After walking through town meeting and greeting the many cranks that would attend and support them on the grassy field, the clubs from Royal Oak and Northville met once again at Ford Field on the day we celebrate this great country’s independence.
The first inning saw the orange and black tally the match’s first run three strikers in when Badger singled to left field with one out, followed by a run-scoring double by Kid into center. Bender quickly singled to left allowing Kid to plate the Eclipse to an early 2-0 lead. The Wahoos chipped away at the deficit much like the pioneers who methodically cut the wood, shaped it and assembled it to construct the Cady Inn that resides in Mill Race Village. Shoeless provided the first run for Royal Oak when he singled to start the second inning and moved ninety feet at a time until Teufel delivered him home with a single up the middle. Three innings later the Wahoos tied the game when Mallet doubled to start the inning and eventually scored on Jackhammer’s single to the left side. The Eclipse unable to stage a scoring rally for most of the game was able to break the tie in the seventh inning when Kid connected on a one out single to left field. Two consecutive singles by Bender and Mac loaded the bases and Jaundice was gracious enough to stand near home plate to watch Kid steal home to put the Eclipse up 3-2.
The attention then turned to the fielding of the cowhide as most low scoring games tend to accentuate. Shoeless fell victim to start the eighth inning for the Wahoos by a remarkable fielding play at short by Kid. A slowly hit ball was held up enough in the somewhat dry grass to cause Kid to charge as aggressive as the effort that was given in the Battle of Gettysburg. Using his throwing hand to field, Kid completed the difficult act of maintaining his balance while throwing an accurate strike to first base where Moonlight sensed the crucial timing of the advancing runner and proceeded to shorten the throwing distance by stretching one and a half calve lengths to grab the sphere using only his throwing hand as well. Three consecutive singles by Mallet, Dizzy and Teufel evened the score and left runners at first and second. However, a sharp drive to left center off the lumber of Jackhammer was detained from reaching safe passage when Kid leaped to his left to grab the ball while still in flight and touched the bag at second where a shaken Dizzy once resided to record the final out of the inning.
The ninth inning continued with more fanfare as the Eclipse tallied two runs, led by a single and stolen base from Stitch just in time. Scratch duplicated the feat and one out later, Stitch plated on a single to right by that Kid again. Bender bounded to left on his next trip to the plate, but it was just enough to score Scratch and the Eclipse led 5-3 heading into the bottom of the last frame. Spitz began the inning for the Wahoos with an attempt down the line at third base, but Kid returned the play with a swimmingly throw to first to record the first out. However, as if his day wasn’t already complete of stunning accomplishments, Kid recorded yet another play that sent horses of the Pony Express across this great nation to deliver the news of the story that wasn’t fiction. The crack in the air saw the ball leave the bat of Peaches down the third base line where it was plucked while in flight by the outstretched right hand of Kid, who lay parallel in air to the grassy field. Stories and tales will be made of this day, but to see it and have the chance to witness more is a great treat indeed.