The lovers of the national game were offered quite a treat when base ball returned to Colonel Ramsey’s serene gardens this past weekend. Ballists from both city clubs turned out to play visiting teams from west of the plateau. The Emmett Machinists were geared up for a seesaw game that favored the Travellers of Brentwood who squeaked out a 14 to 13 victory over their hosts before the ninth window closed abruptly.
In the afternoon match, the Knoxville Holstons met a new adversary in the Cumberland Club of Nashville. These bully boys adorned in a majestic blue only rivaled by the prismatic undulations of the mighty Cumberland River itself call President Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage their home garden. Cornbread, the club’s captain, is an old hand with the onion in the state of Tennessee who has worn both the suspenders of the Franklin Farriers and the vests of the Stewarts Creek Scouts. He is also known for beaning Holstons standing at the dish due to his unorthodox hurling.
At half past two, Grizzly awoke from his winter’s hibernation to preside over the bat toss. The home club claimed the tossed bat and chose to defend their garden in the top frames while striking to close the windows on each inning.
The tone of the match was set early as the Cumberland Nine struggled to orbit the sacks as the Holstons’ scouts and basetenders preserved their garden’s honor. Catfish and the Professor hastily postmarked bloopers into left where they were received by Mac. Rip then made first sack on a misfielded onion by the Kid at short; however, Cannonball’s offspring redeemed himself by tagging Rip out at second after Burnside’s daisycutter trickled to Stove Pipe who happened to be lolling between first and second sack.
The Holstons first appearance at the sack yielded enough aces to accomplish the task at hand. Although Augie uncharacteristically failed to reach first sack, Little Skeeter and the Kid plucked the Cumberland’s defenses for base hits. Mac then launched a cloud hunter that sent the Professor deep into a marsh created by a deluge of rainfall that preceded the match. The unfortunate Cumberland scout failed to secure the hand dead before becoming plugged in Ramsey’s wetland as he landed on his backside ruining his bright pristine uniform. Mac was rewarded with a two-sacker and an ace batted in as Little Skeeter tallied the first ace of the match. Sour Mash next struck his patented moon onion that sent Catfish, the Cumberland’s swift left fielder, scrambling backwards into the thickets for the second dead hand, but not before providing the Kid and Mac safe passage to home dish. The first frame closed suddenly before any additional aces could be tallied when Lefty’s sky ball was incarcerated by the light-footed Catfish who snatched the onion and deprived Sour Mash from ringing the bell.
As the second frame opened, both clubs settled into a defensive tug-of-war with spectacular barehanded catches that elicited a host of applause and huzzahs from fans and ballists alike. The Kid marveled at short snatching an onion with his left hand and drawing up two double hands dead. Bugle Boy, Butter Bean, and Violet each snagged onions behind the dish and Rip spectacularly ran down a blooper that was heading toward the fans along first sack.
In the midst of this artistry in the garden, the Holstons tallied two additional aces when Stove Pipe completed a full orbit of the sacks in the third frame and Butter Bean’s sacrifice in the sixth paved Bugle Boy’s rendezvous with the bell that tolled the home club’s fifth ace. Kept scoreless through six frames, the Cumberland Nine tallied their first ace when Rip raced across the dish on a sacrifice banjo hit to center. In the next frame, Rip sent a bug bruiser that raced past the Kid in short allowing Catfish to stroll across home dish for the visting club’s second ace. When the Cumberland Nine failed to tally any additional aces in the ninth, Grizzly called the match in the home club’s favor 5 to 2 and awarded the game ball to their captain. The game was perhaps the fastest match played in Knoxville’s history as the affair lasted just shy of ninety minutes.
The Holstons, who remain perfect in this year’s campaign, have challenged the Lightfoot Club of Chattanooga and they have accepted. The match is to be played at Ramsey’s House on April 22 as part of a double header with the Machinists who will play the first game at noon. The Holstons will play at approximately half past two.