A Chance Meeting with Nimrod’s (Minnesota) Finest …



Dick Stigman (click for SABR Bio), born and raised in Nimrod, Minnesota, forged his career as a rookie in 1960 pitching for the Cleveland Indians.  Dick was 6’3″ tall, a southpaw featuring a fastball and a devastating curve.  Dick pitched 1 more season for Cleveland in 1961, and surrendered HR #55 to Roger Maris, during Maris’ pursuit of Babe Ruth.



Dick’s career brought him to his home state, in 1962, as the Twins made their first serious run at a pennant.  In 1962, Dick was 12-5 with a 3.66 ERA in 15 starts and 40 appearances.



By 1963, Dick was now a regular starting pitcher for the contending Minnesota Twins, making 33 starts, going 15-15 with a career low, 3.25 ERA.  Dick twirled 15 complete games, pitched 241 innings, earning 3 shut-outs and striking out a career high, 193 batters in 1963.



After 2nd place finishes in 1962 and 1963, the Twins fell back in 1964 as did Dick Stigman and the rest of the Twins rotation.  Dick made another 29 starts in 1964, going 6-15 with a 4.03 ERA.



The Twins would finally win the AL Pennant, in 1965, where Dick took on the role of reliever.  Dick made 33 appearances in 1965, making 8 starts.  He finished with a 4-2 record, a 4.37 ERA and K’d 70 batters in 70 IP.  However, for Dick, the season was bittersweet as he did not get the call to the mound vs the Dodgers in the ’65 World Series.



Dick pitched for the last time in the Majors in 1966, pitching for the Boston Red Sox.  Dick would finish with a career record of 46-54 with a 4.03 ERA, amassing 755 strike-outs across 922.2 IP.



Check on Dick Stigman’s career stats here:




(Me on left, meeting former Indians/Twins/Red Sox hurler, Dick Stigman on right)

It was truly a pleasure to meet Dick Stigman.  My encounter went like this … my daughter played Club soccer with one of Dick’s granddaughters for 3 years in high school, as well as post high school years during their summers home from college.  One of their teammates and friends married June 24th, 2017.  So my family as well as Dick’s family were invited to the wedding.  Dick’s daughter (the mother of the granddaughter) knew I was a baseball fan, having had a conversation with her about a year ago about her dad pitching for the Twins in the 1960’s.  She made sure she had her dad stop at my table at the reception, and introduce himself, knowing I would appreciate the encounter.  I have met former Major League players in the past, and all have been very nice meetings, including Hall of Famer, Harmon Killebrew.  It is hard for me to not place this encounter at the top of that list, for Dick could not have been a nicer, more genuine person than he was that night.  I asked him about pitching to such greats as Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.  He quickly countered with the fact that he gave up HR #55 to Maris during Maris’ chase of Ruth in 1961.  Dick showed me a recent text exchange with his oldest son, who forwarded a picture from a diary of his playing days, where Dick had documented a CG, 3-hit shutout, from 1963.  The diary showed he had thrown 142 pitches, even though nobody cared about pitches thrown back in those days.  Dick mentioned he is still in regular contact with several former Twins and teammates.  Dick has 9 children, all raised in Burnsville, Minnesota since the 1960’s, and I am guessing the number of grandchildren is close to 20.



May 3rd, 1967, Dick Stigman struck-out 13 batters with a young Johnny Bench as his catcher for the Buffalo Bisons, a AAA Minor League team for the Cincinnati Reds.

TCABT-VIII: Announcement … Saturday, October 7th, 2017


The Neil Ess Memorial Twin Cities APBA Baseball Tournament has always been held on the first Saturday’s of each April and October.


  • Date:  Saturday, October 7th, 2017
  • Location:  Darrel Skogen’s home in Maple Grove, MN
    • 9575 Glacier Lane, Maple Grove, MN 55369
  • Time:  8:15am till finish (plan on around 6:00pm)
  • Team selection:  Begins Saturday, July 8th at 12:00am

Any MLB team from 1901 to 2016 is eligible, except for the following previous TCABT champions:

  • 1927 YANKEES
  • 1954 GIANTS
  • 1902 PIRATES
  • 1937 YANKEES
  • 2011 RANGERS
  • 1930 CARDINALS
  • 1930 YANKEES


Team selection will begin in July.

  • For TCABT-VIII, team selection begins:  Saturday, July 8th at 12:00am

Email your top 3 team selections to Jim Fraasch at “jwfraasch@mchsi.com” starting after midnight on Friday (Saturday AM).  Teams are awarded on a first entry received basis.  If your team has already been selected before you turned in your entry, you would then be given choice #2 or #3 on your list, etc.

Team selection period concludes at the end of the day, Friday, September 15th.


Long-time APBA employee, the late Veryl Lincoln (1945-2015), attends a Red Sox game at Fenway.

Some tournament rules include:

  • 22 man roster
  • DH must be used
  • 4-man rotation in division play (to be a starting pitcher, pitcher must have made at least 10 starts in actual season)
  • 3-man rotation during the “best-of-three” bracket play, with the rotation starting over for the beginning of each series.
  • 8 teams qualify for the “best-of-three” bracket play.
  • For a player to be in the starting lineup, he must have had at least 100 PA during the actual season.
  • For a non-pitcher to be on the roster, he must have had at least 25 PA during the actual season.
  • Basic game, using all advanced rules.
  • We also use the APBA Journal Error Distribution Card and Unusual Play Card.
  • We also have our own Bases Empty Error Re-roll card for Fielding One infielders (2b, SS, 3B)
  • No injuries extend past the current game (players are only injured for the remainder of the game)
  • No rain-outs, re-roll dice using Unusual Play Card a 2nd time.


Jeff Boeding and his 1930 Yankees won TCABT-VII last April over Marty Lee’s 1977 Royals.


APBA’view: Shay Caroline Simmons


In the “world” of APBA, we come from many different backgrounds and upbringings.  APBA games are played world wide, in many countries.  However, what has been difficult to gauge is the occurrence of women playing APBA.  Yes, there are women playing APBA.  The APBA Journal (February double issue, 1999) featured an interview with Alison Gordon.  The late Alison Gordon, who began covering the Toronto Blue Jays in 1979 as a Toronto Star sports writer, was an APBA devotee.


Some of you may have become familiar with Shay Caroline Simmons, by keeping up with one of her APBA replays (1967 AL Replay and her current 1969 AL Replay postings) on her blog site titled, “Fireblossom’s APBA Baseball Blog“.

I reached out to Shay for an interview, and she was more than happy to oblige.  Onto the questions for Shay …

Jimsapbabarn question #1:  Tell us about yourself, outside of APBA, growing up, school, family, etc?

Shay Caroline Simmons:  I am a Michigander and have lived here for all but 9 of my 61 years. My father was a newspaperman and it is from him that I came to love much of what I still love today, including baseball. For my ’69 replay I am using reference books from The Sporting News that he bought for me on his own because he knew I was so into it. He also liked to bring home records (music) for me, and I still love classical and jazz because of it. I grew up in a house filled with books, and my father read to me at bed time. Books, along with baseball, are the loves of my life. Thanks, Daddy.  He also introduced me to slapstick comedy, which still makes me ROFL. My mother used to walk through the room while we were cracking up and just purse her lips and shake her head and go on cleaning.  I have two much older brothers. The closest one to me in age is 9 years older than I am, and he *loved* cars. He taught me to identify all the makes and models of the 60s and also the 50s cars which were still rolling around by that time. I don’t know a thing about engines or any of that, but I still love classic cars from that era, because of my brother and his enthusiastic love for them, and his kindness in including me. Does my family of origin sound like a male enclave? It was. I grew up around sports stuff, cars, music, and so forth. I loved Barbies but I also collected baseball cards. We took a lot of vacations, my parents and me (my brothers were gone by then) and my father and I would go hiking. It was lovely. It still soothes my soul to be in nature. Michigan is a wonderful place for that.

joe and shay

Son Joe, with Shay


Jimsapbabarn question #2:  How did you discover APBA?

Shay Caroline Simmons:  APBA! Here’s a shocker….I didn’t like it the first time I played it! Ha! I’ll come back to that in a sec. When I was 12, my parents (I now I realize it was my dad, really) gave me Ethan Allen’s Cadaco All-Star Baseball game, the one with the player discs and spinners. I loved that game. We stayed at a rented beach cottage that summer and I played the heck out of that game the whole while. Back at home, my friend’s older brother gave me his player discs from the 50’s, so I had more players. The same guy had APBA and let us play it once, but I hated it because I couldn’t understand why my hits were never hits!  I now realize it was because my friend must have had a high grade pitcher.  I still remember that I chose the Reds and Pirates, but don’t recall which team I was. The Reds, I think.


So, other things took my attention for a number of years, just growing up and moving out and such. Then, when I was 25, I was reading Street & Smith’s annual baseball preview mag–another tradition picked up from my dad–and saw an ad for APBA.  I ordered the brochure, and got the two free cards and after reading the brochure I ordered the game, which included the 1979 season cards. I pretty much immediately got my old boss from my first job–my friend and mentor–hooked on it, too.


Jimsapbabarn question #3:  When did you decide to become an author?

Shay Caroline Simmons:  Ha! Well…..I don’t think I decided. From my earliest memories, I remember being low to the ground and scoping out the book shelves. Later, I would find some hidden treasure–often it was one of those Strange But True! paperbacks–and curl up with it for the rest of the day. My father was a writer (journalism) and so the banging of a typewriter and the presence of all of the paraphernalia of writing were always around. Right now, I am sitting at my dad’s old desk writing this. I began writing little stories when I was quite young. Later, in 10th grade, my English teacher told me to forget what the class was doing, and just write. My first publication in a magazine (Speakeasy) came when i was just 18, in 1973. I was published maybe three dozen times between 18 and 26, then I gave it up. I got married, got the job I still have, and raised a son. I didn’t return to writing until 2006, but I am so glad that I did. I have two books of poetry, one of short stories, and two collaborations of poetry.





Jimsapbabarn question #4:  I noticed you have been actively blogging since 2008.  What is the best part of blogging and what do you recommend to someone who might be thinking about starting a blog?

Shay Caroline Simmons:  I began the Word Garden mostly as a place to organize and keep my poems, but through it I met so many other talented people, and the blog made me want to post, and therefore want to write, more often than I would have just for myself. So, the best part of blogging is the community. As for advice, I would say, do it for yourself, first. if it means something to you–whether it is poetry or fly fishing–it will mean something to someone else, too. Don’t hedge, don’t fudge, don’t be cute; put what you love out there, and you’ll be rewarded.

Click here for Shay’s APBA Blog

Click here for Shay’s Word Garden Blog


Jimsapbabarn question #5:  1967 and 1969 are replay endeavors of yours.  What replays might be next?

Shay Caroline Simmons:  Love this question! There are two I absolutely positively want to play, and those are 1956 and 1964. After that, there are a whole slew of seasons I’d love to get to: 1950, 57, 59, 66, 70, 73, 82, 84 and 87. But also, after 35 years, I have the itch to replay 1979 AL over again with the reissue. When I played ’79 before, both leagues, it was my first project. I played with 20 man teams until September, when I added the XB’s, and used none of the advanced stuff. Looking back, I have no idea how I managed a season with such tiny rosters. Anyway, I’d love to play it again, after all this time, and use all the tweaks.


Jimsapbabarn question #6:  What does APBA mean to you, and do you have any thoughts for John Herson, CEO of APBA Game Co.?

APBA has been a friend for many years. I did put the game aside from 2002-2015, but now i am again as hooked as ever. It is an entertaining alternate world that is absorbing and so much fun. It’s an old friend. I love that I can send the teams of my childhood out onto the field once again. Plus, for me with my creative bent, the players and teams take on personalities as things unfold. My thoughts for Mister Herson are simply this:  Thank you.


A quick Around the Horn with Shay Caroline Simmons …


Your favorite sport and/or sports teams?

Baseball! It has been my life long love and passion. My father, my favorite aunt (his sister), my maternal grandmother, all of them were big baseball fans. For a time, from the late 60s until not so many years ago, I also really liked ice hockey, but the explosion of teams and dilution of talent made me lose interest in the NHL. The Detroit Tigers are, and will always be, my boys. While rooting around looking for APBA stuff the other day, I came upon a 1964 Tigers pennant, with a team picture on it, from my very first game that my dad took me to that year. What a find. I loved the Red Wings hockey team through thick and thin for many years, but as I’ve said, not so much anymore. I also used to really like bowling, both to play and to watch, but it’s never on anymore. I used to have the APBA bowling game, but don’t know what became of it.



Your favorite athlete (past and present)?

Past–Al Kaline, “Mr. Tiger.” A classier man you won’t find anywhere.  Present–Miggy. What a pleasure it is to watch this man do what he does, day in and day out.


Your favorite author?

Emily Dickinson. I visited the Dickinson home in Amherst a few years ago, and was overwhelmed with what i felt there. I love that she was a fiery introvert, as I am, a passionate woman who wrote honestly and in her own distinct style, despite being told she needed to conform to poetic mores of the day. In fact, her work was not published as she wrote it, without revision by learned lunkheads, until 1950! I identify so much with her life and work.



Your favorite play-by-play announcer?

Jim Brockmire! LOL. I would have to say Rod Allen, the Tigers’ TV color commentator. He points out things that I would not have noticed, but does so without being pedantic, a la the insufferable Joe Morgan. Rod says things the ballplayers say, like “That one came to eat!” and “I see ya, Miggy!” He always seems enthused about baseball and the Tigers. I really like him. My favorite hockey announcer was Bruce Martin. I learned hockey by listening to him, and his “he shoots he SCOOOoores!” was classic. I wish APBA’s hockey game was more fun; I find it ponderous. I’d love to play an old Red Wings season.



Your favorite ballpark?

Tiger Stadium, hands down. When I say I loved that place, I really did. My dad took me to scads of games, and I have so many happy memories of the old girl. My childhood wasn’t the happiest…I had medical issues, and there was other stuff going on, but a trip to Tiger Stadium to watch the Tigers was pure joy. After it closed, for years I would occasionally dream that I was there again, and it always felt like coming home. My heart is there.


I asked Shay about the Summer of ’76 (Fidrych) … it happened to be one summer Shay was living outside of Michigan:  “I was living overseas in 1976, and saw the famous Yankees game on tape delay. The Tigers weren’t very good at the time, and it was very exciting to see the big crowd and all of the Bird’s antics. I never saw him pitch because I was away that entire year and his career was extremely short.”


Thank you Shay, for providing insight into the life of an APBA devotee, Tiger fanatic, Red Wing rooter, and poet extraordinaire!  Whether APBA or Poetry, best wishes with your future endeavors!




How to win an APBA Tournament with an all “C” pitching staff …


Ed Wells (CZ) pitcher for the 1930 Yankees, pitches 2 shut-outs for Jeff Boeding

When team selection had begun for TCABT-VII, Jeff Boeding had chosen the 1997 Seattle Mariners.  After all, this has become Jeff’s style … to pick a team who may not have won a pennant, but carried a strong lineup, 1 thru 9, and could pitch “well” enough to allow the offense to out-score the opposition.  As tourney day (April 1st, 2017) drew closer, Jeff was having doubts about his 1997 Mariners selection.  Jeff and I regularly exchange emails with the topic of conversation usually centered around our APBA projects and of course, the upcoming TCABT.  This leads to discussion about possible TCABT team entrants.  Over the last few years, Jeff has been working on a Lou Gehrig career replay.  The one Gehrig team Jeff had taken to a TCABT event were the 1936 Yankees (TCABT-II), and even though the 1936 Yankees outscored every team in the tourney with 62 runs in 8 games, Jeff’s squad finished 3-5 and in 4th place in a 4-team division.


TCABT-III:  Jeff Boeding on left vs Eric Berg on right

They had outscored their opposition by 10 runs, but failed to advance to bracket-play.  So in search of something better, Jeff turned away from his favorite Gehrig-led Yankee teams, and sought more balance between hitting and pitching.  In TCABT-III, Jeff found himself in the Semi-finals with his powerful 1975 Reds squad (going 5-3 in division play and earning a Wild Card in the 13 team field), only to be swept away, 2 games to 0, vs Eric Berg’s 1919 White Sox.  In TCABT-IV (23 team field), Jeff decided to go deadball, taking the 1905 Giants all the way to the TCABT-IV championship, before surrendering to the IV Champs, the 2-time TCABT Champ Leroy Arnoldi, and his powerful 1937 Yankees.  In TCABT-V (30 team field), Jeff had a strong contender, the 1977 Phillies, but going 6-4 in division play, finishing 3rd, just out of the running for a Wild Card birth.  In a “twist” of 1930 irony, my 1930 Senators were in Jeff’s division, facing off in the final series of division play, with Jeff’s ’77 Phils.  Jeff was sitting at 6-2, and my ’30 Senators were 5-3.  The Senators swept Steve Carlton and the ’77 Phils, 4-0, 6-4, to advance as a Wild Card.  In researching teams for TCABT-VI (a 23 team field) Jeff’s own “play-in” tourney had the 1933 Pirates rising to the top.  In VI however, the ’33 Pirates fell flat, going just 3-7.

While searching for his TCABT-VII entrant, during another email exchange, the comment came up, why not the 1930 Yankees?  Jeff knew the team was full of C starters, and nothing better.  But the club also touted the likes of Jeff’s all-time favorite, Lou Gehrig and of course, The Babe.  The team was thrown into one of Jeff’s “mini team selection tourneys”.  The 1930 Yankees prevailed, and on March 8th, less than a month before the tourney date, Jeff had changed his team from the 1997 Mariners to the 1930 Yankees.  Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth pack their lumber for another TCABT tourney bid.


Jeff arrives at TCABT-VII with a powerful & hungry ballclub, the 1930 Yankees (this is the 1989 copyright version, the 2nd 1930 set released by APBA Game Co.).  The Yankees went 86-68 in 1930, good for 3rd place, 16 games behind the 1st place Athletics, and 8 games behind the 1930 Senators (who made a run for me in TCABT-V, achieving the Semi-finals).  Jeff knew that hitting was going to have to carry his ’30 Yanks.  His 4-man starting pitching rotation included:  Red Ruffing (CYZ), George Pipgras (CZ), Ed Wells (CZ) and Hank Johnson (CYW).  Jeff had a bullpen full of DZ’s …. including a 19-game starter, Herb Pennock (DZ).

I had Jeff provide a quick summary of each of his TCABT-VII division and playoff series (1930 Yankees go 7-1 in division play, 13-2 overall in earning the title).

***NOTE, if you have not participated in a group APBA tourney setting before, the below breakdown of each series really captures “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” of playing the games, head-to-head:

Series 1…vs 1993 Blue Jays…


Joe Pavlicek (left) and his ’93 Blue Jays vs Jeff Boeding’s (right) ’30 Yankees.

Game 1…5-3 win…Ruth homers, scores 2 and drives in 3…while Combs scores 2…Yankees score 2 in 7th to take lead and hold on to win.

Game 2…5-4 win…Yankees score 2 in third and 3 in 5th and hold off a late Jays rally to sweep the series…Combs drives in 3 while the bottom third of order scores all 5 runs.

Series 2…vs 2001 Mariners…

Game 1…6-0 win…Ed Wells tosses a 3 hit shut out and the Yankees use a 5 run 2nd inning to pull away and seal the win.

Game 2…10-3 loss…score is 4-2 after 5 but the Mariners bat around in a 6 run 6th to give the Yankees their first loss of the day.

1930 Yankees 3-1 going into their bye.

Series 3…vs 1998 Yankees…


Game 1…9-8 win in 11 innings…98 Yankees rally with 3 in the 8th to tie the game…no runs in the 10th…visiting 98 team scores 3 in top of 11 highlighted by a Strawberry 2 run jack…but the 30 Yankees score 4 runs with 2 outs to secure the unlikely victory…Gehrig delivers the game winning 2 run single.

Game 2…10-1 win…Pipgras scatters 8 hits…advances to an A and holds the 98 version in check all game..Ruth hits a 2 run triple in the 3rd and Gehrig finishes off a 5 run 4th with a bases clearing triple, record 5-1.

Series 4…vs 2016 Cubs…


Game 1… 7-6 win…Russell hit 2, 2 run jacks and Cubs lead 6-4 after 7…Chapman’s 2 run double ties it in the 8th and Gehrig hits a walk off bomb in the bottom of the 9th to win it.

Game 2…10-4 win…Yankees lead 5-0 going into bottom of 8th and the Cubs score 4 to make it 5-4…Yankees score 6 in 9th highlighted by a Dickey 2 run triple followed by a Reese 2 run homer…Yankees end their bracket play 7-1.

NOTE, Jeff’s 1930 Yankees end up with the #1 seed heading into the 8-team, best-of-three Bracket Play.


Quarter-Finals (best-of-3):

Playoffs Series 1…vs 1909 Tigers (Curt Bartell)…

Game 1…5-3 win…Tigers take a 3-0 lead after 3…Yankees score 4 in the bottom half if 3 highlighted by back-to-back HRs from Ruth and Gehrig…and Lazzeri’s solo HR ends the scoring as Ruffing shuts down the Tigers after the 3rd allowing only 1 single the last 6 innings…Yanks up 1-0.

Game 2…8-7 win…the Yankees score 4 in the first as Gehrig hits a 2 run bomb and Lazzeri rips a 2 run single…a Tigers cut lead in half with 2 of their own…and tie the game 4-4 heading to the 4th…Gehrig rips a 2 run double and they add 2 more in the 6th and hold off the Tigers to take the series 2-0

Semi-Finals (best-of-3):


Semi-final action between Jeff Boeding’s ’30 Yankees and Dave Norlander’s ’29 Cubs as Kevin Cluff and Roy Langhans look on …

Playoffs Series 2…vs 1929 Cubs (Dave Norlander)…

Game 1…all Cubs as Cuyler, Hornsby and Wilson lead the visitors to a 11-4 beat down of the Yankees…Cubs up 1-0.


Game 2…12-8 in 11 innings…the Cubs smack 4 homers to take a 7-2 lead after 6 innings…but the Yanks rally for 5 in the 7th to tie the game as Ruth provides the big blow with a 3 run homer (44-5)…game stays tied until the 11th…as the Yankees score 5…all coming with 2 outs…and hold off the Cubs to take the series to a deciding third game.

Game 3…1-0 win…The Yankees score an improbable run in the first as Ruth singles…goes to third on a Gehrig single and he steals second…Dickey up…rolls a 13-36…Unusual play reroll is a 39…which is a SF6…to score the only run of the game…and Ed Wells twirls a 5 hit masterpiece to send the Yankees to the finals.


Playoff finals…vs 1977 Royals (Marty Lee)…


Jeff Boeding feeding the dice tower, Marty Lee (Royals jersey) anticipating his fate, with Jim looking on …


Game 1…7-5 win…the Royals take a 5-3 lead heading into the 9th as Al Cowens scores 3 and drives in a pair with a HR…but Chapman ties the game with a 2 run HR…and Ruth raps a walk off 2 run homer to win the game and shock the Royals…Yanks up 1-0.

Game 2…9-5 win…Gehrig starts scoring in first with a 2 run HR…but Royals get 3 of their own to take a 3-2 lead…Yankees score 1 in the 4th and 5th innings and 2 in the 6th…and take a 6-5 lead after 6…and put the game away punctuated by a Ruth 2 run homer to end the scoring….’30 Yanks win TC VII tourney title.



Overall tournament record:  13 wins, 2 losses

Combs 66 17 21 6 3 1 0 5 5 0.318 0.394 1
Ruth 58 18 22 17 3 2 6 4 13 0.379 0.603 2
Gehrig 53 10 21 20 3 1 5 4 17 0.396 0.717 1
Dickey 58 5 14 16 3 2 1 2 6 0.241 0.345 0
Reese 62 11 13 8 3 1 1 3 4 0.210 0.274 1
Lary 57 8 14 4 3 0 0 4 8 0.246 0.386 4
Lazzeri 57 10 14 9 3 2 1 7 7 0.246 0.368 0
Chapman 58 11 17 10 5 3 1 5 3 0.293 0.345 1
Rice 51 11 13 9 4 0 1 2 5 0.255 0.353 0
520 101 149 99 30 12 16 36 68 0.287 0.417 10
Ruffing 47 46 30 30 25 19 8 4 1 5.74 0 1.383
Pipgras 47 55 25 24 17 19 6 5 0 4.60 0 1.5745
Wells 27 20 6 6 9 9 2 3 0 2.00 0 1.0741
Johnson 15 19 14 9 13 13 2 1 1 5.40 0 2.1333
Pennock 3 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0.00 0 0.3333
139 141 75 69 67 60 18 13 2 4.47 0 1.446


Jeff Boeding, TCABT-VII Champ

Jeff, thanks for providing the game blow-by-blow.  Looking forward to your next TCABT “entrant” …

Teams retired from TCABT Tournament play:

TCABT-I:  1927 YANKEES (Kevin Cluff)

TCABT-II:  1954 GIANTS (Leroy Arnoldi)

TCABT-III:  1902 PIRATES (Andy Bartell)

TCABT-IV:  1937 YANKEES (Leroy Arnoldi)

TCABT-V:  2011 RANGERS (Kevin Cluff)

TCABT-VI:  1930 CARDINALS (Bruce Tyler)

TCABT-VII:  1930 YANKEES (Jeff Boeding)

TCABT-VIII:  TBD, October 7th, 2017

TCABT-VII: April Fool’s Day results!


The 26 managers in attendance for TCABT-VII (note Pat Martin, normally in the tournament with his own team, was doing a favor by rolling the games for the gracious host Darrell Skogen).

It did not take long for the dice to start rolling once the usual fanfare, socializing, smack talk, catching up and rules review had convened.  It was April Fool’s day, and there might not be a more appropriate “holiday” for an APBA Baseball tournament with 25 guys thinking they are going to “manage” their chosen ballclub to a tourney title.  Because in the end, there was only 1 champion, leaving the other 24 mangers thinking they were indeed the fools for the team they had chosen.  I was in the group of 24 …


The final ritual before the dice could start rolling was the group photo … taken by an unsuspecting passer-bye on his early Saturday morning stroll.  The guy probably wishes he had just kept to himself and kept walking.  But he was nice enough to stop and allow himself to be pressured into taking our full group photo.


By 8:45ish, the dice were tumbling, full force.  5 divisions of 5 teams.  A 2-game series vs each team in your own division, along with each team getting a bye.  2 areas were set up on the main floor, the 4-season “porch” had the Skogen Division , the “library” had the Arnoldi Division, and the remaining 3 divisions (Cluff, Fraasch and Tyler) had the basement.  With 5 guys in each of 2 rooms on the main floor, the sun shining bright, the scene is very calm, reserved, and serene.


(Background, Fred Johnson’s 1919 White Sox vs Pat Martin with Darrell Skogen’s 1995 Indians – Foreground, Dave Norlander’s 1929 Cubs vs George Adams’ 1965 Tigers)



In the “library”, foreground, Roy Langhans (back turned) and his 1905 Giants battle Paul Van Beek and his 1939 Yankees.  Background, Leroy Arnoldi and his 1969 Orioles take on Gregg Nelson and his 1995 Rockies.

Meanwhile, with 15 guys in the basement, it resembled … 15 guys in the basement.


Beau Lofgren (back turned) and his 2000 Cardinals with an early division play match-up vs his brother, Ben Lofgren (Blue Jays cap) and his 1985 Blue Jays.



Jim’s ’53 Dodgers (on left) facing off vs Rob Skogen’s ’84 Tigers in Division play, with Curt Bartell looking on.



Saturday, April 1st, 2017
1939 YANKEES (PAUL VAN BEEK) 6 2 27 28 -1
1906 CUBS (GARY BORTHWICK) 4 4 42 31 11
1905 GIANTS (ROY LANGHANS) 4 4 38 30 8
1969 ORIOLES (LEROY ARNOLDI) 4 4 33 33 0
1995 ROCKIES (GREGG NELSON) 2 6 22 40 -18
TOTALS 20 20 162 162 0
1930 YANKEES (JEFF BOEDING) 7 1 55 36 19
1998 YANKEES (KEVIN CLUFF) 5 3 32 36 -4
2001 MARINERS (PHIL GERAFFO) 4 4 36 29 7
1993 BLUE JAYS (JOE PAVLICEK) 3 5 27 31 -4
2016 CUBS (SCOTT EGGE) 1 7 20 38 -18
TOTALS 20 20 170 170 0
1953 DODGERS (JIM FRAASCH) 5 3 57 47 10
1909 TIGERS (CURT BARTELL) 5 3 31 31 0
1984 TIGERS (ROB SKOGEN) 4 4 46 38 8
1985 BLUE JAYS (BEN LOFGREN) 4 4 26 34 -8
2000 CARDINALS (BEAU LOFGREN) 2 6 33 43 -10
TOTALS 20 20 193 193 0
2004 YANKEES (CLEON PAVLICEK) 7 1 46 28 18
1929 CUBS (DAVE NORLANDER) 5 3 39 38 1
1995 INDIANS (DARRELL SKOGEN) 4 4 36 34 2
1919 WHITE SOX (FRED JOHNSON) 2 6 36 45 -9
1965 TIGERS (GEORGE ADAMS) 2 6 29 41 -12
TOTALS 20 20 186 186 0
1977 ROYALS (MARTY LEE) 6 2 41 30 11
1954 INDIANS (GARTH ANDERSON) 6 2 44 37 7
1957 BRAVES (BRUCE TYLER) 4 4 35 39 -4
1938 CUBS (KURT BERGLAND) 2 6 26 27 -1
2003 BRAVES (CRAIG CHRISTIAN) 2 6 23 36 -13
TOTALS 20 20 169 169 0




8 1909 TIGERS (CURT BARTELL) 3 7 0
7 1929 CUBS (DAVE NORLANDER) 8 4 2
3 1977 ROYALS (MARTY LEE) 5 5 2
4 1939 YANKEES (PAUL VAN BEEK) 9 6 2
5 1953 DODGERS (JIM FRAASCH) 4 2 0
1 1930 YANKEES (JEFF BOEDING) 4 12 1 2
7 1929 CUBS (DAVE NORLANDER) 11 8 0 1
3 1977 ROYALS (MARTY LEE) 8 1 5 2
4 1939 YANKEES (PAUL VAN BEEK) 3 3 4 1
3 1977 ROYALS (MARTY LEE) 5 5 0


The Semifinals are underway, with #4 seed Paul (in Sandberg jersey) Van Beek’s 1939 Yankees vs #3 seed Marty (in Royals jersey) Lee’s 1977 Royals.



#1 seed Jeff Boeding and his 1930 Yankees on left by wall, vs #7 seed Dave Norlander and his 1929 Cubs in the other Semifinal.  Kevin Cluff and Roy Langhans look on.


Tension mounts in Championship series between Jeff Boeding’s 1930 Yankees (left) and Marty Lee’s 1977 Royals (right).

Marty Lee is a first timer in TCABT-VII making it all the way to the finals with those ’77 Royals.  Marty who is originally from the KC area, and is back there now, had spent roughly 15 years in the Twin Cities as a family physician.



Kevin Cluff, the previous April Champion hands off the April Trophy to a deserving Jeff Boeding.  Congrats to Jeff Boeding and his 1930 Yankees, TCABT-VII Champions!  Jeff earns the honor of taking the trophy home and having the latest championship team plate added to the side of the traveling trophy.  Jeff has made each one of TCABT’s 7 tournaments from the Kansas City area.  Jeff and George Adams have made it a tradition to drive up together for the event every April and October.



While Jeff Boeding’s 1930 Yankees showed all they could win a TCABT Championship with a clean, wholesome bunch of C’s for a pitching staff, Fred Johnson’s 1919 White Sox demonstrated how to throw a TCABT tourney event.  The events were contained in the quiet 4-season porch, and not uncovered until the event was now days in the past.  The story goes something like this …


The card George Adams is nervously trying to play back to ’19 Chisox mgr. Fred Johnson (note I was under obligation to not have Fred’s face in the same picture as Jack “Legs” Diamond), is the custom made card by Fred Johnson himself, of Jack “Legs” Diamond … known to be in cahoots with Arnold Rothstein and the Black Sox scandal.  According to Johnson, the Legs card was only meant to be used for “pinch-running”, AKA, Herb Washington in 1974.  Apparently, Legs was bought off, along with 8 of Johnson’s 1919 Chisox clan, as the 1919 White Sox struggled to a hapless 2-6 record.  For the complete story, provided by Fred Johnson, read below …


(Mug shot of “Legs” Diamond, 1929)

Black Sox throw another series?
Cicotte, Jackson play is tipoff

T.F. Brown
Sporting News

In a stunning display of baseball treachery, the 1919 Chicago White Sox double-crossed their worthy field manager and threw away a chance to redeem their long lost honor, yesterday, in an important historical showdown at Skogen Fields, Maple Grove, Minnesota.

Once again the multi-talented South Siders, bumbled at the bat, fumbled in the field, and stumbled on the hill, as they rumbled to a dismal 2-6 record. “Looked like they thought it was a punt, pass and kick contest,” said one disbelieving sports scribe. Boos rained down on the APBA version of the Sox as they scurried from the field after the final out.

Suspicion for this foul-ball game fell heavily on manager F. Johnson [full name redacted for his safety] who completed his roster with “A. Player,” a wiry, mean-spirited, loner quickly spotted by fans—he wore a sport coat instead of a jersey. The imposter proved to be a young New York City mobster “Legs” Diamond. Under questioning a rattled Johnson shrieked in his own defense, “His last name is ‘Diamond.’ Legs is on the up and up. I brought him in as a possible pinch runner: You know, ‘Legs.’”

Opposing managers weren’t buying Johnson’s baseball fable. They watched fearfully as Legs Diamond paced the Sox dugout brandishing a 42-ounce bat and taking wild swings at the steps, walls and one unfortunate batboy. All the while he stared menacingly at ball players from the rival clubs. When questioned about the suspicious bulge under Diamond’s sport coat, Johnson whined, “I asked him not to wear the coat or at least take off the tie.”

Sports writers gathered around stars Eddie Cicotte and Shoeless Joe Jackson after the last game, punishing the sad Sox with barbed queries. Aimless Ed opened Game One by walking Indians-of-1995 James Lofton, who Jim Thome then platted with a 510-foot homerun. Several “Clean Sox” continued to fight, but Cicotte had handed the Indians a 6-2 lead going into the eighth. A dazzling six-run Clean Sox rally gave their twirler and unwanted and undeserved 10-7 “triumph.” A tearful Cicotte was spotted whispering with Shoeless Joe after the game, “I gave up seven runs,” wailed the twirler, “and these bums score 10!” “SSSHHhhhhhhhush,” counseled Shoeless.

Aimless Eddie took no chances in his second and last tournament start. He allowed Derek Jeter of Cleon Pavlicek’s 2004 Yanks a single, then plunked A Rod on the arm. The shady Cicotte then grooved an 82 mph brisk ball that Hideki Matsui blasted deep into Comiskey’s right field stands. Aimless Eddie had an “off” game overall, walking seven and hitting three. The fact that Eddie had only two HBP in 306.2 innings pitched in the 1919 regular season [you could look it up] yet hit three in one game raised suspicions.

Shoeless Joe flummoxed some suspicious reporters by pointing out his bases clearing double in the opening victory. “Hey, Shoeless,” interjected another reporter, “How many more RBIs did you get in the series?” Joe got no more ribbies, went 0 for 15 in games 2 through 5, and finished batting .130. For the season, he hit .351 with 96 RBI.

An offended Johnson listened to the questioning of his stars, defended Eddie and Shoeless, saying they made up the heart of his ball club. “Leave ‘em alone or you’ll have to answer to me!” While speaking those words, Johnson was actually pointing vigorously at Legs Diamond who had walked into the room.

George Adams, a Detroit kind of a guy with a 1965 Tigers club—the only manager still on speaking terms with Johnson—mused about the day’s events. “I understand bringing in a gangster to frighten the opposition but Diamond was also buddies with gamblers. Don’t you suppose that he might have…”

The light dawned. Johnson exploded, “While I was playing mind games using Legs as an intimidator, “Eddie, Shoeless…the Black Sox sold out again!”

Johnson walked off mumbling, “Who woulda thought an APBA baseball team could be bought.”

The above write-up was provided by this fan’s favorite Minnesota History author himself, Fred Johnson … thanks again Fred!


Background, standing, Cleon Pavlicek on left and Dave Norlander, sitting, on right.  Foreground, George Adams on left and Fred Johnson on right.




Joe Pavlicek on left vs Jeff Boeding on right.


Bruce Tyler on left vs Garth Anderson on right.


Rob Skogen on left vs Curt Bartell on right.


Paul Van Beek on left vs Marty Lee on right.


Beau Lofgren on left vs Ben Lofgren on right.


Dave Norlander on left vs George Adams on right.


Tyler Division foreground (Kurt Bergland in Red Sox shirt) and Cluff Division background.


Jim on left and Beau Lofgren on right.


Phil Geraffo looking through just a small portion of Darrell Skogen’s card collection.


Gregg Nelson and Roy Langhans


Clockwise, starting in Royals jersey:  Marty Lee, Garth Anderson, Craig Christian and Kurt Bergland.


Brewers jersey: Craig Christian, Red Sox shirt: Kurt Bergland.


8 of the 25 guys rolling for wins.


APBAlone Project – 1969 Tourney Update: AL Quarterfinals – (#5) Red Sox roll to semi’s over the (#4) Athletics

Series #12 has the #4 Oakland Athletics (88-74) vs the #5 Boston Red Sox (87-75).

Game 1:  Oakland (Hunter BYZ, 0-0) at Boston (Nagy BW, 0-0)

hunter_jim_1969_topps  VS  nagy_mike_1970_topps

Game 1, Fenway Park in Boston:  Built up as a potential slug-fest, with 2 evenly matched teams.  Boston used the long ball early, with George “Boomer” Scott knocking a 2-run HR in the bottom of the 2nd.  Oakland ties it when Reggie Jackson goes deep, a 2-run blast, 2-2 after 3.  Danny Cater hits a solo-HR for Oakland in the top of the 4th.  But Boston responds with 2 more 2-run homers, first Reggie Smith, then after a walk, Tony Conigliaro goes deep.  6-3 Boston after 4.  Boston adds 3 in the bottom of the 8th.  Final score: Red Sox 9, Athletics 3.  The Red Sox lead the series, 1 game to 0.

Game #1
 Fenway Park

 Hunter(OAK) vs. Nagy(BOS)

                    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9    R  H E
                    - - - - - - - - -    -  - -
 OAKLAND ATHLETICS  0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0    3  8 1
 BOSTON RED SOX     0 2 0 4 0 0 0 3 x    9 11 0

 W- Nagy(1-0) L- Roland(0-1)

 HR- (BOS) Scott(2),in 2nd Smith(1),in 4th Conigliaro(1),in 4th 
 (OAK) Jackson(1),in 3rd Cater(1),in 4th 
 3B- (BOS) Jones(1) 
 2B- (BOS) Conigliaro(1) 
 (OAK) Cater(1) 
 SB- (OAK) Monday(1) 
 CS- (OAK) Hunter(1) 

Boston leads series 1 game to 0.

Game 2:  Boston (Culp CY, 0-1) at Oakland (Odom BY, 0-0)

culp_ray_1969_topps  VS  odom_john_1969_topps

Game 2, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland:  It did not take long for either team to get a crooked number on the scoreboard.  Rico Petrocelli hits a 3-run HR in the top of the 1st, with all 3 runs unearned to John “Blue Moon” Odom after Carl Yastrzemski had reached on an error with 2 outs.  But in the bottom of the 1st, with the bases loaded and 2 outs, Rick Monday hits a grand slam, the first GS of the tournament.  4-3 Oakland after 1.  Like Boston has done throughout this tourney, they respond with a 2-run homer in the top of the 2nd, by Mike Andrews.  5-4 Boston after 2.  The long-ball would be Oakland’s un-doing as Reggie Smith hits a 3-run homer in the top of the 5th, knocking out Oakland starter, Odom.  Going back-to-back, Petrocelli’s solo-HR, puts Boston up 9-4 after 5.  While Boston walked 11 Oakland batters, Oakland could not keep up with the scoring pace set by Boston.  Final Score:  Boston 10, Oakland 6.  With a 2-0 series win, the #5 Boston Red Sox (4-1 overall) will advance to the AL Semifinals vs the #2 AL seed, the Minnesota Twins.  The Oakland Athletics (0-2) are eliminated.

Game #2
 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

 Culp(BOS) vs. Odom(OAK)

                    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9     R  H E
                    - - - - - - - - -     -  - -
 BOSTON RED SOX     3 2 0 0 4 0 1 0 0    10 10 0
 OAKLAND ATHLETICS  4 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0     6  7 3

 W- Culp(1-1) L- Odom(0-1)

 HR- (OAK) Monday(1),in 1st 
 (BOS) Petrocelli(2),in 1st Andrews(1),in 2nd Smith(2),in 5th Petrocelli(3),in 5th 
 2B- (OAK) Green(1) 
 (BOS) Yastrzemski(2) Satriano(1) 
 CS- (OAK) Campaneris(1) 
 HBP-(OAK) Jackson(1)  
Boston wins the series, 2 games to 0. Oakland is eliminated.

The MVP of the series is Tony Conigliaro:  7 for 8, 1 HR, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R

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Hitting the first grand slam in 1969 tourney play:

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Next Series (NL Quarterfinals):

TCABT-VII, all systems go for April 1st, 2017 Launch … the 5 divisions are set:


The Neil Ess Memorial Twin Cities APBA Baseball Tournament #7 is set for April 1st, 2017, as the 25 teams have been randomly divided into 5 divisions.  The 5 teams in each of the 5 divisions will roll 8 division games, leading into an 8 team, best-of-three, bracket style Quarterfinals, Semifinals and finally the TCABT-VII Championship series.

Prairieland 2 is in action the same day, in Champaign, IL, and we hope to connect via video link at some point during the day.

At our Twin Cities luncheon at O’Gara’s in St. Paul on Saturday March 11th , the attendees (5 of us were there) randomly drew the 25 teams entered, and placed them into 1 of 5, 5-team divisions (named after 5 of the TCABT founders, Neil Ess was the 6th) … here is where they fell:































The dice will start rolling by around 8:30 am at Darrell Skogen’s home in Maple Grove, MN.  Our estimated time for crowning our TCABT-VII champion is around 6:00pm.

And motivation is aplenty to add a different name to our TCABT April trophy!



Details around a video feed with the happenings at Prarieland 2, are to be determined …