North Meadow, Central Park, NY - 7/14/2007 - The Mudville Nine traveled all day Friday by carriage from the state of Massachusetts to New York's Central Park on a beautiful sunny day to play the New York Gothams in a rematch of a hard-fought battle in last year's Old Bethpage festival. Though it was rumored that the Mudville club came only to party and enjoy the fine Metropolis that is New York, they also came to play a skilled game of base ball. As has occurred frequently in the past, The Gothams proved to be a most gracious host by granting the Mudville Nine franchise their very first victory out of their home state of Massachusetts by a final tally of 8-5.
The Gothams had an excellent beginning. Slider reached on a one-base hit and promptly scampered to 2nd and then 3rd base with random acts of thievery, but was finally put down after Kansas hit a daisy-cutter to the Mudville pitcher freezing slider between 3rd and home base. He fluttered back and forth to no avail as the Mudville fielders threw and caught flawlessly and finally tagged Slider out, but not before Kansas reached 2nd base. After a theft of 3rd, Kansas was able to tally the game's first ace on a one-base hit by Scratch. The fleet footed Scratch was able to tally an ace as well with 2 blatant acts of thievery and a masterful escape from a rundown on Trolley's bound out to give the Gothams a 2-0 lead. The Mudville club came right back with an ace of their own, but it would have been much worse hadn't it been for 2 splendiferous catches on the bound by Slider in left field and Trolley and Kansas working the hidden ball trick perfectly on the Mudville pitcher.
The next 2 frames were dominated by excellent field work and pitching by both clubs as neither team was able to tally an ace. For the Gothams Slider made another fantastic play by running down a ball on the bound after it had soared past Mouse, the Gotham center fielder. The Mudville shortstop began his incredible run of gathering every daisy cutter and fly ball within the entire state of New York, to set many Gothams down one by one, which was clearly highlighted by snagging a fly ball off the bat of Wombat in the 4th inning after it had already appeared to have reached the outfield. Both clubs tallied aces in the 4th. The Gotham ace was tallied when Trolley reached on a one-base hit, stole 2nd and eventually scored on a balk. The Gothams, however, were Chicagoed in the 5th due mainly to a double play turned by the Mudville shortstop on a daisy cutter, but the Mudville club was not Chicagoed. They had their biggest inning, by tallying 3 times to take a lead that their fine field work would not completely relent. The only highlight in the 5th frame for the Gothams was a unique double play that thwarted additional aces for Mudville. John ran down a ball on the bound in center field for the 1st out threw to Kansas at short who threw to Trolley and finally to Dutch to capture the Mudville runner in a run down, but the Gothams were now behind by a 5-3 margin.
Both teams were Chicagoed in the 6th, but the Gothams chipped away with aces in both the 7th and 8th innings to tie the score at 5. The Gothams 7th inning ace was tallied when Trolley reach on a one-base hit, swiped 2nd base (barely), and moved up the last 2 bases on bound outs by Stacks and Wombat. Hanky worked some magic to tie the score with a one-base hit, promptly stole 2nd base, and came all the way around from 2nd to tally his ace on a ground out to the Mudville catcher. The bottom of the 8th inning brought back that dreaded beast from the past, also known as the Gotham inning after displaying excellent field work for the first 7 frames. The Mudville club tallied 3 more times on a combination of well-struck balls and some iffy defense by the Gotham outfielders to give them an 8-5 lead that would hold up as final since the Gothams were again Chicagoed in their 9th and last at bat.
The Gothams had to cheer the fine play of the Mudville club and raise their caps to their first victory out of the fine state of Massachusetts. Both clubs look forward to their next battle, which is likely to occur next season in Mudville. Until next time…Huzzah!!
Individual Stats (1864 Rules):
Slider - 2-4, 2 SB
Kansas - 1-4, 1 2B, 1 Ace, 2 SB
Scratch - 1-4, 1 Ace, 2 SB
Trolley - 2-4, 2 Aces, 2 SB
Stacks - 0-4
Wombat - 1-3, 1 SB, 1 BB
Dutch - 1-4
Mouse - 0-3
Hanky - 2-3, 1 Ace, 1 SB
John - 0-3