Sunday, July 31, 2011

Recent Happenings

Since the last Mechanicsburg Nine post on the 15th of June, a lot has happened. The Nine have played in three separate matches, participated in the 2nd Annual Gettysburg Vintage Base Ball Tournament, hosted a clinic at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg and were featured in a recent Patriot News insert celebrating 25 years of Harrisburg Senators baseball.

On the 18th of June, Mechanicsburg hosted the Philadelphia Athletics at our home field. The games were played on a beautiful sunny day and the matches were attended by a supportive and plentiful group of cranks. In addition to it being a good day - weather wise - it was also a good day for base ball, as the Mechanicsburg Nine left the grass a double winner by the scores of 14-3 and 8-3.

On June 25th, The Mechanicsburg Nine traveled to Westminster, MD to challenge The Elkton Eclipse in two '64 matches as part of the re-enactment of Corbit's Charge. This was the first set of, what will ultimately be, many between the two clubs. However, unlike the beautiful day just mentioned, the local Nine did not fair as well in the score book this day. It should have been taken as some sort of omen as, upon arrival, the the two clubs did not have a field to play upon. But, after some haggling with some local politicians and city folk, we eventually commandeered the field on the old high school grounds. Once the field was finally decided on, the Mechanicsburg Nine remained competitive until the later innings but eventually fell to a score of 15-6. In match two, the Nine never really found their bats and must have been a little lethargic following the delicious meal of fried chicken, slaw, rolls and cake as served by the generous folks of the nearby Corbit's Charge Encampment. Final tally of match two - Elkton 13 - Mechanicsburg 5.

On July 9th, Mechanicsburg traveled to Havertown, PA - outside of Philly - to challenge our friends the Philadelphia Athletics in a 1864 double-bill. The matches, hosted by the local historical society, were played on the grounds of the Lynnewood Elementary School. With a healthy number of cranks in attendance, the Athletics and Mechanicsburg played two enjoyable matches on a breezy, but noticeably warm, Saturday afternoon. After two well-played skirmishes, the Nine left the "Town of Haver" with two more victories under their belts.

On the following weekend - July 16 and 17th- The Mechanicsburg Nine were invited to participate in the 2nd Annual Gettysburg Vintage Base Ball Tournament. It should be noted the Nine were not originally scheduled to play as part of the main tournament happenings, but rather were scheduled to play only on Sunday - in the conciliation round. However, due to the extremely sad and untimely loss of their team captain, The Talbot Fairplays withdrew from the event and asked that the Mechanicsburg Nine to take their place. The Nine willingly and proudly accepted the offer. R.I.P Curly.

The Tourney was attended by nine teams from across the country. On Saturday, Mechanicsburg played the Saginaw Old Golds from Michigan and the Mudville Nine from Massachusetts. In game one vs. the Old Golds (who by the way were Michigan Sate Champ in 2009 and Ohio cup Champions in 2009) the Nine stuck with the boys from Saginaw for more than half of the match - even surprising the talented bunch enough to wake their bats and seal a well-earned victory. In the second match of the day, Mechanicsburg faced the jolly boys from the Massachusetts Mudville Nine. In similar fashion, Mechanicsburg held on for as long as they could, but could not answer several cloud hunters - one of which cleared all of the runners from each of their sacks.

On day two, Mechanicsburg played two additional matches. This time facing the Indiana Hilltoppers and The Ohio Buckeyes. Sunday turned out to be a better day in the win column for the The Nine as the local boys came home with two well-played victories. A hearty "huzaaah!" to all the of the teams that traveled great distances to participate and for helping to grow 19th C. Base Ball in Central PA.

Finally, on just this past Saturday - July 30- The Mechanicsburg Nine hosted a 19th C. Base Ball clinic on the grounds of the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA.
We presented to a interested crowd of 25-30 folks. We talked about the history of Base Ball, base ball during the Civil War and about our squad and what we have been up to. We also ended with a little play time with some cloud hunters being struck to Bulldog, StringBean, Dave P. and a newly interested ballist - Andrew D.. Andrew and a young crank also took turns swinging the lumber. The clinic was well received by those in attendance. In fact, the President of the Harrisburg Senators Fan Club was on site and has requested that we speak at an upcoming Fan Club meeting.

Thanks for reading and look for more updates in the near future.