Search results for ‘glavine’

APBA Card of the Week: 2006 Tom Glavine

November 3rd, 2008 — 07:06 pm


By the 2000s, Tom Glavine lost his hit numbers he had in the early 90s not to mention his “Gretzky” nickname (bestowed because he was pretty good at hockey… good enough to be picked in the fourth round in the NHL draft).  But he did picked up a couple of other goodies, though.  As of late, he’s one of few pitchers who has 2 31s on his card making him a decent hit and run threat.

More importantly, in the last few years, he has managed to garner more than the one requisite 14 given to most pitchers.  In this 2006 card he got four.

On a personal note, I love Tom Glavine.  I managed to acquire Glavine in the Illowa APBA League back from Teddy Ballgame in 1991 and he’s been declared untouchable since.  Glavine, who was D then was a throw-in in a deal which had me giving up Kirk Gibson (at the end of his career) and Pete Smith (who never really had a career).  I probably got another player back in the deal (I’m thinking it was Melido Perez) but looking back, it was Glavine who was the key player in the deal.

Glavine who was 25 at the time, went on to have an awesome career both in the majors and for my Twin City Thunderchickens.  He might have been ungraded once in all those years.  Gibson and Smith both retired soon after.

And I never let Teddy forget it.

Comment » | APBA Card of the Week

Jim Saska and 2015 Cubs win Capital of Confederacy title!

October 21st, 2016 — 05:54 pm


The competitive game of APBA must be getting big.  The same day of the Illowa APBA League All-Star Game, Jim Saska hosted the second Capital of the Confederacy Tournament in Richmond, Virginia. 

On October 15th, Jim organized and hosted the tourney.  He was nice enough to send a wrap-up.  Here it is…

Last Saturday afternoon (Oct 15) at 1 pm, the Capital of the Confederacy Tournament began with the 1948 Indians hosting the 2015 Cubs and the 1998 Yankees visiting the 1995 Braves. The Cubs, managed by Jim Saska, managed to hit four homeruns (Rizzo-2, Bryant 1, and Soler 1) to back a stellar effort by Jon Lester in a 6-2 triumph. Bob Feller took the loss for the Indians, who struck out 11 through 7 innings of work. The Braves and the Yankees played an exciting game that went 10 innings with the Braves pulling out a 5-4 win. Fred McGriff’s homerun in the bottom of the eleventh was the difference. Borbon picked up the win in relief of starter Tom Glavine, while Mariano Rivera had a rare bad game, giving up the tying and winning runs in one plus innings of work.


The second round saw the Cubs hosting the Braves, while the Indians traveled to Yankee Stadium to take on the Indians. In the Cubs-Braves game, Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta took the bump for the Bruins against former Cub Greg "Batboy" Maddux for the Braves. Both teams scored a pair of runs in the first, with the Braves taking a 4-2 lead in the top of the third on a two-run homer by Dave Justice. However, in the bottom of the third, Anthony Rizzo led off by getting hit by a pitch, and the next batter, Miguel Montero, jacked a two-run homerun to right field. The next batter, Soler, ripped a solo homerun off of Maddux to make it 5-2 in favor of the men in blue pinstripes. The Cubs proceeded to add to their lead in the bottom of the seventh when Montero hit a grand slam homerun off of Maddux (preview of what was to come in real life about seven hours later) to make it 9-4 Cubs. Starter Arrieta made that stick for the winning Cubs.

In the Yankees-Indians game, the two teams took turns scoring one run with the Yankees getting one in the first, followed by Cleveland in the fourth. The Yankees went ahead in the sixth on a Tino Martinez homerun, but Cleveland tied it in the seventh. The game stayed knotted at two each until the 18th inning when Jim Hegan blasted a two-run homer as Cleveland scored three times to beat the Yanks 5-2.

At the end of the day, the Cubs won the tournament with a perfect 2-0 record, with Cleveland and Atlanta tied for second at 1-1, and the Yankees bringing up the rear at 0-2.

Thanks to everyone who came, it was an exciting day!

Congrats, Jim and thanks for the writeup!!

1 comment » | Tournament

Illowa APBA League 2014 Hall of Fame ballot out!

January 28th, 2015 — 11:38 pm

ial 2012 draft 050-001Wouldn’t you know it.  The day after I post an article asking everyone how you evaluate players when voting for them on awards, the Illowa APBA League ballot for Hall of Fame comes out. 

The job for handing that lands on our vice-president, Rob Moore.  He did a great summary of the Hall of Fame candidates in his press release.

Rob writes:

“This year, we have six new candidates: Jon Garland and Mariano Rivera on the pitching side, joining Mike Mussina and Andy Pettite who carried over from last year, and Lance Berkman, Vladimir Guerrero, Magglio Ordonez, and Miguel Tejada joining Gary Sheffield and Ivan Rodriguez who carried over from last year.

I’d love to hear what everyone thinks about the candidates, and get some discussion going, either over e-mail or on the APBA Blog.  I’d like to get ballots back by the draft weekend, but I’d also like to see some discussion first!  Here are my thoughts.

On the pitching side, Mike Mussina has been knocking on the door for a while, just missing the cut off to make the Hall, which is 7 out of 10 votes.  Both he and Pettitte (who had less support last year, in his first year on the ballot) have a similar profile, with Mussina having a few more wins and K’s, but Pettite having the better winning percentage and ERA.  However, both have ERA’s well over 4, and the only pitchers in the Hall with an ERA over 4 are Dennis Eckersley (who also has 208 saves) and Tom Glavine, who has 44 more wins and around 800 more career innings than Mussina. 

Jon Garland has 130 wins, threw a no-hitter, and won 20 games once (21-5 in 2005 with my team, the Chicago Highlanders), but falls well short of Hall-worthy for me.  Mariano Rivera on the other hand is a slam-dunk for me; 461 saves and a 2.90 ERA are impressive – even more impressive is that in a league where relievers often get knocked around regardless of grade, his worst season ERA was 4.42 in his second season, and his second worst was 4.02 in his second to last.

On the hitting side, Gary Sheffield and Ivan Rodriguez both missed the cut by the slimmest margin last year; Sheffield ranks 7th in career runs, 14th in RBI, and 13th in HR.  Rodriguez is the leader for catchers in most counting stats other than HR, with more than 500 more hits than Mike Piazza to go along with gold-glove defense for his entire 20 year career (all with my team; you may notice a theme this year). He’s also 4th in career doubles, which is impressive for a catcher.

Among the new guys, I can’t quite get behind Lance Berkman, despite his being on of my favorites (and also a former Highlander, along with Garland, Sheffield, and Rodriguez).  His counting stats and power numbers aren’t what I’d like to see from a slugging first baseman/outfielder.  320 career homers and 1,511 hits doesn’t cut it.  Magglio Ordonez falls into the same category – unquestionably great in some of his best years, and a .295 average in this league is very impressive, but the lack of durability cut into his career totals – over the last 8 years of his career he only managed to stay on the field over 90 games three times (nd one of those was only 115 games).

I imagine Vladimir Guerrero will get a good amount of support – he had nearly the same career average as Magglio (.293) and also added over 600 more hits, 150 more homers, and 700 combined runs and RBI.  Miguel Tejada’s numbers seem relatively pedestrian in comparison until you look at them in the context of IAL middle infielders – he has fewer hits than the other middle infielders in the Hall (Ripken, Larkin, Alomar and Whitaker, but he has better power numbers than all of them but Ripken.  He’s also a career-long Highlander.  I’m thinking there might be a reason I had a six year playoff drought after all these guys retired…”

Click here to see our entire ballot including current Illowa APBA League Hall of Famers and their stats.

2 comments » | League Updates

Brian Cavanaugh: 1993 Phillies Break my Heart Again

September 3rd, 2014 — 08:24 pm

lenny-dykstra1Brian Cavanaugh of The Bridesburg APBA League took on a solo replay project, one that involved his beloved Phillies.  Here’s his recap.  -Tom

I have never been more excited to play  a replay than I was to replay the 1993 Phillies season. This team is my all-time favorite Phillies team, even more than the 2008 team. As a life long Phillies fan, I grew up watching some pretty bad teams. I was too young in 1980 (3 years old) and 1983 (6 years old) to remember the thrill of a pennant chase. However, in 1993, I was 16 years old and experiencing winning baseball for the first time. Yes, there was distant second place finish in ’86 and the exciting 3rd place finish (I was at the game where they clinched 3rd place, you would have thought we won the world series). I fell in love with Macho Row and will probably always have a small crack in my heart because of what Joe Carter did.

My ’93 Phillies were an unstoppable offensive juggernaut during the regular season, steamrolling to what would be a franchise record 108 wins. There were times when it seemed like this team couldn’t lose. They just got on base so much and always seemed to come up with a clutch hit.

My heart break though came a bit earlier in my replay than in real life. The series that Tom Glavine dubbed "America’s team vs. America’s most wanted" did not play out as it did in real life. My Phil’s little engine that could ran out of gas and fell to Atlanta 4-2 in the N.L.C.S. I was positive that if I beat the Braves, the Phil’s would have also beaten Toronto and mend that crack in my heart just a little bit.

Just as in real life, Lenny Dykstra was the sparkplug leading the team in hits, at bats, batting average, doubles, stolen bases, walks and runs. Dave Hollins out performed his card and led the team with 43 HR’s and 116 RBI. Darren Daulton was a rock behind the plate hitting a career high 30 HR’s with 103 RBI.

Terry Mulholland was the ace posting a team high 20 wins and 3.36 ERA.The rest of the staff performed much like they did in real life, except that both Danny Jackson (5.26) and Ben Rivera (5.66) had considerably higher ERA’s. I loved playing with this team and it was kind of sad to put them back in the box. They have been retired and will now see play in future tournaments.

It’s now time to move on to another Phillies team to replay. Since my past replays have been with good Phillies teams (1950,’64,’93), I am going to try my hand with Nick Leyva’s disastrous 1989 team. That should be fun!!

1993 Phillies Stats

  • Lenny Dykstra – .295, 18-66 (141 R, 136 BB)
  • Mariano Duncan – 270, 14-75 (40 2bh)
  • John Kruk – .282, 17-96 (108 R, 122 BB)
  • Darren Daulton – .263, 30-103 ( 97 R, 89 BB)
  • Dave Hollins – .257, 43-116 (110 R, 11 3bh)
  • Jim Eisenreich – 281, 17-88 ( 10 more HR, 37 more RBI than real life)
  • Milt Thompson – .218, 4-34
  • Juan Bell – .208, 1-14 (couldn’t wait to get rid of him)
  • Kim Batiste – .229, 5-18
  • Wes Chamberlain – .266, 11-37 (top pinch hitter)
  • Pete Incaviglia – .242, 17-61
  • Ricky Jordan – .259, 7-31
  • Mickey Morandini – .267, 2-49
  • Todd Pratt – .284, 8-16
  • Kevin Stocker – .277, 3-28
  • Jeff Manto – .128, 0-0
  • Terry Mullholland – 20-7. 3.36
  • Curt Schilling – 15-7, 4.45 (actual 16-7, 4.02)
  • Tommy Greene – 17-5, 3.87 (team high 193 K’s, actual 16-4, 3.42)
  • Danny Jackson – 13-9, 5.26
  • Ben Rivera – 13-6, 5.66
  • Larry Anderson – 7-3, 2.57
  • David West – 6-2, 2.94
  • Mitch Williams – 4-2, 4.37, 43 SV
  • Jose DeLeon – 3-3, 3.52
  • Bobby Thigpen – 0-2, 9.62 (he was as useful to me as he was in real life)
  • Brad Brink – 1-1, 6.23
  • Paul Fletcher – 1-1, 9.00
  • Kevin Foster – 1-2, 6.23
  • Donn Pall – 1-1, 4.03
  • Roger Mason – 3-0, 3.69
  • Tim Mauser – 3-0, 2.83
  • Mark Davis – 0-3, 5.09 (see above, Thigpen, Bobby)
    Thanks for the recap, Brian.  Better luck next time with the Phillies! 

2 comments » | replay

Chicagoland APBA Tournament: Welch, Christian combine to bring home trophy for 1968 Cardinals

July 20th, 2014 — 01:00 pm


James Welch took the 1968 St Louis Cardinals to the finals by winning his division.  Craig Christian finished the job. 

IMG_7233 IMG_7312

On Saturday July 19th in Woodstock, Illinois, the 1968 St Louis Cardinals defeated the 2001 Seattle Mariners in the final game to win the 2014 Chicagoland Summer APBA World Series Tournament.  Not unlike what happened at the National convention tournament, original manager of the ‘68 Cardinals, James Welch (above left) had to leave the tournament early.  He tabbed Craig Christian (right) as his pinch manager.  It proved to be a good move as Craig won it all by beating the Cardinals’ fellow Thomas Division representative Doug Schuyler and his ‘01 Mariners 12-3. 

Eighteen APBA fans participated in the tournament and their teams were divided into three divisions.  Each team played one game against every other team in their division.  The top two winning teams went on to compete in the finals. 

Congratulations go out to the top teams in each division:

Thomas Division

  • Doug Schuyler 2001 Seattle Mariners 5-0
  • James Welch 1968 St Louis Cardinals 4-1

Glavine Division

  • Bradd Romant 1982 Milwaukee Brewers 5-0
  • Robert Eller 1927 New York Yankees 4-1

Maddux Division

  • Jim Saska 1977 Philadelphia Phillies 4-1
  • Eric Berg 2006 Minnesota Twins 4-1

Indeed, it was a battle between veterans like Jim Saska and Doug Schuyer and some tournament rookies like Eric Berg and Bradd Romant.  Even James Welch and Craig Christian are new to the tournament.  Well played, new guys! 


A great new feature of the Chicagoland tournament was the consolation (or loser’s) round.  Congratulations go to Larry Eichmann (above left) who hung in there in the 12-team win-or-go-home bracket.  His ‘62 San Francisco Giants defeated Gary Lindley’s tough 1906 Chicago Cubs in the final game. 

There was no MVP announced but worthy of announcement is Jim Spencer.  Playing for Clark Eichmann’s 1979 New York Yankees, Spencer hit six homeruns in five games.  It’s amazing that the Yanks only won one game with that kind of power. 


Needless to say, a lot of fun was had by everyone.  A lot of thanks go to Jim “Mr. Logistics” Saska and Doug “PR Man” Schuyler.  These tournaments wouldn’t happen without you two.  Each one is getting better and with your help, we’re establishing a great APBA tradition.  Thanks! 

I’ll be posting some more photos and comments in future articles but if you want to see all the photos I took, they are here

I’ll be back in November. 

2 comments » | convention

Divisions announced for July 19th Chicagoland Summer APBA World Series Tournament!

July 8th, 2014 — 06:09 pm


The divisions have been released for the Chicagoland APBA Tournament which will take place on July 19th.  The word has come from on high.  According to tournament organizer Jim Saska, it was Mrs. Saska who picked the teams out of a hat.

According to Jim:

Every team will play each team in it’s division one time.  The top two teams in each division, based on record and total # of runs scored, will move on to the winner’s bracket, or championship single-elimination bracket.  The other twelve teams will play in a loser’s bracket, single elimination and be ranked according to record and runs scored.

Here are the divisions…

Maddux Division
Jim Saska 1977 Phillies
Curt Roberts 1976 Reds
Don Smith 1982 Brewers
Larry Eichman 1962 Giants
Craig Christian 1985 Blue Jays
Eric Berg 2008 Twins



Thomas Division
Doug Schuyler 2001 Mariners
James Welch 1968 Cardinals
Randy Woolley 1988 Dodgers
Gary Lindley 1906 Cubs
Scott Fennessey 1984 Cubs
Tom Nelshoppen 1980 Dodgers



Glavine Division
Pete Gill 1973 A’s
Robert Eller 1927 Yankees
Bradd Romant 1982 Brewers
Michael Gaubitz 1934 Cardinals
Curt Bartel 1990 A’s
Clark Eichman 1979 Yankees


If there are any errors in team selection, please let me know or leave a comment.  Also, if you’re still interested in participating, I’m sure we can make room for you in the tournament bracket.  Details on the tournament are here.

Get your Chicagoland Tournament T-shirt!

If you’re interested in getting a tournament t-shirt (and want to wear it that day), make sure to order it soon.  It will take a week or so to deliver.

Here is the link to to order it.  Make sure to specify your size (skinny guys pay less than hefty boys apparently).

5 comments » | convention

With Tom Zuppa’s help, APBA fans hold mock balloting for HOF

January 9th, 2014 — 06:23 pm

tom zuppaFor most of you on Facebook, this won’t be news but I thought it was worth bringing to the wider audience. 

It started as a simple post on the APBA Baseball group by Tom Zuppa last week linking to an article about this year’s candidates for the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Tom Zuppa (left) simply wanted to know if “APBA fans were smarter than the BBWAA”.  Who would WE induct to the Hall of Fame if it were left to us??

What ensued was probably one of the longest threads I’ve seen on Facebook let alone on APBA Baseball group.  Almost everyone chimed in with their opinion plus some very entertaining discussion.  All told, there were over 150 comments to his post. 

I believe it was Bob Haider who initially came up with the idea that Mr. Zuppa total the responses and see what the APBA community’s ballot would look like if we had the power to vote in the inductees.  Tom thought it was a fine idea and agreed to this arduous task.  This Wednesday, Tom came out with another post with the final results

With his permission, I’m re-posting his official announcement:

“Thank you to everyone who took part in our group experiment on Wednesday’s Baseball Hall of Fame announcement. The real results will be announced at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
The results were audited by Dewey, Cheatam and Howe, CPAs. Forty-two ballots were cast. Two people voted for players who are not eligible; those votes were not counted, although other votes on those ballot were. (Notably, Pastor Rich did not vote for the infamous Lou Gehrig card with the 15-6, even though he believes it deserves a special display in the Hall.)

The results show:
• Much like the sportswriters and general public, our group has strong feelings about what does/does not make a HoFer.
• Not much love for those believed to be steroid users.
• A whole lot of us are Detroit haters

Drum roll ……
Elected to the Hall of Fame (75%, 32 of 42 votes required):
Greg Maddux 41 97.6%
Craig Biggio 34 81.0%

Not elected to the Hall of Fame
Frank Thomas 31 73.8%
Tom Glavine 31 73.8%
Mike Piazza 25 59.5%
Alan Trammell 18 42.9%
Jeff Bagwell 17 40.5%
Tim Raines 17 40.5%
Jack Morris 14 33.3%
Barry Bonds 14 33.3%
Roger Clemens 13 31.0%
Mike Mussina 12 28.6%
Edgar Martinez 9 21.4%
Lee Smith 9 21.4%
Don Mattingly 7 16.7%
Mark McGwire 6 14.3%
Curt Schilling 5 11.9%
Jeff Kent 4 9.5%
Larry Walker 3 7.1%

Not elected to the Hall of Fame and removed from future ballots:
Fred McGriff 2 4.8%
Eric Gagne 1 2.4%
Hideo Nomo 1 2.4%
Lou Whitaker 1 2.4%
Rafael Palmiero 1 2.4%
Sammy Sosa 1 2.4%
Receiving no votes: Moisés Alou, Armando Benítez, Sean Casey, Ray Durham, Luis Gonzalez, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones, Paul Lo Duca, Kenny Rogers, Richie Sexson, J.T. Snow, Mike Timlin.

Now … let the debate begin…


Tom Z also noted that Thomas and Glavine both missed OUR Hall of Fame by just one vote. 

I’d like to personally thank Tom Zuppa for doing this.  There was some great discussions going on in both threads.  I think that this should be an annual thing.  I mean we all know we’re better managers and coaches than what we see in the pros.  Who says we can’t out-vote the BBWAA?

But seriously, just one more vote is all Glavine needed.  :-)

3 comments » | MLB, Social Media

Monster Card Monday: 2003 Javy Lopez

December 30th, 2013 — 08:21 pm


This is Javy Lopez’ killer card from 2003 sent to me by Pastor Rich.  This particular card is the 2010 reprint of Lopez’ 2003 season.  I remember this particular season well.  Lopez was a member of the Illowa APBA League’s Northside Hitmen managed by Chuck Lucas.  With other players like Bonds, Manny Ramirez, Carlos Delgado, Roberto Alomar, Lopez’ career year in 2003 was the icing on the cake.  Needless to say, this lineup definitely lived up to their team nickname. 

In the majors, Javy Lopez had always been a better than average slugging catcher but it was in 2003 when he really poured it on and stepped it up a notch.  That year, he hit 43 homers in just 495 plate appearances.  Exactly half of his hits were for extra bases (75 of 150).  Javy hit for average too with a nifty .328 mark.

2003 Totals 129 117 495 457 89 150 29 3 43 109 0 33 90 .328 .378 .687
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 12/29/2013.


This card is fantastic especially if you happen to have a runner on third when you can exploit APBA quirks.  Lopez has power numbers 1-1-1-6-6.  As it works out statistically, Lopez hit 3.13 HR/36 PA so it about works out.  Depending on how often he comes up with the bases full, he might even get his three triples, too. 

As mentioned before, Lopez hit a pretty decent .328 for 2003.  On his card, he has another 7 plus four 8s (including two “across the top”) and two 9s.  Javy only has two 14s but he does have a 22 due to being plunked a four times in ‘03. 

Fun numbers:  33-1, 44-6, 55-7

Javy Lopez trivia: For his career, Lopez played 1352 games in the field.  He played 1351 behind the plate and just one game at first base. 

There’s no question that 2003 was Javy Lopez’ career year.  He hit his career high in homeruns, batting average, rbis, even doubles.  That’s not to say he didn’t have some solid lifetime stats. For his career, he hit 260 homers with 864 rbis while batting .287.  Not only that, he caught some of the best pitchers of his era including Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine. 

Thanks Pastor Rich (and congrats on your brand new baby girl!).

1 comment » | Card Analysis

League Profile: APBA Patriot League

March 2nd, 2013 — 08:19 am

apba-logo22Brian Hey emailed The APBA Blog to update us on The APBA Patriot League.  Most notably, they have a new website!

I was just having fun going through their career leaders.  Like in our league, Maddux is the all-time leader in wins.  Happy to see Mr Glavine 2nd, too! 

Great job, guys!

The details on The APBA Patriot League:

League Name

APBA Patriot League

League Website
Contact Person Brian Hey
Sport Baseball
# of teams 12
Year of inception 1971
Basic/Master/Computer/ Combination Computer
Geographic location USA

Brian says: 

NL only league that started in 1971 with the basic board game plus modifications. In 2005, the league voted to use BBW and has been using the latest version ever since. The league has a unique bidding system for players undrafted in the first round. Statistics are maintained on the website.

Renny Maddox, a current manager and former commissioner, has been playing in this league for the last 42 years!!!

Thanks, Brian and congrats Renny for such a long-standing run as manager! 

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.

Comment » | League Directory

APBA Fan Profile: SCBL’s Dan Velderrain

February 23rd, 2013 — 07:52 am

danvFor this APBA Fan Profile, I had the pleasure to get to know Dan Velderrain of the Southern California Baseball League.  I’m glad I did and it makes me wish I could meet him in person (that really goes for pretty much everyone I’ve interviewed.  The fan profile is one of my favorite parts of doing this blog).  When I announced his upcoming interview on the APBA Blog Facebook page, it was met with quite a favorable response.  “Sgt Dan” is held in high esteem it seems and I can see why.

Dan initially contacted me a while back to put up SCBL’s league profile up on the APBA Blog.  Recently though, we got chatting on Facebook about APBA leagues and found that our two leagues were quite similar in age and structure.  The kicker was when we found out that he and I both had Tom Glavine on our respective teams for his career.  The ties that bind!

By the way, for Dan’s fan profile, I’m trying something new.  In addition to some of the normal questions, I’ve asked him some ‘rapid fire’ ones.  Quick questions with short answers and if we’re lucky, maybe not a thought put into them.  :-)

The APBA Blog:  Hi Dan, tell us about who you are when you’re not playing APBA.

Dan Velderrain:  Hello Tom and Thank You for offering me this interview opportunity. I enjoy reading this feature on The APBA Blog and now it really is an honor to actually know that I will be a part of it as well.

I am 47 years old and live in Southern California… in Orange County to be more specific. I am married to my wife, Kristine for the past six years, I do have two children, Amelia who is 15 and Adam who is 12. I am employed as a Sergeant with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and have been there for more then 23 years. My outdoor hobby is golf and my indoor hobby is APBA. I have been doing playing both for more than twenty eight years. I am truly a baseball fan and can actually find something I like in ALL 30 MLB Franchises…. However if forced to pick just one team, then count me as an Angel Fan. I attend several games each year but the highlight of my baseball season is attending the All-Star Game. I have been to six of them, including the last three in a row and I am not sure if I will miss another one… They really are amazing to attend live.


TAB:  Tell us your APBA story. How did you start playing and what games do you play?

DV:  Well, in 1983, while a Junior in High School, I purchased a Street & Smith Baseball Preview. As I was reading through every page of that magazine, I noticed many Table Top Baseball Game Advertisements, including APBA, Strat-O-Matic, Pursue the Pennant, etc. If I recall correctly there were like six or seven different games out there. I actually requested information from all of them and within a few weeks I was receiving several letters as if I were being recruited by Major League Teams. After reading through them all, a few times each, APBA seemed to be the clear cut choice for me. What got me I think was how they worded it. “You can run a Major League Team.” I can recall how disappointed how, in my opinion, the California Angels were under achieving. Fresh off the heals of a 1982 ALCS loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, in a series they were leading two games to none. I just knew I could get the Angels into the World Series and I was going to use the APBA Baseball Game to prove it…… However, the $30.00 price tag, the game company wanted for their game seemed just a bit high for someone who was spending all of his money trying to fix up his 1967 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia and the game just never got ordered.

I graduated high school in 1984 and enlisted with the United States Air Force. In 1985 my parents got me the APBA Baseball AND Football Games for Christmas that year…. I still count that Christmas and the years I received my Atari 2600 and my Webco BMX Bicycle as the top three best Christmas’ of All~Time.

On Christmas morning 1985 I broke out the baseball game that included the 1984 season. I played the Dodgers against the Angels. In that first inning, Rod Carew singled to lead off the game and a couple of outs later, Reggie Jackson came up and rolled 66 and I have been hooked ever since. I currently own 81 complete seasons and hopefully someday will have them all.

As far as what APBA games do I play? Let’s see I own the APBA Baseball Basic and Master Games, APBA Football, APBA Basketball both new and old, APBA Golf, APBA Saddle Racing and APBA Boxing….. But pretty much play the APBA Basic Baseball Game Exclusively.


Rapid Fire Questions with Sgt. Dan

Hand-roll or Dice Shaker?

Neither. I use a Dice Tower to roll my dice.

Designated Hitter or let the pitcher hit?

In APBA the Pitcher ALWAYS hits. :D

With APBA, are you superstitious? Or is it all numbers to you?

Crazy Superstitious…. To a fault.

Baseball Executive from any era you would like to have dinner with…

Hmmm Good question…. Never have given this one much thought… I guess it would have to be Walter O’Malley.

Your choice… Watch baseball on TV or a date with your wife? (careful now)

LOL Since the question is, “watch it on TV”, this one is easy…. Date with my Wife EVERY time.



TAB:  The league you are in, the Southern California Baseball League, has been around for 35 years. Give us a little history on the league and what makes it so great. What is its secret for its longevity?

DV:  I know there are a lot of leagues out there and some have even been in business longer then the SCBL. But this league holds a special place in my heart. Other than my career with the Sheriff’s Department the SCBL is the one thing that I have done the longest in my life. My team, the Saddleback Sharks is older than my children, been around longer then my wife…. I was a young Deputy Sheriff when I was given this franchise in 1991 and I have had it ever since.

Four friends and teammates on the Cross Country Team at Orange Coast Community College in the city of Irvine in Orange County, started the, “Runners League” in the Spring of 1977. These four young men, each managed two teams, their “A” team and their “B” team. They played a small schedule but didn’t keep stats other than simply, wins and losses. In 1978 they changed the name of the league to the Long Beach APBA Baseball League, gave their A Team and B Teams actual names and started keeping stats. In 1979 the league name was changed to the Southern California Baseball League. As a result of an advertisement placed in the APBA Journal the league grew to 9 members and the SCBL was officially born and underway. League Membership has been as high as 16 although today we are currently at 15 teams.

The SCBL is a Face to Face Basic Game League with many Modifications. We play an 84 game schedule consisting of 14, six game series between March and September. I don’t know if I really know what the “secret” would be…. The SCBL has always been fortunate to have had Managers who truly care about Baseball and APBA with the competitive nature and desire to run their own Major League Franchise but were a little short on the cash, Like me… So the SCBL is the next best thing!


TAB:  Give us an example of a modification or idea that the SCBL has used that might be unique to the league.

DV:  We use quite a few. I’ll share two of them in regards to pitching…..

Pitchers are assigned a Hits Rating based on their hits allowed per nine innings pitched. For A pitchers who give up 6.50 hits per nine or less receive a Low or L rating. If they give up 7.50 or more hits then they receive a High or H rating. If there hits per nine fall in between 6.50 and 7.50 then they are neutral or do not receive a rating. For B pitchers the cutoffs are 7.50 and 8.50, for C pitchers the cutoffs are 8.50 and 9.50 and for D pitchers the cutoffs are 9.50 and 10.50.

The L and H ratings ONLY come into play with the Bases Empty Board. With a play result of 36, 37, 38, 39 or 40 against a neutral pitcher the result is a strike, ball or foul ball. Against a L pitcher it would be a ground out and against a H pitcher it would be a single. This way pitchers who are the same grade in APBA, yet don’t give up as many hits as others in real life, get a little bit of a benefit with this modification.

Another one we recently put into place, is the addition of five new pitching grades: A&B-, A&C-, A-, B- and C-, using the Master Game Pitching Ratings. Below is a Table that we use:

Right Handed Pitcher Left Handed Pitcher
Grade MG Rating Grade MG Rating






















For example, if a Right Handed A pitcher gets a 17, 18 or 19 in the Master Game then he is a True A. For the pitcher who gets a 15 or 16 he is an A-. An A- will be an A against all right handed hitters and a B to all left handed hitters and so on with all of the pitching grades except for the D.

So in our league it isn’t uncommon to see a Pitcher who is an A-XZH. In a league, using only 10-16 teams on any given season we all tend to have some pretty strong pitching staffs. We have found both of these modifications even it out somewhat and produce a few more base hits without really altering the pitching grades to much.

We also use a called steal with the move to first ratings and catchers throwing arm ratings and we use individual defensive ratings as opposed to total team fielding ratings as in the basic game.

It has been nice because we have increased some of the realism of the Master Game while keeping the simplicity of the Basic Game. This blend has gone a long way in maximizing the whole APBA experience.


TAB:  Finally, if you aren’t playing APBA Baseball, what do you like to do that’s sports related?

DV:  When I am not working, spending time with the family, playing league games during the season and various solitaire projects in the off season, I really enjoy going to Major League Baseball Games in person and playing golf. I play about once a week and go on some type of golf trip at least once a year.

Lastly, I would just like to say thank you to you, for writing the APBA Blog and to whoever is responsible for the APBA Baseball page on Face Book. Through these outlets, I have met and became friends with several others who are crazy about this game just like me. On one hand it is probably a good thing we all live so far apart, but then again, Man what kind of league could we put together if we all lived closer??? Oh Man!!! Go Sharks!!!

Many thanks to Dan Velderrain for his time in answering these questions! 

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