22
March

Divisions set for Prairieland 2!

IMG_2498-001

The Prairieland 2 Tournament is less than two weeks away.  The teams and fantasy deadball players have been chosen (thanks, Eric Berg for handling that!!).  Now, the divisions are set!  Divided into two leagues and four divisions, the 23 teams will vie for eight playoff spots.

Here is what the divisions look like…

 

Sparky Anderson League

Tom Lasorda Division

1

Gordon Rodell

1990  A’s

Rube Waddell

2

Thomas Nelshoppen

1985 Dodgers

Nap Lajoie

3

GF Korreck

1977 Dodgers

Ed Delahanty

4

Mike Hill

1987 Tigers

Christy Mathewson

5

Kyle Daniels

1998 Braves

Eddie Collins

6

Doug Bedell

1975 A’s

Grover Alexander

Joe Torre Division

7

Eric Berg

1991 Twins

Joe Jackson

8

Joe Schall

1994 Indians

Ty Cobb

9

Ron Casey

1970 Reds

Honus Wagner

10

Chris Strangeman

1975 Reds

Addie Joss

11

Mark Dyel

1970 Orioles

Cy Young

12

Dave Rueck

1982 Brewers

Tris Speaker

John McGraw League

Connie Mack Division

13

Ty Daniels

1999 Diamondbacks

Ed Walsh

14

Dick Butler

1977 Phillies

Babe Ruth

15

Bob Eller

1977 Yankees

Hod Eller

16

Ryan Daniels

1999 Braves

Joe McGinnity

17

Jim Welch

1981 Dodgers

George Sisler

18

John Kalous

1985 Cardinals

Walter Johnson

Hughie Jennings Division

19

Dennis Daniels

1997 Mariners

Joe Wood

20

John Roels

1978 Dodgers

Roger Bresnahan

21

David Kagel

2000 Yankees

Mike Donlin

22

Todd Daniels

1998 Yankees

Chief Bender

23

Tom Fulton

1994 Expos

Jack Chesbro

 

Participants drafted teams and players one month ago.  They are now beginning to reveal which season they will be using for their fantasy player.  I can tell you now which Napoleon Lajoie card I will be using.

lajoie01

This one from 1901…

Regulation play will include two games against each opponent except for the Jennings Division.  There will be a special schedule for them to ensure that they play the same amount of games as everyone else.  Printed schedules will be available at the tourney.

We will be trying to connect up with the Neil Ess Memorial Twin Cities APBA Baseball Tournament via a video link at some point.  They are playing their tourney on the same day.  There will be prizes and a trophy for the overall champion.  Tom Fulton says he may even bring something for the winner, too.

Details again for those who are coming…

Date: April 1st, 2017
Time: Starts at 9am
Location:  Drury Inn, Champaign, Illinois
Cost: $15.00

Prairieland 2 Tournament rules

Looking forward to this!!

Posted by: | Category: Tournament | Tags: , | 1 comment

22
March

Scott Fennessy: Brewers hammer Cubs

325px-18brewer2014aKhris_DavisToday’s game features Jimmy Nelson and Kyle Hendricks. The Brewers have been pretty bad so far, but the Cubs have been struggling a bit of late.

Milwaukee jumps on Hendricks right from the start. Ryan Braun, easily the best player on the team so far draws a one out walk. Khris Davis gets a single that puts runners on the corners and Adam Lind draws a walk to load the bases.

Catcher Miguel Montero goes to the mound to talk to his pitcher and Jonathan Lucroy then gets a sac fly to bring home the first run of the day.

Ryan Gennett smokes a double high off the wall in left center field for two more runs. Shane Peterson grounds out to end the inning but the Brewers are up 3-0 after a half inning of play.

The Brewers and Cubs both hit a series of doubles, as the wind is blowing out pretty hard, but the score was still 3-0 Brewers as the Cubs bat in the bottom of the second.

Montero gets a leadoff single and Chris Coghlan bunts the runner into scoring position and Jorge Soler rips a double to left that scores Montero for the first run of the day. Javier Baez then gets another double to cut the lead to one. Hendricks whiffs to end the inning but the lead is Brewers 3, Cubs 2 after two innings.

The Brewers deliver the killing blow in the fourth inning. Elian Herrera draws a leadoff walk. Jimmy Nelson strikes out. Hernan Perez hits a double and runners are on second and third with one out. Braun then hits a single to right and two runs score as Braun takes second on the throw.

The pitching coach comes to the mound to stall for time and Davis then hits a single to score Braun and Hendricks is done for the day. Lind hits a single and runners are on first and second. Lucroy hits another in a seemingly endless line of hits that scores a run. Gennett gets a single and the bases are now loaded.

Peterson hits a fly ball to medium left field and another run scores. Herrera and Nelson are retired and the inning is mercifully over.

The score remained 8-2 Brewers on top as we reach the 8th inning. Nelson is still in and looking sharp as Dexter Fowler draws a leadoff walk. He was off with the pitch and Castro rips one into left center that rolls all the way to the wall to score Fowler. Castro then steals third and was there with one out when Kris Bryant hits a sacrifice fly to score another run. Montero strikes out and the inning is over and the Cubs trail 8-4. This was the final score as the Brewers continued to pound away at the Cubs bullpen but fortunately no further runs scored.

Kyle Hendricks takes the loss while Jimmy Nelson gets the victory. Khris Davis was the star of the day going 5 for 5 with a walk and oddly enough only 1 RBI.

Around the horn:

The Nationals get a rare win against the Mets as Bryce Harper goes 4-5 with a HR and 4 RBI

Carlos Santana of the Indians hits his second grand slam of the season. He is the only player in my replay history with two career slams.

Kevin Gausman throws a 5-0 shutout of the Tampa Rays

photo credit

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15
March

Lucas’ Hitmen win IAL championship; Sanchez goes #1

2017 ial draft-2011

Last weekend the Illowa APBA League held their 42th annual Draft weekend in Downers Grove, Illinois.  The weekend was quite busy with playoffs, the IAL World Series, rookie draft and the start of the season.  Each team got in 30 games played to start the 2017 season. 

First of all, congrats to Northside Hitmen manager Chuck Lucas (above left with Commissioner Mike Bunch) who battled it out seven games against Molly Putts Marauders skipper Don Smith in the Illowa World Series.  Down 3 games to 2, Hanley Ramirez gave Molly a second life with a walk-off homer in game six.  Shelby Miler outlasted Johnny Cueto to give the Hitmen the game and the Series. 

Congrats Chuck! 

2017 ial draft-2016

Chuck wasn’t the only manager to come home with some hardware.  First place Marcus Bunch of the Moline Upperdeckers was voted Manager of the Year based on his 95-67 record.  Not only did he get to take home the official traveling plaque but was awarded a Joe Maddon bobblehead. 

Nice going, Marcus! 

Draft time!

2017 ial draft-2030

The draft took place Friday night after the postseason but there is a story to be told.  See, I had the first pick in the draft (again).  I was ready to deal and my buddy John Brandeberry wanted it.  We had talked about dealing my first pick for his first which was the third pick overall. In return, he would give me outfielder Joc Pederson. 

While I was sitting on that, Rob Moore was asking about Jung-Ho Kang.  With the potential of Pederson in the outfield, I could keep Kris Bryant at third.  Kang was expendable.  Rob was ready to deal his 3rd round pick for him. 

It happened so fast.  Within ten minutes, I made those two deals. 

2017 ial draft-2020

Long story short, catchers were picked in the first picks, Sanchez and Contreras.  That’s Brando above holding his first pick proudly.  With my newly acquired third pick, I took outfielder (and soon to be shortstop) Trea Turner.  I now have a leadoff man!

The first round in the 2017 IAL draft:

  1. Sanchez
  2. Contreras
  3. Turner
  4. Fulmer
  5. Story
  6. Bregman
  7. Maeda
  8. Gray
  9. Davies
  10. Devenski

 

2017 Season

Most of us got started playing the 2017 season on Saturday morning but Brando and Don Smith couldn’t wait.  They played late into Friday night. 

20170311_111145-002

The bulk of the rolling was done on Saturday.  We even had a special guest come to visit us. Chicagoland tournament organizer Rob Spatz stopped by and helped manage a few games!  Watch out Rob, that’s how Scott Fennessy got into the league.  Truth be told, it already sounds like Spatz is going to help Montana resident Brando play a few local games. 

20170312_100702-001

The standings are already out for March and it looks like Marcus’ Upperdeckers are off to another good start.  Max Scherzer had a pretty memorable game for him against the Kentucky Kernels.  Scherzer (an AKZ pitcher) gave up just one hit in 9 innings and struck out a total of 18 batters! 

 

2017 ILLOWA LEAGUE W L PCT GB PP
Moline Upperdeckers 20 10 .667 0 0
Molly Putts Marauders 20 10 .667 0 0
Colona Hustlers 18 12 .600 2 0
Northside Hitmen 17 13 .567 3 0
Kentucky Kernels 15 15 .500 5 0
Twin Cities Thunderchickens 15 15 .500 5 0
Green Rock Bombers 14 16 .467 6 0
Missoula Rattlesnakes 14 16 .467 6 0
Chicago Highlanders 10 20 .333 10 0
Des Plaines Dragons 7 23 .233 13 0

My Twin Cities Thunderchickens went a very acceptable 15-15 for the weekend.  We’re tied for fifth place!!

I may not have that first pick in next year’s draft.

More photos here

Thanks everyone for a great time! 

Posted by: | Category: League Drafts, League Updates | Tags: , , , | 2 comments

8
March

Aaron Radlinski’s 1902 Pirates win Greater Michigan tourney!

GMABT III Final Aaron-WellsLast weekend was the third annual Greater Michigan APBA Baseball Tournament which was founded, organized and hosted by Pastor Rich Zawadzki.  If all the reports are true, he puts on quite a tournament. 

A total of 38 teams participated in the tournament which might be a record for a regional tourney.  When it came down to it, Greg Wells’ 1909 Cubs and Aaron Radlinski’s 1902 Pirates were left standing.  APBA Hall of Famer Greg Wells has had plenty of tourney fame winning a national tournament and two at the Linda B. Schultz Memorial APBA Baseball Tournaments in Pittsburgh.  When the dust settled though, Aaron’s Pirates came out the winner. 

Shawn Baier attended and has an excellent recap with division standings and plenty of photos at the Boys of Summer blog.

Congrats to Aaron Radinski and nicely done, Rich!!

Coming soon… Prairieland 2 and the The Neil Ess Memorial Twin Cities APBA Baseball Tournament – VII on April 1st!

Posted by: | Category: Tournament | Tags: , , | 2 comments

6
March

Monster Card Monday: 1957 Stan Musial

57 musial schuyler

Doug Schuyler suggested this 1957 Stan Musial card and what a beaut! 

What makes this amazing is that this wasn’t even one of Musial’s best years.  Yes, he did lead the league with a .351 average as well as OBP (.422).  He even slugged .612. He drove in 102 runs on 29 homeruns. 

He came in second in the MVP voting behind someone named Henry Aaron.  Man, the more I think about it, 1957 is one of the best seasons.   

Season Totals
Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1957 Totals 134 579 502 82 176 38 3 29 102 1 66 34 .351 .422 .612
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/6/2017.

 

The only knock on Musial is his fielding.  He’s a 1B-3.  Other than that, he’s a perfect #3 hitter.  He hits for average (15-7), he hits for power (1-5-5-6) and he can get on base with a walk if you need him to (four 14s).

Fun numbers: 33-5, 15-7, 61-41

Maybe it’s me but I think Musial is one of the most underrated Hall of Famers.  Other than his last year, he didn’t have an unproductive season.  Sure, he slipped a bit in his last five years but from the very beginning, he was good and for 22 years, he contributed. He hit over .300 for his first 17 years. 

When I was a kid, there was a popular question…

“Which two players hit 400 career homeruns without hitting 40 in a season?” 

Musial was one of the answers (Billy Williams was the other).  I’m sure that trivia question has become obsolete by now with so many homerun hitters.   

thanks, Doug!

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

3
March

Scott Fennessy: Lester shuts down Brewers

jon lesterWrigley Field
Chicago, IL
May 2, 2015

Fresh off of last night’s victory the Cubs face the Brewers in the second game of this series. Today sees Jorge Lopez and Jon Lester match up. Lester, fresh off a solid performance last time makes quick work of the Brewers and the Cubs come to bat in the bottom of the inning. Dexter Fowler, who has suddenly remembered how to hit lately gets a single on the very first pitch of the game. Dex is off with the pitch and Starlin Castro rips a double into left that scores the runner. Anthony Rizzo gets a inside fastball and he hits this one hard. It’s high and deep and hits off the wall for another double that scores Castro.

Kris Bryant strikes out for the first out of the inning. Miguel Montero slaps a single to left and another run scores. Chris Coghlan draws a walk to put runners on first and second. Lopez calms down and gets the next two batters and the inning ends with the Cubs on top 3-0.

The Brewers had a chance in the second inning, but the Cubs defense, which has been much worse than expected so far finally comes into play Adam Lind hits a single to left, and Jonathan Lucroy rips a hard grounder to Starlin Castro who makes a nice toss to Javy Baez at short, who fires the throw to Rizzo for a rally killing double play. Ryan Gennett then hits a bullet down the third base line, but Bryant makes a terrific diving stop and throws him out on a bang bang play at first to end the inning.

Both pitchers then take control for a while and the Cubs then strike again in the bottom of the fourth inning. Austin Jackson draws a leadoff walk and after a single by Baez puts runners on first and third. Lester moves the runner to second while Jackson holes third and he scores on a ground out by Fowler. The inning ends with the Cubs on top 4-0.

Nothing changed until the top of the sixth inning when Bryant boots a grounder by Jean Segura, who then steals second base with two out. Ryan Braun hits a single up the middle to score the first run of the day for Milwaukee. Khris Davis flies out but the Brewers have cut the lead to 4-1 in the of the sixth inning.

Chicago gets the run right back in the bottom of the inning when Lester hits a soft single to left with one out. Corey Knebel, who has come in relief of Lopez then loses command suddenly and walks Fowler and Castro to load the bases. Rizzo hits another deep blast, but this one to center field that is caught at the wall and Jackson scores. Bryant hits into an inning ending double play, but the score is now 5-1 Cubs on top after six innings.

Things remained the same until the top of the eight inning when Domingo Santana pinch hits for Knebel and hits an epic blast onto Sheffield Avenue on a Lester fastball. Jon settles down though and gets the next two hitters and the inning ends with Chicago on top 5-2, which is how the game ended as neither team added anything.

Around the horn:

Christian Bergman of the Rockies tosses a 3 hit shutout against the Padres in San Diego
Nathan Evoldi strikes out 11 as the Yankees beat the Red Sox 9-4
Minnesota’s Eddie Rosario hits a GW HR in bottom of 9th inning atainst the White Sox
Jake Odorizzi ties record with 7 straight K’s in Baltimore. The Orioles still win 6-1

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3
March

No foolin’! Two APBA tourneys on April 1

michigan

First of all, I want to wish everyone who is attending Pastor Rich Zawadzki’s Greater Michigan APBA Baseball Tournament good luck.  You might think the “Greater” is a geographical reference but from what I hear, it is indeed one of best tournaments out there.

Rich has an amazing total of 36 teams participating in the tournament this year at Gene Davis and Sons Steaks Eatery in Jackson, Michigan.  Safe travels everybody and have lots of fun!! Looking forward to will win that trophy up there!

It is certainly APBA tournament season.  In fact, in less than a month on April 1st, two tournaments both in the Midwest will be taking place at the same time.  Jim Fraasch’ Neil Ess Memorial Twin Cities APBA Baseball Tournament – VII will be rolling dice in Maple Grove, Minnesota.  A little further south, the Prairieland 2 APBA Baseball Tournament will be competing in Champaign, Illinois (you can find the registrants and their teams here at Eric Berg’s blog, Roll 11).  Jim Welch (right) will be attending to defend his Prairieland crown.  IMG_2523-001

Both tourneys have 25 participants registered and ready to roll and as Jim wrote up on his blog, Jim’s APBA Barn, I think this a big thing for APBA!  As far as either of us know, it’s the first time two regional tournaments have happened on the same day. 

The organizers of both tournaments are talking and we’re trying to think of some creative ways for the two tourneys to interact on the big day.  At the very least, we’ll have a video linkup between the two tournaments.  Who knows?  Maybe more. 

Let’s keep it going folks!  If you don’t have a tournament in your area, do what Jim Saska did and start your own.  He moved to the Virginia area in the past couple years and his Capital of the Confederacy APBA Tournament has been grown up to 14 participants.  Just remember, the very popular Chicagoland Tournament started out with just five guys on the first year. 

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28
February

Rod Caborn impresses again with 1912 AL replay documentation

1912st

Rod Caborn (yes, the one who pens the popular column Rod’s Replay Insider) emailed the other day to tell me that he just finished his 1912 AL replay. It was a 154-game feat complete with roster changes and actual schedule.  Rod used the 2010 version of the Master Game boards.  He also sent me a complete summary of his project.

First of all, congrats to Rod.  To me, finishing any full schedule APBA replay is quite an accomplishment. 

Second, Rod’s documentation of his replay is nothing short of amazing.  I’m still reading through it but Rod covers not just the standings and stats but also the background and guidelines for his replay.  The team-by-team recaps hearken back to Sporting News’ Dope Book (anyone remember those?).  Here is Rod’s full recap of his replay.  Definitely read this.  Not only is it full of info, it is visually pleasing to the eye and entertaining to read.

 

1912leaders

 

If you’re wondering, Boston won easily in Rod’s replay with 114 wins thanks in part to MVP Tris Speaker who hit .398 and pitcher Smokey Joe Wood went 30-6.  Speaker didn’t win the batting title, though.  That honor went to Joe Jackson who bested the Grey Eagle by two points at .401.  Walter Johnson was the Cy Young honoree with an even 1.00 ERA and a 30-9 record.  

Some notes from Rod:

Boston went 114-40…winning over Philadelphia by 17 games. Both teams were tied on July 31, which gives you some kind of idea what kind of stretch run Boston had.

Chicago’s Morrie Rath made the first unassisted triple play I have ever see in APBA.

New York had a 19-game losing streak and then somehow rebounded to actually pass St. Louis and move into seventh place….before receding back into the cellar by season’s end.

Walter Johnson 30-9, ERA 1.00, fifteen shutouts! Joe Wood 30-6, 1.21 ERA.

Joe Jackson wins batting crown at .401, but Tris Speaker was the dominant player in the replay (one error all season long, hitting .398).

 

Thanks for sharing this, Rod.  This is great example for the rest of us!  Rod says that 1912 National League is beckoning so we’re looking forward to the results. 

Posted by: | Category: replay | Tags: , , | 1 comment

28
February

Terrible Card Tuesday: 1973 Rich Reese

reese

Rob Spatz shared this 1973 Rich Reese card with me.  In Rob’s words, it is very “J4-esque”.  That said, Reese did manage to get this card with 140 plate appearances so this wasn’t an oh for 10 deal. 

It was Reese’s last year in the majors and he split it between the Twins and the Tigers.  For the year, he hit a paltry .144, a far cry from his career high of .322 in 1969.  He also hit just six extra base hits, three of them homeruns.  It’s worth noting that of Reese’s 81 games, he came in as a substitute in 56 of them. 

Season Totals
Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1973 Totals 81 140 125 17 18 2 1 3 7 0 13 23 .144 .225 .248
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/28/2017.

 

Ok, let’s get this out of the way.  Rich Reese is a 1B-5 and there is nothing terrible about that.  The 1B-5 has always been one of the more rare and coveted fielding ratings.  Reese did not let his glove get rusty in latter years. 

As for his bat, well, a 44-9 is not what your firstbaseman should be boasting.  Neither is a 51-41. 

Ugly numbers: 44-9, 31-37, 51-41

An interesting note about Reese:  he was a longtime fixture in Minnesota but actually started out the 1973 season with the Tigers.  He was traded mid-season back to his old team.  

thanks, Rob!

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

27
February

Monster Card Monday: 1957 Hank Aaron

aaron57

I know it hasn’t been long since I posted an Aaron card on Monday but as Doug Schuyler says, this 1957 card is “a thing of beauty”.  This 1957 card is from the  original 1957 card GTOP set published in the 1980s and it is something.

I checked Aaron’s stats for 1957 Braves.  He hit 44 homers four times (appropriately) and 1957 was one those years.  He also hit .322 with an even .600 slugging percentage.  Hard to believe but Aaron was only 23 years old at the time and it was his fourth full season.  Before the season started, he had already led the NL in hits, doubles, and hitting.  In 1957, Aaron really began to show his power leading the league in homers. His 118 runs and 132 rbis also paced the league.

 

Season Totals
Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1957 Totals 151 675 615 118 198 27 6 44 132 1 57 58 .322 .378 .600
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/27/2017.

 

Very rarely, does APBA give out three first column 5s.  With runners on base (especially first, second, or first and third) this card is lethal with power numbers 1-5-5-5.  Aaron isn’t done yet.  He also has a nifty 55-7.

I keep looking over Aaron’s 57 card and expecting to find a hidden 13 somewhere but no, he really does have just two 13s (he seems to have a couple extra 32s to fill the void).

Fun numbers: 33-5, 22-5, 55-7

Doug can correct me but if memory serves, the entire 1957 Milwaukee Braves team is a lot of fun.  Schoendienst has a nice card (2B-9 and 55-7??) and very decent pitching led by Warren Spahn.

thanks, Doug!

Posted by: | Category: Card Analysis | Tags: , , | 10 comments

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