Spring gradually turns into summer and quickly heads for fall. A new season brings hope while the end of it brings heartache. Such is the seemingly short period that a ballist feels while playing a game they love. The Eclipse Base Ball Club of Northville closed out their season on Sunday while hosting the Lah-De-Dahs of Greenfield Village. Unfortunately for the team from Dearborn, the Eclipse picked up where they left off from the day prior. They tallied four runs in the first inning with the aid of consecutive singles from Bender, Badger and Kid. Tinman moved Bender home with a fly out to center and Scratch drove in Badger with an infield single. After a single by Moonlight, Mac drove in his first two runs of the season with a single to left to plate Kid and Scratch. It must have made his future son-in-law proud to witness it in person so one day he could tell his kids that their grandfather contributed something for the Eclipse other than his friendship.
The third inning saw the unavoidable happen for a corner infielder. With the Eclipse leading 6-1 and Tinman and Scratch on first and second base respectively, Moonlight stepped up to the plate and laced an offering directly to Pirate of the Lah-De-Dahs standing at first base. Common sense took a back seat to impulse as he used his hand to stop the ball’s path to right field. The sound it made was akin to striking a riding crop on horsehide and gave Pirate pause to renew his thinking about choosing first base over hurler.
The awe at the sight of a solar eclipse pales for the many who witnessed Cuppa from the Eclipse after he approached the plate in the fifth inning. With Trouble on first after a hard single to right that left the fielder’s fingers tingling, Cuppa gripped his custom Red Stick bat and swung mightily. The impact with the ball split the bat in half and would force Cuppa to use it as kindling on his next camping trip.
The Eclipse once again had the luxury of Chip behind the plate and her presence accounted for five put outs. It was this type of defense that transformed the Eclipse into a much better team than years past. Key additions of Moonlight and Kid to the team added athleticism not seen before, the continued improvement of Badger, Moose and Hangman in their second years and the health of Trouble only made the team from Northville more exciting to watch. The Eclipse would go on to win Sunday’s match by a final of 16-3 and in the process send longtime members, Rev and Bender, out on a high note as they ended their careers for the orange and black.
It was a touching scene to see former Eclipse ballplayers Goose, Paddy, Dutch, Handle and Crash attend this match and show their support. Playing base ball is just an added perk to actually being a part of this amazing group of people.
The final homestand of the year for the Eclipse brought the Rochester Grangers to Ford Field and a rematch from a month prior that had Grangers winning a close one, 8-6. This afternoon would prove that the Eclipse had done their homework against a formidable foe. Combining patience at the plate with solid defense would allow the black and orange to record their third straight win on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
Scratch starting the scoring for the Eclipse in the first on a one-out single and stole second. He would easily score on a two-out single to right by Moose, who ended up collecting four hits on the day. Jaundice would plate Moose to give the Eclipse an early 2-0 lead in the first. The game would stay that way for the next three innings until Moose stepped up to the plate in his second plate appearance of the afternoon. Patiently waiting for a decent offering from the Granger hurler, Moose uncorked a colossal swing that resulted in an equally distributed ball trajectory over the hill and trees in right field. It would result in the advancement of just ninety feet on the base paths. However the next two southpaws hitters of Trouble and Jaundice would scurry Moose over to third where Moonlight would drive him home for a 3-0 lead.
Solid defense would be staged from both teams in the next few innings.
However, in the sixth inning, the Eclipse broke the game wide open when they tallied 8 runs on ten consecutive hits initiated by Scratch’s third hit of the day and immediately followed by Tinman’s double to left field.
The Eclipse defense continued to stymie the Grangers and in the bottom of the seventh inning, Trouble reared its ugly head. Weed lead off the inning for the Grangers with a sharp single to left field, but was left wilting in the sun when Peg Leg bounded to the catcher, Blue Grass fell victim to a running one hand grab by Trouble at first and Walters ended the inning with a bound out to center.
The Grangers tallied two runs in the final inning to avoid a shutout as the Eclipse secured a 11-2 win and prepared for their final match of the season during Heritage Festival in Northville against the Lah-De-Dahs.
Bender. A staple in the Eclipse Base Ball Club of Northville since 2006, this fine gentlemen is retiring to enjoy life outside the diamond. The consummate teammate and working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the Eclipse meets the demand of scheduling matches and honoring their commitments, David Newhouse is that rare breed of a person who sacrifices so much for the betterment of others. His commitment to the Eclipse is applauded not only by the players he shares the field with, but also the organizations that he deals with in promoting the Northville Eclipse.
We invite you to partake in the club’s final matches of 2018 by joining them at Ford Field in Northville and saying a well-deserved farewell to Bender and his incredible career. A stalwart at shortstop, the Eclipse will truly miss his passion to the game as well as his presence on and off the field.
It is with great sadness that we pass on the news of the passing of a former member of the Eclipse Base Ball Club of Northville. Jim “Curly” Trick played five seasons for the Eclipse from 2008 through 2012 and always brought laughter and a smile to the game. His hurls to the striker were a thing of beauty and it made even the most casual crank want to pick up a piece of lumber to make contact on a field of green grass.
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.
The Eclipse continued the young 2018 season much like they started it a few weeks back with aggressive striking and competent fielding. A somewhat overbearing heat stretched across the green diamond and quickly tested the stamina of the ballists on both sides. Today’s match featured the gentlemen from Chelsea, who set the blue and gold standard in play and demeanor.
A scoreless two early frames gave way to a lone run in the third inning when Jaundice advanced on a muff by the behind. Normally runs like this are at a premium against the Monitors, but today’s match saw a new direction for the Eclipse. Accompanying this year’s group are Kid and Moonlight, who have added a refreshing twist to the roster with speed, tenacity and gumption.
The fourth inning saw three consecutive singles by Chip, Stitch and Scratch to load bases, where Badger followed his successful first season with a start to another great one by perfectly placing a single down the left field line to tally two runs. A fielder’s choice one out later by Tinman scored Scratch and soon after the hit parade began again for the Eclipse. Moose hit another of his towering lofts into the trees in right field, followed by a single by the new Kid on the block to plate Moose. Mac, fresh off an off-season of traveling the world in search of a lonely beverage to call his own, surprisingly doubled down the line to left, eventually scoring on a Jaundice single. A close game would see itself as an 8-0 match at the end of the inning.
The Eclipse would tally 4 more runs in the seventh inning, with Kid, Mac, Jaundice and Trouble all scoring to provide more relief to the Eclipse hurler, when none could be found from the sweltering sun, even in the shade. After it was concluded, the club from Northville was able to see seven strikers tally at least three hits apiece.
Up next for the Eclipse is a journey north to meet some new and old friends in the first annual Frankenmuth Festival.
Another notable historical battle was added to the list during Civil War Days at Fort Wayne. Nestled along the Detroit River, the Early Risers hosted the Eclipse Base Ball Club of Northville on a humid June afternoon. Recent matches between the two clubs have entertained fine fielding, stingy pitching and scarce tallies but the match in play triggered a tally keeper’s nightmare in keeping his pencil sharpened to account for the activity of the ballists.
The Eclipse took the early lead in the first inning as a result of a three bag hit to deep center by Stretch, who continued his impressive new role as a lead off striker. Chip tallied him on a grounder to the right side, while Frisco singled and scored on another three bag hit by TinMan, eventually scoring on a single from Bender.
The sticks whispered in the next few innings for the Eclipse as they clung to an early 3-2 lead. The Early Risers then proceeded to plate seven runs in the third inning with the highlight coming off the bat of Cue Ball who launched his own cannon shot into the artillery regimen in the deep left fields, scoring Spotty and Pokey. The Eclipse answered with their own warning shot in the next inning as Jaundice found open room in right field with a triple to plate two runs and Handle found an opening to the right of the mid outfielder to attach his own name to a triple. Eventually the black and orange club tallied six and the two clubs were tied at nine through four innings. The Early Risers continued with their firepower as they tallied six runs in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth inning. However, the Eclipse refused to surrender and they reloaded their bats for another assault in the sixth inning as Handle led the charge with a three-run bases-clearing double as part of a six run inning. Handle, who enlisted in the Northville club during its infancy, occasionally makes appearances in times of need and it was reported that he spent a good deal of time whittling wood into fine pieces of bats. On this day, he carved up the normally difficult to connect offerings of Hatchet from the Early Risers to the result of four hits, including a double and triple, and seven runs batted in. The Early Risers added to their 18-15 lead in the seventh inning with three more runs, but once again the Eclipse responded with two runs of their own. The eighth inning saw the Early Risers’ Hickory chase after Scallywag on the bases as he delivered a hard liner as deep as it was futile to catch into left field, resulting in two more tallies. Trailing by six runs, the Eclipse mounted yet another miraculous comeback. Zebra led off the inning with a single, followed by a matching hit to left by Stitch. Stretch doubled to right, scoring Zebra and the Chip plated Stitch with a ball to left field. Frisco homered to center, scoring Chip, while TinMan and Bender capped off the scoring as a result of a single by Handle and a muff from the catcher.
Play was halted after eight innings to give thanks and remembrance to those who served during the war and both teams were pleased to settle their differences with a 23-23 tie. Hickory led the way for the Early Risers with five hits and four runs, while Cue Ball, Stovepipe and Snurek all contributed four hits apiece for their club. Meanwhile, the Eclipse had Handle lead the way and was accompanied by Stretch who tallied two runs, two runs batted in and three hits, Rev who also tallied two runs and two runs batted in with his four hits and TinMan who tallied five runs, four runs batted in and four hits.
The Eclipse traveled east to meet the Wahoos in their annual meeting with the fine gentlemen from Royal Oak where a match was held under beautiful blue skies and a soft steady breeze. The earlier winter months not only brought a climate change to the townsfolk of Northville, but also a transition of younger able bodies to an advanced roster. The three new additions made their appearance for the first time together as a unit on Sunday in a 15-4 win. After a quick scoreless first inning by both clubs, the Eclipse tallied two in the second inning as a result of consecutive singles by Hangman and Mac.
Hangman, one of the three new additions and a child prodigy with gifted physical abilities in an unassuming posture, has quickly adapted to the task of catching everything bare-handed, but in a unique off-center way. An inning later the Eclipse increased their lead to ten beginning with a single to left from Badger and ending the scoring with a hard line double to left field, plating Moose. The second newcomer to join the black and orange, Badger continued to excel just as well at the plate as he has in the field as he managed to connect on three successful hits on the afternoon and scoring twice. At one point during the match, the Eclipse positioned all three young men in the outfield which helped stifle the dangerous bats from the Royal Oak club. In fact at one point during the match, the Eclipse defense held the Wahoos to send no more than 4 strikers to the plate in five consecutive innings without scoring a run. The final piece to the Eclipse squad, Moose, was marking his first appearance on the team. Word of his worldly ability nearly traveled as far and as quickly as the leather sphere off the wooden stick on his second plate appearance. Striking from the opposite side, Moose drove in two Eclipse runners with a cannon of a hit into right center field. He equaled that explosiveness on the field when he found himself at third base and relayed a throw home from the outfield. The ball echoed from his fingertips and sailed as straight as a musket shot from the timber fields of any young hunter during turkey season. The ball landed squarely into the waiting hands of Cuppa at home plate and easily prevented a run by Hammer of the Wahoos.
Up next for the Eclipse is a match in Detroit against the Early Risers followed by a visit from their jovial Northern friends, the Actives.
The Northville Nine returned to Flint to defend their title of the Stockton Cup this weekend. Determined to secure their first win of the young season, the Eclipse opened up the four team tournament against the host Lumber City Base Ball Club. The Flint club quickly provided a three run deficit to the returning champs beginning with a two out single to the left side in the first inning by Brian, who tallied two runners. The Eclipse responded an inning later by plating three with the effort resulting off the bats of Stitch, Scratch and Badger. TinMan provided the Eclipse with their first lead of the day in their bottom half of the third inning when he immediately scored on Rev’s hard hit grounder to third. Both teams traded runs in the fourth inning and doubled that feat with matching two runs in the fifth inning. The spectators were in for a treat as both teams seemed destined to answer the call for whatever the opposition presented to them.
Lumber City surged ahead with the one run lead once again in the sixth inning and a young student of the game named Kyle added to the lead in the seventh inning by securing another run when he hit a two out single to left field. The Eclipse answered the deficit when four consecutive singles by Mac, TinMan, Bender and Jaundice eventually resulted in three runs for the black and orange and a 10-9 lead.
A fruitless top of the eighth inning for Lumber City allowed the Eclipse to extend their lead when Badger, Mac and TinMan opened their half of the inning with successive singles to the left side, eventually scoring as part of a four run outburst to claim a lead of five. A rare scene this part of the Mississippi unfolded on the hurler’s area of the diamond as the Eclipse made a change. Stitch, a competent fellow with equally skilled qualities in the field switched opportunities with TinMan. This last inning ballist movement was discussed in the north and thought to give advantage to the striking club, who failed to tally a run the inning prior and was hard pressed to meet solid wood to the apple for much of the match. However the motion of the arm from the new hurler provided a grave task for Lumber City as the sphere sailed violently through the air avoiding proper contact except in the case of the fingers for the behind, much to his chagrin as well. The win for the Eclipse and enabled them to play for the right to defend the Stockton Cup against the Sydney Stars.
The Eclipse quickly put the Stars in a hole by tallying eight runs in the second inning and added to their brilliant day of defense by holding the Sidney nine to five runs for the entire game. The Northville bats posted seven runs each in the sixth and seventh innings en route to a 26-5 win and a successful defense of the Stockton Cup.
The 2017 season began for the Eclipse nine commemorating the one hundredth and fiftieth anniversary of the first meeting against the Red Rovers from Plymouth. Under a beautiful blue sky, the Eclipse tallied four in the opening inning led by a TinMan double and a run batted in by newcomer, Badger. The Red Rovers responded with two tallies in the bottom of the frame courtesy of a double from Whizbang and a single to right by Hoss. Had the anniversary match be concluded after five innings like the original meeting, the Eclipse would have celebrated a 7-6 victory. However, quick play and strong defense enabled the match to continue much to the delight of the assembled gallery at Hines Park. Soapdish began the sixth inning with a four base hit into deep center and worked his way around the diamond to even the game. Two consecutive quick innings by both teams in the seventh and eighth led to a dramatic final frame. Mac energized the Eclipse with a two out hit, advanced to second on a surprising steal of second base and advance to third on TinMan’s single to the left side. The Beast was able to control momentum for the Red Rovers by inducing Bender to end the inning on a bouncer back to him. This eventually allowed a chance for the Rovers to secure a win in their final at bat. Beanpole led off the bottom of the final inning with an infield single and proceeded to score on a deep two base hit to right center by Sausage, who finished the afternoon with three hits, two tallies and two batters driven in. The Eclipse were led by Scratch who tallied four hits and two runs and TinMan who also recorded four hits. Mac and Badger contributed three hits apiece for the Northville nine, who look to defend their cup in Flint while also accomplishing their first win of the season.