Going back in time for a ball game

Choosing who bats last

Choosing who bats last

A couple weeks ago, we traversed the Passaic in the morn to join the bugs and cranks for a base ball match between the Atlantics of Brooklyn and the Gothams of New York held on the grounds in Paterson. T’was a merrie affair played under 1864 rules and featuring great displays of athletic prowess. The Atlantic Base Ball Club struck many successful hits — stingers, daisy cutters, banjo hits and cloud hunters — during the first frame, tallying several aces to take a big lead. But the ballists of the Gotham Base Ball Club of New York were resolute, recording a few aces of their own and slowing the strikers of the Atlantics. In the end, the Atlantics prevailed, 12-4. (They also triumphed in a second game, which we did not attend, 21-9.)

The bowler for the Gothams was particularly adept, entertaining the rooters with quick throws to the basetenders — or often a fake before turning and firing to the plate. At times, he’d offer up a dew drop to throw off the striker’s timing.

The efforts of the clubs drew the interest of many passersby, who stopped in their travels to gaze upon the events. Huzzahs to both sides.

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