After what's been a rough season for the Grays on a number of levels, we managed to put in an excellent performance at this year's Base Ball at Old Bethpage festival on August 2nd and 3rd. It was a well-timed boost for everyone who made the trip.
We started on Saturday by beating Elizabeth 18-7. It was a well played game, Scott Olson pitched, and we held the lead most of the way while avoided any disaster innings.
In between games I bought two bats from Bulldog, including an awesome 40" model, which was immediately put into use against Elkon in an 1864 match. After a rain delay of an hour or so, the second game went pretty similarly to the first, Scott pitching, consistent defense, no meltdowns, and we won 10-7.
At that point, half the team called it a day, while the other half, showing the trademark Grays lack of common sense, agreed to fill in for a third consecutive game, making up half of a picked nine to play the Beaneaters, as everyone on Elizabeth, their scheduled opponent, other than Mike Flanigan decided to go home when it was raining. Tony McClellan pitched well in a 13-3 losing effort, with Scott catching.
We then retired to a period barn on the park grounds for the traditional barbecue and a very pleasant surprise. Big Bat, from the New York Mutuals announced that the Old Bethpage Village and the tournament had created the Joe Start award
for "For excellence in historical presentation and dedication to 19th Century Base Ball," and that the Grays were the award's first recipients. This was, needless to say, very gratifying, especially when it feels like the vintage game as a whole is getting less accurate rather than moreso.
Our first game Sunday was against the Boston Beaneaters, who have basically pummeled us in previous engagements. Yesterday, Mike Duggan pitched a fine game for us, and we grappled them into a 7-7 tie after 9 innings, at which point our time was up, and we had to move onto the next game. We blew a few chances to put the game away in the final innings, but in this case a tie has to count as a significant upset for the Grays.
The final game against the Glen Head Zig Zags was equally close, with Mike again pitching a second consecutive game in another display of Grays imprudence. This time we sealed the deal winning 13-12, with Eric Olson boldly charging home from third on a come-backer to the pitcher by EAC member Mike Flanigan, who filled in at center field in both games.
All in all, it was the best weekend the Grays have had in a long time.here.