On Saturday, Dexter’s Union Base Ball Club welcomed the Royal Oak Wahoos to Dexter for Union’s first home match. No, not its first home match of the season. Its first EVER. I traveled over to Dexter’s historic Gordon Hall to get a few photos of the notable occasion.
The Union captain addressed the spectators — called “cranks” — before the game.
Under the 1860s rules these vintage clubs follow, the home team is determined not by geography but by a bat toss. Whoever gets his hand on the top of the bat gets the choice.
With all the preliminaries out of the way, the game got underway. Since the game took place on the front lawn of Gordon Hall, the field had a beautiful backdrop.
After each inning, the umpire wrote the inning’s tally on the scoreboard.
The field at Gordon Hall has many, many quirks, one of which is a small drainage pond off the first base line. Naturally, in the middle of the game a foul ball plunged into the pond.
Play resumed with another ball, and eventually a clever crank managed to fish the ball out of the pond.
Here’s a good look at the cranks’ view.
When a player scored a run, he walked over to the tallykeeper and rang a bell.
After the game, the captains again addressed the cranks.
The Wahoos offered three cheers to Union…
…and Union offered three cheers to the Wahoos.
The teams then gathered around the scoreboard to commemorate Union’s first home match.
Finally, we took a few team photos in front of Gordon Hall.
With Union now up and running, both Chelsea and Dexter have vintage base ball clubs. The games are fun to watch; if you can, I’d encourage you to get out to a game this summer! It’s a great way to spend an afternoon.