Nashville – Two 0-3 teams met today. Unfortunately it was the Farriers that left the field 0-4. But not for lack of good play.
The Farriers got on the board after the first 2 batters of the game, and kept at it throughout, posting runs in most innings. Offense was superb, especially Dinger’s long 2-RBI single that could’ve gone foul per Bicentennial Mall’s ground rules, but instead hit the bottom of the right field wall They even tied it up in a 4-run 7th inning, but it was not to last. The Phoenix of East Nashville beat the Franklin Farriers 9-10.
The game started on a beautiful note. The 2 bat boys participated in the bat toss – Cricket vs. the Phoenix youngster using Skim Milk’s small bat. Then two esteemed gentlemen threw out the first pitches. First, Guy Andress, Marine Corps Veteran 1952-54 and Greg Andress’ father, lobbed one to the plate. Then State Senator Jeff Yarbro showed his stuff dressed all in white.
Lonely Planet was on-site interviewing Trapper and getting footage of the players and the game for a pilot they hope to air soon.
In the spirit of true camaraderie, each Farrier introduced himself to the crowd as “Meatball” Morgan to recognize our esteemed pitcher on his 40th birthday. All but one: Tim wryly introduced himself last as “Birthday Boy.”
Meatballs for “Birthday Boy” Morgan
And what better way to spend one’s birthday than a noontime game in perfect, sunny, 65-degree weather? What better way than by winning the bat toss? What better way than getting to stand on second base?
A “better way” would’ve been a win, but the Farriers can be proud of having played a hard-fought game against the undefeated and Sulphur Dell Cup–defending Travellers of Brentwood. Without the dreaded “Farriers inning” – this time the Travellers’ five-run 1st – this would’ve been a much closer game. As it was, the final score was 16-8.
The Farriers still found reason to celebrate afterward, feting Meatball with a new confection sweeping the South: pizza at the local parlor.
Brentwood – The game started with a 1-2-3 top half followed by a 4-run Farriers bottom half.
It ended with a 1-2-3 top half followed by a 3-run Farriers bottom half.
Neither was enough to earn a victory as the Franklin Farriers fell to the Lightfoot Club of Chattanooga 12-11.
The grounds of Ravenswood Mansion saw two fantastic vintage ballgames to inaugurate Brentwood to vintage base ball. The first was an offensive slugfest where the hometown Travellers beat the Stewart’s Creek Scouts 29-24. That game, among the longest ever played in TAOVBB history, forced the Lightfoot-Farriers game to start 30 minutes late. That left no time for batting practice, but that didn’t stop either team from bringing their bats.
Both sides did well offensively and defensively and were very evenly matched. Some Farriers highlights: To lead off the 4th inning, Toothpick legged a triple on a fly ball into the right-center gap. Hooligan hit a 2-RBI single the following inning. Four Leaf got his first 3 hits of the season – and rang the bell twice – but a baserunning miscue prevented him from completing the hat trick.
But the star of the Farriers had to be Slick Stillings. In his first at-bat, he knocked an RBI double. On defense, he shined. In a right field where any passed ball rolls away downhill, Slick let nothing get by him, making no less than 2 run-saving catches that saw him tumbling in the grass.
Loose Cap remained on the DL but showed up to support the team. We could’ve used him. The Farriers great day was marred by the dreaded “Farriers inning.” This time it was the 8th inning, where the Lightfoot plated 7 runs to take the lead and keep it for good. An exciting rally in the bottom of the 9th saw 3 runs score and put the tying run on 2nd, but just fell short.
On a day that memorialized the passing of crowned Prince Rogers Nelson of Minneapolis, nicknames were changed for Trapper “Little Red Corvette” Haskins and Keith “Purple Rain” Paul.
Franklin – For the first time in history, the Franklin Farriers lost an opening game. The fourth season of the Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball got underway this weekend, capped by a 2:30 meeting of the Farriers and their friendly rivals, the Stewart’s Creek Scouts.
The Scouts took full advantage of the blustery winds blowing toward the outfield, plating 8 runs in the 1st inning. The Farriers got on the board early but could not overcome the Scouts’ adept defense. The final tally was an excruciating 22-4.
Loose Cap during happier times
A scare occurred in the 6th inning as Jimmy “Loose Cap” Bloss pulled his hamstring bolting to 1st base. He came up short, hobbling, and had to be helped off the field by a pair of teammates. Ice packs were donated by concerned cranks. Jimmy sat out the rest of the game. Fortunately, he felt or heard no “pop” and he was eventually able to limp around. He expects to miss next game to ensure his leg can serve him the rest of the season.
“The worst part,” Jimmy was heard to say, “is that I was going to beat the throw.”
Smyrna – Conditions were perfect for the second game of the inaugural Sam Davis Cup: 60-degree weather, blue skies, freshly mown grass. After a cordial welcome by tournament organizer “Uncle Jessie” Brewer, the Farriers won the bat toss and took the field against the visiting Huntsville (Ala.) Red Caps.
The Red Caps (only 75% of whom wore caps) jumped to an early lead, but the Farriers kept it within 2 after two innings. However, despite an epic rundown, Buttermilk’s lightning-fast 5-3 putout, and Sawbones’ unassisted double play at third, the Red Caps continued adding runs to the board while preventing Franklin from touching the plate. The Farriers had some good hits and had the bases loaded in the ninth, but the Red Caps’ defense was swift and practiced. Final score: 14-2.
The Red Caps then went on to best the Stewart’s Creek Scouts and earn the Sam Davis Cup trophy. These exhibition games, held at the Sam Davis Home, are not officially part of the season. Farriers captain Moose Berrell stated that this was good practice for our first game, which will be played next Sunday, April 10th, against our friendly rivals, the Scouts. It is secretly hoped the Scouts’ loss has hampered their will to win. Although that’s doubtful. The Farriers’ own loss has made them hungry and eager to taste victory.
Our own Jim “The Hooligan” Boyle underwent a groundbreaking surgical procedure to have cataracts removed from not just one, but both, eyes. His doctor used a series of refracting and reflecting mirrors to focus light into a palpable beam finer than any scalpel, a beam that he terms a “laizer.” Hooligan has spent a month in convalescence and reports that he feels fit and ready to begin playing base ball.
An added benefit to this new-fangled procedure is that Hooligan now has near-perfect vision without the assistance of spectacles. God’s truth! Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the procedure caused him to lose his magnificent signature mustache.
The Tennessee Association of Vintage Baseball released our 2016 schedule yesterday, and we couldn’t be happier to start our fourth year as a team playing the new upstarts from Huntsville, Alabama as a part of the Inaugural Sam Davis Cup pre-season tournament the first weekend in April. The invited teams are the hosts, the Stewart’s Creek Scouts, the Quicksteps Club of Spring Hill, and the aforementioned Red Caps. The Scouts will take on the Quicksteps, and then the winner of each preceding match will face off for the Cup.
The regular season begins the following week with the Farriers taking on the Scouts at our home grounds of Carnton.
The Farriers will make three road trips this season, twice to Knoxville to play at the Historic Ramsey House, and then to the 6th Cavalry Museum in Fort Oglethorpe to face Mountain City.
The Franklin Farriers opened their home campaign on Sunday with a win, 16-12 over the Phoenix of East Nashville. William “Mama’s Boy” Haskins lost the bat toss for the first time in recent memory, meaning that Phoenix batted in the bottom half of each inning. Despite that failure, the Farriers overcame and prevailed in the end.
The Farriers tallied an ace in the top of the 1st, then gave up 5 scores in the bottom half of the inning. Franklin slowly chipped away, adding 9 aces in the next 3 innings, to lead 10-7 after 4 innings. They stretched the lead to 8, leading 16-8 midway through the 8th inning. The Phoenix attempted to rise from the ashes in the 8th frame, scoring 4 aces, but the Farriers were able to douse the flames and escape without further harm.
The 9th inning was scoreless for both teams, and the final score read 16-12 in favor of the Farriers.
The scoring was balanced offensively, with 8 different Farriers tallying an ace. Most importantly, “Meatball” Morgan tallied an ace for the first time in the 2015 season. 16 aces was a team high for the year, and the Farriers will look to build on that momentum in two weeks as they travel to the metropolis of Nashville for a rematch with the Stewart’s Creek Scouts, who bested the Farriers on April 19th by a score of 16-9. A full recap of that game can be found here.