Elizabeth, NJ - The seemingly endless winter departed just in time to allow the mighty Gotham nine to play base ball for the first time in 2007 on a beautiful sunny afternoon against the Elizabeth Athletic Club today. Unfortunately the Gothams were beaten twice by their foes from Elizabeth by tallies of 21-6 and 16-7.
Game 1 - 1864 Rules:
The gods were not kind to the Gothams this spring, bringing bitter cold, snow and rain to thwart any and all attempts at practicing their trade and it was apparent as the Gothams were Chicagoed in each of the first 2 frames. On the field it was not any better. The Gotham base-tenders appeared to be playing the child's game of Monkey in the Middle by throwing the ball back and forth, the only problem being that nobody quite knew who the monkey was and the ball kept out pacing the intended receptor, which resulted in 9 Elizabeth aces over those same 2 frames. The only highlight for this Gotham team was a crafty play of a hard-hit ball by the Gotham center fielder Flytrap to apprehend the ball on the fly and then to throw out the misled Elizabeth base runner at second base. Not a bad way to impress his new team in his very first game with the club.
In the 3rd frame the cobwebs were wiped clean from the mighty Gotham clubs. Wombat began the charge with a one-base hit and a theft of second base, but the big shots were then fired after 2 hands were down when Shoeless smashed a 2-bagger to push Wombat home for the Gothams first ace of this young season. El Presidente, Fytrap, Rugs and Wickets followed with base-hits of there own to tally 3 more aces to bring the Gothams within 5 at 9-4. The only problem from here was that these same Gothams had to go back out on the field again. The Gotham pitcher Rugs managed to throw a pitch clear over the barn behind Scratch, the Gotham catcher allowing the Elizabeth team to run at will until Scratch was able to locate the ball by the Pig's pen. Some spectator named Joanie was impressed that Rugs was as good as a man named Potsy that could throw a ball over the backboard, but none understood this strange admiration. The Gotham left fielder Slider would not be outdone by his pitcher. He took a seemingly harmless fly ball and batted it way into foul ground using only his head and then slid after it while the Elizabeth players continued to run around the bases. After all shenanigans were stopped the Elizabeth club increased their lead to 13-4 after 3 innings were complete.
They game slowed down after those first 3 eventful innings. The Gothams were Chicagoed in the 4th and 7th Frames and tallied an ace in each of the 5th and 6th frames, all the while Elizabeth added 8 more aces to reach a final tally of 21-6. The Gotham fielders did however improve, as El Presidente and Flytrap tracked down several balls on the fly in the outfield, while Wombat, the 3rd base tender, managed to avoid daisy-cutters at an enormous rate but tracked down everything falling from the sky including one curved stick that he couldn't seem to get rid of…..it came back every time he tried to throw it away.
Slider - 0-4
Scratch - 2-4, 1 SB
Shoeless - 1-4, 1 2B, 1 Ace
El Presidente - 3-4, 2 Aces, 3 SB
Flytrap - 1-4, 1 Ace
Rugs - 3-4, 1 SB
Wickets - 2-5
Homer - 1-3, 1 SB
Wombat - 1-2, 1 Ace, 1 SB
Trolley - 1-1, 1 Ace, 1 SB
Game 2 - 1891 Rules:
The 2nd of these 2 games started much as the first one did, as the Gothams were again Chicagoed for the first 2 innings, while Elizabeth built up a 6-0 lead on the gritty, but overmatched team from New York. The Gotham hurler, Scratch did his best to keep the Gothams in the game, by throwing fire balls past the Elizabeth strikers to the tune of 4 of them down on strikes in the first 2 innings and 7 overall, even though the Gotham's behind Trolley had troubles holding on to those fire balls, which required 6 throws to Shoeless, the first base tender to put strikers out.
The Gothams finally figured out how to strike the balls pitched by Elizabeth hurlers in their strange overhand motion in the 3rd inning. Rugs continued his fine day batting by stroking a one base hit to start the inning. Wombat followed that up with the first of his Gotham record setting 4 bases on balls during this game, Slider was said to be rooting for the Elizabeth hurlers in their battles with Wombat for fear that his career Gotham bases on balls record would be broken in one game. Scratch, Trolley, and Wickets each followed with one base hits to allow Rugs and Wombat to tally their aces and put the Gothams on the board. Scratch kept the Elizabeth club to one ace in the 4th, which was the best inning for the Gothams on this afternoon to that point. Flytrap took it upon himself to tally an ace for the Gothams in the 4th by accepting a base on balls, displaying acts of thievery by taking both 2nd and 3rd base and tallying on a groundout by Scratch to bring the score to a respectable 7-3 in favor of the Elizabeth club.
The Gothams continued their fine headwork on the field when Trolley managed to stop a wild pitch from Scratch with the back of his head, but unfortunately did not thwart the Elizabeth runners attempt to tally an ace, which was the last of 3 in Scratch's 4th and final inning of hurling. After the Gothams were Chicagoed again, Trolley and Scratch switched positions, but the Elizabeth team was not fooled by Trolley's constant attempt to throw slower and slower pitches and tallied 6 more aces for an insurmountable 16-3 lead. The Gothams would go down fighting though. Wombat again started the Gotham attack by drawing a base on balls. Scratch agreed with that approach and did the same. Trolley, Shoeless, and Wickets again teamed up with one base hits and some porous Elizabeth field work to tally 4 more aces to bring the score to 16-7.
The Gotham Captain tried a new strategy on the field by switching positions with his shortstop Wickets. The strategy worked perfectly. After allowing the first 2 Elizabeth Strikers to reach base on a base on balls and an error, Wickets induced consecutive daisy cutters to Trolley now playing shortstop for easy force outs at 3rd base and finished things off by striking out the last batter he faced. Wickets ended up as the only Gotham hurler to keep the Elizabeth club from tallying an ace! Overall, the Gothams hung in there in their first games of the season against this excellent team from New Jersey. Until next time Huzzah!!
Scratch - 1-4, 1 Ace, 1 BB
Trolley - 2-4, 1 Ace, 1 BB, 1 SB
Shoeless - 3-5, 1 Ace 1 SB
El Presidente - 2-5
Wickets - 2-4, 1 SB
Homer - 0-3, 1 HBP
Flytrap - 0-3, 1 Ace, 1 BB, 2 SB
Rugs - 1-2, 1 Ace, 2 SB
Slider - 0-2
Wombat - 0-0, 2 Aces, 4 BB