22
June

Brando’s 1930 replay: The final stats are in!

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my buddy John Brandeberry finished his 1930 AL/NL full season replay.  I even had the privilege to help him with his World Series between the Athletics and the Giants.  Just a few days ago, Brando sent me the stats from the replay and they are something else.  I can see why he had fun with it. 

As a point of reference, John used the APBA Basic Baseball game with very few modifications.  He used the actual rotation and lineups when possible and played the actual 154-game schedule. 

Let’s start with the standings:

 

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From my standpoint, nothing too surprising.  Despite their horrible pitching, the Phillies’ powerful hitting helped them finish higher than their real life last place.   The New York Giants who probably have the most balanced team in the NL won it all.  The A’s duplicated their 1930 AL championship in style with 103 wins.  I was interested to see the small ball Senators win 97 games. 

Outrageous Stats

There were some pretty out of this world stats from a few players.  For starters, seven hitters batted at least .400.  Philadelphia boasted the batting champs in both leagues.  Lefty O’Doul won in the NL with a .483 mark while Al Simmons batted .432. 

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Three players hit 60+ homeruns.  Babe Ruth hit 74 leading the AL while Hack Wilson and Chuck Klein tied for the NL lead with 62. 

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The RBI leaderboards showed off some numbers I’ve never seen before.  Hack Wilson, Al Simmons, and Chuck Klein all drove in over 200. 

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Not surprisingly, the A’s Lefty Grove was the big hurler in the AL, leading in wins (28) and ERA (2.30).  Brooklyn’s Dazzy Vance led the NL in ERA but didn’t get the offensive support that Lefty did and could only manage 17 wins.  The Cubs’ Pat Malone led all pitchers with 29 wins. 

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If you’re interested, here is a quick pdf of all of the leaders for Brando’s 1930 replay.  I don’t know if Brando picked any MVPs for his replay but for my money, here are my nominees…

American League

  • Babe Ruth .383, 74 HR, 192 rbis, 184 runs, 216 hits, .874 slg.
  • Al Simmons .432, 47 HR, 215 rbis, 134 runs, 25 triples, 46 doubles, 259 hits
  • Lefty Grove 28-6, 2.49 ERA, 22 CG, 6 Sho, 112 K (definitely the Cy Young winner)

 

National League

  • Chuck Klein .439, 62 HR, 204 rbis, 192 runs, 296 hits, .821 slg.
  • Hack Wilson .377, 62 HR, 220 rbis, 161 runs, .756 slg.

It’s worth noting that Hack Wilson’s 220 rbis is almost one third of Boston Braves team total of runs scored of 692 for the season. 

Speaking of the Braves, I know from helping John with the replay that the 1930 season isn’t all homeruns and .300 averages.  There are some rough teams in the bunch too.  Especially if you play the actual lineups as John did, you get to see terrible cards.  A lot of the monster cards in the 1930 set are platoon players or missed some time due to injury.  That meant players like Lloyd Waner and George Watkins had to sit a fair amount.

Congrats to John on finishing the replay and thanks for letting me help out on occasion!

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21
June

1905 Chicago Cubs replay update: Cubs beat Pirates to keep in chase

by Scott Fennessy

Pittsburgh, PA
10/7/1905

The Cubs face the Pirates in their final road game of the season, and this is basically a must win situation. The Cubs loss yesterday, coupled with the Giants annihilation of the Phillies in a double header sweep puts the Cubs down by one game with only two left to play. The Giants finish their regular season set later in the day with another twin billing against the Philadelphia.

Mordecai Brown steps to the hill against Charlie Case and this should be a very close game. Charlie has been surprisingly good this year and the Pirates would not have had a third place year without him.
Both pitchers get scoreless first innings and the Cubs strike fast in the second inning. Johnny Evers hits one in the hole between short and third for a leadoff single. Chance calls for the hit and run with the red hot Joe Tinker at bat and he hits a textbook hit and run single and runners are on the corners. With the hit and run on again Art Hofman hits a grounder that Claude Ritchey makes a fine stop on, but his only play is at first and the Cubs score their first run of the day.

With Tinker on third and only one out Johnny Kling hits a one hopper at Ritchey and he throws this one into the seats. Tinker scores and Kling moves to second. Brown draws a walk and the pressure is on Case now, and he delivers with two quick outs to end the rally.

The Pirates begin the comeback in the 3rd inning as Ginger Beaumont slaps a double into the right center gap and pulls into second with a one out double. Honus Wagner continues his torrid second half with a double of his own and the score is cut in half. Brown gets saved by Tinker as he makes a great diving stop on Fred Clarke’s one hop grounder. Wagner is caught in a rundown and Clarke takes second on the rundown. Brown gets out of the inning as he overpowers Bill Clancey for the third out.

With the score still 2-1 Cubs in the top of the fifth Frank Chance hits another grounder that Ritchey boots. It has been a tough day for Claude as he now has three errors today. Chance steals second and is still on second when Tinker hits one hard that goes all the way to the wall in center field. Beaumont chases it down, but Tinker has a double and his third straight hit and the Cubs get their 4th run of the day. Kling grounds out to end the inning, but the Cubs look to be in charge now.

The game was still 4-1 Cubs as the Pirates come to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning. Case hits the second pitch of the inning into foul territory down the first base line and it continues to drift towards the wall. Frank Schulte is charging in, but won’t make it in time, but Chance continues to pursue and makes a great over the shoulder catch just in front of the fence. That was big as Beaumont gets his second double of the day with two out and scores on Wagner’s third hit of the day to cut the score to 4-2. Fortunately Brown keeps the Cubs on top and ends the inning.

The Cubs get the run right back in the 8th inning as Kling gets a leadoff single and moves to third on Billy Maloney’s single that is just over Ritchey’s head at second. Billy steals second and now the pressure is on Case again. Jim Casey hits a grounder that looked like it was headed into the outfield but Ritchey makes a good stop and while the run scores it slows the momentum and the inning ends with the Cubs on top 5-2.

Both teams try to get runs in the ninth inning but come up short. So the Cubs win 5-2 and force the Giants to have to win both games of their double header to win the pennant. As I have said for almost 6 months it may come down to the final out of the regular season to decide this, and the scenario where the Giants and Cubs meet in a one game playoff is still possible as well.

Meanwhile in the AL things have gotten very interesting. The White Sox swept a double header over the Browns, and the Browns played uncommonly well in the losses. This leaves the White Sox 1 ½ games back with two to play and the Indians play the Tigers in the season finale for both teams with the leagues three best hitters involved. Who will win the AL batting crown? Harry Bay, Napoleon Lajoie, or Sam Crawford?

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18
June

RIP Pete Habel, creator of BallStat, BallScore

pete habelThere is some sad news in the baseball simulation community.  James “Pete” Habel, creator of the award-winning BallStat and BallScore stat keeping software, has passed away.  Pete who was 57, lived in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area.

I didn’t know Pete personally but I knew of his legacy.  Every time I would write about stat keeping methods, there would be someone who would leave a comment to the effect of “Have you tried BallStat?  It’s great!”  That says a lot about Pete’s talents and commitment. 

Pete was very generous with his work or just confident that people would like his product.  He provided both BallStat and BallScore for free. The BallStat website refreshingly says:

There is NO cost to use BallStat/BallScore. Both programs are 100% free with no strings attached. Install on as many computers as you wish.

You can view Pete Habel’s obituary at Lancaster Online

Posted by: | Category: People | Tags: , | 3 comments

18
June

Weird Card Wednesday: 1966 Ted Savage

66savage

While on vacation in the Shenandoah Valley, I was a little worried I wouldn’t have a Weird Wednesday card this week.  Never fear, I happened to bring along my NL 1966 in case there was time to play some of my replay.  There are plenty of weird cards to choose from this set published in 2009. 

One such card is Ted Savage from the St Louis Cardinals.  He only had 33 plate appearances but he did a lot in that time.  He batted .172 but hit two doubles and one triple.  He also stole four bases and walked four times. 

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1966 Totals 16 5 33 29 4 5 2 1 0 3 4 4 7 .172 .273 .310
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/18/2014.

 

Despite just having seven hit numbers (2-6-6-8-8-9-11), it a fun card.  Along with the 11, Savage’s card has seven asterisks.  And while his OBP his only .273, he gets on safely a respectable eight times against an grade A pitcher.

interesting bit about Ted Savage… he was born with the name Ephesian Savage.

Posted by: | Category: Card Analysis | Tags: , , | 6 comments

17
June

Register for the July 19th Chicagoland APBA Tournament!

doug sSome news on the upcoming July 19th Chicagoland APBA Tournament.  A reminder… here are the rules announced by tournament organizer, Jim Saska.  If you’re planning on attending, learn them and commit them to memory (or at least go over them).  

There’s also a new way to register this time around.  If you are planning to attend the Tournament event or just need some info and have some questions, fill out the the Tournament Registration and Info form.  Assuming  you know what team you want to play at the tourney, it should take only a few minutes to fill out the form.  There will be a field to enter the team you want to play but if you’re not sure yet, that’s ok.  There’s also a field to ask Jim and fellow co-organizer Doug Schuyler (shown above rolling his Yankees to the semi-finals at the last tournament) any questions you might have.  You will need to leave your name and email address so the organizers can contact you.

FYI Jim and Doug, I’m looking forward to coming but since I’m on vacation this week, I’m going to wait till I get home before making a decision on what team I’m bringing. 

Who’s all coming and what team are you bringing? 

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17
June

Terrible Card Tuesday: 1967 Smoky Burgess

smoky burgess

Mel M who is in the middle of his 1967 replay, sent in his suggestion for Terrible Tuesday.  It’s Smoky Burgess of the White Sox.  On Baseball Reference, six-time All Star Burgess is listed as a “Catcher and Pinch Hitter” for his career.  That about sums it up.  in fact, for his last season for the Sox in 1967, all 76 of his plate appearances were pinch hitting appearances.

He didn’t really hit all that well (.133) in 1967 but he did hit two homers in 60 at-bats and managed to walk 14 times while striking out just eight times.

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1967 Totals 77 0 76 60 2 8 1 0 2 11 0 14 8 .133 .303 .250
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/17/2014.

 

First of all, Smoky gets a deserved C-5 because he didn’t really put a glove on all year.  He only has two zeros but that second column is pretty juicy once you get to it.  After that, there aren’t too many hit numbers (two 8s and one 9). 

Burgess does have seven 14s though you’ll find them in places like 15, 25, and (ugh) 55. 

Ugly Numbers:  44-9, 55-14, C-5

A little Smoky Burgess trivia:  He was named to the NL All-Star team in 1964 when he had only 116 plate appearances.  He had hit one homerun and was batting .243 at the time. 

thanks, Mel!

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16
June

Monster Card Monday: 1994 Tony Gwynn

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“Gotta be Mr. Gwynn today”, says Pastor Rich.  In light of the sad news of Tony Gwynn’s passing, I agree.

Tony Gwynn was simply Mr. Padre, playing for the team for his entire career (1982-2001).  Not only that, he represented the town of San Diego growing up there as well as attending and playing for San Diego State University.

Aside from being a outstanding steward of the game of baseball, Gwynn of course, played it well.  His lifetime .338 batting average ranks 20th among all players.  He led the NL in hits seven times, won eight batting titles and collected 3,141 over his career (19th all time).

It was during the strike-shortened 1994 season when Gwynn flirted with .400.  While he last hit that mark on May 15th that season, it never fell below .378 and hovered in the .380s-390s for most of the year.  By year’s end, Gwynn had a .394 average.  

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1994 Totals 110 475 419 79 165 35 1 12 64 5 48 19 .394 .454 .568
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/16/2014.

 

Despite Gwynn’s chunky frame in his later years, he knew how to run the bases and APBA rated him Fast.  Appropriately, he was also rated an OF-3. 

But the hit the hit numbers!  Lefty Gwynn had four zeroes AND four sevens plus a 15-10.  That gave him a nice 51-7.  Gwynn has three 14s and just one 13, an oddly placed 16-13.

There’s one knock on Tony Gwynn’s 1994 card.  To reflect his league-leading 20 GIDPs, he has four 24s.  To perhaps alleviate that,  he does have three 31s including a 24-31.  Bring out the H&R boards! 

As a Cubs fan, I respected Tony Gwynn but I remember being angry at him in particular during the 1984 playoffs.  Against the Cubs, he batted .368 with three doubles in the NLCS. With his help, the Padres defeated the Cubs in a tight, comeback 3 games to 2 series. 

Nice going, Mr. Padre. 

Posted by: | Category: Card Analysis | Tags: , , | 3 comments

11
June

Beltran powers AL win in 2014 Boys of Summer All-Star Classic

BeltranOur Boys of Summer APBA League is on its All-Star break now.  Last night was the big game between the National League and the American League.  For those who want a good recap, check out Shawn Baier’s game summary.  Shawn has a career as a sportswriter, in my opinion.  Well written sir!

Unfortunately, the National League couldn’t pull it out as the American League pitching kept them down 7-1.  The AL’s offense was keyed by a grand slam in the fourth inning, betrayed by my own Urbana Locomotive pitcher Cole Hamels.

The 4th inning call from Shawn:

“The manager decides to keep in Hamels for a bit, as there is activity in the pen. Hamels delivers the pitch to Beltran, Beltran goes and gets this one, and this one is hit, Cespedes is running towards the left field wall, as he watches it disappear into the stands, a Grand Slam for Beltran in front of his home fans of Washington, are you kidding me?!”

Congrats to the AL managers of the Boys of Summer APBA League!

 

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On a related note, I wish my IAL managers could see my work in the BoS league.  My 30 years in that league has been mediocre at best.  I know it’s only been a half a season but wow, what a year the Urbana Locomotives are having!

Not only are we topping the NL East by a good 10.5 games with a 51-30 record but we managed to lead all teams with eight All-Stars nominated.  David Price, who was a unanimous All-Star choice, leads the way with a 12-3 record and a nifty 2.18 ERA and 123 Ks in 115 plus innings.  Hideki Kuroda (10-6, 4.13) and Cole Hamels (9-6, 2.57, 133 Ks and All-Star Game performance notwithstanding) are both doing fine as well.

Offensively, we rely on two hitters.  Adrian Beltre is hitting .352 with 15 homers and 61 rbis.  We kind of expected that. What we didn’t expect was catcher Carlos Ruiz batting .376 with 12 homers.  It was a blow when he went down with an injury for ten games.

Our reliever Jonathan Papelbon (a Twin Cities Thunderchicken too, by the way) is doing a fine job as closer.  He’s let up just one run so far this season in 19 innings for a 0.47 ERA with 14 saves.

Yes, IAL, I CAN win.

Finally, many thanks to commissioner Shawn Baier.  Shawn puts in a lot of work to make this league what it is.  Baier knows his team is a work in progress (his team is 22-57 so far) and despite that, he has the patience of Job when dealing with the rest of us.

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11
June

Weird Card Wednesday: 1934 Jim Winford

 

winford

Judging by his 1934 card, it’s pretty evident that James ‘Cowboy’ Winford didn’t hit ball much.  Sure enough, in three plate appearances, the Cardinal pitcher walked twice and struck out once. 

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
1934 Totals 5 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 .000 .667 .000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/11/2014.
 
 

Winford’s 1934 card has a total of twenty-one 14s and ten 13s.  The only other result numbers he has are 16-12, 45-36, 53-21, 61-23, and a 65-35.

It wasn’t Cowboy’s only strangeness with walks in his career.  Two years later, Winford walked five times in 64 plate appearances.  In 1938, he walked once in two plate appearances. 

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10
June

First round in East Bracket of Fennessy Cup

The first game was what I expected to be a blowout as the 1905 Giants were matched up against the lowly 1901 Reds. Instead the Giants were lucky to escape with their lives.

You would not know it by the final score of 5-1, but despite the fact that Christy Mathewson took a no hitter into the 8th they were still only leading 1-0 as Noodles Hahn pitched better than any time during my 01 replay.

In fact the Reds tied the game on an RBI single with 2 out in the 9th by Jake Beckley. Unfortunately for the Reds, NY broke out their bats in the 10th inning and scored 4 times for the win.

The 1901 White Sox beat the 1905 Cardinals 2-1 as Calvin Griffith pitched lights out. The Sox scored the winning run on an RBI single by Sam Mertes in the first and the predecessors to the hitless wonders held on for dear life and get the victory. Considering how poorly the 1901 teams have fared this was big as the Sox are one of the better 01 teams.

1901 Cardinals crushed the 1901 Braves 9-2. Thirdbaseman Otto Krueger (who has a very ordinary card) went 4-5 with a HR, 2 RBI, 3 runs scored and two stolen bases.

The first and only game to feature the same team saw the 1905 Phillies crush the 1901 Phillies 11-1. I really was floored as the 01 team has much better hitting than the 1905 team, but pitching was solid as Bill Duggleby allowed just 4 hits.

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