Jan’s Pitch for Breast Cancer Saturday October 18th

Just  a reminder of the Jan’s Pitch for Breast Cancer Fundraiser Game Saturday October 18th beginning at 10am.  Members of the vintage base ball community will gather at Spencer Peirce Little Farm in Newbury, MA for a relaxed day of 3 or 4 1860′s  rules games, all for a great cause.  We will be raising money for breast cancer research and for inner city middle school art students in Lawrence.  Last year we raised over $6,000 and while it will be tough to top that mark this year lets try. JansPitch2014

Here are a few web sites for the event (event site http://www.janspitchgame.wordpress.com)

  1. If people would like to make a donation or buy a ticket to the game they can be purchased here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2nd-annual-jans-pitch-for-breast-cancer-and-the-arts-tickets-12633789003
  2. We also have collected some great items that we will be auctioning off. You can contact historyball@yahoo.com  to place your bids http://janspitchgame.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/silent-auction/  .  We will also have smaller raffle prizes on the day of the game.

As always Ipswich Ale will be available for purchase along with a food vendor.

We are hoping for a great day and finishing out the season on a positive note. Hope to see everyone there. Admission $5

Thank you,

Brian “Cappy” Sheehy

Essex Base Ball Organization

http://www.essexbaseball.wordpress.com

Lowell Captures the 2014 Championship… Thanks to MLP’s

2014 champs

The game according to Squints….

Another year with the Essex Base Ball Association has come to a close, and it truly ended with a BANG!  There was a constant mist in the air and the sky was grey, but despite the precarious weather, the game was well attended.

This year’s championship was a rematch from last year.  The Newburyport Claimdiggers, the reigning champs, were looking to hold on to the “cup” against the undefeated Lowell Base Ball Nine.  The Lowell Nine had been on a mission all season as we were still stinging from last year’s defeat.  Leading up to the game, there was much chatter amongst the team to rise up to the challenge and be ready to bring our “A” game.  Clips of incredible moments in sports and passionate motivation speeches were passed around emphasizing the team to “seize the moment”.
Needless to say, the Nine came out fired up, making a couple of fantastic plays to hold the high-powered Clamdigger offense to a single run in the top of the first.  The highlight was a perfectly thrown assist from center to double up the Clamdiggers speedy lead off batter Ryan West preventing a big inning.  The Nine came back and scored 3 run in the bottom of the first and after holding the Claimdiggers scoreless in the second, it was looking like the Nine were ready to run away with this one early.  But the bottom of the line up stalled and the Claimdiggers defense kicked into high gear holding the Nine scoreless for next 3 innings.
Over the course of those three scoreless innings, the Claimdiggers tallied 8, including a huge top of the 5th where Lowell’s defense slipped allowing 6 runs.  Heading into the botom of the 5th the Claimdiggers led 9-3 and were looking to send Lowell to our first defeat of the season.  In the playoffs we play a best of 3 series of only 7 innings, so the pressure was mounting.  That is when Lowell’s captain, Monkey Sheehy, showed off his inspiring leadership by providing a legendary motivational speech surpassing all that we had seen in the days leading up to the game.
Chris "Monkey" Sheehy

Chris “Monkey” Sheehy

As we came up to bat in the bottom of the 5th, Monkey looked us all in the eye and began his rant.  “Boys, it’s time to start hitting.  If you don’t step up and get the bats going this inning there will be NO My Little Pony snacks between games!  I have two boxes and I want to give them out, but you have to earn them.”   With two outs it appeared as though this speech had fallen in deaf ears.  Then the fireweorks started as the lineup came alive putting 7 men across the plate before the Clamdiggers were able to get the final out.
mlps
Both defenses stood tall the final two innings and the Nine pulled victory from the jaws of defeat winning the first game 10-9.  Monkey held true to his word and MLP’s were happily consumed by all.
Game 2 proved to be equally entertaining though it was not quite as high scoring of an affair.  Each team worked to manufacture runs while the defenses made fantastic plays.  Most notable, Patty “Boom Boom” Wadland made a diving over the head grab on a well struck line drive that not only ended the inning but also stopped what would have been a certain double.
The Claimdiggers came up in the bottom of the 7th needing 4 runs to tie the game and extend their season.  Lowell, knowing how potent this offense is, took the field with focus.  The hope of a championship and an undefeated season were on the line.  With two outs, a man on second, and one run already crossing the plate, the legend, Pat Cook, comes to the plate.  Knowing his tendency to pull the ball, the Lowell outfield shifts toward left field.  Pat notices this and tries to send an outside pitch to right.  He gets under it popping up to shallow right.  This is going to be very difficult for the defense to cover.  It”s a long run for all three positions who have a shot at it.  As Goose, Sandman, and I converge the ball hits the soggy ground and takes a small bounce.  One of the greatest things about 1864 rules base ball is that catching the ball after one bound still counts as an out.  With the ball inches from hitting the ground again, Sandman lunges.  I have the best seat in the house as this play unfolds.  As I also ran toward the ball, my mind curiously questioned if the combination of Sandman’s inertia and position would be too much to allow him to make the catch.  My mind began preparing for the ball to kick toward foul territory, when Sandman’s hand cradled the ball perfectly.  As he slid to a stop and held the ball in the air the entire team ran to right field celebrating our long awaited victory.
We had avenged last year’s loss, and brought the “cup” to what we consider it’s rightful place within the Essex Bas Ball Association.
Thanks to Mark Scappichio for putting up with us (i.e. Wiz) and umping a great game.  Thanks to the Cranks who battled the gloomy day.  Thanks to the Clamdiggers for an excellent match.  Thanks to our rookies, Lynchy, Jeremiah , Sandman, and Sweet Pete for helping replinish our roster.  Finally, thanks to the MLP’s (My Little Pony fruit snacks) for powering champions since 2014.
Lowell Nine 2014

Lowell Nine 2014

Newburyport Advances to Championship Showdown with Lowell

On an unseasonably warm late September afternoon, Newburyport defeated Lynn in Game 1 and 2 to advance to the Championship against Lowell. Hundreds of fans that were present for the Music Festival looked contributing to the playoff atmosphere.

Game 1 score was 20-4, Newburyport had the bats going early and often. It was truly a team effort with every player stealing at least one base and scoring or driving in at least one run.

Newburyport Clamdiggers and Lowell Base Ball Nine

Newburyport Clamdiggers and Lowell Base Ball Nine

Game 2 score was 10-2, Lynn and Newburyport both played outstanding defense to keep the score low until the later innings.

Huzzah to Lynn for a successful season.

The Championship Game will be played on Saturday, October 4th starting at 11AM.

Lynn Advances

Mark Soltysiak

Mark Soltysiak

From last place to first-round winners: Lynn defeats Portsmouth in EBBA Quarterfinal Series

The Lynn Live Oaks – winners of exactly zero games in 2013, and four games in the 2014 regular season – beat a shorthanded but valiant Portsmouth Rockinghams team, two games to one, to advance to the 2014 Essex Base Ball Association semifinals.

In Game 1 the Lynn offense scored seven tallies in the first and, despite a couple of furious charges by Portsmouth, never relinquished the lead in a 17-11 victory.
 
Game 2 offered more suspense. Portsmouth built a solid lead through four innings, but Lynn staged a comeback. With the game tied, Lynn’s Mark Soltysiak, who had craftily stolen second earlier in the inning, charged home on a close play with the tie-breaking tally – but lay writhing in pain at the plate, having seriously injured his knee. Lynn fought to hold the lead Soltysiak worked so hard to gain, but fielding miscues eventually cost them the game, a 16-12 Rockinghams win.
 
Game 3 was nip-and-tuck all the way, with Lynn taking leads in the top halves of the innings, and Portsmouth battling back in the bottom halves. Up by three tallies in the top of the seventh (the last inning in this one-day, best-of-three playoff format), Lynn exploded for five tallies, and held Portsmouth scoreless in their half for the 20-12 win – the last hand fittingly made on a one-hopper back to Ralph Hebb, Lynn’s storied pitcher and longest-serving player.
 
After the game we learned that Lynn’s Mark Soltysiak fractured his tibia and will need season-ending surgery. He’s the second Lynn player this season to break a bone on the basepaths in the heat of a close contest – the latest example of the tremendous grit every Lynn player brought to the field this year. Mark will be missed on the field – but we hope in attendance – as Lynn moves on to the next round.
 
The entire Essex Base Ball Organization thanks the Live Oaks and the Rockinghams for three of the best-played games this year, and also thanks Brian ‘Cappy’ Sheehy and Chris ‘Monkey’ Sheehy for their excellent umpiring thereof.

Playoffs….

champs As we head into the end of the month of September the Essex Base Ball Association is beginning its playoffs.  Below is the schedule for the next few weeks, we have adjusted some times. Saturday September 20th Ipswich Harvest Fest 10am Lowell vs. Newburyport Clamdiggers.  Followed immediately by round 1 of the playoffs between the Lynn Live Oaks vs. Portsmouth Rockinghams.  It will be the best of 3, 7 inning games. Saturday September 27th- American Music and Harvest Fest 11am Lowell BBC vs. Dirigo, 12:30 Mudville vs. Dirigo, 2pm Mudville vs. Ipswich Brewers Sunday September 28- American Music and Harvest Fest Round 2 of playoffs 11am- winner of round 1 vs. Clamdiggers best of 3, 7 inning games Saturday October 4th- Championship game Winner of round 2 vs. Lowell Nine 11am

Lowell Takes Two From Portsmouth

fun

Today was another beautiful day on the farm. Fall is rolling in and there was a crispness to the air that puts a bounce in your step as you step out onto the field. It was great to have a few new cranks at the field today taking in vintage for the first time. It is always great to share the history of the game with new fans and pose for pictures with our stoic faces!

We were missing our catcher, Lynchy, as well as a few other players, but Doug and Mark from Lynn did a great job filling in. It was nice to have our outfield from last year play together for an entire day. All in all, it was looking like a good day for the Lowell Base Ball Nine.

That being said, the Rockinghams were not intimidated and made it known early in game 1 that they were not going to be an easy out. Daisy cutter after daisy cutter were being hit all over the field. Every single led to a stolen base. We knew they were going to steal on the first pitch, but they didn’t care. They were determined to put runs on the board. And did they ever. Most of the game was back and forth. Lowell’s sure-handed outfielders flubbed a few flies and Portsmouth’s outfielders lost several in the sun, all of which led to big innings for both clubs.

With Wiz also out today, Jeremiah was named starting hurler. He did a great job mixing speeds and throwing a mean moon ball. But in the sixth inning the Rockinghams capitalized on our poor fielding and kept pounding away putting up 6 runs to take the lead. At the end of seven, it was 13-10 and they were looking to give us our first loss of the season.

Though the middle of the lineup struggled for a few innings, the Lowell bats came alive with a two out ralley in the 8th, and some timely hitting in the 9th to push 6 more runs across that iron plate. Our defense held and we were able to stay undefeated for one more game with a 16-13 victory.

Between games Cappy somehow came up with fried chicken and Hello Kitty Fruit Snacks. Well, if you have been keeping up with our season, you may remember that fruit snacks, especially the Hello Kitty brand really lift the spirits of the Nine. As many of us woofed down the fruit snacks, Portsmouth got their fill of fried chicken. Now that was either a very gentlemanly gesture, or a shrewd competitive move. It is tough to know because Cappy is always smiling, but anyone who knows him knows that he will do almost anything to win. Now I am not saying that he put anything in that chicken, but I will say this, we won the second game 19-4 and the Rockinghams never really seemed into it.

If only there had been some Ipswitch Ale to wash it down with…

Thanks to all who came out. Make sure to come out to the farm the next few weeks as we wrap up the season, and begin post season play.

Don’t forget or most important game of the year October 18, the second annual Jan’s Pitch for Breat Cancer and the Arts.

Hip Hip – Huzzah!

Lynn and Newburyport split and Lowell stays undefeated

Lynn and Newburyport Split

Defense, pitching, and playing through injury were the themes of the first two games at the farm on Sunday, August 24th.

Game 1 was won by the Live Oaks 7-4. The Oaks got an emotional lift from the return of George Birmbas, who broke his wrist earlier this year while helping Lynn get its first win. Hurler Ralph Hebb threw an absolute gem holding the Clamdiggers to their lowest run tally all season. He also made a spectacular defensive play towards the end of the game preventing a Clamdigger rally. On a line drive hit on line back to the mound, Ralph slid to the left and caught the ball between his elbow and armpit.

Game 2 was payback for the Clamdiggers, winning 8-5. The player of the game was Clamdigger John Curley. In the 6th inning John made a routine fly ball catch in left but his finger got caught bending the wrong way. Instead of sitting out with a curved finger, he iced up on the bench and made two more plays the next inning. He also stepped up to the plate late in the game and hit a daisy cutter through the outfield. Also playing through injury was Mark Scapicchio (eye), Doug George (ankle), George Birmbas (wrist), Matt Larrabee (thumb), and Dan Kent (hand).

Huzzah to both teams for well played contests and playing through late season in injuries

In game three in a back and forth affair the Lowell Base Ball Nine were able to hold off the Portsmouth Rockinghams to win 12-9. Game four was a long match in which Lowell won easily 24-14.