Turning back the clock to see “what once was” will be on full exhibit today on an historic battlefield. But this battle will not take place with rifle and cannon, nor will life be exhausted from bodies who give their all.
Yes, there may be some who will call themselves “exhausted”, but it will be from playing a game of ball, and how appropriate that Franklin’s Carnton Plantation is the venue. Another battle took place nearby over 150 years ago as Union soldiers encountered Confederates. Then it served as a field hospital, but today it stands as a field of fair play.
The pride and conviction will result in winning a prize, but not from winning a war. The exhibit will be one of participating gentlemen and gentle women, not one of bloody battle.
Yesterday the first contests took place to determine semi-finalists for today’s matches. The Highland Rim Distillers will face off with the Nashville Maroons, and the Lightfoot Club of Chattanooga will play the Oak Hill Travellers at noon with the winners to clash in the final game at 2:30 pm.
Lessons learned from the Civil War have resulted in an understanding of how brother fought against brother, family against family. How fitting a tribute to those lessons that contests such as these can take place, for today’s baseball has its foundations in the conflict of States.
With Nashville and all of Tennessee so firmly entrenched in that history, now we can reaffirm its importance through today’s matches and resolve to the gentleness and serenity of another kind of battle field: a ball field.
The prize is the Sulphur Dell Cup, another tribute to an earlier time. When Yankees taught their Northern Game to southern citizens, when ball games took place between those in blue and those in grey, to the birthplace of Nashville baseball at Sulphur Springs Bottom to today’s historic site, we should honor the players and spectators alike.
In so doing, we give you the cheer of our heartiest “Hurrah”!
Post Script: The Oak Hill Travellers won by a score of 23-14 over the Nashville Maroons to take the Sulphur Dell Cup
© 2015 Skip Nipper. All Rights Reserved.