Due to a last minute cancellation by the Cornish Game Hens of Providence, the Ironsides Base Ball Club was asked to fill in for a match game against the Bristol Blues in picturesque South Dartmouth on Saturday. Unfortunately for many members of the Ironsides BBC the announcement to join the game was too short of a notice to attend the games. However, representing the Ironsides along with me were Judy Wallace and Dave Gries along with newcomers Rick Crosby and Steve Rezendes.
Game one started at approximately 1:00 and was played in the style played in the year 1886. Seven balls was all that was needed for a batter to receive a free pass to first base and a hit batters only reward was to stand at home plate and take another shot at hitting. Only one batter was hit during the game (and lived to tell about it) and no one received a free pass via a called 7th ball. Batters were able to call for the pitcher to throw a high or low pitch. On the field the players, with the exception of the catcher, played with out the aid of a gloved hand.
The Ironsides were split up for the first game with the members of the club playing on opposing sides. Steve Rezendes played short stop on a team consisting of three players from the Game Hens, employees from Concordia Company and a Bristol Blue or two. Rick Crosby and I played on the team that was made up mostly of the Bristol Blues. Rick played left field and I had the misfortune of being stuck in right field were I saw no action.
A close seven inning game was played with the scored was tied at 1-1 going in to the 7th. The Bristol Blues scored a run in the 7th to pull off a 2-1 victory.
The second game was started after a lengthy break due to good food, drink and magic bars. The rules of 1861 were played for the second game. Again, the Ironsides were split up for the game. Rick and I played with the Game Hens and some Blues. Rick was stationed at third and I was at second. Judy and Dave played in the second game at left field and second base respectively.
Steve had to leave after the first game and I had to leave during the progress of the second game. The report is that the club with the majority of Blues lost the match in 8 innings of play by a score of 8-4. Everyone played well and the addition of Steve and Rick is a hopeful sign that the Ironsides can come together with a full squad to play on a regular basis for next season.
A record of hits and runs made by the players was not kept for the game. The innings and score was kept by the Bristol Blues’ faithful umpire. The games greatly contributed to the moral improvement of the Ironsides who have had to find other forms of entertainment to keep them occupied while not playing.
Ironsides ballist Judy Wallace reported a video is circulating on YouTube. It is a short (2 minute) video of the Mattapoisett 150th game with the Bristol Blues and Essex Base Ball Club. The video says the game was a circa 1855 game. It was actually 1861 rules we played. And the Bristol Breakers is actually the Blues misidentified. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9WfolZYpgU (Click on the link. The embedded video does not work).