Big Rec, Golden Gate Park
The grass was heavy with dew but the infield was bone-dry when the Haywards Journals arrived to take on the San Francisco Barbary Coast in the second match of the 2015 Bay Area Vintage Baseball Season. The sun peeked out from the fog as Brody “Reverend” Romsey took his post in the hurler’s box- a post he was not to relinquish. The good “Reverend” combined with Jesse “Juice” Mallory and the rest of the Barbary Coast’s defense to hold the potent Journals’ offense to naughts in every inning save one.
Rookie Nick Montoya took the hurler’s role once again for the Haywards, after hurling a complete game victory against the New Almaden Cinnabars in the opener. In the first frame, however, the Barbary Coast introduced themselves as a force nouvelle, producing a litany of clean strikes and moving four aces across home plate. The Coasters’ offense ignited behind the confident, smooth swing of the big lead-off lefty, Daniel “Small Plates” Owens, and the gap-power of Peter “Colonel Fresh” Banks, who stroked two doubles on the day.
The Barbary Coast plated another ace in the second frame, when rookie Sammy “Cheesehead” Hoffman achieved first, took a bag or two, and was driven in by the big stick of “Colonel Fresh.” Subsequently, however, Nick Montoya competitively held the line until he was relieved in the fifth by Alex “Padre” Morales, the other half of the Haywards’ battery. “Padre” shut down the Coast in the fifth with his signature submarine style, but relinquished one ace in the sixth, to bring the Coasters’ run total up to six.
Meanwhile, the teamwork of “Reverend” and “Juice” and the redoubtable Coasters’ defense, particularly the outfield, prevented the Journals from scoring in all but the fourth inning, when Ruben “Breeze” Riguero knocked in two aces with a loud double that he just managed to leg into a single.
The game will be remembered for the excellent hurling and work by the behinds on both sides. It is doubtful there was ever a game of Base Ball played at Big Rec with fewer passed balls, stolen bases, or throwing mistakes. Not once did a runner achieve first on a dropped third strike; “Padre” and “Juice” deserve much of the credit. Jaime “Junior” Ramirez, captain of the Journals and erstwhile all-star, deserves mention for filling in seamlessly and flawlessly at shortstop and frustrating the Coasters’ attempts to knock balls through the infield. Nothing got by “Junior” or Nick “Heels” Jeffrey, who played third for the Journals; so the left side of the infield was closed to Coasters’ bats. Both sets of outfielders deserve a massive amount of credit because they allowed hardly a single struck ball to drop anywhere within a hundred yards of Big Rec.
Man-of-the-Match surely goes to the Barbary Coasts’ hurler, Brody “Reverend” Romsey, but in the final analysis, the cranks and the players all won because we shared another fine day of Base Ball on a sunny day in Golden Gate Park.
—Chauncy McGivens, Barbary Coast Dispatch & News