Farewell, Ironsides!
March 23, 2010, 4:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

One hundred fifty two years ago the New Bedford, Mass. Daily Mercury announced the formation of a new base ball club and proclaimed “Success to the Ironsides Club!” By 1860 news about the club’s games and activities disappeared from the newspapers and the club faded in to obscurity.

The attempt to revive the Ironsides as a modern day “vintage” club will fade away as well. After 3 ½  years of planning, scheduling games and practices, canceling games and practices the Ironsides will hang it up. Many people contacted the Ironsides with a willingness and excitement to play such an obscure form of antiquated baseball. But when the time came to take the field many found themselves tied up with other obligations or perhaps feared an embarrassment resulting from playing baseball after too many years and having to do it without a glove. The interest was there but the commitment was not or could not be made.

The Ironsides did have its core group of committed people and their support is very much appreciated. If you happen to see a couple of guys around the south coast throwing a baseball around barehanded, as we will undoubtedly will, you can be sure you are seeing former members of the Ironsides playing catch mid-19th century style. Thank you for your support and taking the time out of your busy lives to try to get this club off the ground.

The Ironsides would also like the thank many of the other vintage clubs for their support, advice and encouragement.

If you are looking for a vintage club to play for there are several close by in Rhode Island:

Many other clubs in New England such as the New Hampshire Granite play many games on the road in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. These clubs are always on the look out for new players. Feel free to contact any of them for details.

If you are just discovering vintage ball and you have enough people to start a team in the area you can find more details about doing so at the Vintage Base Ball Association website.  You can always drop us a line at ironsidesbbc @gmail.com. We have a few ballist that still want to play.

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Help Wanted
September 10, 2009, 12:55 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

J. F. Guehrer, 1885 Digital ID: 56707. New York Public Library

The Ironsides Base Ball Club is looking for committed players for the 2010 season. We plan on playing a schedule of approximately 8-10 games from May-September.

No experience is necessary. Just a love of the game and the willingness to learn 19th century baseball rules and a commitment to playing.

We will be planning for next season in the coming months. For more information about playing for the Ironsides please contact us at ironsidesbbc@gmail.com.



Hingham Game Canceled

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Unfortunately, due to lack of commited players, the game against the Hingham Coopers has been canceled. As of post time the Ironsides only had 3 players to make the trip. Many of the most commited Ironsides had previous engagements to attend.

The game in September with Melrose, Essex and Lynn will be canceled as well because of much of the same reasons. However, the Ironsides will be looking forward to next season. We will be scheduling games in the winter so that we will be able to plan for better attendence in advance. We plan on scheduling games once a month from June-September. There is always room for more players. Please contact us at ironsidesbbc@gmail.com for more information.



Ironsides Play in Cambridge
Back Row Left to Right: Kyle DeCicco-Carey, Zach Rocha, Craig Schechter, Steve McCumber, Pat Foley, James Dorau, Brian Sheehy.  Front Row Left to Right: John Shannahan, Pete Costa, Zach Almeida-Beers, Unidentified, Unidentified, Unidentified, Chris Sheehy, Jason Sirois

Back Row Left to Right: Kyle DeCicco-Carey, Zach Rocha, Craig Schechter, Unidentified, Steve McCumber, Pat Foley, James Dorau, Brian Sheehy. Front Row Left to Right: John Shannahan, Pete Costa, Zach Almeida-Beers, Unidentified, Brian Donohue, Unidentified, Chris Sheehy, Jason Sirois

Representatives from various base ball clubs gathered at St. Peter’s field in Cambridge, Mass. to play by various rules of the 19th century. Clubs represented were the Essex Base Ball Club, Lynn Live Oaks, New Hampshire Granite, Ipswich Brewers, Mudville Base Ball Club and Boston Beaneaters.

Members of the Ironsides Base Ball Club included Zach Almedia-Beers at second base, Peter Costa in center field, Zach Rocha in left field and third base and Kyle DeCicco-Carey at first base.

The Ironsides teamed up with the New Hampshire Granite and Ipswich Brewers to take on the representatives of the other clubs. Two games were played. The first by the rules of 1861 the first half of the game and 1871 during the remaining innings. The score of that game is believed to be 9-5 in favor of the Ironsides led club.

The second game consisted of the innings being split by the rules of 1886 and 1900. This game proved to be a high scoring affair in which the final score was lost track of but is believed to have been in favor of the Ironsides’ opponent.

The Ironsides displayed impressive play as a new club despite their unfamiliarity with the various rules. Costa and Rocha covered the outfield nicely making most of their fly catches. Almedia-Beers, a new comer to the club, seemed to be a natural having never played the bare handed game.

The Ironsides would like to thank Brian Sheehy of the Essex Base Ball Organization for giving us the opportunity to play.

Below are some pictures from the game.

Zach Rocha (left) and Pete Costa (right) of the Ironsides prepare to strike

Zach Rocha (left) and Pete Costa (right) of the Ironsides prepare to strike

Zach Rocha of the Ironsides legs a hit out

Zach Rocha of the Ironsides legs a hit out

A member of the New Hampshire Granite strikes at the ball

Brian Donohue of the New Hampshire Granite strikes at the ball

Chris Sheehy of the Boston Beaneaters behind the bat

Chris Sheehy of the Boston Beaneaters behind the bat

A fielder's glove circa 1886

A fielder's glove circa 1886



Game this Weekend
August 7, 2009, 2:53 pm
Filed under: Essex Base Ball Club, Matches

Here is a press release for our game this weekend. It seems there may be confusion about where the game is being played. Unfortunately it is not in New Bedford (sorry about the formatting problem. I can’t do paragraphs at the moment)

See Baseball As It Was Played in the 19th Century

Come join members of the local Ironsides Base Ball Club and New England’s vintage base ball community on Saturday August 8th at St Peters Field in Cambridge, MA (Sherman St) from 10-2 as they play base ball as it was played in 1861, 1876, 1886, 1893, and 1900.  Join us as we also celebrate Cambridge’s Hall of Fame trio of John Clarkson, Tim Keefe, and Joe Kelley by wearing their uniforms and with an exhibit highlighting their careers.  The event is free and is organized by the Essex Base Ball Organization and sponsored by Cambridge Discovery Days.

The Ironsides Base Ball Club plays baseball by the rules of 1858 and is based on the original Ironsides; New Bedford’s first baseball team that played in the late 1850s. The current edition of the Ironsides will begin playing a regular schedule of games in 2010. If you wish to play for the Ironsides or would like more information please visit our website at http://www.ironsidesbbc.org.

Joe Kelley

Tim Keffe

Tim Keffe

John Clarkson

John Clarkson



Game at Hingham
July 19, 2009, 9:55 am
Filed under: Hingham Historical Society, Matches

Hingham Historical Society Vintage Base Ball Club

The Ironsides will head to Hingham, Mass. on Sunday, August 23 to play a team sponsored by the Higham Historical Society. We will play two games; one by the rules of 1858 and the other by Higham’s circa 1880s rules. See the schedule for location and time.



New Email Address
July 8, 2009, 6:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The old email address was getting to be problematic and emails were getting lost or not making to the the inbox. The new email address is ironsidesbbc@gmail.com

If you have tried to email in the past and had problems please resend to the new address.