28
August

Nate Shields wins 3rd annual Robert Henry Tournament; Bridesburg APBA League collaboration takes “a life of its own”

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Congratulations to Nate Shields who piloted the 1913 Athletics to a championship at the 3rd annual Robert Henry Memorial Tournament.  The tournament featured sixteen members of the Bridesburg Boys and Girls Club as well as twenty-two “grown-ups” (but kids at heart). 

Brian Cavanaugh, who has incorporated APBA baseball with his work at the BBGC for several years, included a bit of history of the tournament:

“The Robert Henry Memorial APBA Tournament is a one day tournament starring members of the Bridesburg APBA League. The tournament started from a conversation between John Cochrane and Brian Cavanaugh during a game at the final Lancaster convention/tournament during the summer 2012. Since then, the tournament has taken on a life of its own and a day that the members of the Bridesburg APBA league look forward to.”

You can see the full results of the tournament here. 

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Every tournament has their style for naming divisions… baseball players, broadcasters, local luminaries.  Not only was the Robert Henry APBA Tournament named for an APBA superstar (whose column in the APBA Journal I read religiously) but the divisions were also named for APBA Hall of Famers.  Divisions were named after J. Richard Seitz, Veryl Lincoln, Scott Lehotsky, Clifford Van Beek and Bob Levy.  Nice touch! 

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Congrats again to Nate for his fine performance.  I see he scored 22 runs in the semi-final!  As for Brian (above right), I’ll bet he’ll be looking for revenge after his 0-7 performance. 

Seriously, thanks to Brian, the Bridesburg Boys & Girls Club  and everyone else who made this happen.  In the past several years, Bridesburg is one of the best stories to come out of the APBA community.  While most tournaments emphasize that it isn’t all about winning and losing, this takes it to a different level.  Keep it up!

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26
August

Weird Card Wednesday: 1970 Bobby Grich

grich

Tom Allshouse is thinking the 1970 Bobby Grich reprint card is a candidate for Weird Wednesday. 

First, he has first column 2 at 66.  Also, his second column number at 66 is a 4 (so if you roll an 11-0 then a 66, still no homerun).  Not only that, he only has eleven power numbers in the second column.  He has a 42-11 in the second column. 

Honestly, still can’t get used to seeing Grich card without a 2b-8, either. 

thanks, Tom!

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26
August

Ron Emch ready for the Glass City APBA Baseball Tournament

Video call snapshot 3The Glass City APBA Tournament in Toledo is almost set to go, says Ron Emch.  I had the pleasure to play a game over Skype with Ron last night.  Ron and I have exchanged a few emails and are friends on Facebook but we’ve never met or talked till last night. 

Yes, we did play a game.  His 1985 Cardinals beat my 1979 Royals 11-6.  Mostly though, we chatted.  We talked about old and new APBA boards, his upcoming tournament, and the general state of APBA.  It’s one of those APBA things.  You start talking to someone you have never met before but you immediately have several common bonds that keep the conversation going. 

Ron says he’s quite excited about this weekend’s tournament.  He’s learned a lot from how previous tournaments have been held and is patterning the Glass City Tournament after those but with a couple twists. 

Speaking of which, the divisions are out for this weekend’s tourney.  Here’s a quick look (check out the Toledo-based division names!):

Moses Fleetwood Walker Division
Andrew Radlinski 2013 Detroit Tigers
Jared Erickson 1993 Philadelphia Phillies
Pat McGregor 1906 Cleveland Naps
Ken Schulz 1995 Cleveland Indians
Mike ‘Crash Davis’ Hessman Division
Jack Randolph 1975 Cincinnati Reds
Randy Egan 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers
Steve Steinhardt 1972 Detroit Tigers
Aaron Radlinski 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates
Jamie Farr Division
David Dawn 1972 Oakland A’s
Ron Emch 1985 St. Louis Cardinals
Bob McCurdy 1982 Milwaukee Brewers
Joe Schuetz 1905 New York Giants
Casey Stengel Division
Joe Kaplan 1977 Philadephia Phillies
Nathan Mikkelson 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers
John Cress 1997 Seattle Mariners
Jack Beckman 1984 Detroit Tigers
Muddy and Madonna Division
Darryl Langenderfer 1934 Detroit Tigers
Darren Schulz 1937 New York Yankees
Bill Lilley 1968 Detroit Tigers
Richard Butler 1969 Baltimore Orioles

 

Here is the full divisional lineup in Excel format for those interested.  Good luck Ron and everyone!  Roll dem 66s!

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25
August

Rod Caborn’s report on his 1911 NL replay is really worth a read…

…even if you’re not a deadball fan. 

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Rod Caborn has to be one of the most organized APBA replayers out there.  He just sent me the results of his 1911 National League replay and it was great to pore through his thoroughly detailed yet colorful document. 

A couple things I can tell about Rod’s style of replay by reading through his report…

  • He has a clear goal for his replay
  • He learns about the teams and players he his replaying
  • He sets the rules and standards for his replay before he starts playing
  • He documents the results so others can enjoy them 

Rod used the Master Game for the replay and surprisingly it only took him 213 days to complete.  Impressive, even for an eight-team league. 

You can read through his 1911 NL replay report here.  You’ll be glad you did. 

Rod’s not done yet, by the way.  He plans to take on the 1911 American League next.  Once done, it will be his 14th completed replay. 

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24
August

Monster Card Monday: 1883 Dan Brouthers

1883 Brouthers

Scott Fennessy has been playing with the 1883 Baseball for Windows season and sent me this screenshot of Dan Brouthers card.  He’s a DYW.  Whatta bum! 

All kidding aside, 6’2” Brouthers (pronounced “BROO-thurz”, I just learned) gets a heck of a card for the first place Buffalo Bisons.  In just 98 games, he led baseball’s “National League” with 159 hits, 17 triples and 97 rbis.  He paced the league with a .374 batting average, .397 OBP AND .572 slugging percentage too. 

 

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
1883 BUF 98 441 425 85 159 41 17 3 97 16 17 .374 .397 .572

  Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/24/2015.

 

Some of you might be thinking… “A .374 average is great and all but does that warrant a 31-7 or a 13-9.  I initially thought the same thing till I noticed that Big Dan only has one 14.  That will boost the hit numbers. 

In all Brouthers’ hit numbers are pretty impressive:

0-0-0-0-0-7-7-7-8-8-8-9-9-10-11

While he just has the one 36-14, he has three 31s.  He also has two error numbers (53-20 and 21-18 as well as the two unusual play numbers that firstbaseman are typically assigned (23-41 and 45-37). 

Fun numbers: 44-0, 13-9, 64-8

If you’re wondering, Big Dan deserves that pitching grade of 1.  He gave up seven earned runs in two innings for a hefty ERA of 31.50. 

Dan Brouthers career spanned a transitional period in baseball history.  His rookie year was 1879 when organized baseball was in its infancy.  By the time he was almost done playing, it was 1896.  Brouthers actually had one more year left in him when he came back for a cup of coffee in 1904 with the New York Giants. 

Shoot, that was almost yesterday, wasn’t it?

thanks, Scott!

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23
August

So what happened after Ryu’s IAL no-hitter?

Hyun-Jin-RyuMy Twin City Thunderchickens finished their nine-game series with Rob Moore’s Chicago Highlanders this morning.  If you remember, Ryu came through with a complete game no-hitter in Game 4 after we lost the first three games.  

Well, it was a little frustrating.  Rob’s  Highlanders were unable to score (or hit) early but they still were able to get the job done. 

  • Game 5:  Thunderchicken’s Francisco Liriano has a no-hitter broken up in the sixth inning.  We eventually lose 7-2. 
  • Game 6:  The Highlanders are hitless against Tanner Roark until the sixth inning.  We lose 2-1. 
  • Game 7:  Twin City’s Homer Bailey doesn’t give up a hit until the seventh inning.  We lose 3-2. 

The Highlanders broke tradition in Game 8 by getting a hit in second inning of Game 8.  They won that game 6-3. 

In the last game of the series, we brought out Hyun-jin Ryu who won the only game of our series and the home fans were anxious to see a repeat performance.  He didn’t pitch a no-hitter but he came close.  He pitched a complete game shutout giving up just six hits.

For the month, Hyun-jin Ryu has stats worthy of IAL’s Pitcher of the Month.  He was 2-1 giving up just 2 runs and 9 hits in 25 innings. 

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19
August

Weird Card Wednesday: 1976 Al Hrabosky

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I was a Cubs fan as a kid but I remember Al “Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky fondly.  His crazy hair and his antics on the mound.  He was a pretty decent pitcher for the Cardinals too. 

This original 1976 card gave me pause to think.  Not only does “Hungo” have five 14s but he also has three 42s.  That’s not a bad OBP for a pitcher. 

Split PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG HBP SH
1976 Totals 13 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 .000 .300 .000 1 3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/19/2015.

 

You won’t find any other offensive numbers on Hrabosky’s card except for the requisite error number and unusual play result if that counts.

Hrabosky did collect seven hits in 1974 and 1975 which can be argued are his two best years as a pitcher.  Of course, that was back in the 1970s when a good reliever was allowed to go two maybe three innings and was allowed to bat occasionally.   

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18
August

Storm doesn’t deter Ryu’s effort

It was the war of the worst tonight as my Twin City Thunderchickens took on Rob Moore’s Chicago Highlanders over Skype.  We currently occupy the basement of the Illowa APBA League standings though after this series I’m not sure.  We played our first four games of our nine-game August series. 

Even playing over Skype, weather played a role in our series.  Announcing his lineup, Rob said, “Batting fourth, Carlos Santana”  then there was a thunderclap sound over Skype.  I was ready to congratulate Rob on his nifty sound effects but I knew there was weather brewing in Chicago.  The tornado siren soon came and we both decided to take a half hour break so the storm could blow over. 

In each of our four games, the Thunderchickens got off to the right start and got the lead.  In the first three, we promptly lost it. 

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In game four though, Thunderchicken starter Hyun-jin Ryu battled hard.  The Highlanders had plenty of chances with a slim 2-0 Twin City lead and Ryu giving up four walks and a hit by pitch. 

But you know what Ryu didn’t give up?  Hits.  Ryu pitched a complete game shutout as the TCTC won the fourth game 2-0.  In the Illowa League, we are all pretty good about not mentioning the no-hitter while it is being pitched.  There are certain key phrases we may use though.  “C’mon, we need a hit here” or “He’s pitching a gem today”.  But no mention of the “no” word. 

Rob mentioned afterwards that despite the no-no, he never felt he was out of the game.  It’s true.  He was down by only two runs and in most innings, he had a baserunner.  A homerun would have tied it easily. 

Motivated by Ryu’s victory, our series will resume this weekend. 

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17
August

Monster Card Monday: 1936 Lou Gehrig

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Pastor Rich passes on a long overdue card for the Monster Card Monday column. It’s Lou Gehrig’s from 1936.  Lou was 34 at the time and just five years away from succumbing to ALS.  His year with the Yankees was something else though. 

He led the AL in homeruns with 49 as well as hits with 167.  He collected a league best 130 walks too.  In addition to his .354 average, you would have to think his OBP was sky high.  It was.  His .478 led the league as did his .696 slugging percentage. 

Gehrig helped his Yankees to the AL title and a World Series win over the cross-town Giants.  For his trouble, he earned an MVP award, his second of his career. 

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1936 Totals 155 719 579 167 205 37 7 49 152 3 130 46 .354 .478 .696
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/17/2015.

 

This is the kind of card that can bat anywhere in the lineup and be productive.  Most likely though, you would probably want this bad boy hitting 3rd or 4th though.  With power numbers 1-1-4-5-6 and hit numbers 7-7-8-8-8-9-9, Gehrig will drive in runs for you. 

Lou has six nifty 14s on his card too that will keep opponent’s pitching on their toes.  Watch out for that 62-22 as well! 

Fun numbers:  44-6, 21-14, 24-14

Gehrig is a 1B-4 and of course, he is a J-0. 

Gehrig had two more good years left in him.  He hit .351 and .295 respectively with a combined 66 homeruns in the next two years.  In 1939 though, ALS took its toll and he played all of eight games. 

thanks, Rich.  Good choice!

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14
August

Chicago World Series Tourney goes Totally Retro!

I’ve just added the November 14th Chicago World Series Tournament to The APBA Blog’s Tournament calendar.  Doug Schuyler is adding a theme this time.  It will be Totally Retro!  By that, all managers will have to choose teams from the 1970s and 1980s.  He’s encouraging folks to dress the part too! 

Rules will be similar to previous tournaments (you’ll find them somewhere in this post).  One change… a 25-man roster.  If you have a 20-man roster on your team, Doug says “too bad”.  A tough guy, that Doug. 

It hasn’t taken long for people to sign up.  So far, 19 have committed.  I got an email from Tom C. who lives in the area.  He asked if he could just come and watch since he hasn’t played much face-to-face APBA.  I told him he was more than welcome to come by.  To me, these tournaments are just as much about meeting fellow APBA players as they are competing in games.  However, I DID tell him the story about Scott Fennessy who won the November 2013 Tournament after not quirk-jamie_1playing F-T-F APBA for quite a long time. 

As for me, I’ll be taking the 1979 KC Royals.  I’m hoping George Brett, Willie Wilson and Darrell Porter (and don’t forget Jamie Quirk!) will swing enough for me to have some fun. 

I’m looking forward to this!  These tourneys are a lot of fun.  I wasn’t at the last one but from Scott’s report and everything I saw on Facebook, it only seems to be getting more fun. 

See you all in November! 

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