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Bethlehem Mickey Mantle, Inc. - our 8th Year in 2015

BRAVES Travel Baseball Club powered by FROZEN ROPES

Thanks to all who purchased raffle tickets for our Annual Fund Raiser.

The 3 WINNERS are:
Yankees tix - Rich Brown, BRAVES 13U Manager.
Mets tix - Elaine Larsen, son Caiden plays on BRAVES 13U team.
55" LED TV - Marcus Ganswith of Schenectady, sold by Elgin Henderson, 14U Manager.

Bethlehem BRAVES 1864 Vintage Team in the SpotLight - July 2, 2015

Crossing bats

A vintage baseball game bridges the miles between two teams looking to preserve, educate and entertain

By Michael Hallisey

Local rooters are sure to unite when the Bethlehem nine cross bats with the visiting New York Mutuals in a base ball match at the Bethlehem Elm Ave. Town Park in Delmar on Saturday, July 4.

Steve “The Prez” Peterson, manager of the Bethlehem Braves, shared his expectations for a tough match with this reporter the other day. Peterson said the Mutuals is a tough and competitive lot with a winning reputation.

“They’re dedicated guys,” said Peterson. “They enjoy playing us. They enjoy beating us. I hope we can put together a good team this year, and give them a little better run.”

The Braves is a young and speedy aggregation out of Bethlehem that doesn’t often see many opportunities to match wits with such formidable opponents. These young cubs may be wet behind the ears compared to the boys from the Big City, but they won’t for a second hesitate to go hammer and tongs when the occasion calls for it.

“Bethlehem always has a strong team, and though they have not beaten us yet, it is just a matter of time,” said Tom “Big Bat” Feslowich, the Mutual’s team president. “ They have the support of the home rooters, and that is always an advantage. We always expect a well-played match with enthusiasm and muckle. If they use the willow and hit daisy cutters, they should fair well.”

On the slab for the home team will be Josh “Sweet Pete” Peterson with Tony “Meatball” Sanchez behind the dish. Sweet Pete has shown some prowess with whitewashing his opponents (in games allowing him to throw overhand). “Dollar” Bill Bogatz will be pitching for the visiting nine, while Pockets will be his battery mate. News has it that Dollar is a gentleman and a bachelor, so if any ladies are present and unattached, they should come dressed in their finest dresses.

On the offensive, the Mutuals boast a skillful lot. Thom “Dirt” Fioriglio is said to be very skilled at the fair-foul. That is when you chop down on the ball so it hits in fair territory (and therefore a fair ball) and then heads towards the benches in foul territory and is in play. He can place the ball anywhere he wants, while Derek “Legs” Fesolowich is fast and not an easy out.

A different era

Baseball was very much a different game a century ago, complete with different rules and language more suitable for a Jane Austen book than the Sporting News. Fights with umpires, games disrupted by fans with money on the line, was not uncommon. Nevertheless, it was dubbed a gentlemen’s game, and later the National Pastime. Soon after the Civil War ended in 1865, the popularity of the game blossomed across the nation. Johnny Evers, baseball Hall of Famer, once described how every vacant lot in his South Troy had a baseball game played upon it.

“Playing in front of a crowd is the most fun thing we do,” said Feslowich. His Mutuals was founded in 1999, a homage to the original team that played the game from 1857 to 1876. His team made of individuals that are part athlete and part thespian, travel the region playing vintage baseball. It’s the game many of us played in Little League and later, but they hold true to the archaic rules that have been amended over the past century. “It is one of the main reasons we do this. Part of our mission is to educate and entertain and show people the history of the game of baseball and how it was played in the 19th century. It is very satisfying to see the smiles on people’s faces or to answer questions or to pose for pictures. Especially when kids are involved.”

For more than five years now, the Mutuals have made an annual trip to the Capital District to play off against a team in the Town of Bethlehem. Steve Peterson, president of the Bethlehem Mickey Mantle association that fields youth amateur baseball teams, established that team in 2008. The pairing between the two teams was out of happenstance.

Peterson said the town was organizing a celebration to recognize the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s landing on the shores of the river that would eventually bare his name. “I attended the meeting because I’m very interested in American history. I just started the club, and I’m thinking, ‘What can I do to help? Is there something that I can do?’”

Peterson recalls people sharing ideas of showcasing wooden shoes and Dutch pottery, to pay tribute to the region’s Patroon heritage. A baseball fan, Peterson voiced his idea for a vintage baseball game.

“So, I sat in on the meeting, and not to name names,” said Peterson, “but … the quote was, ‘What does baseball have to do with America?’”

Peterson recalls responding with a chuckle before admitting that baseball may not have had much of a cultural impact in the area 400 years ago, but did so 150 years ago. To further support his idea, Peterson said he researched the idea of an old-time baseball game over the Internet, and reached out to a handful of teams across the region, comprised of individuals dedicated to playing baseball based on vintage period rules.

“The Mutuals answered my e-mail, and they latched right on to it.” What has since transpired is an annual event that welcomes a traveling vintage baseball team out of Long Island to play ball in Delmar each holiday weekend. Members of each team have an apparent respect for one another. This spring, the Albany Institute of History and Art debuted “Play Ball!” a baseball exhibit showcasing the history of the game in the Capital District. The Mutuals traveled from Long Island to participate with Peterson and his players to dress up and play a few exercises on the institute’s front lawn.

Each year, the event plays out as if the relics from the Baseball Hall of Fame escaped from Cooperstown and had come to life like dream match-up only W.P. Kinsella could conjure. Players play period authentic uniforms, long-sleeved and wool. Pitchers throw underhanded, and nearly 20 feet closer to the batter than from where they throw today (60 feet, six inches). And, perhaps the most noticeable difference among them all, none of the players on the field wear gloves.

The players who dress the part can’t help but feel as if they are putting on a production suitable for Proctors.

“There is a sense of showmanship,” said Feslowich, who goes by the nickname “Big Bat.” Some participants take to wearing fake facial hair, reminiscent of the lamb chops that were popular during the Victorian Age. For others, the handlebar mustaches that would make Rollie Fingers proud, are very much real. All play to the crowd to make it an interactive experience. “Part of it is having the skills to play the game the right way, but also, the humor and joy that we show while playing. The more we can get the crowd involved, the better. If we can pull off a trick play, like the hidden ball trick or a well-executed fair-foul, the better.”

Peterson has been known to use public figures throughout the Capital District to field his nine each year, some from the local media, others from politics. His made it a point to make it an event for everyone to enjoy.

“It’s a great town event,” said Peterson. “People like to come out and see that.”

SATURDAY - JULY 4th, 2015

The 2015 BETHLEHEM "4th of July" VINTAGE BASE BALL Game
was played with the Rules of the year 1864.
 The Bethlehem BRAVES Town Team beat the NY Mutuals 13-6 for the BRAVES first victory in the history of these two teams playing every 4th of July. 
 Played at
Bethlehem Elm Ave. Town Park - Field # 5
261 Elm Ave. - Delmar, NY 12054
 The NY Mutuals are based in Old Bethpage Village – Long Island, NY. (web site link)



2015 Bethlehem BRAVES - 1864 Vintage team roster:

Joe "Crazy Joe" Monserrat

Elgin "The Kid" Henderson

Josh "Sweet Pete" Peterson

Tony "Meatball" Sanchez

Quentin "The Natural" Jensen

Joe "Pay Day" Carrecia

Steve "Sarge" Kraz

David "K-Nine" Harrington

Jim "Franchise" Franchini

Steve “The Prez” Peterson

BRAVES Travel Baseball CLUB 

2015 Travel Teams:



Request a Try-Out today for the BEST Travel Baseball Club in Town.


Contact us at  518-469-8772


Upcoming Games & Practices

Monday,  Jul 6
Berkshire Americans 14 @ CD BRAVES 14+ 6:00pm Bethlehem Elm Ave Town Park FIELD # 5
Tuesday,  Jul 7
Berkshire Americans 16 @ CD BRAVES 16FR 6:00pm Bethlehem Elm Ave Town Park FIELD # 5
CD BRAVES 17 @ Hoosic Valley Rangers 17 6:00pm Chapko F1
CD BRAVES 13 @ Columbia Clippers (Red) 13 6:00pm Ichabod Crane High School
CD BRAVES 14+ @ TC Bombers (Blue) 14 6:00pm TC Bombers Field
Wednesday,  Jul 8
ADK Hawks 17+ @ CD BRAVES 16 6:00pm Bethlehem Elm Ave Town Park FIELD # 5
Thursday,  Jul 9
Northeast Hurricanes 14L @ CD BRAVES 14+ 6:00pm Bethlehem Elm Ave Town Park FIELD # 5
CD BRAVES 16FR @ ADK Hawks 16+ Canceled Gavin Park
Friday,  Jul 10
North Colonie Bison 22 @ CD BRAVES 22 6:00pm Averill Park High School
Devil Cats 17 @ CD BRAVES 17 6:00pm Bethlehem Elm Ave Town Park FIELD # 5
Saturday,  Jul 11
Rotterdam Pirates 16 @ CD BRAVES 16FR 9:30am Bethlehem Elm Ave Town Park FIELD # 5
DevilCats (Blue) 14 @ CD BRAVES 14+ 12:00pm Bethlehem Elm Ave Town Park FIELD # 5
CD BRAVES 13 @ Coxsackie Owlz 13 12:00pm McQuade Park - Coxsackie
CD BRAVES 17 @ Northeast Hurricanes 17 12:00pm Moreau Rec Pk - 90
DevilCats (Blue) 14 @ CD BRAVES 14+ 2:30pm Bethlehem Elm Ave Town Park FIELD # 5
CD BRAVES 17 @ Northeast Hurricanes 17 2:30pm Moreau Rec Pk - 90
CD BRAVES 22 @ POSITION/TBD 3:00pm DevilCats Stadium
CD BRAVES 22 @ POSITION/TBD 8:15pm DevilCats Stadium
Sunday,  Jul 12
CD BRAVES 16 @ Berkshire Americans 16 10:00am Alcombright Sports Complex
Capital Renegades (Blue) 13 @ CD BRAVES 13 12:00pm Bethlehem Elm Ave Town Park FIELD # 5
CD BRAVES 16 @ Berkshire Americans 16 12:30pm Alcombright Sports Complex
CD BRAVES 22 @ POSITION/TBD 12:30pm DevilCats Stadium
Capital Renegades (Blue) 13 @ CD BRAVES 13 2:30pm Bethlehem Elm Ave Town Park FIELD # 5
CD BRAVES 22 PRACTICE 3:00pm Bethlehem Elm Ave Town Park FIELD # 5
Monday,  Jul 13
Capital Renegades 14 @ CD BRAVES 14+ 6:00pm Bethlehem Elm Ave Town Park FIELD # 5
Tuesday,  Jul 14
ADK Hawks 16+ @ CD BRAVES 17 6:00pm Bethlehem Elm Ave Town Park FIELD # 5
Wednesday,  Jul 15
Ballston Bearcats 13 @ CD BRAVES 13 6:00pm Bethlehem Elm Ave Town Park FIELD # 5
CD BRAVES 22 @ Greenfield Yellowjackets 22 6:00pm Geyser Park
CD BRAVES 16 @ Voorheesville Blackbirds 16 6:00pm Swift Road Field

For a complete schedule listing, click here!

Upcoming Meetings & Events

Tuesday,  Aug 4
Yankees vs Red Sox 7:05pm
Friday,  Aug 28
Mets vs Red Sox 7:10pm
Monday,  Sep 21
BMM Board of Directors Meeting 6:00pm Bethlehem Public Library
Monday,  Oct 19
BMM Board of Directors Meeting 6:00pm Bethlehem Public Library
Monday,  Nov 30
BRAVES Annual Organizational Meeting 6:00pm Bethlehem Public Library

For a complete calendar listing, click here!

Staples - Glenmont