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  • Base Ball Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This

    Grinder of the Pacifics made a unfathomable play to keep the Pacs ahead of the Haywards Journals.

    San Francisco Bay Area, 7 May, 2017

    The Bay Area Vintage Base Ball League has never been more exciting.  The last two weekends saw six of eight matches resolved by a single ace, two in extra innings.  The league has never been more competitive, nor more closely and evenly contested.

    On Sunday, April 30th, the San Francisco Sea Lions, in their second year, traveled to Mosswood Park in Oakland to take on the veteran Oakland Colonels.  The match required all of the Colonels’ experience and nous to defeat the fledgling Sea Lions by the razor-thin margin of 5-4.  It was an encouraging result for the Sea Lions, led by Naji “Skip” Ali, and a professional win for the Colonels, led by Matt “Chops” Siee.

    In the match of the weekend, between the two top teams of 2016, the San Francisco Pacifics rallied to defeat the Haywards Journals, 5-4, in a tense, tactical battle.  Both teams played exquisite defense behind excellent hurlers.  For the Journals, Berto “Rocky” Morales fired darts to the other half of his battery, Alex “Padre” Morales; whereas the Pacs were led by ace Eric “Jumbo” Petit.  The game was decided in the end by grit, determination, and as always, a bit of luck; Pacs’ outfielder and commissioner of the league, Matt “Ranger” Petty won man of the match for timely hits and gingers in the garden.

    Later that day, the San Francisco Barbary Coast eked past the San Francisco Pelicans, 4-3.  It was a tense affair, with runners thrown out at the plate and at every other base; fittingly the game was won with the home team Pelicans threatening with a man on third and two hands, only to have a trailing runner caught in a pickle between second and an occupied third, for the final out.  Base Ball is a game of fine margins and questionable decisions- inches, as they say.

    In the East Bay game of the day, the San Jose Dukes and captain Dan “Dipper” Smith visited their cousins, the Dublin Aces, and the home Aces came away with a hard-fought 9-7 victory, behind captain Casey “Fingers” Hammonds.

    Never had there been a weekend with slimmer margins of victory, until…the following Sunday, May 7th.

    In the East Bay, the Haywards Journals skimmed past the Oakland Colonels at Mosswood, winning by the slender margin of 8-7.  It was another battle of veteran minds, Jamie “Junior” Ramirez leading the Haywards, and Matt “Chops” Siee leading the Colonels.  It could not have been closer without ending in a draw.

    At Big Rec, the early game was a thirteen-inning thriller between the San Francisco Pacifics and the San Francisco Pelicans.  Both teams had chances to win but defense and close plays kept the teams neck-and-neck for the length of almost two complete games.  In the end, the Pelicans plated the winning run in what is now the longest game in BAVBB history.

    Solid defence has helped the Sea Lions close the margin of aces in their games. Einstein flashing the leather here. The league in general is playing the best defence we've seen in the league.

    The second game at Big Rec featured the San Jose Dukes visiting the San Francisco Sea Lions.  Despite acquiring veteran and all-star second baseman, Mike “Bearcat” Lewis, the Sea Lions were no match for the Dukes and their star hurler, veteran and co-founder of the league, Corey “Pup” Gazay.  The match finished 14-2, in favor of the Dukes.

    In the final match of the day, which lasted until sundown, the San Francisco Barbary Coast battled the Berkeley Clarions through 9 innings and finished with a walk-off by Greg “Sparks” Castro, starting hurler, to win 11-10.  And as excellent as were the hurlers, the true stars of the match were the Behinds- Wes “Dread Pirate” Goodman Levy for the Coast, and “Nemo” for the Clarions- both played all nine from the squat and both pegged out runners and had timely hits.  Matt “Milkman” Peterson and Dan-O “Small Plates” Owens had key RBIs for the Coast prior to Sparky’s walkoff two-RBI final nail in the coffin.

    Cranks, don’t miss another weekend of Bay Area Vintage Base Ball!  It is the best free show in town.  Guaranteed!

    No matches will be played this weekend out of deference to all the wonderful Mothers out there, but play will resume the weekend of May 21st, though not at Big Rec, owing to Bay-to-Breakers.  Stay tuned to the website for schedules and scores, pick a team to back, and come out to your local park and see why the BAVBB is the best show in town!

    Yours, in Faith,

    C. Emerson Winchester III

    Top: Carl officiated 29 innings of base ball on May 7th. The day ended with the Coasters defeating the Clarions in 9 innings.

      

  • BAVBB and the Oakland Athletics

    The Annual A's game is back! That's right, the day that brought us "peak fandom" last year and this gang the year before, is set to be the biggest yet.

    The league is offering a prize to the team that brings the most players and cranks to the yard. The team that can drum up the most support will win a box of vintage base balls. We always need a few extra of those and they're practically on the level of gold in our league, so that should motivate a few of you.

    Don't be shy, bring thy neighbor, bring thy wife. Each person in period appropriate garb counts as a point towards your prize winning entourage.

    Please go here to sign up.

  • The 2017 opening day report

    March 12, 2017

    Spring is in the air, and opening day finally happened for the Bay Area Vintage Baseball League.  The league format for 2017 is a single division of nine teams, and that means eight teams kicked off the season on Sunday.  Upsets were the theme of the day.  The resurgent Dublin Aces put in a stellar performance against the very strong San Francisco Pelicans, winning their match 15-2.  The Berkeley Clarions defeated the Hayward Journals, 5-4, in a walk-off by Dave “Driver” Phillips.  This despite the Haywards’ excellent Behind throwing out four runners from the dish, and savvy hurling by both squads.  The Journals were undefeated last season until the final, and there is no chance they will take this defeat lightly.  The San Jose Dukes had the tying runs on base when they made the final out in a tense, 10-12 defeat to the reigning champions, the San Francisco Pacifics.  The Dukes and the Aces have strengthened their squads with the addition of new players, including veterans from the New Almaden Cinnabars.  The East/South Bay is looking rejuvenated.  In the late game at Big Rec, the San Francisco Barbary Coast took an early lead against the San Francisco Sea Lions and never looked back, coasting to a 34-5 victory.

    Thanks to all the Sirs for making it happen; and thanks to the Cranks for coming out, enjoying a lovely, free day of baseball at the park, and for supporting the league.  Fingers crossed, weather will permit the first weekend’s matches to be made up this Sunday, March 19th, and that the Oakland Colonels will get off the blocks, as they are surely champing at the bit!

    Stay tuned to this page for updates, schedules, results, and reports.

    Faithfully,

    Mordecai Fassbinder

  • Opening day a wash

    It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. The sun is shining but the rain is falling; the grass is overjoyed but the infield is soggy. Cranks must wait another week for the start of the BAVBB 2017 season. All games were cancelled everywhere in the bay area owing to field conditions: Golden Gate Park, Berkeley, Oakland, and San Jose. We all cheer for rain except on Sundays! The BAVBB will kick off again next Sunday; cranks stay tuned to this page for updates on rescheduled matches.

    Faithfully, Veracity Jackson-Swift

  • A trip to the home of the Athletics

    A trip to the home of the Athletics

    The league made its annual voyage to the home field of the Oakland A's on Saturday. Players and cranks gathered in lot A for a round of drinks and charred meat products. 

    Soon after entering the stadium, Juice trascked down a foul ball and lobbed it into the group. The very young Harper Demmons ended up with the ball, and fully enjoyed it.

    The scene was captured on the TV broadcast and mentioned on MLB's CUT4 blog. They called our group "peak fandom," which is a great honor for our group. Perhaps a great tribute to our gentlemanly ways!

    Having been seen by television crew, we were asked if we would take part in the trivia quiz during the 5th inning. A group headed down and waited to go on the jumbo tron.

    Luckily for us, the trivia was period appropriate and lady crank and commissioner wife, Annie Shaw answered it confidently.

    A great time was had by all and we look forward to doing it again next year.

  • Haywards Roll On

    15th of May, 2016

    Mosswood, Park

    The Haywards Journals pulled a bit further away from the rest of the southern division on Sunday, defeating the Oakland Colonels 11-3 at Mosswood Park.  The match began cagily, with each team plating aces through the first three frames and putting up a donut in the fourth; so that the fifth inning began all square at three-a-piece.  But the Haywards’ bats then came to life, driving balls through the dodgy Mosswood infield and past the mitts of the Colonels’ fielders.  The Haywards plated eight aces in the final three frames, while ace hurler, Berto “Rocky” Morales silenced the Colonels’ bats the rest of the way, allowing no runs in the final four frames and finishing a complete game with thirteen strikeouts and three allowed.

    For the J's, the defense started shaky but straightened out after a few innings.  Jose “Hawk” Corral caught a ball in right field after it caromed off the massive oak tree that looms over the line and continued down through the branches and leaves, into his waiting mitt.  Nick “Heels” Jeffrey flagged down a line drive at second base and doubled off a Colonel trying to get a headstart to third. Big Berto “Pops” Morales displayed the blazing speed of a young cheetah to track down a ball in left field in the top of the seventh.

    The Colonels may not have felt it was their finest home performance, but they provided a few gingers in the field.  Luis “Mule” Argueta handled duties behind the plate with his steely demeanor and kept the Haywards from taking bases, while rookie Colonel Paul “Buc” Ash tended the centerfield garden with grace and sure hands.  What’s more, the Colonels helped themselves by picking off a Hayward greenhorn at first using that old chestnut, the hidden ball trick.  The Journals’ base coaches went missing on that play!

    For the Colonel’s offense, Captain Matt “Chops” Siee scored two of the three runs with lead-off singles followed by stolen bases.  Veteran John “Bull” Davenport scored the other run in the third inning on a base knock by “Squeaky.”

    In another notable incident, the match was briefly interrupted by a flying contraption, similar to something one might see in DaVinci’s sketchbooks, that hovered over the field before buzzing off back to the future.  Cranks referred to it as a “Drone,” and if that is what the future holds in store, this reporter is happy remaining in 1886.Huzzah to the Journals and the Colonels as they played a fine match with grit and grace.

    Faithfully Recorded On This Day,

    Jeremiah Jacksonsson

  • Playoff Schedule Announced!

    15 April 2016

    As avid Cranks are aware, the BAVBB added two new teams in 2016: the San Jose Dukes and the San Francisco Sea Lions, bringing the total number of Bay Area Vintage Base Ball teams to ten.  Huzzah and welcome, Ballists! In order to facilitate local rivalries and reduce travel, the league created two divisions of five teams:

    North/West Division:                                                     South/East Division:

    Berkeley Clarions                                                             Dublin Aces

    San Francisco Barbary Coast                                        Dublin Cinnabars

    San Francisco Pacifics                                                     Hayward Journals

    San Francisco Pelicans                                                    Oakland Colonels

    San Franciso Sea Lions                                                   San Jose Dukes

    During the course of the season each team will play home and away within its division, and once against each team in the rival division.  The champion will be decided when the NW winner meets the SE winner at Dublin Sports Ground, field 3, at noon on Sunday, August 14th.

    In addition to the BAVBB championship trophy, teams will compete in a single elimination Cup tournament for the Golden Gate Cup.  All teams will compete, and the first round will be played in Dublin before and after the Championship game: 9 vs 8 at 10am and 10 vs 7 at 3pm.  There will be barbeque, festivities, and best of all, Base Ball all day long!

    The second round of the Golden Gate Cup will be held at Big Rec the following weekend, Sunday August 21st. The remaining eight teams will play four games and the Cranks at Golden Gate Park will be treated to a full day of vintage Base Ball, food, and music.

    The Oakland Colonels were the winners of the Golden Gate Cup last year

    The final weekend of the season will be a two-day affair; the Golden Gate Cup Semifinal round will be held onSaturday, August 27th, with the remaining four teams competing for spots in the final to be held the following day, Sunday, August 28th, at Big Rec Park, at noon.  The Cup final will be followed by the All-Star game at 3pm.

    Cranks and Ballists, mark your calendars- August will be a magical month for Base Ball in the Bay Area!

    Your Faithful Reporter,

    Horatio Handley-Hamfacker

  • Read all about it: Journals 12, Pelicans 6

     

    3 April 2016

    Big Rec Park, San Francisco

    The cold, foggy marine layer peeled back over Big Rec Park on Sunday just in time to reveal a Base Ball match between the visiting Journals of Hayward and the newly-revamped San Francisco Pelicans. 

    The Pelicans gave debuts to two rookie hurlers, while the Journals handed the ball to veteran Jose “Tomahawk” Corral.  Though the match was well-fought and close, it proved once again there is no substitute for experience.  “Tomahawk” hurled a complete game for the J’s, confusticating the Pelicans’ sticks with his high-release, short-armed fastballs and quick-pitches, followed by looping Eephus lobs.  “Hawk,” too, fielded his position with aplomb, adroitly tagging out a Pelican runner who exercised undue faith in the long backstop of Big Rec in an unfortunate attempt to steal home.

    The Pelicans stayed close with the help of centerfielder, Nate “Bean” Underwood, who allowed nothing, not one bomb, not one dying quail, to fall in centerfield.  By the end of the game the Journals had all but given up on trying to strike the ball in his direction.  The Pelicans’ infield held its own as well, as second baseman, Steven Starfas, stabbed a wicked opposite field line strike with his backhand off the stick of Haywards’ newcomer, “Twig,” and doubled the runner off second, killing another J’s rally in the sixth. The other half of the Haywards’ battery, “Stubbles,” not only provided pop from the striker’s box, hitting a tape-measure triple and driving in runs; he also called a wonderful game from behind the dish.  Working together, “Hawk” and “Stubbles” never let the count run over three balls and “Stubbles” kept almost every hurl in front, only allowing two balls to escape to the remote backstop of Big Rec, thereby slowing the Pelicans’ running game.

    What’s more, the Journals possessed an intangible factor that contributed to their win- Nick “Heels” Jeffrey, returning from devastating injury last year bearing a new, smaller version of himself to Crank it up for the J’s, provided the extra bit of inspiration for the Haywards to overcome a strong Pelican side.

     

    -Turgiss McGuillicutty, Sunset Dispatch