8
October

Steve Cutler’s Hollywood Werewolves take MWBL 2014 World Series

The Midwest Baseball League has just come out with this year’s award winners.  Check them out on MWBL’s web page.  I couldn’t help but notice that Carlos Santana was tops in the AL’s All-Star catcher category.  He’s been making the news a lot lately in APBA leagues. 

Special congrats to Steve Cutler and Chris Douglass who were awarded Managers of the Year in their respective leagues in the MWBL.  It’s a special honor to be recognized by your peers. 

hollywoodThe World Series is upon the MWBL as well.  It’s no surprise that those two Managers of the Year faced off in the October Classic.  Steve Cutler’s Hollywood Werewolves won the series 4-2 over Chris Douglass’ defending champions Tempe Tempers.  Stray Corrado has a great wrap-up on the league website that is well worth reading. 

Congrats to both managers for a great season!!

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8
October

Weird Card Wednesday: 1978 John D’Acquisto

Dacquisto

Whatever happened to the C(A*) pitcher?  Or for that matter, the D(B*)?  Tom Zuppa sent me this 1978 John D’Acquisto APBA card as a reminder that these cards weren’t all that uncommon in the 1970s. 

Usually, these cards were given to relievers with appropriately low ERAs. However, these relievers managed to start a game or two.  Rather than give him a straight Grade A rating, they would get a split grade.  

Split W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H BB SO
1978 Totals 4 3 .571 2.13 45 3 24 0 0 10 93.0 60 56 104
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/8/2014.

 

In D’Acquisto’s case, he made 42 relief appearances and started three games while putting up a nice 2.13 ERA. 

Interestingly, D’Acquisto did better as starter in 1978:

Split W L W-L% ERA G GS GF SV IP
as Starter 1 1 .500 1.37 3 3 0 0 19.2
as Reliever 3 2 .600 2.33 42 0 24 10 73.1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/8/2014.

 

As far as I know, APBA has never given a grade such as A(B*) or B(C*) where the starter grade is better than the reliever grade. 

Two things I learned doing this post.  One, John D’Acquisto’s last name is pronounced “DEE-ah-KWISS-toe” (I always thought it was “KEE-sto”).

Two, you can now get pitcher splits on how pitchers did by individual umpire on Baseball Reference.  My friend Todd Ventresca who is an umpire might be interested in that. 

Thanks, Tom!

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

7
October

2014 IAL All-Star weekend: City Boys win 10-4, Santana knocks two dingers

IMG_8929

On October 3-5 in Downers Grove, Illinois, the Illowa APBA League had their 2014 All-Star Game weekend.  That included the IAL All-Star Game itself plus four regular season six-game series… not to mention a lot of fun. 

We also had the pleasure of Scott Fennsessy’s presence on Saturday.  Scott, who of course, writes for The APBA Blog as well being the Chicagoland Tournament champion last November.  Scott made himself useful by rolling a few games for a couple teams and even rolled for a player in lieu of an absent manager during the All-Star Game. 

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First down to business… the Chicago team aka City Boys won the All-Star Game. 10-4.  The bats were too much for the pitching of the Country Gents.  Catcher Carlos Santana of the Chicago Highlanders won the Game MVP after hitting two homers.  Highlander manager Rob Moore was hot with the dice.  He also rolled a homer for Andrew McCutcheon early in the game. 

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The City Boys were high-fiving throughout the All-Star Game…

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…while the Country Gents were searching for runs..

 

 

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MVP Carlos Santana with his manager Rob Moore

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How many cultural references can you spot in this photo of Don Smith? 

I don’t have the numbers but I think Don had a pretty good weekend.  He swept me 0-6.

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Oh oh.  Somebody questioned Todd’s knowledge of Pirates trivia.

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Miggy Cabrera knocked in all nine rbis in a Northside Hitmen game.

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Scott Fennessy manages my Thunderchickens against Dan Bunch and the Missoula Rattlesnakes.  He won at least one game which was pretty good.  We went 6-18 for the weekend. 

More photos from the weekend here.  As always, a great time was had, win or lose. 

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7
October

Ken Heard sends me a package. Don’t worry, it wasn’t ticking

thegoldenera

Ken Heard, fellow blogger over at his thoughtful site Love, Life, and APBA Baseball, asked me a couple days ago if I had read The Golden Era Cubs by Eddie Gold and Art Ahrens.  He knew of of my status as a long-suffering Cubs fan and wanted to send the book to me. 

I just got the book in the mail over the weekend and wanted to express my thanks to Ken.  Thanks not only for the book but for how it was packaged. 

There was a nice note…

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He included two Cubs baseball cards!  A 1989 Jamie Moyer Topps card and a 1990 Mark Grace Bowman card.  Nice touch!

Gracemoyer

 

…and I don’t know if this was a coincidence or intentional but smack dab in the middle of the newspaper wrapping was this headline…

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Maybe Ken recollects that Strasburg is my franchise pitcher on my Twin City Thunderchickens or maybe not. 

Many thanks to Ken Heard!  For those who don’t know Ken, I did a Fan Profile of him a while back.  I’m looking forward to reading The Golden Era.  Maybe it give me hope that the Cubs can rule again.  I told Ken that once I’m done with it, I would re-gift the book to APBA Blog co-writer Scott Fennessy who might appreciate it as well.

I’m keeping the the cards though.

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7
October

Terrible Card Tuesday: 1986 Dave Stapleton

stapleton

When Dave Stapleton came up in 1980 with the Red Sox, he was a promising infielder prospect batting .321 in his rookie year. By 1986, he left baseball with a dying gasp. 

In 1986, Stapleton batted only accumulated 39 at-bats.  It was third year in a row he batted less than a 100 times for the Sox.  That year, he went 5 for 39 for a .128 average with one double.  He walked twice and struck out tem times. 

 

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1986 Totals 39 42 39 4 5 1 0 0 3 0 2 10 .128 .171 .154
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/7/2014.

 

To give Stapleton his due, he is a 1B-4 and plays two other infield positions.  Beyond that though, it’s hard to say much nice about this card.  He gets a single column 6 for the one double in 42 plate appearances.  After his three 8s and two 9s, there’s precious little to save him.  He has two 14s but one of them is at 25. 

Ugly numbers:  11-8, 15-37, 25-14

Worth mentioning:  Stapleton has a 26-24 but only because APBA put the 12 at 41 in 1986, moving the 24s over. 

I remember when Stapleton came up as a rookie.  Some of us in the Illowa APBA League were wowed by his .321 average.  I’m going on memory but I think Chuck’s Northside Hitmen picked him up in the rookie draft.  Appropriate. 

Stapleton trivia:  Red Sox Dave Stapleton played from 1980-1986.  In 1987, the Brewers brought up a pitcher named Dave Stapleton.  He played for two years for Milwaukee.  Capt. Obvious here but “Not the same guy”. 

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1
October

Weird Card Wednesday: 1979 Andy Hassler

hassler

Reader Bob Gordon suggested this 1979 Andy Hassler card for Terrible Tuesday but I didn’t have the heart to put a pitcher there again. 

Nevertheless, his card is weird.   His card is full of 13s and 24s, but because of his one walk, he warrants two 14s at 66 and 11. 

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
1979 Totals 29 23 22 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 17 .000 .043 .000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/1/2014.

 

To get this kind of card, Hassler had to strike out 17 times in 22 at-bats.  He split time between the Red Sox and the Mets in 1979.  While with the Mets, he started eight games and got a few fruitless at-bats in. 

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

1
October

2014 Playoff Pre-play now available from APBA!

apba_2272_7817945John Herson from the APBA Company wanted me to pass this on this news tidbit about a 2014 Playoff pre-play download for APBA Baseball 5.75 for Windows.

 

Available Now:  2014 Playoff pre-play for APBA Baseball 5.75.  Be a playoff manager!! Can you manage your team to the World Championship?  Now you can find out.

You will receive a download file for 5.75.  This file only includes the ten playoff teams.  The price is $7.50.  Despite what the online store will say, you will not be charged shipping.  It is highly recommended that you order online to make sure we have a correct e-mail address for you. You can find this product at APBA’s Store. This is the only place to order this file.

Until the this item is added to the store, one can order with an email to custsupp(at)apbagames.com.  We need your name and email address.  We will use your credit card on file.

If you want to use a different credit card you will need to wait until this item is in the store which will be later this evening.

All orders received before 6 pm eastern time on Tuesday the 30thwill be filled on the 30th.

Thanks

John

This isn’t the first time that APBA has tried the pre-play method.  It’s an affordable way to get into the game.  If any of you do purchase this, let us know! 

Posted by: | Category: Company Announcements | Tags: , , | 1 comment

30
September

Illowa APBA League All-Star Game this weekend!

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Don Smith rolls in last year’s All-Star Game

What to do when one of your APBA teams gets knocked out of playoffs?  Well, thank goodness there’s dice action going on this weekend.  On October 3-5, the Illowa APBA League will be congregating in Downers Grove for the IAL All-Star weekend.  On Saturday, we will be playing our annual All-Star Game. 

The City Boys team will be managed by Northside Hitmen manager Chuck Lucas while Marcus Bunch, skipper of the Moline Upperdeckers, will take the helm of the Country Gents. 

I had no delusions that any of my Twin City Thunderchickens were going to be voted into the starting lineup, and I was right.  None of them were.   Imagine my surprise when the official lineup was announced and Stephen Strasburg was listed as the starter for the City Boys.  Between you and me, I don’t think he’s been the best pitcher on my team but I’ll take it. 

Position players Yan Gomes and Jason Kipnis and pitcher Alex Torres will join Strasburg as fellow Thunderchickens on the All-Star squad. 

Let’s go City Boys!

               City Boys             Chuck Lucas

1.      Mike Trout (NH)                               CF-3

2.      Andrew McCutchen (CH)                RF-3

3.      Robinson Cano (KK)                         2B-8

4.      Miguel Cabrera (NH)                       2B-3

5.      Paul Goldschmidt (NH)                   1B-5

6.      Shane Victorino (TR)                       LF-3

7.      Carlos Santana (CH)                        C-7

8.      Starlin Castro (KK)                            SS-8

9.      Stephen Strasburg (TC)                   P-1        B (XY)

                                                         41-32

 

Reserves

Yan Gomes (TC)                               C-8, 1B-2

Edwin Encarnacion (CH)                 1B-3, 3B-3

Jason Kipnis (TC)                              2B-7

David Wright (KK)                            3B-5

Yunel Escobar (TR)                          SS-9

Justin Upton (CH)                             OF-3

Jay Bruce (NH)                                  OF-3

Giancarlo Stanton (TR)                   OF-2

 

Bullpen

Alex Torres (TC)                               P-1         A&C*  (XY)

Tommy Milone (NH)                       P-1         C (Y) (Z)

Wade Miley (TR)                              P-2         B

Yu Darvish (CH)                                P-2         B (K)

A.J. Burnett (NH)                              P-1         B (XY)

Jared Weaver (KK)                           P-1         B (Y) (Z)

Travis Wood (TR)                             P-2         B

Ryan Cook (KK)                                 P-2         A* (X)

Luis Avilan (NH)                                P-2         A&C*

Brad Ziegler (CH)                              P-1         A*  (Z)

Greg Holland (KK)                            P-2         A&C*  (KX)

 

Country Gents                  Marcus Bunch

1.      Joey Votto (UP)                                 1B-4

2.      Joe Mauer (UP)                                C-9

3.      Hanley Ramirez (MP)                      SS-8

4.      Adam Jones (UP)                              RF-3

5.      Chris Johnson (MP)                          3B-3

6.      Howie Kendrick (GB)                       2B-7

7.      Alex Gordon (MR)                            LF-3

8.      Alex Rios (UP)                                   CF-2

9.      Clayton Kershaw (UP)                     P-2        A (X) (Z)

                                                         41-33

 

Reserves

Buster Posey (MP)                           C-8, 1B-2

Yadier Molina (GB)                          C-9, 1B-3

Freddie Freeman (MP)                    1B-4

Jose Altuve (IO)                                2B-8

Evan Longoria (GB)                         3B-5

Troy Tulowitzki (MR)                       SS-9

Josh Hamilton (GB)                          OF-2

Bryce Harper (MP)                           OF-2

Yoenis Cespedes (GB)                     OF-2

 

Bullpen

Chris Sale (IO)                                   P-2         B (X) (Z)

Julio Tehran (MR)                            P-2         B (X) (Z)

Craig Kimbrel (MR)                          P-2         A&C* (KX)

Hisashi Iwakuma (MP)                    P-2         A (Y) (Z)

Jose Fernandez (MP)                       P-2         A (XY)

Matt Harvey (MP)                            P-2         A (XY) (Z)

Adam Wainwright (GB)                   P-2         B (X) (Z)

Trevor Rosenthal (GB)                    P-2         A* (KY)

Francisco Rodriguez (UP)               P-2         B* (XY) (Z)

Kenley Jansen (UP)                          P-2         A* (KX) (Z)

 

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30
September

Terrible Card Tuesday: 1981 Mike Vail

vail

1981 Mike Vail is this week’s Terrible card.  I remember Mike as Chicago Cub but by 1981, he was playing for Cincinnati.  Unfortunately, not very well. 

Vail played in 31 games in 1981 for the Reds but didn’t start any of them.  He went 5 for 31 with no extra bases and no walks.  He struck out nine times and hit into one double play. 

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1981 Totals 31 31 31 1 5 0 0 0 3 0 0 9 .161 .161 .161
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/30/2014.

 

Mike Vail’s 1981 card is the epitome of a Terrible Card.  He has no power numbers, he’s a rated as slow base runner, and he’s Fielding Three.  He only has seven total hit numbers on his card and zero walks.  To add insult to injury, he has three 24s. 

This all could be forgiven for a defensively demanding position like shortstop or catcher but alas, all this for an OF-1. 

Ugly numbers:  25-13, 66-7, 45-40

I figure Vail’s card works out to hit about .166 so APBA got as close as probably could to his real life average.

I might have to dig out Vail’s 1979 card since that would qualify as a Monster Card.  He batted .335 with 7 homers in 179 at-bats. 

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29
September

Monster Card Monday: 1999 Derek Jeter

jeter99

Yesterday, Scott Fennessy asked me if I was going to feature Mr November in today’s article.  Good idea, Scott!

Derek Jeter is one of those players whose presence in the game of baseball surpasses his stats and and even his play on the field.  In that way, he’s like a Babe Ruth or a Cal Ripken.  Yes, he had his detractors but overall, he IS the New York Yankees and has been for the last fifteen years. 

This is his card based on the 1999 season in which he hit .349 with 134 runs, 102 and 24 homeruns for the Yankees.  All were his career best for Jeter as was his 91 walks.  He also stole 19 bases that year. 

Awards won in 1999:  All-Star, ranked 6th in the MVP voting, New York won World Series

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1999 Totals 158 739 627 134 219 37 9 24 102 19 91 116 .349 .438 .552
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/29/2014.
 

 

This is one Jeter’s best cards in that he has four power numbers and has a 66-1.  I’m sure it was very exciting for Jeter owners, I’m sure.  Not only that, the 55-7 and the SS-9 was a bonus. 

Going through Jeter’s cards through the years, I saw that he was very consistent with the cards he received, which in his case, was a good thing.  They may not have always been Hack Wilson cards but they were good hitting cards year in, year out.   Occasionally he would have four power numbers or a single column one like the one above. 

Jeter’s APBA Legacy

In my opinion, Jeter is the player of the APBA league generation.  We are now starting to see leagues reporting all-time stats records and Jeter is consistently leading the pack, especially in the hits category.  As he did in real life, he is either reaching the 3000 hit plateau in league play or is at least the all-time leader.

Jeter all-time leader in hits in IAL

Derek Jeter approaching milestone in MWBL

OAPBA Lifetime Records showing consistencies among leagues’ stats

Thanks to Mike Bunch for help with this!

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