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|"Liberty" of the Quicksteps of Spring Hill. All the players have |
nicknames. Mine would be "Flounder," my favorite movie character.
Men from the Quicksteps of Spring Hill, Franklin Farriers, Phoenix of East Nashville and Stones River Scouts tossed and hit a softer cousin of the baseball we know. A white-bearded arbiter, referred to today as an umpire or sometimes by a profanity, made calls. Like most competitors during the Civil War, the ballplayers on Saturday didn't use gloves to catch the ball, often called an "onion" 150-plus years ago. A bat? That's a "willow."
Baseball and Shiloh are not as unusual a mix as they may seem. During the war, soldiers played the game on battlefields and in prison camps. A ball even was retrieved on the hallowed ground in 1862. “Picked Up on the Battle Field at Shiloh by G.F. Hellum," reads the inscription on the "lemon peel ball," another name for the orb.
The boys of '19 go by nicknames -- "Meatball Morgan," "Liberty," "Spud," "Mule" and "Suspenders" are among my favorites. A burly slugger named "Lefty" considered the experience "awesome." His teammates did, too.
And so we wonder what the boys of the spring of 1862 would think of it all. Games played on hallowed ground? We bet wherever their spirits linger, they'd be pleased. Like "Lefty," perhaps even smiling.
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|Where I come from we call this "The Rack."|
|"Knuckles" of the Quicksteps of Spring Hill.|
|"Mule" and his son "Fiddlesticks" of the Quicksteps of Spring Hill.|
|From left, "Rip," "Liberty" and "Suspenders" of the Quicksteps of Spring Hill.|
|"Lefty" of the Phoenix of East Nashville poses by a cannon near Duncan Field.|
|"Lefty" called the game at Duncan Field at Shiloh "awesome."|
|A Franklin Farriers pennant dangles from the portable backstop.|
|Score a run and ring the bell.|
|"Tater," perhaps the power hitter of the Quicksteps of Spring Hill.|
|From left, "Stonewall," "Rip," "Liberty" and "Suspenders" of the Quicksteps of Spring Hill.|
|The trophy awarded to the Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball champion. Info on league here.|