22
June

Monster Card Monday: 1995 Albert Belle

95belle

I saw this 1995 Albert Belle card from Doug Schuyler and I knew it was a candidate for today’s column.  Now I knew I had done a column on Belle before but it turns out it was on his 1994 card.  Both are fantastic cards in their own way.  Belle’s 1994 card is full of hit numbers but nothing says “Monster”  like six full power numbers like his 1995 card does. 

Albert Belle’s 1995 season was pretty amazing.  Not only did he hit 50 homers AND 52 as well as 120+ runs and rbis but he did it while playing just 143 games.  His .317 batting average is accentuated by the fact that his walk to strikeout ratio is pretty decent.

Belle’s two weaknesses were 1) defense… he did play left field but not well.  And 2) hitting into the DP.  He was charged with 24 GIDPs in 1995.

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1995 Totals 143 631 546 121 173 52 1 50 126 5 73 80 .317 .401 .690
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/22/2015.

 

This is a yummy card!  Nobody is going to turn away power numbers 1-1-5-5-6-6 ever.  He even has a 15-10 thanks to the five steals. 

Because of the 15-10 and the six power number, presumably, Belle’s 1995 card has the 8-8-9-9 combination.  A third 8 would probably make his card a little too strong. 

Fun numbers:  55-6, 44-6, 22-5

Belle only has four 13s but because of the four 24s and four 14s on the card, there are two in a row,  He has a 16-13 and a 21-13. 

Albert Belle did not win MVP for his performance in 1995.  He came in second.  Ok without looking, guess who won MVP in 1995.  I did not remember and it was a surprise to me.  Answer here for those who can’t wait. 

thanks, Doug! 

Posted by: | Category: Card Analysis | Tags: , , | 2 comments

22
June

Abreu tops in Boys of Summer League Draft

JAbreu

It’s been a recurring theme this year in APBA baseball leagues.  Every manager wants Jose Abreu on their team. 

At the Boys of Summer APBA League draft, it was Corktown Tomales manager Chris DeMercurio who got to call the slugger’s name.  Joc Pederson went second and Jacob deGrom came third. 

Overall, the first round of the Boys of Summer League went like this:

ROUND PICK  OVERALL PLAYER POS Team
1 1 1 ABREU, Jose 1B CORK
1 2 2 PEDERSON, Joc OF SEA
1 3 3 de GROM, Jacob SP BRK
1 4 4 TANAKA, Masahiro SP CHI
1 5 5 ADAMS, Matt 1B BUF
1 6 6 SPRINGER, George OF URB
1 7 7 GONZALEZ, Miguel Angel SP KING
1 8 8 BETTS, Mookie  OF SPAR
1 9 9 PINEDA, Michael SP HOL
1 10 10 PANIK, Joe 2B S.D.
1 11 11 SANCHEZ, Aaron P SWAT
1 12 12 INCIARTE, Ender OF KBB
1 13 13 CASTILLO, Rusney OF CHI
1 14 14 SOLER, Jorge OF S.S.
1 15 15 HENDRICKS, Kyle SP POR
1 16 16 GILES, Ken RP FAIR

 

With 200 players taken in 14 rounds, the BoS League finished their rookie draft this past weekend.  The draft was conducted primarily through Facebook chat.  After some starts and stops during the first few rounds, the league whipped through the remaining draft last Saturday on record time. 

This will be the league’s third year in existence.  There are a few new faces in the league but rest assured Robert Mosher is there to defend his title and Brad Stark is knocking at the door after two straight NL championships. 

Commissioner Shawn Baier went from worst to first and is looking to repeat while I did the opposite. My Urbana Locomotives were one game from the NL Championship two years ago only to finish last this past year.  Looking at the full draft, it’s obvious I’m still in a rebuilding phase but next year is looking pretty good. 

Thanks to Shawn for all his work and good luck to all in the BoS APBA League!

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18
June

Keep rollin’ those 66s, Veryl Lincoln (1945-2015)

Some sad news comes our way from the APBA Game Company.  Long time employee and representative of the APBA Company Veryl Lincoln passed away this week at the age of 70. 

DCP02019

Veryl Lincoln presenting awards at the 2002 APBA Convention

I’ve met Veryl a couple times at APBA Conventions and he struck me as not only a dedicated staff member but a good customer service representative who cared about the fan base.  He also loved the game of APBA.  A friendly, honest man, Veryl made a good team with fellow APBA staff member Skeet Carr as they both talked to fans about the APBA games at conventions.  You knew when you were talking to Veryl that it was real. 

Deservedly so, Veryl was inducted into the APBA Hall of Fame in 2002.  It was no coincidence that he and Skeet were inducted as a pair that year. 

For those in the Lancaster, PA area, there will be a memorial service for Veryl Lincoln on June 23 at 11am at the Kraft Funeral Home in Landisville. 

RIP, Veryl.  Thank you for everything you have done for the APBA community.

Posted by: | Category: Company Announcements | Tags: , , | 2 comments

15
June

Monster Card Monday: 2004 Albert Pujols

2004pujolsrich

Pastor Rich knows a Monster Card when he sees one.  He must have known that Albert Pujols was originally drafted by me and was with my Thunderchickens until I unmercifully traded him just last off season. 

I love this card despite the 24s.  It’s one of my favorites.  In 2004, Pujols was only 24 years but was already showing signs that he was a premiere hitter.  The year before, he led the NL in batting average, hits, runs, and doubles.  In 2004, he kept it up by increasing his power by hitting 46 homeruns. He hit the same amount of doubles (51) and still hit .331.  As a result, he led the NL in runs (133) and total bases (389).  He also drove home 117. 

One of my favorite stats with Pujols… he almost always had more walks than strikeouts.  In 2004, he walked 97 times and struck out 65 times. 

 

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
2004 Totals 154 692 592 133 196 51 2 46 123 5 84 52 .331 .415 .657
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/15/2015.

 

Five power numbers (1-1-5-6-6)?  Check.

55-7?  Check.

Fielding One?  Check?

A funny number in a strange spot (21-41)?  Check. 

No 24s?  Ok, he missed one. 

But you gotta admit, this is a yummy card. 

Fun numbers:  44-6, 55-7, 21-41

From his page on Baseball Reference

image

Ok, the juvenile in me always thought this was funny.  Now that he’s not on my team anymore, it’s even funnier.

By the way, Albert did hit his 500th career homerun in the Illowa APBA League.  I heard it first from the opposing manager, Don Smith via text. 

Albert’s new manager Nick Tegeler, and I played our June series recently and I’m a little disappointed that Pujols has been riding the pines.  I don’t blame Nick.  He’s got slugger Jose Abreu who’s young and nimble.  Albert did come in for a game and got a couple hits though so he earned a couple more starts against me. 

Thanks for not forgetting about us, Albert. 

And thanks, Rich! 

PS I just realized I wrote about this card two years ago.  Oh well. 

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15
June

Linda B. Schulz Memorial APBA Baseball Tournament- “Cards, dice, and APBA enthusiasm!”

wells

Tournament champ Greg Wells is handed the trophy

I was ready to write something up about Ken Schulz’ APBA Tournament in Pittsburgh.  Fortunately, Ken has a brother who teaches English and writes a whole lot better than I. 

Here is Darren Schulz’ account of the weekend… –Tom

With the video broadcasts of both game seven World Series games from 1960 and 1979 projected onto the venue’s walls, the 2015 LBS Memorial Tournament held at the Penn Brewery in Pittsburgh PA did not disappoint those in attendance. After the 26 participants competed in the opening round robin matchups, eight teams were left to battle it out in sudden death style: #1 seed 1927 Yankees (Darren Schulz – Kiner Divison), #2 seed 1977 Philadelphia Phillies (Greg Wells – Wagner Division), #3 seed 1909 Detroit Tigers (Ron Emch – Bonds Division), #4 seed 1968 Detroit Tigers (Bill Lilley – McCutchen Division), #5 seed 1995 Cleveland Indians (John Cress – Clemente Division), #6 seed 1931 Philadelphia A’s (Tim Rounds – Stargell Division), #7 seed 1968 St. Louis Cardinals (John Schoeb – Blass Division), and the at-large seed 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates (Brian Droz – Bonds Division). Many participants stuck around for the quarters and semifinals. After the “dust” or rather dice rattles settled within the confines of the Penn Brewery, the two top seeded teams emerged victorious as the 1927 Yankees outlasted the 1902 Pirates and 1995 Indians, and the 1977 Phillies overcame the 1968 Cardinals and 1931 A’s.

pittgame

The first championship game proved to be a memorable one. Toeing the rubber for the Yankees was School Boy Hoyt while the Phils countered with their ace Steve “Lefty” Carlton. At the top of the 2nd inning, The Phils struck first under unforeseen circumstances. With two outs and runners on 1st and 2nd, light hitting Larry Bowa stepped to the plate and quietly took the first pitch. After barking at the home plate umpire about balls and strikes during second base runner Davey Johnson’s eventual one out walk, Hoyt had drawn the ire of the umpire after the pitch to Bowa and was ejected. For the first time in the entire tournament, the Yankees had to go to the bullpen and called on Urban Shocker. Bowa took advantage of Shocker’s initial rustiness and smacked a single scoring Johnson with the game’s first run. The Phillies tacked on another run with two outs in the top of the fourth with Garry Maddox launching a solo shot off Shocker. Murderers’ Row finally responded in the bottom of the fourth as Earle Combs, Babe Ruth, and Lou Gehrig smacked doubles to tie the score at two runs apiece. Carlton averted further damaged when his play-off tested defense doubled off Gehrig after a hard hit line drive off the bat of Bob Meusel.

The next three innings proved fruitless behind the pitching of Carlton and the Yanks’ long man Dutch Ruether. Heading to the 8th inning and sensing a need to bring in his best available pitcher despite the fact the guy pitched a complete game win during the semis, manager Darren Schulz called upon Wilcy Moore whose 2 out hanging curve ball was rudely welcomed by Bake McBride who muscled it over the right field fence for a crowd-inspiring homer. After a scoreless bottom of the 8th, the Yankees responded off of the rubber-armed lefty with a one out Combs single followed by a RBI double by Mark Koenig. However, as he always does, Carlton struck out the Babe and followed Manager Greg Wells decision to walk Gehrig. The decision proved to be a wise one as Carlton easily put away Meusel to keep the Phils title hopes alive in extra innings.

After retiring six consecutive batters in response to the McBride homerun, Moore seemingly had the game under control with 2 outs and nobody on in the top of the tenth. Wells once again sparked some magic by inserting pinch hitter Richie Hebner for Ted Sizemore. Hebner did not disappoint his skipper and stroked a single to right field. Subsequently, Wells called on Jerry Martin to run for Hebner and the clutch-hitting veteran Tim McCarver lined a double down the first base line to give the Phillies their third lead of the game. With the heart of Yankees lineup out of the way, Lefty made this lead stick as he easily induced outs off the bats of Tony Lazzeri, Joe Dugan, and Pat Collins.

pitt

Congrats to Greg Wells in capturing the first LBS Memorial tourney in impressive fashion. The 1977 Philadelphia Phillies are now officially retired from future tournaments. Both the team and manager’s names will be etched into the championship plaque. Special thanks goes out to Ken Schulz for organizing the event and Mark McDonel for providing the World Series broadcasts along with numerous vintage APBA items. There were plenty of exciting games throughout the tournament and certainly more wonderful APBA memories made to cherish for a lifetime. Ken Schulz is already working towards improving the tournament for 2016!

Thanks Darren!!  A few words from me… I remember when Ken was in initial stage of organizing this tournament.  He seemed a little tentative at first, not sure if he could pull it off.  But wow!  Getting 26 people together and from the comments I have read and photos I have seen, everyone had a great time.  Kudos to Ken for having the motivation to put this all together! 

That headline is Ken’s by the way.  I told him to sum up the weekend in five words.  Perfect! 

Posted by: | Category: Tournament | Tags: , , , | 1 comment

13
June

Boys of Summer League starts drafting today!

tigerbobToday is draft day #1 in the Boys of Summer APBA League.  Before we go into the draft, I must correct an overdue congratulations announcement.  Hearty congrats go to “Tiger” Bob Mosher (left) and his Fairgrove Tigers for winning the BoS World Series.  He defeated Brad Stark’s Portland Microbrewers four games to two. 

Nice going, Bob!!

Our Boys of Summer draft is conducted online via Facebook and email.  Today, we plan to get a few rounds out of the way but for the next week, it will be done mostly over email.  So different than the intense one hour draft in the same room that we have in the IAL! 

Here is how the first few picks went. 

image

We have 14 rounds to go.  Each team dropped between 13 to 16 players and we are now picking from available players including those dropped players. 

While their some talented rookies out there, I have a feeling I may be drafting back some of the players I dropped. 

Jonny Gomes, I miss you already! 

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12
June

1984 Expos will make an appearance at Chicagoland Tourney

tim_wallachHard-nosed Doug Schuyler has been hounding me for the past few weeks to reveal what team I’m bringing to the Chicagoland APBA World Series Tournament.  To be fair, I’ve been brushing him off (sorry, Doug!)  My decision has been made though.  I’m getting the 1984 Montreal Expos ready for the tourney. 

Honestly, the ‘84 Expos aren’t the best in that era.  They went 78-83 and ended in fifth place in the NL East.  I haven’t been stopped from bringing sub-par teams to Chicago tournaments in the past.  I brought a last place Chicago Cubs team last time and still won a game.  The Expos do have a  fun team with the heavy bats of Gary Carter, Tim Raines and Andre Dawson. 

imageOne anomaly exists with this team… they really don’t have a full-time first baseman.  No one started more than 49 games at first that year. 

Terry Francona (yes, THAT one) played the most with 50 games and Dan Driessen putting in 45. Both are 1B-4.  Pete Rose actually played 40 at first for Montreal but he was traded to the Phils mid-season and wasn’t carded for the team.  Even Gary Carter chipped in with 25 games as a first-sacker.  The good news for me is that Francona batted .346 obviously in limited play.   And no, that wasn’t my reason for choosing this team.  That was just a juicy afterthought. 

I’ll need Francona’s card (and maybe his managerial advice) because the Expos’ pitching isn’t much to write home about.  If memory serves, I’m bringing a B-C-C-D rotation.  It was Steve Rogers’ off-year. 

Finally, Scott Fennessy will be happy to know that the 1984 Expos team I’ll be using comes from the set that you gifted me at a previous tournament weekend.  What comes around goes around. 

Posted by: | Category: Tournament | Tags: , , | 1 comment

11
June

Registration deadline nears for July 25th Chicagoland APBA Tournament!

Defending champ Cale Mannesto

The registration deadline is nearing for the Chicagoland APBA World Series Tournament!! 

Doug Schuyler writes on Facebook:

 

APBA Chicago World Series Checklist!

Grayslake Historical Society, 164 Hawley Street in Grayslake, IL

Saturday, July 25, 2015. 8:30 AM until we crown the CHAMP!!!

Deadline is coming up! Monday, June 15th!
Bring your team with your desired boards (Old vs. New) Also bring your lucky DICE!
If you have a game diamond you may bring it! Extras will be available with dice!
$20 Fee at the door! Cash only and exact change is most appreciated!

The CWS will provide…

  • Score sheets, both diamond & Tally, pens & pencils.
  • A hearty lunch with drinks and water (NO Alcohol please)
  • Customized/Personalized Team Envelope to remember your day!
  • Door Prizes
  • Entrance to the baseball exhibit at the Grayslake Museum!
  • The Greatest Trophy in ALL of Sports!

Please confirm your attendance!

Here’s the summary from the last Chicagoland tourney that Cale Mannesto won with his 1968 Tigers.  Here some photos from that day

 

If you’re interested in coming, let Doug know via a comment here or on Facebook

Posted by: | Category: Tournament | Tags: , | 1 comment

3
June

Rodney Woodward updates us on his 2013 Master Game replay

Clayton_Kershaw

Rodney Woodward emailed me to update us on his Master Game replay of the 2013 season.  He’s one-third finished.

First, here are the standings:

 

Team W L WP% GB BA ERA
Atlanta Braves 34 20 .630 .245 3.15
Washington Nationals 27 26 .509 6.5 .244 3.83
Philadelphia Phillies 24 28 .462 9 .238 4.10
New York 24 29 .453 9.5 .243 3.68
Miami Marlins 18 36 .333 16 .218 4.30
127 139 .477 .238 3.81
Team W L WP% GB BA ERA
St. Cardinals 33 21 .611 .274 3.50
Pittsburgh Pirates 29 23 .558 3 .248 3.92
Cincinnati Reds 26 26 .500 6 .248 3.74
Milwaukee Brewers 24 30 .444 9 .243 4.19
Chicago Cubs 21 32 .396 11.5 .235 5.64
133 132 .502 .250 4.19
Team W L WP% GB BA ERA
Los Angeles 34 20 .630 .265 2.88
Colorado Rockies 33 21 .611 1 .278 3.89
Arizona DBags 33 22 .600 1.5 .276 4.17
San Diego 25 29 .463 9 .237 4.09
San Francisco 21 33 .389 13 .253 4.18
  146 125 .539 .262 3.85
Team W L WP% GB BA ERA
Baltimore Orioles 31 21 .596 .249 3.46
Boston Red 31 22 .585 0.5 .252 3.63
New York 28 25 .528 3.5 .238 3.41
Tampa Bay 24 31 .436 8.5 .245 4.04
Toronto Blue 19 35 .352 13 .253 6.03
133 134 .498 .247 4.12
Team W L WP% GB BA ERA
Detroit Tigers 32 21 .604 .275 3.48
Cleveland Indians 33 22 .600 .276 4.34
Kansas City 27 26 .509 5 .263 4.21
Chicago White 26 29 .473 7 .254 4.31
Minnesota Twins 16 36 .308 15.5 .236 5.40
  134 134 .500 .261 4.34
Team W L WP% GB BA ERA
Oakland A’s 32 22 .593 .254 3.55
Texas Rangers 32 22 .593 .281 3.99
Anaheim Angels 23 30 .434 8.5 .257 4.53
Seattle Mariners 23 31 .426 9 .236 4.25
Houston Astros 20 34 .370 12 .239 5.11
  130 139 .483 .254 4.28

 

Rodney gives a great summary on his replay to this point…

I’ve finally reached the 1/3 mark in my 2013 Master Game Replay.  So far the season has been true to form, with the exception of the Rockies and the Rays.  Funny thing is when I did this replay on BBW, the Rockies won 93 games and finished a game behind LA.  As far as individual performances, the biggest surprises are Ivan Nova of the Yankees and Will Venable of SD.  The biggest disappointments so far would be Carl Crawford of LA and Mike Napoli of BOS, both hovering well below the Mendoza Line.  I play pretty much by the book minus a few tweaks.  I don’t use actual lineups.

If a player gets injured, I replace them with a card from the XC set.  The average game takes about 20 minutes, thanks largely in part to BallScore.  I know everyone has their preferences of digital scoring but I love BallScore and BallStat.  I find them very easy to use and stat recall is a breeze.

I’ve had 3 no hitters.  Jimenez, CLE, Morton, PIT and of course Kershaw, who shut down the rival Giants in his no hitter.  Asdrubal Cabrera of CLE had a 3 HR, 9 RBI game early in the season vs. the White Sox.  Freddie Freeman had the season’s longest hitting streak snapped last week at 27 games.  Kershaw was 8-0 until he got lit up in his last start.

I hope you and your readers enjoy the mini update. I’ll post a more comprehensive update after another 50 games or so have been played.  This is the furthest I’ve gone in a replay and it’s nothing but full steam ahead.  There are a lot of competitive games and they have been a blast to play.

Here are the leaderboards so far.

2013 master replay

league leaders

 

american             avg         national              avg

Cabrera, det         .382            cuddyer, col        .364

brantley, cle        .362            freeman, atl         .341

beltre, tex             .355            m. ellis, la              .340

 

american             hr           national              hr

bautista, tor        19               j. upton, atl          17

ortiz, bos                18               gattis, atl              15

dunn, chw               18               alvarez, pit            15

 

american             rbi          national              rbi

ortiz, bos                50               freeman, atl          50

bautista, tor        49               tulowitski, col   47

cabrera, det          46               venable, sd             45

 

american             w-l          national              w-l

fister, det              8-2              kershaw, la            8-1

sale, chw                 8-3              medlen, atl            8-1

scherzer, det       7-2              cashner, sd            8-3

 

american             era         national              era

nova, nyy                 1.55            kershaw, la            1.59

chen, bal                  2.15            fernandez, mia    1.84

fister, det              2.36            kelly, stl                 1.84

 

american             k’s          national              k’s

darvish, tex          111             fernandez, mia    115

sale, chw                 107             harvey, nym           107

hernandez, sea    96              hamels, phi             90

 

american             sv            national              sv

balfour, oak         17               kimbrel, atl          16

benoit, det              14               jansen, la                15

nathan, det            14               papelbon, phi        13

 

Wow, three no-hitters.  Maybe you need to keep your dice someplace other than the freezer.   And don’t think I didn’t notice the “Dbags” dig, either.

thanks, Rodney!

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1
June

Monster Card Monday: 1985 Wade Boggs

85Boggs

From Pastor Rich comes 1985 Wade Boggs.  I posted Boggs’ 1986 card before but this one is slightly better, I think. 

In ‘85, Boggs hit .368 in 161 games with 42 doubles.  He was the batting champ that year and led in OBP as well.  He had an incredible 240 hits. 

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1985 Totals 161 758 653 107 240 42 3 8 78 2 96 61 .368 .450 .478
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/30/2015.

 

Compared to Boggs’ 1986 card, what makes this one stick out is the 25-7.  He loses the three 31s but does have a nifty 24-14.

On top of the thirteen hit numbers and five 14s, Boggs has a nice 3B-5 rating. 

Fun numbers:  25-7, 24-14, 62-9

Wade Boggs is from Omaha, Nebraska which is home to the College World Series.  I hope my Illini baseball team will be going there soon since they just clinched the Champaign Regional today.  I know, nice segue. 

thanks, Rich!

Posted by: | Category: Card Analysis | Tags: , , | 1 comment

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