The Rochester Grangers Vintage Base Ball Club lately packed up their buck boards and headed north, serving as special guestsfor a celebration honoring the YMCA of Flint. The ballistic soiree, held on the majestic grounds of old Camp Copneconic, included the Lumber City Base Ball Club of Flint who were keen to test their mettle against the visitors from Van Hoosen Farm. Pressing farm duties and injuries limited the Rochester deployment to nine players, a few of whom appeared courtesy of day passes from the local infirmary.
The match began under a sweltering sky sculpted by moving thunder clouds. With a view overlooking scenic Lake Copneconic, the exercise grounds were laid out on a narrow escarpment bordered by a buggy path and wooded canopy. The compacted boundary presented a challenge to the prompt retrieval of base balls, which were of limited supply and quality. Before the Grangers had unfurled their banner, the Lumbermen struck for a quartet of aces to establish an early lead. Midway through the match, the Rochester’s prospects appeared to be dim when the arrival of an antediluvian downpour suddenly halted play, forcing the clubs to bivouac under a makeshift canvas. The unscheduled respite seemed to revive the Granger daubers and wake their slumbering bats.
Spurred by a home run by Steve “Steam Engine” Sebert, the Grangers rallied in the seventh inning to close an eight run deficiency, only to lose ground again to the upset-minded Flintmen. Then, inspired by the valorous grit and gumption displayed by Craig “Slappy” Prasetek and Scott “Chooch” Westgate, the visitors made their advance. The Granger strongmen, eschewing treatment for injuries suitable for detailed description only in a medical journal, contributed a pair of doubles to foment a late inning comeback. Rallying for four aces in their final turn at bat, the Grangers erased a two run shortfall in the process, hanging on by a final score of nineteen to seventeen.
Spectators and participants alike were effusive in their praise for the demonstration, including the gentlemanly demeanor of the captains, who at the behest of the umpire resolved by amicable agreement a close play at home plate. As the Grangermen made their way homeward they were able to reflect on the memories and friendships freshly made and renewed, savoring their role as ambassadors for the nation’s newest pastime.