Opening Day For The St. Louis Unions:
Beneath the rare sunny sky and amid the pastoral setting of Jefferson Barracks Park, the 19th century atmosphere was jarring punctuated from time to time with the booming sound of civil war cannon.
In the center of all this, the whack of balls struck by a bat, the smack of the sphere against ungloved hands, and the cheers and laughter of good fellowship provided more peaceful and pleasing sounds Saturday as vintage base ball returned to Jefferson Barracks Park.
Hosted by the Unions, the two contests played out on the grassy field featuring the St. Louis Unions and the St. Louis Perfectos.
The Unions team nine won the first game 11 – 1 and then completed the sweep with a tightly played 5 – 4 match against the Perfectos. Yet, as always, a sideline observer could not tell whether the Perfectos club was winning or losing by the demeanor of its players, who rejoiced in the opportunity to return to the field after a 5 month winter break.
In the first match with the Perfectos, the Unions started off quick with 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st on a 2 RBI bound out by Matt “Mayhem” Moushey and a base hit by Dave “Beans” Heim plated Tony “Huck” LaBarge. The Perfectos would add a run in the 2nd only to have the Unions add 2 runs in the 3rd with a 2 run double by Huck. A single tally in the 5th and a 5 run 6th would create a separation that propelled the Unions to a comfortable 11 – 1 victory.
Unions striking was led by Dathan “Cannibal” Tinney hitting safely 3 times. Huck also hitting safely 3 times. Adding two hits were Jim “Noodles” Stockglausner, Beans, Dan “Bulldog” Aubuchon, Randall “Slug” Richard and John “Knapsack” Mena.
The day’s final contest quickly started off the same as the first game with a early 3 run lead for the Unions. However the Perfectos were up for the challenge when they added a run in the 4th and 2 more in the 5th to tie the match at 3 a piece. The Unions would add 2 in the top of the final frame with a base hit by Mayhem to score Noodles from 2nd with the go ahead run and Bulldog plated Mayhem to make the score 5 – 3. Perfectos would add a run in there last at bat and then came close to tying it but with a quick relay to the plate the Perfecto runner was cut down at the plate.
Unions recording multiple hits in the match were Dave “Beans Heim, Aubuchon, LaBarge, Moushey and Mena.
The Unions in the two match’s were helped out with a strong defensive output from Jim “Noodles” Stockglausner and Dathan “Cannibal” Tinney each provided the Unions with numerous outstanding plays and Randall “Slug” Richard and Dan “Bulldog” Aubuchon held the Perfectos to 5 runs in 14 innings.
The Unions return to action on April 9 1pm in a home match with their long-time friends, the Lafayette Cyclone. The St Louis Perfectos will head to Decatur Illinois for a match with the Rock Springs Ground Squirrels on April 23rd at 12 p.m.
Seating at Jefferson Barracks Lurk Field is limited and spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or a blanket. The St. Louis Unions Vintage Base Ball Club is an educational program for the Jefferson Barracks Historical Park.