, Joe “Mick” Murray and Dave “Illinois” Harris as the Neshanock won their 6th of the year without a loss by a final tally of 19-7.
Bob “Melky” Ritter
On the offensive end, the Neshanock were led by Dan “Sledge” Hammer, Chris “Lowball” Lowry and “Illinois” each totaling 4 hits apiece. Defensively the quick thinking of 2nd basemen Ken “Tumbles” Mandel helped to produce a triple play and stop a rally cold in the 2nd inning. The Hoboken striker popped to “Tumbles” with runners on first and second. To start the odyssey, “Tumbles” instinctively dropped the ball which was followed by a quick flip to shortstop Tom “Thumbs” Hoepfner . “Thumbs” tagged the runner at 2nd for the first out, then stepped on 2nd base for the second out and relayed the sphere to 1st base for the final out. This play is possible by the absence of an infield fly rule in 1864. However when executed, it always seems to creates confusion and consternation for your opponent.
Flemington vs Hoboken
The 2nd match saw Hoboken take on the Monmouth while the Neshanock watched the game or roamed through the Fair. Hoboken took the contest by a score of 23-4.The 3rd and final match was cancelled as the lure of the homestead proved too strong for a majority of the ballists. Both games were ably officiated by Sam "It ain't nothin' 'til I say" Bernstein whose objective calls were complimented by all clubs in attendance.
Monmouth Furnace Base Ball Club
A second familiar face spotted at the Fair was Neshanock alumni Ron “Bones” Colgona who is now part of the NJ Frontier Guard. “Bones” held to his guard duties and did not play with the Neshanock so he was not able to build upon his impressive lifetime statistics. “Bones” will always be a team and crowd favorite and someday soon we hope he considers a return to the Manly Pastime.
Ron “Bones” Cologna