By Greg Caggiano, AHHS Board Member
On a muggy Saturday afternoon, the home team Monmouth Furnace fell to the Hoboken 9 by a score of 19-7 in a full nine inning “base ball” game at Fireman’s Field in Atlantic Highlands. The high-scoring affair was witnessed by a lively crowd who never had a shortage of entertaining plays at their disposal.
Under the sometimes sweltering August sun, the Furnace looked to be “cooler” in their white uniforms, adorned with a black cravat. The Hoboken 9, meanwhile, were dashing in their black pants and white shirts with a blazing-red “H” patch pinned to their chests.
Hoboken jumped ahead early with three “tallies” (runs) in the top of the first inning and never looked back. While the Furnace countered with two in the bottom half of the inning and fought hard all game, they were not able to overcome their adversaries, who were a bit more fleet of foot. Hoboken’s lead of 6-5 after two was the closest the Furnace would come to tying the game.
Both teams exhibited exceptional gentlemanly conduct towards one another. There was plenty of joking, chatter, and complimenting that carried on throughout. The umpire, in full coat and tails and top hat called the game from beside the plate. With most balls being put in play, there were not many “warnings” issued, which was lingo for “balls and strikes” at the time.
The Furnace rallied for two tallies in the sixth inning to cut Hoboken’s lead to only four. However, the frame ended with a sparkling double-play turned by the boys of the “9”. They then tacked on eight more tallies over the next three innings to close out the contest. The teams then shook hands and posed for photographs. Each captain also addressed and congratulated each other, including Monmouth’s captain Russ McIver noting that Hoboken was the first opponent they ever faced many years ago and still had not beaten them. Monmouth did however win last year’s Atlantic Highlands match 10-6 over the Elizabeth Resolutes.
Historical Society board member and organizer of this event, Alice Kupper, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Charlie Clark provided musical accompaniment and Michael O’Keefe served as the emcee, keeping the crowd entertained and informed of the score. Pre-game children’s activities for prizes overseen by Patty Bickauskas and Greg Caggiano included a sack race, water balloon toss, and corn hole. A basket raffle, assembled by Carmen Craner, was also held benefiting the Society with winners announced following the completion of the ninth inning.
Hoboken 3 3 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 19
Monmouth 2 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 7