Arts & Entertainment

Ballists, Bugs, and Sockdolagers fill Boys' Park for Kingsland Manor Baseball Classic

Nutley Colonels take to the field for the Third Annual Kingsland Manor Baseball Classic.
The Nutley Colonels and Flemington Neshanocks at the Kingland Manor Baseball Classic. Credits: Pennie Landry / TAPinto Nutley
The Third Annual Kingsland Manor Baseball Classic Credits: Pennie Landry / TAPinto Nutley
Explaining the rules at the Kingsland Manor Baseball Classic. Credits: Pennie Landry / TAPinto Nutley
Manager Leon Kish at the Kingsland Manor Baseball Classic Credits: Pennie Landry / TAPinto Nutley
Three generations of Fernicolas at the Kingsland Manor Baseball Classic Credits: Pennie Landry / TAPinto Nutley

NUTLEY, NJ - The Mighty Nutley Colonels survived the Third  Annual Baseball Classic as they faced the Flemington Neshanocks in 'Boys' Park' this past weekend. The 14 members of 2017 roster gave it their all at bat and on the field, however, the Flemington Neshanocks had more ‘muckle’. 

Before the game, Don “Pop” Fernicola said: “My stomach is my chest protector.” It’s my second  year and I’m glad to be here.” Pop’s son, Don said it was his third year playing in the classic and he was ‘trying to show the little guy how to do it.” While 6 year old D.J. did not play, he cheered on his father and ‘grandpop’ from the bull pen.

“Throwing out the first pitch is a proud moment to help us remember Nutley’s history”. Mayor Dr. Joseph Scarpelli was among the ‘cranks’ who cheered “huzzah” as the Colonels took the field.

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The Mayor explained: “Kingsland Manor named the team the ‘Colonels’ because years ago there was an adult male team in Nutley called the Colonels. I'm happy our players are interested enough in history to participate."

The team’s barehanded manager, Leon “Skipper” Kish greeted the ‘rooters’ and gifted attendees with a booklet that included the team’s rosters, 19th Century Baseball Terminology, Rules and the Role of the 19th Century Umpire and upcoming Kingsland Manor Event.

Umpire Sam “It ain’t nothing til I say” Bernstein treated the players and fans to his lively recitation of “Casey at the Bat” before the start of the 7th inning.

Dorothy (Dot) Greengrove, was in charge of the refreshment stand where rooters donated $1 for popcorn and lemonade.  Cupcakes also appeared in the tent, when it was announced that it was ‘Dot’s birthday. There was a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday for Mrs. Greengrove.  

Dorothy’s parents immigrated from Germany and lived on Bayard St. before purchasing a home on Grant Ave. Born in 1932, Mrs. Greengrove is one of Nutley’s ‘celebrity’ historians. “The Nutley dump was originally located on the land that is now Flora Loudan Park on Hancock St. The button factory would dump plastic waste, sometimes igniting. My mother would drag us back into the house when the city dump caught fire.”

Greengrove is a Nutley Historical Committee member and said she is excited about changes recently submitted to the Board of Commissioners and looks forward to passage of the revised Historical Preservation ordinance. Nutley Commissioners Contemplate Historic Ordinance

At the end of the game, Kish thanked the sponsors, players and rooters and started the traditional ‘passing of the hat’ to benefit ongoing upkeep and renovation efforts at the Kingsland Manor.

The law firm of Planning Board attorney Barry Kozyra (Kozyra & Hartz LLC) was one of the sponsors. Other sponsors were Cowan’s Public, Nutley Park ShopRite, John Donnelly Financial and Zoning Board member Mary Rubino Ryder’s Century 21 Real Estate Team

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
There was joy at Yanticaw as the Mighty Colonels gave it their all, without a doubt!

Note: “Casey at the Bat” was written by Ernest L. Thayer, and made famous by William De Wolf Hopper, a New York singer and monologist, who recited it on stage an estimated 10,000 times.

19th Century Baseball Terminology

  • Ballist = player
  • Bull Pen = area where ‘cranks’ sat
  • Crank, Rooter or Bug = Fan
  • Ginger = pluck or determination
  • Huzzah = hooray
  • Sockdolager = a long hit is the only locally owned news organization serving the Township of Nutley. is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association.


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