Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Half of a Double

This past Saturday, July 31st, the Mechanicsburg Nine played their first home match against the Eurekas of Bohemia. The match was a follow up to the team's first meeting where the Eurekas handed the Nine a double loss at the Bohemian home ground. However, this most recent meeting found the Nine splitting a the double header in front of a spirited batch of cranks - bringing the Nine into the win column vs. the boys for Bohemia. Incidentally, the crank crowd easily numbered into the half century mark - an excellent turn out for any vintage club!
To be noted later, the crowd included a local ball fan with a passion for our pastime where she pens a blog detailing her support of the grand old game.

In the first match, the local Nine played a solid match from start to end. Mechanicsburg tallied fourteen total aces against Bohemia's ten. A high-point as this may have been, it was met squarely with a double dose of disappointment. The father-son duo of Grumpy and Spuds Heinick were stricken with day ending injuries. Spuds fell to a 1st inning incident that found the big man writhing in pain after stretching for a throw from the left of the infield - only to feel his knee "pop" and his day end. He did continue on in support of the Nine by graciously manning the score book- Huzahhh. The second Heineck fell shortly thereafter - as the elder Heinick left the first bag in stride for the second one of his legs failed him mid way to the second sack. Grump fell face first into dry base path followed by a hush of silence. To this writer, it looked as though old Grumps and fallen faint and taken an unplanned snooze mid-stride. Or, maybe a baseball spirit from days gone by had snuck up behind him and colcocked him with a invisible piece of ash. Either way, Grumpy, found his way to the bench for the second Heinick loss of the day.

Following the lead of the younger Heineck, the elder stayed on, stepped up and played the role of
arbitor while the Nine swung the lumber. Huzaaaah again. A hearty Huzaaah also goes out to Pip Walsh for filling in and covering the right pasture in a fine manner.

In game two, the Nine management went to the cranks for some needed assistance in fielding a full squad. Already down two Heinicks, the Nine was forced to say farewell, for the remainder of the day, to Lefty Garrido. Lefty had a prior engagement in upstate NY that he could not talk Misses Lefty into missing. Apparently an afternoon wedding ceremony takes precedence over base ball. A hearty round of thanks to Misses Lefty for Lefty's presence in game one.

With Lefty gone, management found an able-bodied participant in the form of Dan Briner (immediately dubbed "Rook"). Donning the injured Spuds cap and uniform top, Rook quickly found himself in the center pasture. Rook made his first bare-handed catch in the second frame but, soon found that not all fly balls are created equal and muffed the next. But, it should be noted that Rook stood fast and manned his position with gusto. He has been welcomed back to join the Nine anytime.

Finally, the Nine had to dip into the well of crank talent one final time as Express Pendergist left the field in order to partake in the fruits of a melodius gathering in the city of Brotherly Love. Prior to his musically infused departure, Express was positioned behind the dish as the day's catcher. His replacement came in the form of another local crank - named Miller (first name unknown). Miller had wandered over from a near by neighborhood to partake in the days festivities - not knowing he would soon be acting as a substitute catcher for a bunch of 19th Century ballists. It was quickly evident that Miller was more than able to fill in for Express for the remainder of the second match - even barefoot.
The final tally for the second match did not end up in the Nine's favor. The Nine found themselves down by one in the last frame but ended up on the bottom side of an 11 to 8 loss.

All in all - the Mechanicsburg Nine, the Eurekas and the bounty of cranks enjoyed the full day of base ball and look forward to the next outing.

Thanks to Smokey Walsh for continually carting and storing supplies. Thanks to Ray Shutta Shaw (from the Newtown Sandy Hooks vintage ball Club in CT) for his continued support and behind the scenes efforts in helping to get the Nine off the ground. And a final Huzaah to Beth Pendergist for her efforts in outfitting the Nine. The Nine will be back to this digital outlet with an update on future scheduled matches.
Also, one final Huzaaah for Ed and Molly Hans of Han's Frozen Yogurt for the post match treat. You have many of the Nine and their families hooked already.

Finally, as noted above, visit to read about one of the local cranks take on the day. Huzaaaaah!