The 1911 VBL A Grade Pennant
Melbourne wins its fifth pennant in a row in 1911 and would go onto win 7 on the trot, the streak finally broken by Fitzroy in 1914 who went on to be a very strong force in the early 1920's. The description of the game is an interesting read, a pitcher dominated contest - great defence by Melbourne, heads up baserunning by Ballantyne to steal home and some great names in the team that become long time servants of the club. The final was a classic game that had everything.
From the Argus Monday September 11th 1911, Page 5:
"The baseball season, concluded on Saturday, was the most satisfactory the Victorian Baseball League has played. The clubs were evenly matched, and the games were always attractive. It has been a good season for M.C.C. who won both the "A" and "B" grade premierships. In "C" grade Brunswick gain the honours."
"The final match for the premiership was played on Saturday, at Fitzroy between M.C.C and Fitzroy, the former team winning by 2 runs to 1 after a splendid contest, which, on the whole, was well umpired by Messrs. Soloman and Anderson. This is the fifth successive year in which M.C.C. have been the A grade premiers. It was the best final seen for some years, the game throughout being full of incident and perfect play, and was only won in the ninth innings by a splendid double play, in which Ransford, from right field, with a fine pick-up and throw, retired Woodforde at first base, and Lansdown being shut off at the home plate on Henty's throw to Taylor. Lansdown might have saved his side had he attempted to slide. M.C.C. obtained 7 base hits as against Fitzroy's 2. For the winners Ingleton and Ballantyne were the best batters, securing 2 base hits and 1 run each. Special mention must be made of Johnston's wonderful left-hand catch (including three other "flies"). Ransford, Ballantyne, and Vaughan were good outfielders. Henty (9 put-outs), Ingleton, Johnston, and Felstead completed a strong infield, and Scott (pitcher) and Taylor (catcher) made an effective battery."
"Webb (5 flies), Wilson, and Phillips were the outfield for Fitzroy, and, with Woodforde (11 put-outs), Delves, Kiernan, and Debman (who should have put out Ballantyne at third, and thereby preventing a run from being scored), made up a good fielding side. Cant (who with more experience would not have permitted Ballantyne to have stolen home) and Lansdown were the Fitzroy battery."
The following were the scores:-
M.C.C .. .. .. .. .. 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 1, 0 -- 2
Fitzroy .. .. .. .. .. 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 -- 1
Above: MCC Baseball Section Circa 1911-1912
Back: M. Allan, T.H. Scott (Scorer), Unknown, T. Felstead, H. Taylor
Middle: W. Ponsford Snr, F. Vaughan, W. Scott, W.G. Ingleton, G. Henty, Unknown (probably A. Johnston)
Front: V. Ransford, J. Ballantyne