It's fitting that the city billed as a birthplace of baseball should have its own home team. Hoboken now has one, the Hoboken Nine, with a full-time roster, uniforms, equipment and schedule against regional opponents, including a game this Saturday at the Stevens Institute of Technology baseball field.
The team grew out of the one the has organized in recent years to commemorate what scholars recognize as the first modern baseball game, played in Hoboken on June 19, 1846. That ad hoc team has played the Flemington Neshanock, a New Jersey based club that travels the east coast, in a real game using vintage 19th century rules.
After the game this year the museum decided to sponsor a team full-time. The full-time Hoboken Nine also plays under vintage rules, which according to the team's manager Frank Stingone, take some time to learn.
“We have been subject to some trick plays by the opposition but I guess that is all part of the learning curve,” Stingone said.
The team will play the Jersey City Skeeters this Saturday at 2pm. The Nine previously played the Skeeters at Lincoln Park in Jersey City on August 11 and won 17-11, although the Skeeters had split their roster to play a second game elsewhere.
The following week the Nine played a doubleheader against the New York Gothams at Governor's Island, but lost both games 13-7 and 9-8.
“The Gothams have been playing for over ten years and we are the new team, but we still played them tough,” Stingone said. “We lost both games but we were close in both.”
The Nine will play several more games into the fall, including against the Neshanock in Caldwell during a celebration for President Grover Cleveland's birthday, against the Elizabeth Resolutes in Rahway, again versus the Neshanock at location to be determined, and finally in a rematch with the Gothams at Mama Johnson Field on October 20.
The team might add a few more games to its schedule this fall, and will then prepare for a full season next year.
“The team is showing great potential and it looks like we will be very competitive as we play these eight or nine matches,” Stingone said.
The game this Saturday is at 2pm and is free for the public. After the game both teams will celebrate at the Shannon bar on First Street. For more information, visit the Hoboken Nine website.