Gettysburg, PA— 17 clubs from all over the United States converged on the Schroeder Farm in Gettysburg on July 20 and 21 for some of the finest 19th century base ball matches ever seen. Long time vintage base ball friends who had not seen each other in years got together to rekindle friendships and play base ball the same way it was played in the 1860s. Those “old guard” players got to meet some new friends as well as some of the brightest new clubs in vintage base ball were also in attendance. A constant crowd of almost 1,000 people each day came to watch 33 games of great base ball.
Two time champion the Saginaw Old Golds continued their perfect streak in Gettysburg winning their 12th straight game but it was not easy. They were able to squeek by the Brooklyn Atlantics 6-4 and the upstart Milford Excelsiors 8-4 but their toughest game may have been against the Talbot Fair Plays. The Fair Plays spoted the Old Golds 10 runs to start the game but came roaring back only to come up just short 11-10.
The Cleveland Blues had a nice showing in their initial festival appearance going 3-1 with some impressive wins. In the first game of the day they let Elkton score 5 in the first, but chipped away and scored a run in the 8th inning to beat the hosts 7-6. An impressive win over Philadelphia and then a 1 run victory over Talbot 4-3 rounded out their wins. In what may have been one of the best matches of the weekend, the Blues led the Atlantics 1-0 through 8 innings until Brooklyn scored 3 aces in the 9th to win 3-1.
Brooklyn fininshed with a nice 4-1 record including a 5-0 shutout over Bay City and a close 9-6 win over Milford. Bay City though had a great weekend as well finishing 2-2-1 with victories over Flemington 16-14, and Philadelphia 31-6 and a 12-4 win over Harrisburg. In another great match of the weekend, the tied Elkton after leading Elkton by 10 in the 6th inning. Elkton came back chipping a little off of each inning until a dramatic 9th when they scored 4 to tie it and then held the Independents to a white wash in the bottom of the 9th for a tie. Elkton also had two other nice wins against Providence and Columbus to finish 3-1.
Columbus finished 1-3 while spliting with the New York clubs defeating the Mutuals but losing to the Gothams. The Gothams had a strong showing with a 3-1 record only losing to Milford 13-4 while picking up wins against Talbot, Columbus, and Harrisburg. The Keystones from Harrisburg couldn’t match their 4-0 run last year and dropped matches to Bay City, the Gothams, the Mutuals and Providence. Union Mills from Westminster came in on Sunday and went 1-1 with a win over Philadelphia and lost to Flemington. West Chester who came in just for Saturday dropped two to Washington and the Mutuals.
Overall, the Festival was a great success. Once again General Lee and General Grant were on hand as well as Eddie Plank III to throw out first balls for each of the games. All of the clubs had an experience they won’t soon forget!