2014 About to Kick Off

The 2013 season was a huge success for the Essex Base Ball Organization with the successful inaugural campaign of the Portsmouth Rockinghams and the start of the four team Essex Base Ball Association. Throughout the season the Lowell Baseball Nine held a commanding lead in the standings but the Newburyport Clamdiggers defeated the Lowell Nine in an epic battle in the championship game securing the championship jug and golden ball.

In 2014 the Clamdiggers are looking to again take the EBBA championship jug, but the Lowell Nine, Portsmouth Rockinghams, and Lynn Live Oaks hope to spoil their plans and drink from the championship jug this season. There have been a few additions to the league with the Lowell Nine welcoming back Ryan “Swifty” Sifferlen to their outfield and lead off position strengthening an already powerful line up. The only thing that could challenge the Lowell’s line up this season is that four members of the Nine will have or will be welcoming newborns to their families this season. The already powerful Clamdiggers have added an experienced ballist who played previously for the Bristol Blues. The Rockinghams after suffering a move to their captain Dave Leopardi halfway through the 2013 campaign have bounced back adding several new fine ballists to their roster. The Live Oaks have also adjusted their roster a little and look to improve on an extremely disappointing 2013 season. No one can guess who will win the championship but the season promised to be a memorable one.

There are one or two open spots in the league so if you have any interest in trying your hand at 1864 rules base ball come out at 12pm April 13, April 27, and May 4th for open practices.

Pre Season Meeting

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The Essex Base Ball Organization will be having its 2014 pre season meeting Saturday February 8th at 3 at the Visitor Center at Spencer Peirce Little Farm in Newbury, MA. . If you are interested in playing in our league or in umpiring please join us.

We are also happy to announce the name of the new travel team in the Essex Base Ball Organization, the Georgetown Samosets. The Samosets played in Georgetown, MA in 1867. One of the unique features of the club is that in August of 1867 they played a game against the Essex Base Ball Club of Newburyport. We are still conducting research but hope to find more references of the Samosets. Check back soon to see their new uniforms.

Good Luck Graybeard

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The Essex Base Ball Organization was saddened to learn that our umpire and former player Jeff “Graybeard” Peart will be moving to San Francisco for a new job.  Jeff started as a player 12 years ago and eventually he evolved into our full time umpire.  Jeff was a constant at our games and was renown in the vintage base ball community for his umpiring skills, ability to entertain a crowd, and being an overall ambassador for the game.  Jeff has been the face of the Essex Base Ball Organization and his presence will be sorely missed.  Huzzah to Graybeard and all the best in his new job.

Images from America’s Hometown Thanksgiving..

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On Sat Nov 25th the Essex Base Ball Club participated in America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration in Plymouth MA. The Rockingham’s Jim “Fullmoon“ Leopardi and his wife Tonya along with Jim “Champ” Champey and his son Camron manned a table displaying vintage equipment, items from Jan’s Pitch, and several books including Matt Muise’s photo books. They and even handed out popcorn to the crowd all day which numbered in the hundreds as they filed passed the display. Countless people were intrigued and stopped to ask questions and even a few were interested in playing next year. Members of the Mudville Nine made a surprise appearance about mid afternoon and the crowd gathered even more. There were two major highlights of the day, the first being an invitation by an employee of the Red Sox to have vintage teams from around the region play at Fenway next year. This may still be a long shot so we hope to hear more about this in the upcoming weeks. The second highlight was a brief impromptu interview by former WBZ sports reporter and former olympian Alice Cook now of NESN. The interview is intended for a new show called Life Is Great New England which premiers on NESN on Dec 1st . Hopefully we’ll make the final cut. http://lifeisgreatnetv.com/life-great-new-england-now-nesn/

Essex Base Ball Organization to Expand…

We will also be adding another travel team made up of members of the current Lynn Live Oaks and Portsmouth Rockinghams. We are still debating a team name but some of the options include the Hawkswood BBC of Newburyport, the Ironsides BBC of West Newbury, the Eagle Club of Newburyport, the Georgetown Samosets, or the Bradford BBC of Haverhill.

If you are interested in hosting a game or in joining a team contact Brian Sheehy at historyball@yahoo.com

More photos from Jan’s Pitch

The Essex Base Ball Organization can’t thank Matthew Muise enough for all of the great pictures he took of the league throughout the year. Here are his shots from the Jan’s Pitch for Breast Cancer and the Arts.

Matt brought his student Julia Zanette to the game and her shots are equally as great. Part 1 and Part 2

We would like to thank everyone for a great 2013 season and we have already started planning for 2014. If you would like to schedule a game, demo, lecture, or kids clinic contact Brian “Cappy” Sheehy at historyball@yahoo.com