The 2005 season of the Silver Base Ball Park League opened with a record-setting 26-run performance by “Dirty” Jim Feuerstein’s Knickerbockers, who emerged victorious in a spirited match against Steve “The Colonel” Michener’s Rochesters.
According to Knick catcher (and unofficial historian) Blaise “Freight Train” Lamphier, that 26-run mark eclipses the previous record of 25 runs scored by the Live Oak. In a lovely moment of base ball symmetry, the Live Oak scored those 25 runs against the Knickerbockers back on September 1, 2001 in the league’s inaugural season.
Several players started the season yesterday by tallying aces (runs). The following Knickerbockers players rang the bell:
- Scott “Handyman” Hand: 2
- Harvey “Kid Brooklyn” Shapiro: 3
- Nathan “Stitches” Shapiro: 3
- Casey “At Bat” Beeley: 3
- Blaise “Freight Train” Lamphier: 1
- Jim “T-Bone” Cook: 4
- Billy “Bear” Donofrio: 2 (in his first-ever game, after playing just 5 innings)
- Tim “Kid” Zimmer: 4 (in 5 innings)
- Bryan “Tiny” Little: 1
- Matt “Pins” Zimmer: 2 (in 5 innings)
For the Rochesters:
- Jeremy “Junior” Sadjak: 3
- Steve “Stubby” Devito: 1
- Dave “Wild Oats” Nesbitt: 1
Sunday featured a double-header, with a women’s match preceding the men’s match. The day kicked off with a parade into the ball park, with members of five of the six teams joined by the “mayor” of the village, soldiers in Union Army garb, and local luminary Curt Smith, who delivered the opening remarks.
The day also saw a reenactment of the classic base ball poem Casey At The Bat by Ernest L. Thayer. This was the first such reenactment at Silver Base Ball Park (though Mark Ballard has given stirring solo recitations in past years) and I imagine it won’t be the last.
Speaking of Casey, the last time Mark recited it was during the championship game of the National Silver Ball Tournament last year. This year’s tournament runs from August 12-14 at Silver Base Ball Park, and it will feature teams from across the country, including the Rochester Grangers from Michigan (runners-up in the 2003 tournament) and the Melrose Pondfeilders from Massachusetts (runners-up in 2004). (And no, “pondfeilders” is not a type-o.) If you’ve ever wanted to experience vintage base ball, you’ll find no better chance than the National Silver Ball Tournament.