Grangers Host Summer Solstice Game

Paying homage to the ancient Druids, who built with giant stones what is believed to be an ancient celestial clock, the Rochester Grangers Vintage Base Ball Club staged a twilight game on the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. On hand was a large compendium of cranks, who were lined up two deep along the base lines to see the Rochesters take on the Lumber City Club of Flint. Throwing out the first ball was long time tally keeper Mary “Applesauce” Howarth, who along with her spouse, David “Doc” Howarth, were recipients of a Proclamation delivered before the game. Written by retired vintage third sacker and Mayor in Perpetuity Bryan “Bam Bam” Barnett, it highlighted their fifty years of service to the City.

Mary “Applesauce” Howarth tossed the first pitch of the match as the Grangers recognized her and her husband David for their years of service to the community.

In anticipation of a long-planned move from Rochester, the Howarths had loaded buckboards at the ready to commence what was sure to be an arduous journey to Boston. Much like the Donner Party, they are seeking a permanent settlement on the coast, with hopefully better results.

Striking first, the Lumbermen tallied six aces in their initial turn at bat. Refusing to be put on their heels, the Rochesters proceeded to wield some lumber of their own, tying the score at six all. The Granger uprising featured extra base wallops from Rob “Crusher” Morse, Keith “Boomer” Walters, and Scott “Chooch” Westgate who, along with his wife Chris, were each on hand to celebrate their thirty-seventh wedding anniversary.

Gamely trying to chronicle the ongoing confabulation was tally keeper Deborah “Seamstress” Remer, who saw fit to dispatch Granger icon Patrick “Barnraiser” McKay and his alpaca to the Museum for extra pencils. Meanwhile, umpire Bob “Piller” Lytle was likewise pressed into service as the scoreboard tender, doing triple duty while autographing copies of his best-selling book, A Pitch in Time.

As both clubs smartly displayed their stickwork, the oft replanted tree in left field became a favored target, causing balls to evade capture on the rebound. As a result, cranks had cause to wonder whether the earth’s seasonal tilt would provide sufficient daylight for the ballists to complete their exercises.

Ultimately, encroaching darkness, not to mention the promise of extra inning libations, prompted a retreat by the participants to the Calf Barn. As a perfect evening for base ball drew to a close, the boys of summer could look back at a memorable day at Van Hoosen Farm, a place not unlike Stonehenge, where time seems to stand still.

This chronicle was contributed by Douglas “Moonlight” Otlewski in the style of the 1860s. For further information on the schedule, please contact the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm, 248-656-4663, or peruse the new-fangled Granger Facebook Page for further information on the club.

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