Sneak peek at the new San Francisco Sea Lions jersey.
The board of director's uninously voted to expand the league to 10 teams for next season.
The original BAVBB team, The Dukes, will rise from the ashes and be headed by "Dipper" dan. The team will feature members of the original team (league founder Steve "Cappy" Gazay and son Corey "Pup" Gazay).
Along with the San Jose team, a new San Francisco team will be started. Plans for that team are still forming, but there's a good solid core of players.
A ten team league means a new challenge for scheduling. Board members are debating whether to split the league into two divisions, or play an 18 game season (2 against each team).
The Oakland Colonels have won the first ever Golden Gate Cup.
It was not an easy road, they first had to get throught the Dublin Aces, a match that would go 9 innings and end in a walk-off victory.
To hoist the Cup they would have to beat the Hayward Journals, who upset the season champion San Francisco Pacifcs.
It was a close back-and-forth battle, but the Colonels emerged victorious and will have their name engraved upon the silver cup.
The weather was warm and the cranks were entertained during the championship game at Big Rec in Golden Gate Park.
Team members were announced by Carl "Sir" Gibbs, and an appearance was made by injured Hayward players, "Pops" and "Heels."
The Clarions experienced another season of flux, as has come to be the “norm” for this nascent squad. After the franchise-best season in 2014, the Clarions started the season without two of their biggest run producers and their star center fielder, who traded himself to the Pacs. Yet the Fall Ball recruits once again proved invaluable. Joe "Conquistador" McDermott filled the outfield leadership position with a flair commensurate of his nickname and led the team in just about every offensive stat. Matt "Squeeze" Collins proved an invaluable utility player in the infield and in the squat, and produced solid offensive numbers as well. Dan "Apollo" Stevens (so named because he ran a 50K the day before his first game and a half-marathon two weeks later on the day of his second) proved a versatile player in the infield and outfield. With the mid-season loss of Berkeley founding member and excellent striker and outfielder, Barry "Brick" Chubrik, who moved his family to the Jersey Shore and the land of Bruce Springsteen, the Clarions once again went into recruiting mode, adding three new "A's" to the roster: Andy Goff, Arthur Corpuz, and Alex Parker-Guerrero, all of whom had impressive initial appearances.
As for the veterans, Brad “Frenchy” Gallien ran the show; and the battery of Eric “Shadow” Longeville and Dave “Commander” Garibaldi proved to be one of the most fearsome in the league. “Shadow” led the league in K’s, and nobody steals on “Commander.” With Dave “Driver” Phillips hurling as well, and “Frenchy” playing the second Behind, the Clarions cannot be taken lightly. The Clarions rallied late season with victories over the Barbary Coast and a sweep of the New Alamden Cinnabars.
The New Almaden Cinnabars are no strangers to success in the BAVBB. Three times they have won the title, and while it’s not on for 2015, they made a good run late season to remind Cranks that the ‘Bars are here to stay. The Cinnabars are captained by eminent ballist Scott “Fly” Epperson, and led from the hurler’s box by younger brother, Eric "Tumbleweed" Epperson. It remains impossible to obtain hits to the left side of the infield because of the soft hands and easy, accurate toss of shortstop Ryan "Husker" Svrdlin. “Husker” made innumerable phenomenal plays this season; and if that weren’t enough, he has been lethal with his bat. "Tumbleweed" hurled most of the innings for the ‘Bars this year; hats off to him for enduring the abuse to his arm for five months. First year rookies Mark "Chester" Tellez, Vincent "Pops" Pellegrini, and Abel "Florida" Leon played excellently in their first year and helped to shore up the lineup with clutch hitting and good catches in the garden. “Florida” stepped up big by taking the ball and giving “Tumbleweed” much needed breaks from the hurler's box. Centerfielder Rudy "Holiday" Pitts ran the show in the garden, as he does. Jason "The Kid" Svrdlin came back from a health scare during the ‘Bars absent season in 2014 and contributed in right field and in the striker's box. Captain “Fly” handled second base like he lives there and had his best ever season in the field. Special mention goes out to Vinny "Uno" Pellegrini for donning the gear of the Behind after only one season and willfully allowing his body to become “Tumbleweed's” personal punching bag. “Uno” did a great job behind the plate and his bat was equally impressive. “Uno” hit two homeruns this season, one being an absolute bomb over the left field trees and into the playground at Mosswood Park. “Uno’s” speed on the ‘paths and consistency at the plate earned him the coveted lead-off role in the lineup, and he embraced the challenge with both arms and a ton of ginger.
Overall, the Cinnabars came up a little short this year, by their own high standards; but it was nevertheless a great season and much fun was had by all. The ‘Bars can't wait for next year, and have warned the league that they are coming back with a vengeance. The ‘Bars have three league titles and make no mistake, they intend to make it four in 2016!
The baby flock of Pelicans, under their Captain Matt “Boxcar” Rheinschild and grizzled veterans, Scott “Friendly Fire” Endberg and Joe “Smokey” Menard, spent the first half of the season learning the finer points of vintage base ball. Rookie Donnie Oliveira has looked impressive, hurling great innings for a large part of the season; but the Pelicans have been haunted by the crooked number innings where dropped balls and muffs pile up. The Pelicans have suffered the bane of every vintage game- the long inning in the field. Nevertheless, Nate “Bean” Underwood made your amount of capital plays in the center of the garden despite not having gone a game without being struck by a hurler. Welcome to the league, “Bean!” Kenny “The Groundhog” Wu and Ryan “Sticky” Akerberg bring the ginger to every game and show the heart and determination that keeps the flock of Pelicans together. With the arrival of Stephen “Duce” Nemy and Steven “Starfish” Starfas, combined with a few wins in the latter half of the season, including a dominant performance over the Barbary Coast, the Pelicans are poised to impress in 2016 and demonstrate that they are a team to be feared.
The Barbary Coast are the new boys of the league but most of the Coast are not new to the league. Many are veterans of the BAVBB; notably, Captain and ace hurler, Brody “Reverend” Romsey, who hurled a handful of complete game victories before inevitably wearing out his wing. Invaluable and indefatigable Behind and infielder, Jessie “Juice” Mallory led from the back while Dan-O “Small Plates” Owens ran the garden. In addition to absorbing fly balls, “Small Plates” informed Cranks all year with his sweet lefty swing, lovely as a morning sunrise. Rookies Sam “Badger” Hoffman, Scott “Honey Bear” Denny, Dave Winslow “Doc Spinner” Neale and Mike “Cockroach” Grafton adapted quickly to the vintage game and locked down the outfield for the Coast. “Doc” made the play of the year, chasing down a long fly and securing it backhanded over his head, while “HoneyBear” had a six-for-six day in Hayward. The antonymously named “Badger” burned up the basepaths all year. Veterans Peter “Colonel” Banks and Wes “Dread Pirate Roberts” Goodman-Levy made up the other battery and led the Coast from the strikers’ box. New boys Curtis “Dirtus” Hilger and Brian “Drillbit” Malefant locked down the left side of the infield, while Matt “Achilles Milkman” Peterson and Ferdinand “Toro” Drane rotated on the right side between various and multiple injuries. Once again “Toro” led the team in getting thrown out at the plate and elsewhere on the bases; yet he is sure to run next year, so teams be warned!
The Coast made a midseason run at a playoff spot but hit hurdles hailing from New Almaden and Berkeley. Nevertheless they performed admirably in their first season and it is unlikely any team will make the mistake of writing them off for 2016. All to play for!
The BAVBB wishes a speedy recovery to Nick “Heels” Jeffrey and thanks the many ballists who pitched in.
The 2015 Bay Area Vintage Baseball Season is heading into the homestretch. With a break over the 4th of July weekend, it’s time to update Cranks on how the season is unfolding.
The San Francisco Pacifics
The reigning champion San Francisco Pacifics recently moved into first place. The Pacifics have relied on teamwork, team spirit, and fundamentals to play consistently all year. Under captain Sage “Buttercup Bray and with veteran leaders like Charles “Cha-Cha” Ackerley, Sean “Spikes” Lawrence and Curtis “Gent” Seymour, it is not a surprise that the Pacs are in the vanguard. That the Pacs have conceded the fewest runs of any team speaks to the excellence of their defense, led by shortstop Justin “Grinder” Teisl and play anywhere/everywhere stalwart, Lester “Shoestring” Lee. Add to that the steady hurling of Eric “Jumbo” Petitt and that of the bespectacled rookie, Will “Cleveland” Hartmann - not to mention the solid Behind played all year, despite the long backstop of Big Rec- by Peter “Bones” McAfee; and it is clear why the Pacs are winning ball games. The middle of the order- Evan “Woodchuck” Meagher and Terry “Doc” Renaud - have been generating runs; and the Pacs have benefited from the off-season acquisition of the former Clarion and star centerfielder, Brian “Bolt” Faudree. “Bolt” has stepped in seamlessly to replace injured centerfielder and commissioner, Matt “Ranger” Petty. Now that “Ranger” is back from injury, look for the Pacifics to make a strong sprint to the finish, and expect to see them at the BAVBB cup August 15th and 16th.
The Haywards Journals
The Haywards Journals led the league until a recent pair of setbacks, but it would be a mistake to write them off. Led by Captain Jaime “Junior” Ramirez and coach Jose “Tomahawk” Corral, the Journals tore through the first half of the season. New addition Nick “Pebbles” Montoya has been a revelation in the hurler's box, in the field, and at the plate. Nick “Heels” Jeffrey picked up where he left off last year, stroking balls around the park and fielding flawlessly; Ruben “Breeze” Riguero has displayed exceptionally soft hands at first base; and what more can be written about the Morales boys? Berto “Rocky” Morales at shortstop and in the hurler's box, Alex “Padre” Morales behind the plate and in the hurler's box, and Big Berto “Pops” Morales in the hurler's box and in the infield- it’s almost like they grew up playing together! Hector “Catch” Del Rio has stepped up his game at the plate this year, and Emilo “Hops” Pagan continues to deny hits in centerfield. Stay tuned because the Journals are in it to win it in 2015.
The Oakland Colonels
The Oakland Colonels added to their squad in the off-season and are challenging for the title. Captain Matt “Chops” Siee has managed his side into a tie for second place and in no small part due to his excellent and prolific hurling. Jason “Tools” Rich has also hurled solid games; and along with Ben “Professor” Texiera, the Colonels possess an excellent ‘pen of hurlers. Of course, the staff is handled by the lefty striker and intimidating Behind, Luis “Mule” Argueta. On the field and in the trenches, you want him on your side. Michael “Cadaver” Sanchez has been hot at the plate, regularly driving balls into left field. Other Colonels stars are the rookies, Clay “Shooter” Ciccareiello, who has solidified the outfield with steady play in center; and Jabar “Stretch” Milton. “Stretch” has inspired the Colonels with his ginger, heart, and team attitude. He exemplifies how the Colonels’ team spirit has carried them within one game of first place.
The Dublin Aces
The relocated Dublin Aces (formerly of Fremont) occupy the last playoff place. Captain Chris “Snakecharmer” Jenson has maintained the Aces’ excellence despite personnel changes; in particular losing in the off-season, hurler and last season’s home run champ, Bryan “BB” Bayham; and now, Landon “Lucky” Ott, erstwhile hurler and all-around ballist. Stepping into the void, however, is Cory “Pup” Gazay, son of BAVBB founder Steve “Cappy” Gazay. “Pup” is leading the Aces from the Hurler’s box and at the plate. He is striking the ball at an amazing .800 rate. Casey “Fingers” Hammonds and “Snakecharmer” round out the hurling rotation; you won’t find a better bullpen anywhere in the bay area, nor more lefties. Robbie “Spanky” Sullivan has filled in excellently for Matthew “Coop” Cooper as the Behind, and veteran Dan “Dipper” Smith has improved his fielding at second and has provided key strikes from the left side of the plate. The new players to look out for are Wes “Dirty” Sandoval at the top of the order and in the outfield; Travis Setterbo, who hits well and has sure hands as the third keeper; and Ryan “Lumber” Smith- if you see him in the strikers’ box, tell the outfielders to take a few steps back. The Aces and BAVBB wish Landon “Lucky” Ott all the best in Albany, NY; we expect “Lucky” to start or join a vintage league so that we may coordinate a trip back east to promote our game.
Part two next,
Your humble scribe,
Fallon Sports Park, Dublin
The New Almaden Cinnabars are back for 2015 after a years’ sabbatical, and the Aces relocated to Dublin, but neither team missed a beat in playing out an epic match on Sunday.
The Dublin Aces started Ramsay "Doc" Rhodes in the Hurlers’ Box against the very tough Eric "Tumbleweed" Epperson for the Cinnabars. "Tumbleweed" held the Aces scoreless through the first four innings, while recording seven of his nine strikeouts during that span. "Doc" and "Tumbleweed" punched out a combined ten of twelve batsmen in the second and third innings. Impressively, “Tumbleweed” hurled all 8 innings for the Cinnabars.
On to the scoring: The Cinnabars plated two men in the 1st, 4th and 5th innings before the Aces finally rallied for two of their own in the bottom of the 5th, making the score 6-2 in favor of the Cinnabars heading into the homestretch.
Tumbleweed fiercely and relentlessly missed the Aces’ bats until the bottom of the seventh, when the Aces finally put wood to ball. The Aces sent nine Strikers to the box and plated four of them, tying the score at six, and sending the game into extras.
Next came the exciting 8th inning. Aces’ rookie, Ryan Smith, after blanking the Cinnabars in his first two innings of work, looked like he was about to make it three in a row; the bases were loaded with two outs and young Mr. Smith struck out the last batter. His tricky hurl, however, escaped the Behind, Corey "Pup" Gazay. Mr. Smith correctly covered Home Plate while Pup retrieved the ball, and in a bang-bang play at the plate, the Sir, Riley Rhodes, called out the runner barreling in from third. Yet the play was so close that the good Sir, in his infinite wisdom, requested a Cranks’ Call. The Cranks ruled in favor of the visiting Cinnabars, and their runner was accorded an ace.
Bravely battling on, Mr. Smith and the Aces achieved the third hand with the next striker, keeping the score at 7-6 Cinnabars, with all to play for; and with the onus on the Aces to come back again in the bottom half of the inning.
For the Aces, Captain Chris "Snakecharmer" Jensen led off the bottom half of the eighth and reached with a single. Mike "Stallion" Serafini struck the ball sharply up the middle, but the ‘Bars nimble shortstop, Ryan "Husker" Svrdlin, made a fantastic block and deflected the ball to Scott "Fly" Epperson, who threw the speedy Stallion out at first. Yet the well-struck ball advanced Aces’ captain Snakecharmer to second on the Fielders’ Choice. BAVBB veterans Steve "Hammy" Journeay and Steve "Cappy" Gazay, and rookie Travis Setter, then produced successive singles to tie the game at seven apiece.
Cue the drama: with the bases loaded and one Hand down, "Dipper" Dan Smith stepped into the Striker’s box. Down in the count and with two strikes against, “Dipper” Dan swung mightily and CRUSHED the ball down the first base line. Players from both teams and the many Cranks looked on in AWE as the ball rolled thirty, maybe forty feet from home plate. Never in the history of Base Ball was there ever a more timely swinging bunt, than on this day, at that moment. “Dipper” sprinted ably albeit slowly to first, while “Tumbleweed” showed spirit in fielding the finely-struck ball. Yet despite the Hurler’s athletic play, the fleet “Hammy” beat the play to the plate and scored the winning ace, without reinjuring his eponymous leg muscle.
The Aces, for the first time in their long history, gave the game ball to their man-of-the-match, “Dipper” Dan. Not only did he win the game with his massive walk-off single, but he also made a spectacular running catch earlier in the game in the right-center field gap.
Yet credit must be divided evenly for a fine day of Base Ball; the Cinnabars played an excellent match, and honorable mention goes to their Behind, Vinny "Uno" Pellegrini, for holding down the dish as the ‘Bars Behind. Also, compliments to Cinnabars’ Rookie right-fielder Mark "Chester" Tellez, who recorded his first hits for the Cinnabars, stroking two balls deep into the left-center gap.
Cranks look forward to the rematch in San Jose, Sunday June 14th, at 9.30am in Paul Moore Park.
-Quincy Samsquanch, Dublin Recorder
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
The turn out wasn't great, but some quality guys (and gals) showed up to represent our league in front of a large and spirited crowd on Sunday in downtown San Francisco.
Troup 79 set off at around noon, walking down 2nd St. towards Market. Dipper Dan and his wife led the Charge with their freshly sewn banner for the Dublin Aces (a fitting new city), along With Stallion, Ranger, Reverand, Milkman, Dread Pirate and Joe (who has yet to earn his nickname).
The enthusiastic group played catch with the crowd, batted a few grounders and chanted some hearty Huzzahs.
After making their way down Market to City Hall, they preformed a short re-inactment of game play as the announcer talked about the league.
It was a fantastic day for the league, and we surely gained a few cranks out of it.
Ballist should consider attending next year.
How often do you get to play catch in the middle of Market St.?
Flashing the leather.