Doc Hardy, a ballist on the city base ball club, visited the office yesterday to inquire as to why a report documenting the Holstons’ recent match against the Lightfoot Club of Chattanooga had not yet been penned. With all due respect to the good Doc and the sport that many of our town’s men of all ages have recently taken up, we expressed our apologies for not reporting on the match in a timely manner. We fear the base ball fever has infected the minds of too many of our citizenry. In our humble opinion, politics and the economy are more pressing matters than a leisurely game of physical endurance. Purported ballists can be found engaged in this sport in the afternoons and evenings seven days a week while more pressing matters are neglected. Perhaps the Holston Nine and their spectators should be more focused on Governor Brownlow’s policies and their own fields which go untended.
That said, Doc provided us with a few of the match’s highlights as well as a series of moving images that he captured on his new camera. The match between the Holston Nine and the Lightfoot Club of Chattanooga, a motley crew of genetlemen barbers with such fine bowties, took place in Colonel Ramsey’s plush garden two weeks past. The match followed a riveting contest between the Emmett Machinists and the visiting Nashville Maroons. The mechanics that constitute the club north of the business district gave a valiant effort before yielding one ace to the bully boys west of the Cumberlands.
Grapeshot called the match to order at half past two. The tone of the contest was set from the first hurled onion as Augie, representing the home club, sent a line ball that skipped towards third sack before striking its target, the Bear’s right shin, with such ferocious fury that it then ricocheted off and rebounded into the clouds before Sweet Willie made an astonishing barehanded catch as he dove into the sweet embrace of Colonel Ramsey’s landscape. The rest of the first frame was characterized by the stout defense of both clubs.
The Lightfoot’s defense gradually wilted in the top of the second frame as Sour Mash and Lefty made safe passage on to the sacks before Molasses stepped to the dish. The gentleman farmer and a connoisseur of the fine arts and sciences advanced Sour Mash home as he postmarked a high blooper into center that was received on the bound by the Lightfoot scout; however, an errant throw to home dish resulted in Lefty tallying a second ace.
The Holstons staunch defense held firm for most of the match as Bugle Boy exhibited pluck around the dish, Augie returned an onion to sender from center to first sack, and a double play was turned by Stove Pipe’s rocket arm that defied scientific laws of motion, speed, and gravity as well as basic reason.
In the top of the fourth, Mac nearly decapitated the ever jovial Happy as his head-hunting onion enabled the Kid to put a third ace on the scoreboard. The favor was then returned as Lefty’s bug bruiser stung the Lightfoot scout at second enabling Mac to put the Holstons 4 aces clear of their guests.
Uncharacteristic breakdowns in the Holston defense netted 3 aces for the Lightfoot in the bottom of the fourth frame as the Bear, Sweet Wilie, and Buster each completed full orbits around the sacks. In the fifth, the Lightfoot squared the match on H.I.’s hot ball that punished Stove Pipe’s delicate undercarriage at second, thereby allowing Cap to cruise ninety feet to home dish.
In the sixth, the Holstons opened the floodgates thus causing a deluge of aces to rain down upon the Lightfoot. All but one of the Holstons tallied an ace as the home club plated an additional 17 aces while Doc and Hawkeye’s hurled onions kept the Lightfoot strikers nearly off the sacks over the final four frames.
Honors for the match go to solid defensive play on the part of the Holston scouts; however, an equal feat was achieved by Soul Man, the Lightfoot hurler, who snatched a scorching hot ball off of Hawkeye’s timber. Laurels at the dish goes to Lefty for his perfect striking and Molasses for giving safe passage to five Holston ballists. Molasses’ cackleberry alone rang the death knell of the Lightfoot.
The victory was the Holstons’ third in as many matches this season. Next up for the city club is a match against the Franklin Farriers on the latter’s home grounds at Carnton Plantation. The contest between two unbeatens scheduled for the first Sunday in May promises to be a barnburner.