18
April

Flashback Friday: ‘Pot-luck’ Flyer from 1985

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something from Scott Veatch’s Vault.  Here’s one from 1985.

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This small flyer encompasses many of APBA’s games.  It includes offers for the Golf game as well as the golf card set.  If you want to buy the Golf game and Saddle Racing together, both can be had in 1985 for $35.75.  It’s interesting to note that separately, the Saddle Racing listed for $26.50 and the Golf Game was just $18.25.

Most unique in this 1985 flyer though are the “Pot-luck Packs”.  APBA must have swept the floor and combined baseball and football cards into these packs.  Each set included 50 loose cards (some regular and some XB) from the 60s and 70s.  In APBA’s words, “These are truly “Pot-luck” Packs.  We can’t tell you what you’ll find in any particular pack”.  Though they tried, APBA didn’t even guarantee there weren’t duplicates.

One Pot-luck pack of regular cards cost $5.00 for 50 cards back in 1985.  A pack of XB cards included 10 sheets, some with 10 per sheet, some with 8.

Thanks Scott!  You can see more of Scott’s APBA-related brochures and literature that he’s collected through the years at Scott Veatch’s Vault here at The APBA Blog.

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16
April

Weird Card Wednesday: 1903 Al Orth

Orth 1903 scott

Scott Fennessy sent in this 1903 Al Orth card which has more than a few oddities.

In ‘03, Orth played for the Senators.  It wasn’t his best year going 10-22 with a 4.34 ERA and leading the AL with 135 earned runs.  He did however, bat .302 with nine doubles and 7 triples in 168 plate appearances.  He even stole three bases for the last place Sens.

 

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1903 WSH 55 168 162 19 49 9 7 0 11 3 4 13 .302 .323 .444
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/16/2014.

 

Where to start with Al Orth’s 1903 card?  First of all, he was a Grade D and a P-1 but is also rated as a SS-6, OF-1 and a 1B-2.  He played a few games at each of those positions that year.

Despite being a pitcher (mostly) in the deadball era, he could hit.  Not only could he hit, he has a first column 2!  His hit numbers: 2-0-0-0-7-7-7-8-8-8-8-9-9.

Another oddity… his error number is a 13-21 in favor of a 53-22.  Orth also has six second column 11s behind four 0s despite being rated a slow base runner (certainly not rare but worth noting).

“Smilin’ Al” Orth (or as he was also known, “The Curveless Wonder”) was actually a pretty good pitcher and I am surprised I didn’t know more about him.  He pitched for 15 years (1895-1909) and racked up some good numbers for Philly, Washington, and New York.  He won 204 games and lost 189 with an ERA of 3.37.

With the Yankees in 1907, he led the league with 27 wins and 36 complete games.  He about-faced the next year with a 14-21 despite a 2.61 ERA.  A year later, he was out of baseball.

thanks Scott!

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15
April

Winning is fun but can it last?

Scott Fennessy asked me how things were going now that I’m in two leagues.  Well, so far, so good.  Both teams have winning records and I’m managing to keep up.  The Illowa APBA League which tends to play a good portion of their games during league get-togethers, is in a holding pattern but I’ll be playing a series against the Pittsburgh-based Three Rivers Gamblers on Thursday night.

The BBW-based Boys of Summer APBA League holds to a much tighter schedule thanks to commish Shawn Baier.  Two days to submit our rosters, lineups and rotation and three days for the home teams to play the games.  I admit it’s certainly different to not have your opponent across the table from me when I play them.  But I’m finally getting used to the nuances of .lpf files and the AIM features of Baseball for Windows.

A quick update for both leagues:

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My Urbana Locomotives have gotten off to a quick start in the Boys of Summer League.  Until last week, we were 20-7 and my players were winning all kinds of awards.  In successive weeks, David Price, Garrett Jones, and David Price (again) were BoS National League Players of the Week.

After a week off, Jeremy Hellickson then won the award in Week 5.  In Week 6, we then took on Brad Stark’s Portland Microbrewers who were our first place brethren in the NL West Division.  Coming in with a 17-9 record, they provided us with some real competition.  It was a home series and boy, it was a tough one.

We ended up 3-3 against Portland.  Sometimes the game of speed in baseball is underrated but not by me… not anymore.  Portland’s Mike Trout, Coco Crisp and Jason Kipnis ran on me like it was 1908.  Example:  I lost the first game 1-0 in the 10th inning on a steal of home by Kipnis.  Twice in the series, a runner stole second and then promptly stole third (Coco Crisp tried to steal home but we got him… just wish we had gotten Kip).

All in all, a good series against Portland and a dose of reality.  It was a tough week for reigning Player of the Week Jeremy Hellickson, though.  He gave up one earned run in 16 1/3 innings and still went 0-2.

Season stats for assorted Locomotives (through 33 games and using 2012 season)

  • Adrian Beltre .346, 7 HR, 26 rbi, 24 runs
  • Carlos Ruiz .337, 6 HR, 18 rbis
  • Garrett Jones 9 HR, 25 rbis
  • David Price 6-1, 2.57 ERA, 58 K in 49 IP
  • Colby Lewis 4-0, 1.78 ERA
  • Hiroki Kuroda 5-2, 3.66 ERA, 48 K in 51 2/3 IP

 

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At the Illowa APBA League draft weekend, we all played 30 games each.  To be honest, after the Twin Cities Thunderchickens draft, I wasn’t feeling too positive about the 2014 season.  The guys really came though  with some good series.  We swept our commish Mike Bunch and his Green Rock Bombers 6-0 and went 4-2 against the Nick Tegeler, the “new guy”.  If only we hadn’t gone 1-5 against Marcus Bunch, we could have made it an epic weekend.

Jason Kipnis leads the IAL right now with a nifty .382 batting average.  He’s our big offensive star.  Albert Pujols who has the worst card in the history of his career, has interesting stats.  He’s hitting .321 in 53 at-bats but 0 homers and just five rbis.  Adam LaRoche has been spelling him a lot but not doing the job (.145).

But we’re doing it with the pitching.  Strasburg (3-1, 1.46), Joe Kelly (2-1, 0.79), Ryu (3-1, 2.29), and yes, even Scott Diamond ( a DRZ with a 1.35 ERA) are all contributing.  Our team ERA is 3.06 which is about .3 lower than the second lowest in the league.

We’re set to play Todd Ventresca and his Three Rivers Gamblers on Thursday and you can see how big that series is already. They’re right below us in the standings.  A lot can happen in nine games so we can see if that 17-13 record is indicative of how good we really are.

Posted by: | Category: League Updates | Tags: , , | 1 comment

15
April

Terrible Card Tuesday: 1964 Wayne Graham

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Scott Veatch comes through again with another great Terrible card.  Straight from Yoakum, Texas, it’s Wayne Graham of the 1964 New York Mets.

Graham went 3 for 33 with one double in 1964 striking out five times for the Mets.

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
1964 Totals 20 5 33 33 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 5 .091 .091 .121
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/15/2014.

 

Graham’s 1964 card gets hit numbers 6-7-8-8-9.  In my opinion, he would probably be better served with three 8s and two 9s instead of the 7-8-8-9-9 combination.  He might hit too high with his current card.

Check out his fly out numbers.  First of all, he has a 25-31.  That’s the first time I’ve seen that number there.  Overall, he has twelve numbers between 30-32 inclusive.  I guess it’s logical that if a player doesn’t have many hit numbers, APBA will have to fill them up with out numbers.  It’s just strange to see results like 13-32, 42-32, 53-32, and 62-32.

Note that Graham’s error number is a 55-20.

Ugly numbers:  25-31, 15-39, 51-13

Graham was a two season player.  He went 4 for 22 in 1963 for Philly and as you can see didn’t do any better for the Mets.  After that, he was done with baseball.

thanks Scott Veatch!

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14
April

Monster Card Monday: 1903 Joe McGinnity

1903 McGinnity

If you want a lot of quality innings, you can’t get much better than Joe “Iron Man” McGinnity.  Sent in by APBA Blog writer, Scott Fennessy who blogs incessantly about his deadball replays, this 1903 card is not so much about the pitching grade but also the playing time behind it.

In 1903, Joe McGinnity started 48 games and completed 44 of them.  He ended up with a total of 434 innings for the New York Giants.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H BB SO
1903 NYG 31 20 .608 2.43 55 48 44 3 2 434.0 391 109 171
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/14/2014.

 

Needless to say, those were quality innings.  McGinnity ended up with a 31-20 record and a nice 2.34 ERA.  He only gave up four homers that year and had a 2.3 BB/9 IP rate (actually, one the highest of his career).

On top of all that, Iron Man’s hitting card isn’t too horrible either at 0-7-7-8-8-8-8-9-9.

A fact about Joe McGinnity I did not know:  he hit 40 batters in 1900, his second year in baseball.  That ranks 4th all-time and is the highest since 1900.

thanks Scott!

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14
April

1905 Chicago Cubs replay update: Cubs continue roll in drubbing of Reds

by Scott Fennessy

Chicago, IL
9/19/1905

Today’s game features Tom Walker a grade C pitcher against Chicago ace Ed Reulbach, an A&C starter. Given the Cubs recent offensive surge I was expecting a blowout again. Initially the Reds did everything in their power to give them a huge lead early, but the Cubs wasted opportunities in each of the first three innings and there was still no score at the end of three innings.

Cincinnati was held in check again by “Big Ed” and his pitching was finally rewarded in the fourth inning. Frank Chance slips a grounder just out of Miller Huggins reach at second and he immediately takes advantage of one of Cincinnati’s biggest weaknesses – catching. The Reds have three catchers; none of them are very good defensively, which really hurts, because none of them are hitting over .170 either. So Chance is off with the second pitch and steals easily.

The resurgent Art Hofman, who is clearly on his best run of the year, hits a solid single to right and Chance comes around to score the first run of the day. Walker then gets two quick outs moving Hofman over to second when Johnny Kling hits a single to left scoring another run. Reulbach gets a single putting runners on the corners and Billy Maloney works a base on balls to fill the bags for Jim Casey. Jim had a tough first half, but like Hofman is really responding well in his new role and he gets a single to right field. This nearly splits the gap, but Fritz Odwell cuts it off, but not until two runs score and it is now 4-0 Cubs. Walker gets Frank Schulte to end the inning, but the damage has been done.

The score remained unchanged until the 7th inning when Cincinnati finally cracks the scoreboard. Tommy Corcoran rips a first pitch fastball into left center for a double. Tommy’s a solid shortstop, but really not much of a threat with the bat, as evidenced by his .210 average. Miller Huggins, who has had a horrible year with the bat and had lost his job earlier in the year has come around lately and slaps a floater over Johnny Evers head for an RBI single. Kling comes to the mound for a brief chat and calms his starter down. Reulbach then retires the side and the score is 4-1 Cubs.

The Cubs however get the run right back, as Walker, who has only started 3 games this year is running out of steam and Chance gets a single with one out and steals second with ease. Hofman gets a walk and catcher Ed Phelps and the manager come to the hill to stall for time as John Vowinkel warms in the pen. Unfortunately the conference does no good and only delays the inevitable as Johnny Evers drills a single to right that scores Chance and puts Hofman on third. Joe Tinker hits a grounder that scores another run, and ends Walker’s day. Vowinkel comes in to get the final out, but the Cubs extend the lead to 6-1.

Reulbach gets a pretty easy eighth inning and Vowinkel is asked to finish the game for the Reds. He may regret this as the Cubs bats explode in the bottom of the inning. Reulbach gets a rare two hit day. Maloney tries to bunt the runner over, and this one rolls slowly down the third base line. Joe Kelley can only watch as it dies before it can go foul and runners are on first and second. Casey drops a single into shallow center scoring Reulbach and runners are on the corners. Casey steals second just over Corcoran’s tag and both runners are now in scoring position. Schulte hits a single to left that scores Maloney, but was hit too hard to allow Casey to score. That did not matter as Schulte gets his first hit of the day and an RBI as well. Chance is hit by Vowinkel’s third pitch the bases are now full. Hofman hits one into center field to score two more and runners are on the corners again. Evers gets his second straight hit of the day to score another run. Unfortunately for Johnny, he tries for second and Phelps guns him down to end the inning. Reulbach allows a one out single to Corcoran but the Reds fail to score and the Cubs win big again by a score of 11-1.

Cincinnati outfielder Jim Seymour had another two hit day and is now hitting .314. Huggins and Corcoran also had two hits each as well. Regarding Tommy Corcoran, in 1901, which I believe was his rookie season he recorded 10 assists in one game, which is still the major league record.

Billy Maloney continues to disrupt at the top and Casey is really looking great in the two spot. Schulte has been the number two threat after Chance most of the season. Chance now just needs 23 at bats to qualify for the batting title. He is currently hitting .350 and in second place behind the incredible Mike Donlin of the Giants and his .377 mark. Ed Reulbach’s record now sits at 25-5. Pending the result of the pending Giants-Phillies double header later today the Cubs are ½ game in front of the Giants.

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9
April

Weird Card Wednesday: 1973 Pat Bourque

bourque

Kevin Burghardt sent in this rather odd Pat Bourque card.  The card represents Bourque’s 1973 season which he split with the Cubs and the A’s.

The oddity?  Bourque get the regulation 8-8-8-9-9 combination but rather than put his last 9 at 25, APBA decided to put it at 62.  He has a 25-22 instead.

The numbers on his card all work out.  A quick calculation works out that he’ll hit around .220.  Maybe a little high but it’s in the ballpark.  It’s just the curious placement of the number 9 that’s puzzling.  Even more curious is that this isn’t a card from APBA past but one that was published just last year.

A card error or just an anomaly that APBA didn’t bother to fix?  Probably both.

Thanks, Kevin!

Posted by: | Category: Card Analysis | Tags: , , | 1 comment

8
April

1905 Chicago Cubs replay update: Cubs thump Cardinals and complete double header sweep

by Scott Fennessy

9/18/1905
Chicago, IL

The Cubs and Cardinals take the field in the tag end of today’s twin billing. Jim McDougal makes his first start of the year against Mordecai Brown goes for the Cubs. Brown looks sharp in the first as he retires the side in order. Meanwhile, Billy Maloney continues to heat up as he hits a single to center. For the second time today center fielder Bill Shannon misplays one and allows the runner to take second on an error. Two outs later with Frank Chance on second after a walk and stolen base and Maloney on third Art Hofman rips a single to right scoring both runners. McDougal gets the final out but it looks bad already for the visitors.

Brown continues to sparkle in the second, and the Cubs continue their torrid hitting of late as Kling gets his sixth straight hit with a one out single. McDougal looked to be working his way out of trouble with two out when Maloney got his second hit and stole second easily, and Jim Casey, who has really blossomed in the two spot gets a single to center plating both runners. Frank Schulte walked but the inning ended with no further damage. The Cubs now lead 4-0.

Brown is in top form as he was perfect through 4 and the Cubs pad the lead again after Casey hits a grounder that Danny Shay misplays. Defense has really hurt them today and given the way Brown is pitching this game is already over. Schulte gets a single, putting runners on the corners and Chance calls for the hit and run. He gets a slider low and outside, but goes with the pitch to score Casey and put runners on the corners again. McDougal shows some grit at last and stops the rally in its tracks, but the lead is now 5-0 Cubs.

Jimmy Burke, who is hitting about .180 breaks up the no hitter but they don’t score and the Cubs push the lead further out of sight in the 6th as Schulte draws a one out walk and Chance singles to right and runners are on the corners. Chance steals second and runners are on second and third with a tiring pitcher on the bump. McDougal’s curve ball gets past catcher Mike Grady and goes to the wall. Schulte scores and Chance moving to third. The redbird manager has seen enough and asks for the ball. Aloysius Egan comes in to face Art Hofman who hits a fly to deep left center field and it may clear the fence, but it is caught at the track for a sac fly as Chance scores with ease.

Egan looks strong as nothing happens until the 9th when the cards make another late push. Pinch hitter Art Hoelskoetter gets his second pinch hit of the double header, and follows with a rare steal. Shannon makes partial amends for his earlier error and singles to center scoring Hoelskoetter. Brown gets two quick outs to end the game and complete the sweep 7-1.

Brown allows just 3 hits and Chance was the big hitter of the game, although several players had good days. Chance was 3-4 with a walk, an RBI, 2 runs scored and 3 steals. The Cubs are just ½ game out now.

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8
April

Terrible Card Tuesday: 1965 Dave Nicholson

nicholson

When Mel first sent me this card, I thought at first glance that it was Bill ‘Swish’ Nicholson on a bad year.  Nope, this is Dave Nicholson (no relation) who played in the 60s and didn’t have the color (nor the career) like Bill did. This Nicholson’s card from 1965 when he was with the White Sox.

After 800 plus plate appearances in the two previous years, Dave Nicholson’s playing time dwindled in 1965.  He batted .153 with 40 strikeouts in 85 at-bats.  He did manage to hit two doubles, a triple and two homers that year.

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1965 Totals 55 21 94 85 11 13 2 1 2 12 0 9 40 .153 .234 .271
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/8/2014.

Nicholson’s only saving grace on his 1965 card are his four 14s.  Other than that, we have to put up with hit numbers 0-0-8-8-9-9 on a card that offers little else.

Ugly numbers:  15-14, 51-40, 33-8

APBA was probably generous with only thirteen 13s on his card.  This card has two ranges of four 13s in a row (35-43 and 61-64).  APBA rollers on Nicholson can be grateful that one of those is a 41-13.

Dave Nicholson’s best year was probably 1963 when he hit 22 homers and drove home 70 runs for the Sox.  Most notably, he led the league the only time in his career… in strikeouts.  He struck out 175 times in 449 at-bats that year.

Thanks Mel!

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7
April

Picking pitchers for the Monsters

mathewson

Announcing the Monsters pitching staff for my 21 game tournament between the Terribles and the Monsters

1905 Christy Mathewson A&B(Y)(Z)
1908 Ed Walsh A&B(Y)(Z)
1912 Joe Wood A&B(X)(Z)
1913 Walter Johnson A&B(Y)(Z)
1931 Lefty Grove A&C(Y)(Z)
1968 Bob Gibson A&B(X)
1971 Ferguson Jenkins A(X)(ZZ)
1974 Ken Holtzman B(Z)
1985 Dwight Gooden A&C(XY)(Z)
1989 Alejandro Pena A*(X)(Z)
1990 Dennis Eckersley A&B*(K)(ZZ)

 

All are very deserving.  They all were selected as Monster Cards of the Week (click on each name to see their article).  Since I have more starters than relievers, a few will be relegated to bullpen duty.  Admittedly, 1974 Ken Holtzman is a sentimental pick.  He’s a former Cub and University of Illinois alum.  Besides, he has the hitting card to back it up.

It will be tough to hit against these hurlers especially with the Monster teammates giving them ample offensive support.  Who’s my opening day starter?  Right now, I’m leaning towards 1905 Christy Mathewson, 1913 Walter Johnson or 1903 Ed Walsh.

One poll left and I’m ready to roll.

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