Opening Day

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Do you like sheep sheering, historic farms, Ipswich Ale, and 1864 rules base ball?  If you like any of those things join us Saturday May 5th at beautiful Spencer Peirce Little Farm in Newbury MA as the Essex Base Ball Organization kick off their 2018 season.  Four games will be played.

10:00 a.m. Lowell BBC vs. Newburyport Clamdiggers

1:00 p.m. Portsmouth Rockinghams vs. Lynn Live Oaks

Throughout the day their will  be

House tours at the manor house and tenant house.

Wagon rides for the family.

Sheep to Shawl crafts.

Spinning or resident sheep ( and goat!)’s wool.

Ipswich Ale Brewery will be here with their tapmobile AND JimJamz hot dogs.

Music, listen to traditional NE folk music.

Free to Historic New England members

$5 nonmembers

Please call 978-462-2634 for more information or buy tickets online.


Cappy goes to Florida


At the tail end of Spring Training our president Brian “Cappy” Sheehy will be heading to sunny Fort Meyers Florida to the Edison Ford Winter Estates to give a series of lectures on baseball history. Below is from the Edison Ford Winter Estates newsletter.

Base Ball in the 19th Century

Who knew Thomas Edison was a baseball fan!  Back in the day… Edison visited Lee County’s baseball field – Terry Park during the Philadelphia Athletics spring training camp.  He hit balls with Ty Cobb, posed for photos with the Phillies General Manager Connie Mack and invited the team over to his winter estate  for refreshments (and cigars).  In celebration of Edison’s interest in baseball the Edison & Ford Winter Estates will offer presentations on Base Ball (yes…. That is how the game was spelled in the late 1800s) during the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins Spring Training season.

March 24, 11 a.m. “The Evolution of 19th Century Base Ball.” This presentation outlines the development of the game, the equipment, uniforms and rules.

March 24, 12:30 p.m. “Boston Before the Red Sox” Have you ever heard of the Lowell Base Ball Club or the Tri Mountain’s?  Did you know Boston dominated the baseball scene in the 1870s?  Have you heard of Hall of Famers Mike “King” Kelly, Harry Wright, or John Clarkson?  Visitors will learn about the game of Base Ball  in Boston prior to our the Boston Red Sox

March 24, 2 p.m. “Bat and Ball Games since Colonial Times” will focus on the bat and ball games that helped shape and develop the game of baseball that we know today.

March 25, 11 a.m. “19th Century Big Business Practices through A. G. Spaulding” offers visitors a glimpse into the  practices of  businessmen  John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie who have come to represent the most successful titans of industry during the Gilded Age.  The presentation is designed to show how Albert Goodwill Spalding used many of the same business practices and principles to achieve the same type of business success in the sporting goods industry that Rockefeller and Carnegie achieved in oil and steel.

Lectures will be presented by Brian Sheehy, Base Ball historian, vintage Base Ball player and president of the Essex Base Ball Organization, a non profit organization consisting of six clubs in Massachusetts that play and educate the public on how the game of Base Ball was played in the 19th century.  Sheehy has traveled throughout the nation playing Base Ball, instructing children’s clinics, and giving lectures on baseball history. 

All presentations will be held at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.  Cost:  Edison Ford Members , free; non members , included with any Edison Ford admission. 

Jan’s Pitch Game and 2017 Championship


Game 1: Clamdiggers 15 Rockinghams 13

In Game 1 the Clamdiggers lead the entire game tallying runs early and holding Portsmouth’s bats at bay. Trailing by 6 in the bottom of the eighth Portsmouth’s bats came alive and tallied 7 runs to take the lead going into the top of the 9th. The Clamdiggers rallied for 3 runs of their own to take the lead as Portsmouth came to bat in the bottom of the ninth. Portsmouth’s first two runners reached base and with no outs, runners on first and second, a towering fly ball was hit over the head of Clamdigger left fielder Patty “Boom Boom” Wadland. He tracked down the fly on one hop (first out of inning), threw the ball with all his might to shortstop Dan “Minute Man” Kent who then relayed a perfect strike to catcher John “Specs” Curley who tagged out the runner trying to score from second (second out of inning). The double play was one of the most exciting defensive plays we’ve seen in years. With a runner on third, the next Portsmouth striker hit a line drive in the right field gap and took a diving catch by Drew “Captain Clam” Murphy to record the third out.


Playoff Game 2: The Lynn Live Oaks faced the Lowell Base Ball Nine.  Lynn’s bats helped them to jump out to an early 9-0 lead by the end of the second inning.  Lowell fought their way back through out the next 6 innings with Lynn only tallying one more run making the score 10-8.  Lowell had a few mighty strikes, but Derek “Whiskers” Boutwell and Mark “PB&J” Scapicchio were able to save the Live Oaks in the 9th inning and not allow Lowell to tally any runs.  Lynn held on to the victory and moved ahead to the Championship to face the Newburyport Clamdiggers.

Championship Game:  The Newburyport Clamdiggers won the opening toss and elected to strike first.  Lynn however were the ones that were able to jump out to an early lead tallying 6 runs in the first three innings with Newburyport only tallying 2.  Lynn attempted to, but failed to keep the mighty Newburyport strikers down for long though with the Clamdiggers taking an 11-9 lead going in to the bottom of the 8th inning.  Lynn replied with 2 tallys of their own in the 8th to tie the game 11-11 going into the 9th.  Lynn’s defense held Newburyport scoreless in the 9th, but were unable to capitalize on having runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs.  Newburyport’s defense held Lynn to no tally’s and the game moved into the 10th inning.  The Clamdiggers scored one run in the top of the 10th to take a 12-11 lead.  Lynn would not be denied though quickly moving runners to 2nd and 3rd base again with no outs.  A hit tallied a run for Lynn and moved the winning run to third. A slow roller to the pitcher was not enough to score the winning run as a brilliant play at the plate caused Lynn’s second out.  A passed ball of the catcher however allowed the game winning run to score and give Lynn their first ever Essex Base Ball Championship.  It was a long awaited victory for the Live Oaks who had waited a long time to add their name to the Championship Jug.


With the day being about the Jan’s Pitch Charity Event and the playoffs/championship there was a lot going on at the Spencer Pierce Little Farm.  A great display of base ball was witnessed by all of the cranks that were able to come out and money was raised for a great cause.  We would like to thank everyone who was able to make it out and enjoy some of the best base ball that the Essex League could provide.  We thank all who helped us raise well over $3,000 for cancer research and inner city art programs.