28 August 2017
This season was the most closely contested season of Bay Area Vintage Base Ball. The quality of play has been outstanding and the results nail-biting and fiercely challenged. There were more one-run games, extra-innings games, and walk-offs than in any previous season. Any team could have beat any team on any given Sunday, and that is what happened.
Yet! The Bay Area Vintage Base Ball regular season concluded this past weekend with the Hayward Journals taking the title, with Captains Jamie “Junior” Ramirez and Jose “Tomahawk” Corral leading the way. The Haywards displayed consistency and discipline all season, and represented all the best of BAVBB: fundamentals of Base Ball- defense, hurling, and timely offense- and most importantly, the gentlemanly spirit of the BAVBB. The Haywards earned their title. What’s more, the Haywards fielded the first full-time female player, Andrea “Gopher” soon-to-be Morales, and what may be the first middle infield domestic partnership, along with All-Star Berto “Rocky” Morales, to turn a double play. Huzzah to the Journals and credit to them for exemplifying everything for which the BAVBB stands.
The San Francisco Pacifics were dethroned despite an excellent season. The Pacs, led by Sage “Buttercup” Bray, finished a close second because of their rock-solid defense, hitting, hurling, and aggressive baserunning. The Pacifics play Base Ball the right way. They will challenge again for the title.
The Berkeley Clarions finished third behind new father and the new leadership of Chase “Battery” Hoblitzell, the veteran Brad “Frenchy” Gallien, and a host of new and veteran players. The Clarions hit, played excellent defense, and won ball games. Congratulations to the Clarions for a fine season.
Deep in the east bay, the Dublin Aces came off a slow start to muscle their way to a winning record and a fourth-place finish. Led by captain Casey “Fingers” Hammonds, the Aces, in their black-and-gold uniforms and with their correct style of Ball, laid a marker for next year.
The San Francisco Barbary Coast started the season strong but faded as summer wore on; behind captain Brody “Reverend” Romsey the Coasters managed to split with almost every team and finished with a clean .500 record. The Coast looks strong heading into the Cup, so teams, beware!
The San Francisco Pelicans finished strong, yet sixth. Injuries affected the squad, notably their excellent hurler “Gator;” but captain Matt “Boxcar” Rheinschild rallied the bats, gloves, and the men, and the Pelicans produced fine performances to put wins on the board.
The San Jose Dukes started terribly but came on strong behind the leadership of George “Dipper Dan” Smith and the battery of Corey “Pup” Gazay (co-founder of the league) and Vinny “Uno” Pelligrini. The Dukes are to be lauded for most distance traveled to play Base Ball and that is itself a form of victory, because any day playing Base Ball is a good day. We look forward to seeing the Dukes in the Cup!
The Oakland Colonels had their moments but the glory from 2015's Cup victory faded this season in the shadows of Mosswood and left the Colonels in seventh, despite the best efforts of veteran Captain Matt “Chops” Siee, Luis “Mule” Arguello, and Ben “Professor” Texara. The Colonels are down but never out, so expect them to show in the Cup.
In last place came the San Francisco Sea Lions, but there is a silver lining. Naji “Skip” Ali brought in a few new players and the Sea Lions went from a team that everyone expected to beat to a team that can win on any given Sunday. There are no bad teams in the BAVBB, and the Lions are on the up. Watch out!
The Bay Area Vintage Base Ball league is the best Base Ball happening in the Bay Area, and it’s only going to get more exciting as we play through the Golden Gate Cup and All-Star game. Forget about these new-fangled modern teams- the best Ball you’ll see this summer is at Dublin Fallon Sports Grounds, September 10th, and Big Rec, Golden Gate Park, September 16th and 17th. Come one, come all. Choose a team and Crank your heart out if you love the game of Base Ball. It’s free, it’s fun, and we play Base Ball as it was meant to be played.
Yours in Faith,