Monday, April 09, 2012

Vintage Baseball ~ "1864 Rules" the Day in Smithtown, L.I.

From the desk of:   THREE HANDS DOWN

As of Saturday, April 7, 2012
The Smithtown Historical Society Grounds
HOME of the ATLANTIC Vintage Base Ball Club
Smithtown, Long Island



Flemington stands on the line to your left;  Brooklyn to the right.

Flemington Neshanock Base Ball Club
Atlantics Base Ball Club of Brooklyn

A Neshanock striker stands ready,
as Brooklyn's hurler makes an attempt at the runner off first base.

"Wickets" positioned to the right, served as the game's Umpire.

Flemington   5
Brooklyn     12


In the late innings of the day's first contest, after the Neshanock Club had pushed across a few more aces and started to creep back into the game, Flemington's Mr. Shaw; or as he's referred to on the field - BROOKLYN; could be heard admonishing his celebrating Flemington mates on the bench,

"There's no high-fives!" 

No, indeed not.  Not in the 1860's.  And certainly not among these modern day competitors either.

Another season of Vintage Base Ball has begun.  And all you need to know is these guys play this game and care for the representation of Base Ball's glorious past very meticulously.  They leave no doubt as to how seriously they take the game, and leave little question as to how competitive they can be.  Above all, they remain gentlemen to the last hand down and stay committed to having fun playing the Nation's Pastime.


The Flemington Neshanock Base Ball Club

Vice President Andrew Johnson (standing 2nd from left) was on hand
to throw out the ceremonial first pitch inaugurating the day's exhibition.

* * GAME TWO * *


The New York Gothams stand at the line to your left; Flemington to the right.

Flemington Neshanock Base Ball Club
Gothams Base Ball Club of New York

The Gotham's Striker; "Bugs"- laces one down the third base line.

Flemington   9
New York   17


Ahead early in the match, Flemington put quite a scare into the Gothams Club.  Unfortunately for the Neshanock season however, Saturday was an unfavorable start for the club from New Jersey.  Instead, this was to be a day when the Gothams Base Ball Club of New York would rule the field.  Their 17-9 defeat over Flemington was the first of two victories they'd earn on the day.  Flemington would leave Smithtown with two losses for their efforts.

Final congratulatory handshakes.

* * * GAME THREE * * *


The New York Gothams Club stands at the line to the left; Brooklyn to the right.

Gothams Base Ball Club of New York
Atlantics Base Ball Club of Brooklyn

Game's Umpire

The Atlantics successfully defeated the Neshanock Club in the first contest of the day.  But for this game at least, the Gothams gave the defending MAVBBL Champions much more than they could handle, as the Club from New York went on to sweep the day.

The Atlantic Club made a go of it with three more aces.
But that's as close as they'd get on this otherwise perfect, sunny afternoon.
The Atlantic BBC of Brooklyn would end the day splitting their two contests.

New York   11
Brooklyn      7

Much of the Atlantics' success is predicated on defense.  When speaking with BROOKLYN from the Neshanock Club, he extolled the ABBC's yearly efforts and excellence with their hands.  Likewise with the Gothams.  WICKETS; a member of the New York club; echoed those same sentiments regarding the Atlantics' defensive prowess.  And in speaking with TREE from the Atlantics, he resoundingly agreed with those assessments regarding his own team.  I sensed he knew it well.

And me?  I witnessed it first hand.  SHAKESPEARE intercepted an absolute rocket struck down his way at third base, then calmly threw to first where Atlantics' first baseman; FLASH: was there with very sure hands to complete the play.  And his are very sure hands to say the least.  As I spent the majority of the day along the first base side, and in staying within the context of the style of play and adherence to authenticity, FLASH's play at first base, dare I say was brilliant.  Then there was a ball tracked down by TOOTHPICK at the farthest edge of play, struck by SCRATCH of the Gothams Club to straight away center field.  So, watching this caliber of defense makes it easier to envision how they've won back-to-back titles over the last two seasons.

In return, the Atlantic members were largely impressed with a vastly improved Gothams club; saying they too, have taken major steps to shore up their defense as well.

So let it be known, during this past Saturday morning and early afternoon, the Gothams took the day with two victories to kick off the 2012 local Vintage Baseball season.

The Gothams' and Atlantic Base Ball Club members ended the day's activities like Gentlemen.

To Shakespeare; Hammy; Flash; Wild Horse; Toothpick; and all the Atlantics;
first, it was good seeing you all again.  And secondly, thank you for a time well spent,
the friendly conversation, and your graciousness.

Likewise to Wickets; Bugs; Scratch; and all the Gothams.
Congratulations on a highly successful opening weekend.

And thank you to "Brooklyn" from the Flemington Club,
whom I don't ever want to stop urging me to play Vintage Base Ball.

More coverage from Saturday's games coming shortly.



  1. Great article Mike, and fine photos to boot. Perhaps we'll see you on Governors Island this summer season. Huzzah!


    1. Without a doubt! Governors Island seems like a fascinating place for a base ball game. Continued luck this season. And I definitely hope to see you all soon again.

  2. I know this post in 1 year old but I saw the banner in Smithtown today for resumption of the 2013 season. Never done it before but would like to learn more. Where can I get more information.

    Thank you.

    1. You can start with the links I provided on the bar to your right. Just scroll down. Visit the New York Gothams and Brooklyn Atlantics websites. Also, visit which I also provided. Or, just show up to the games. They are all very friendly and personable fellows who want to speak of the game, and spread the word.


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