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Bethpage, NY 4-18-15 – 2 Games, 1864 Rules

The Gotham BBC assembled on the grounds of Old Bethpage Restoration Village near half past ten to compete for the coveted New York / New Jersey Cup of the Eastern Division of the Mid Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League (MAVBBL). The Flemington Neshanock already had ballists exercising their arms on the second the two fields on the home grounds of the New York Mutuals. The same Mutuals where in 1865 three of their players were banned from the National Association for accepting $100 between them from local gamblers in return for surrendering a game to the Brooklyn Eckfords at Elysian Fields. This was the first recorded instance of a fixed game which in the day was commonplace. All three players were later reinstated to the team. Perhaps there is still hope for Pete Rose who many years later was known to have placed wagers on games but was never known to have influenced the outcome of a game other than by hitting the ball safely 4,256 times.

“Coach” the long time Gotham and Brad “Brooklyn” Shaw each threw three scoreless frames to begin the match. Both teams defending flawlessly it appeared at first that the game could be a very low scoring affair. In the third frame it was the catcher “Collector” recording three foul tip hands off the hard to hit Gotham hurler’s offerings with quick hands and acrobatic grabs. Gotham was the first to score in the fourth but Flemington tallied four more to take the lead in the fifth.

Defensive play again dominated the game with Gotham struggling to move runners across the plate and Gotham throwing out Neshanock runners attempting to steal. Score tied in the sixth, it was Flemington which moved ahead on misplays by Gotham and steady hitting. The Gothams made a bid for the game in the ninth frame lead by hits from FlashTop, Lightning and Collector but were unable to overcome the deficit.

Final tally, Flemington 8, Gotham 6

Lightning ss, 1-5, 2sb, 1a, 4o
Collector lf, 4-5, 5sb, 1o
Monk 1b, 1-4, 2sb, 4o
Wickets rf, 2-4, 1sb, 2-2b, 2a, 2o
Coach p, 2-4, 2a, 2o
Bugs lf, 2-4, 2sb, 2o
Spyder cf, 1-3, sb, 3o
Hanky 2b, 0-4, 4o
AJ 3b, 3-4, 1o
FlashTop rf, 3-4, 2sb, 1o

Gotham 000 202 002
Flemington 000 131 12x

The second game of the two game set for New York/New Jersey Cup for the Gothams was scheduled against the Hoboken Nine. The red clad strikers from New Jersey had also just completed a match against the New York Mutuals on the neighboring field where they were defeated by the tally of 18 to 16. Several of the Hoboken players arrived from the match already displaying uniforms covered with the orange soil of the Bethpage ground, their trousers ripped and torn from spirited play.

The match began with early aces from both teams, Gotham 2 and Hoboken 1 in the first frame. But Gotham answered the Hoboken 4 ace second with the entire Gotham lineup crossing home plate with the exception of one and tallying 8 more. Fine defensive plays by both teams held the score for the next two frames but then Gotham erupted again in the fifth with 6 aces and thereby taking a confident lead. The steady hitting of the Gothams fell regularly in front and in between the Hoboken defenders just beyond their reach on even a single bound and for the remaining frames. By the latter frames both teams were displaying fatigue from the long day. The Hoboken hurler commented that he thought he might nearing his 500th pitch of the day and that his arm was beginning to tire. The last three frames were played out quickly with few base runners and Gotham was victorious.

Final tally, Gotham 21, Hoboken 8

Lightning ss, 6-7, 3b, 2-2b, 5sb, 4a, 1o
Collector lf, 4-7, 4b, 2-2b, sb, 2a, 3o
Monk 1b-c, 4-6, 3sb, 3a, 2o
Wickets 3b-p, 4-6, 5sb, 2b, 3a, 2o
Bugs p-1b, 5-6, 2sb, 2b, 3a, 2o
Spyder p-1b, 4-6, 2a, 2o
Hanky 2b, 2-6, 4o
FlashTop rf, 2-6, 2sb, 2a, 4o
Hat cf, 2-6, sb, 2b, 2a, 4o

Gotham 180 630 300
Hoboken 240 020 000

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