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Grangers in the Park..Exchanging Aces..

Grangers in the Park…Exchanging Aces



Bay City visits Rochester Hills

Van Hoosen Farm, Rochester Hills, Michigan

July 20, 2014


Bay City 12, Rochester Hills 9


After the long afternoon previous in Brooklyn, the Independents packed up their belongings and trekked Northeast to the hamlet of Rochester Hills.  There they would meet their long-time friends the Grangers on the scenic grounds of Van Hoosen Farm.  Nestled in between the cow pens , a rushing creek, and the spacious homes that line the long field are perhaps the most beautiful ball grounds to be found in our fair state, and it is there that the Mighty Grangers call home.  A magnificent ball grounds it may be, but an even greater home advantage it does create.  For the Bay Citys had plied their trade on these grounds some nine times previous to this, and come away victorious only once.


The weather on the day was almost as beautiful as the grounds as Doc Howarth, the erstwhile umpire for the match, watched over the coin toss for the order of striking.  The Bay Citys would come away victorious in the toss and chose to strike last in the match.  The Bay Citys sent Aaron Gerken to the stripe again, hoping he could replicate his early success in the previous day’s match in Brooklyn.  Gerken would not disappoint as both he and the Independent fields men skunked the Grangers in their first. The Grangers would treat the Bay City strikers in kind for their first innings, and there was whitewash throughout.



In their second innings the Grangers would break through with the first ace of the contest when their lead striker for the inning, Kevin “Six Shooter” Straub, drove a howitzer into the garden and made his second.  The next Granger gent, Anthony “Goodfella” Prasatek, would make his first as well with a muckle shot of his own driving the runner on second home to tally.  The willow whipping wouldn’t end there, as both Scrap Iron and Mr. Rosonke would each make their first as well causing a log jam on the bases.  Gerken now found himself in quite a pickle with the first run in, and the bases all occupied by Rochester runners, but he handled it cooly and got the next striker Pat “Barnraiser” McKay to hit a sky ball which was bottled in style by Sean “Tanner” LeRoux, the Independents’ fine shorts stop.  The situation was still precarious, but the Constable remained calm and coerced the next man in the order, Nails Mallman, to hit a hot daisy cutter that was handled deftly at third sack by Tom “Cat” LeRoux.  Thinking quickly the rangy Cat stepped on third forcing Scrap Iron’s hand, and then fired towards home to nab Prasatek before he could tally.  The Bay Citys would be skunked again in their second, but they couldn’t help but feel that they dodged an enormous bullet.  The match now stood at Rochester 1 and Bay City 0.


The tally would remain unchanged until Bay City took to striking in their fourth innings, as the ideal lead striker, Jeff “Silverback” Rahl, took to the stripe and launched a cannonade deep into the center garden.  The apple descended from it’s celestial orbit just beyond the reach of the scrambling Granger gardner,  Keith “Boomer” Walters, and then rolled downhill coming to rest near the creek that lines the right and center field.  One could marvel at the enormity of the strike, or at the fact that despite the depth of the blow, and the time it took to retrieve the ball that Rahl could only make his way to third.  Perhaps the Simeon shouldn’t have skipped leg day?  At any rate Rahl wouldn’t stay long at third as Cat LeRoux promptly drove him home with a sky ball that was bottled in the left field.  That would be the only run scored in the innings however, and the match was an even tighter scratch at 1 run apiece.


The Grangers would unknot the contest in their fifth thanks to a safety by Slappy Prasatek, and a two hands lost double by Mr. Straub that brought him to tally.  The score now at 2-1 would remain unchanged until Bay Citys turn in the sixth.  The rally would begin with one hand down in the inning and Kid Garcia making his first with garden grabber to the right field.  Rahl would follow with a drive of his own, that moved the fleet Garcia to third.  Then Cat LeRoux nearly mirrored his previous at bat driving a sky ball into the left garden that was bottled to kill his hand, but which safely drove home Garcia and moved the Silverback to second.  Jeremy Schoolboy Stedry would then make his first on a daisy cutter into the garden, which moved Rahl to third.  Rahl would then make his ace, the second for Bay City in the innings, on a howitzer from the bat of Aaron “The Constable” Gerken.  The next hand would be lost, and the scoring complete, but the Bay Citys now held the lead at 3-2 after six innings each.


The proverbial ice having been broken, and the scoring commencing, the Grangers took to willow whipping with abandon sending seven strikers to the stripe, and plating two aces after two hands had already been recorded.  The Independents trailed in the contest again as they took their turn in the seventh and displayed that they too were adept at handling their wood.  Much like the Grangers the Bay City pillow parade began with two hands lost, when Adam “Ca-ca-nuts” Johnson made his first with a hot daisy cutter that caromed off the third sacker for the Grangers.  Johnson would then traverse to third after a cannonade into the garden from the bat of Sean “Tanner” LeRoux, which placed LeRoux at second.  Neither gent would remain in place long as Alan “Kid” Garcia then made his first for the third time in the match and drove home both Johnson and LeRoux.  It was then that the Silverback strode to the stripe yet again, and this time launched a drive that placed the ball well into the left field.  Garcia would tally all the way from first sack, and Rahl would make his second.  Cat LeRoux would find his way onto second as well driving home Rahl.  The next striker for Bay City, Schoolboy Stedry would then put the ball deep into the left garden, but this time the Grangers were prepared as Steve “Steam Engine” Sebert retrieved the orb rapidly, and rifled a shot home to nail Leroux at the plate as he attempted to make his ace.   The play brought the cranks to their feet, and kept the Bay Citys from pulling away in the contest.  The ledger now read Bay City 7 and Rochester Hills 4 after seven innings.


Now down by three aces the Grangers put on one of their patented displays of striking with each of their first two strikers making their first in the innings.  Don “Scrap Iron” Kowalski would then drive  both Rochesters home with a safety of his own.  Kowalski would then move to third following a drive into the right garden that bounded over the fence by Mr.  Rosonke.   Resonke would move to second and Kowalski would tally the third run of the innings when McKay put a liner into the garden, and then made his first as well.  The next striker Nails Mallman drove a hot daisy cutter to third that killed Rosonke’s hand for the first out of the innings.  Runners now on first and second with only one out, Gerken, who was still in the box for Bay City, had to escape yet another time.  After several pitches The Constable was able to coax Mr. Saraceno of the Grangers into hitting a sky ball that Cat LeRoux bottled in style.  It appeared that the danger might be over, but then Keith “Boomer” Walters drove the onion into the garden tallying Mr. McKay from second.  It was then that Mr. Walters got hung up between the bases and chased down by Cat LeRoux who deftly tagged him, before Nails Mallman could cross the plate with another Granger run.  LeRouxs grit and determination surely held the Bay Citys in this contest as he singled-handedly recorded every out in the innings, and kept the game in reach.  The tally was now Rochester 8, and Bay City 7.


Bay City would not tally in their eighth, and the Grangers would add another in their ninth.  Now trailing by two aces the Independents brought up the bottom three in their order led by Jayme “Cap” Johnson.  Two runs against the Granger defense seemed a formidable task, and as the combination of Cap and Barrell-Roller Barnard had resulted in six hands lost it seemed even greater.  The past being the past, and holding no bearing on the now Johnson promptly pushed the pill into the right field and legged his way onto first.  Barnard would then follow with a solid shot into the garden as well, and now the tying runs were on base with no hands lost.  “Ca-ca-nuts” Johnson would then continue with his hot striking and made his way on base loading them up for the lead striker Tanner LeRoux.  LeRoux then struck a hot daisy cutter into deep short stop that was knocked down, and fired homeward where Cap would barely beat the play and score the innings first run.  Runners were now at every base, and Kid Garcia would not disappoint as he drove home Barnard with the tying run with another drive into the long field.  Not wanting to tempt fate all runners moved up only one base, so the sacks remained loaded for the day’s Herculean Hero, Jeff “Silverback” Rahl.  Rahl needing only a sky ball to score the winning tally, reared back and crushed a drive that raced past the third sacker and nearly took the life of Ca-ca-nuts.  Having eluded death the younger Johnson strode home with the winning margin.  The innings would continue with LeRoux and Garcia also tallying to bring finality to this exciting tug-of-war between Bay City and Rochester Hills.  Bay City would win for only their second time in ten tries with a score of 12-9.


These two fine clubs will take to the pitch again on August 2nd when Bay City hosts the Grangers at Carroll Park in Bay City.  Any in attendance that day will most surely be treated to some of the finest ball played by some of the finest of men.



Could you Please Hold my Cup? or..Cuckoo for Ca-ca-nuts!

Could You Please Hold my Cup?, or Cuckoo for Ca-ca-Nuts!


Bay City visits Walker Tavern

Walker Tavern, Brooklyn, MI

July 19, 2014


Bay City 10, Walker Tavern 12



Bay City gathered up their wagons, and headed south to visit our old friends from Walker Tavern, the Walker Wheels.  Upon the ride into town the Independents enjoyed the scenery that is the beauty of Brooklyn’s rolling hills, that were moist thanks to a strong, summer rain the evening before, and upon arrival to the ball grounds they found the field wet from the morning dew.   Thankfully varied precipitation had no lasting effects for the grounds were in excellent condition for base ball, that was until a local decided to ply his equestrian skills by riding his trusty steed across the long field just before the match was to begin.  As worried as we often are about appropriate amounts of fertilizer being applied during the summer months, we found this horse’s contribution to be excessive and so play was delayed as the Wheels crew, Jim “Crazy Legs” Terwilliger, cleared the field.


The Tavern gents had put forth a challenge to hold the State Cup, and thankfully they were able to find enough athletic supporters do the job, with their ninth arriving just in the nick-of-time.  The Bay Citys would win yet another bat-toss thanks to the skillful work of Jeff “Eagle-Claw” Rahl.  Having won the toss Bay City chose to strike last in the contest.  It proved a  successful strategy for the start of the match as the Bay City pitcher, Aaron “The Constable” Gerken, with the help of the Independents fields men set down the Wheels strikers in order for the first three innings of play.


The Bay City gents would have slightly better results plating three tallies in their first.  The rally started, as it often does with a fine drive to the long field by Sean “Tanner” LeRoux.  Alan “Kid” Garcia would follow with a safety of his own putting runners on first and second with no hands down.  The next striker in the innings, Jeff “Silverback” Rahl, then drove a daisy-cutter into the whole between short stop and third that seemed destined to meet the long field, however the excellent short stop for the Wheels tracked down the ball and killed LeRoux’s hand at third for the first out of the innings.  The next striker for Bay City, Tom “Cat” LeRoux would avenge his brother’s hand lost by driving the ball into the long field and making his second.   Cat’s handy willow-whipping allowed Kid Garcia to tally the first ace of the match.  The next hand would be lost to a sky ball bottled by the Wheel’s second sacker, Marbles.  Aaron “The Constable” Gerken then stepped to the plate for the Independents with runners on second and third, and two hands lost and promptly mashed the apple into the garden tallying Silverback for the second run of the contest.  Jimmy “Two Quarts” Arnold would then complete the scoring in the first by delivering another garden grabber that tallied Cat LeRoux.  The next hand would be killed on another play made by the Tavern short stop who ventured into the hole betwixt short and second and then threw out the Bay City Captain at first sack.  Bay City now held the lead at 3-0.



The contest would remain unchanged until the fourth innings when the Wheels plated two runs thanks to the striking of Possum, Marbles, and Sloop.  Bay City would answer back with one run of their own in the fourth innings.  The Independents rally started off with great aplomb with the first three strikers of the innings, Jeremy “Schoolboy” Stedry, Gerken, and Jimmy “Two Quarts” Arnold all making their first.  Stedry would tally thanks to a daisy-cutter driven deep to the second sacker, Marbles, who then killed the striker, Cap Johnson.  The next two hands however, would be lost and runners would remain at their stations of second and third.  The tally would now read Bay City 4 and Walker Tavern 2.


The Wheels picked up in their fifth where they left off in their fourth, and continued to punish the pill with aplomb plating three more aces and taking the lead in the contest.  The Brooklynites then whitewashed the top of the Independents order in their fifth innings, and went right back to striking in their sixth and equaled their total in the fifth.  The damage was done in both instances by the bottom of the Tavern order with the strikers Bones, and Fencepost each making their second with howitzers placed into the long field in back to back at bats.  The Wheels would now hold the lead at 8 to 4.


After being skunked again the Independents made a change at the pitching position, and sent Cap Johnson into the box.   The switch worked momentarily as the Tavern strikers were flummoxed in their seventh innings.  This brought the Independents back to the plate where they found greater success with their sticks putting 4 runs into the books for the Bay Citys.  The parade around the pillows began with each of the first three strikers in the Independents order making their first and loading the sacks.  It was then that Tom “Cat” LeRoux unloaded them with his second howitzer of the contest that drove home two and saw him make his second.  Runners were now on second and third, and Jeremy “School-Boy” Stedry would drive home Jeff “Silverback” Rahl from third with a safety of his own that froze the runner at second, and now put the runners at second and first.  The next hand was killed on a sky ball bottled by the right fields man.  Then Jimmy “Two Quarts” Arnold hit a ball deep into the hole at short stop where the Tavern fielder made another fabulous play and then ran down Tom “Cat” LeRoux who was attempting to make his third.  Runners were now placed at first and second with two hands down, and the Independents trailing by one run.  Cap Johnson now made his way to the plate and promptly drove a sky ball into the tree in right field that allowed Stedry to score from second with the tying run, allowed Arnold to make his third, and the aforementioned Johnson to take his second.  The next hand was lost however, and the Bay Citys left runners on third and second.  The match was now tied at 8-8.


The pitching change made in the seventh seemed to lose it’s luster in the eighth as the Wheels bottom of the order victimized the Bay Citys with another four aces.  The youthful striker, Fencepost, would make his second for the third time in the contest, and was this time joined in so doing, by Jim “Crazy Legs” Terwilliger.  The Independents were now down in the contest at 12-8.


The Bay Citys would then try to replicate the success of their previous innings, and it appeared to start off in tremendous fashion when Adam “Ca-ca-nuts” Johnson drove the onion deep into the left field garden for what appeared to be certain for extra bases.  Johnson would be robbed however by a fabulous play made by the Walker captain, who ran back on the ball, grabbed it with one hand, tumbled to the ground and was still able to maintain his grasp, and thus killed Johnson’s hand.  It was unfortunate for the Bay Citys that this miraculous play was made for the very next striker in the order, Sean “Tanner” LeRoux smashed a howitzer into the long field gap that had him make his second with ease.  LeRoux would then move to third on Kid Garcia’s fifth safety of the day, and each runner would move up on a mammoth sky ball from the bat of Silverback Rahl that would be bottled by the trusty, Terwilliger for the second hand lost of the innings.  Cat LeRoux then made his base for the fourth time in the contest and drove the mercurial Garcia to tally for the second run in the innings.  That would close the scoring for Bay City , as the next hand was lost, and brought the tally to 12-10.



The Bay Citys would finally contain the bottom of the Wheel’s order in the ninth skunking them almost cleanly, but the Brooklynites would turn away the Independents in order and thus brought their reign as State Champions to an end.  It was an excellent contest, played by wonderful gents, with many a memorable defensive play.  The Tavern gents will make most excellent champions, and now that they have found an adequate number of athletic supporters, there is no doubt they have the strength to hold the Cup.

Monitoring the Situation

Chelsea visits Bay City - July 13, 2014 - Carroll Park, Bay City, Michigan


Bay City 37, Chelsea 5

After an evening of torrential rains that would bring to mind the construction of an ark, and might send the faintest of hearts searching for market price on gopher wood, the sun shone through and permeated the ball grounds of Carroll Park in our small metropolis by the Bay.  It was after all time for base ball, and as we all know the good Lord is a fan of our National Game.   Why even his greatest literary achievement attests to this in it’s very first line.

At any rate the Bay Citys gathered on the green to greet new friends from down south, the Monitor Base Ball Club of Chelsea, Michigan.  The Monitors have been plying their trade for some 4 seasons now, and were finally coaxed into venturing to play the Bay Citys who are some 6 seasons their senior.  The match was presided over by the ever-present, Judge Gerken and the coin toss was won by Bay City, who chose to strike last in the match.

The Monitors took to striking right off, and placed a tally on their side of the ledger when Hawg, the second striker in the order, drove a howitzer over the head of Jeremy “Schoolboy” Stedry, the left fields man for the Bay Citys, and deftly made his second.  Hawg wouldn’t be detained their for long, as Doc, the very next striker drove him home to make his ace, the first for the match as aforementioned above.  Hawg’s run would be the only one for the Monitors in the innings, as the next hand was dead on a fly ball bottled in the long field by Schoolboy, and then Doc’s hand was killed on the bases after he was caught napping on a long foul ball retrieved by Tom”Cat” LeRoux that he relayed to the pitcher Cap Johnson, who then flipped to Zachary “Blue-Tick” Stedry at first to complete the circuit

The Bay Citys parade around the pillows would be more extensive in their first, sending nine strikers to the mark before losing their three hands.  In all, four Bay City gents would make aces of themselves as Tanner LeRoux, Cat LeRoux, Blue Tick Stedry, and Schoolboy Stedry would cross the plate for the Independents.  The greatest clout of note would belong to the eldest of the group, Tom “Cat” Leroux, who pushed the pill deep into the garden making his second safely, and driving home his sibling for the Bay Citys first tally of the match.

The Monitors would be skunked in their next four turns at the stripe thanks to the fine fielding of the Bay Citys.  The Independents however, would not be as quiet.  Tallying twenty-two more times in innings two through five the Bay Citys whipped the willow with abandon led by Alan “Kid” Garcia, and the family affair found in the sibling pairings of Stedry and LeRoux.  Garcia would make his second twice with his howitzers, and make his ace four times in innings two through 5.  The LeRoux and Stedry clan would tally ten times.  Cat LeRoux would pound out two more doubles, and tally twice himself, while Blue Tick Stedry would make his base four times, drive home four runs, and tally twice as well.

While the Bay City strikers were making their presence known, there was also an effort of note being made in the field by one Mathew “Barrel-Roller” Barnard.  Barnard was making his way around the diamond in the match, and masterfully handling each attempt.  In the second innings while playing behind the batter Barnard made a diving play on a foul-tic killing Gearhead, of the Monitors hand for the second of the inning effectively killing a bases full rally.  In the sixth innings Barnard would roll over to short stop, and killed Gearhead’s hand again handling a daisy cutter that he deftly tossed to first to finish.   In the ninth innings the Barrell Roller traversed to the long field and killed Stickboy’s hand by bottling a sky ball in style.  Barnard also took turns at third and first as well, and will no doubt find a day when he can complete the circuit around the diamond.

The Monitors would add a run to their tally in the seventh innings, thanks to a home run made by Skid.  Skid’s effort was made by a daisy cutter hit to the short stop, Tom Cat LeRoux.  Cat’s throw to first sack was slightly off line, and made it’s way into the thoroughfare where a stoppage of buggy’s aided Skid’s traverse around the bases, and hindered the retrieval of the orb until he safely made his ace.

The Bay Citys would add eleven more runs in their seventh and eighth innings combined bringing their final tally to 37 for the match.  Their efforts in the later innings would be aided by the arrival of Jeff “Silverback” Rahl who made his way from the parade grounds in the township of Auburn, where they were celebrating the glory of maze, and onto the pitch at Carroll Park.  The simeon’s striking was fierce in innings five through eight where he made his base safely three times, tallying all three times, and putting the onion into orbit in the eighth driving home two and making his second.

In the ninth innings the Monitors would make a valiant charge putting up three more aces in their portion of the ledger, but much like the Southern General Pickett, their charge was repulsed and their efforts complete.

At the conclusion of the match these new found friends reclined to a feast, and both clubs discussed future meetings of the two.  The first of which will come when Bay City meets the mighty, Monitors again at the World’s Tournament in just a few weeks time.









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As of July 23, 2014



    1. Sean “Tanner” LeRoux 39

    2. Alan “Kid” Garcia 36

    3. Jeff “Silverback” Rahl 30

    4. Tom “Cat” LeRoux 25

    5. Jeremy “Schoolboy” Stedry 25

Runs Scored

    1. Sean "Tanner" LeRoux 29

    2. Alan "Kid" Garcia 27

    3. Jeff “Silverback” Rahl 21

    4. Jeremy “Schoolboy” Stedry 14

    5. Tom “Cat” LeRoux 11


    1. Sean "Tanner" LeRoux 3.22

    2. Alan "Kid" Garcia 3.00

    3. Jeff “Silverback” Rahl 2.33

    4. Jeremy “Schoolboy” Stedry 1.75

    5. Tom “Cat” LeRoux 1.38


Extra Base Hits

    1. Jeff “Silverback” Rahl 13

    2. Tom “Cat” LeRoux 9

    3. Alan "Kid" Garcia 7

    3. Sean “Tanner” LeRoux 7

    4. Aaron “The Constable” Gerken 3

Home Runs

    1. Alan “Kid” Garcia 1



Hands Lost/Game

    1. Alan “Kid” Garcia 1.11

    2. Sean “Tanner” LeRoux 1.44

    3. Jeremy “Schoolboy” Stedry 1.63

    4. Jeff “Silverback” Rahl 1.78

    5. Jimmy “Two Quarts” Arnold 1.88