Category: News

Cumberlanders Float Downtown to Face Phoenix

In one of the most anticipated games on the year, the Cumberland Club of Nashville will make way down their namesake river to face the Phoenix of East Nashville at Bicentennial Mall. Game time is 2:00 pm.

There, they will continue a tradition that began over two hundred years before by participating in a game at the original grounds of base ball in the Tennessee capital.

2019 witnessed a shortened game between two unevenly matched teams. A then black-clad Cumberland Club was unable to finish a full nine innings against a much younger Phoenix team, when the game suddenly ended in the top of the sixth due to heat exhaustion and no substitutes.

2021 could provide cranks a much closer and complete nine inning game. With a large infusion of youth and vigor, the Cumberlanders will feature a roster of more than 15 players brought upon by added Distillers to the team at the beginning of the season.

Two of mentioned Distillers, Biscuits and the Fixer.

First year players Hardtack, Montana, and Pickles are set to make their Bicentennial Mall debuts this Sunday along with vintage base ball veteran first baseman, Fish. Vintage base baller and social media presence, Shadetree returns to the grounds where he made is VBB debut back in 2018.

Shady displaying how they bunt it in North Carolina


Prayers Unanswered — Cumberlanders Trampled by Farriers, 15-9

By Ted Pelton

Verily, a losing base ball team, down on its luck, is like a sad church congregation, praying to the Lord for some sustenance to appease their woes. Oh when our prayers for a winning season be answered? For the Cumberland Club of Nashville, even solo wins have come infrequently as miracles; indeed, in the offseason following their sole ascent to glory last season, besting the Distillers in the final game of 2020, the plague season, the Distillers themselves were removed from the league, as if the cosmic judge of all existence Himself wished to efface all evidence of the Cumberlanders having strode in victory even once. 

But 2021 is a fresh campaign, and even if the Distillers as a club have left our green orb to drink their spirits in the sky, they have left some representatives of that former team with the Cumberland club, strengthening their one-time rivals. Two of such in the Cumberlander line-up on the grounds of The Hermitage on May 16 for their contest against the Franklin Farriers were Cornstalk, batting clean-up, and Fixer, who hit sixth as well as taking turns spinning spheroids from the pitcher’s line. Both of these additions had stalwart performances for the rivermen in teal on this Sunday, the lanky Cornstalk reaching on two safeties and the crafty Fixer nailing down 3 for 4 and bringing home two ribeye steaks. This was not enough, however, to stave off defeat for the men and women who toil on Andrew Jackson’s pasture, who as a group were trampled by the visiting horsemen Farriers, 15-9. 

Nevertheless, there were moments of elation for the Cumberland Club, who though they played without their star, the red-bearded mountainman Ozark, saw the return of an old crowd-pleasing favorite, Spoons. Having stayed indoors during last year’s plague working out new rhythms on his eponymous tableware instrument, Spoons rapped out a steady beat of base knocks on this bright afternoon, going 3 for 4 and crossing the plate for the Cumberlanders first tally, in inning 4. Indeed, for a moment the contest looked like one in which the Cumberland might swell to bog down the horsemen in muck, for when Speck crossed soon behind the Spooner, Jackson’s warriors closed the gap to 4-2, and when Fixer and Books journeyed home in the next inning, the score stood 5-4. Teammates sang loud and raised arms to the sky with entreaties that this day might yield a jubilant result and the Blues might flow mightily as the river which named them, dunking the hopes of the visitors from Williamson County. 

Spoons with the charismatic Slapshot

Sadly, this was as close as the Cumberlanders’ fervent prayers would come to be being answered on this May afternoon, as the Farriers put away the tongs and took out the whip, leaving four new lines on the scoreboard in the fifth and three more in the sixth, opening a 12-4 advantage that would not be overmatched this day. 

Even so, some rays of heavenly light shone in the remaining frames for the Nashvillians. Patrolling the green expanse of wrongside pasture, Burnside careened left and right to steal safeties away from Farrier bats throughout the contest and into the lategoing, keeping the foe within reach. Sharkbait continued as one of the Cumberlanders most reliable bats, with two knocks in three efforts from the dish. Corndog, like Spoons returning to action after missing most of 2020, showed extra-base power with his two smashes. On the latter of these, the Professor, who likewise reached base twice safely during the contest, stood on the first sack as Corndog launched a prodigious blast out toward the oaks in left-centerfield. Wakened from his philosophical revery, Professor took off as if late to pick up his paycheck from the bursar and having to arrive before the chapel bell tolled thrice, scoring all the way from first. Crossing the plate, lightheaded from having run so far with great pace and exertion, the old scholar fancied for a moment that he had scored a run of great consequence in the contest. Alas, this was only because he was now lying on his back and examining the scoreboard upside down.  

Professor in his younger days

The Cumberland Club of Nashville again takes to the field Sunday at Bicentennial Capitol Mall in Nashville, against the Phoenix of East Nashville. 

Cumberlanders Fall to Scouts, 17-5

Despite 19 team hits, the Cumberland Club of Nashville continued their winless streak against the Stones River Scouts at Oaklands Mansion.

The cool, gray skies of Middle Tennessee set the tone for what would end up being a cool, gray offensive production for the Cumberlanders, as they could only muster 5 runs against a well prepared and aggressive Stones River club.

After giving up 4 runs in the top of the first, the Cumberlander offense struck back quick with three straight base hits from Ozark, Burnside, and Corndog. The last of which plated the team’s first run of the season. Montana traded two outs for another run in the first, effectively driving in the second run of the year.

Also within the first three innings, Sharkbait, Books, and Fish recorded their first knocks on the season.

With one out in the top of the 4th, Ozark smacked a screamer down the left field line for an easy double, with Burnside reaching base and moving up to second on the throw home to hold Ozark at 3rd. Corndog would follow with a base hit of his own loading the bases for rookie second baseman Montana for the second time in the game.

Learning from her last at-bat, she drove in the bearded brothers to record her first hit and first two RBI of her career. Cornstalk followed suit by driving in his maizey counterpart Corndog, but the rally came up short with a fielder’s choice and flyout to end the inning.

Montana at Oaklands Mansion

The 5th saw Professor with his first hit on the season and the 6th provided us with Fish’s second hit in the game and Slapshot’s first hit on the season and eighth since 2019.

The 7th lit up with another pair of singles from Ozark and Burnside, but was quickly snuffed out with another pair of fielder’s choice groundouts. Montana, Cornstalk, and Fixer would also record hits before the final out.

While scattering 19 hits over the course of nine innings, the Cumberlanders also hit into 4 double plays over the course of the game. Essentially ending and real threat to catch the Scouts who were up 8-2 by the end of the third.

The Cumberlanders will play their first game at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage since June 2019, where they will take on the Franklin Farriers on May 16th at 2:00 p.m. Additional entertainment will feature Ted Guillaum on crank organ for pregame and between innings.

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Cumberlanders Visit the Boro to Take on Scouts… Yet Again

Brett “Burnside” Young Photo Credit: Remembering Tuscumbia

In a seemingly unending string of pre-season practices, tournaments, and exhibition games, the Cumberland Club of Nashville is set to take on the Stones River Scouts at Oaklands Mansion in Murfreesboro, Tennessee… yet again.

At 2:00 pm, on Sunday, May 2nd 2021, the fourth season of Cumberlanders Vintage Base Ball will begin!

As of this writing, it has been 600 days since the Cumberland Club of Nashville has played in a game where it counts.

On September 7th, 2019, cranks throughout Middle Tennessee witnessed yet another drubbing of Andrew Jackson’s favorite ballclub. After nine innings of pure torture under the hot, dry sun, all while wearing black denim unifoms, the Cumberlanders succumbed to the Stones River Scouts by the score of 19 – 2.

While the final result was not unusual for a club who limped towards the end of season tournament with a 1 – 10 record on the season. What was unusual was that such a beating came at the hands of a familiar and closely matched foe.

When the Cumberlanders and Scouts faced each other less than a month prior, the final tally was 10 – 3 in favor of the Scouts. Before that, when these two clubs faced each other at Ravenswood in 2018, the final tally was 8 – 7 in favor of the men on the Stones River. And even before that, when these two clubs faced each other in the tournament for the Sulphur Dell Cup, the final tally was 10 – 7 in favor of the Scouts.

How could this have happened? When two evenly matched teams on paper face each other on the diamond, you would expect a fun and exciting game. But that wasn’t the case for the 2019 Cumberlanders. So, what caused it?

Was it a symptom of a long lost identity? Before former captain Pepper left his men to pursue dreams in Hollywood, star players JiP and RIP transferred to clubs closer to home. Catfish and his basketlike hands retired in order to enjoy time with his family. Or was it the rumblings of the impending doom that the world would face as time drew closer to 2020. Maybe the Cumberlanders tapped into some evil force a year earlier than what was required? Your guess is as good as mine, but the fact remains that the Titans in Teal had morphed into something of a Black Shadow.

Shadows of their former selves, Cumberlanders in Brentwood, TN

Loss, after loss, after loss was the fate that the Hermitage Heros faced on a monthly basis; save for the one lone win at the home grounds. And no, these weren’t close, choke-it-away losses either. Nearly every one was a pounding. The Black Beauties were walloped by Lightfoot, Maroon, Phoenix, Quickstep, and Farrier alike. Why would a tournament game against a friendly rival be any different?

Despite a lack of success on the field, 2019 did see a few favorable moments for the Cumberlanders. Two relatives through marriage joined the ballclub, one with wisdom and the other with strength. Caboose, having found salvation after leaving the throes of East Nashville, brought along Corndog to balance out what old age had taken from him.

The club also recruited an excellent first sacker in Fish, who came in a package deal with one of the best outfielders in the team’s short history, Sharkbait. All the while subtly filling the void of aquatic wildlife nicknames for a team who takes inspiration from the life giving river.

Fish and Sharkbait in Spring Hill, TN

And despite what the world faced in 2020, the club began to show signs of stability. With most of the 2019 roster returning to a shorted 2020 campaign, the Cumberlanders slugged their way to a win on the last day of the season while on the road in Knoxville.

2021 brings new hopes and new faces. Additions of many Highland Rim Distillers bolster an already fierce Cumberland lineup. Look for Biscuits, Fixer, and the father/son duo of Speck and Cornstalk to contribute in significant ways.

Biscuits and Fixer in Tuscumbia, AL

Watch out for Critter to strike well while also bringing a high energy hoedown feeling to the already musically inclined ballclub. And watch the professional baseball duo of Montana and Pickles from AAA Nashville to make significant contributions to our slower paced, more family friendly version of the game.

And finally, if God is willing, may the freshly dubbed “Turquoise Girls & Boys” score tallies in such a fashion that Percy Priest breaks open wide to carry the Scouts away on the Stones like a piece of driftwood.

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Opening Weekend!

IT’S HERE!!!Opening weekend of matches this Saturday & Sunday.Battle of Chattanooga Part 1 will go down at 6th Cavalry Museum on Saturday, May 1. First onion is scheduled to be tossed at 2:00. There you will see the Mountain City Vintage Base Ball Club of Chattanooga vs their Chattanooga brothers the Lightfoot Vintage Base Ball Club of Chattanooga.On Sunday, May 2… head downtown to the bottom of the Capital steps to the grass of the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park to see the Nashville Maroons Vintage Base Ball Club vs the Phoenix VBBC of East Nashville. That match will start at 2:00pmIf you are south of Nashville, head to Rippavilla Plantation on Sunday and see two Williamson County clubs go head to head. The Quicksteps Vintage Base Ball Club of Spring Hill vs the Franklin Farriers Vintage Base Ball Club. Striker to the line at 2:00pm.In Murfreesboro, you’ll want to be at Oaklands Mansion on Sunday at 2:00pm. The Stones River Scouts VBBC will face off against the Cumberland Vintage Base Ball Club of Nashville. All matches are FREE family entertainment. Bring a chair or blanket and your favorite refreshments and enjoy the outdoors while witnessing barehanded base ball using the rules, customs and sportsmanship of 1864.HUZZAH to the start of the 2021 season!!!

At long last, base ball…

Due to COVID-19 we have delayed the commencement of the 2020 season until conditions allowed for safe protocols and procedures as recommended by the various authorities having jurisdiction could be implemented. Starting on June 28, 2020, we will being play at a handful of our sites, but unfortunately we are not able to invite the public to these events. As a result of this, we will be live streaming as many games as we are able utilizing Facebook Live.

Our first match is today at 1pm, and we hope to see you in the comments…

A statement on an incident in Chattanooga

We were informed today of an incident in Chattanooga involving one of our players. The Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball condemns the individuals behavior and does not tolerate racism or indecency in any form. The player in question has been expelled from our league.

We play a game that adheres to rules from the 19th Century. However, our organization does not support or promote the discriminatory beliefs inherent to that time period. Our goal has always been to inform the public of the history of what we believe is the greatest sport ever played – and to do so in a way that engages fans in spectacle. In doing so, we have always strived for total inclusivity and have adapted the rules of 1864 to accomplish that goal.

Our game is built on the backbone of honorable behavior, where all players cheer on all players, the competition is friendly, and the final team on top celebrates only after shaking the hands of its opponent.

To be clear, we have zero tolerance for racism and we are committed to taking the necessary time and effort to combat prejudice.

Farriers win Pennant

The Farriers of Franklin beat their rival Nashville Maroons on Sunday, August 25th to win their first pennant. Accordingly, they will be the number one seed in the upcoming Sulphur Dell Cup Tournament to be held at Rippavilla Plantation in Spring Hill on September 7th and 8th, 2019.