Last Sunday, the newly formed Delhi Vintage Base Ball Club played their first-ever game. Oh, what a day of firsts it was! For the first time in seven years, Delaware County could boast three regular ball clubs. For the first time in 13 years, an historical ball team from our fair hills was resurrected by native sons of the Delaware River. For the first time ever, coaches Ben “Diesel” Cairns and Andrews Landsman steered an adult base ball team on the field.
The fledgling Delhi team gathered after a long winter of organization and no small amount of agony that the parents, entrepreneurs, and coaches in the ample crowd could understand well: Cairns and Landsman would watch the birth of an idea.
Onto the canvas of a summer day fell the Delhi boys. In their checkered shirts and short-brimmed caps they bounced into this world uncertain, but cheery. Hopeful, and well-supported. The day might have been out of a Norman Rockwell painting: a small town nestled in the background as spectators put up sun umbrellas, the town’s dogs smelling each other playfully, smiles running through the ballplayers. In short: heartland residents shaking off a long winter. But like many Rockwell paintings, a villain lurked beneath the idealized strokes.
Today, the big bad villain would be played by the Bovina Dairymen. Organized, motivated, and with an experienced core, the hometown Dairymen sat ready to pounce on the boyish litter gathered across from them. And pounce the Dairymen did—but to their surprise, the Delhi squad proved more formidable than expected, and when the dust settled, the lopsided score reflected only the second half of the game.
Bovina jumped to an early lead as cleanup hitter Ben “el Gamero” Denison knocked in two runs in the first inning. After trading blanks in the second, back-to-back doubles from Joey “the Kid” Yambor and Jack “Rabbit” Stanton put Bovina up 3-0. But 20-year old Delhi pitcher Preston Van Wie held the normally high-powered Dairymen offense to drips and drops—scattering six hits over five innings while striking out nine. Unfortunately for Van Wie he also walked seven batters, three of whom would come around to score. In the fourth, it was John “Chico” Finn scoring on an Alex “AT” Taylor single. In the fifth, it was “Iron” Mike Brown scoring on a Nick “Roughcut” Frandsen double.
As the game wore on, Bovina’s prowess on defense and in the batter’s box showed through, and the drips and drops would prove plenty as Dairymen pitching dominated. Starting pitcher Frandsen threw six innings allowing only a single unearned run, and after chasing Delhi’s starter, Bovina opened the floodgates on Delhi reliever Cairns. Five runs in the sixth put Bovina up for good, with walks to Justin “Juice” Betterley and Dan “the Hands Man” Kehrer, and singles from Alan “Nickname Pending” Scarpa and Gary “Burns-eye, Sr.” Burns putting the final brush strokes on the piece. Bovina would cruise from there to improve their record to 6-1 on the season.
We take a moment to tip our caps to the Delhi boys, the fans who came out to watch the game, and of course, all the Dairymen players, families, and supporters who make the project not only possible, but poised to grow. Thank you all.
GAME NOTES. Bovina catcher Jack-rabbit Stanton was a home run short of the cycle on the day. Game attendance was approximately 100. NEXT GAME is a travel game: June 26th in Hartford, CT versus the Connecticut Bulldogs and the Boston Union Base Ball Club.