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Archive for October, 2013



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Living history took a season’s curtain call as the Grangers concluded another summer of vintage base ball exercises at the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm. Paying tribute to their ballistic accomplishments by way of libation and testimonial, the Grangers and their families lately hosted a year-end soiree celebrating signal moments of the campaign.

Maneuvers began in early April to reacclimate the intrepid ballists to the rigors of the game, and to prepare the club for their May itinerary featuring matches in Flint and their annual tutorial at the local Rochester Heritage Days. The month of June occasioned visits to Wyandotte and the site of old Tiger Stadium, where the Grangers served as frontispiece for a series of national media features on vintage base ball. A twilight match at home with the Bay City Independents preceded the first ever Granger Tournament held at Stoney Creek Metropark, where on the occasion of the summer solstice the Rochesters prevailed over a field of four visiting clubs to capture the coveted Milk Cannister.

In July the Grangers’ peregrinations took them to Port Huron, Greenfield Village and to historic Fort Mackinac, where the suspendered stalwarts distinguished themselves with a blithesome blend of nimble play and gentlemanly demeanor. August ushered in a pair of excursions to such base ball outposts as Dexter, Michigan and Columbus, Ohio, where the Rochesters showed particular ginger in an undefeated six-game skein at the Ohio Cup.

It was a year to remember for the hometown nine, who celebrated their fifteenth year of existence in on-field ceremonies honoring their original six members. Demonstrating their trademark skill and gentlemanly comportment, the Rochesters compiled a season’s record of twenty wins and three losses against some of the finest clubs in the territory, while educating fledgling enthusiasts in the finer points of the game. The Grangers thank their sponsors, Antoniou’s and the Hills Bar and Grille, who once again supplied game day comestibles to players and guests.

Like the swallows returning to Capistrano the Grangers await their springtime return to Van Hoosen Farm, when the annual interglacial thaw signals the arrival of vintage base ball. In the meanwhile, ensconced in their enforced hypothermic hibernaculum, the men who don the ivory and black stand at the ready to reprise their role in the game they love, played for fresh air and exercise according to the rules of the 1860′s.