Weird Card Wednesday Thanksgiving edition: 1902 “Turkey Mike” Donlin

Turkey Mike-001

“Turkey Mike” Donlin is becoming a Thanksgiving tradition here at the APBA Blog.  This time it’s his 1902 card coming from Scott Fennessy which also qualifies as a Weird Wednesday card. 

Donlin’s positions make him strange to start with.  The Cincinnati Red is a fast outfielder who also plays shortstop and is rated as a D pitcher.   In actuality, he only played one game each as a shortstop and pitcher 1902. 

However as Scott notes, it’s his second column that puts him in the Weird category.  He has a total of thirty-two 2s in the second.  With a 66-0, he has sixes at 12, 32, 52 and 65 and the rest are deuces.  In addition, Mike Donlin also has an 11-6. 

One more oddity I just noticed… Donlin’s 1902 card lists his birthplace as Peoria, Illinois, just down the road.  His 1905 card shows it as Erie, Pennsylvania though.  Baseball Reference has it down as Peoria so I’m going with that. 

Thanks Scott and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! 

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Scott Fennessy’s 1903 NL Review

Dominated by two teams, the NL was more of a hitter’s league as the averages are beginning to rise as pitchers did not get so many A ratings as in the past. The Giants and Pirates battled until the final series of the year.

Final National League Standings

Pittsburgh Pirates      95-45

New York Giants        92-48

Chicago Cubs              78-62

Cincinnati Reds          76-64

Boston Braves            58-82

Brooklyn Dodgers      58-82

Philadelphia Phillies  54-86

St. Louis Cardinals      48-92


Pittsburgh Pirates (95-45)

Slow out of the gate, the Buccos were in third place as late as June, but in a hard fought series with the Cubs moved into second and slowly ground away at the Giants lead. Ginger Beaumont had another fine season and was rewarded with his first batting title by hitting .346. He also stole 46 bases and beat out teammate and team captain Fred Clarke by merely one point for the title.

Speaking of Clarke, the captain had an amazing season. Hitting .345 with 44 doubles, 15 triples and 11 homers, and 28 stolen bases on his path to his first MVP award. Honus Wagner had another monster second half and was hard to pitch around being sandwiched between Beaumont and Clarke. Hitting .328 with 20 triples and 48 stolen bases, and hit all three of his homers in the second half gave the Pirates a trio that could not be stopped.

Jimmy Sebring hit .275 with 46 stolen bases and 5 homers. The bench on this team performed well, lead by Fred Carisch who mashed the ball in limited playing time. Hitting .324 with 6 homers, and Gene Curtis hit .571 in a mostly pinch hitting role.

Pitching was as good as the hitting. Sam Leever and Charles Phillippe were basically “Co-Aces”. Leever went 34-13 with a 2.56 ERA and .85 WHIP, and Phillippe was even harder to beat, despite Leever being an A and Phillippe being a B. The “Deacon” went 35-11 with a 2.34 ERA and a .82 WHIP. Armed with a ZZ rating he was unstoppable. Allowing just 25 walks in 396.1 innings made his own life easier by making hitters get to first on their own.

Ed Doheny went 9-5 with 4 saves. Ed started in the bullpen, but I had not noticed that rookie Lafayette Winham (16-16) was a J-4 so I had to swap spots to fix the error. Not to worry, this did not alter the season results as you will see why in a moment.

New York Giants (92-48)

The Giants got off to a hot start, and held off the Cubs for the first part of the season, then held the Pirates in check until about August, then held right behind them until their season ending 3 game set. That probably should not have happened. The same day I noticed the Winham error I went through every rotation to make sure I did not overlook anyone else. I did. Ambrose Puttmann of the Yankees, and Leon Ames of the Giants. I had to move a B KYW down to a D starter. Based on the way the season finished out the Giants would have been lucky to hold off the Cubs and perhaps the Reds too.

Despite the downgrade of the rotation this was still a formidable team, as they can really hit. The team batting average was .273. Billy Lauder should have gotten more playing time from me, but still hit .333 in a small sample. First baseman Dan McGann had another fine season, hitting .304 with 34 doubles and 55 steals while playing gold glove defense. Catcher John Warner had his best season ever, hitting .285 with 16 triples. George Browne had another solid year with a .281 AVG, 85 RBI and 34 steals.

Sam Mertes and Roger Bresnahan were MVP candidates. Mertes hit .298 with 40 steals, but disappointed me in the power category, despite getting strong card only had 7 homers. Bresnahan was a force all year long. Hitting .341 with 5 homers and 111 RBI. How may catchers can boast they stole 50 bases? McGraw instilled a “anyway possible” approach to OBP. 4 hitters had double digits in hit by pitch, with a team total of 77. Scary as this sounds, none of them was close to the league leader.

Pitching was vital to keeping up with the Pirates dangerous duo, and Mathewson and McGinnity were MORE than able to do the job. Christy was an absolute beast. Going 34-12 with 296 K’s, 2.41 ERA, .80 WHIP, oh and at the plate was no easy out either, hitting .275 with 2 homers and 2 steals.

Joe was great as usual, with a 32.13 record, 2.77 ERA, .89 WHIP and 6 shutouts nobody was able to match up with him. The afore mentioned Ames when in the rotation was a game changer. A BKYW was a thrill ride every time out. Had I not noticed his J rating he would have crushed Waddell’s record with ease. As it was he finished at 18-12 with 1 save, had 281 strikeouts, and averaged 9.25 K’s per game. Additionally he set the record for most strikeouts in a game with 18.


Chicago Cubs (78-62)

A good run by the cubbies this year. Early on it looked like they may defy the odds and keep up with the Giants, but reality set in and they slowly came down to third. I was more disappointed in their losing a doubleheader sweep to the Dodgers on the final day of the year and missed 80 wins than the overall results.

What did them in was the bottom of the order underperformed, and the pitching staff was a bit spotty at times. Johnny Evers finished with a .277 average and 48 steals. Frank Chance got some MVP votes by hitting .317 with 85 RBI, and tied John McGraw’s single season record of 95 steals (I’m sure John will have that congratulatory letter in the mail someday). He also was hit 16 times, and drew 73 walks en route to a league leading OBP of .418. Jimmy Slagle was also a big fan of the base on balls, drawing 77 to lead the league. Jimmy hit .271 and played fine defensively. Third baseman Jim Casey was not much in the power department, but did hit .277.

Johnny Evers started off well, but slumped mightily finishing at .253. Johnny Kling disappointed yet again with just a .242 average. Despite a first column 6 and an everyday job all season he hit just 22 doubles and no homers again. The dice did not favor him at all.

Jake Weimer exceled again on the hill. Going 30-12 with 5 shutouts and a 2.54 ERA was always the man that would end a slide. John Taylor and Bob Wicker finished with bad second halves and the bullpen sunk any late game hopes.


Cincinnati Reds (76-64)

I thought they may catch the Cubs in September, and I was nearly right. They had solid hitting as evidenced by a .272 team BA. Joe Kelly was forced to do a lot more than he should early on as the hitting struggled and there were injury issues. He finished at .292 with 4 homers and 36 steals. First baseman Jake Beckley struggled for half the year, but came on strong at the end. He finished the year on a 12 game hit streak and hit .273 with 7 homers.

Jim Seymour once again was amazing at the plate. He hit .338 with 17 HR, drove in 94 runs and stole 33 bases and was very nearly the MVP. Mike Donlin hit .313 with 83 RBI and 28 steals, and Harry Steinfeldt, who finally played more than 100 games hit .280 with 9 homers and 83 RBI. Dan Kerwin (.376) and Leo Fohl (.333) were terrific off the bench.

Frank Hahn was 25-17 with a 3.03 ERA and John Sutthoff was 25-17 with a 2.65 ERA. Bill Phillips was solid from the bullpen, picking up a couple of saves and a 1.12 ERA. The rest of the staff kept the team from being more successful, as many sported ERA’s near 5.00.


Boston Braves (52-82)

Boston only had 16 players for it’s entire roster. Considering how poor some of the cards were I am impressed they finished as well as they did. Outfielder Duff Cooley quietly snuck a couple of MVP votes onto his resume after finishing very strong, hitting .315 with 45 steals. Player-manager Fred Tenney hit .305 with 40 steals. Pat Carney hit .255; unfortunately the rest of the team struggled to hit more than .230.

While the hitting was kind of suspect, the pitching was pretty good, considering they only had 2 B’s and 3 C’s. That’s right they only had 5 pitchers the whole season. Vic Willis was much better than his 14-23 record would initially reflect. His era was 3.26 and his WHIP 1.02. John Malarkey started off hot and came back to reality, but still went 20-20. Walt Williams was 8-5 with a 3.79 ERA. For a C starter in a league full of A’s it was a solid year.


Brooklyn Dodgers (52-82)

This was a pretty weak team, but not completely out manned. Jimmy Sheckard hit .275 with 10 homers and 71 stolen bases. Jack Doyle was a huge surprise, and outperformed his card a bit by hitting .324 and stole 48 bases. Hugh Hearne was a late season call up and hit .273 with 66 RBI and 3 homers with 27 steals. Bill Dahlen underperformed badly and hit just .193. Otherwise most of the hitters struggled badly.

Pitching was really non-existant. Oscar Jones picked up 19 wins, but had a 4.86 ERA and a horrible 1.58 WHIP. Virgil Garvin was reliable enough with an 18-18 record and 3.25 ERA. Other than Henry Schmidt who went 15-18 with a 3.75 ERA the pitchers had ERA’s well over 5.00.


Philadelphia Phillies (54-86)

If the Phillies had a little more pitching they could have gone a lot higher. Underperformers also hurt the cause, but several players had good years. Roy Thomas had almost zero power, but was a great at working the pitcher, and drew 68 walks. He also hit .286, and despite only having one zero and he managed one homer and in addition to playing gold glove center field stole 42 bases.

Shad Barry struggled early and lost his starting job, but eventually won it back and hit .283 with 14 stolen bases in just under 100 games. John Titus had his second solid season hitting .291 with 80 RBI. Harry Wolverton, normaly a DL candidate stayed healthy most of the year and hit .277.

Harry Gleason hit .279, and Bill Keister was a big disappointment. He did not have a “bad” year, but really underperformed. Part of that was my fault, as I saw his card and thought he was a J-4 and he missed almost the first month on the bench. I moved him and he started off very hot, but cooled down badly and moved him down in the lineup where he found his groove at the end of the year. He still hit .269 with 10 triples and 16 doubles, and had 18 steals in half a season. Reserve catcher Red Dooin hit .429 in a mostly pinch hit role.

Tully Sparks led the staff with a 20-17 record and 3.14 ERA. Fred Burchell lost 23, but still had a 3.30 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. His issue was just giving up hits at key moments. Fred Mitchell was 6-5 with a 2.88 ERA once inserted into the rotation. Bill Duggleby was very hittable most of the year, going 10-26 with a 4.85 ERA, but every dog has his day, and in a game against the Cardinals set the record for a C pitcher with 6.2 no hit innings against the Dodgers. The rest of the staff was putrid, all with ERA’s over 6.00.


St. Louis Cardinals (48-92)

This may be the worst Cardinal team ever. They struggled almost every way possible. Bad fielding, a team batting average of .218 and ERA of 4.36. Player-manager Pat Donovan hit .316 with 42 steals, but most of the rest struggled mightily. Homer Smoot underperformed badly, hitting .256, but did hit 6 home runs. September call up Leon DeMontreville hit .257 and stole 17 bases, and provided some spark at the top of the order. Second baseman John Farrell hit .256. The bench was useless. John Dunleavy hit .249, everyone else hit under .100.

Pitching was not much better, Mordecai Brown was his usual solid self, but with no hitting struggled to a 14-18 record, despite a 2.56 ERA and .97 WHIP, which is probably the best any B starter could hope for. 8 pitchers had ERA’s over 5, 3 more had ERA’s over 6, and 3 more over 7. Yikes!

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Scott Fennessy’s 1903 AL review

Scott fThe long path to the end of the 1903 season has finally arrived. Taking 22 months was longer than expected, but now I have the satisfaction of being able to head to the World Series at last.

This was also my first full season with the advanced fielding ratings and it showed in my defensive stats. No, I don’t keep individual fielding, that’s just too much work for me personally, but I do tally total team errors, double plays and triple plays. Even my worst defensive team was well under the most errors ever for a team, and several teams were within 20 errors of the number of double plays.

Pitching was supreme again as the AL averages were well below where they should have been, and there were only 2 .300 hitters, but unlike 1905, most hitters did manage at least a .270 average. Please note I play 140 game seasons to match the length of the 1901 season so that the stats will all be meaningful and will never have to say (well so and so played an extra number of games)

Final American League Standings

Boston Red Sox            95-45

Cleveland Indians        81-59 

Detroit Tigers               78-62 

Philadelphia A’s           71-69 

New York Yankees       68-72

Chicago White Sox       63-77

St. Louis Browns           57-83

Washington Senators  46-94

Boston Red Sox (95-45)

Boston roared out of the gates and never was challenged from opening day. Armed with their trio of overpowering A starters and power hitting, mixed with a hint of speed, and outstanding defense, which set a record for the fewest errors in a season with 68, while turning 54 double plays was more than any team could deal with.

Cy Young wins the Pitcher of the Year award with a 33-13 record to go with his 1.87 ERA and .73 WHIP. He allowed just 6.65 base runners per inning while most averaged over 10.

Teammate Bill Dinneen also had a 33-13 record, and had a 2.53 ERA and .85 WHIP, Tom Hughes, who seems to be a journeyman, now on his 3rd team in three replays went 25-19, with a 2.56 ERA and .90 WHIP. George “Sasafrass” Winter had a 1.27 ERA in limited playing time.

While the pitching was at the forefront there was some good hitting on this team. Pat Dougherty hit .322 to win his first batting title. He also had 16 triples and 52 stolen bases.

John Freeman was a favorite of mine to win the MVP award with his .288 AVG. and led the league with 16 homers. He had 68 extra base hits overall (pretty good for deadball) and had 99 RBI. He also became the first player to have a cycle.

Freddy Parent had a fine year, hitting .279 with 15 triples and 20 steals. Jimmy Collins had 11 homers, but struggled a bit with nagging injuries and only hit .259. He also hit 11 triples and stole 29 bases however, while playing great defensively at third. Hobe Ferris finished second in home runs with 15, but struggled plenty when not hitting the long ball and finished at .217.

The bottom of the order is the only true weak spot as first baseman Candy LaChance (.194) and catcher Lou Criger (.183) were automatic outs. Back-up catcher Charles Ferrell hit .291 in a part time role.


Cleveland Indians (81-59)

Another good run by the tribe, still pretty much in rebuild mode they show signs of things to come. Another good defensive team, they came the closest to being the first team with more double plays than errors with a -11 differential.

This is another team where pitching was talked about more than their hitting, but they were a solid bunch that just got out of the gate slowly and had never really recovered.

Earl Moore 27-16, 1.89 ERA, .88 WHIP had 10 shutouts this year. Earl is one of the few guys that could match up with Cy Young, but never had the same firepower in his lineup. Young Addie Joss was hot and cold at times, and finished with a 23.20 record and a 2.84 ERA and a .90 WHIP. Bill Bernhard was the surprise on the staff, going 25-17.

Harry Bay was among the leaders in average again, hitting .280, and tied for the lead in steals with 59. Elmer Flick had some cold streaks but still managed to hit .270 with 18 triples and 29 steals.

Napoleon Lajoie struggled early again, but had another monster second half to finish third in hitting with a .296 batting average. He also hit 6 homers and stole 24 bases.

Charlie Hickman was the backbone of the offense through 3/4th of the year, but finally tired out. He finished with with a .281 average and 11 home runs among his 59 extra base hits. He even exceeded his actual season total of 11 steals with 23 during the replay.

Third baseman Bill Bradley FINALLY finished a season with only a 1 day trip to the DL. For those new to my replays he is the official king of days and trips to the injured list. He hit well below his actual numbers, but for him it was a decent replay just because he survived. He hit just .245 with 3 homers. If you were to see his card you would not believe how much he underperformed.

The bottom of the lineup was as soft as it gets. Catcher Harry Bemis hit just .199, and reserve Harry Abbott hit just .214. Shortstop in name only, John Gonchaur hit a paltry .164 and was a SS-6, allowing many hits that an average defender would have made. While the Indians played well defensively, he was the culprit most times.


Detroit Tigers (78-62)

Detroit got off to a slow start, and I was wondering if they would ever get near .500. “Wahoo” Sam Crawford got off to a slow start, but had a good season, hitting .270 with 9 homers, and lead the league with 104 RBI. He stole 29 bases as well.

Charlie Carr was downright awful for the first half, but was an important part of the comeback. Once player-manager Lewis McAllister shuffled the lineup he got better pitches to see and finished with a decent .263 average.

Speaking of McAllister, he started off doing well, but failed in the second half and finished at just .252. The offensive spark that benefited most from the reshuffle was at the top of the order. Jimmy Barrett (.262 36 SB) was struggling at the bottom of the order and once moved into the top of the order began to flourish, and Billy Lush really came alive in the two spot and used the hit and run to advantage, despite not having the extra 31 usually needed. He finished 7th in hitting at .282 and stole 38 bases and had 16 triples to set the stage for Crawford.

Pitching was the strong suit for this club. Bill Donovan went 24-20 with a 2.41 ERA and a .91 WHIP. He also threw two no hitters. George Mullin had the second half of the year though. He went undefeated after July 1 and was among the leaders in every pitching category, and finished 3rd in POY voting. He ended up with a 27-16 record, 2.06 ERA, .90 WHIP. Frank Kitson finished with a respectable 21-20 2.97 ERA.


Philadelphia A’s (71-69)

My preseason favorites really struggled. It was one step forwards, two steps back most of the year. Pitching underperformed and hitting was solid, but always failed in the clutch. A funny thing happened on the way to Buck Freeman’s certain MVP ceremony. It came up a bit short. First baseman Jasper Davis just kept hitting and never stopped. Jasper was in the top 5 in almost every category, and other than home runs was above Freeman in all of them.

I know that once I start playing more modern era games this is a season that will be forgotten, but when your first baseman plays gold glove caliber defense, hits .312 with 13 HR (which translates to about 35 in the modern era) drives in 99 runs despite the top two hitters with OBP barely over .300, hits 12 triples, 41 doubles (third straight season for him) and steals 45 bases you have a player to boast about.

He got plenty of help from Ralph “Socks” Seybold who played well, but had a great September and finished at .294 and 6 homers. Tullos Hartsel hit .277 with 8 HR and drove in 82 runs, but really underperformed his card.

Another team with a terrible bottom of the order, but to the A’s credit their bench was really strong. Danny Hoffman hit .284 while subbing frequently for the terribly underperforming Lave Cross. Ed Hilley and even Mike Powers hit over .300 in very limited roles. The biggest shock in all of baseball was reserve Albert Daly, who hit just .192 in the real season, and was rewarded with a terrible card, but somehow ALWAYS hit the few good numbers on the card. He only has 8 hit numbers against even a D, and if it’s a B or an A even worse. I actually started him over the afore mentioned Cross for the final month of the year and he managed to hit .291 for the year and despite only appearing in 46 games managed 14 triples and finshed 9th among the league there. Congratulations Albert!

Rube Waddel set the single season record for strikeouts in a season with 324. He went 24-18 with 3.13 ERA and 1.03 WHIP on his way to the POY award. Eddie Plank chipped in with 24 victories and a 3.03 ERA. Chief Bender was extremely disappointing, basically serving BP most of the year.


New York Yankees (68-72)

The bombers were anything but. The team batting average was just .212. Even Willie Keeler struggled and finished with just a .266 average. Player-Manager Norman “The Tabasco Kid” (eventually they shortened this to just “The Kid”, but the original name is sooooo much cooler to me! Led the way with a .277 average. Dave Fultz hit .243, but did tie for the league lead in stolen bases with 59.

The biggest boost for this team was actually on accident. I did not notice until well into the season that Ambrose Puttmann was a J-4. I only used him once in the final 2 months to try and balance it out. Puttmann finished with 20 wins by the way, but John Chesbro was the true ace of the staff, going 22-20 with a 2.65 ERA. Jesse Tannehill, once moved into the rotation posted a 2.71 ERA despite a 4-7 record. Elmer Bliss was used exclusively in relief and had a 2.00 ERA in 20 appearances.


Chicago White Sox (63-77)

This is a team that really had no chance. A tiny roster that had a few good players and a lot of bums. Harry Clark hit .271 with 15 triples. For some reason a man named Ed Green has the nickname “Danny”. Despite that oddity, Danny had a great year, but faded in September to finish with 12 triples, 6 homers and a .290 average. Fielder Jones hit .257, but everyone else was lucky to hit .200.

The pitching was really not that bad, but because of the lack of hitting had to be spot on to win most games. Guy “Doc” White was terrific 22-17 with a 2.27 ERA and a .90 WHIP, and 4 shutouts. Roy Patterson notched 19 victories.


St. Louis Browns (57-83)

I was somewhat disappointed in the brownies this season. I knew they were not going to win the title, but looking at the cards I expected a better finish. Several players underperformed badly, Jesse Burkett, John Anderson and Bobby Wallace truly disappeared this year, and Emmett Heidrick struggled for the first two months, but finished with a .275 average and 26 stolen bases. Late season call up Benny Bowcock moved into the starting position at second, and while he struck out a LOT he was a true offensive threat. Hitting .293 with 4 home runs in the final month and a half.

This was a team that had good pitching, better than the White Sox, and Yankees even. John Powell was 16-18 with a 3.44 ERA, John Sudhoff was even better, going 17-18 with a 2.68 ERA. Barney Pelty was great once he got regular starts 3-5 with a 2.98 ERA. In a league filled with A starters, C R pitcher John Terry was actually pretty solid, going 3-5 with a 3.14 ERA.


Washington Senators (46-94)

Congratulations Senators! You win the prize for worst team in baseball. Well, at least they didn’t lose 100. Armed with almost nothing I was not expecting much, but this was a team that was not fun to play the games with because unless they were playing the White Sox, you knew they were going to lose.

Gene DeMontreville was the true bright spot on offense; starting the year on the bench, but moving in sometime in May and hit .303 with a couple of homers. He also wins the Shawon Dunston “Eagle Eye” Award for drawing one walk and striking out 88 times. Ed Delahanty underperformed, but was still tolerable with a .265 average. James Ryan hit .235. Nobody else cleared the “Mendoza Line.”

Once again Wyatt Lee (15-23, 3.24 ERA) and Casey Patten 10-26, 3.45 ERA) were as good as could be, but the rest of the staff was downright awful, “led” by Al Orth who went 2-9 with a 5.37 ERA and a 2.41 WHIP.

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1979 Royals not quite ready for Chicago Retro World Series Tournament… but we came close


So really, how did the 1979 Kansas City Royals really do for me at the Chicago Retro World Series APBA Tournament?  Below is a game-by-game synopsis of our adventure through Saturday’s tourney. 

vs. Kevin Burghardt’s 1970 Baltimore Orioles

In Game 1, Hal McRae made his presence known quickly against Jim Palmer (AYZ). He drove home two runs in the first inning.   For the game, McRae was 3 for 4 with a double and a triple. 

KC 5 Balt 2

Baltimore got their revenge in Game 2 against Paul Splittorff.  Paul Buford drove home two with a triple in the third inning and pinch hitter Andy Etchebarren doubled home two in the sixth. 

Balt 6 KC 5

vs Kurt Bergland’s 1982 Milwaukee Brewers

Brewers’ starter Mike Caldwell had things well in hand allowing just one run in 8 innings.  Meanwhile the Brew Crew racked up the runs with Ben Oglivie collecting three rbis.  Cecil Cooper went 3 for 5 with a double two runs scored.  Willie Wilson added a two-run HR against Rollie Fingers in defeat. 

Milw 7 KC 3

Down 4-3 in Game 2, KC mounted a three-run rally to win it.  Singles by Amos Otis and George Brett, a groundout rbi for Darrell Porter and a walk to McRae.  It was up to Steve Braun who came in for injured Al Cowens.  Braun who already had one hit, doubled in two-runs to give KC the win. 

KC 5 Milw 4

vs. Shawn Witt’s 1978 New York Yankees

Game 1 against the Yanks and the mighty A&C Ron Guidry…KC did manage to score four runs thanks to homers by Pete LaCock and Darrell Porter but a George Brett error helped Lou Piniella score the winning run in the 8th inning. 

NY 5 KC 4

Paul Splittorff was the story of Game 2.  He pitched a two-hit shutout against the Yankees tough lineup.  McRae helped the cause by going 2 for 5 with a homer and 3 rbis 

KC 7 NY 0

vs. Gary Lindley’s 1972 Oakland A’s

Despite homers by Amos Otis and George Brett (who finally began to hit at this point), the A’s proved to be tough against Larry Gura.  Sal Bando contributed a homer and KC’s normally clean defense committed two key errors, one by Brett again.  Ken Holtzman gets the win. 

Oak 6 KC 3

KC starter Rich Gale (DYW) had been relatively stable up until this point.  Not today.  He faced seven Oakland batters and couldn’t get any of them out.  When Cullen tripled home two, he hit the showers.  Dave Duncan contributed a homer in the third inning. 

Oak 10 KC 4

vs Rob Spatz’ 1984 Detroit Tigers

Brett continues to hit as he is a triple away from the cycle and drive home three runs.  Down 4-3 in the 8th inning, KC get four hits from Wilson, Otis, Brett and a game winner from Porter.  

KC 5 Det 4

No doubt about this one.  KC brought their bats for Game 2.  Wilson 3 for 5.  Otis 3 for 6.  Porter 3 for 4.  McRae 3 for 5.  Another win for Paul Splittorff who gives up three runs in the complete game. 

KC 11 Det 3

Playoff game vs. Larry Eichman’s 1987 Oakland A’s

It was a pitching duel between KC’s Dennis Leonard (CZ) and Dave Stewart (BX).  Game score remained 1-1 until Luis Polonia walked in the 8th inning then Alfredo Griffin drove him home with a double.  For good measure, Mark McGwire put one in the seats for a two-run homer. 

Oak 4 KC 1

A few addendums:  Amos Otis was the big hero.  He led the team in batting, rbis, runs, homers, hits, pretty much everything.  George Brett was 3 for 25 in Games 1-5.  He was 8 for 20 (with 2 HR) for the rest of the tournament.  Frank White didn’t get a hit till Game 8 but he hit in last four straight games.  I managed to get 24 players into the tournament.  I believe infielder Todd Cruz was the odd man out. 

Below are the 1979 Kansas City Royals’ full stats for the tournament. 

Wilson, Willie 11 46 10 14 3 2 1 5 1 11 5 1 .304 .522 .333
Otis, Amos 11 45 11 17 1 0 2 9 3 7 2 0 .378 .533 .417
Brett, George 11 45 5 11 3 1 2 7 1 5 1 0 .244 .489 .261
Porter, Darrell 11 37 5 11 1 2 1 7 7 5 0 0 .297 .514 .409
McRae, Hal 11 43 7 11 3 1 1 6 1 4 1 1 .256 .442 .289
Cowens, Al 11 37 4 6 0 0 0 5 3 4 0 0 .162 .162 .225
LaCock, Pete 11 34 5 7 1 0 1 5 7 3 0 0 .206 .324 .341
White, Frank 11 37 3 5 1 0 0 2 3 4 3 1 .135 .162 .220
Patek, Fred 11 38 2 8 1 0 0 4 1 3 1 0 .211 .237 .231
Braun, Steve 1 2 0 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.500 1.000
Washington, U.L. 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Hurdle, Clint 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .000 .000 .500
Quirk, Jamie 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .000 .000 .333
Wathan, John 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Totals 11 369 53 92 15 6 8 52 29 46 13 3 .249 .388 .309
Pitcher G GS CG IP H R ER BB SO W L Sv Sho ERA  
Leonard, Dennis 4 4 4 35    32 15 14 5 15 2 2 0 0 3.60  
Splittorf, Paul 3 3 2 25    18 9 9 8 5 2 1 0 1 3.24  
Gura, Larry 2 2 0 14 1/3 17 11 8 5 5 0 2 0 0 5.02  
Pattin, Marty 2 0 0 3    3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.00  
Gale, Rich 2 2 0 6    13 10 10 6 2 0 1 0 0 15.00  
Quisenberry, Dan 1 0 0 2    2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0.00  
Hrabosky, Al 2 0 0 1    1 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0.00  
Busby, Steve 1 0 0 1 2/3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00  
Chamberlain 1 0 0 7    6 3 3 3 4 0 0 0 0 3.86  
Rodriguez, Ed 1 0 0 1    1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00  
Totals 11 11 6 96    94 51 45 28 32 5 6 1 1 4.22  

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Gary Lindley and the 1972 A’s top the Chicago Retro World Series APBA Tournament


Twenty-two APBA fans gathered in Grayslake, Illinois on Saturday for the Chicago Retro World Series Tournament but only one could claim the championship.  After the dust settled, it was Gary Lindley and his 1972 Oakland A’s who remained standing after defeating Bradd Romant’s 1977 Los Angeles Dodgers. 


As per tournament rules, the teams that participated were all from the 1970s and 1980s and were divided into two leagues and with divisions each.  Each team played two games against each team in their division and the top team and the second place (the wildcard) went on to the playoffs. 

gary L

The 1972 Oakland A’s managed by Gary Lindley (left, photo credit Doug Schuyler) were tough. I know because he was in my division.  Reggie, Bando, Rudi not to mention pitcher Catfish Hunter who by the way, pitched a no-hitter during the tournament. 

I lost both of my games to Gary’s formidable A’s.  I did however, go 5-5 in regulation play which was much better than I thought my 1979 Kansas City Royals would fare.  Just consider that the 79 Royals had no pitcher graded better than a C (I had to start Rich Gale, a DYW twice).  They also only had only two hitters on the whole roster with a single column one (George Brett and Darrell Porter). 

Our aptly named George Brett division race was close.  Very close.  When we were done with regulation, we had a four-way tie for second place after Gary Lindley and his ‘72 A’s.  It was division captain Kevin Burghardt’s job to figure out who had the best head-to-head record.  I was a little surprised when he looked at me and dubbed me the wild card winner.  Whew! 

Larry Eichman and his 1987 A’s won the Nolan Ryan Division outright and he was my next opponent.  Unfortunately, his A’s took care of my Royals just like Gary’s did.  Dave Stewart allowed just one run while Dennis Leonard couldn’t rein in ironically, Mark McGwire in the one game playoff game (McGwire had been my long time firstbaseman on my IAL team).  


Action shot of Doug Schuyler rolling in the AL-NL All-Star Game

Organizer Doug Schuyler is inserting new ways to keep things different in these tournaments.  To break things up, we had a two inning All-Star game using representatives from our teams.  The rules were simple.  One player from each team was chosen by each manager, each team bats six players then the inning is over, D pitcher is assumed.  As a bonus, we were able to use the fantastic stadium dice roller that Kevin Burghardt brought with him from home. 


Don Smith’s “Duck call heard ‘round Grayslake”

The All-Star game was a blast!  It didn’t take a lot of time from tournament play and it was a fun break.  The best part was that Don Smith took the National League to the cleaners with Doug DeCinces’ homerun! The duck call was heard! 

With this tournament, I think we “old-timers” are beginning to form long-lasting bonds.  At the same time, I got to meet new people too!  Those included Rob Spatz, Shawn Witt, Kurt Bergland, Dick Butler as well as the father and son team of Joel and Matthew Pike.


Organizer Doug Schuyler keeps the tournament orderly and on time

Doug Schuyler gets a lot of kudos for his efforts and creativity in organizing this tournament.  I’ve already seen comments like “Great time” and “Best one yet!”.  Doug has a knack for promoting these events and more importantly, keeping them relevant and exciting.  No doubt, Eric Berg and I were paying attention since we have our own tournament coming up next April in Urbana.

You can see all my photos from the Saturday’s tournament here

Thanks to Doug and congratulations to Gary!  See you all next year! 

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B-R’s Batting Orders: Where’s Willie?

In anticipation of Saturday’s Chicago APBA Tournament, I’ve been looking over the roster of my 1979 Kansas City Royals on Baseball Reference.  One of my favorite features of B-R when doing replays is looking at the “Batting Orders” page of a team (it’s under Other).  It simply gives you the lineup batting order of each game of the season. 

Even better, there’s a section at the bottom of the page which lists the Most Common Batting Orders.  While that’s certainly a handy feature, there’s a caveat.  Sometimes the most common lineup does not reflect the season as whole.  


Case in point, my 1979 KC Royals have three most common batting orders which were used six times each.  The thing to watch is that the first two listed do not include Willie Wilson.  Now Willie Wilson played 154 games and started 135 in 1979.  As it turned out, of the six top lineups listed, three of them do not have Wilson listed. 

Note, I’m not doubting the veracity of the numbers.  Kansas City was just very consistent with their lineups when Willie was not playing.  As you notice from the graphic above, George Brett and Frank White led off for KC when Wilson sat. 

I love the Batting Orders feature by Baseball Reference but if you use it, use it with care when formulating realistic lineups.  Or just use actual lineups like some do.   

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Rod’s Replay Insider: What stats to keep?

statsBaseball stats are a never-ending source of enjoyment for all of us. They started with the back sides of baseball cards and have graduated to baseballreference.com.

Stats have birthed SABRmetrics and encouraged a myriad of books, websites, and other informative sources to measure how teams and players have performed.

You can keep as many stats as you want. However, if it you are new to replays, I start small and grow into what you can and want to keep. At a minimum you will likely want to record:

· Game-by-game scores

· Daily standings

· Individual batting stats

· Individual pitching stats

· Team batting stats

· Team pitching stats

Digging deeper, beyond the obvious game-by-game scores and standings, you will need to ask yourself “Which individual stats do I want to keep?” and “What kind of systems exist to help me keep up with the numbers?”

That leads to individual stat-keeping, which we will deal with a couple of blogs from now.

For the moment, let’s focus on the big picture team items: recording game scores and keeping the daily standings up to date and accurate.

Next: recording game scores

Read all of Rod’s Replay Insider articles!

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APBA Fan Profile: Jim Fraasch


Up north in the state of Minnesota, Jim Fraasch is a moving force in the APBA community.  He’s helped organized the Neil Ess Memorial Twin Cities APBA Baseball Tournaments which is going on its fifth one next April.  Jim is also author of a new APBA-related blog called Jim’s APBA Barn

And as I found out during the process of interviewing him, Jim Fraasch is an all right guy.  As is common with the APBA Fan Profiles I do, Jim and I connected and found common bonds in APBA and baseball. 

Enough with the intro, here is what you should know about Jim Fraasch.

The APBA Blog:  Tell the APBA fans out there about Jim Fraasch when he isn’t playing APBA.

Jim Fraasch:  I was born in 1966, and grew up in Minnetonka, MN.  My father worked for Honeywell as an Aeronautical Engineer, and my mother was busy raising 5 kids, I was the 4th out of 5.  1 brother and 3 sisters.  I was the "primary" sports fan in the family.  I started following the Twins, Vikings and North Stars as a 7 yr old.  1973 is the first season I can recall for my 3 favorite teams.  I was consumed with sports, and I think everyone in my family thought I was going to end up with a career having something to do with sports (not as an athlete).  I graduated from Minnetonka High School in 1984.  I attended the University of Minnesota, starting in the fall of 1984.  My degree was mathematics/statistics.  My first job out of college was working for a small research company called Questar Data Systems, starting in 1990.  Somehow, I wound up getting into computer programming, and went to work for United HealthCare in 1994 and finally my current company, HealthPartners, in 1997.  I still work at HealthPartners, in the IS&T department.  The HealthPartners corporate office is located in Bloomington, MN, just a mile east of the Mall of America, the former site of Metropolitan Stadium.  The office building used to be Control Data Corporation, as the building went up in 1972.  It is seen in many Metropolitan Stadium photos and videos, from years gone by.  I often wonder what it was like back in the day, if you worked at the Control Data Corp building, and the Twins had an afternoon game.  Could you have seen any of the action from the top floors at Control Data, as it is a 14-story building.  You would have been looking into Metropolitan Stadium from over the LF bleacher seats.  (see old Met photo, the office building is the glass building just off of the upper left corner of the LF bleachers).

My family consists of my wife and 3 children.  My wife and I married in 1992.  My 2 oldest children are in college, with the oldest son in his Junior year at his university, and my daughter a sophomore at her university.  My youngest is my 2nd son, and he is in the 7th grade.

I’ve coached several years of youth baseball, for each of my 2 sons.  My daughter plays soccer, and I was of no help, except for support for her sport ;)  She is still playing D1 college soccer today.  My oldest son still plays summer townball in Minnesota, for the local Prior Lake Jays team.  And my younger son is in the middle of his travel-ball career.

As my kids are getting older, I am finding I have much more time to devote to my hobby, which of course, happens to be baseball.  Somehow, my wife puts up with my baseball hobby.  In several ways, she actually supports my choice of hobby as she knows I am passionate about the sport.

The APBA Blog:  What is your “APBA story”? How did you find out about the game and what kept you involved in playing it?

baseball_room_3Jim Fraasch:  During the summer of ’78, I was already a die-hard baseball fan as a 12 yr old.  I was collecting Topps Baseball cards, watching the NBC Game of the Week on Saturday’s and ABC’s Monday Night Baseball.  When the games were not on TV, I was reading any MLB publication I could get my hands on.  So as the summer wore on, I was busy responding to the APBA Baseball and Strat-O-Matic Baseball ads found in those baseball publications.  You needed to cut out the ad, and send in your name and address for a free "no-obligation" game brochure.  The full color brochures were a thing of beauty.  The Strat brochure was full of details, on what the game was an how to play it.  The APBA brochure was even more colorful, and again, all of the game details were included along with 2 sample cards.  My APBA brochure included the 1977 Rod Carew and Mike Schmidt cards.  The brochure featured the 1977 World Series between the Yankees and Dodgers.  I read the testimonials over and over.  I believe at the time, both APBA and SOM Baseball games sold for $14.95.  For whatever reason, I decided on APBA and finally convinced my dad to send in a check for $14.95 (I think I paid him my lawn mowing money).  About 10 days later the game arrived.  It was the middle of August, and I was hooked on APBA Baseball. 

The game came with the 1977 season set, featuring my Minnesota Twins and all their hitting.  Rod Carew hit .388 in 1977, so one impulse was to replay the Twins season to see how close Rod Carew could get to .400.  I never did finish that project … perhaps in the years to come.  I recall the first game I rolled was the Dodgers vs the Reds.  I do not recall the outcome.  I sure wish I still had that scoresheet, or any of the scoresheets from my APBA playing as a youth.  My APBA life was typical where I stuck with it until I graduated from High School.  When I left for college (I attended the University of Minnesota) I gave up playing the game.  And other than picking up a few sets while still in college (like after the ’87 Twins won the World Series and the 1961R set when it was released in 1988) I really was not playing much APBA. 

I met my wife to be in 1990 and we married in 1992.  In 1993, after purchasing my first home PC at a Best Buy store, I stumbled upon "APBA Baseball for Windows" located in a computer game bin at Best Buy.  I think I paid $9.95 for it.  It was BBW 1.0.  I became hooked, and this is really what started me back on the APBA gaming hobby.  I re-subscribed to the APBA Journal in 1995, and devoured it cover-to-cover as I had back in the late 70’s/early 80’s.  Fast-forward to the year 2000, I was starting to get the itch for the APBA cards again.  I went through a box I had kept during 2 moves from the home I grew up in, in 1990.  The box contained my original APBA Baseball game from 1978, my 1977 season set, the 1973 set, the OFAS set and my GTOP collection.  I decided I needed to start purchasing old APBA sets again, and soon discovered Ebay.  I also discovered the APBA BTL Delphi forum.  Roy Langhans was one of the first people that reached out to me, when I was looking for old sets and a few old GTOP.  Roy was not really a stranger to me, as I recalled his few appearances in the APBA Journal from the 1970’s.

My finished basement today, has a separate "office" which I use as my "baseball room".  Roy Langhans stopped over for a visit back in 2004, when he was "vacationing" in Minneapolis.  We rolled one of his Game of the Day’s.  I was the ’65 Twins, he had the ’67 Cardinals.  This GoD game vs Roy Langhans is one of the highlights of my APBA career ;)

I’ve also had the pleasure of having Kevin Cluff over to my home.  We live about 20 minutes from each other.

My passion for baseball has kept me going with APBA.  Not to mention all of the great people who are involved with APBA sports games.  I made my first visit out to Cooperstown this past summer (top photo).  What an amazing place.  APBA just provides another avenue to expand on the history of baseball.  I am a self-proclaimed Baseball Historian.  However, I think I can only really justify that if I take the time to become involved with SABR someday.

The APBA Blog:  I’ve found that everybody plays APBA a little differently. When you get set to play a game of APBA baseball, what kind of setup are we actually looking at? Any superstitions when it comes to APBA?

metropolitan_stadium_by_adams_1 jims_dice_tower

Jim Fraasch:  My setup is pretty basic, although I appreciate visuals so I do add a few items to bring some "color" to the games.  The required items are:  Current Basic Game booklet, and Master Game booklet, for the Rare Play Boards.  The APBA Journal "Error Distribution Card" and "Unusual Play Card" for rerolls.  Scoresheet (custom scoresheet, modeled after old AJ scoresheets, with actual lineups pre-printed).  Pen.  Dice.

For the extras, as an example, I am currently replaying the 1965 MLB season.  20 teams.  For each team I have printed custom envelopes, with their 1965 logo on each envelope.  I use the basic envelope from APBA Game Co to hold each team’s XC players or other players that are not currently on the 25-man roster at the time, or if a player has already been used in his total number of games for the replay, he goes into this basic envelope.  The players who are "active" for the game, are in the custom printed envelope.  Also, I have printed out each team’s 1965 uniform, which are available here.


After printing each team, I cut them out, and place the home version back-to-back with the away version, and then place these into a protective baseball card sleeve (the thicker plastic ones).  For each team, I just flip the card holder to whatever version of the uniform the team would be wearing that day.  So, when the Dodgers are playing at the Cubs, I have the away uniform for the Dodgers showing vs the home uniform for the Cubs.

Besides the envelopes and the uniform being displayed during my games, everything else is pretty basic.  Because I am following actual lineups for my 1965 replay, I do have each team’s substitution tendencies from Ron Bernier’s Replay Guides, printed out for each team.  Although I do not follow the subs from game to game, it does allow me to use the subs in a manner that they were actually used during the 1965 season.  Same with the relief pitchers.

I roll the majority of my games in my baseball room.  However, I have rolled a few games outside on my backyard deck during the summer.  My goal is to roll a complete APBA Saddle Racing game race outside on my deck.  Next summer I guess, on a day that is not too windy ;)

I really do not have any superstitions about doing something a certain way for my APBA games.  I do like my dice to be shaken thoroughly.  I use a foam beer coozie, as my "cup".  These are large enough to allow the dice to roll around for some good "mixing".  I use a dice tower, and I have since purchased one of George Adams beautiful ballparks.  He created Metropolitan Stadium, circa 1965 for me.  But I only use the park when the ’65 Twins are at home.  For all of my other 1965 games, I am still rolling the dice into my dice tower.  (Attached picture of dice tower, and Met Stadium).

Rapid Fire Questions with Jim!!

Hockey fan or no? 

Yes!  Minnesota Wild, and I really miss the Minnesota North Stars.

Being a Twins fan, did you root for the AL team or against the hated Royals?  

I rooted big-time for the Royals … love their formula for success!

All-time favorite Twins player? 

Might be the obvious choice, but I cannot place anyone above Harmon Killebrew.  The sad thing for me is, I was only 9 when he retired (as a Royal which broke my young heart).  I managed to get his autograph on his 1965 APBA card at the Mall of America in 2000.  He signed the card and an 8×10 which hangs in my baseball room, and he asked me how he was hitting.  Killer is one of the former Major Leaguers who played APBA Baseball.

You get to go back in time and attend a game at a stadium no longer in existence.  Which do you choose?

Too difficult to say one park, so I will say 3 parks ;) …. #1 Ebbets Field, #2 League Park in Cleveland, #3 Municipal Park in KC to watch the Monarchs.

Which baseball broadcaster do you turn the volume down for?

In the late 80’s early 90’s I would have said Hawk Harrelson, but today, I sort of appreciate him.

The APBA Blog:  Congratulations on organizing a fourth successful Twin Cities APBA Baseball Tournament. What rewards do you reap from doing that?

Jim Fraasch:  The TCABT came to be because Bruce Tyler organized a lunch in the Twin Cities, and 6 of us attended. Those 6 are: Bruce Tyler, Leroy Arnoldi, Neil Ess, Darrell Skogen, Kevin Cluff and myself. The other motivating factor to start a Twin Cities tournament was The Chicagoland Tourney, thanks to Doug Schuyler and Jim Saska, who got that tourney off the ground. The 6 of us original TCABT guys realized that we could probably get 8-10 guys to come out for a tournament, so why not give it a try. We laid out our initial tourney ground rules at one of our O’Gara’s lunches. We wanted to keep it basic, but add some of our own rules too.


TCABT-IV group photo

We had 13 guys for that first tourney, held in April of 2014.  The best thing about having the group photo from TCABT-I is that Neil Ess is in the group photo. As I have written about before, he tragically passed away during a fishing trip in Canada, during the summer of 2014, in between our TCABT-I and TCABT-II. We named our tournament after Neil, heading into the October 2014 tourney. For some reason, that Saturday in October caught many of the guys who had planned to make it, with too many plans of their own, so we only had 8 for the 2nd TCABT.

The 3rd TCABT was held in April of 2015. This is where our numbers started to grow. We ended up with 15 participating in TCABT-III. Curt and Andy Bartel from Wisconsin were a big hit, as son Andy won our tourney with the 1902 Pirates. One of the best things about TCABT is the number of out-of-state guys who make the drive to roll in our tourney.

The long distance travelers to our tournament include:

  • Jeff Boeding from Platte City, MO (4 of the 4)
  • Craig Christian from Eau Claire, WI (3 of the 4)
  • Curt and Andy Bartell from Oconomowoc, WI (1 of the 4)
  • Eric Berg from Jacksonville, IL (2 of the 4)
  • Ron Emch from Toledo, OH (1 of the 4)
  • George Adams from Kansas City, MO (1 of the 4)
  • Bill Lilley from Akron, OH (1 of the 4)

Also traveling great distances from within the state of Minnesota, we have had brothers Beau and Ben Lofgren from Hawley, MN (at least a 3-hour drive). Paul Van Beek from Winona, MN (I think a 3 hour drive). And Roger Parsons from Two Harbors, MN (near Duluth, another 3+ hour drive).

Most or all of these folks plan to make it back next April for TCABT-V. Our ultimate goal would be to get to 32 entrants. We ended up with 23 entrants this past October, which was our highest turn-out, but we also had 5 guys who had to drop out, so we were at 28 at one point.

The tournaments have been the best way to get to meet other APBA enthusiasts, and I really appreciate each of those friendships. I plan to make some of the other “regional” tournaments, at least around the Midwest. My schedule is busier in the summer months when my now 7th grader is playing baseball, so it does make it difficult to plan a trip during the spring/summer. I plan to make the official APBA Tournament down in Georgia as well one of these years, but the June weekend for me is always problematic.

My advice to anyone who has not taken in one of the regional APBA tournaments…find one you can commit to, and try it out. You will have a great time, guaranteed.

The APBA Blog:  If you were owner of the APBA Game Company and you could change one aspect of APBA or the APBA Baseball Game, what would it be?

Jim Fraasch:  Well, Mr. John Herson has kept APBA Game Co, alive and hopefully thriving, based on making every APBA Baseball set available again, and by introducing new non-baseball product, such as APBA Soccer and "redesigning" each of the games.  He really has done a terrific job.  I think John has done what most of us would have asked for.

Beyond what John has already done, that is a tough one.  But here is one item I would like to see produced.  Re-release the original APBA Baseball game in its original format, as a collector’s edition game.  Since the game would be a "Collector’s Edition", it would not take any value away from the actual original APBA Baseball game or original 1950 Season cards sets.  The player cards would have today’s copyright year on them.  But you could make the cards, with the same data and play result numbers, same font, same 20-man rosters, for all 16 teams.  The game boards could be made as they existed in 1951, which I believe was 2 larger base situation boards, where 2 base situations were covered on each side of the boards, thus only 2 boards with all 8 situations covered.  I know Strat-O-Matic issued a collector’s edition game based on its 1961 season, maybe in 2011 for their 50th year?

I would also like to see the APBA Saddle Racing game re-introduced.  Re-design it like you have the other APBA games.  Based on what prices are for APBA Saddle Racing product on Ebay right now, I think you would have enough sales of a new game to make it worth producing again.  Re-issue the old seasons covering 1969 to 1987.  Re-issue the All-Time Great horses.  And begin issuing current horse racing seasons starting with 2015, featuring Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.  I’m sure this sounds a lot easier than it is.

Herson seems to have APBA on the right track.  I get the feeling it is more popular today that it has been compared to the last 20 years.

I want to thank Jim Fraasch for answering these questions in such detail.  Jim told me he hated to write as a kid.  I think he’s making up for it as an adult.  Nicely done, Jim!! 

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1970 Orioles win Kevin Burghardt’s Great Teams of the 1970s project

kevin bYou may know him from his Lid campaign from Facebook.  He’s also done an APBA Fan Profile on the APBA Blog.  Kevin Burghardt is a die-hard 1970s fan when it comes to baseball.  He’s finished his Great Teams from the 1970s project we’ve read about in the past.  Not too surprisingly, the powerhouse Orioles of 1970 won it all.

Kevin sent me the standings and leaderboards from his project.   You can find more info on his project at his website.

Thanks for sharing, Kevin!!

Great Teams from the 1970’s

Final Standings

AL East

1970 Baltimore         100-62            .617               

1978 Milwaukee       91-71              .562                9

1972 Detroit              85-77              .525                15

1978 Boston             77-85              .475                23

1977 New York         74-88              .457                26

1976 Cleveland        61-101            .377                39


AL West

1977 Kansas City    92-70              .568               

1973 Oakland           91-71              .562                1

1970 Minnesota       83-79              .512                9

1977 Texas               78-84              .481                14

1977 Chicago           72-90              .444                20

1979 California        68-94              .420                24


NL East

1977 Philadelphia   96-66              .593               

1979 Pittsburgh        93-69              .574                3

1979 Montreal          90-72              .556                6

1971 St. Louis          82-80              .506                14

1972 Chicago           82-80              .506                14

1976 New York         74-88              .457                22


NL West

1975 Cincinnati       99-63              .611               

1977 Los Angeles    82-80              .506                17

1971 San Francisco            72-90              .444                27

1978 San Diego       70-92              .432                29

1979 Houston           69-93              .426                30

1974 Atlanta             63-99              .389                36







ALCS: Baltimore over Kansas City (4-0)

NLCS: Philadelphia over Cincinnati (4-2)

World Series: Baltimore over Philadelphia (4-1)


AL MVP: Hal McRae-KC (.285, 28, 110)

AL Cy Young: Jim Palmer-Balt. (26-9, 2.53)

NL MVP: Joe Torre-SL (.365, 19, 128)

NL Cy Young: Steve Carlton-Phil. (22-8, 2.69)



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70s and 80s themed tourney in Grayslake, IL this weekend


Doug and Clark face off at last November’s Chicago APBA tourney

The Fall 2015 Chicagoland APBA World Series Tournament is only five days away.  By my count, this will be the fifth tourney in the series.  I will be attending along with 23 other APBA fans in Grayslake, Illinois. 

I’ve got my train ticket already.  No extra fare for my 1979 Royals who will fit nicely in my bag.  Organizer Doug Schuyler provided some details on the Tournament which was deemed a 70s and 80s tournament. All teams chosen had to be from the 1970s or the 1980s. 

Quick wrapup

4 divisions
6 teams per division
2 games vs each divisional foe
Home and Home doubleheaders
10 total divisional games
Top 2 from each division advance to playoffs!

13 AL teams
11 NL teams

The Chicagoland World Series Divisions

The Nolan Ryan Division

Rich Zawadzki – 89 A’s
Bob Eller – 79 Orioles
Matthew Pike – 81 Yankees
Don Smith – 86 Angels
Larry Eichman – 87 A’s
Chris Witt – 87 Blue Jays

The George Brett Division!

Kevin Burghardt – 70 Orioles
Gary Lindley – 72 A’s
Rob Spatz – 84 Tigers
Kurt Bergland – 82 Brewers
Thomas Nelshoppen – 79 Royals
Shawn Witt – 78 Yankees

The Pete Rose Division!

Joel Pike – 70 Reds
Ken Schulz – 72 Pirates
Bob Spatz – 73 Braves
Clark Eichman – 77 Cubs
Bradd Romant – 77 Dodgers
Richard Butler – 77 Phillies

The Johnny Bench Division!

Scott Fennessey – 76 Reds
Dave Rueck – 79 Pirates
Curt Bartel – 86 Astros
Jim Welch – 81 Expos
Ryan Daniels – 85 Cardinals Doug Schuyler – 86 Mets


There are plenty of It will be a pleasure to play Kevin Burghardt who I’ve met in person once before but have never rolled the bones against. 

In addition to the team restriction, Doug is encouraging participants to dress the part.  The best 1970s or 1980s outfit worn by a participant wins a prize.  Gonna have to get help from my daughter on that.  Retro is in, right?

At our last Illowa APBA League weekend, my buddy Chuck asked me about the tournaments that are springing up all over.  “Is it really that much different than our league weekends?” he asked.  I emphatically said yes.  There is so much to learn from playing new people. 

Look at this way.  Playing in a league is like being married.  You have a stable relationship with your co-managers.  You know their playing habits and you’re comfortable with them.  Best of all, you know that they’ll be there when the season is over. 

But playing in a tournament is like speed dating.  You’re plopped down in front of someone (maybe someone you’ve never met before) and you play a couple games with them.  You learn their strange APBA ways and superstitions and maybe even talk a bit.  And then BAM! your games are over and you move over to play someone else and start the whole process over again. 

It’s pretty fantastic.  Don’t tell the IAL guys, ok?  They’ll think I’m having an affair. 

The best part of tournament APBA is that you get to make long lasting connections.  I’ve known Doug, Rich, Bob, Clark, Gary, Curt and Scott since the second Chicagoland tourney.  I’m in pretty regular contact with some of them.  At the same time, there will be some new faces this time around I’m looking forward to meeting. 

Time to go.  It’s time for batting practice for my Royals. 

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