July 7-8, 2007
Dispatch July 7, 1864 Washington DC
Even in 1864 during troubled times, clubs can come together from both the north and south and participate in good will at a good old fashioned base ball tournament. With Confederate General Jubal Early just outside of Washington DC and our Nation's Capital under a state of martial law, 6 clubs made it in to town alive coming from steamboat, rail, and carriage. The Brooklyn Atlantics, the New York Gothams, and the Flemington Neshanock crossed the Mason-Dixon line to take on the Talbot Fair Plays, the Chesapeake & Potomac BBC and the Elkton Eclipse in a grueling 2 day, 4 match tournament to decide the winner of the first Washington DC 19th Century Base Ball Tournament.
On Saturday in 92 degrees, the first matches took place. The co-host club, Chesapeake & Potomac challenged the New Jersey club, but were no match for the experienced Neshanock who's depth and play easily defeated the co-hosts 14-3.
In one of the better matches of the tournament, the tournament's only professional club, the Brooklyn Atlantics downed the surprising Talbot Fairplays by a score of 9-6. After the grueling heat started taking its toll, the 2pm games started after confederate snipers were arrested just outside the grounds. Brooklyn coming off of a hard fought victory, had to come right back and play Elkton. In a great game which featured back and forth leads, Brooklyn scored 7 runs late in the match to crush the Eclipse's hopes of finally beating the Atlantics after 5 tries and downing the co-hosts 10-5. The next match featured Chesapeake & Potomac scoring quickly and never looking back as they defeated the New York Gothams 8-6 as the Gothams couldn't get over the hump.
In a game of great sportsmanship, the Neshanock from Flemington defeated the Fair Plays 10-9, when on the last play of the match, a Fair Play was out at the plate when the umpire asked the Talbot player if he was safe or out. The final match of the day was between the Gothams and the Eclipse. After Elkton jumped out to an early big lead, the Gothams clawed their way back to tie the game at the end of the regulation 9 innings. The Eclipse proceeded to talley 5 aces in the extra frame and hold the New Yorkers scoreless to hang on to a 17-12 victory in 10 innings.
The next day in grueling heat the 6 clubs took the field again. As union troops went by and kept a vigilant eye on the clubs from Maryland play resumed. The first match featured Flemington pulling away from Elkton by a score of 13-7 to secure a spot in the title match. Brooklyn made sure they joined them with a 21-6 thumping of C&P. Talbot wanted to ensure that it would play Elkton in the 3rd place match with a convincing 16-6 defeat of the Gothams.
After President Lincoln's helicopter (I mean carriage) went by, the club's played the medal matches. In the 5th place game, Chesapeake & Potomac went up 12-1 early in the match and held on to defeat the club from New York 20-14. In the 3rd place game, and arguably the best match of the tournament, Elkton and Talbot squared off. Talbot started the match with 4 quick aces only to be matched by the same from the Eclipse. Talbot thought it pulled away with another 6 talleys in the following frame only to be matched again. After a back and forth match, Elkton scored a go ahead run in the 7th inning. Talbot did not give up though and scored again in the 8th to tie the match up. After a scoreless 9th, the 2 clubs went in to extra frames. After holding Talbot scoreless, Elkton manufactured a run to take the 3rd place trophy 18-17. In the championship match, the heat of the day proved too much for the Neshanock as the professionals from Brooklyn took home a much deserved 21-9 victory winning its second tournament on the lower side of the Mason-Dixon line in as many years. -end-
While it was an excruciating weekend of base ball in the nation's capital from both a weather stand point and in play, all teams enjoyed the sportsmanship and camaraderie that makes 19th century base ball great. A great big thank you to all of the umpires who helped make the tournament a success. With all of the publicity that vintage base ball received this past weekend, it is hoped that Chesapeake & Potomac will split in to 2 clubs next year, and that a club will form in the Delaware/Philadelphia area so that there will be at least 8 clubs participating next year. If your club is interested in competing in next year's tournament in Washington, send us an email as we would love to give you details on the event. We are actively looking for clubs to participate.
Brooklyn 9 Talbot 6
Flemington 14 C&P 3
Brooklyn 10 Elkton 5
C&P 8 New York 6
Elkton 18 New York 13 (10 innings)
Flemington 10 Talbot 9
Flemington 13 Elkton 7
Brooklyn 21 C&P 6
Talbot 16 New York 4
1st Place Match- Brooklyn 21 Flemington 9
3rd Place Match- Elkton 18 Talbot 17 (10 innings)
5th Place Match- C&P 20 New York 14
All Matches: 1864 rules;
Dates of Matches: July 7 and July 8, 2007
Location: Ellipse, Washington DC
Co Hosts: Elkton, Chesapeake & Potomac