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July 8, 2006

Game 1 - Flemington Neshanock 16 - New York Gothams 12


7/8/2006 - Hamilton, NJ - vs. Flemington Neshanock - 1864 Rules

The Gothams risked both life and limb on this sunny day to venture South to Hamilton, NJ for an historic battle with the Confederate supporting Flemington nine. Both the Union and Confederate armies to a break this day and held off their skirmish long enough to watch the Gothams representing the North play nine innings against the southern Flemington ball club. President Lincoln himself stopped by to inspire the Gothams with his support to hold of the southern traitors, but it was to no avail, as the Neshanock captured the flag for this one day with a come from behind 16-12 triumph.

Both teams tallied aces in the first frame. The Gotham left fielder, Scratch, prevented a much larger Neshanock outburst with an utter act of thievery in the snagging of a hard smash off the bat of Flemington 3rd base tender Jacks with only one hand, while most of the Confederate army believe the ball to have already passed all of the Gothams. The Gothams ace was tallied on a 2-base hit by Coach followed by one-base hit for Spike. Spike however was thwarted in his attempt to steal 2nd base by 115 feet, which was no easy task considering there is only 90 feet between the bases. Some talk among the cranks was that Spike was only worried about becoming the first Gotham with 100 career base-thefts and not with the game itself, but the opposite was proven true later. After Coach allowed another Neshanock ace in the 2nd, the Gotham bats came to life. Shoeless, Trolley and Weed all singled and accepted a well deserved gift from the Flemington Pitcher's errant throw to bring home 2 more aces. The inning ended on the 2nd of many poor base running mistakes by the Gothams when Weed was stopped at the plate on a ground ball back to the pitcher.

Coach Chicagoed the Neshanock in the 3rd as Trolley handled all of the defensive responsibilities with 3 straight foul-tips caught behind the plate. The bottom of the 3rd inning provided the bulk of the Gotham attack on the South. Kid began the frame with a one-base hit and tallied his ace one a one-bound out to left by Stacks. But it was with 2 hands down that the Gothams exploded. Homer, Slider, Scratch, Coach and Spike hit consecutive one-base hits tallying the next 3 aces. After Spike recorded his 99th career theft, Shoeless hit the first of his 2 2-base hits tallying an additional 2 aces. The Northern offensive closed out with Trolley's single allowing Shoeless to tally the 7th ace of the frame giving the Gothams and the North a seemingly insurmountable 10-2 advantage…..then the roof of the Gothams log cabin crumbled as the Union soldiers stood impatiently on the sidelines.

The Neshanock tallied single aces in both the 4th and 5th frames to edge closer while Flemington's crafty pitcher Bobby Base Ball began a string of superb hurling as he Chicagoed the Mighty Gotham club for 5 consecutive frames. The Neshanock proceeded to hit them where the Gothams were not and when they did hit them where the Gothams were the Gothams mistook the base balls for explosive shells from the Confederate turrets and let them pass by at will apparently for their own safety. The Flemington Nine took advantage of the Gothams belief that they were being shelled to take control of the battle by tallying 5 aces in the 6th, 6 in the 7th and 1 more in the 8th to take a 16-10 lead. If it weren't for a diving one-handed catch by Weed in the 5th and Spike making a double play off a line drive to short and throwing to 1st the Gotham wounds would have been much worse. The Gotham base-running casualties piled up at alarming rates while the Neshanock were marching home to tally aces. The Neshanock notched 2 hands on one play by dropping a line drive at 1st, stepping on first for the first hand then playing monkey-in-the middle with Dutch between 2nd & 3rd base, between 3rd and home, before stopping him for good with a bullet to home to thwart the 11 Gotham Ace. This led to the first display of fireworks from Spike aimed at the Gotham runners, much to the appreciation of the day's Arbiter Sam Bernstein, who is usually the target of Spike's ire (whether warranted or not). This was kicking like never seen before.

The Gothams did not appear to raise to white flag though. Their firepower came to life in the bottom of the 9th inning as hope for the Union supporters returned. Scratch began the inning with a 3-base hit followed by Coach's one-base hit, a Shoeless 2-base hit and a Trolley one-base hit to bring the score to 16-12 in favor of the Flemington club, but then the Gothams caused a casualty to their team with out any assistance from the Confederate side. Shoeless was placed out at 3rd base on a foul-struck ball hit by Weed. The Flemington 3rd base tender was said to have overheard Shoeless talking to himself about hoping to pitch again for the Gothams, which must be true, because there was no other apparent reason for this Gotham veteran to be so clueless on the base paths to virtually end this fierce battle between North and South. The game officially ended one pitch later on a ground out by Weed, but not before Spike was taken away by the Union army for shooting off shells in disgust and wasting Union ammunition. So on this hot summer day the South represented by the Flemington club won the battle, but it is my hunch that the North will end up winning the war in spite of this set back by the Gothams.

Individual Stats:

Slider - 1-4, 1 Ace

Scratch - 2-4, 1 3B, 2 Aces

Coach - 4-4, 2 2B, 3 Aces, 1 SB

Spike - 2-4, 1 Ace, 1 SB

Shoeless - 3-4, 2 2B, 2 Aces

Trolley - 3-4, 1 Ace

Weed - 1-4

Kid - 1-4, 1 Ace, 2 SB

Stacks - 0-4

Dutch - 1-3

Homer - 1-3, 1 Ace, 1 SB

Rugs - 0-2

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