There’s a new announcement on the APBA Company website regarding the roster expansion of baseball rosters:
With the recent announcement about the basic baseball card set count being increased from 20-30 for 2012, we were asked if there would be a list designating the first 20 selections for each major league team. Yes, we plan to do that. We realize there are leagues that don’t use the XBs, so we will try to somehow designate which 10 players would have been XBs.
The fact that APBA is expanding the basic baseball set to 30 cards per team (with no delineation between regular cards and XBs) is fantastic. There’s no doubt about that. But those not in leagues may not understand the quandary that it puts some of them in. To put it simply, all of your players on your team (even the ones with 5 at-bats) come back with a regular cards. There isn’t a “retirement” mechanism in place. That is, a player could conceivably stick around in the majors for a few years with little playing time and have minimum impact for the league team.
So some leagues depend on the APBA Company to set the arbitrary limit for them. Up until now, we’ve had regular cards and the XBs (and XCs). Leagues that just used the regular cards had a simple method for determining what players were eligible for their league play. Now with all 30 players on each team getting “regular” cards, APBA is stepping up and will denote which players would have been regular cards and which would have been on the XB list.
For what it’s worth, we at the Illowa APBA League struggled with this issue of player eligibility for a number of years. We finally found a solution that seems to work. We simply use actual player usage regardless of the type of card.
From the IAL constitution:
B. Eligible cards are determined as any player carded by the APBA Game Company in the regular card set and the XB card set and meeting the following requirements:
1) 125 or more at bats constitutes an eligible card for position players.
2) 21 or more games or 50 or more innings constitutes an eligible card for pitchers.
We seem to like this system for the main reason that we know who is eligible to be used (or just as importantly, who is eligible to be dropped in favor of a draft pick) as soon as the Major League baseball season is over.
The APBA Company deserves some kudos here, by the way, for listening to their fans and understanding the somewhat complex issue. They probably didn’t have to do this but saw that it would easily solve some issues for a lot of their customers. They chose to do a little extra work and hence, give their customer base what they needed.