It was 101 degrees the last time the Travellers took the field at Mansker’s Station. At match time this week, it was 49.
All reasonable sporting events were cancelled for this weekend, but no one ever accused the Travellers of Brentwood of being reasonable. The fine gentlemen and ladies travelled to Mansker’s station to play the Mountain City Club of Chattanooga, a team of giants who have been known to put up 40 tallies in a match before.
But the fearsomeness of Mountain City was dwarfed by that of Mother Nature herself, who impressed us with both her sense of humor and her ability to change time. For it was not April at Mansker’s Station on Sunday, but late February, and after 40 straight hours of rain prior to the match Mother Nature decided another two hours wouldn’t hurt anyone. A drop in the temperature to the 40s couldn’t dampen the spirit of these two fine teams gracing middle Tennessee with vintage base ball this day. Old School himself said he had never seen such weather so late in the spring and Chowdahead bemused us with stories of such weather in the Great White North that he called home as a child. The Travellers sent Splinter to hurl, followed by Curly and Professor, while that wiley lefty, Redbird, hurled for Mountain City.
The Travellers got out to an early lead with a series of frozen ropes and worm burners from Philly, Tex, Spartan, and generally the entire first half of the lineup, while Flapjack, Flash and Bloomer turned a double play, and multiple hands died from putouts by Ginger and Professor behind home plate. However, in the following innings the fine gentlemen from Mountain City pounded some long cloud scrapers to right field, while the Travellers bats turned as cold as the weather, and slowly the club from Chattanooga began to take control of the game. There were two consecutive long, heroic putouts by the Mountain City left fielder at third sack and second sack respectively, which both squelched potential rallies by Brentwood.
With the score 12-7 in the ninth, Big Sky caught a long cloud scraper to end a Mountain City rally in the top of the inning, and your Travellers put together a two out rally and managed to load the sacks in the bottom, but alas, mighty Splinter sloshed a rain soaked onion right back to the hurler, mercifully ending the match before Mother Nature had a chance to bring sleet, snow, or some other kind of pestilence. The Travelers will play again in two weeks at Carnton Plantation against the Cumberlanders, where both teams hope that Mother Nature sobers up and blesses us with more temperate spring weather to which the fine citizens of middle Tennessee are generally accustomed.