In what can only be described as a shocking upset, the Hingham Coopers defeated the Hingham Derbys by a score of 6 aces to 2 aces  on Saturday July 6th  before a crowd of more than one hundred fans of the grand old game who braved 94 uncomfortable degrees.  Since the inception of the Hingham Cup game six years ago, the Derbies have won every one of these Independence Weekend matchups. Many have been close wins, with dramatic bottom of the ninth victories and late offensive explosions unleashed against a heartbroken Cooper squad. Each year they’d pour Champagne into the old cup and share it out. But this year, the Coopers shared out a ‘ganset and washed away the French flavor for the year.

A seasoned team stacked with skills, the Derbys were unable to figure out the pitching of “Andro” Melia, who pitched a heroic complete game for the winning side, closing out the victory by shutting down the Derbies in the top of the 9th, ONE TWO THREE!

Opposing pitcher Maddog Madden also pitched an excellent game, holding the Coopers in check for most of the game with a vicious underhanded riser that most of the Coopers could not master. The Derby defense pulled some excellent plays, including a key inning-ending double play by Huckleberry Fideli that shut down what might have been a runaway Cooper inning in the bottom of the sixth.

In the end, the winning Cooper runs came on skilled base running and stealing. Three-year Cooper veteran and lead-off hitter Wishbone Manning, and new recruit Hoss Ford, were particular standouts in this regard, manufacturing runs for the Coopers with small ball tactics and base path speed. The Coopers also benefited from standout defense from Whitewash Gainey at First Base, another new recruit to the Cooper side, and second baseman Q-Ball Quillen. The Cooper outfield trio was kept busy by the hard hitting Derbies but the results were often easy to field pop ups. That’s not to say the Derbies didn’t swing hard. Catcher Pistol Dickason, third baseman Govna Hedlund and Slugger Huckleberry Fideli all took their hacks and hit solid stuff deep into the outfield, but didn’t combine for the same offensive onslaught they brought to last year’s Cup Game.

Selectman Bruce Rabuffo once again took the helm in the booth, along with color man Tom O’Donnell. Their combined knowledge of the Vintage rules through the many years they’ve been filling these roles for us during the Independence Weekend game has been much appreciated. Umpire Mike Studley called the plays fairly and without bias and Town Moderator Michael Puzo gave a fantastic a capella rendition of our American National Anthem that brought Huzzahs! from the Vintage teams. The Joe Brogan Jazz Quartet played brass instrument versions of early 20th century favorites between innings while ice cold Narragansett beer was available to those wishing to cool off with an adult beverage. This was a great event and heck of a game and if you missed it, there’s always next year’s Independence Weekend Classic to compete for the Hingham Cup!



6:45 am July 6, 2013 – a premonition

At about 6:45 on Saturday morning I was alone at Derby Academy setting up the bases. I had awakened early and was restless thinking of all the work to be done. The day would be hot, I knew, and so I snuck quietly out of the house so’s not to wake the wife and child, and stole off to the pitch to begin the work in the early morning cool.  The dragonflies at the field were out in force already zipping past me, curious but not angry.  The air was heavy around my head. I had just hammered the left field foul pole into the ground and was walking back toward the plate to check the straightness of the line when a voice from the top of the hill asked “where do you want this stuff?” I couldn’t see who it was, the silhouette standing right between me and the rising sun. “Who’s that?” said I. “Gary? Is that you?”.

It was he. The Godfather. He was holding a few items he’s pulled from the back of my open automobile. As I climbed the hill, approaching him with the sun in my eyes, I was just able to make out the look on his face.

“Where’s the flag?” said he.

I looked out into the empty center field fences and saw no flag, confirming the Dot’s observation that someone had come taken down what he had stealthily put up the day before as a surprise for the Hingham squad. His team, the Derbies, would not have him today – and they would not have their traditional, homemade, centerfield flag. I’d have to bring another flag.

A chill rose in my spine. I knew something had just changed. The dragonflies reversed course and flew in a confused pattern. A cooler breeze blew past me and cleared the air around my sodden hair. Weathervanes pointed up, inexplicably. Somewhere, a big mean old Hound dog kissed a cranky old Siamese cat without knowing why.