By Rick Henly on Monday, May 3rd, 2010 |
“What a great day for a Base Ball match”, said the boys from Huntington as they stepped off the cars in the sweet village of Wyandotte, Ohio. “Everyday is a great day for Base Ball!!” echoed the team captain of the host Ghostriders this Sunday past. The prayers of both squads were answered as the gray clouds floating overhead did not open up for a single drop as the two competing teams battled in a double header this day. Cool breezes made all Ballists and Cranks comfortable and the play on the field provided spectacular plays and a promise of a good season ahead for the local heroes.
In match number one the lads of Huntington came from being down 5 to 3 to hold the host team scoreless from the third inning on and claim the first match of the season by a 7 to 5 count. In the second match the boys were down 8 to 2 in the fourth inning and came back to tie the match at a final count of 9 to 9.
With 'Limpy' Kaufman being the only veteran hurler on the roster he was given the post of honor to start the first match and did quite well for his age. A mixture of fast and slow balls - and some tosses that can’t be described - 'Limpy' was very effective in slowing down the excellent batsmen for Wyandotte. It took a while for the fielders to get back to form but once they did the boys from Huntington showed their mettle. Two double plays, (One unassisted by 'Toots' Redner) stymied the home team. At the bat 'Legs' Whitesell and 'Splinter' Redner scored two aces. Jeff ‘Lightfoot’ Cox sent a blast to left center that flew like a Congrieve Rocket. “I owe it all to the off season training I put in in the back room of 'Dodger' Rowe’s tavern out on the Urbana Road.” admitted Cox afterward.
Of note is the fact a woman played for the Hill Toppers in this match. Carrie ‘Sugar’ Whitesell joined her husband, 'Drifter', and the aforementioned, 'Legs', on the team. This reporter wants all to know that Mrs. Whitesell had the proper length skirt on and wore her hat properly. 'Judge' Young, though not umpiring this day, warned her that the brazen exposure of her forearms would not go unfined in home matches. The 'Judge' assures all citizens of the county that Hill Topper games will be appropriate and safe for the virtues of this county’s young men.
In the second match the Ghostriders again jumped onto the hitting bandwagon early but this time against Stan ‘Sawdust’ Hippensteel. Hippensteel hurled for four innings and then was lifted for 'Limpy' Kaufman It should be noticed that the opponents kindly offered to allow 'Sawdust' to sit while striking due to his age but he kindly silenced them with prodigious hitting that saw him on base many times in the day. Defensively, 'Dodger' Rowe and 'Legs' Whitesell and 'Toots' Redner made the left side of the field a death trap to the Ohio strikers. And the aces tallied by the other side were fairly hit and earned as all Hill Topper defenders proved their worth in the second match.
Kaufman and Lightfoot both scored twice in the important category of runs scored per game. In fair sportsmanship to Wyandotte their left scout made wonderful and numerous grabs on the fly and on the bound throughout the day and it was his catch of another cannon blast by 'Lightfoot' that allowed the home team to come out of the second match with a tie.
The next home match is at 1 pm. May 15, against the Bonneyville Millers at Old Republic field next to Lake Clare in Huntington.
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