CWS preview: Pitching, where is my pitching?

30 cards-8300-002A couple days ago, I did a preview of the starting lineup for my team for this weekend’s Chicagoland Summer Fantasy World Series, the 1930 Cardinals (plus 1998 Mark McGwire). 

Some commented that with all the hitting that the Cardinals had, I would have been better off picking a pitcher for my fantasy player.  Looking over St. Louis’ rotation, they may be right.  I’m just hoping to score more runs than the other guy.  In either case, I’ll be going out with a blaze of glory. 

Those who frequent team pages like my 1930 Cardinals on Baseball-Reference.com may have noticed that they display portrait photos of team members at the top in order of WAR.  Hall of Famer Frankie Frisch is listed first.  No surprise there.  Can you guess who is second?  Chick Hafey?  Jim Bottomley?  George Watkins?

Nope.  Believe it or not, it’s 36-year old hurler Burleigh Grimes who is my lone B starter.  For the year, Grimes went 16-11 with a 4.07 ERA but that was with two teams.  With the Cardinals, he went 13-6 and kept his ERA to a 3.01 mark which was pretty amazing for the 1930 campaign.  As a BZ, “Boily” will provide me with one solid pitching outing. 

Tournament rules specify a 4-man rotation and alas, I can’t count on a rainout.  My rotation for the 1930 Cardinals:

  • Burleigh Grimes  BZ
  • “Wild Bill” Hallahan CX
  • Sylvester Johnson CYZ
  • Jesse “Pop” Haines CZ

Hmm, if only I had chosen 1968 Bob Gibson as my fantasy player.  No regrets!! 

Unfortunately, the 1930 Cardinals’ bullpen isn’t much better.  Having a lot of A*s on your team in a tournament format isn’t as advantageous as it is in a full season.  However, the Cardinals could do a little better when facing the tough teams of the CWS.  Hi Bell who is a C (B*)Z is the only B* or better on the whole squad.  He will be bolstered by Flint Rhem (CZ), and Hal Lindsey (D (C*) Z along with a few Ds who hopefully not see the light of day. 


30 cards-8303-005The 1930 Cardinals have a pretty amazing bench.  Thirdbaseman Andy High (44-7, 3B-4) will be ready in case I do some creative managing.  I have plenty of firstbasemen but Ernie Orsatti can play the outfield too.  He’s rated 1B-2, OF-2.  Even better, he’s got power numbers 0-0-0-0 and a 55-7. 

If Orsatti doesn’t fit the bill, check out Ray Blades.  An OF-2, Blades also has 0-0-0-0 power numbers with a very nice second column (31-1!).  Not only that, he batted .396 in 1930 and has a 25-7. 

Of course, there is the elephant in the room by the name of George Puccinelli.  He is prototypical Monster Card (his card was the second one I actually did for the Monster Monday column).  He is a J-4 so he can’t start but he can come in and pinch hit.  There is already talk of whether he will make an appearance.  If you see his card, you’ll know why all the hullabaloo. 

Will he?  I am pretty sure “the Count” will see some action somehow.  Will he pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth with the game on line?  No.  He may see some time in field or perhaps pinch hit in a laugher of a game. 

All this said, team’s benches play a smaller part in tournaments like this compared to a full season.  When you also consider that this tournament uses the designated hitter, there will certainly be less pinch hitting opportunities.  Jimmie Wilson (C-8) will see some action as a defensive replacement.  Orsatti is fast so he could pinch run for slow McGwire in a key spot. 

The Chicagoland Summerland Fantasy World Series is only three days away.  Some out of town folks like Howie Mooney and Dan Velderrain are already in the Chicago area and enjoying everything that the town has to offer.  I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone because despite all of this strategy talk, I could go winless and still have blast. 

Thanks to Doug Schuyler for putting this all together!  I’ll see everyone this weekend!

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Terrible Card Tuesday: 1981 Reggie Smith

reggie smith

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Terrible Tuesday card.  Beau Lofgren obliged with a this 1981 Reggie Smith XB card.  Now, Reggie Smith had a pretty decent 17-year career batting .287 with 314 homeruns and 1092 rbis.  At age 36 though, the tread on Reggie’s tires were wearing pretty thin. 

For the Los Angeles Dodgers, Smith batted .200 in 35 at bats and grounded into four double plays in 1981.  He homered once and doubled once as well.  To his credit, he did walk seven times. 

1981 Totals 41 44 35 5 7 1 0 1 8 0 7 8 .200 .318 .314 4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/19/2016.


Oh but those double plays!  They translate to a total of eleven 24s!  What especially hurts is the 24s on traditionally good numbers like 35 and 13. 

Since they were no other place to put them, Smith has 13s on some pretty odd places like 32-13 and 34-13.  And as mentioned before, Reggie walked a faired amount in his short time in 1981 so APBA gave him a total of six 14s. 

Ugly numbers:  I mean, just look at the card! 

Reggie Smith’s 1981 card has no ground ball result numbers that aren’t a traditional double play number (12, 24, 25). 

thanks Beau! 

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Monster Card Monday: 1955 Don Newcombe

newcombe howie

Okay, I couldn’t resist not cropping Howie Mooney’s photo here.  His roll on 1955 Don Newcombe was too awesome not to include. 

Newk was at the height of his career when he helped the Brooklyn Dodgers win their first World Series ever in ‘55.  That year he went 20-5 with a 3.20 ERA and a league leading 1.113 WHIP.

But that’s not the only reason we’re looking at this card, is it, Howie? 

Don Newcombe also went 42 for 117 for a .359 batting average.  He hit 9 doubles, one triple and seven homers while driving in 23 runs (Jackie Robinson only drove in thirteen more).  Needless to say, Newk had a hand with his victories by virtue of his bat. 


1955 Totals 57 125 117 18 42 9 1 7 23 1 6 18 .359 .395 .632
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/18/2016.


A BXZ is valuable on any team.  However, with Newcombe pitching, you’re adding another legit hitter to the lineup.  As Howie knows, Newk has a nice 1-1-4-6-6 power combination and a 25-7. 

Interestingly, he has a 15-10 despite being a slow runner.  Newk wasn’t afraid to take one for the team either.  He has a 61-22.

Fun numbers:  44-6, 25-7, 24-36

Newcombe had always been a pretty decent hitter.  He hit .319 in 1954 and followed it up with a .361 mark in 1958 and .305 in 1959.  For his career, he hit 15 homeruns and 108 rbis. 

thanks Howie!

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CWS preview: the Taylor Douthit question

30 cards-8304As the Chicagoland Summer Fantasy World Series is only a week away, I am now looking at my 1930 St. Louis Cardinals and my fantasy player, 1998 Mark McGwire who has been added to the team.  In less than a week’s time, I need to find a working lineup (or lineups) that will win me a championship (or at least not embarrass me in the process). 

It’s been fun.  Here I have one of the best hitting teams of history and I get to add one of best sluggers of modern day.  It’s almost overwhelming… a problem that a current MLB manager would love to have. 

Let’s get this out of the way, the Cardinals can hit the ball!  Needless to say, every starter has a 55-7.  Chick Hafey can boast a 55-0 and George Watkins has five full power numbers AND a 51-7.  Add McGwire’s 1-1-1-5-5 and we got ourselves an offense!

I do have a few dilemmas and I’ll get to those.  But first, here are some of the 1930 St. Louis Cardinals who have already secured a spot in the lineup.

30 cards-8303-001

First, there’s the captain of the team as well as the secondbaseman, Hall of Famer Frank Frisch.  He comes with both tasty offensive numbers and a good defensive glove.  With a 22-0, a 55-7 and a 10-10 combination, “The Fordham Flash” will produce wherever I bat him. 

Just last Monday, I mentioned leftfielder Chick Hafey.  Yowza!  What a card.  With a 55-0 (but just one first column one), Chick will be sure to find the gap against those “A pitchers”.  Something I hadn’t noticed before… Hafey’s card has two 22s so keep the brawl chart handy!! 

30 cards-8299-001

On the other side of the garden is George “Watty” Watkins.  Now THAT is a card you can sink your teeth into!  Not only does Watty come with 1-3-5-6-6 EBH numbers but he also has a nice 51-7.  His downside?  Well, besides being an OF-1, he has a 13-40 but with those hit numbers I can live with that.  

Shortstop Charley Gelbert is a SS-9 but he’s certainly no lightweight with the bat.  He comes with a 22-0 and a 55-7.  To think that the Cardinals batted Gelbert ninth most of the season.  Honestly, thirdbaseman Sparky Adams who weighs in a 55-7 may be the weak link of the St. Louis lineup.  With 0-0-0 power numbers and no speed numbers, he has nary a ‘1’ on his card.  His upside?  He has three 31s including a 46-31.  Send the runner! 

30 cards-8300-001

St. Louis has two viable options for catcher.  Gus Mancuso who hit .366, is the most appealing one.  Though he is a Catcher-7, he has a 22-0 with a nice juicy 25-7.   Jimmie “Ace” Wilson will fill in nicely as a defensive replacement as a C-8.  He’s not too bad with the stick either with a 44-7 and two 10s. 

But then what?

Then it gets murky as far as my strategy goes.    I have so many options.  However like I said, this is the kind of problem that MLB managers would love to have. 

Let me make clear the Chicagolnd Tournament rules allow for a designated hitter.  And don’t forget, I still have to fit 1998 Mark McGwire in this lineup somehow.  So what are my options?  He are three I’ve come up with. 

Option 1  I can simply make 1998 Mark McGwire my designated and be done with it.  As a slow 1B-3, McGwire fits the bill perfectly. 

98 mac

Option 2  So what is preventing me from this obvious solution?  The answer is simple.  His name is George “Showboat” Fisher.  Fisher, who is a legitimate starter with 92 games and 254 at-bats in real life, still doesn’t have a spot in the lineup yet.  More importantly, Fisher’s card is quite yummy with power numbers 1-3-6-6 and a 25-7.  I need to get him into the lineup, don’t I? 

30 cards-8303-002

One option is to insert Fisher as the rightfielder, move Watkins to center (he did play there in real life in 1930) and drop Taylor Douthit.  That gives the Cardinals one of the strongest-hitting outfields in the tourney.  With Fisher, Hafey (55-0), and George Watkins (44-6 and 51-7), it won’t matter if you’re pitching an A or not, we’re going to score with McGwire (1-1-1-5-5) batting after them. 

The downside to this option?  While Taylor Douthit is the probably the weakest hitter in the Cardinals’ lineup (only he and Gelbert have a *gasp* 31-9), he played every day for 1930 Cardinals.  Ironically, “Tay” led off in real life.  It would be nice if he could get in some games for realism’s sake.  Also, Douthit is an OF-3 which isn’t trivial.  Watkins and Fisher are both OF-1s while Hafey manages an OF-2 rating.  Douthit would bring up the total fielding by two points. 

30 cards-8303-004Option 3 I could also put Fisher in the DH role but that would move McGwire to first base displacing Sunny Jim Bottomley.  While Bottomley is no McGwire, he’s not bad either with power numbers 0-0-0-0 and a 55-7.  I’ll be losing one point of defense with Sunny Jim’s 1B-4 rating.  I’ll be up front… I already don’t like this option. 

Right now, I’m leaning towards a combination of Options #1 and #2.  McGwire will DH and I’m pretty sure both Douthit and Fisher will get their fair share of at-bats. 

Don’t expect me to lead Douthit off though.  I have my limits. 

Coming up:  CWS preview: 1930 Cardinals pitching and bench

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Bracket announced for July 23rd Summer Fantasy World Series in Chicago

The tourney bracket has been released for next week’s Chicagoland Summer Fantasy World Series.

cws bracket

There are a lot of tough teams out there that are only bolstered by the best players in their franchise’s history.

Even better, there some of the best APBA managers out there.  Attending will be some of the regulars.  There will be some new folks as well.  I’ll get to meet some people who I have been in contact with for years but never met face to face.

I HAVE met Shawn Baier at my first Chicagoland tourney back in 2013 but as much virtual contact I have with him, it seems like forever. See, Shawn is my commissioner in the Boys of Summer League.  We’ve gotten to know each other quite well and have a mutual respect as baseball fans, APBA players, and fellow bloggers.  It will be good to see him and his 1984 Detroit Tigers (of course!).

Ken Schulz, the guy who organizes the Linda B. Schulz tourney in Pittsburgh last weekend?  Yeah, he’ll be there.  Howie Mooney, who’s sent me Monster Card suggestions for past few years?  He’s bringing the 1992 Blue Jays.  And guess what?  Dan “Sgt. Dan” Velderrain (left) who I did an APBA Fan Profile over three years ago will be travelling to Chicago for the tournament.  In a true Californian fashion, he’ll be bringing the 1981 Los Angeles Dodger with a little help from 1997 Mike Piazza.

Add in the usual crowd who are always fun to see as well as play.  I would name them all but there too many to list.  Doug Schuyler has been rallying the crowd on Facebook and everyone is excited.

For the record, The APBA Blog will be represented by Scott Fennessy and me.  Scott will be taking the 1984 Chicago Cubs.  His “+1” is 1959 Ernie Banks.  As mentioned before, 1998 Mark McGwire will help add some power to my tough hitting 1930 St. Louis Cardinals.

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Greg Wells wins Bucco deadball matchup at LBS tournament in Pittsburgh

Darren Schulz sends an update on last weekend’s Linda B. Schulz Memorial APBA Baseball Tournament in Pittsburgh! –Tom

Group Pic

2016 Linda B. Schulz Memorial APBA Baseball Tournament – Slippery Rock PA

The venue may have changed, but the excitement remained unaltered for 20 participants bonding over not just any old tabletop game…APBA BASEBALL! On a beautiful summer day at the ROCK, defending champion Greg Wells (1977 Philadelphia Phillies) was greeted with a warm round of applause from the attendees as tournament director Ken Schulz handed him his personal championship plaque from 2015. Afterwards, Ken affectionately announced, “If Greg wins again this year, he may be banned for life from the tournament!” After making some last minute adjustments to the schedule due to some unfortunate circumstances for a few of our APBA brethren, the five divisions of four were narrowed down to eight playoff contenders looking to get their names and teams etched into the larger championship plaque.

The top eight included:

  • #1 seed 1994 Montreal Expos (Gilles Thibault – Hurdle Division)
  • #2 seed 1919 White Sox (Jeff Heagy – who managed brilliantly despite some sketchy play from a couple of his players – Murtaugh Division)
  • #3 seed 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates (Greg Wells – Uh oh Ken! – Clarke Division)
  • #4 seed 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates (Brian Murphy – Virdon Division)
  • #5 seed 1977 Pittsburgh Pirates (TJ Schuyler – who probably had the biggest cheering section within the crowd – Tanner Division)
  • #6 seed 2001 Seattle Mariners (Darren Schulz – Wild Card 1)
  • #7 seed 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (Bill Lilley – Wild Card 2)
  • #8 seed 1912 New York Giants (Doug Phillips – Wild Card 3).

In true “March Madness” fashion, the playoff bracket was blown up as the top two seeds were dispatched quickly. The coined phrase “you never want to face a divisional opponent in the first round” reared its ugly head as the 1912 Giants upset the top seeded 1994 Expos 5-3. Then the two seeded 1919 White Sox were left wondering who got paid off as the 1960 Pirates pounded out an 8-4 victory. To round out the quarters, the 1909 Pirates shut down the 2001 Mariners (Wells vs Schulz in a rematch of the 2015 title match) 6-2 and the 1902 Buccos escaped the jeers from within their own home crowd with a 1-0 victory over young Schuyler’s 1977 crowd favorite from the same franchise.

Heading to the final four, there would be no miracle from Maz’s 1960 Bucs in this tournament as they fall to the 1909 Pirates 6-2. Being the only team not from Pittsburgh in a Pittsburgh regional tournament must have been an intimidating feeling for the 1912 Giants as they had no answers for the 1902 Pirates in an 11-2 onslaught that guaranteed an all-Pittsburgh finale.

Two of the more memorable dead ball era teams were alive and well heading into the second LBS Memorial Championship game as Brian Murphy and his 1902 Pirates looked to overcome Greg Wells, who was looking to win back-to-back titles with his 1909 squad from the steel town. Names like Fred Clarke, Tommy Leach, and Honus Wagner would be celebrating a championship, but the question remained from which dugout, or at least side of the table, would the tears of joy flow. The dream pitching matchup saw Jack Chesbro (02) toeing the rubber with Howie Camintz (09). The “visitors” wasted no time as Ginger Beaumont rudely introduced himself to Camintz with a one out triple. Leach hit a sac fly to plate Beaumont with the game’s first run.

After three complete, the lead still belonged to 1902 at 1-0. After 1902 went hitless in the top of the fourth, Wells queried Murphy, “How has Wagner done for you? He hasn’t done much for me today.” Murphy’s concise reply only included the words “he has done ok” with a grin. Honus then stepped to the plate and with two dice rolls hits a rare homer to knot the score at one. Game on!

Chesbro and Camintz put on a pitching clinic in front of the APBA enthusiasts still in attendance. After putting up zero after zero on the scoreboard, 1909’s Wagner draws a two out walk in the bottom of the eighth. Subsequently, Dots Miller strokes a single to give the crowd a much needed “edge of the seat moment” because now designated hitter Ham Hyatt had a chance to come up big in a first and third situation. Skipper Murphy showed no signs of looking towards his bullpen and Chesbro appreciated the gesture as Hyatt hits a weak ground ball to end the brief drama. The ninth inning saw both sides go “three up, three down,” so for the second consecutive year, the title game would be decided in extra frames.

With one out in the top of the tenth, Kitty Bransfield slaps a single off of a tiring Camintz and promptly steals second base. Claude Ritchey walks. Shortstop Wid Conroy hits the ball to the right side to move up the runners ninety feet and put both in scoring position for catcher Chief Zimmer. As Murphy had done in the eighth, Wells stuck with his starter and this time it was Camintz who managed to find the right pitch in getting Zimmer to hit a weak pop up to end the latest threat. Chesbro proved equally efficient in the bottom of the first extra frame despite giving up singles to Bobby Byrne and Clarke. The key moment was in between the two safeties. Wells’ decision to put Byrne in motion with a hit and run attempt backfired on a brilliant line drive 4-3 double play snagged by second basemen Ritchey.

Both managers would have to go to their bullpens for the 11th, so Wells called upon Babe Adams, one of his starters on short rest. Fred Clarke rips a single immediately off an Adams fastball and one out later scampers home on another Leach sac fly to end the game’s scoring drought. Murphy would call on another from his starting rotation with Deacon Philippe to get the save for Chesbro. Dots Miller does his best interpretation of 1902 Clarke by finding the gap in his own lead off triple. With one out and the infield drawn in by Murphy, the older Leach hits another sac fly. This time, however, for the home team, and the score is tied yet again at two apiece. After a fruitless 12th and both bullpens seeing players getting stretched, the question remained on how long this game could go.


Despite giving up a two out walk to Clarke, Adams delivers a scoreless top half of the 13th providing Wells another opportunity to secure another title. Phillippe gives up a lead off single to Clarke which set up a show down with Honus Wagner who had homered all the way back in the bottom of the fourth. Phillippe delivers an inside fastball and Wagner hits a liner over first basemen Bransfield’s head which rolls to the right field corner to plate Clarke with the game winner! Wells does it again!

2016 LBS Championship Box Score

Congrats to Greg Wells in capturing back-to-back LBS Memorial tourney titles in dramatic fashion. The 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates are now officially retired from future tournaments, but Mr. Wells will most definitely NOT be banned from the 2017 or any other future LBS tournament. Both the team’s and manager’s names will be etched into the championship plaque. Wells also took home a brand new 2015 APBA Baseball Card set. Additional congrats goes to Brian Murphy’s great tourney performance and earning the tickets to the evening’s Cubs at Pirates game at PNC Park. Doug Phillips earned a brand new APBA Baseball game with his consolation third place win with his 1912 New York Giants.

Special thanks goes out to Ken Schulz for organizing the event, Mark McDonel for providing the side entertainment of the 1971 and 1984 MLB All-Star game broadcasts, and Jackie Schulz for all her help with the food preparation. Certainly more bonds were made with so many great moments to share for a lifetime. Linda Schulz loved to hear the dice rattle, so for all you who have supported the tourney the past two years, there is a special place for all of you in the hearts of the entire Schulz family.

UPDATE: The date for the 2017 LBS Memorial APBA Baseball Tourney will be July 8, 2017 and teams will only be from 1960-1979 (aside from the retired 1977 Phillies). Same location, same start time…9 AM.  First come, first serve so contact Ken Schulz at  with your team selection.

Thank you Darren for the update and congratulations (again!) to Greg Wells!  -Tom

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Monster Card Monday: 1930 and 1931 Chick Hafey


Rod Woodward sent me a nifty card.  It was 1931 Charles “Chick” Hafey.  Now, Chick had a great year for the Cardinals in 1931.  He led the NL in hitting with a .349 average with a total of 59 extra base hits. 

1931 Totals 122 494 450 94 157 35 8 16 95 11 39 43 .349 .404 .569
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/11/2016.


I wouldn’t kick this card out of any lineup.  Power numbers 1-3-6-6 with two 7s and two 10s.  That gives him a 35-8 and a 64-9.  Sweet card! 

I don’t know if Rod knew this but I am taking the 1930 Cardinals to the Chicagoland Summer Fantasy World Series.  As much as I love the above card, Hafey’s 1930 card is just as good.   


To be fair, each card has its advantages.  Hafey hit for a better average in 1931 but in 1930, he came through with some homerun power (26 HR).  It’s actually interesting how both cards get the 10-10 treatment.  I know some APBA players are not a big fans of that combination.  B pitchers tend to stop them when runners are in scoring position. 


1930 Totals 120 515 446 107 149 38 12 26 108 11 46 51 .334 .405 .648
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/11/2016.


Chick Hafey’s card of 1930 doesn’t have the bodacious hit numbers like his 1931 card does but the power!!  He only has one first column one but his zeroes go all the way out to 55! 

As mentioned before, Hafey has 10s at 15 and 25 so he gets no 7s on his card. 

So it’s a tossup.  Yes, the 55-0 is pretty sexy but Hafey’s 1931 card has more hits and less outs. We’ll see how Chick’s 1930 card fares in Grayslake on July 23rd! 

thanks Rod! 

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Scott Fennessy: Coghlan powers Cubs to victory over Cardinals

319px-MG_6940_Chris_CoghlanWrigley Field, Chicago, IL

Today’s game should be another good matchup as both teams send solid starters to the mound following the previous evening’s game where the Cubs hit John Lackey pretty hard and found Joe Maddon having to cool his team down after a retaliatory beaning of Kris Bryant as the Cubs won the season opener in strong fashion 8-2.

The redbirds send Carlos Martinez, a B XZ against Jon Lester, also a B XZ. Lester makes quick work of the Cardinals in the top of the first with a fly out to center and a couple of pop ups to Bryant in foul territory to end the inning with no score.

Chicago fails to score thanks to the Cardinals solid defense. Starlin Castro reached when his grounder bounced off of Wong’s glove for an error. Anthony Rizzo was hit on a 1-2 count and there was some barking from the home dugout but nothing comes of it. Unfortunately Bryant hits a one hop smash for an easy 6-4-3 double play to stall the rally and there’s no score after one.

Lester continues to roll with a strikeout of Yadier Molina to end the second inning. The Cubs break out the heavy lumber in the bottom of the frame when Miguel Montero gets pitched very carefully following his towering homer late in the game last night, but Martinez’s curve hangs and Chris Coghlan crushes it into the hitting eye in center field for a two run homer and the Cubs take a 2-0 lead. Molina comes to the mound and has what appears to be an effective chat as Austin Jackson and Addison Russell strikeout and Lester hits one to third for an easy third out.

The visitors finally get a hit with Brandon Moss’ slips a grounder to the left side that Russell cannot get to for a single. Martinez lays down a great sacrifice bunt, but Jason Heyward hits a weak grounder right at Lester and the inning is over. Martinez finally gets a quality inning and the score is still 2-0 at the end of three.

St. Louis gets on the scoreboard in the fourth inning when Kolten draws a 5 pitch walk and manager Mike Matheny pulls a surprise by having Matt Carpenter bunt the runner over. Stephen Piscotty then hits a single up the box for an RBI and the lead is sliced to one. The Cardinals fail to get any more and the inning is over with Chicago on top any more 2-1.

The Cubs get the run back in the bottom half though as Montero draws his second straight walk of the day and Coghlan chases a slider for strike three and two out when Jackson gets an off speed pitch that he slips into the left center field gap for an RBI double and the inning ends quickly afterwards with the Cubs leading 3-1.

Neither team does anything in the fifth inning, and Lester seems to have settled in and retires his 8th straight hitter as the Cubs come to bat in the bottom of the sixth. After Martinez gets two quick outs to start the inning Montero draws his third walk in three trips to the plate (Note to Bryce Harper he didn’t cry about it) Chris Coghlan then gets an inside fastball and drills it into the seats in left field for his second homer and fourth RBI of the day as the Cubs are now in total control 5-1. Jackson fans to end the inning but Lester now looks more relaxed as he takes the hill in the 7th.

Piscotty gets a leadoff single to start the inning and had moved to second with two outs and Lester grinds through a tough at bat against Mark Reynolds for the strikeout. The Cubs go down quietly in the 7th inning, and the Cardinals seemed poised to get back in this ballgame when Moss draws a leadoff walk and Martinez’ day comes to an end, and the Cubs get the bullpen in action as pinch hitter Randal Grichuk comes up and hits a hard grounder that Castro makes a great backhanded stop, throws to Russell at second who makes a good dodge from a hard slide by Moss and the throw to Rizzo is on the money for a momentum killing double play!

Heyward keeps the inning alive with a solid single to right, but Wong pops up to Russell at second and the inning is over with the Cubs still on top 5-1. The Cubs could not get the ball out of the infield and Lester comes to the mound to start the 9th. Hector Rondon begins warming up in the pen but is not needed as the Cardinals go down quietly and the Cubs get a 5-1 victory.

[photo credit]

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July 23rd Chicagoland tournament a fantasy? You bet!


Frank Frisch is like “Big Mac who?”

Y’all know the comedic plot device used on TV where the local town baseball team brings on a “ringer” from the pros to help them win the big game?  I remember seeing that on ‘Cheers’ once. Well, that’s kind of what Doug Schuyler’s next Chicagoland Tournament is like. 

Held on July 23rd in Grayslake, Illinois, participants can choose any Major League team they like.  But here’s the kicker… they also get to add any player from any year in history as long as he’s from the same franchise.  Doug is billing it as the Summer Fantasy World Series. 

Imagine the 2015 Chicago Cubs with help from 1930 Hack Wilson.  Bob Eller won’t have to because that’s who he’s bringing.  How about Dick Butler who is enlisting 1938 Hank Greenberg to help his already nasty 1984 Tigers?  Or Rob Spatz who will tell his 1919 White Sox that 1994 Frank Thomas will supply the power? 

It’s a great concept and even a scary one except everyone gets a ringer.  So who am I bringing?  My team is the 1930 St. Louis Cardinals.  They don’t have much pitching but they hit .300 as team and have 7s all over the place. 

98-mac (1)My fantasy player?  Logic would dictate that I would pick Bob Gibson to shore up the rotation.  But hey, you can’t hit homeruns with an A pitcher!  With the Cardinals chosen, my choice was obvious for me.  I have a connection with 1998 Mark McGwire and his 1-1-1-5-5 power numbers.  Hitting 70 homeruns, he helped me make the Illowa APBA League postseason and win the World Series that year. 

It will be interesting to see how my lineup will shake out.  Will Jim Bottomley stay at first and Big Mac bat as DH?  Will I be able to find a way play both George Watkins AND Showboat Fisher?   And what of famed Monster Card George Puccinelli, a J-4 who will be limited due to tournament rules?  Will he make the cut?  I’ll be doing a roster preview since this is a fun team to work with. 

Only two weeks away!  Needless to say, the 32 participants are all excited.  Stay tuned for more details. 

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Rod’s Replay Insider: What sections to keep inside your Replay binder book?

IMG_0851Your replay binder book generally can serve as Ground Zero for key information related to your replay.

Keeping key information in the binder book cuts down on the amount of paper you will have flying around. It provides you a “home” you can use to help keep your replay organized.

Think of the Replay binder book as a place where the Big Picture of your replay can reside. This information could include:

  • Team vs. team results (each team’s W-L against other teams)
  • Positions played (who played which positions and how many games at a particular position)
  • Pitching rotation on a day-by-day basis
  • Month by month results (W-L, home, away, total)
  • Transactions (dates, special notes on when deals occurred in real life)
  • Injuries and ejections (who was injured, when, how long, circumstances)
  • Real life (actual statistical information relevant to your replay, like standings, stats from whatever replay you are conducting)

How you organize your sections is entirely up to you and what you view as most interesting or important to your replay. There’s no one way or right way to organize the sections. The important point is to have some kind of home that organizes what information is most valuable to you.

Does that mean you keep everything in the binder book?

Nope. It’s likely you will only keep information that remains relatively constant, but important enough to keep by your side when you want to consult the information in the binder book.

For example, I keep my daily standings and day-by-day scores on separate documents, simply because I pick these up and write on them constantly. Keeping this ever-changing information in the binder book, to me, is a little cumbersome.

Once a “month” is completed, however, the day-by-day scores are stored in the binder book, which avoids misplacing or losing the scores (which are also backed up in my box score notebook).

Next: The team v. team section of your Replay binder book

Read all of Rod’s Replay Insider articles!

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