29
October

Urbana Locos snag some awards

With the Boys of Summer APBA League’s 2014 season at a close, it was time to dole out some well-deserved awards.  The ballot went out a few weeks ago and was voted on by the managers of BoS.  And while my Urbana didn’t quite make it to the World Series (thanks to Austin Jackson’s cannon arm), we did collect some hardware for our mantles figuratively speaking.

image

Not surprisingly, Adrian Beltre came home with the MVP award.  The clutch-hitting thirdbaseman led the league in hitting with a .349 batting average as well as 135 rbis.  He missed the triple crown coming in third in second with 38.  He also led the NL in runs and hits.

image 

It didn’t turn too many heads when David Price won the Cy Young award either.  With a 23-4 record, he was the winningest pitcher in either league.  Our dominant starter also had the lowest ERA with a 2.35 mark.  In addition, he paced the NL in shutouts and complete games. 

image

What was a bit surprising was that my fellow managers voted me the NL Manager of the Year.  I was a bit stunned (check the hanging chads, Shawn).  I do appreciate the thought and thank everyone.  It was a great year and I had a blast. 

Congrats to Bill Gillam who won Manager of the Year for the American League.  It was well deserved.  His Fighting Imps went 110-52 and won the Boys of Summer World Series.  Nicely done!  Buffalo’s Miguel Cabrera (43 HR, 112 rbis) won the AL MVP and Fairgrove’s Ryan Vogelsong (19-8, 2.98) won the AL Cy Young. 

You can see the full Boys of Summer APBA League Award press release here

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

29
October

Weird Card Wednesday: 1993 Rob Ducey

101914 009

Courtesy of Scott Fennessy, this is Rob Ducey’s 1993 card. 

Ducey batted 85 times for the Rangers in ‘93.  He batted .282 with three triples and two homers. 

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG
1993 Totals 27 99 85 15 24 6 3 2 9 2 3 10 17 .282 .351 .494
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/29/2014.

 

Rob Ducey received the odd power number combination of 0-2-6-6.  To add to that, his second column is chock-full of 1s.  Twenty-six, to be exact.  If I had to put a number on it, the 23-1 or the 63-1 are probably the most unusual place for a second column one.

Ducey knew how to extend his career.  For an outfielder who played in 13 MLB seasons, he somehow hit only 31homers and drove in 146 runs. 

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28
October

2014 carded player lists released!

sea-buckThe carded player list is out for the 2014 APBA baseball season set.  This is the roster sheet that tells us what players will be represented on the APBA card set and disk for the 2014 season when it comes out. 

You can download the carded player list from APBA’s download page.  Here is the direct link to the list which is in Microsoft Excel format.

The release of the carded list is a big deal for a lot of leagues including the Illowa APBA League.  For each uncarded player on our respective teams, we get a draft pick in the upcoming rookie draft.  For players like Vernon Wells and Scott Diamond (to use my Thunderchickens team as an example) who didn’t play at all, they’re automatic.  We know we get a rookie draft for them. 

But there are some Major League Baseball players who play just a little.  Take John Buck for example.  He played 32 games and had 89 at-bats.  Or Darin Ruf who had 52 games and 102 at-bats.  I wasn’t holding much hope for Ruf being uncarded and sure enough, he did get one.  However, Buck was left off the list and I will get another draft pick because of it. 

So what goes into APBA’s decision about who gets a card and who doesn’t?  Just a guess on my part but this is what I think:

  • Overall playing time (obviously)
  • Size of MLB team roster
  • MLB team’s position needs and requirements
  • Proximity of playing time to the end of season
  • Amount of time played on last team if player played on multiple teams

Overall, a player’s impact to the team has to play a role too. 

Personally, I’m pleased with this year’s list.  I’ve had the same catcher tandem of John Buck and Geovany Soto for a while now.  They both haven’t been able to hit for a few years.  Last year, I drafted Yan Gomes to get myself out of this funk.  Now just magically, both Soto and Buck are eligible to be dropped for draft picks.  No more pot jokes from Chuck. 

There’s nothing so nice as dropping deadweight on your team.  (but seriously guys, we loved you) *snicker*

Posted by: | Category: Company Announcements | Tags: , | 3 comments

28
October

Terrible Card Tuesday: 1987 Luis Quinones

IMAG0706

In honor of my Chicagoland Tournament choice of the 1987 Chicago Cubs, here’s Luis Quinones (that’s “kee-Nyo-naze” for you gringos) from the team. 

For the Cubbies, Luis hit .218 in 101 at-bats with six doubles and ten walks.  He didn’t break the .300 mark in either slugging (.277) or OBP (.288). 

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1987 Totals 49 111 101 12 22 6 0 0 8 0 10 16 .218 .288 .277
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/28/2014.

 

To be fair, Quinones’ 1987 card isn’t totally useless.  He’s a fast base runner and he plays three infield positions.  However, don’t expect him to hit unless perhaps, there’s a runner on third base.  He has power numbers 6-6. 

His batting average is bad enough to warrant a 51-39 as well. 

Ugly numbers:  51-39, 66-6

As bad as this card is, Quinones’ .218 average in 1987 was actually an improvement from his previous two years of .190 and .179.  He didn’t get much better throughout his eight-year career with a lifetime .226 average. 

Quinones is probably best known for his game-winning rbi in the final game of the NLCS for the Cincinnati Reds.  The Reds (who always seem to get the most out of their players in the postseason) defeated the Pirates 2-1 and won the Series 4-2. 

Maybe Luis will make the final cut for me. 

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27
October

Getting a headcount for Nov. 15th tournament

These are current registrants for the November 15th Chicagoland APBA Tournament.

Name Team
Jim Welch 1961 Detroit Tigers
Fennessy, Scott 1993 Toronto Blue Jays
Zawadzki, Rich 1967 Boston Red Sox
Schuyler, Doug 1994 White Sox
Saska, Jim 1935 Chicago Cubs
Eller, Bob 1908 Chicago Cubs
Bartel, Curt 1922 St. Louis Browns
Nelshoppen, Thomas 1987 Chicago Cubs 
Witt, Chris 1946 Boston Red Sox

 

The registration form was working fine as of yesterday but one person did say they couldn’t submit their team via the form.  If you registered and your name is NOT on this list, please email trainman1964@sbcglobal.net and let Jim Saska know. 

66s!

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

27
October

Monster Card Monday: 1993 Curtis Pride

pride

Scott Fennessy passed on this extra-special Curtis Pride card from 1993 from when he played with the Montreal Expos.  This was three whole years before he reached rookie status with the Tigers.  No doubt, his APBA cards never got as good as this.

What makes this card so special?  Even though Pride got in only 9 at-bats for Montreal, he managed to squeeze in a lot of stats.  In primarily a pinch hitting role, he homered, doubled, and tripled.  Yes, he singled too if you were wondering.  He even stole a base. 

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1993 Totals 10 9 9 3 4 1 1 1 5 1 0 3 .444 .444 1.111
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/27/2014.
 
 

Pride gets a card to be proud of with power numbers 1-1-2-3-6*-6.  In addition to an 11 and a 10, he also has a 36-14* to go along with the 6*.  Appropriately, he only gets two 8s with his two 9s.

But I keep looking at the 36-14* and thinking “he didn’t get a walk that year”.  Perhaps it was just a vehicle by the cardmakers to add a few more chances to steal a base. 

Fun numbers: 33-2, 22-3, 55-6

Curtis Pride went on to have an 11-year career for six teams.  His best year was with Detroit in 1996 when he hit .300 with 10 homers in 267 at-bats. 

thanks, Scott!

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

26
October

More 2014 predictions: Bill Evans chimes in

imageIn light of all the talk of predicting the 2014 APBA cards, reader Bill Evans has sent me his work.  He crunched the numbers and has predicted the pitchers’ grades for the NL and AL hurlers.  Bill has taken a different approach than previous ball-gazers, Mike Bunch and Bruce Norlander.  His grades are based on a league-adjusted ERA.  Take a look at his results. 

Bill Evans 2014 Pitching Summary for the AL

Bill Evans 2014 Pitching Summary for the NL

A quick look at Bill’s predictions show that his are results are little different from Mike’s and Bruce’s.  Like I did previously, I search for my Thunderchicken pitchers first.  While Mike and Bruce have Strasburg, Ryu and Roark as a Grade B, Bill Evans has them tagged as C pitchers. 

There’s no doubt Bill Evans has done his homework.  I’m sure he won’t take it personally if I hope he’s wrong though. 

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24
October

Does APBA factor in postseason stats in making the cards?

Does a baseball player’s performance in the postseason affect what their APBA card will look like?  Will Eric Hosmer’s card look a little more juicer in the upcoming set?  How about Madison Bumgarner?  Will APBA add a few points to his MG grade? 

The short answer to this question is no.  APBA does not as a general rule take postseason play into effect when formulating the APBA cards.  The cards for all seasons are based on regular season play. 

Historically, there have been exceptions though.  Take 1973 Ken Holtzman for example.

73 holtzman

Holtzman, a solid hitting pitcher with the Cubs was traded to the Oakland A’s in 1972 (sigh!).  Of course in 1973, the designated hitter rule took effect for the American League.  So Holtzman only came to the plate once in 1973… and walked. 

As it turned out, Oakland went to the World Series that year to face the Mets.  Holtzman had his chance to show he could hit as well as pitch.  In Game 1 of the World Series he went 1 for 1 with a double.  He didn’t bat in Game 4 but in Game 7, he went 1 for 2 with another double. 

Holtzman’s postseason batting stats in 1973:

Year Tm Opp G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1973 ? OAK NYM 3 3 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .667 .667 1.333
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/24/2014.
 
 

Looking at his APBA card, the Game Company obviously didn’t ignore Holtzman’s postseason performance when crunching his card numbers.  As you can see, there are plenty of 6s.  Ten to be exact.  It’s worth noting that APBA also didn’t forget about his regular season walk either.  He has six 14s. 

As Mike Bunch, my IAL commissioner says, “Nice hitter with a runner on third.” 

I know there are other examples out there.  Most of them tend to be pitchers.  Perhaps others can point them out. 

Posted by: | Category: Card Analysis | Tags: , | 8 comments

22
October

TAB Mailbag: What does APBA stand for?

When reader Ed sent me an email with a subject line “What does APBA stand for”, I expected a diatribe on the APBA Game Company’s standing in the tabletop sports community. 

No, that wasn’t the case..

“I have acquired some APBA football cards, what does APBA stand for?? Thanks for the assist.”

…he simply wanted to know what the word APBA stands for. 

It’s a question that gets asked by readers on occasion especially those new to the game.  The official word from the Company is that it doesn’t stand for anything and word stands on its own. 

This shot of an APBA 1964 brochure reveals that there may have been something behind the name. Something “of a sentimental, personal nature that would require lengthy explanation”.  Of course, this was back in 1932 so whatever it was probably went to the grave with APBA founder Dick Seitz. 

And of course, NEVER call it Ay, Pee, Bee, Ay! 

Thanks for the good question, Ed.

Posted by: | Category: APBA History | Tags: , , | 5 comments

22
October

Weird Card Wednesday: 1957 Dixie Howell

dixie howell

Thanks to Jerry Hill and his son Doug for nominating Dixie Howell for this week’s Weird Wednesday card.  Dixie has the look of a monster card up to a point then he just falls apart.

Dixie had a pretty exciting year at the plate for the Chicago White Sox in 1957.  He only went 5 for 27 but all five of his hits went for extra bases.  He hit three homers, a double and a triple.  He walked twice and only struck out six times.

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1957 Totals 42 29 27 4 5 1 1 3 3 0 2 6 .185 .241 .630
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/22/2014.

 

I’m not going to post his complete pitching stats but for the record, Howell posted a 3.29 ERA and went 6-5 in 37 appearances with the Sox in 1957.  The B* is warranted.

Essentially if you can roll double numbers with your dice, you’re golden with Dixie Howell hitting card. His power numbers of 1-1-1-2-5-5 are pretty nifty.  However, the offensive drop-off between the 55-5 and the 15-23 is one of the biggest I’ve ever seen on an APBA card though.

1957 wasn’t the first year Howell showed some offensive prowess.  In 1955, he batted .381 in 21 at-bats and in 1956 he hit two homers.  He pitched only one game after the 1957 season though, finishing up his career for the White Sox in 1958.

Thanks Jerry and Doug!

Posted by: | Category: Card Analysis | Tags: , , | 2 comments

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