On the final Sunday of the 2014 Civil War Days the Union Base Ball Club of Dexter was to host the Monitor Base Ball Club of Chelsea from just down the railroad tracks. The day started off with plenty of rain and it wasn't looking like a good day for base ball at Gordon Hall. The two clubs were determined to play their first match together of 2014 and the weather cleared up around noon and allowed plenty of time for the field to dry out for a perfect day of historic base ball.
After some warming up and finding out what our friends from Chelsea have been up to since last season, both clubs lined up and introduced themselves to the cranks that turned out for this annual event. Umpire Darryl 'Foul Ball' Albright stepped onto the field to flip the coin and determine who would bat first. Captain 'Honest Jon' called tails and got the coin to fall in his favor, opting for the Monitors to take the field first. Dexter stepped up to the plate in the first looking for a strong start, something they have been missing so far this year. The Union men were able to do just that, taking advantage of some errors and strong hitting. Dexter sent 7 men up to the plate in the first inning, bringing 3 of them around for tallies. Chelsea ran off the field ready to take their turn at bat in the first inning, sending captain 'Honest Jon' to start off. Chelesa matched Dexter step for step at bat, making some solid hits and showing some fine base running skills. Ten Monitors batted in the first inning, bringing four home for tallies, allowing Chelsea to end the first with a 4-3 lead.
The second inning saw both clubs cooling off a bit at bat and stepping up on defense as both clubs only sent a handful of men up to bat and neither club scored. Sea Bass started off the third inning for Dexter, hitting safely and making his way around all the bases, scoring one of the two tallies Dexter had in that inning. Hawgcooker started off the inning for Chelsea and like Sea Bass was able to get on base and come all the way around for a tally. Unfortunately for Chelsea that was the only tally they would get that inning, ending the third tied 5-5 with Dexter. The fourth inning was a big inning for Dexter as their bats seemed to really come alive and find all the right spots to hit to. Ten Union ballists stepped up to bat and five of them came all the way home for tallies. With a comfortable lead and a little confidence the men from Dexter took the field and were able to limit Chelsea to one tally made by Kid crossing all the bases. Going into the beginning of the fifth inning, Dexter held a 10-6 lead. Dexter continued where they left off in the fourth inning, watching as Buckeye started off the fifth and made his way around all the bases scoring a tally for Dexter. They would score two more before the inning was over as Prospector and Stats also find themselves scoring tallies for the Union. Chelsea started off their half of the fifth inning with their first two batters Hawgcooker and Lumberjack striking well and scoring two tallies for Chelsea. That is all Chelsea would be able to bring in during the fifth inning as Dexter quickly got three outs to end that inning. The sixth inning would be a quiet one for both clubs, between the two clubs only 9 men would step up to the plate with bat in hand and only Chelsea was able to score one tally, making the score 13-9 in favor of Dexter at the end of the sixth.
The seventh inning would see Dexter adding one more tally to the scoreboard as Sea Bass navigates his way around the bases again. The bottom half of the inning unfortunately would not go well for the men wearing the Royal Blue D. Chelsea would send seven men up to bat before Dexter was able to get the first out of the inning. Seven more men for Chelsea swung at the ball before Dexter would get the third and final out of the inning. Credit goes to the Chelsea men for their fine striking. It was not for a lack of effort by Dexter that so many Chelsea men found themselves standing on a base. The Monitor bats were striking the ball well and getting it onto the ground and in between the defense. When the inning was over the Monitors had put ten more tallies onto the board, giving them a 19-13 lead. Dexter knew with only three innings left, they needed to do something now if they wanted to give Chelsea a challenge. They came out in the eighth and struck well, getting eight men on the bases, but only bringing three in for a tally. Luckily for Dexter, Chelsea was only able to get five men up to bat before three outs were made. No Monitors made it across home plate, so their lead stood at 19-16.
Unfortunately for Dexter, they were unable to score any runs in the ninth inning. Chelsea walked off the field with the 19-16 win and undefeated against Dexter at Civil War Days. Immediate congratulations were given to Chelsea on their fine play and impressive scoring. The Dexter and Chelsea clubs are great friends often practicing together and seeing each other on the field often, so we are happy for our friends. It's always a great day when we get to play Chelsea and it was an exciting match all the way to the very end. Both clubs sat down and relived the match as we enjoyed some fine food in the tent behind Gordon Hall.
Thank you to the Dexter Area Historical Society and Museum or putting on this fine even and our friends from the Monitors for making the short trip to Dexter for the day. Huzzah to all involved including Darryl our umpire and Mary Anne our tally keeper.