• Opening Day: Oakland Colonels 8, Berkeley Clarions 5

    March 1st, San Pablo Park, Berkeley

    The Oakland Colonels visited the Berkeley Clarions at San Pablo Park to open the 2015 BAVBB season under clear albeit breezy skies. Ace Eric “Shadow” Longville took the ball for the Clarions, and Jason “Tools” Rich for the Colonels, so Cranks expected a hurlers’ duel.  

    Nevertheless, the Colonels racked up three aces in the top of the first, making the most of the windy conditions and capitalizing on a two-run knock by Luis “Mule” Argueta and an unfortunate throwing error by the Clarions.  

    “Shadow” took over for the next few innings, striking out the side once, and with the help of Dave “Commander” Garibaldi, collecting two foul-tip strikeouts. Yet the Colonels added three more in the top of the fourth, again capitalizing on Clarions’ defensive mistakes.   

    The Clarions, undaunted, answered in the bottom of the fourth, putting three aces on the board and bringing the match to within reach, at 6-4. Dave “Driver” Phillips contributed with a well-struck double, and Chase “Battery” Hoblitzell provided a two-run single in a tight situation with two hands.  

    Yet like the champions of old, the Colonels pressed on and added two insurance aces in the top of the seventh, while holding the Clarions to one in the bottom half.  The win goes to Jason “Tools” Rich and the save to team captain, Matt “Chops” Siee.   

    It must be noted, however, that Clarions’ ace, Eric “Shadow” Longville hurled a complete game with 14 K's- a masterpiece - but not enough for the home team to prevail.

    — BAVBB Wire Services

  • Opening Day: Dublin Aces 12, San Francisco Pelicans 9

    March 1st, Big Rec, Golden Gate Park 

    Old Clubs with new faces took the field Sunday afternoon for the second half of the opening day double header at Big Rec. Compared to the cagey first match of the day, it was fireworks, as the Aces and Pelicans came out swinging to start the match. The Aces, renowned for their powerful veteran strikers and looking fearsome in their all-black kit, struck the ball as if the off-season never happened.   The Aces took up the offensive form that led them to a second-place finish last year, by putting up four in the top half of the first.  

    Rookie Pelican hurler, Donnie Oliviera, admitted to being nervous on his debut, but settled down after the first, kept his composure, and threw darts to keep the Aces’ bats at bay for the next four frames.  His squad, undeterred by the Aces’ offensive prowess, came back with three aces of their own in the bottom of the first frame.  Game on!  Yet offense came at a premium over the next few innings as both teams tightened up and produced a series of naughts on the board. In the bottom of the fourth, however, the Pelicans tallied two aces to take a 5-4 lead.  Perhaps that was the catalyst that sparked the Aces’ bats back to life, as they came alive in the top of the fifth inning, pushing five aces across, to take a 9-5 lead; they added three more in the sixth, making it 12-5.  The Pelicans countered with solid hitting and recorded three in the sixth and one in the seventh, but in the end it wasn’t enough; and despite excellent defense and hurling on both sides, the Aces’ balanced offensive attack won the day. 

    Chris “Snakecharmer” Jensen started in the hurler’s box for the Aces, but was replaced by Casey “Fingers” Hammonds after the second.  “Fingers” hurled a solid four innings, fielded his position with aplomb, and went 3-3 at the plate with two runs batted in and two aces scored - a fine day for the big lefty.  Matthew “Coop” Cooper also delivered a man-of-the-match performance for the Aces by playing the Behind for six innings and then closing out the game in the hurler’s box.  Aces’ newboys, Ryan Smith, Travis Setterbo, and Wes Sandoval showed some vintage ginger by playing excellent defense and hitting a collective 5-9. Huzzah, the lads!

    For the Pelicans, rookie Donnie Oliviera had an exceptional debut and looks to be a formidable hurler and all-around ballist. When Donnie left the game he was on for the win; alas, it wasn’t to be.  Veterans Scott “Friendly Fire” Enberg struck the ball well and Alex “Tick-Tock” Entrekin held down the position of the Behind, as he does, and also finished the game for the Pelicans with his intimidating hard-throwing, short-arm hurling style.  Most credit, though, goes to the Pelicans’ rookies, of which there are nine, who took on the Aces fearlessly.  Nate Underwood made a leaping catch in deep centerfield to end the second inning, keeping the game in reach; and the riveting bearded wookie, I mean, rookie, Ryan Akerberg, not only smashed one deep into the gap in left-center to drive in two, but also debuted seamlessly as the Behind when Tick-Tock took the mound.

    Special thanks all the Cranks who came out to spend the day watching Base Ball and especially to Carl “The Sir” Gibbs for calling a flawless double header and representing the very best of BAVBB traditions.

    In the end, as shadows lengthened across Big Rec and opening day reached its denouement, all agreed it was a glorious day for the Bay Area Vintage Base Ball League.  We look forward to the next round of matches to be held on Sunday, March 15th.

    Your Humble Scribe,

    Alphabemricus Jackson

  • Opening Day: Hayward Journals 7, New Almaden Cinnabars 3

    March 1, Paul Moore Park, San Jose

    The Hayward Journals opened their season with a hard fought victory over the New Almaden Cinnabars.  Journals’ rookie, Nick Montoya, hurled a complete game victory in his BAVBB debut.  The J’s demonstrated their offensive prowess in the strikers’ box and on the basepaths.  Alex “Padre” Morales went 4-4 with a 2-run inside the park round-tripper, while Ruben “Breeze” Riguero went 3-4, and Emilio “Hops” Pagan employed his pace to steal three bases from the ‘Bars.

    The Cinnabars fought hard to contain the Journals’ offense.  Scott “Fly” Epperson made many fine stops at second base.  Special recognition goes to the Cinnabars’ Behind, Vince “Uno” Pelligrini, who withstood a brutal assault of rogue hurls while containing the Journals’ running game, even taking one straight off the mask and yet shaking it off to continue the match.

    The Journals’ captain wishes to thank the Cinnabars for hosting a fine match on a lovely late winters’ day.

    -Alphabemricus Jackson

  • Opening Day: Barbary Coast 6, Pacifics 7

    On possibly one of the sunniest days ever recorded at Golden Gate Park's Big Rec fields, The Local 9 of two of the San Francisco teams took to the green grass and fresh dirt for the first game of the season. 

    Brody "Reverend" Romsey led his Barbary Coast gang by hurling a complete game, giving up very little in the early innings, but becoming a bit more suseptable to hard contact later in the game. The Pacifics countered with Eric "Jumbo" Petitt, Evan "Woodchuck" Meagher, Terry "Doc" Renaud and finally, Justin "Grinder" Teisl closed the door. 

    The pitching was the story today, as there wasn't much offence, and the aces tallied were mostly single ace innings. The Barbary Coast team led the match most of the day, but the Pacifics just eeked-out enough hitting in the bottom of the 6th to jump ahead, and hold the lead.

    —Melvin Spuggs, keeping an eye on patches of grass

    The players for each team are:

    San Francisco Barbary Coast: Curtis Hilger, Brody "Reverend" Romsey, Ferdinand "Toro" Drane, Jesse "The Butcher" Mallory, Peter "Colonel" Banks, Scott Denny, Brian Malenfant, Matthew "Milkman" Peterson, Daniel "Small Plates" Owens, Wesley "Dread Pirate" Goodman-Levy, Michael Grafton, Sam Hoffmann, David Neale

    San Francisco Pacifics: Matthew "Ranger" Petty, Sage "Buttercup" Bray, Peter "Bones" McAfee, Terry "Doc" Renaud, Evan "Woodchuck" Meagher, Sean "Spikes" Lawrence, Curtis "Gent" Seymour, Justin "Grinder" Teisl, Brian "Bolt" Faudree, Lester "Shoestring" Lee, Eric "Jumbo" Petitt, Charles "Cha Cha" Ackerley

  • BAVBB board votes on five issues, all pass

    Dear BAVBB’ers,

    Team Captains and board members met to kick off the 2015 season.  Our esteemed commissioner, Matt “Ranger” Petty, brought up five issues for discussion and vote. 

    1. The catchers glove: Yea or nay, shall we continue to allow the use of the Shoeless Joe 1915 catcher's mitt with the webbing removed (The one we used in the 2014 season). The 1930 Dazzy Vance glove with webbing removed and four fingers optionally laced together will be allowed either way the vote goes.  We'll either allow both (Yea vote), as with last year, or just the Dazzy (Nay vote). A side note: The league shall develop a task force to do further research and develop more glove options for future seasons.

    2. Balk rule: Yea or nay, shall we adopt new language to clarify the balk rule, and move us to a simpler "forward motion" approach.

    The working language (subject to adjustment by the board) would state: "The hurler must deliver home if the front leg and/or throwing arm is moving toward the plate. A hurler may lift the front leg and go to a base, but may not lift the leg, start a motion home with either leg or arm, and then change course to a base. Balk calls are the discretion of the sir, and he may offer warnings and adjustments before making balk calls. As with any call, a request for a balk should not be made during play. Between innings a captain may request to clarify a call to help reach an understanding about the Sir's interpretation. 

    3. Dues: Yea or Nay, shall league dues be $85 for the season and an additional $15 for registrations submitted after Feb. 1, 2015. Prorated mid-season additions may be added after 5/18 (the day after game 7) for $45. There shall be absolutely no players on the field who have not registered with the league and paid appropriate dues. A release form must be signed by each player before allowed in a BAVBB game.

    4. Sirs: Yea or nay, shall it be mandated that a sir must be arranged for each BAVBB league game. It shall be the responsibility of the home team to arrange for a sir and pay them as negotiated. A team may use a player for sir, but they must be dedicated to the task and wear appropriate sir attire (black hat and jacket) and may not participate in the game. It is expected that all league sirs have a solid understanding of the rules and make unbiased calls. 

    5. Batting order: Yea or nay, shall we allow managers to use a set lineup where all strikers bat in order regardless of whether they played in the field or not. This would be an additional option to our current system, and would be declared by the manager at the beginning of the game.

    All the measures passed, some resoundingly and some after a great deal of back-and-forth.  The most contentious issue was #1, regarding the catcher’s mitt.  Many felt the new mitt contributed to harder hurling and endangered the Striker.  The Captains and board members debated how best to protect both the safety of the Behind and the safety of the Striker, and whether the design of the mitt was a good way to control the Hurler’s velocity.  The debate revolved around period accuracy, safety, and gameplay.  Our current mitt isn’t quite period accurate, the Behind is at risk for broken fingers, and the Striker is at risk for head injury.  As for gameplay, ballparks are idiosyncratic; some ballparks have short backstops and some, particularly Big Rec, have long backstops.  Passed balls have more impact at fields with long backstops, leading to games that are decided by stolen bases and dropped third strikes.  For now, the league has decided to keep the glove from 2014 and work to create a more period-accurate glove for 2016 that is safe for the Behind’s fingers.  We also proposed a gentlemen’s rule, that if a Hurler hits a striker (or strikers) twice in an inning he shall be removed by the captain for that inning; should he return and hit a Striker thrice in a game, said Hurler shall be relieved and not allowed to hurl until the next match.

    The balk rule, #2, is very difficult to describe, but the BAVBB board has never balked at hard work.  The idea is that once the Hurler has started his usual motion to the plate, he must continue.  The converse is that the league wishes to encourage active trickery to hold runners, including faking to a base and then hurling homeward.  We hope to meet with Sirs before the season to discuss implementation of the new definition.  In the end it will be upon the Sir to adjudge. 

    Rule #3: The dues are set at $85.  We extended the deadline to Feb 15th, but encourage all ballists to submit their dues as early as possible so we can sort the insurance and obtain the necessary gear (balls, bases, Behind’s gear, etc.) in time for the season.

    Rule #4: Everyone who has played agrees that self-Siring is no fun for anyone.  We wish to mandate that every home team provide a Sir for the game, be he one of the professional Sirs who have served the league well in the past few years; or as second resort, a designated player from the home team who dedicates himself to the task for the entire game, including wearing appropriate attire.  Cigar smoking is encouraged, as incentive.

    Rule #5:  The batting order rule instigated another contentious debate, but in the end the “ayes” carried the day; meaning that teams may decide a priori whether to bat only the nine in the field or bat through the lineup.  The reasoning behind this amendment is that all players pay the dues, pack the car, don the kit, and drive an hour to get to the game an hour early; and that all those ballists deserve a few at-bats.  Because it is a contentious point it has been left to the discretion of the team captain, but must be declared at the beginning of the game. Therefore lineups should be presented to the Sir and the opposing team at the beginning of the game so that players cannot bat more frequently when they are moved in and out of the field at different positions.  Your humble reporter is not certain on this point, but I believe we do not allow the captain to shift batters up and down the lineup by shuffling them in and out of the field, and by so doing provide more frequent opportunities to the best Strikers.

    The Captains and Board also discussed items for future debate and vote:

    1. Mandatory uniforms
    2. No substitutes from another team shall be permitted to Hurl or play the Behind, and any such substitutes must bat last in the order, and not play at all if an original nine are present
    3. How to resolve end-of-season tie-breakers
    4. Permit the “knuckleball” 


    Becker “TORO” Drane


  • New 2015 BAVBB Board of Directors

    Many of the Board members are staying put for 2015, but there have been a few changes.

    The position of secretary will be filled by Becker "Toro" Drane. Toro is very fond of writing, and did many of the summeries of last season's games. The postion was left vacant last year, and Toro won the position unopposed this year.

    The Position of Information Officer was held by Mike "Bearcat" Lewis last year, and he will be succeeded by Mike "Cadaver" Sanchez. A big thanks to Bearcat for his contributions!

    All other posts will remain the same. Here are your 2015 BOD:

    The new board is as follows: 

    President: Matt "Ranger" Petty 
    Vice President:  "Dipper" Dan Smith
    Treasurer: Sage "Buttercup" Bray 
    Information Officer: Michael “Cadaver” Sanchez
    Secretary: Becker "Toro" Drane 
    Managers: Matt "Chops" Siee, Chris "Snakecharmer" Jensen, Brad "Frenchy" Gallien, Jaime "Junior" Ramirez, Matthew "Boxcar" Rheinschild, Scott "Fly" Epperson and Brody "Reverend" Romsey
  • BAVBB exhibition on Oct. 18th

    Bay Area Vintage Base Ball has been invited to play an exhibition game at the newly revamped Rancho San Ramon Park.

    The game will feature two mixed-nine teams from the league's six 2014 clubs, including the Hayward Journals, Fremont Aces, Oakland Colonels, Berkeley Clarions, San Francisco Pacifics and San Francisco Pelicans.

    More information on game time and lineups coming soon.

  • Fall Ball schedule announced

    An exceptionally exciting 2014 BAVBB season has concluded- with every team having something to tell Mom about, and leaving many-a-vintage-baller hungry for more....

    Well, BAVBB's gimpy step-sister is here, Bay Area Vintage Fall Ball League, like a giant monster in exile, she has returned to tear your world apart, lumbering out of the darkness, relentlessly and unapologetically delivering the sweet sweet embrace of base ball to your feet... on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month (w/ the first Fall Ball meet-up on the 3rd Sunday of September, the 21st) I will announce every rendezvous in the week leading up to it.
    We have much to accomplish this offseason. BAVBB has ambitions to grow and re-grow to a size and scale we have not seen before. If all goes as planned, we might see a few old BAVBB ball clubs return, the New Almaden Cinnabars, maybe the San Jose Dukes, and rumor has it we have enough interested players that we might see one or two additional new teams. The Clarions have at least 3-4 guys who are moving out of state, because of life and what not, so we will be scouting for some choice ball players at Fall Ball. Now we all know how difficult it is to start and sustain a team, so come next spring we will see how this all turns out. But one of the primary ways we can see this build-out through- is to spread the word about the league, spread the word about Vintage Fall Ball, and show up to Fall Ball when you can. Invite people who you think could be valuable contributors to the league.
    We will meet on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month and play ball. And in those meetings we will sharpen our knives and more importantly introduce new ballers to the game and figure out where all this new energy should go....
    For all the returning players- this is a great way to keep your skills on top, as well as a place to try something new- a different swing, a chance to pitch, etc...
    We will meet in San Francisco as well as the East Bay. Potrero Recreation Center is our primary base. This field is always available, especially in the fall/winter. On the off chance its occupied, we can go a few blocks down the hill to Jackson Park. Both places have two diamonds. We will also have a few to maybe several Fall Ball meet-ups in the East Bay. Right now Bushrod Park seems like the logical place because of its location and double diamond status. 
    11 AM is always a favorable time. Get er' done on the earlier side, so we have more of our remaining precious Sundays. I'm even down with 10AM. If enough of ya'll speak up about the a different more favorable time- it can always evolve. 
    So with this first post- spread the word about the google group- which is essentially an email chain. If you don't want an email for every last message or reply, you can manage your member settings for this group. You can choose to get all messages for a single day in one email, or choose to to get none at all, and visit the forum at your leisure....
    As always, Fall Ball is yours every bit as it is mine, so please please speak up if you have an idea, a suggestion, or you've just got like really objectively rad things to say. Otherwise lets keep this email chain to the essentials- the what, the where, the when, the facts ma'am, just keep it relevant. Try not to overload peoples' inboxes with not-so-rad-stuff. If you want to wax about BAVBB League related stuff that is not related to planning Fall Ball- try to keep that over on the player's group page-
    I suspect we will have many new people joining here, so lets keep them in the loop with information that is only relevant and essential. Lets keep Fall Ball League running smooth and productive.
    So with that- I hope to see as many of your mugs out there!
    BE. THERE.