... today's vintage base ball club
MELROSE PONDFEILDERS, standing, left to right: Mike Fowle, Rob Harlow, Pat Harlow, Dan Landesman, Joe Sanders, Mike Cipriano, Mike Papagni, Andy Cunningham and Paul Cunningham. Front, Matt Moore, Dave Gonsalves, Jim Regan and Brian Bird. Team members not pictured, Tom Regan, Scott Roy, Chuck Person and Brian Maher.
Looking back in time.
I am not a sportswriter. I am also not a sports fan but I do think the Melrose Pondfeilders are a team to behold. I'll try my best to relate a new experience which might become a new summertime habit for many of the citizenry. There's so much about them on the 'net, this story is going to require the interested reader to do some "clicking."
On Sunday, June 12, the Melrose Pondfeilders met the Essex Baseball Club (from Danvers) at the softball field of Pine Banks Park. Both teams were dapper Dans in their uniforms, c. 1850 America. For the spectators, it was a step back in time as the players followed the rules of gentlemanly, though encouraging, vocabulary.
Mike shouts, "Safe!" or "Out!".
Paul ("Cappy") Cunningham, Captain of the Melrose team and Jim Regan, President, are also Commissioners of the New England Vintage Base Ball Teams.
Acting as umpire was team member Mike Cipriano of Melrose Drug.
Jeff ("Greybeard") Peart on the Essex team, wore a reversible coat of arms on his chest...one side featured an " L" when he plays for Lynn. But today's side sported an "E" for Essex.
Batter, ball, pitcher, player
Our sports education was enhanced when we were shown the playing hard ball which was handled with bare hands. We learned that the ball softens somewhat as the game goes on.
All In The Family
Robby Harlow, Dad, Pat,
Erika Miethner, Mascot
Nice Start! When Melrose was up, their first batter, Dave Gonsalves hit a single, stole second, made it to third, then HOME on Mike Pepagni's hit. Next a flyball was caught on the ground for the third out. The runner's slide-in failed.
Pitcher Andy Cunningham, Mike Fowle at short.
There was more excitement for this novice. Another hitter did a double into the woods. Several team members and Shirley Rabb, the photographer, disappeared. This was followed by a loud female announcement, "I found it!" She held the ball high as they all emerged through the brush.
"More than tagged!"
The shouted phrases spoke for the players. "Well struck, Pat!" (A double to the fence.)
"Next hit - Two down!"
"Good catch, Matt!"
Denis Regan's future
Two-year-old Denis Regan clapped when his Dad, Jim, hit a double then scored (3 to 1). Joe Sanders upped it 4 to 1. Scorekeeper Brian Bird was scribbling fast. Next inning, the score changed to 4 to 2. In the 5th it was 4-3, then at the end of the 5th the score was 4-6 with the Visitors ahead.
Top of the 6th inning? It's time for these reporters to have something to eat in a restaurant a little way up Main Street.
We learned the next day that the final score was 14-4 (Essex) and the second game score was 12-7 (Essex). The home team's only comment was, "It was a hot day."
Next time, if a crowd of enthusiastic well-wishers could fill the clear space between the players and the woods (bring a chair), the old joint efforts of team and spectators could easily produce a Melrose victory. The enthusiasm might even produce a pennant .. these guys are that good!
Essex Base ball Club Roster
Brian Sheehy, Captain, Brian Besse, Kevin Bradley, Pat Cook, Pat Foley, Ben Gendall, AJ Guanci, Jeff Julius, David Michaud, Drew Murphy, Jeff Peart, Matt Quinlan, Chris Sheehy, Jeff Schwom, Junter Julius, Mascot.
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Pondfeilders Home Schedule - 2005
July 31 - Aug. (no home games) - Sept. 18
For out-of-town games, see below.
Other Pondfeilder's most interesting information may be found at the above address, using Team Info (Player Roster, Vintage Baseball, NEVBBL, Spirit of the Game, Detailed Rules), Team Gallery, Team Calendar, News Clips, Forums
July 1, 2005