25
November

APBA offering Black Friday Deals

apbalogoIf you are looking to purchase any APBA products, this Friday would be the time to do it.  The APBA Game Company is offering a Black Friday Deal.  All products are 25% off.

According to their latest newsletter:

Place an online order on any in-stock product this Friday, November 28th between 12:01 am and 11:59 pm, and receive 25% off the price of each product.

Note that this discount doesn’t apply to the following pre-order items: the 2014 baseball disk, 2014 baseball card set and the 2013 college football playoff set. The discount also will not apply to the Los Angeles Golf Course as it is already at a discounted price.

The Black Friday Deal takes effect on online orders only and only on Friday.  There will not be anyone to answer the phones on Friday. 

So if you haven’t upgraded to the newest boards yet or if there is a season you are looking to buy, check out the APBA online store

Posted by: | Category: Company Announcements | Tags: , | Leave a comment

25
November

Terrible Card Tuesday: 1984 Jeff Kunkel

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Even before Jeff Kunkel came up in 1984, he was going to be the player the Rangers were going to build their franchise around.  So much so that he was drafted highly in the Illowa APBA League rookie draft…fortunately not by me. 

Alas despite the media hype, Kunkel was pretty much a bust.  Not only did he bat just .204 in 142 at-bats in 1984 but he collected only 49 at-bats in the next three years combined.   It can’t be said that didn’t get his shot in ‘84.  Of his 50 games, 43 were started at shortstop. 

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1984 Totals 50 150 142 13 29 2 3 3 7 4 2 35 .204 .218 .324
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/25/2014.

 

Kunkel was like a all-field no-hit shortstop, except for the all-field part.  He was rated a SS-6 by APBA.  He didn’t get much power with two zeros but if you did get into the second column, there were thirteen ones sitting out there (lots of 2s and no singles either!). 

For a up and coming prospect, you had to really had like Kunkel to draft him.  His hit numbers weren’t too plentiful.  After the two zeros, he just had a 15-11 added to the 8-8-8-9-9 combination.  A 51 roll would get you a nasty 23. 

Kunkel also only had one 14 too leading to some unwanted surprise results like 13-13, 35-13 and 31-39.

Ugly numbers: 33-8, 31-39, 51-23

Kunkel did get in one solid year for the Rangers.  In 1989, he played in 108 games and batted .270 with 21 doubles and 8 homers.

Jeff is also son of 1960s AL pitcher Bill Kunkel.

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24
November

Monster Card Monday: 1984 Don Mattingly

Don mattingly 84

Don Mattingly makes his second showing on Monster Monday.  I featured his 1985 card in September.  I’ve never been a advocate of Donnie Baseball for the Hall of Fame but looking at his stats again, he makes a good case.  He put a string of very good years together. 

The season of 1984 was Mattingly’s first real outstanding year with the Yankees.  He led the AL in hitting with a .343 batting average.  He banged 207 hits, 44 of them doubles. 

This was the first year that Mattingly showed some power too.  He hit 23 dingers for the Yanks.  His 110 rbis in ‘84 was the first in four straight years with 100 plus. 

 

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1984 Totals 153 662 603 91 207 44 2 23 110 1 41 33 .343 .381 .537
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/24/2014.

 

Let’s start with the 1B-5.  We don’t see too many first baseman sluggers with the top fielding rating. 

Mattingly’s 1984 card isn’t as tasty as his 1985 card but I’d still happily bat it anywhere in my lineup.  He has power numbers 1-5-6-6.  He batted well enough to warrant three sevens (good for a 15-7) AND four 8s.  His last 9 is at 64. 

Ever the contact hitter, Don Mattingly only has one 13 at 56.  He is also rated an OF-2 for his 19 games in the outfield. 

Fun numbers: 15-7, 64-9, 1B-5

Miscellaneous notes

APBA cardmakers placed the 12 result number at the 12 in the 1984 card set.  Instead of putting the 25 on an untaken number, they put it at 52 and moved the 27 to 23. 

If you look closely, the result numbers on Mattingly’s card on this particular set are slightly offset.  They are a little lower than the black dice roll numbers.  This is not true for all the players’ cards in the set.  In fact, Ryne Sandberg’s 1984 card numbers (seen here) are offset a bit higher. 

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22
November

1961 BBW replay: Slugout between KC and Minnesota

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I have to give Kansas City credit.  They didn’t give up after Minnesota scored 23 runs including a 12-run fifth inning.  They did however, go through nine pitchers in this 26-15 battle in my 1961 APBA BBW replay.  Unfortunately, this is one day when the computer played both teams.  Currently, I’m managing the Orioles now but I just happened to notice the linescore in League Manager. 

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Not surprisingly, Harmon Killebrew had five rbis for the Twins.  However, an unknown (to me, at least) Ted Lepcio had seven ribbies on three homers. 

Here is the full boxscore of the game.

Poor leadoff man Zoilo Versalles.  He’s still hitting just .208 after going 4 for 7 for the day.

The Twins may be on my short list of teams to manage next!

Posted by: | Category: Computer APBA | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

21
November

League Profile: College Hill Gamer Guys

baseballIt’s nice to get a new league update from a new league.  Marc Sillivan emails The APBA Blog about The College Hill Gamer Guys.  Based in Texarkana, Arkansas (anywhere around you, Ken Heard?), these guys have played since 1985. 

As with many of us, life got in the way and the league was put on hold.  Lately though, they all rekindled their interest in APBA and have started it up again. 

Info on the CHGG:

League Name

College Hill Gamer Guys

Contact Person Marc Sillivan
Sport Baseball
# of teams 12
Year of inception 1985
Basic/Master/Computer/ Combination Basic Game
Does your league play… with modifications
Geographically, where is your league located? Texarkana, Arkansas

 

More info on the College Hill Gamer Guys from Marc:

We have been playing table top baseball league for years with modifications to rules and teams. We stopped for several years and re-kindled the league for the past 4 years. You simply miss it when you don’t play it.

We hope to hear more from you all, Marc!

 

If you want to brag about your league, we’re listening!  Tell us all about the league you are in and we’ll post a profile about it.  In the meantime, read about other leagues who have written in.

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20
November

2014 OAPBA Yearbook released

Lately, Rod Caborn has been busy putting together the yearbook for the Orlando APBA Association.  It’s finally done and it’s quite a production.  According to Rod it’s 72 pages of “everything you would ever want to know about the league”. 

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In it, you’ll find this year’s OAPBA wrap-up, stats, records, analysis not to mention photos of the managers.  It’s things like this that help inspire other leagues to help instill and restore tradition in their own leagues. 

You can download the 2014 OAPBA Yearbook here. Give it time to load… it’s a big ‘un.  

Nice job, Rod!

Posted by: | Category: League Updates | Tags: , | Leave a comment

18
November

Terrible Card Tuesday: 1956 Gino Cimoli

cimoli

While visiting Jim Saska’s place after the Chicagoland APBA Tournament, I spotted this 1956 Gino Cimoli card.  Cimoli was a first-year player with the Dodgers at the time and had a pretty rough start.

Looking at Cimoli’s stats, the first thing that popped out at me was his usage.  He was used in 73 games but only accumulated 38 plate appearances.  I checked his 1956 game log and sure enough, he was brought in as a pinch runner 12 times. 

When Gino did bat in 1956 though, he wasn’t too successful.  He was 4 for 36 for a .111 average.  He doubled once and stole one base with one walk. 

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1956 Totals 73 4 38 36 3 4 1 0 0 4 1 1 8 .111 .135 .139
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/18/2014.

 

Cimoli is another one of those batters that makes it easy to make an APBA card.  That is, he has exactly 36 plate appearances, one for each result number on the card.  He hit one double so he received one 6.  He stole one base so he gets one 11. 

Cimoli struck out eight times and received six 13s.  We all know that strikeouts can occur via strikeout ratings as well as the 12 with a runner on second base so this might give some clue on how APBA rates 13s with batters. 

Ugly numbers:  55-16, 11-8, 25-40

“They set all the records and we won the game.”

Gino Cimoli after World Series Game 7 in 1960

Gino Cimoli did go on to have a pretty decent 10-year career with the Dodgers, Athletics as well as four other teams.  He made the All-Star team in 1957 and led the league with 15 triples in 1962.  Cimoli was on the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates team that defeated the New York Yankees in seven games. 

Gino Cimoli’s bio on SABR

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17
November

Monster Card Monday: 1967 Carl Yastrzemski

yaz

Pastor Rich Zawadzki must have had fun playing with Carl Yastrzemski with the 1967 Red Sox in the Fall Chicagoland Tournament (though he used the original set, I believe).  It’s a great card. 

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Pastor Rich in Red Sox garb taking on Chris Witt’s 1946 version of the Red Sox

In ‘67, Yaz was but a youngster at 27.  For the Red Sox, he claimed the AL MVP and it was well deserved.  He led the league in runs (112), hits (189), homers (44), rbis (121), hitting (.326), OBP (.418) and slugging (.622).  All this while playing 161 games. 

In addition to the MVP award, he was named to the All-Star team and received a Gold Glove award. 

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1967 Totals 161 680 579 112 189 31 4 44 121 10 91 69 .326 .418 .622
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/17/2014.

 

To fully appreciate Yastrzemski’s card, you have to understand that it’s good for 161 games and 680 plate appearances.  His power numbers 1-1-5-6 over that span are fantastic.  He also receives two 7s out to 55 plus a 15-10. 

Not only that, Yaz has five 14s.  If you’re counting them left to right, you might begin to worry.  Never fear, he has three of them in the diceroll span of 56 and 64. 

If you need more convincing, he got his trademark OF-3 and doesn’t have any 24s.  Only two 13s for a homerun leader ain’t bad either. 

Fun numbers:  33-5, 55-7, 64-14

It was one year later when Yastrzemski won the batting title with a .301 average.  That the lowest average to win the title in modern day history. 

Ironic trivia:  Iconic Red Sox hero Carl Yastrzemski who played his whole 23-year career with Boston, was born in Southampton, New York. 

Posted by: | Category: Card Analysis | Tags: , , | 5 comments

17
November

Nine standout memories about the Fall 2014 Chicagoland APBA World Series Tournament

… in no particular order, mind you. 

1. Doug Schuyler’s friendly competiveness

IMG_0773

I’ll play APBA with some people and it will be a nice relaxed game.  Not with Doug.  His personality brings out the most in you and you want to play your best.  Fortunately, I was able to split with his 1994 White Sox.  It wasn’t easy though.  He walloped me 11-0 in the first game and we had to come back with another D pitcher.  But when you score 14 runs, even Jamie Moyer’s Dy can win. 

Watch out for Doug’s rolling style too.  Those dice go flying!

2.  Having lunch with Curt Bartel

IMG_0744

I’ve briefly chatted with Curt at previous tournaments but this weekend, we had a chance to really talk as we sat down during lunch.  I learned about his carpentry business up in Wisconsin and how his sons help him in their spare time. 

I also learned that he and Craig “Tower Fiend” Christian are boyhood friends too. 

Thanks for chatting, Curt!

3.  Coleman and Co. Tavern

IMG_0754

Speaking of lunch, Jim Saska picked us a great location for the tournament. 

While the Woodstock Public Library worked fine for the past tournaments, the Coleman and Co. Tavern just seemed better suited for our type of event.  Nice tables to roll on, great food and good location. 

4.  Sharing a room with Scott Fennessy

IMG_0776

Since there isn’t a train that comes out early enough, Scott Fennessy decided to share a hotel room with me in Woodstock.  I’m glad for the company and splitting the costs help.  I found out soon after we got there that he was giving me one of his 1984 card sets.  Wow!  We went through EVERY team reminiscing about players from the 80s and their strengths and shortcomings. 

My favorite:  Willie Upshaw’s nickname on his APBA card… “Mr March”

5.  Seeing some new blood at the tourney

IMG_0750

There were some new people at this tournament.  Of course, there was tournament winner Cale Mannesto.  Ryan Strauss was another new participant too.  He had the 1993 Phillies and his matchup with Scott Fennessy’s 1993 Blue Jays (above) was especially interesting. 

Chris Witt attended for the first time too but his name wasn’t new to me.  He and I have been in touch for a couple years over email and Facebook.  It was good to finally meet him. 

6.  Clark Eichman’s enthusiasm

IMG_0857

There’s no one I’ve played APBA who shows more enthusiasm for the game of APBA than Clark Eichman.  He takes a fun dice game and makes it real to anyone watching.  When the day comes that I make it to the final, I want him to be the announcer. 

He gets excited about a 14-30 fly out to left field.  It’s refreshing to see, simple as that. 

7. Watching the Gaubatz managerial tandem in action

IMG_0742

I have to hand it to the husband and wife team of Julie and Michael Gaubatz who managed the 2013 Kansas City Royals.  Not only did they pilot the Royals to a divisional win but from my viewpoint they did it with cooperation and seemed to have a lot of fun doing it. 

I love my wife dearly but I don’t think neither of us could put up with each other while managing an APBA baseball team.  That’s a special relationship that those two have going.  I talked to Michael briefly and he seemed like a stand up guy.  Both of them were good natured in victory as well as defeat and I’m looking forward to seeing them at future tournaments.

 

8.  My tour of Jim Saska’s basement

IMAG0715

After the tournament was over, Scott and I had an hour or so before our train left for Chicago so Jim graciously invited the two of us to his house rather than wait in cold.  I’m glad we did. 

Jim has an amazing collection of APBA cards that he has very organized in a library card catalog-style drawers.  By my guess, he has 50 or 60 sets, organized and labeled for easy access.  Very impressive and very motivating for someone like me to get my collection organized too.

 IMAG0716

I was quite impressed by the whole setup.  While the three of us were talking baseball and APBA, we wondered aloud, what does so-and-so’s card look like?  With Jim’s organized method, it was so simple to find the card set we needed to find the exact card we wanted to look at. 

Not only that, we saw Jim’s very nice baseball book library and compared notes on which books we had read. 

Thanks for the invite, Jim!  Sure beats waiting out in the cold!

9.  My 1987 Cubs’ performance

cubsscore

Finally, I can’t ignore the performance of my 1987 Chicago Cubs.  Ok, we didn’t win the tournament and we didn’t even have a winning record (2-4).  However, we split against the tough 61 Tigers and the 94 White Sox.  We ended up losing both against the 53 Dodgers putting them in the playoffs.  That said, we won two which isn’t bad for a last place team.  Rafael Palmeiro put on a show against Doug’s 94 Sox by hitting two homers and driving in five runs in one inning (see Doug’s score sheet above). 

For the record, Rick Sutcliffe got one win and Jamie Moyer got the other. 

We also were in first place in the homerun derby before the playoffs started.  Clark’s Brooklyn Dodgers kept on hitting dingers in postseason play and eventually won the Derby. 

Most of all, I was happy to see APBA folks of all ages, backgrounds (and dice rolling methods) get together for the purpose of playing APBA and talking baseball.  A lot of fun was had by all! 

Here’s more info on the Fall 2014 Chicagoland APBA World Series Tournament.  More photos from the tournament here

Posted by: | Category: Tournament | Tags: , , | 8 comments

16
November

Cale Mannesto wins Chicagoland Tourney with 1968 Tigers

IMG_0854

Champion Cale Mannesto after winning the Fall Tournament…

Congratulations to Cale Mannesto who won yesterday’s Chicagoland APBA World Series Tournament in Woodstock, Illinois.  As the flashes were firing, many of us were inquiring “what’s his last name again?” for he was a newcomer to the tournament.  I’m sure we won’t forget it soon.

IMG_0856

…it didn’t take long before Cale was texting his agent

Cale won the APBA Baseball tournament with the 1968 Detroit Tigers behind the fine pitching of Denny McLain and his Grade A&B.  We’re all happy that Cale won and the fact that he takes home the trophy means he’ll be back at the next tournament to return it.  Nice going, Cale!

IMG_0857

Second place Clark Eichman still brought home some hardware

To win the tournament championship, Cale defeated Clark Eichman and the tough 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers in the final game.  It wasn’t the first time Clark was a bridesmaid.  Last fall, he brought the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates to the championship game only to be defeated.  Clark didn’t go home empty handed though.  He won the newly implemented Homerun Trophy as his Dodgers hit the most dingers for the day. Congratulations to Clark on his hard fought run! 

IMG_0786

The cream of the crop.  L to R: Chris Witt (1946 Red Sox, Mike and Julie Gaubatz (2013 Royals), Clark Eichman (1953 Dodgers), Cale Mannesto (1968 Tigers)

In addition to Cale and Clark, two other teams made it to the playoffs.  The 1946 Boston Red Sox went 5-1 under Chris Witt’s leadership. Mike and Julie Gaubatz  paired up to pilot the 2013 Kansas City Royals to upset their division.  Nice going everyone! 

In all, 16 teams participated with Rich Zawadzki traveling the furthest coming all the way from Jackson, Michigan.  He even brought a huge box of APBA cards including Great Teams of the Past (I took a few minutes to browse through them and Rich and Doug Schuyler played a pickup game during the playoffs. 

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Organizers Doug Schuyler and Jim Saska

Finally, a big thanks to Jim Saska, the logistics man, and Doug Schuyler, Public Relations man extraordinaire.  Without them, this event wouldn’t be happening and wouldn’t be near as fun.  Jim, the venue was fantastic and Doug, thanks for continually plugging this event. 

I’ve posted some photos here and I’ll be posting more thoughts on the tournament later. 

Posted by: | Category: Tournament | Tags: , , | 6 comments

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