The changing plan …

Jim Leeke — AABP

Soldiers and historians will tell you that a battle plan is valid until the first shot is fired. Something similar may apply to commemorations. Our plan to mark the centennial of the great Fourth of July “baseball match” at Stamford Bridge in 1918, during World War I, has changed and morphed and changed again. Now it’s clear that commemorations will extend beyond July 4, 2018, which is fine with us.

Our colleagues at the U.S. Naval War College now plan to hold a simple pregame ceremony before the Newport Gulls game on the Fourth at historic Cardines Field in Newport, Rhode Island. And our friends at Tennessee State Parks are preparing a WWI baseball game in Nashville the following Saturday, July 7. The Naval War College then plans to play another WWI game in Newport in September, as they did last year. We’ll post details here as we receive them.

Yes, this all differs from what AABP envisioned when we began three years ago. And we’re pleased with it all, too. We’re grateful for the unexpected American friends we’ve made since 2015. And we hope to commemorate the WWI Anglo-American alliance with the many baseball friends we’ve made in the United Kingdom. We look forward to Independence Day 2018 … and to the many Fourths to follow.

Farewell, old friend …

Jim Leeke — AABP

We’re greatly saddened today by the passing of Shelly Berman, a legendary ad man in New York and Columbus. He was a grand friend and advisor. Shel was the first person we ever told about our notion for recreating the great Army-Navy “baseball match” seen by King George V during WWI. We founded the Anglo-American Baseball Project in 2015 with his encouragement.

Plans are now nearly complete for playing the game in Newport, Rhode Island, this Fourth of July. We’re working with the U.S. Naval War College to make it happen. Shel would have loved tinkering with the many details of an ambitious plan like this one. We thank him for his valuable advice along the way.

In the old days, umpires used to call games “on account of darkness.” We feel that way today. But we’ll be thinking happily of Shelly Berman at the ballpark in Newport this summer.

Happy July 4th ...

By Jim Leeke — AABP

Greetings to our supporters on Independence Day — or Interdependence Day, as our friends in the UK dubbed the holiday in 1918 during World War One. Two years from today, we plan to present our “baseball match” in England. We’ve had several productive meetings and calls in recent weeks, and plans are evolving. We’ll keep you posted when we have more details.

Meanwhile, our thanks go to Dean Karayanis of the History Author Show for his fine interview about Nine Innings for the King, the book that inspired us to create the AABP. Dean’s passion for history shines in every episode of his podcast. I enjoyed talking with him. Listen to the interview HERE or on the show’s various other outlets.

Also, congratulations to Major League Baseball for the Fort Bragg game yesterday between the Braves and Marlins. We really enjoyed it, and look forward to more in coming years.

Happy Fourth to everyone!