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.