Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lost post: Live-blogging the Knickerbockers 1859 season opener

Friend of AH!, Fitzwilliam Bingley, wrote this a while ago, but we're just getting around to posting it.

A fine crowd has gathered to watch the New York Knickerbockers play the detestable swine that are the Brooklyn Excelsiors. This is the first game of the season in this eighteen hundred and fifty ninth year of our lord.

The glimmering shadows, that lay half-asleep between the field of base and ball and the adjacent oaks, were a kind of spiritual medium, seen through which, this magnificent game had not quite the aspect of belonging to the material world. Truly, it’s a divine field of grass surrounding a charming inner field of mud and dirt. But, we will not, then, malign the infield as gross and impure, while it can glorify itself with so adequate a picture of the heaven that broods above it; or, if we remember its tawny hue and its muddiness. Let it be a symbol that the earthliest human soul has an infinite spiritual capacity, and may contain the better world within it depths. In a world where few things are certain, I assure you this game, this chess of the flesh, is at home on this irregular field. Oh, and also, they are serving beer. Which is nice.

First Inning:

The Knickerbockers, looking dapper in their customary white flannel tops and blue pantaloons, take the field with a chorus of cheers. The excitement of the crowd has led to some peculiar behavior. Nearly all have removed their handkerchiefs from their pockets and are twirling them in the air around their heads in hopes that this act will bring a hit that allows a Knickerbacker batsman to return all the way to home.

The Knickerbockers slipshod play has given the Excelsiors runs hardly earned. Paulding was typically tardy to relay the ball back to the infield. The torpor of his movements makes a pregnant heifer seems swift. Whata bum.

6-3 Excelsiors

Second Inning:

E.B. Tucker has given the Knickerbocker offense a most needed spark. He is a giant of a man, standing at a stature of six feet and one inch, with a frame supporting the weight of one hundred and ninety some pounds. The hearts of many women have been torn asunder by his recent engagement to be married. I too opine for he and I to meet in a desolate field, the moonlight, opiating our senses as he ravishes his charms into my supple flesh under the watchful eye of silent stars. O’ how I wish he might join me, if only to nuzzle my visage into the intricacies of his gaping maw…but totally just as friends, of course.

9-7 Knickerbockers

Third Inning:

I see Doc Havensworth and his blood letting instruments are on hand in case of injury. The safety of the players is of the utmost importance.

The Excelsiors have regained the momentum. I am becoming more irritable with each run those bastard men score. Adding to the irritation, some hooplehead has blown up a pig bladder and has begun passing it about. If it comes near me, as God is my witness, I will pop that maddening sphere with this very ink-pen I hold clenched in my hand.

16-10 Excelsiors

Fourth Inning:

Birney has made a most commendable play for two outs. He dived on the infield dirt after the ball like a feral dog after an infant field mouse deformed at birth. Then, in the prone position mind you, flipped the ball to Adams at second base. Adams then relayed the ball to the elder Anthony brother covering first. Birney has covered his uniform with dirt, as he is wont to do from time to time; for he is well know for pantaloons covered in mud and a crotch covered in syphilis.

23-18 Excelsiors

Fifth Inning:

I just popped the pig bladder. A man yelled at me for ruining his fun. I threw a rock at his face.

32-27 Excelsiors

Sixth Inning

Mrs. Shivelgrass is in attendance. She has taken the demeanor of a widow and is mucking about with the shuffle of one suffering from consumption. Now she has run onto the field of play with her dress held high! My face has turned an embarrassing hue of crimson as I report to you that I, and all of God’s creation, caught a sinfully long glimpse of the skin of her legs below the knee. The three Patterson brothers, obese as they are dim, have finally restrained Mrs. Shivelgrass, after waddling humorously about the field in pursuit. Thankfully Father Matthews is in attendance to properly diagnose her as a witch. Doc Havensworth concurs. Yes, I know it's the mid 19th century, but our town still loves a good witch diagnoses. So back the ef off, history majors.

38-30 Excelsiors

Seventh Inning:

Avery appears to have injured his leg. He is helped off the field toward Doc Havensworth for a much needed rest and blood letting.

The Knickerbockers fail to overcome the deficit.

Final: Excelsiors 41 Knickerbockers 34


The current depression this loss has put upon me shall be lifted by the post game entertainment. For the trial of Mrs. Shivelgrass and her witchcraft is too be held post haste, and it almost assuredly will be followed by a rousing witch drowning. There are no losers this day! Well, sans Mrs. Shivelgrass. That witch gunna get drowned.


Daymonster said...

You can't drown a witch. Witch's float. If they drown they were innocent but died a noble death. If they float you can burn them.

haasertime said...

Fitzwilliam is great.

Its fun to read this post aloud.

soup said...

That's a good point Day,

I guess Fitzwilliam has never seen Monty Python's Holy Grail.