Terrible Card Tuesday: 1964 Al Luplow


Scott Veatch sent me this classic black and white 1964 XB of Al Luplow of the Cleveland Indians.

After two successive 300+ AB seasons with Cleveland, Luplow’s playing time plummeted in 1964.  He only came to bat 19 times.  In that time, he collected just two singles and one walk… and three double plays.

1964 Totals 19 0 19 18 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 8 .111 .158 .111
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/22/2014.


With 19 plate appearances, Al Luplow’s 1964 card would be pretty easy to predict.  He gets hit numbers 7-7-8-8-9 with two 14s.  The most interesting number in my opinion is Luplow’s 25-26.

As for double play numbers, APBA gave him four 24s.

Ugly numbers: 25-26, 51-13, 66-7

Two years later, Luplow got back on track slightly in 1966 with the Mets.  That year, he hit seven homers and drove in 31 runs with a .251 batting average.

Thanks Scott!

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Monster Card Monday: 1933 Joe Lillard


I’m always hesitant to put cards from the Negro League sets up on Monster Card Monday due to their tendency to be better than real life.  The highly esteemed Tom Zuppa who submitted this 1933 Joe Lillard card, admitted this card was overrated.  But you have to admit, this card is pretty tasty.

As I’ve said before, it’s hard to judge these cards because stats from the Negro Leagues are so spotty.  According to Baseball Reference’s page on Lillard, his 1933 stats from when he played for the Chicago American Giants are at least in the ballpark.  In ‘33, Lillard batted .387 with two homers and a triple in 31 at-bats.  As a pitcher, he was 4-0 but had a 6.23 ERA.

If you’re interested, read this about how Baseball Reference sources its data on Negro League stats.

Long story short:

This data comes from two sources: The Negro Leagues Researchers and Authors Group put together by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and Gary Ashwill and his collaborators. The Hall of Fame data is found for the years 1920-1948 and the Ashwill data is found from 1902-1919.

Regardless, Lillard’s 1933 card is quite exciting.  His hit numbers (1-1-2-2-5-7-8-8-9-9-10-11) are probably unprecedented.

thanks Tom!

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BATS no-hitter by Jim Currie

Jim Currie wrote me about his first APBA no-hitter using the BATS 2 set.

Have enjoyed your blog for years!Thanks for creating it!..Thoughtcha might like t ‘ post my first APBA no hitter…What a game!…Here’s the write up for you t ‘ peruse if you’d like.Have a great day! All the best, and, good luck in your leagues!

Now Jim was so excited about his no-hitter that his summary includes more than a few typos.  He even emailed me back apologizing for this.  No need, Jim!  I thought about correcting the typos but it’s kind of enjoyable to read.  It has an old time feel to it. 

BATS V2-date Fr. 11/29/13
George Adams Field
NYY @ Phi/KC/Oak A’s
Ford (AX) vs. Grove (A&C) (XZ)



What a game!….one for the ages!…Ford,the legendary Picasso in pinstripes, hooking up with the Lanaconing Larruper,’Ol Mose,Robert,Lefty,a southpaw matchup for the ages!….Boxer Ford,slugger Grove….and here’s how it rolled out!
Grove,firing from the start,chucked the anti bat brandisher,easily popping up Soriano t’Sal Bando….Jeter jostled Grove through a full count,two foul back’s,drawing the W,and eliciting a Dracula death stare in the direction of HP umpire Nestor Chylock….Grove,visited by the suit&boater clad Mr.Mack set the slinger straight…

Ruth luggin’ betsy,lifted an easy arc opposite field Simmons….Grove ,on t’day,took on Gehrig,,the Iron Horse reduced to a red caboose took three straight with the poise of a cigar store Indian,Lefty notchin’ his first batbummer of the contest…..
Ford,striding t’the hill,a thinkin’ man’s moundsman,the very essence of ‘clutch pitcher.’….Rapid Rickey Henderson exits the box, via popout Nettles,Miggie Mugged by Ford, reruns it p5…Bucketfoot Al,offset by Whitey’s wingin’, flingin’ speeds changin’, acein’ opposites itnesyer, easy offed,Ruth in right…. top two, another featured rumble…the JOLTER!…Grove,whittlin’ wood, chipshot,Tejada,one gone…Mantle….Grove…Mick’s snuffed,Grove Guzzled,number two for Lefty…the Mighty Maris,routine 6/3… Ford, facing twin X Foxx,sneaky fast,A Foxx Flusterer!

#1 Whitey…Black Mike,Cochrane,inside out cut,and another Nettles nester….REGGIE….REGGIE….REEEEEGGGIIEEEE!!!…sorry buck…Jeter,Gehrig,6/3…Berra,leading off,grass grazer,Tejada…footworkin’ pilin’ on the Pele,E6!….Nettles,jams a slice Tejada…fc,6/4….Soriano…sayanara!!!…call the taxidermist!…rack im up!!!!..Derek does Bishop 4/3….b3…Jason Giambi,draws an annie oakley..Bando repeats,first ‘n second….Tillie Bishop drops a beauty ,sac,Ford-Soriano…Henderson plays hero…warning track,Babe,Giambi touches down,1/0…Tejada rolls out Nettles-Lou….t4…Babe breaks it…a chalk choker,right line,double!…Mack,thought,then thought better,…he and his boater topped cranium ,sits down…Gehrig,check swings a 3/1 ,Foxx-Grove,Ruth t’ third….DiMag,skies out Simmons,Ruth rolls home…TIED UP#!…Simmons/Foxx/Cochrane,easy!

In the fifth Maris the maudlin,coaxes the oakley,and Berra’s batbummed..#4 for Lefty…Nettles nuke’s Grove’s first fling,way beyond Henderson in center…the smash kicks it like a distressed pinball…Maris scores,Nettles three bags….Soriano,Jeter,gone grounders way…2/1 NYY!!….Jackson,Giambi,gone Jeter-Gehrig…Bando liftsout t’The Mick,7…sixth,scoreless,Tejada smokenders,number two for Ford…T7…Maris,Berra,Graig…Groved,Guzzled,Smoked!!!…b7-Simmons …nah…number three Ford…Foxx,Gehrig gifts Jimmy-E3…no prob…Cochrane 3/1,Jax pops t’Soriano….t8..Yanks threaten…Soriano K’s,but Jeter singles through the box…Ruth rips a single to rf…Jeter Jettin’ thirdways…But Jackson…ruins the play,a laser 9/5…Bando with the tag,Bam t’second… Grove, fuming…clips Gehrig…no brawl!…Stengel&Mack confer,Chyloack…fecorum resumed…DiMag…bounces Grove t’Xx….b8..Ford, cool as produce section…Giambi&Bando..benchbound via batburners…Bishop bounds to Jeter….t9…Mantle…5/3… Maris Berra… fly nine, Reggie… DRAMA!!!!…

Henderson,routines t’Jetes,6/3…Tejada…Nettles…5/3…Simmons…lifts it…Soriano…NOOOOOOOOO Hitterrrrrrr!!!!!

Wow, I need I need to take a nap after reading that!  Congrats, Jim!!

Also, honest question here:  Are there any KC A’s in the BATS set?

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Flashback Friday: ‘Pot-luck’ Flyer from 1985

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something from Scott Veatch’s Vault.  Here’s one from 1985.


This small flyer encompasses many of APBA’s games.  It includes offers for the Golf game as well as the golf card set.  If you want to buy the Golf game and Saddle Racing together, both can be had in 1985 for $35.75.  It’s interesting to note that separately, the Saddle Racing listed for $26.50 and the Golf Game was just $18.25.

Most unique in this 1985 flyer though are the “Pot-luck Packs”.  APBA must have swept the floor and combined baseball and football cards into these packs.  Each set included 50 loose cards (some regular and some XB) from the 60s and 70s.  In APBA’s words, “These are truly “Pot-luck” Packs.  We can’t tell you what you’ll find in any particular pack”.  Though they tried, APBA didn’t even guarantee there weren’t duplicates.

One Pot-luck pack of regular cards cost $5.00 for 50 cards back in 1985.  A pack of XB cards included 10 sheets, some with 10 per sheet, some with 8.

Thanks Scott!  You can see more of Scott’s APBA-related brochures and literature that he’s collected through the years at Scott Veatch’s Vault here at The APBA Blog.

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Weird Card Wednesday: 1903 Al Orth

Orth 1903 scott

Scott Fennessy sent in this 1903 Al Orth card which has more than a few oddities.

In ‘03, Orth played for the Senators.  It wasn’t his best year going 10-22 with a 4.34 ERA and leading the AL with 135 earned runs.  He did however, bat .302 with nine doubles and 7 triples in 168 plate appearances.  He even stole three bases for the last place Sens.


1903 WSH 55 168 162 19 49 9 7 0 11 3 4 13 .302 .323 .444
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/16/2014.


Where to start with Al Orth’s 1903 card?  First of all, he was a Grade D and a P-1 but is also rated as a SS-6, OF-1 and a 1B-2.  He played a few games at each of those positions that year.

Despite being a pitcher (mostly) in the deadball era, he could hit.  Not only could he hit, he has a first column 2!  His hit numbers: 2-0-0-0-7-7-7-8-8-8-8-9-9.

Another oddity… his error number is a 13-21 in favor of a 53-22.  Orth also has six second column 11s behind four 0s despite being rated a slow base runner (certainly not rare but worth noting).

“Smilin’ Al” Orth (or as he was also known, “The Curveless Wonder”) was actually a pretty good pitcher and I am surprised I didn’t know more about him.  He pitched for 15 years (1895-1909) and racked up some good numbers for Philly, Washington, and New York.  He won 204 games and lost 189 with an ERA of 3.37.

With the Yankees in 1907, he led the league with 27 wins and 36 complete games.  He about-faced the next year with a 14-21 despite a 2.61 ERA.  A year later, he was out of baseball.

thanks Scott!

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Winning is fun but can it last?

Scott Fennessy asked me how things were going now that I’m in two leagues.  Well, so far, so good.  Both teams have winning records and I’m managing to keep up.  The Illowa APBA League which tends to play a good portion of their games during league get-togethers, is in a holding pattern but I’ll be playing a series against the Pittsburgh-based Three Rivers Gamblers on Thursday night.

The BBW-based Boys of Summer APBA League holds to a much tighter schedule thanks to commish Shawn Baier.  Two days to submit our rosters, lineups and rotation and three days for the home teams to play the games.  I admit it’s certainly different to not have your opponent across the table from me when I play them.  But I’m finally getting used to the nuances of .lpf files and the AIM features of Baseball for Windows.

A quick update for both leagues:


My Urbana Locomotives have gotten off to a quick start in the Boys of Summer League.  Until last week, we were 20-7 and my players were winning all kinds of awards.  In successive weeks, David Price, Garrett Jones, and David Price (again) were BoS National League Players of the Week.

After a week off, Jeremy Hellickson then won the award in Week 5.  In Week 6, we then took on Brad Stark’s Portland Microbrewers who were our first place brethren in the NL West Division.  Coming in with a 17-9 record, they provided us with some real competition.  It was a home series and boy, it was a tough one.

We ended up 3-3 against Portland.  Sometimes the game of speed in baseball is underrated but not by me… not anymore.  Portland’s Mike Trout, Coco Crisp and Jason Kipnis ran on me like it was 1908.  Example:  I lost the first game 1-0 in the 10th inning on a steal of home by Kipnis.  Twice in the series, a runner stole second and then promptly stole third (Coco Crisp tried to steal home but we got him… just wish we had gotten Kip).

All in all, a good series against Portland and a dose of reality.  It was a tough week for reigning Player of the Week Jeremy Hellickson, though.  He gave up one earned run in 16 1/3 innings and still went 0-2.

Season stats for assorted Locomotives (through 33 games and using 2012 season)

  • Adrian Beltre .346, 7 HR, 26 rbi, 24 runs
  • Carlos Ruiz .337, 6 HR, 18 rbis
  • Garrett Jones 9 HR, 25 rbis
  • David Price 6-1, 2.57 ERA, 58 K in 49 IP
  • Colby Lewis 4-0, 1.78 ERA
  • Hiroki Kuroda 5-2, 3.66 ERA, 48 K in 51 2/3 IP



At the Illowa APBA League draft weekend, we all played 30 games each.  To be honest, after the Twin Cities Thunderchickens draft, I wasn’t feeling too positive about the 2014 season.  The guys really came though  with some good series.  We swept our commish Mike Bunch and his Green Rock Bombers 6-0 and went 4-2 against the Nick Tegeler, the “new guy”.  If only we hadn’t gone 1-5 against Marcus Bunch, we could have made it an epic weekend.

Jason Kipnis leads the IAL right now with a nifty .382 batting average.  He’s our big offensive star.  Albert Pujols who has the worst card in the history of his career, has interesting stats.  He’s hitting .321 in 53 at-bats but 0 homers and just five rbis.  Adam LaRoche has been spelling him a lot but not doing the job (.145).

But we’re doing it with the pitching.  Strasburg (3-1, 1.46), Joe Kelly (2-1, 0.79), Ryu (3-1, 2.29), and yes, even Scott Diamond ( a DRZ with a 1.35 ERA) are all contributing.  Our team ERA is 3.06 which is about .3 lower than the second lowest in the league.

We’re set to play Todd Ventresca and his Three Rivers Gamblers on Thursday and you can see how big that series is already. They’re right below us in the standings.  A lot can happen in nine games so we can see if that 17-13 record is indicative of how good we really are.

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Terrible Card Tuesday: 1964 Wayne Graham


Scott Veatch comes through again with another great Terrible card.  Straight from Yoakum, Texas, it’s Wayne Graham of the 1964 New York Mets.

Graham went 3 for 33 with one double in 1964 striking out five times for the Mets.

1964 Totals 20 5 33 33 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 5 .091 .091 .121
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/15/2014.


Graham’s 1964 card gets hit numbers 6-7-8-8-9.  In my opinion, he would probably be better served with three 8s and two 9s instead of the 7-8-8-9-9 combination.  He might hit too high with his current card.

Check out his fly out numbers.  First of all, he has a 25-31.  That’s the first time I’ve seen that number there.  Overall, he has twelve numbers between 30-32 inclusive.  I guess it’s logical that if a player doesn’t have many hit numbers, APBA will have to fill them up with out numbers.  It’s just strange to see results like 13-32, 42-32, 53-32, and 62-32.

Note that Graham’s error number is a 55-20.

Ugly numbers:  25-31, 15-39, 51-13

Graham was a two season player.  He went 4 for 22 in 1963 for Philly and as you can see didn’t do any better for the Mets.  After that, he was done with baseball.

thanks Scott Veatch!

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Monster Card Monday: 1903 Joe McGinnity

1903 McGinnity

If you want a lot of quality innings, you can’t get much better than Joe “Iron Man” McGinnity.  Sent in by APBA Blog writer, Scott Fennessy who blogs incessantly about his deadball replays, this 1903 card is not so much about the pitching grade but also the playing time behind it.

In 1903, Joe McGinnity started 48 games and completed 44 of them.  He ended up with a total of 434 innings for the New York Giants.

1903 NYG 31 20 .608 2.43 55 48 44 3 2 434.0 391 109 171
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/14/2014.


Needless to say, those were quality innings.  McGinnity ended up with a 31-20 record and a nice 2.34 ERA.  He only gave up four homers that year and had a 2.3 BB/9 IP rate (actually, one the highest of his career).

On top of all that, Iron Man’s hitting card isn’t too horrible either at 0-7-7-8-8-8-8-9-9.

A fact about Joe McGinnity I did not know:  he hit 40 batters in 1900, his second year in baseball.  That ranks 4th all-time and is the highest since 1900.

thanks Scott!

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1905 Chicago Cubs replay update: Cubs continue roll in drubbing of Reds

by Scott Fennessy

Chicago, IL

Today’s game features Tom Walker a grade C pitcher against Chicago ace Ed Reulbach, an A&C starter. Given the Cubs recent offensive surge I was expecting a blowout again. Initially the Reds did everything in their power to give them a huge lead early, but the Cubs wasted opportunities in each of the first three innings and there was still no score at the end of three innings.

Cincinnati was held in check again by “Big Ed” and his pitching was finally rewarded in the fourth inning. Frank Chance slips a grounder just out of Miller Huggins reach at second and he immediately takes advantage of one of Cincinnati’s biggest weaknesses – catching. The Reds have three catchers; none of them are very good defensively, which really hurts, because none of them are hitting over .170 either. So Chance is off with the second pitch and steals easily.

The resurgent Art Hofman, who is clearly on his best run of the year, hits a solid single to right and Chance comes around to score the first run of the day. Walker then gets two quick outs moving Hofman over to second when Johnny Kling hits a single to left scoring another run. Reulbach gets a single putting runners on the corners and Billy Maloney works a base on balls to fill the bags for Jim Casey. Jim had a tough first half, but like Hofman is really responding well in his new role and he gets a single to right field. This nearly splits the gap, but Fritz Odwell cuts it off, but not until two runs score and it is now 4-0 Cubs. Walker gets Frank Schulte to end the inning, but the damage has been done.

The score remained unchanged until the 7th inning when Cincinnati finally cracks the scoreboard. Tommy Corcoran rips a first pitch fastball into left center for a double. Tommy’s a solid shortstop, but really not much of a threat with the bat, as evidenced by his .210 average. Miller Huggins, who has had a horrible year with the bat and had lost his job earlier in the year has come around lately and slaps a floater over Johnny Evers head for an RBI single. Kling comes to the mound for a brief chat and calms his starter down. Reulbach then retires the side and the score is 4-1 Cubs.

The Cubs however get the run right back, as Walker, who has only started 3 games this year is running out of steam and Chance gets a single with one out and steals second with ease. Hofman gets a walk and catcher Ed Phelps and the manager come to the hill to stall for time as John Vowinkel warms in the pen. Unfortunately the conference does no good and only delays the inevitable as Johnny Evers drills a single to right that scores Chance and puts Hofman on third. Joe Tinker hits a grounder that scores another run, and ends Walker’s day. Vowinkel comes in to get the final out, but the Cubs extend the lead to 6-1.

Reulbach gets a pretty easy eighth inning and Vowinkel is asked to finish the game for the Reds. He may regret this as the Cubs bats explode in the bottom of the inning. Reulbach gets a rare two hit day. Maloney tries to bunt the runner over, and this one rolls slowly down the third base line. Joe Kelley can only watch as it dies before it can go foul and runners are on first and second. Casey drops a single into shallow center scoring Reulbach and runners are on the corners. Casey steals second just over Corcoran’s tag and both runners are now in scoring position. Schulte hits a single to left that scores Maloney, but was hit too hard to allow Casey to score. That did not matter as Schulte gets his first hit of the day and an RBI as well. Chance is hit by Vowinkel’s third pitch the bases are now full. Hofman hits one into center field to score two more and runners are on the corners again. Evers gets his second straight hit of the day to score another run. Unfortunately for Johnny, he tries for second and Phelps guns him down to end the inning. Reulbach allows a one out single to Corcoran but the Reds fail to score and the Cubs win big again by a score of 11-1.

Cincinnati outfielder Jim Seymour had another two hit day and is now hitting .314. Huggins and Corcoran also had two hits each as well. Regarding Tommy Corcoran, in 1901, which I believe was his rookie season he recorded 10 assists in one game, which is still the major league record.

Billy Maloney continues to disrupt at the top and Casey is really looking great in the two spot. Schulte has been the number two threat after Chance most of the season. Chance now just needs 23 at bats to qualify for the batting title. He is currently hitting .350 and in second place behind the incredible Mike Donlin of the Giants and his .377 mark. Ed Reulbach’s record now sits at 25-5. Pending the result of the pending Giants-Phillies double header later today the Cubs are ½ game in front of the Giants.

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Weird Card Wednesday: 1973 Pat Bourque


Kevin Burghardt sent in this rather odd Pat Bourque card.  The card represents Bourque’s 1973 season which he split with the Cubs and the A’s.

The oddity?  Bourque get the regulation 8-8-8-9-9 combination but rather than put his last 9 at 25, APBA decided to put it at 62.  He has a 25-22 instead.

The numbers on his card all work out.  A quick calculation works out that he’ll hit around .220.  Maybe a little high but it’s in the ballpark.  It’s just the curious placement of the number 9 that’s puzzling.  Even more curious is that this isn’t a card from APBA past but one that was published just last year.

A card error or just an anomaly that APBA didn’t bother to fix?  Probably both.

Thanks, Kevin!

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