Approaching their season-ending sojourn to Knoxville as hardened warriors of the road, the Scouts returned homeward this previous Saturday decidedly road-weary. Late and soon, the demands of season-long travel eventually proved too much for the Sam Davis nine. Squaring off against a stout Holston bunch just hitting their stride, the Scouts found their willows rendered punchless and their powers laid waste in the stifling Appalachian heat.
Their cranks, having shown the foresight in their journey to bring chairs and blankets for their comfort and victuals and libations for their nourishment, were nonetheless denied the “sordid boon” of electric play shown at times by the locals in contests past. Instead, they were treated to a rather torpid display of ballists “up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,” a side “out of tune” and off of its best game.
Indeed, little transpired throughout the contest to move the visiting Scouts or their cranks to rousing celebration on this steamy day at Ramsey’s “pleasant lea.” Oh, there were occasional and fleeting moments, like the pair of aces scored by Tick Tock and the Scotsman in the first frame, and the usual acrobatic efforts by that pair, respectively, in the center pasture and about the initial sack. Dutch provided the Scouts’ cranks with a brief thrill with a fine strike in the sixth frame, and Tick Tock did the same two innings later. But on this spiritless day there were otherwise no rousing Protean moments or blasts from Triton’s “wreathed horn.” Instead, despite some generally solid play afield the Scouts fell short of the higher standards set in earlier matches, and the Sam Davis bunch was left with little to do but to admit defeat to what was, on this day, a superior side. And so were they to congratulate the Holston nine, who prevailed by a 9-4 margin.
And before we abandon the lofty Wordsworthian idioms used in this account, let us hope for “glimpses” to make the Scouts and their supporters “less forlorn.” In fact, even though some spirituous jolts would have served the Sam Davis Bunch well, the Scouts found that their listless play did not serve to damage their standings within the larger Association’s rankings. Even so, they will be entering the Sulphur Dell Cup tournament facing the formidable Phoenix side. Having tasted both the sweet nectar of victory and the bitter ash of defeat to these East Nashvillians, the Scouts—to a man–are hoping for more “snap” and more “zing,” particularly at the dish, come tournament time.
That time will come at high noon on the 10th of September at Carton Plantation when the Sam Davis bunch takes the field in the preliminary rounds with their season in the balance. Having been primed by previous accounts about how to best prepare themselves for what will be a fine day of base ball, any cranks who wish to attend this match are likely familiar with the drill by now. Hope to see you there!