1975 Reds and Joe Jackson top Prairieland Tournament selection draft!
Who will be playing in April’s Prairieland APBA Baseball Tournament? Well, we know now! The Prairieland Draft selection finished in less than three days thanks to draftmaster Eric Berg. You can see the results here at Eric’s blog Red 11.
The 1975 Reds were the very first choice made by Chris Strangeman. The second pick made by Eric Berg, was Shoeless Joe Jackson.
I was very interested to see how this draft would shape up. I was pretty sure I was going to pick a fantasy deadball player in the first round but I was in the minority. Only eight players out of 24 were chosen in the first round. The others opted to choose their team and waited till the second round to pick their deadball player.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were the most popular team from the 1970-2000 era chosen. In order, the 1977, 1978, 1981, and 1985 LA teams were taken. The New York Yankees were the next popular with three (1998, 1977, 2000).
Among the fantasy deadball players, there was a mix of position players and pitchers taken. In addition to Jackson, Walter Johnson was taken third overall followed by Napoleon Lajoie sixth overall. It wasn’t until the 22nd and 23rd pick when deadball hotshots Wagner and Cobb were chosen. Indeed, it shouldn’t be surprising there were plenty of deadball pitchers such as Brown, Bender, Joss, Young and Waddell to balance out some of the hitters.
The most interesting pick? Hurler Hod Eller was taken in the second round by none other than Bob Eller. Any relation, Bob?
Many thanks to Eric Berg who managed the draft like a pro this weekend! We now have 24 participants!
Eric Berg is busily preparing for the Prairieland 2 tournament draft/selection process. While the tournament itself isn’t until April 1, 23 tourney participants will begin selecting their teams and accompanying fantasy deadball players beginning this weekend in a snake-style draft. Eric spells it all out here on his blog, Red 11.
The tourney will consist of teams from 1970-2000 but each one will have help from one fantasy deadball player which will also be chosen in the draft. I’m curious about APBA Blog contributor Scott Fennessy’s take on this. Scott is our deadball expert.
I assure you, he has not given me any inside info… yet (don’t hold out on me, buddy).
Truth be told, I already have my A-list of teams and players picked out. I generally don’t go into the team selection process with a real competitive attitude. I pick teams that are interesting to me (see last place ‘87 Cubs who I took a few tourneys back).
I just uploaded another quick video on how I set up my stats for the Excel fans out there. It’s a follow-up to the first one when I created player worksheets. This video takes the data from those player worksheets from the first one and displays it all in a meaningful fashion in the form of a stats roster.
As always, watch in full-screen mode for best experience. Those numbers are tiny!
Bulk editing worksheets
You can “group” worksheets by holding Control and selecting each worksheet or hold Shift button and select the last worksheet in the range. All edits will now affect every grouped worksheet. Right-click and “Ungroup Sheets” when you are finished (don’t forget!)
The SUM function
will display the sum of all cells between A1 and A20
Rather than pasting the static text, Paste Link is dynamic and will display what is in the referenced cell even if it changes.
At this point in the setup, team files are ready and just need to be populated with players and stats.
The fun is just beginning. We’ve now laid the groundwork. Once we get some useable data, we can take it and create a league roster and get down and dirty with data. We can then start playing with leaderboards, standings, total team stats, pretty much whatever you want.
Ryan Morrison recently suggested this 1998 Juan Gonzalez APBA card for Monster Monday. Juan Gone was a big star in our Illowa APBA League. My buddy Chuck Lucas even traded him to me but Chuck’s no dummy. He waited just before his usefulness was about to expire. I got one semi-decent year out of him (I remember that was the year my team had three players named Gonzalez, Juan, Luis and Alex).
Chuck on the other hand, was able to enjoy this card. Gonzalez played a full season in 1998, playing 154 and batting 606 times. In that time, he blasted 45 dingers and drove home 157 runs. Not only that, he amazingly led the league in doubles with 50.
Igor was never much to take a pitch but in 1998 he did manage to walk 46 times a high for him up until that point.
APBA doled out only two 14s to Gonzalez but that’s probably because he had so many plate appearances. Let’s face it, this card can hit!
Not only does Juan have five power numbers with 1-1-5-6-6, he also has a 55-7 on top of that.
Fun numbers: 33-5, 44-6, 55-7
It’s worth mentioning that Chuck did very well with this card in the Illowa APBA League. Gonzalez hit 65 homeruns for him with 156 rbis. Gonzalez’ 65 homers ranks sixth all-time and his 156 rbis ranks 12th all-time.
1966 NL replay: Making sense of two stat anomalies
Take some pitches, Lou
I noticed two things about my stats in my 1966 NL replay (Basic Game, actual lineups, rotations) recently that gave me a reason to pause but after investigating they were mostly vindicated. As of now, I am just finishing up May with two more days left to play in the month.
1) Sandy Koufax’ arm must be falling off
I was perusing my leaderboards and saw my list of pitchers with most Innings Pitched. Yikes! Sandy Koufax already has 96 innings pitched in my replay as of May 29th. Needless to say, he leads the league. I thought that was inordinately high and maybe I was misusing him. Perhaps the bullpen was being ignored.
Well, I may be partially right but not as much as I thought. Using Baseball Reference, I found out how many innings Koufax had pitched by May 29th. It turns out he had pitched 82 1/3 innings by that point. So while it may be time to dial it down if I want to be realistic, I am certainly not out of the ballpark.
2) Do they teach bat discipline in St. Louis?
I’m almost rooting for the 1966 Cardinals in my replay. They can’t buy a win at 11-28. Looking over my team totals, I wonder if it’s because they can’t get on base. In 39 games, Cardinal batters have walked only 64 times in my replay. That’s 1.64 walks per game. I honestly worried if I made a mistake in my stat keeping but it all checks out. Leadoff man Lou Brock (with his one 14) is the worst offender. Though he’s batting .320, he’s walked just once in 130 plate appearances!
Again, checking Baseball Reference, I see that St. Louis had the least walks of any team in the NL in 1966 with 345 for the entire season. That works out to 2.12 BB/G, a little higher than my average but not by much. As for Brock, he walked 26 times in real life so he’ll need to learn to take some pitches to reach that mark.
There are just a few more games before I hit June. I’m planning on a big update.
My friend Don Smith has been conducting a little Illowa APBA League “spring training” for his Molly Putts Marauders before our regular season starts. I’ve seen some of his writeups on Facebook. Quite enjoyable.
Don told me that in his quest in finding teams to play Molly, he ran across this 1974 Phil Gagliano card from the Reds. Now Phil was in his last year of his career and didn’t hit much. However for some reason, he managed to draw a fair amount of walks in his short playing time. He went 2 for 31 for a dismal .065 average but still walked 15 times!
Hitting-wise, Phil’s card is pretty much like your standard American League pitcher’s card (7-8-9). Then you get to the 14s. He has a total of 12 of them.
I guess if you absolutely, positively need that runner on base, right?
I told Don that I was familiar with Gagliano. He plays for the Cardinals in my 1966 replay. Gagliano was never a full-time star but 1965-1967 was as close as he would come to being a big part of the team. APBA-wise, his 1966 card is pretty tame compared to this one. He has 0-0-7-7 plus a 15-10. Oh and he only has three 14s.
I happened to notice that Phil Gagliano passed away just a month and a half ago on December 19, 2016. I happened to notice it on Baseball Reference’s front page recognizing recent deaths. While I had no previous connection with him, I felt a twinge since he no longer was around only because of my 1966 replay.
It is getting close to April 1st and that means Prairieland 2 tourney time! More to the point, in less than two weeks, tourney participants will be selecting their teams and fantasy players in a two-round snake style draft.
When Pastor Rich Zawadzki sent me this Zach Britton card for last season and said “Monster card”, I first thought he was referring to Zach’s hitting skills. I’m a little behind the times though. It was in 2011 when Britton was a C starter but had double 1s and a 25-7.
Of course, once I saw Rich’s card, I was instantly reminded of Britton’s excellent season out of the pen last year. His 0.54 ERA and 47 saves for the Orioles qualified him for the rare A&B* grade.
By the way, Britton’s grade translates to 28* if you’re playing the Master Game. That’s two points less than the highest MG grade of 30 given out by APBA. In addition, Britton struck out 74 batters and only walked 18 in 67 innings. For that, he will receive the additional threat of the XYZ ratings. Batters beware!
Did Zach get a monster hitting card? Nope, he received a standard 7-8-9 American League pitchers’ card. That’s ok. Hitting isn’t in his job description anymore.