No! Sleep! Til Brooklyn!……or Log-Rolling!
Bay City vs. Brooklyn NY
Walnute Grove #1, Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MI
World’s Tournament, Haney Region Championship Match
August 10, 2014
Bay City 13, Brooklyn 9
In 1867 the Detroit Base Ball Club, in an effort to lure the greatest base ball clubs from the East Coast out to the Midwest, held a tournament that they named, “The World’s Tournament of Base Ball.” If the name wasn’t enticing enough, they also offered a $300 prize, and a rosewood bat to the winning club. Their hope was that the winning club would then play in a match against them, and the Detroit Club could prove their mettle against the very best. Their hopes were dashed when no East Coast clubs arrived, until now. The Brooklyn Atlantics Base Ball Club were Champions of America in 1865, and were also notorious for ending the Cincinatti Red Stockings 92 game winning streak in 1870, in what would be history’s first extra-innings game. The modern day version of the Atlantics are more than on par with their historical counterparts, and are quite renown for their fine, heady play, and their scientific methods on the diamond, and so there was little surprise to find them in this Regional Championship Match.
Nearly a year ago, the Bay Citys were fortunate enough to pit their skills agains the Atlantics in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and they found themselves on the losing end of the match. That string continued this morning, as they also lost their first coin toss of the Tournament. The Atlantics, having won the toss, allowed the Independents to strike first. Sandwiched between two sky balls that were bottled in the long field, Kid Garcia made his first, then traversed to second when Jason “Logger” Leppek launched another ball over the train tracks in right field. Cat Leroux, the fifth striker in the Bay City order, then drove the ball into the right field as well, and loaded the bases. Brian “Butterfly” Becerril then picked up where he left off in the previous day’s matches, and drove a howitzer into the right center garden driving home Garcia and Leppek, moving LeRoux to third, and planting himself firmly at second sack. The Butterfly would move to third on a muckle shot from the stick of Buttons McInerney, but the Irish would find his luck had run out when he his hand was killed during an attempted theft of second, which ended the innings for Bay City.
The Atlantics wouldn’t take long to make their presence felt, as their lead striker, and fine left fields man Dirty Pirate, went searching for booty in the long field and planted his Jolly Roger at second sack. The Brooklyn third sacker, Shakespeare, showed that he had no trouble straightening out his Longfellow when he drove the soiled sailor home by planting the onion in the right garden. Shakespeare would lose his hand, however when the Atlantic’s short stop Dream Bucket Emma hit a hot daisy cutter to short stop, which Tanner LeRoux flipped to second sack for the first hand lost. The next two gents would lose their hands to sky balls handled in the long field, and so the Bay Citys would win the first innings with a tally of 3-1.
Branden “The Rope” Revette would begin the second innings for Bay City with a garden grabber that put him safely at first. He would proceed no further, as Dream Bucket Emma proved worthy of his moniker by handling a daisy cutter from the willow of Schoolboy Stedry, sliding over to second sack to force Revette, and then rifling the ball to first to finish a twin-killing. Emma would finish the innings for Bay City by snatching Jimmy “Two Quarts” Arnold’s hot line drive.
Brooklyn Takes Control
After laying on a fine coat of white wash on the Independents, the Brooklynites took to striking in their second innings with a fever pitch. Three straight safeties loaded the bases for the Atlantics, and the fourth striker in the innings, Cuzzzz, nearly cleared the deck driving a howitzer through the leaping hands of Jason “Buttons” McInerny in center field. Cuzzz was held up at third after driving home three runners, but would then tally on a sky ball to left field that was bottled by Jeremy “Schoolboy” Stedry. The next two strikers would lose their hands on balls handled by Tom “Cat” LeRoux at second sack, but the damage was done as the Atlantics had now won the second innings, and taken the lead in the contest at 5-3.
The third innings would prove slightly more successful than the second for the Bay Citys. Aaron “The Constable” Gerken laced a drive into the long field that had him make his second with one hand down. Gerken would be frozen at second when Matt “Barrel Roller” Barnard would make his first with a ball struck in the hole betwixt short stop and third sack. Adam “Ca-Ca-Nuts” Johnson then hit a ground ball handled by Emma for the Atlantics, and it seemed like it might be another double play, but Gerken played the points and forced Emma to chase him for the tag, which then allowed Barnard to make his second, as well as Johnson to reach his first. This maneuver would prove quite important, as this brought the top of the order to the dish for Bay City, and Tanner LeRoux wasted little time mashing the apple into the long field, making his second and rolling the Barrel home. The next hand would be killed on a ground ball handled by the short stop, and Bay City made the contest a tighter scratch at 5-4.
The Atlantics would lose their first hand in the third on a foul tick to Revette, which then brought up the top of the Brooklyn order, and the Dirty Pirate found his way to second sack again. Shakespeare would then drive him home, and then move to second on a drive into the garden from Dream Bucket Emma. Shakespeare and Emma would then move up one base each on a daisy cutter handled by Jimmy “Two Quarts” Arnold, who then tossed to Leppek at first to kill Toothpick, the fifth striker in the innings, hand. Flash, the Atlantics first base man, then pushed the pill into the long field to make his first and drive home Shakespeare and Dream Bucket. He would progress no further, as the next batsman, Hawk, struck a ball that was again taken on the right side of the field by Arnold who then
flipped the ball to Tanner LeRoux who was covering second to kill Flash’s hand. The Bay Citys were now trailing the Brooklyn nine 8-4.
Bay City makes their Move
Just as in the previous days match against the Village LaDeDahs, when the Bay Citys found their grip on the contest slipping, the Silverback took the lead. Jeff “Silverback” Rahl would lead off the innings for Bay City and gave them the lift they needed by driving a deep howitzer over the heads of the Atlantic long fielders, and making his second with ease. Rahl’s apple mashing partner, Logger Leppek, then moved Rahl to third with daisy cutter past first sack. Leppek then took his second by theft, and moved onto third when Cat LeRoux also found the long field, drove Rahl to tally, and made his first. Becerril then came to the dish, and drove a liner over the short stop to make his first. Now with another run home, men on first and second sack, Buttons McInerney put the ball into the right field, made his first and drove home Cat LeRoux. Becerril was now at third sack, and so McInerney like any good Irishman would, stole his second. The next hand was recorded on a tip to the catcher, and then Schoolboy Stedry did some fine work striking a sky ball into the left field that was bottled by the Pirate. The drive was deep enough to bring home Becerril, who was tagging at third, but Pirates throw came in to Shakespeare halting McInerney at second. The Bay Citys now had two hands lost when Two Quarts found the garden just beyond the short stop and moved McInerney to third. McInerney would tally the final run of the innings for Bay City after Cap Johnson brought him home with a garden grabber placed safely behind second sack. The Bay Citys had now retaken the lead in the contest at 9-8.
The Independents would skunk the Atlantics in the fourth, and again in the fifth. They however, would not stop striking adding three runs in their fifth thanks in part to a two hands down long howitzer from the bat of Logger Leppek. Leppek’s blast allowed him to make his second, and drove home Barnard, Tanner LeRoux, and Kid Garcia. Bay City would add the final tally of the contest for themselves in their sixth innings, and the Dirty Pirate would match it for the Atlantics in theirs.
Each club would swap whitewash in the final innings with Jeff “Silverback” Rahl displaying the type of honorable play for which Bay City has become known. The Atlantics had no men on, down by four runs, and their striker Krawler hit a sky ball destined for foul territory down the left field line. Rahl turned, gave chase and then dove to make the apparent, game ending, foul bound catch, which brought applause from the benches and the crowd. The umpire was ready to give the out, and the contest to Bay City, when Rahl unasked, informed the umpire that the out should not be recorded as the ball had bounded twice. Perhaps it was then Karma, which found the next pitch driven to Rahl, who handled it neatly on a hop, and promptly flung it to Leppek at first to record THE final hand.
It was a match that was remarkable in it’s defensive play, and scientific striking. A match over a hundred years in the making at the World’s Tournament, and a victory that Bay City was proud to have. The boys would now look forward to making a return trip to the Championship Match for the third time in four seasons, and they could take honor from knowing they could compete with the mighty Atlantics.