by Mike Estep
For the past week or so, I have been getting my logistics in place to begin a full season replay. I am looking forward to “watching” all the players perform. Yes the old cardboard with the player names across the top will become more than just cardboard to me. When I do tournaments it seems like the cards will take on a personality of their very own. The cards come to life and the statistics speak to me once again just like they did when I followed these players in real life as a kid.
I love baseball cards and I still collect them. However baseball cards just sit in the box. I get them out occasionally and with some, I have put in the plastic sleeves to admire. Apba cards are different in that they actually “perform”. I can watch Joe Morgan steal bases again. I can relax when a double play ball is hit to my shortstop Dave Concepcion because I know he has a great glove and in Apba defense matters (I use the DVAL Fielding Charts to bring defense out even more). I love the tingling excitement I still get when I prepare to play an Apba game. Who will be the star in this game? How will the pitchers fare today? Will that grade D pitcher put in a good performance today?
During the tournaments I have played over the years, I have enjoyed “watching” the superstars perform. I think most of all though, I have enjoyed observing the role players. The players who tend to fall through the cracks of baseball history. Guys like Ed Armbrister of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds, or how about Billy Malkmus of the 1961 Phillies? The superstars like Mantle, Ruth, Bench, Munson will always be noticed on our tabletops. What is nice though, is when I begin to feel like I know one of the lesser known players just a little bit better because of their performance through their Apba card. I may not have been alive when some of these players played in real life, but through Apba I can “go back in time” and once again put them on the stage in a baseball setting.
I love the movie Field of Dreams and would love to have the baseball diamond used in the movie in my backyard……..but for now, well, I guess my Field of Dreams will consist of cardboard and a pair of dice and you know what? That is perfectly fine with me. Well, I have to go now, I hear the cornstalks rustling in my man cave, my Apba cards are coming out of the corn. Is this heaven? No, it’s Apba.
Roll a 66 and smile!