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Old 10-04-2019, 07:18 AM   #1
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The National Penterham Four-Bases Association



An introduction

Penterham was a young country, born of equal parts piracy and charisma. Captain Lukas Penterham, a privateer and wide-ranging scallywag, never intended to carve out a land in his name but, as so often happens, he unwittingly found himself at the forefront of momentous events.

The 1820’s (for the record, the Lingia Calendar is being used in this account, rather than the New Avillalan Calendar, which would place this in the mid-100s) were a time of discontent and fear for the inhabitants of Froia. The accomplishments of Lord Cecil Vangar, who united the nomadic tribes and city states on the southwestern part of the continent a century earlier, were long forgotten. Still quite fresh, however, was the civil war that led to Froia splitting down the middle and the nations of Avillala and Ardielterra forming. Even fresher were the armies of Lingia camped at their northern borders and helmed by their fanatic priests, who held to the belief that the first humans were birthed from a grove of towering Ingijia trees in their northern forests. Recently, some Froian academics had proposed that humans may, in fact, have existed elsewhere before coming to this land. Elsewhere on the planet or, and this is what riled the Lingian clergy to the point of war, from another world entirely.

Without getting bogged down in the details (this is an account of the National Penterham Four-Bases Association, after all) Captain Penterham inadvertently found himself face-to-face with a quintet of Lingian Navy vessels upon returning from a raid on merchant ships passing through the channel by Chaw. Some daring tactics plus a healthy dose of luck saw his solitary ship emerge unscathed, three of his five Lingian adversaries sunk. It so happened a Froian scout ship saw proceedings and the news of Penterham’s victory beat him back along the coast.

Before long he led an alliance of cities against the Lingian threat. While he didn’t repel the invaders, he did fight them to a stalemate, no mean feat considering the military power Lingia commanded. A treaty was drawn up and signed by all parties. Penterham’s allies then convinced him to continue leading them, this time in declaring independence from Froia. What remained of Froia’s army responded half-heartedly and were easily repelled, the new nation’s status officially secured on Jhin 7th, 1828.

All seemed rosy.

But then, in 1832, as heroes often do, Penterham died. Not in battle, or doing anything else glorious, but in his bed at home after a swift sickness. A disease brought on by his wanton womanizing, the Lingian priesthood and his adversaries within the Froian courts opined; a treacherous poisoning, his supporters rebutted.

The truth may never be known, but the young nation of Penterham (named after the Captain at the insistence of his advisors) faced an early crisis. Rumors in 1833 that the Lingians were again mobilizing to attack saw the cities of Brid, Douth, Dudmatnes, Pennet and Brethet return their allegiance to Froia. Penterham’s loyal cabinet stepped up efforts to keep the remaining cities under control but they knew as well as anyone that the longer martial law remained in place the greater the discontent of the citizens would grow.

They faced a real crisis and had to do so without the considerable charm and intellect of their late leader, Lukas Penterham. To that end, on Novr 14th, they held a meeting in Penterham City (this was renamed by the Captain at his own insistence) to discuss what possibly could be done.

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Archelirion (10-31-2019)
Old 10-04-2019, 07:24 AM   #2
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Novr 14th, 1833 - Penterham Palace

Novr 14th, 1833 - Penterham Palace

Commander-General Frederick Rush leaned an elbow on his armrest, covered his mouth with a callused hand, and let his gaze rove up and down the council-room table.

He knew the men sitting here intimately. He had fought with them, saved their lives, had his life saved by them. They were closer than comrades, they were brothers. And they were scared. This council meeting had already been in session for two hours and all he had heard so far was fear. Not one real suggestion for how they might deal with the fracturing of their young country. Not that he could be angry with them. He didn’t have any ideas either.

Nikolaj Kambeka stood to address the group. Rush grimaced. Tall, lean, young, his face undecorated by battle scars, Kambeka cut a dashing figure. He had plenty of admirers around court, Rush knew, both of his looks and his intellect. Rush didn’t share those views. He would’ve liked nothing more than to kick him off the council and send him to the Lingia front but he daren’t do that just yet. Penterham had counted Kambeka as a personal confidant and his death was too raw for Rush to do anything like banish a close friend of the great, late leader.

So, instead, he had to endure Kambeka’s numerous ideas. Ideas offered without any of the hard-won experience the rest of the council had. Rush let out a sigh, confident it would not be seen or heard through his hand. What was the dolt going to propose today?

“Thank you for your ears,” Kambeka said, his burgundy cloak hanging perfectly from his shoulders. “As all before me have said, we are at a crossroads for our young nation. If we are not careful all that Penterham, and you, have accomplished will be ripped away.” He nodded towards Beni M’Bazza, elderly, grizzled, his left eye missing. “As General M’Bazza so well articulated, the dread among our citizens is growing. Of course it is. How can it not? Our great leader has unexpectedly passed, the Lingians are pushing at our borders again, and the agents of Froia continue to sow seeds of discontent in the city squares.”

Rush cleared his throat. “What is your point, Kambeka? All this has been said numerous times already.”

If the young man was offended by Rush’s brusqueness, he didn’t show it. With a nod, he said, “I understand. This is not a time for long speeches. Here is my idea: four-bases.”

He paused. Rush dropped any pretense of civility. “What the hell are you on about?”

“Who here enjoys four-bases?”

A majority of the men murmured assent. That surprised Rush. He’d never cared for the game himself. Too busy fighting for the lives of his family and people to indulge in children’s games.

“I too enjoy four-bases,” Kambeka continued, “not that I can profess much skill at it. I have spent a great deal of time researching it too, and was interested to discover that four-bases is played not only across our vast world but with great fervor all over Penterham. It is, in fact, the sport of choice of most of the populace.”

“I still don’t see your point,” Rush said.

Jaan Hassen, sitting mid-table, his red beard so thick it hid most of his face, extended a hand. “I think I do.”

“Then enlighten me.”

“I don’t want to steal Kambeka’s thunder but it sounds like he might be proposing a national tournament, where each city sends their best players to compete for a prize. A morale booster for the people.”

What a stupid idea, Rush nearly said but held his tongue. Hassen was a good man, full of integrity and strength. He deserved respect, even if Kambeka could lead him along a garden path of idiocy with his carefully constructed speeches.

Kambeka smiled at Hassen. “Something very much like that, General, but on an even bigger scale. Why not form an ongoing competition, played over months, with teams travelling from city to city? Unite the disparate people of our nation under a common banner. Penterham united them due to the force of his personality but sport is not dependent on one person. There are other benefits, too. Four-bases is a team sport. To perform well a player must undertake much training, both individually and within a group. We can train our young men to be both ready for the rigors of war and to love their country without them even realizing it.”

Rush pushed himself to his feet, ignoring the throbbing doing so brought on in his hip. Enough was enough.

“I would at least hear Kambeka out,” M’Bazza said before Rush could speak. The rest of the table responded in agreement.

Rush sat back down with a thump. Imagine military men, men who’d watched masses of their troops die on the battlefield, thinking that games could ready a nation to defend itself. And a game like four-bases. Swinging a bat to hit a ball and running in a circle. How on earth would that prepare anybody for anything? He gritted his teeth. If by the end of the year he hadn’t sent Kambeka to the front...

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Old 10-06-2019, 12:46 AM   #3
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A Brief Description of Four-Bases

A Brief Description of Four-Bases

The inhabitants of Home (for that is all they called the continent they lived on; most had no concept of other landmasses across the apparently impenetrable ocean, or even that they were part of a larger planetary mass) did not have many things in common.

The ‘new intellectuals’ (as they were caustically called by some) of the coastal universities in Avillala proposed that all things could be explained with rationale and logic. The forest priests of Lingia did not share that view. Waldland was a country of industry while the people of its neighbor Sollevil lived under the stars and survived on bow and arrow. And Naueschen, well, Naueschen held secrets that its rulers were not prepared to divulge.

However, there was one thing that all on Home shared. Four-bases. Whether it be depictions of the sport on shards of pottery, or on the remnants of ancient tapestries, or carved into stone monuments, or painted on the broken-down walls of ancient settlements, as far back as history went, of whichever people, four-bases was a constant.

The rules varied from place to place but the premise remained the same: a batter and a striker (in some places called a pitcher), and four bases (typically in a diamond shape, though in some variations more circular), with the goal of the batting team to send as many runners around the four bases as possible, and the goal of the fielding team to stop that from happening.

In Penterham the game was played with nine players per side (elsewhere on the continent some used ten players: one behind home-base, four in the infield plus the striker, and four in the outfield), with a specially-designated player who batted in place of the striker, and the striker throwing from a raised mound of earth. Three strikes (either a swing and miss or if the ball passed over home-base at a height between the knees and armpits of the batter without coming into contact with the bat; some variations elsewhere needed four strikes thrown, and sometimes two) and a batter was out. Three outs and a round was completed. A game comprised of nine rounds per team, with some exceptions: if the score was tied after nine rounds the game continued until a winner was determined; if the home team, who always batted last, were ahead once the first half of the ninth round was completed there was no need to play the bottom of the round. Each batter who crossed home-base was worth one run, and if a batter struck the ball over the fence of the field that was adjudged as automatically worth all four bases, both for the batter and any who might already be on-base. The official term for this was a ‘home run,’ though many colloquialisms were used to capture the excitement of such an event.

While Penterham’s cities did often assemble their best players during summer for matches with teams from opposing cities, never before in record had there been a competition such as the one proposed by Nikolaj Kambeka.

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Old 10-06-2019, 04:02 AM   #4
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Dekhn 18 - Penterham Palace - Hall of Chiefs

Dekhn 18 - Penterham Palace - Hall of Chiefs

The murmur of conversation filled the great Hall of Chiefs, bouncing off the rock walls and floating into the ceiling timbers. Rush, from his stone seat on the platform at the head of the room, hadn’t expected quite this turnout. Actually, he’d expected barely a showing at all, especially with the way he’d worded the invitation.

In the stone chair to his left, Hassen leaned over and said, “Should we get this started, Fred?”

Rush grunted. “I suppose so.”

“And don’t worry. Most of the talk I’ve heard has been positive.”

Rush shot Hassen a dirty look. The man knew full well how Rush felt about Kambeka’s proposal.

Hassen smiled. “Fred, the world is changing. There’s word out of Froia that the Waldlanders are building some sort of great network of roads to be travelled across by mammoth metal vehicles powered by steam. One of the Avillalan universities is even proposing a voyage across the ocean just to see if there’s anything on the other side. A national four-bases competition doesn’t sound quite so outlandish in comparison, does it?”

It sounded more outlandish, in Rush’s opinion. Mammoth metal machines might be able to carry goods and men quickly across country. An ocean voyage sounded bizarre on its face but if the Avillalans were serious about doing so they’d invest much research and resources into improving their fleet. What benefits would a four-base competition bring? But Rush had heard the same positive chatter as Hassen. For reasons he couldn’t begin to fathom the citizens of Penterham found the idea exciting. And while that frustrated him, he also couldn’t ignore the fact that the people in this room were not here due to fear. That alone was positive.

He stood and lumbered to the edge of the dais. At least Kambeka wasn’t around to ruin things. Rush had sent him to the Lingian front, far north of Hertford, on a ‘fact-finding’ mission. He would then patrol the border until he got back around to Blandre. That should keep the moron out of everybody’s hair for a good long while. And, perhaps, without his presence and winsome words everybody would realize how foolish this all was.

“Welcome,” he boomed, arms open wide. After the room had quieted, he continued, “Shall we get underway?”

#

Kambeka’s absence did not dampen anyone’s enthusiasm. Yes, there were a few skeptics amongst the gathered city elders, and there were plenty of others with genuine questions about how the competition would work but the overall opinion did not sway towards the negative.

Three days later, after much discussion, the basic details of the National Penterham Four-Bases Association were agreed upon.

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Old 10-06-2019, 05:33 AM   #5
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The National Penterham Four-Bases Association

The National Penterham Four-Bases Association


The National Penterham Four-Bases Association would consist of sixteen teams, representing each city across the land except for Nedakneth, who would combine with Tremonief.

Luton, the birthplace of Commander-General Frederick Rush, voted to name their team in his honor. He didn’t decline the privilege.

The teams are, as follows, in somewhat geographical order:

Hertford Mountain Men
Albokeby Defenders
Eoning Equine
Thatchet Marauders
Boneley Fishermen
Tremonief Merchants
Faresto Fasprel
- named for a hawk-like bird common to the region
Normidd Strongmen
Penterham Pirates
Ortforn Gold Pickers
Heyfen Riverboaters
Luton Rush
North Barricade
Brethers Dune Riders
Searing Heat
Blandre Barskas
- named for a barracuda-like fish found in their river and the primary source of their income

The season would start on Ahper 1st. Each team would play 162 games, generally in four game sets. The length of the season was a cause for much debate. Kambeka had initially proposed 200 games, with the rushed travelling from city to city and then playing with little rest a simulation of wartime conditions. 162 games was still very long but received a majority vote in favor, with the condition that the new form of transport from Waldland would be investigated in more detail. That portion of the season would end sometime during Shephn, at which point the final rounds, to crown a champion, would begin.

The teams were split into four divisions, arranged geographically. The winner of each division would progress to the Division Series, where they would play another division winner in a best-of-five matchup. The victors would progress to the Champions Series, a best-of-seven matchup. The Champion would take home a shield with their name engraved on it and, as time progressed, the names of previous champions engraved on it.

To further promote the military training aspect, all male children below the age of eighteen were to be enrolled in baseball academies, which they would train at in the evenings each day during summer. From the ages of 18-24, the youths identified as especially talented would be placed into a conscription program, where NPFBA teams would pick them to play in their colors. Their continued training would take place in lower-level competitions. There were four levels of competition lower than the NPFBA, with the idea that players would improve their skills and earn their way into the top teams of each city.

There would be no geographical restrictions on teams. That mean Albokeby could not only draft a young player from, say, North, but they could also sign already established players from that city. This whole concept generated much debate but the prevailing idea that doing so would bring the nation together won out. Teams could also trade their players for players in other teams, as long as both teams and the NPFBA governors agreed.

Each top team was allowed 25 players. If a player got injured they could replace them from one of the lower leagues. Each player would be paid a wage, just as if they were in the army, and after a certain amount of time would be free to join another team or renegotiate terms with their existing team. This concept was not so foreign, as many pirate crews already did something similar. And Penterham, after all, was a country partly born of piracy.

The money for the players’ wages would come from selling tickets to games and other initiatives within local communities.

A week or so before the beginning of each season all the teams would assemble in Penterham and play a few friendly games with each other.

With the details settled, everybody went their way, eager to assemble the best possible team they could.
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Old 10-06-2019, 03:06 PM   #6
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The Teams

The Teams

Ahper 1 fast approached, the call for players trumpeted far and wide across the country.

Here are the best players from each team, according to what was observed at the Mhar Meetup, which began on Mhar 25th:

Hertford Mountain Men


Northernmost of Penterham’s cities after the defection of Douth and Dudmatnes, the inhabitants of Hertford were known for their wild ways. In times not long past it hadn’t been uncommon for a band of Hertforders to raid another city by night and carry off womenfolk as wives. They promised they'd sworn off that practice but rumors of raids still abounded.

Their best player, according to observers, was 26 y/o David Belisle, from the city of Penterham. A compact third-baseman, he was noted for agility in the field and the ability to put the ball in play in the outfield gaps.



Albokeby Defenders


Albokeby was the site of a decisive battle between Penterham’s forces and the Lingian invaders. Vastly outnumbered, Penterham somehow held on thanks to a steady supply of cannon and ammunition sent up the river from naval vessels on the coast. Albokeby liked to remind the other cities of this victory at every possible opportunity.

30 y/o Dominic Dorrington was their star recruit. Also from Penterham, he played in the outfield and could hit a ball a long way. Power wasn’t his only attribute, however, with observers saying he had an excellently-rounded offensive game. There were also rumors, though, that he did not have a great attitude towards authority and was a poor influence on younger team members.



Eoning Equine


Eoning bred the finest horses on this side of the continent. Because of this valuable resource and the fact they were bordered by both Froia (thanks to Brid’s defection) and Lingia, a large Penterham military unit resided near the city. Eoning also held annual horse races that attracted many visitors from all over the western side of the continent.

They had snared one of the best players around, in the eyes of most at the Mhar meetup, 24 y/o Jake Shone. The Faresto native patrolled the outfield well but it was his batting skills that especially impressed. One person put it this way: “Put a shield on the outfield grass, anywhere, and he will hit a ball onto it.” He could also clear the fence, the speed of his swing so fast that some said they couldn’t see it.



Eoning had also acquired two very fine strikers, in 30 y/o’s Damien Malleshi and Dermott Mulligan. Malleshi threw the ball with such speed that sometimes it knocked his catcher over, according to anecdotes from the Mhar Meetup, and also had a pitch that curved prodigiously, dropping to the ground just as a batter tried to make contact. Mulligan had a variety of sinking pitches: a fast one, one that curved, and one that slid.

Thatchet Marauders


Proudly piratical, boats from Thatchet still regularly set off from port under the black flag to hunt merchanters. Currently they focused most of their efforts on the vessels of the cities that had defected from Penterham.

24 y/o Carl Hamilton, of Faresto, was their prize signing. A superb outfielder, he was also astonishingly good at home-base. Nobody seemed to know the strikezone better than he, and on top of that, as soon as a striker made a mistake and gave him a pitch to hit he would dispatch it to all parts.



Boneley Fishermen


As far as cities on this side of the continent went, Boneley was one of the more peaceful. That being said, their fishermen often traveled out to sea much farther than anybody else dared, even in naval vessels. The citizens of Boneley also enjoyed tall tales, making it hard to know which stories of the deep were true or false, or a combination.

37 y/o Gerald Baker hailed from Normidd, and was as wily as they came. Standing a mere 5’5” he still somehow seemed to throw like he was atop a mountain. Not only did he have amazing command of his pitches but he also threw them in excellent combinations, making many a batter look foolish. The only question, given his age, was how long he could play for before his years caught up with him.



He wasn’t the only impressive striker Boneley had signed. 33 y/o Eric Harpine had the task of coming in late in a game and making sure the Fishermen stayed ahead. Also of diminutive stature (5’7”) he threw a sinking fastball and a slider like nobody else. 25 y/o Costel Mihoc would anchor the Boneley offense. The second-baseman was a smart yet powerful hitter.

Tremonief Merchants


Tremonief had a well-deserved reputation as a prosperous city. With calm waters prevailing in its bay it had become the biggest stop for merchant ships traveling the coast and also sat on a couple of land trade-routes. Boneley sold most of their catches to buyers from Tremonief, and most of the horses that Eoning didn’t contribute to the army passed through Tremonief’s animal markets. No team had uniforms sown from finer materials than Tremonief.

Ghazi bin Nabeel, originally of Heyfen, was their big attraction. Though only 5’7” tall he bore a muscle-packed frame and could hit the ball as far as anybody. The 26 y/o left the army to join the NPFBA, to the chagrin of some. “But,” he said, “if I’m needed just say the word and I’ll reenlist.”



Tremonief also boasted an impressive array of mid-to-late inning strikers, including 26 y/o Rashid bin Qutuz, who threw the ball so hard “he’d probably kill someone before he’s through,” according to one watcher.

Faresto Fasprel


As a city, Faresto didn’t have a whole lot going for it. While on the coast, it sat between Tremonief and the capital, Penterham. Faresto’s prime claim to fame was a university. Not nearly as prestigious as any of the Avillalan universities, or even those in Froia, it was the best Penterham had to offer, and took its task of instructing the young people sent to it very seriously.

Third-baseman Asim bin Sajid, from Boneley, would carry this team. The 24 y/o had excellent power, even if he tended to either hit the ball over the fence or on the bounce to an outfielder. He drew a lot of walks and could foul pitches off for as long as it took the striker to make a mistake.



Faresto had also signed another third-baseman of similar skill. How they would fit both bin Sajid and 26 y/o John Cline into the team became an interesting topic of conversation during the Mhar Meetup.

Normidd Strongmen


Also caught between the more prosperous cities of Tremonief and Penterham, Normidd focused on readying its young men to fight. They provided a steady stream of soldiers with impressive physical skills to the Penterham army.

Blandre’s 29 y/o Dwaine Chapman batted from the left side and never gave up. He was Normidd’s star player. He quickly picked up a reputation during the Mhar Meetup of being able to throw very hard and accurately from right field all the way to third base.



Penterham Pirates


Penterham, the birthplace of Captain Penterham, and now the capital of the country Penterham. Apart from this self-indulgence, the city itself was a metropolis, a bustling center of commerce and industry. Before Captain Penterham the city had been named Farnidd, and had always been known for its grand architecture. While the name had changed the architecture remained, even as the city sprawled further and further outwards thanks to the steady influx of immigrants from the country areas.

Teofil Costin, born in Blandre, didn’t seem like a star striker at first glance. The tall 28 y/o didn’t throw hard but he did get excellent movement on his variety of pitches, making him a formidable opponent.



Ortforn Goldpickers


Ortforn's economy revolved around gold washed down the river from the mountains across the border in Froia. Typically a very closed community, Ortforn made sure its gold supply did not go to outsiders. It surprised many that they agreed to host a four-bases team.

28 y/o Carlton Ampar, originally of Thatchet, was a striker of excellent deception, using to great effect his fastball and his slowball, together with a slider and a pitch that curved the opposite way to his handedness.



Heyfen Riverboaters


While the map might not show it well, Heyfen was situated on a lake through which the Karmides River ran. They provided the primary ferry services for goods from Ortforn down to Penterham. They also had quite a bustling tourist industry, such as tourism was, staging races between riverboats and taking people on tours of the lake and river.

Their four-base star was 29 y/o Thatchet native Bobby Bickers, a striker who threw hard and had an excellent change-up and forkball to go with his heat. The problem with Bickers, it was quickly noted, was that he tended to let his head drop if things got tough.



Luton Rush


Luton specialized in the manufacture of armaments. Probably as rich, or richer, than Tremonief, they preferred to hide their wealth. Because of this combination of industry and secrecy, they produced many formidable military leaders, Frederick Rush among that number.

They recruited 24 y/o 1B Graham Heaton from the city of Blandre, and were well-pleased with the result. Heaton had excellent power, not just for home-runs but also for splitting fielders.



North Barricade


The area in the badlands to the east of North contained structures that nobody could identify, either of purpose or material. Popular local opinion was that they were ancient military fortifications but there was no evidence to support or disprove that theory.

29 y/o Kian Gledhill was born in Penterham but had called many places home during his short life, much of which had been spent pirating. Now he was turning his hand to baseball and supporters of North liked what they saw. A betting pool had already begun on how many home runs he’d hit during the inaugural season, though some worried that he might get bored and disappear midway through the campaign.



Brethers Dune Riders


Fiercely independent, it surprised many when Brethers, situated in the middle of the desert, joined Penterham’s alliance of cities. Their warriors were noted for their ability to sneak through the desert sands to within meters of their prey without being seen. Many of Penterham’s battles had been won because of soldiers from Brethers.

Ionet Plesu, 25 y/o and hailing from Albokeby, had all the attributes the people of Brethers admired. He was a crafty striker, who threw 5 different types of pitches and constantly varied his release points to make things difficult for his opponents.



Searing Heat


While only on the outskirts of the desert, a combination of geographical factors made Searing the hottest region in Penterham. But when it rained, boy did it rain. How playing four-bases there regularly would turn out was anybody’s guess.

25 y/o Connor Wills, from Brethers, wouldn’t find the heat too much of a problem. He was a good all-round striker, who should excel if he had a decent infield defense behind him.



Blandre Barskas


Barskas could grow to the size of a man. Catching one on a hook and wrestling it into submission with the hands and body was a rite of passage for men from Blandre. Skirmishing with their neighbors across the border was also a local pastime.

28 y/o Aparahnaka Bhattacharya came from Brethers but the Blandre locals figured he’d fit into life in their city quickly enough. An excellent hitter, Bhattacharya was also one of the best at stealing bases.



30 y/o SS Steve Single was also a highly regarded recruit and thought to be one of the best defenders in the association.

#

The Mhar Meetup concluded and the many who had traveled from all parts of the country to watch the teams returned home, taking their enthusiasm with them. The sixteen teams traveled too, to the cities where they were scheduled to open their battles for the first ever National Penterham Four-Bases Association Championship.

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Old 10-12-2019, 06:37 AM   #7
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First Day

First Day

Ahper 1 dawned, in most areas of the country, bright and full of promise. The sixteen teams of the National Penterham Four-Bases Association had travelled to the cities where they would play their opening series. To ensure festivities, each opening series would be five games long.

Heyfen Riverboaters vs Penterham Pirates

The first game of the season would be played in Penterham, of course, between the Penterham Pirates and the Heyfen Riverboaters. They would play at PNC Park, a sprawling grass expanse surrounded by a wooden stadium. The park slightly favored left-handed batters thanks to a short porch in rightfield but heavily penalized right-handed hitters thanks to a deep leftfield backed by a 17-foot wall.

General Xavier Kleffett, presiding in the absence of Rush, who had traveled to Luton to open proceedings there, delayed the start of the game by close to forty minutes thanks to a rambling, sometimes inaudible, speech, finally leaving the field after the assembled masses starting shaking the fence surrounding the field so vigorously it looked as though they might topple it.

Both teams started their star strikers, Teofil Costin for Penterham, and Bobby Bickers for Heyfen. On paper, Penterham was the stronger team.

The Pirates got on the board in the first round, centerfield Mike Armstrong hitting a triple to the left-center wall and scoring off a ground-out later in the round.

Dane Suwedi immediately tied the game back up in the top of the 2nd, hitting the league’s first home run over left, rounding the bases to boos and jeers. The crowd were cheering again in the bottom of the round. Atamas Swagato drew a leadoff walk before Frazer Westwood punched the ball deep to right-center. It rolled to the wall, bouncing awkwardly for the outfielders. Swagato scored and Westwood rounded third right on his heels. Perhaps the noise of the crowd gave him extra speed because he dived home just ahead of the throw for an all-run home run. 3-1 Penterham after 2 rounds of play.

Heyfen turned the first double-out in the league’s history in the bottom of the 3rd, the parochial hometown crowd even giving this a little acknowledgement.

In the top of the 5th, Brendan Gal led off with a hard-run double to left and advanced to third on Anoop Ramamurthy’s single. Costin couldn’t control his next pitch, throwing it too high, his catcher unable to knock it down. The ball rolled to the back fence and Gal scored. Doug Aman singled up the middle and the tying run reached third with nobody out, Costin looking ill at ease for the first time. Penterham turned a double-out off the next hitter but Ramamurthy strolled home, the game now tied.

In the 6th, Elliot Pipe took advantage of the short porch in right to hit Heyfen’s second homer and give them the lead. In the bottom of the round Cody Rutz cleared the leftfield fence with a deep blast, the game knotted up again once more.

Costin struck out the first hitter of the 7th, the home-base umpire giving him some generous calls, before getting replaced. He’d allowed 4 runs on 8 hits and no walks, striking out 8. Bickers did not come out for the bottom of the round. His 6 rounds had gone for 4 runs, off 6 hits and 4 walks. He’d struck out 6.

Swagato hit a 1-out two-base hit off the top of the centerfield wall in the 8th but was left stranded. Gal walked with one out in the 9th round and scored easily when Ramamurthy cracked a triple into the rightfield corner. Ramamurthy got left at third base, Heyfen leading by 1 with the bottom of the round to play.

Penterham could not mount a comeback, the final score 5-4 to Heyfen, giving the Riverboaters the first ever NPFBA victory. The player of the game was adjudged to be Penterham 3B Cody Rutz, who went 2-3 with a walk and a run, that run a solo homer in the 6th round.



A round-up of the other games played today:

Ortforn Gold Pickers vs Searing Heat

In sweltering temperatures, the Heat won 6-4. Connor Wills (7.0RP, 8H, 4ER, 1BB, 9K) got the win. Heat 1B Joey Scott went 2-5 with four runners brought home, two of those off a home run. Both teams had 10 hits but Ortforn walked 6 hitters to Searing’s 1.

Faresto Fasprel vs Brethers Dune Riders

Despite a late fightback, the Fasprel lost 6-5. Ionut Plesu (7.2RP, 10H, 3ER, 1BB, 6K) was the winning pitcher. For the Fasprel Nicolae Barbu went 3-4.

North Barricade vs Boneley Fishermen

Boneley cruised to an 8-1 victory, doing most of their damage in the second round, where they scored 5. Gerald Baker showed why he was such a sought-after striker, throwing 8.2 rounds for 7 hits, a solitary run, no walks, and 5 strikeouts. Boneley collected 16 hits for the game, Carlton Rousset, Tony Harlow, and Ion Brediceanu each hitting safely 3 times.

Hertford Mountain Men vs Eoning Equine

The wild ways of the Mountain Men were too much for the Equine, Hertford routing their meeker opposition 13-0. Billy Russell (8.2RP, 6H, 0ER, 0BB, 4K) never looked under pressure, with many spectators wondering why he didn’t stay on the mound for the final out. All the Mountain Men contributed with the bat, Eyob Mathaathi scoring the most runners, his 2-3 with a walk good enough to get 4 runners across home base. Dermott Borriello scored 4 runs to set the benchmark for the league. Hertford did not hit a single home run.

Blandre Barskas vs Thatchet Marauders

While both sides swapped scores through the first 2 rounds, in the end the Marauders succumbed meekly to the Barskas, Blandre running out 10-4 winners. Brandon Addley (3.1RP, 2H, 0ER, 0BB, 4K) got the win, coming on in relief after Ermias McHeshi only lasted 4 rounds. Amaracandra Groza slugged a home run in the 9th worth 3 scores.

Tremonief Merchants vs Normidd Strong Men

The silky ways of the Merchants overcame the might of the Strong Men, Tremonief winning 5-2 in a contest that was tight for the first 5 rounds. Jens Crumlin (5.0RP, 4H, 2ER, 0BB, 8K) got the win, while the game’s best hitter was Ghazi bin Nabeel, who went 3-4 with a homer and 2 runners brought home.

Albokeby Defenders vs Luton Rush

The Rush put on a show for their namesake, storming home late to win 7-4, 6 of those runs scored between the 6th and 8th rounds. Reliever Henock Tawfiki was credited with the win after getting the final 2 outs of the top of the 8th. Luton broke the deadlock in the bottom of the round. Graham Heaton was 3-5 with a home run and 3RBH.
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Old 10-23-2019, 07:14 PM   #8
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Nicely done. Good luck with this.
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Thanks, Dark Horse! Now it's just a case of making time for it
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:42 PM   #10
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I know the feeling. Hopefully, I can start posing mine next year. Have fun with it!
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Old 10-26-2019, 02:46 PM   #11
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Izz… good gracious, you are a splendid writer... and a fine dynasty creator.

Another wonderful concept... looking forward to following it.

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Old 10-26-2019, 04:18 PM   #12
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Izz… good gracious, you are a splendid writer... and a fine dynasty creator.

Another wonderful concept... looking forward to following it.
Thanks EC, that's high praise indeed!
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Old 11-01-2019, 06:34 AM   #13
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I'm sure Frederick was delighted that he got a team named after him haha. Fantastic set up with some very distinct personalities. Will follow!
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