A couple days ago, I posted an article about some of the things we (or at least I) think about when attempting an APBA replay. That post hit on some of the more abstract thought processes that go into a baseball replay. I encourage you to read it especially for some of good ideas in the comment section.
Now let’s look at some of the more practical and “brass tacks” decisions that need to be made.
What game will you play?
Ok, that seems like a silly question but it really isn’t. Take my 1966 baseball replay, for example. Most likely, I’ll be playing the APBA baseball basic game. The options don’t stop there, though. Do I use the advanced rules? What about modifications? The Coxx Pitching Grade system? Error chart and unusual play card?
Make those decisions before you start and not midstream.
What is the scope of your replay?
There are many ways to do a season replay when it comes to what games you will exactly replay. Will you do a full 162-game replay of both the American and National Leagues or just one of them? Maybe you’ll just replay your favorite team’s schedule. Or to save time, you could cut the schedule down to a more manageable number of games. It’s all been done by replayers out there.
I’ll do the math for you:
- One team in a 162 game schedule= 162 games
- 30 teams in a 162 game schedule = 2430 games
- 15 (one league) in a 162 game schedule = 1215 games
- 16 teams in a 154 game schedule = 1232 games
- 8 teams (one league) in a 154 game schedule = 616 games
Anyway, you look at it, a league replay is a time commitment. To be honest, I still haven’t made my decision on what I will do when it comes to my 1966 replay (though I’m leaning toward the NL).
Issues of Stats and Player Usage
One of my favorite takeaways of doing an APBA replay are the stats. Okay, maybe doing them can get tedious. However, looking through the team’s stats and leaderboards shows me a job well done. Before you start a replay of any type, make sure you document what stat categories you want to keep throughout the season.
While we’re talking about stats, it’s a good idea to get a good stat keeping method in place. It doesn’t matter which one as long as it’s one that does the job and one you’re comfortable. For me, Excel is quite flexible and does a great job but I know others use different methods they are quite happy with.
One decision you’ll want to make before your opening day is: “will I limit player usage and if so how much?”. For example, do you want your 1953 Ted Williams to actually play full season or would it be more realistic for him to play his real life 91 at-bats? This goes back to my post yesterday about accuracy vs. realism. If you want a truly accurate replay, you may want limit players to their actual games or at-bats (or plate appearances or whatever). Same goes for pitchers. Even if realism if your goal, you still might want to implement some sort of limit system.
Some more thoughts on this:
- if your card set has the XBs and/or XCs, limiting players to actual usage will be easier. If not, perhaps actual usage + 10% might be more flexible.
- There are some innovative injury systems modifications for replays out there which throws all this out the window. And to be honest, some of them sound a lot of fun (heh, you want to talk about ‘realism’?).
- Finally, let’s make this clear. There’s no one that says you need to limit player usage in your replay. It’s just an idea.
What other prep work needs to be done before opening day?
Depending how anxious you are to get started, there’s always something to do. Such as:
Finding a schedule for whatever year you choose to replay. If you are replaying an older year, check out Retrosheet’s Original Regular Season Schedules page. They have the announce schedules (not just the games played) for the years 1877-2011. If you’re interested in playing the actual games played (and finding out actual lineups and starting rotations), Retrosheet is also good for that. Check out their Gamelogs page. Alternatively, Baseball Reference is always a good go-to site.
Might be nice to have a nice scoresheet for you replay. Here’s one I use for my baseball games (MS Word).
Finally, John H had such a good idea in the comments section today that I’m going to steal it and put it in this article:
“Pick a year that has a pennant race & read everything you can about the players, the race and the outcome. Then, go to the library and look through the old newspaper archives and copy the standings as they appeared on the morning of September 1 of the year you are replaying. Once you have the September first standings, its time to begin the replay. Be sure to use the lineups and rotations that were used that September and follow that formula through the completion of the season.”
…and if don’t want to go to the library, Baseball Reference should help with the Sept 1 standings.
Thanks, John H!
As I said, there were some good ideas from readers in the former post. Keep them coming.