APBAlone Project – 1969 Tourney Update: (#11) Pilots fly high to upset the (#6) Senators

AMERICAN LEAGUE

PRELIMINARY ROUND (Best of Three)

SERIES #2

Series #2 of my 1969 APBA MLB tournament has the #6 Washington Senators (86-76) vs the #11 Seattle Pilots (64-98).

While I knew the best-of-three early round format would make upsets more possible, I did not see this one coming.

Game 1:  Washington (Bosman BZ, 0-0) at Seattle (Gelnar CYZ, 0-0)

bosman_dick_1969_topps  VS  gelnar_john_1970_topps

Seattle, hoping to extend their inaugural season, opens the tournament drawing the Ted Williams led Washington Senators, who finished the 1969 season, 10 games over .500.  While the Senators lineup had some big bats to contend with, John Gelnar did not seem to mind as he drew the opening assignment.  With Gelnar putting up a goose egg in the top of the 1st, Seattle would put 1 run up thanks to a lead-off single/stolen base by Tommy Harper, Mike Hegan moving him to 3rd on a ground-out, and Steve Hovley with an innocent Sac-fly, RBI, the 1 run would be all Seattle would need.  Gelnar goes the distance, giving up just 3 hits, while walking 5.  Washington could muster just 3 singles.  And Senator starter Dick Bosman was knocked out in the bottom of the 7th when Hovley tripled home Harper from 1st.  Hovley finished with a 2 for 3 day, 1 triple, 1 double and the sac-fly, and 3 RBI.  Wayne Comer homered for Seattle in the bottom of the 8th.  Final score: 6-0 Seattle.  The Pilots lead the series, 1 game to 0.

Game #1
 Sick's Stadium

 WASHINGTON SENATORS (0-0) at SEATTLE PILOTS (0-0)
 Bosman(WAS) vs. Gelnar(SEA)

                     1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
                     - - - - - - - - -   - - -
 WASHINGTON SENATORS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 3 1
 SEATTLE PILOTS      1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 x   6 8 0

 W- Gelnar(1-0) L- Bosman(0-1)

 HR- (SEA) Comer(1),in 8th 
 3B- (SEA) Hovley(1) 
 2B- (SEA) Comer(1) Donaldson(1) Hovley(1) 
 SB- (SEA) Harper(1) 
 (WAS) Unser(1) 
 SH- (SEA) Gelnar(1) 
 SF- (SEA) Hovley(1) 

Seattle leads series 1 game to 0.

Game 2:  Seattle (Brabender DY, 0-0) at Washington (Coleman BY, 0-0)

brabender_gene_1970_topps  VS  coleman_joe_1969_topps

Seattle hoping to keep some of the game 1 magic they found at Sick’s Stadium on their side, did just that as they opened the top of the 1st at RFK Stadium with 2 runs, on a 2-run homer by Steve Hovley.  Gene Brabender extended the Senators scoreless streak, pitching 3 shut-out innings out of the gate.  Ted Williams realized 1969 was not going to be the Senators year when Don Mincher came up with runners on 1st and 2nd and nobody out in the top of the 3rd, and deposited a Joe Coleman pitch deep over the RF fence, as Seattle took a 5-0 lead after 3.  The Senators went to the bullpen to start the 4th inning, with Bob Humphreys in to relieve Coleman.  Seattle strung together 4 consecutive singles, capped off by Mincher’s 2-RBI single with nobody out.  With the Pilots leading 7-0 heading into the bottom of the 4th, Mike Epstein finally got the Senators on the board with a solo HR.  7-1 Pilots after 4.  Washington would score 2 more in the bottom of the 6th, making it a 7-3 game.  Seattle brought in defensive reserves for the 7th-9th innings, with John Kennedy taking over at 3rd-base for Tommy Harper and Steve Whitaker taking over in LF for Mike Hegan.  In the top of the 8th, Kennedy walked and Whitaker hit a 2-run HR, the Pilots 3rd homer of the game.  The final score:  Seattle 9, Washington 3.  Seattle wins the series, 2 games to none.  The Pilots have earned themselves an AL Quarterfinal match-up vs the #1 AL seed, the Baltimore Orioles.

Game #2
 RFK Stadium

 SEATTLE PILOTS (1-0) at WASHINGTON SENATORS (0-1)
 Brabender(SEA) vs. Coleman(WAS)

                     1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R  H E
                     - - - - - - - - -   -  - -
 SEATTLE PILOTS      2 0 3 2 0 0 0 2 0   9 11 0
 WASHINGTON SENATORS 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0   3  6 0

 W- Brabender(1-0) L- Coleman(0-1)

 HR- (WAS) Epstein(1),in 4th 
 (SEA) Hovley(1),in 1st Mincher(1),in 3rd Whitaker(1),in 8th 
 3B- (WAS) Epstein(1) 
 2B- (WAS) Maye(1) 
 (SEA) Mincher(1) 
 SB- (SEA) Mincher(1) 
 HBP-(SEA) Hovley(1) 
Seattle wins the series, 2 games to 0.  Washington is eliminated.

The Co-MVP’s of the series are John Gelnar:  9 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 6 SO, 1 CG, 1 SHO

gelnar_john_1970_topps

And Steve Hovley:  4 for 7, 1 HR, 1 3B, 1 2B, 5 RBI.

hovley_steve_1970_topps

SERIES STATS:

SEATTLE PILOTS - Batting

Name              G  PA  AB   R   H  BI 2B 3B HR BB SO SB     BA   SLG   OBP
============================================================================
Whitaker, Steve   1   1   1   1   1   2  0  0  1  0  0  0  1.000 4.000 1.000
Hegan, Mike       2   8   7   4   4   0  0  0  0  1  0  0   .571  .571  .625
Hovley, Steve     2   9   7   2   4   5  1  1  1  0  0  0   .571 1.429  .556
Mincher, Don      2   9   8   1   3   5  1  0  1  1  0  1   .375  .875  .444
Harper, Tommy     2   8   7   3   2   0  0  0  0  1  1  1   .286  .286  .375
Donaldson, John   2   8   8   0   2   2  1  0  0  0  1  0   .250  .375  .250
Comer, Wayne      2   9   9   3   2   1  1  0  1  0  1  0   .222  .667  .222
Oyler, Ray        2   8   7   0   1   0  0  0  0  1  3  0   .143  .143  .250
Gil, Gus          1   1   1   0   0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0   .000  .000  .000
Gelnar, John      1   3   2   0   0   0  0  0  0  0  1  0   .000  .000  .000
Brabender, Gene   1   3   3   0   0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0   .000  .000  .000
McNertney, Jerry  2   9   8   0   0   0  0  0  0  1  0  0   .000  .000  .111
Kennedy, John     1   1   0   1   0   0  0  0  0  1  0  0      -     - 1.000
============================================================================
                     77  68  15  19  15  4  1  4  6  7  2   .279  .544  .342
SEATTLE PILOTS - Pitching

Name            GP GS    IP   H  RA  ER  BB  SO  W  L  Sv CG ShO  HR    ERA
===========================================================================
Locker, Bob      1  0   2.0   0   0   0   0   1  0  0   0  0   0   0   0.00
Segui, Diego     1  0   1.2   0   0   0   1   1  0  0   0  0   0   0   0.00
Gelnar, John     1  1   9.0   3   0   0   5   6  1  0   0  1   1   0   0.00
Brabender, Gene  1  1   5.1   6   3   3   0   1  1  0   0  0   0   1   5.06
===========================================================================
                 4  2  18.0   9   3   3   6   9  2  0   0  1   1   1   1.50
WASHINGTON SENATORS - Batting

Name            G  PA  AB   R   H  BI 2B 3B HR BB SO SB     BA   SLG   OBP
==========================================================================
Epstein, Mike   2   8   7   1   3   2  0  1  1  1  0  0   .429 1.143  .500
Allen, Bernie   2   7   7   0   2   0  0  0  0  0  2  0   .286  .286  .286
Howard, Frank   2   8   5   1   1   1  0  0  0  3  0  0   .200  .200  .500
Maye, Lee       2   8   8   1   1   0  1  0  0  0  1  0   .125  .250  .125
McMullen, Ken   2   8   8   0   1   0  0  0  0  0  1  0   .125  .125  .125
Unser, Del      2   8   8   0   1   0  0  0  0  0  2  1   .125  .125  .125
Bosman, Dick    1   2   2   0   0   0  0  0  0  0  2  0   .000  .000  .000
Casanova, Paul  2   6   6   0   0   0  0  0  0  0  1  0   .000  .000  .000
Brinkman, Ed    2   7   5   0   0   0  0  0  0  2  0  0   .000  .000  .286
Allen, Hank     2   2   2   0   0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0   .000  .000  .000
Alyea, Brant    1   1   1   0   0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0   .000  .000  .000
Cullen, Tim     1   1   1   0   0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0   .000  .000  .000
==========================================================================
                   66  60   3   9   3  1  1  1  6  9  1   .150  .250  .227
WASHINGTON SENATORS - Pitching

Name            GP GS    IP   H  RA  ER  BB  SO  W  L  Sv CG ShO  HR    ERA
===========================================================================
Higgins, Dennis  1  0   2.0   1   0   0   1   1  0  0   0  0   0   0   0.00
Bosman, Dick     1  1   6.2   7   5   4   3   1  0  1   0  0   0   0   5.40
Knowles, Darold  2  0   2.1   1   2   2   1   2  0  0   0  0   0   1   7.71
Humphreys, Bob   2  0   3.0   5   3   3   0   3  0  0   0  0   0   1   9.00
Coleman, Joe     1  1   3.0   5   5   5   1   0  0  1   0  0   0   2  15.00
===========================================================================
                 7  2  17.0  19  15  14   6   7  0  2   0  0   0   4   7.41

 

Next series:

APBAlone Project – 1969 Tourney Update: (#5) Red Sox take down (#12) Indians

AMERICAN LEAGUE

PRELIMINARY ROUND (Best of Three)

SERIES #1

The opening series of my 1969 APBA MLB tournament has the #5 Boston Red Sox (87-75) vs the #12 Cleveland Indians (62-99).

The best-of-three series format for the Preliminary Round (as well as the league Quarterfinals and Semifinals) means an increased chance of seeing early round upsets.  This first series came very close to seeing one of those upsets.

Game 1:  Boston (Nagy BW, 0-0) at Cleveland (McDowell BX, 0-0)

nagy_mike_1970_topps  VS  mcdowell_sam_1969_topps

The series opener is a pitcher’s duel, as Boston uses 3 pitchers to best Cleveland starter, Sam McDowell who pitches a CG loss for the Indians.  Vicente Romo gains the win for Boston, pitching 2 scoreless innings, while Carl Yastrzemski hits his 2nd solo homer of the game, giving Boston a 2-1 lead.  Yaz had tied the game with his 1st homer in the top of the 6th.  Cleveland’s lone run scored in the bottom of the 4th when Ken Harrelson tripled home Tony Horton from 1st.  Sparky Lyle saves the game for Boston by pitching a scoreless 9th, leaving 2 runners on base.  Boston takes the series lead, 1-0.

Game #1
 Cleveland Stadium

 BOSTON RED SOX (0-0) at CLEVELAND INDIANS (0-0)
 Nagy(BOS) vs. McDowell(CLE)

                   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
                   - - - - - - - - -   - - -
 BOSTON RED SOX    0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0   2 4 0
 CLEVELAND INDIANS 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0   1 5 0

 W- Romo(1-0) S- Lyle(1) L- McDowell(0-1)

 HR- (BOS) Yastrzemski(1),in 6th Yastrzemski(2),in 8th 
 3B- (CLE) Harrelson(1) 
 SH- (BOS) Nagy(1) 

Boston leads series 1 game to 0.

Game 2:  Cleveland (Tiant CY, 0-0) at Boston (Culp CY, 0-0)

tiant_luis_1969_topps  VS  culp_ray_1969_topps

Cleveland takes a 2-0 lead in the top of the 3rd on a Luis Tiant 2-run homer.  George Scott homers for Boston in the bottom of the 4th, making it a 2-1 game.  Cleveland takes a 3-1 lead in the top of the 5th, and never relinquishes the lead as they go onto win the game, 9-3.  Ken Harrelson hit a 2-run homer in the top of the 6th for Cleveland.  Boston starter, Ray Culp goes 5 IP, giving up 8 hits and 4 runs.  Tiant pitches a CG win for Cleveland, and goes 3 for 4 at the plate with a homer, double and single, and 3 RBI.  The series is tied, 1-1.

Game #2
 Fenway Park

 CLEVELAND INDIANS (0-1) at BOSTON RED SOX (1-0)
 Tiant(CLE) vs. Culp(BOS)

                   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R  H E
                   - - - - - - - - -   -  - -
 CLEVELAND INDIANS 0 0 2 0 1 2 4 0 0   9 13 1
 BOSTON RED SOX    0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0   3  6 0

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

 HR- (BOS) Scott(1),in 4th 
 (CLE) Tiant(1),in 3rd Harrelson(1),in 6th 
 2B- (BOS) Andrews(1) Andrews(2) 
 (CLE) Klimchock(1) Horton(1) Tiant(1) 
 SB- (BOS) Smith(1) Andrews(1) 
 (CLE) Cardenal(1) 
 SF- (BOS) Jones(1) 

Series is tied 1-1.

Game 3:  Cleveland (Ellsworth DZ, 0-0) at Boston (Siebert CY, 0-0)

ellsworth_dick_1969_topps  VS  siebert_sonny_1970_topps

The Boston Red Sox launched 4 homers, 3 of them off of Cleveland starter, Dick Ellsworth, who left after only 2.1 IP.  Boston led 7-1 after 3 and never looked back, winning the game 9-3 and the series 2-1.  Sonny Siebert, the former Indian pitcher, pitched a CG win for the Red Sox, giving up just 4 hits.  With a 2-1 series win, the #5 Boston Red Sox will advance to play the #4 Oakland Athletics in the AL Quarterfinals.

Game #3
 Fenway Park

 CLEVELAND INDIANS (1-1) at BOSTON RED SOX (1-1)
 Ellsworth(CLE) vs. Siebert(BOS)

                   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R  H E
                   - - - - - - - - -   -  - -
 CLEVELAND INDIANS 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1   3  4 1
 BOSTON RED SOX    1 2 4 0 0 0 0 2 0   9 11 0

 W- Siebert(1-0) L- Ellsworth(0-1)

 HR- (BOS) Gibson(1),in 2nd Yastrzemski(3),in 3rd Petrocelli(1),in 3rd Siebert(1),in 8th 
 2B- (BOS) Yastrzemski(1) Gibson(1) 
 (CLE) Fuller(1) 
 SH- (CLE) Ellsworth(1)

Boston wins the series, 2 games to 1.  Cleveland is eliminated.

The MVP of the series was Carl Yastrzemski:  4 for 8, 3 HR, 1 2B, 4 RBI and 4 BB.

yastrzemski_carl_1969_topps

SERIES STATS:

BOSTON RED SOX - Batting

Name               G  PA  AB  R  H BI  2B 3B HR  BB SO SB    BA   SLG   OBP
===========================================================================
Culp, Ray          1   2   2  0  1  0   0  0  0   0  0  0  .500  .500  .500
Yastrzemski, Carl  3  12   8  3  4  4   1  0  3   4  1  0  .500 1.750  .667
Gibson, Russ       3  10   8  1  4  4   1  0  1   2  1  0  .500 1.000  .600
Andrews, Mike      3  14  14  1  4  0   2  0  0   0  3  1  .286  .429  .286
Siebert, Sonny     1   4   4  1  1  2   0  0  1   0  1  0  .250 1.000  .250
Petrocelli, Rico   3  12   9  1  2  1   0  0  1   3  0  0  .222  .556  .417
O'Brien, Syd       3   5   5  1  1  0   0  0  0   0  0  0  .200  .200  .200
Scott, George      3  12  11  3  2  1   0  0  1   1  2  0  .182  .455  .250
Conigliaro, Tony   3  12  11  2  1  0   0  0  0   1  3  0  .091  .091  .167
Smith, Reggie      3  12  12  0  1  0   0  0  0   0  1  1  .083  .083  .083
Nagy, Mike         1   2   1  0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0  0  .000  .000  .000
Schofield, Dick    1   2   1  1  0  0   0  0  0   1  0  0  .000  .000  .500
Lahoud, Joe        1   1   1  0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0  0  .000  .000  .000
Satriano, Tom      1   1   1  0  0  0   0  0  0   0  1  0  .000  .000  .000
Jones, Dalton      3   8   6  0  0  1   0  0  0   1  1  0  .000  .000  .125
===========================================================================
                     109  94 14 21 13   4  0  7  13 14  2  .223  .489  .315
BOSTON RED SOX - Pitching

Name           GP GS    IP   H  RA  ER  BB  SO  W  L  Sv  CG ShO  HR    ERA
===========================================================================
Lyle, Sparky    2  0   3.0   3   0   0   0   1  0  0   1   0   0   0   0.00
Nagy, Mike      1  1   6.0   2   1   1   4   5  0  0   0   0   0   0   1.50
Siebert, Sonny  1  1   9.0   4   3   3   7   5  1  0   0   1   0   0   3.00
Romo, Vicente   2  0   2.2   2   1   1   2   2  1  0   0   0   0   0   3.38
Culp, Ray       1  1   5.0   8   4   4   2   1  0  1   0   0   0   1   7.20
Stange, Lee     1  0   1.1   3   4   4   1   1  0  0   0   0   0   1  27.00
===========================================================================
                8  3  27.0  22  13  13  16  15  2  1   1   1   0   2   4.33
CLEVELAND INDIANS - Batting

Name             G  PA  AB  R  H BI  2B 3B HR  BB SO SB    BA   SLG   OBP
=========================================================================
Tiant, Luis      1   4   4  1  3  3   1  0  1   0  0  0  .750 1.750  .750
Klimchock, Lou   3  12  11  1  5  4   1  0  0   1  0  0  .455  .545  .500
Harrelson, Ken   3  13  10  3  3  3   0  1  1   3  1  0  .300  .800  .462
Snyder, Russ     3  13  12  0  3  1   0  0  0   1  2  0  .250  .250  .308
Alvis, Max       1   4   4  1  1  0   0  0  0   0  2  0  .250  .250  .250
Horton, Tony     3  13  11  2  2  0   1  0  0   2  3  0  .182  .273  .308
Brown, Larry     3  13  12  1  2  0   0  0  0   1  2  0  .167  .167  .231
Fuller, Vern     3   8   6  1  1  0   1  0  0   2  1  0  .167  .333  .375
Sims, Duke       3  13  10  2  1  1   0  0  0   3  1  0  .100  .100  .308
Cardenal, Jose   3  13  11  1  1  1   0  0  0   2  0  1  .091  .091  .231
Baker, Frank     2   2   1  0  0  0   0  0  0   1  0  0  .000  .000  .500
Williams, Stan   1   1   1  0  0  0   0  0  0   0  1  0  .000  .000  .000
McDowell, Sam    1   3   3  0  0  0   0  0  0   0  2  0  .000  .000  .000
Ellsworth, Dick  1   1   0  0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0  0     -     -     -
=========================================================================
                   113  96 13 22 13   4  1  2  16 15  1  .229  .354  .339
CLEVELAND INDIANS - Pitching

Name            GP GS    IP   H  RA  ER  BB  SO  W  L  Sv  CG ShO  HR    ERA
============================================================================
Williams, Stan   1  0   4.2   2   2   1   2   1  0  0   0   0   0   0   1.93
Tiant, Luis      1  1   9.0   6   3   2   7   3  1  0   0   1   0   1   2.00
McDowell, Sam    1  1   9.0   4   2   2   4   6  0  1   0   1   0   2   2.00
Paul, Mike       1  0   1.0   2   2   2   0   2  0  0   0   0   0   1  18.00
Ellsworth, Dick  1  1   2.1   7   5   5   0   2  0  1   0   0   0   3  19.29
============================================================================
                 5  3  26.0  21  14  12  13  14  1  2   0   2   0   7   4.15

 

Next series:

APBAlone Project: 1969 APBA Baseball Tournament

1969:  The 100th Anniversary of MLB

My favorite column in the old APBA Journal was written by the late Daryl Hollis.  The “APBAlone” column which ran monthly through most of the 70’s and into the 1980’s and 1990’s.  It was about the only way APBA fans could read about other APBA fan’s solo projects, in the days before the internet.  Whether it was a season replay, for either MLB or the NFL, a World Series replay, an individual team replay, or whatever other random project the reader would submit via mail to Daryl Hollis’ mailbox.  Heck, in looking through old APBA Journals, a few of my submissions to Daryl Hollis bring back some fond memories:  my 1961 World Series replay using the Great Teams of the Past versions of the Yankees and Reds.  The Yankees swept the Reds in 4 games with Mickey Mantle having a terrific series, as reported in the December 1980 issue (when I was 14, complete with my typos).  Or my partially completed 1981 NL replay, which was into May on the schedule, published in the August 1982 issue.  In fact, if it was not for Daryl Hollis’ column, nothing would exist of those 2 projects today, not too mention the 100’s of other reader’s projects which he documented in the pages of the AJ.

aj_dec_1980

In taking a break from both my 1965 MLB replay (currently on June 6th) and my 1973 NFL replay (almost thru Week One), which I have been documenting on the Delphi APBA Between the Lines forum, I have decided to put one of my old original APBA Baseball card sets to use, 1969, into tournament action.  And, in the spirit of the old APBAlone column of the APBA Journal, and as a tribute to Daryl Hollis, I will document this tournament on my blog site, in a series of blog posts.  My ultimate goal is to use this tournament format with the older original card sets.

killebrew_1969

AL MVP – Harmon Killebrew

(Note the “10” Killer received was due to Billy Martin being the Twins Mgr in ’69)

killebrew

willie_mccovey_1969_2

NL MVP – Willie McCovey

mccovey

My 1969 tournament format is as follows:

  • 24 teams.
  • Teams seeded 1-12 in each the AL and the NL, with the top 4 teams in each league earning a Preliminary Round Bye.
  • The Preliminary Round, League Quarterfinal and Semifinal Rounds will all be best-of-three series (early round upsets more likely to occur).
  • The League Championship Series will be best-of-five.
  • The World Series will be best-of-seven.
  • Pitching rotations start at the top, for each round.

AL Cy Young Award co-winners:  Mike Cuellar and Denny McClain

 

tom_seaver_1969

NL Cy Young Award winner:  #41 Tom Seaver (flanked by Yogi Berra and Al Weis)

seaver

  • 20-man rosters (no XB’s).
  • Injuries will only last for current game, and there must be a position player available, carded at same position, to take the injured players place.
  • No DH.
  • Teams are re-seeded following each round.  The highest always faces the lowest seed possible.
  • I have setup pitching rules where starting pitchers must pitch a min. of 5 IP each start (unless 5 runs are given up first) and limits on use of relief pitchers innings and rest.
  • I am using the APBA Journal Error Distribution Card and Unusual Play Card as well as the Rare Play Charts from the Master Game.
  • Advanced basic game rules are in use.

billymartin_si

One and done, Billy Martin in his 1st and only season as Twins skipper …

The Preliminary Round (best-of-three) match-ups are as follows:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

#1  orioles (bye)

#2  twins (bye)

#3  tigers (bye)

#4  athletics (bye)

#5  red_sox vs  #12 indians

#6  senators vs  #11 pilots

#7  yankees vs  #10 white_sox

#8  angels vs  #9  royals

seattle-pilots

The 1969 Seattle Pilots, 1 season and done … and thank God for Bouton & Ball Four.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

#1  mets (bye)

#2  braves (bye)

#3  cubs (bye)

#4  giants (bye)

#5  reds vs  #12 padres

#6  pirates vs  #11 expos

#7  cardinals vs  #10 phillies

#8  dodgers vs  #9  astros

alg-catcubs-jpg

“Metsy” the black cat foreshadowing the collapse of the 1969 Chicago Cubs …

This type of project is an efficient way to use all teams in a set.  Each team will be used a minimum of 2-3 games, and 12 of the teams will be used a minimum of 4-6 games.  In all, the total number of games for the tournament will range anywhere from a minimum of 50 games to a maximum of 77 games.

pilots

Most APBA fans could knock this out in a matter of weeks.  My plan is to complete the project before April 1st, 2017.  We will see how close I get to that mark.

100th_anniversary

My blog posts will feature series by series results.

For a team to make it to the ALCS and NLCS they will each need to win 3 rounds, each round a quick best-of-three.  It will be a race to the Championship Series as teams are able to use their top 3 starters leading up to the League Championships.  I expect at least a few upsets in the early rounds, as just about any club can get hot for 2 games and win a series.  But with high seed vs low seed, the upsets should not be the norm.  Teams which have 2 “ace” like starters will be at the advantage in the early rounds since they can sweep a best-of-three series with only their top 2 starters pitching.  I expect this 1969 APBA Baseball Tournament to be a wild ride, fitting for 1969.

Stats are being kept with the use of BallStat and BallScore.

1969, here we come …

70tspmetsteamopening-day

 

 

TCABT-VII: Team Selection has begun …

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With TCABT-VII fast approaching (Saturday, April 1st, 2017), our team selection process has begun.  As of Saturday, January 7th, managers were allowed to email in their team selection, which also becomes the manager’s “ticket” into the tournament.

The list below will be updated as new entrants come on-board.

  1. 1969 ORIOLES – LEROY ARNOLDI (PRIOR LAKE, MN)
  2. 1998 YANKEES – KEVIN CLUFF (APPLE VALLEY, MN)
  3. 2016 CUBS – BEN LOFGREN (HAWLEY, MN)
  4. 2001 MARINERS – PHIL GERAFFO (MINNETONKA, MN)
  5. 1906 CUBS – GARY BORTHWICK (CRYSTAL, MN)
  6. 1954 INDIANS – GARTH ANDERSEN (RAMSEY, MN)
  7. 2003 BRAVES – CRAIG CHRISTIAN (EAU CLAIRE, WI)
  8. 1929 CUBS – DAVE NORLANDER (BLOOMINGTON, MN)
  9. 2016 INDIANS – SCOTT EGGE (WOODBURY, MN)
  10. 1953 DODGERS – JIM FRAASCH (SAVAGE, MN)
  11. 1919 WHITE SOX – FRED JOHNSON (COTTAGE GROVE, MN)
  12. 1957 BRAVES – BRUCE TYLER (ELK RIVER, MN)
  13. 1995 ROCKIES – GREGG NELSON (MAPLE GROVE, MN)
  14. 1995 INDIANS – DARRELL SKOGEN (MAPLE GROVE, MN)
  15. 2006 TWINS – SCOTT ELLINGSWORTH (BROOKLYN PARK, MN)
  16. 1905 GIANTS – ROY LANGHANS (COCKEYSVILLE, MD)
  17. 1939 YANKEES – PAUL VAN BEEK (WINONA, MN)
  18. 1997 MARINERS – JEFF BOEDING (PLATTE CITY, MO)
  19. 2000 CARDINALS – BEAU LOFGREN (HAWLEY, MN)
  20. 1984 TIGERS – ROB SKOGEN (FOREST LAKE, MN)
  21. 1938 CUBS – KURT BERGLAND (WAUKESHA, WI)
  22. 2004 YANKEES – CLEON PAVLICEK (BLOOMINGTON, MN)
  23. 1929 PHILLIES – GEORGE ADAMS (LIBERTY, MO)
  24. 1909 TIGERS – CURT BARTEL (OCONOMOWOC, WI)
  25. 1977 ROYALS – MARTY LEE (KANSAS CITY, MO)
  26. ?

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TCABT-VII: Announcement … Saturday, April 1st, 2017

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The Neil Ess Memorial Twin Cities APBA Baseball Tournament will be held Saturday, April 1st, 2017.

TCABT-VII

  • Date:  Saturday, April 1st, 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 6:30pm)
  • Team selection:  Begins Saturday, January 7th 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

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As in past years for our April tournament, team selection will begin on the first Saturday of January.

  • For TCABT-VII, team selection begins:  Saturday, January 7th 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 continues through Saturday, March 11th.

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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.

 

APBA’view: Fred Johnson

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About 2 years ago, I had spotted a little Craigslist ad, a man selling a few APBA Baseball sets which were sitting idle, collecting dust.  I am an APBA collector and player.  When I see an ad listing for anything APBA, I usually jump at the chance to pick up the item, whether I need the item or not.  It gives me a chance to meet another person who might be associated with APBA in some fashion.  The additional APBA sets are nice, but gaining a new relationship, through APBA, is definitely more valuable to me.

The man posting the Craigslist ad was Fred Johnson, of Cottage Grove, MN.  I called the number, and was informed the 2 sets he had for sale were the 1976 and 1977 sets.  I already owned these sets, but what the heck, I asked where we should meet and I would love to pick up the sets.  We decided on a location in the southeast Twin Cities metro, a Caribou Coffee shop.  Upon meeting Fred, one of my first questions was “what was your experience with APBA”?  It turns out, Fred had played APBA in his youth, growing up with 2 buddies in the 1950’s and playing hours and hours of APBA Baseball.  Back when the cards were all single-column cards, and when the Athletics found their way from Philadelphia to Kansas City, and “first in War, and last in the American League” was still a common and accurate phrase uttered in the Washington DC area.  You could say Fred’s exposure to APBA was during the “Golden Age” of baseball and the very early years of APBA.  However, by the time APBA had first issued the double-column cards in 1959 (the 1958 season), Fred was leaving APBA behind after high school graduation (1959) and college.  Fred’s buddies kept playing through the years, until each had sadly passed away over the last few years.  The 1976 and 1977 sets which Fred had in his possession were given to him by the wife of one of his buddies.  Fred decided he did not need the extra box of APBA cards sitting around the house, and just wanted to find a home for the sets, and was not looking to make any sort of money on the cards.

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Our meeting turned out to be much more than just a lackluster transaction involving APBA cards from the 1970’s.  Over a cup of coffee, I mentioned to Fred that I play in a semi-annual APBA tournament in the Twin Cities, and that we currently had about 20 guys involved.  Instead of a blank stare, and instead of a polite “oh, that’s nice”, Fred’s curiosity was peaked, and by the end of our visit, Fred was planning to attend our 3rd tournament, scheduled for April of 2015, after not having rolled any APBA dice since 1959.  He has attended each semi-annual tournament since, and plans to not miss another.

Onto the interview questions for a famed author of Minnesota History, a very humble Fred Johnson …

Jimsapbabarn question #1:  Tell us about yourself, your youth, etc (outside of APBA)?

Fred Johnson:  Red Wing, my hometown, prided itself as a basketball and baseball hotbed so I was immersed in both sports during my 1950s era childhood years. I lived just four blocks from the beautiful ballpark home of the Red Wing Aces, a venue that is familiar to many Minnesota town team veterans. My friends and I used that field as our personal diamond as grade-schoolers and played on it for real as members of city’s high school baseball team and later the town team.

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red_wing_athletic_field

red_wing_aces_town_team

(Current day Red Wing Aces town-team players)

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zach_batting_at_athletic_field_in_red_wing

(Ed. note:  The irony of doing this interview with Fred Johnson, is that a few years earlier before I knew Fred, I had taken this cell phone picture of my son Zach, batting at Athletic Park in Red Wing during an American Legion game)

Sports came first for me, a fact my teachers would readily confirm. The seasons just ran together—football followed by basketball, baseball, summer baseball (Little League, VFW, American Legion), and pre-football captains’ practice. Then the cycle started over again until I managed to graduate. History, writing and literature were of great interest to me and I pursued all of those subjects on my own, not considering them as part of my formal schooling. Any endeavors involving these three interests, along with sports, were pleasures to be enjoyed, certainly not labor.

Somehow college scouts failed to understand my athletic potential and no scholarships were forthcoming. Similarly, my academic record eluded the talent scouts of the nation’s greatest colleges and universities. I attended University of Wisconsin-River Falls, which proved to be an excellent school, as an elementary education major with a journalism minor. Eventually I taught in St. Paul for more than three decades.

Cascade Avenue entrance

 

Jimsapbabarn question #2:  When and how did you discover APBA?

Fred Johnson:  In the summer of 1955, a new friend invited me to play APBA baseball with him. He owned the complete 1952 and 1953 editions. During the first summer, we casually played teams we liked, but committed to doing a full season the following year. We played all sixteen teams according to their schedule and had a great time but, of course, couldn’t come close to completing the 154 game schedule. A mutual friend joined us in 1957 and we recreated the 1956 APBA season.

1953apba

Our trio added a fourth and we kept playing until 1959 when high school activities intervened. We would roll an occasional game when we got together, even if we didn’t have the cards and boards. Each of would pick favorite teams, lineups that had been committed to memory well enough to make the games work.

 

Jimsapbabarn question #3:  I know you spent time as a community paper sportswriter, how did you get going with the job and how long did you write the column?

Fred Johnson:  As noted, my interest in writing only grew during high school. I joined the school newspaper as its sports editor, a tricky proposition when covering teams on which I played. Fortunately there proved to be no conflict of interest. I never did anything on the football, basketball and baseball teams that was noteworthy. Sportswriting became a bigger part of my life when I became sports editor of the weekly newspaper serving Cottage Grove, Woodbury, St. Paul Park and Newport. I began in 1970 and continued for thirteen years.

My love of history only grew stronger over the years. I began writing about Minnesota’s past in 1986 and in retirement got much more involved. Local historical societies hire me to write community histories and I also author magazine articles on topics interesting to me. Ten of my books are now in publication and I continue to write.

 

Jimsapbabarn question #4:  What are your memories of TCABT regular Gregg Nelson and his brother, the current MLB umpire, Jeff Nelson, as high school athletes?

Fred Johnson:  First, as a teacher and unlike typical sportswriters, I tended to take the broader view of high school athletics. The importance of sports is overblown in our society and I didn’t want to make heroes or goats of teenagers. Although cautious in dealing with individuals, I enjoyed pointing out those who were noteworthy for athletic success but also positive leaders, hard workers, and good teammates. Gregg and Jeff were in that category.

fred_vs_gregg_the_reunion

(TCABT-III:  Fred Johnson on left facing off vs Gregg Nelson on right)

Ed. note:  I am dropping in the story I wrote in a recap of TCABT-III …

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The “reunion” … this picture has a big story behind it.

This is Fred Johnson on the left, and Gregg Nelson on the right.

Fred Johnson’s last APBA Baseball game he played until this tourney day, was in 1959.

Fred Johnson spent his career as a school teacher and local sports writer in Cottage Grove, MN, which is the same town Gregg Nelson grew up in, playing APBA Baseball with his brother, Jeff Nelson, who is now a Major League Baseball Umpire. Fred covered the high school basketball playing days of both Gregg and Jeff Nelson. Gregg recalls reading Fred’s column each and every week in his community newspaper. The chance that this meeting would ever take place, some 30+ years since Gregg’s high school days is truly amazing. I happened to stumble upon an APBA Craigslist ad several months ago. The seller was Fred Johnson, selling a ’76 and ’77 APBA set which he never used but had acquired from his friend who had kept up with APBA until he died. I mentioned our TCABT tournament to Fred, and he was interested in coming out and meeting the guys and playing, even though he had not rolled the dice since 1959. When Gregg saw Fred Johnson from Cottage Grove was coming to the tournament, it dawned on him that this had to be the same Fred Johnson that wrote the sports column each week in his old hometown community newspaper. Sure enough it was … Gregg mentioned this to his brother Jeff, who asked for a picture of the 2 together at the tournament. The divisions were determined with rolls of the dice a few weeks in advance and another random occurrence, put these 2 in the same division, which meant they would be rolling the dice vs each other. Fred’s ’30 A’s won both games over Gregg’s ’98 Braves, 2 1-run games. I think Gregg was just happy he got to roll a series vs his favorite sports columnist. Today, Fred Johnson is an author and a Minnesota Historian. He has written several books on specific events in Minnesota history, has published several articles and has appeared on local TV shows.

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jeff_nelson_ump_with_girardi

(2009 World Series:  On left, Gregg’s brother, Jeff Nelson #45 with the upper-hand, as Yankee Skipper Joe Girardi pleads his case)

I remember Gregg and Jeff as determined, capable, versatile, dependable athletes who their coaches could count on to perform to the best of their ability. They competed. The Nelsons were the kind of kids a coach, fans, and teammates wanted on their side, a compliment to their parents, school and community. Can’t do much better than that.

 

Jimsapbabarn question #5:  How did you come to write your first book on Minnesota history?

Fred Johnson:  My first book The Sea Wing Disaster came out in 1986 and was revised and expanded 2014.  The steamboat Sea Wing carried 215 people when it overturned south of Red Wing on Lake Pepin in July 1890. Ninety-eight people died. It is among the nation’s most deadly steamboat accidents. My great-grandfather worked as one of the teamsters at the city levee, loading victim’s bodies on wagons and driving them to makeshift funeral parlors. Two sisters, who would have become grand-aunts to my wife, drowned. The family connection led me to write the story.

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sea_wing_wreckage

(The Sea Wing wreckage … July 1890)

My favorite book authored?:  Books are like an author’s children, each unique and sometimes challenging but you love them all. That said, The Big Water: Lake Minnetonka and Its Place in Minnesota History (Deep Haven Books, 2012) was the most enjoyable to write.

big_water_lake_mtka

suburban-dawn-cover

uncertain-lives

 

Jimsapbabarn question #6:  You seem to have a good grasp on what makes a great history book … what is your advice for someone thinking about heading down this path?

Fred Johnson:  Narrative histories, the kind popularized by modern, scholarly historians— David McCullough, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Stephen Ambrose, come to mind—are written in story-based form. Readers enjoy approaching history in this manner; I certainly do. Such books certainly not like school texts. A warning: Each narrative history, including mine, requires years of research, documentation and writing.

 

Jimsapbabarn question #7:  You might be the only person who began playing APBA in the 1950’s, left it behind in the late 1950’s, and waited about 60 years to pick up the dice again … what is your take on the game today?

Fred Johnson:  APBA today is certainly more realistic than the 1950s era game. We had less managerial control and limited knowledge of tactics we could employ. Starting out as ten year olds, we knew little about inside baseball and typically just rolled the dice to see what happened. The managers’ banter was at a juvenile level but nonetheless authentic. We talked to our players (cards) much more—giving advice, chewing them out, cajoling, threatening—and taunted our opponent especially after a victory. I believe improved grading of pitching and hitting—all factors actually—adds realism to the game.

 

A quick AROUND THE HORN with Fred Johnson …

      around_the_horn

Your favorite sports team?

Fred Johnson:  Minnesota football Gophers. Seven national champions, the last of which I actually saw play in 1960.

gophers_1961

Your favorite ballpark?

Fred Johnson:  Although I’ve only been in it once, I’d rate Fenway as number one. I’m a history guy after all and remember many of the early parks: The Polo Grounds, the upper Manhattan horseshoe, and Dusty Rhodes’s pinch hitting prowess in 1954 Series; Crosley Field, Cincinnati with inclined Terrace; Ebbett’s Field, Brooklyn (it seemed all World Series games, when I was growing up, were in NYC).

fenway_1955

Your favorite athlete?

Fred Johnson:  A tough one considering the many thousands I’ve seen. There is a person whom I greatly admired as a player, commentator and general truly good guy: Harmon Killebrew.

killebrew_1969

Your favorite movie?

Fred Johnson:  The Bridge on the River Kwai

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Your favorite “hole-in-the-wall” place to eat?

Fred Johnson:  Magnolia’s, Payne Avenue (St. Paul’s East Side).

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A big THANK YOU to Fred Johnson for taking part in this 8th “APBA’view” I have been able to write and post.  A few things I would like to say about Fred, who I consider a friend … Fred could not be a more unassuming, humble, self-effacing individual who has found success, not only in the books he has authored, but in his everyday life.

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(Fred pictured with his 2 cats, Winston and Chruchill)

Our TCABT group is honored to have a guy like Fred as an active participant.  I am going to end this interview with a JimsAPBABarn “re-post” of a write-up which Fred penned after his 1929 Athletics went 2-8 in TCABT-V:

By the way, this tournament might feature one champion, but it is loaded with “losers” …😉 Nobody has done a better job with summarizing the plight of a losing tournament team better than local Minnesota Historian, author and TCABT regular, Fred Johnson.  Here is Fred’s write-up of his 1929 Athletics dismal showing in TCABT-V:

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Don’t Forget the Losers

By the King of the 2016 Losers, the UnAthletics (by Fred Johnson)

While winning is always an important part of the semi-annual Twin Cities Neil Ess Memorial APBA baseball tournament, one must not forget the losers. Take, for instance, the case for the 1929 Philadelphia Athletics and their almost total collapse during the April 2, 2016, showdown at Darrel Skogen Fields in Maple Grove.

Manager Fred Johnson’s club established a breathtaking record of failure during the tourney. It wasn’t the UnAthletics 2-8 won-lost record, though piteously weak, that drew attention. It was their shockingly dismal performance at the plate. In ten games the Athletics totaled 18 runs, were shut out four times (including one and three hitters), while posting a streak of 19 straight scoreless innings. The A’s scored one run in two other losses. Yes, the UnAs averaged less than one-run-per-game in six of their defeats.

Far worse than that miserable showing was the performance of the A’s three Hall of Fame sluggers Jimmy Foxx, Al Simmons and Mickey Cochrane, along with that of Jimmy Dykes (in a career-best year). They formed a Murders’ Row at 3-4-5-6. In a combined 163 plate appearances (148 at bats), they picked up 25 hits for a .160 BA. The foursome’s batting average was deceptively high, buoyed by Cochrane’s lofty .210 mark. Jimmy Foxx, the great Double X, rapped two singles in 35 at bats for a .057 average. He recorded no rbi for the UnAthletics, failing to drive in runners during those rare seven events when he actually found them in scoring position. He did ground into a DP with two men on.

Simmons starred for this collection of doleful, defeated, diamond-dust dead-beats, knocking in five runs and hitting three homeruns, thus finishing the A’s first and last round with a nifty 7-for-39 record. In a heroic performance, Dykes produced a 7-for-38 and two rbi. Cochrane clubbed six singles and two doubles in 37 at bats en route to his new home, just a step over the Mendoza Line.

Manager Johnson held up admirably under a steady spring blizzard of base knocks and a hail of fastballs. He made his best move early on, nearly convincing ’68 Cardinals boss Rob Skogen to rest Bob Gibson when game one went to extra innings. Skogen questioned why Lefty Grove was still twirling for the A’s after ten, thus recognizing the trap. The 11-inning setback seemed to encourage the UnAthletics, however, as they tallied two runs during the 6-2 setback. Johnson sent Moose Earnshaw to the rubber in game two and the A’s exploded for three runs during a 3-2 rout. Johnson, never known for sportsmanship, celebrated the win, attributing it to Bing Miller’s knockout of Card catcher Tim McCarver with a questionable first inning slide. “Suck it up, Timmy!” Johnson advised helpfully as stretcher-bearers lugged McCarver from the field.

Roger Parsons started the UnAs on a phenomenal 19 inning scoreless skein as his 1972 Pirates beat Rube Walberg 7-4 and Bill Shores 3-0. Chris Lyons and his 2006 Twins then dazed Lefty Grove and the A’s 6-0. The UnAthletics pilot, fearing his boys would never score again and now near tears, stopped a passing Gregg Nelson seeking counsel. “You’re over-managing,” offered the Sage of Wayzata before hurrying away from the simpering A’s skipper.

Johnson employed Nelson’s strategy, advising his club to “relax” and “have fun” as he eased the pressure on his bewildered batsmen. They responded exploding for three runs while Earnshaw shut out Lyons’s Twins. With a 2-4 record, the A’s swaggered on to meet the unintimidating 1912 Red Sox.

Sox boss Chris Shores, a crafty, remorseless APBA vet, obliterated the hopes of A’s and their lachrymose leader, guiding his Beantowners through 5-1 and 5-4 romps. Shores actually weakened some in the second game and, irritated by disgusting pleas for mercy from Johnson, ordered his right-hander Charley Hall to groove a couple of pitches to Al Simmons. Two meaningless homers resulted, blows that did little to assuage fears of the fainthearted UnAthletics.

The A’s knew Bruce Tyler’s second round-bound 1910 A’s were up next. A clearly bored Tyler—he kept nodding off when Johnson’s club was at bat—sent Jack Coombs to the mound. Coombs allowed two men reach base (a double and a walk) struck out Foxx, Simmons and Cochrane in the seventh, and got the last 14 batters in a row to win 4-0. Chief Bender, alternating between pitching right handed, left handed and finally underhanded, surrendered the A’s lone run when Cochrane chipped a double to right. (manager Tyler was resting all of his outfielders for the playoff round.) Dykes then scored on a single.

Devastating defeat, some say, can break a man. And getting smoked at an APBA tourney, of course, qualifies as such a disastrous setback. But UnAthletics manager Johnson took it all like a man.

That is, if being a man means huddling in a corner and endlessly sobbing, “Double X, Double X, Double X,” whatever that means.

**********************************************************************

 

 

 

TCABT-VI … The Results

tcabt-vi_group_photo

(TOP ROW from L to R:  Joe Pavlicek, Steve Ryan, Leroy Arnoldi, Fred Johnson, Pat Martin, Dan Skillings, George Adams, Kevin Cluff, Phil Geraffo, Chris Shores, Garth Anderson, Roy Langhans, John Kalous, Dave Norlander.  BOTTOM ROW from L to R:  Craig Christian, Gary Borthwick, Bruce Tyler, Jeff Boeding, Beau Lofgren, Ben Lofgren, Ron Emch, Darrell Skogen, Jim Fraasch)

TCABT-VI is in the books.  23 teams took their chances on a beautiful Saturday October 1st in the Twin Cities.  After the usual opening where 1st-timers are introduced, a quick rules Q&A, and the big group photo, the dice rolling commenced by around 8:45am.  We had 3 divisions of 6 teams playing 10 games each (HHH Metrodome Division, Nicollet Park Division, Target Field Division), and 1 division of 5 teams playing 8 games each (Metropolitan Stadium Division).  The top 2 from each division would advance to the 8-team best-of-three Championship Bracket.  We also held a consolation bracket for the teams not in the Championship bracket.  11 teams played in the consolation one-and-done bracket.  110 divisional games were rolled.  Divisional play was wrapped up by 3:00pm.

george_vs_dave

(Consolation play:  George Adams with one of his “generic” ballparks battling Dave Norlander)

In the HHH Metrodome Division, Bruce Tyler’s 1930 Cardinals led the way with an 8-2 record.  Steve Ryan’s 1998 Braves were just 1 game back at 7-3, good enough for 2nd place and a berth in Championship Bracket play.  In the Nicollet Park Division, Leroy Arnoldi’s 1977 Phillies win it, with a 7-3 record.  For 2nd place, Roy Langhans won a 3-way tie-breaker with a record of 5-5, tied with the 1930 A’s (Garth Anderson) and the 5-5 1946 Red Sox (Chris Shores).  In a 3-way tie for first in the Target Field Division, the 7-3 ’53 Dodgers managed by Fred Johnson winning the run-differential tie-breaker.

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(Sitting foreground, Fred Johnson on left vs Gary Borthwick on right)

Gary Borthwick’s 1911 Giants (also 7-3) would gain 2nd place in that division with John Kalous drawing the short straw (also at 7-3).  In the Metropolitan Stadium Division, the only division with 5 teams, saw the tightest race, with all 5-teams neck-and-neck, especially when you look at their run-differentials.  Host Darrell Skogen’s 2014 Orioles went 5-3, winning the division.  A 3-way tie for 2nd, with the Championship Bracket berth going to Ben Lofgren and his ’95 Indians (4-4, with a +1 run diff).  Phil Geraffo’s 2001 Mariners were also 4-4, as were Jim Fraasch’s 1930 Senators, both teams with a 0 run diff.  Last place in the division, was Craig Christian and his 1981 Expos, at 3-5, and a run diff of just -2.  Darrell’s 1st place run diff was +1.

jim_vs_-darrell

(Divisional play:  Darrell Skogen on right, vs Jim Fraasch on left)

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(Divisional play:  starting all the way in the back:  Phil Geraffo vs Craig Christian, Jeff Boeding vs Garth Anderson, and foreground, is APBA HoF’er, Roy Langhans)

Championship Bracket play saw 8 teams fight it out in 7 best-of-three series.  The Quarter-finals saw all series go 2 games to none, with the 1930 Cardinals, the 1977 Phillies, the 1911 Giants and the 1998 Braves advancing to the Semi-finals.  In the only 3-game series of the Championship Bracket play, in the Semi-finals, Bruce Tyler’s 1930 Cardinals defeated Gary Borthwick’s 1911 Giants, 2 games to 1.  Game 3 of that series saw the 1911 Giants with a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the 9th, give up 3 runs as the 1930 Cardinals stormed back to win the game and the series.

bruce_vs_gary_semi

(Bruce on left, Gary on right)

Leroy Arnoldi’s 1977 Phillies took care of Steve Ryan’s 1998 Braves, 2 games to none.

steve_vs_leroy_semi

(Darrell watching as Steve on left, takes on Leroy’s 1977 Phillies on right)

The TCABT-VI Championship came down to Bruce’s ’30 Cardinals vs Leroy’s ’77 Phillies.

1930_cardinals VS 1977_phillies

The ’30 Cardinals won in 2 games, by scores of 9-8 and 7-5.  Bruce Tyler wins his 1st TCABT Championship, and the 1930 Cardinals are now eliminated from TCABT competition.  Leroy’s (we call him Mr. October) loss was the first time he did not bring the trophy home in October.  It was only fitting as the 2 managers, Bruce and Leroy, have played together in the same face-to-face APBA league since they were kids in the early 1960’s.

leroy_vs_bruce_for_title_1

(Standing, Jeff Boeding on left and Ben Lofgren on right watch, as Leroy Arnoldi sitting on the left faces off vs Bruce Tyler on the right for the TCABT-VI Championship Title)

leroy_vs_bruce_for_title_2

(Bruce on left with his pile of dice, Leroy on right going for his 3rd October title)

 

In consolation play, Garth Anderson’s 1930 Athletics won the one-and-done bracket, over John Kalous’ 2015 Astros.

 

 

A look at some interesting numbers which played out in TCABT-VI:

  • 23 Attendees in all (24 if you count Mr. Gregg Nelson stopping by early in the AM to take our group photo – thank you Gregg!)
  • 7 Attendees from out of state.
  • 2092 Miles, the round-trip distance traveled by car, with the majority of those miles driven by Steve Ryan’s wife (Harrison, TN to Maple Grove, MN)
  • 110 Division games rolled.
  • 15 Championship bracket games rolled.
  • 10 Consolation bracket games rolled.
  • 135 Total games rolled.
  • 2 No-hitter’s, one pitched by Dallas Keuchel (2o15 Astros, John Kalous) and the other by Lefty Grove (1930 A’s, Garth Anderson, during the consolation play)
  • 2 The number of almost no-hitters (thru 8-2/3rds) broken up by George Adams and his 1966 Astros.
  • 2 The number of triple-plays that Albert Belle grounded into for Ben Lofgren’s 1995 Indians.
  • 3 The number of times Jeff Boeding’s 1933 Pirates were shut-out consecutively, and Jeff’s team scored just 1 run in their 1st 4 games.  Jeff’s Pirates also records back-to-back 2-0 shutouts.
  • 4 Consecutive HR’s by Evan Gattis, coming in 12 inning of last pool game, then first 3 AB in Consolation bracket (2015 Astros, John Kalous)
  • 6 The number of hits in 1 game by Chick Hafey (6 for 6) of the 1930 Cardinals (Bruce Tyler) while completing the cycle.
  • 7 The number of double plays turned by Garth Anderson’s infielders in a single game vs Chris Shores’ 1946 Red Sox (the AL record is 6 in a game).
  • 8 The number of errors committed in 10 games for SS Jose Pagan, of Dan Skillings’ 1962 Giants.
  • 17 Games rolled by eventual TCABT-VI Champion Bruce Tyler and his 1930 Cardinals (finishing with an incredible 14-3 overall record).
  • 19 Runs, the most runs scored in a game, thanks to Fred Johnson and his 1953 Dodgers.
  • 18 Runs, the 2nd most runs scored in a game, ditto, Fred Johnson.
  • 72 Degrees, the high temp in Maple Grove, MN for TCABT-VI.

leroys_field

(Leroy’s field with Charlie Brown shown hurling from the mound)

Each year, the TCABT is held on the first Saturday of April and the first Saturday of October.  TCABT-VII will be held April 1st, 2017.  TCABT-VIII will be held October 7th, 2017.

ron_vs_kevin

(Ron Emch on left vs Kevin Cluff on right)

Ron Emch posted a terrific video on Youtube, showing the “announcement show” for the 8 teams qualifying for the Championship Bracket portion of the tourney.

gary_vs_dan

(Gary Borthwick, top, vs Dan Skillings, bottom)

steve_vs_beau

(Steve Ryan on left, vs Beau Lofgren on right)

phil_vs_craig

(Phil Geraffo on left, vs Craig Christian on right)

Friday morning I was able to meet Roy Langhans for breakfast at Al’s Breakfast, located in Dinkytown (on the University of Minnesota campus).

breakfast_at_als_with_roy

Thanks to George Adams, another ballpark addition … Griffith Stadium in D.C.

griffith_stadium

 

THE NEIL ESS MEMORIAL TWIN CITIES APBA BASEBALL TOURNAMENT – VI

STANDINGS:

TCABT-VI 23 TEAMS
Saturday, October 1st, 2016
HHH METRODOME DIVISION W L R OR RDIFF
1930 CARDINALS (BRUCE TYLER) 8 2 71 35 36
1998 BRAVES (STEVE RYAN) 7 3 43 29 14
1990 ATHLETICS (BEAU LOFGREN) 5 5 42 32 10
1972 ATHLETICS (JOE PAVLICEK) 4 6 36 44 -8
2008 CUBS (PAT MARTIN) 3 7 22 42 -20
1966 ASTROS (GEORGE ADAMS) 3 7 39 71 -32
TOTALS 30 30 253 253 0
METROPOLITAN STADIUM DIVISION W L R OR RDIFF
2014 ORIOLES (DARRELL SKOGEN) 5 3 28 27 1
1995 INDIANS (BEN LOFGREN) 4 4 26 25 1
2001 MARINERS (PHIL GERAFFO) 4 4 34 34 0
1930 SENATORS (JIM FRAASCH) 4 4 35 35 0
1981 EXPOS (CRAIG CHRISTIAN) 3 5 24 26 -2
TOTALS 20 20 147 147 0
NICOLLET PARK DIVISION W L R OR RDIFF
1977 PHILLIES (LEROY ARNOLDI) 8 2 49 26 23
1985 CARDINALS (ROY LANGHANS) 5 5 54 47 7
1930 ATHLETICS (GARTH ANDERSON) 5 5 36 39 -3
1946 RED SOX (CHRIS SHORES) 5 5 37 41 -4
1948 INDIANS (DAVE NORLANDER) 4 6 39 49 -10
1933 PIRATES (JEFF BOEDING) 3 7 31 44 -13
TOTALS 30 30 246 246 0
TARGET FIELD DIVISION W L R OR RDIFF
1953 DODGERS (FRED JOHNSON) 7 3 79 43 36
1911 GIANTS (GARY BORTHWICK) 7 3 48 41 7
2015 ASTROS (JOHN KALOUS) 7 3 40 37 3
2010 TWINS (KEVIN CLUFF) 4 6 47 49 -2
1962 GIANTS (DAN SKILLINGS) 4 6 38 45 -7
1998 PADRES (RON EMCH) 1 9 29 66 -37
TOTALS 30 30 281 281 0

TCABT-VI CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET PLAY RESULTS

Seed TCABT-VI   QUARTER-FINALS G1 G2 G3 SERIES
1 1930 CARDINALS (BRUCE TYLER) 6 9 2
vs
8 1995 INDIANS (BEN LOFGREN) 1 6 0
2 1977 PHILLIES (LEROY ARNOLDI) 5 4 2
vs
7 1985 CARDINALS (ROY LANGHANS) 4 1 0
3 1953 DODGERS (FRED JOHNSON) 1 5 0
vs
6 1911 GIANTS (GARY BORTHWICK) 4 7 2
4 2014 ORIOLES (DARRELL SKOGEN) 1 2 0
vs
5 1998 BRAVES (STEVE RYAN) 8 4 2
Seed TCABT-VI   SEMI-FINALS G1 G2 G3 SERIES
1 1930 CARDINALS (BRUCE TYLER) 6 8 6 2
vs
6 1911 GIANTS (GARY BORTHWICK) 8 7 5 1
2 1977 PHILLIES (LEROY ARNOLDI) 3 4 2
vs
5 1998 BRAVES (STEVE RYAN) 1 2 0
Seed TCABT-VI   CHAMPIONSHIP G1 G2 G3 SERIES
1 1930 CARDINALS (BRUCE TYLER) 9 7 2
vs
2 1977 PHILLIES (LEROY ARNOLDI) 8 5 0

CONSOLATION ONE-AND-DONE BRACKET

basement_group_2

(Garth Anderson show here during divisional play, facing off vs Jeff Boeding on the left)

Seed 1ST ROUND (CONSOLATION)
1 2015 ASTROS (JOHN KALOUS) BYE
2 1990 ATHLETICS (BEAU LOFGREN) BYE
3 1930 SENATORS (JIM FRAASCH) BYE
4 1930 ATHLETICS (GARTH ANDERSON) BYE
5 1946 RED SOX (CHRIS SHORES) BYE
Score
6 2010 TWINS (KEVIN CLUFF) 3
vs
11 1998 PADRES (RON EMCH) 0
7 1948 INDIANS (DAVE NORLANDER) 1
vs
10 1966 ASTROS (GEORGE ADAMS) 2
8 1933 PIRATES (JEFF BOEDING) 2
vs
9 2008 CUBS (PAT MARTIN) 13
Seed QUARTER-FINALS (CONSOLATION) Score
1 2015 ASTROS (JOHN KALOUS) 12
VS
10 1966 ASTROS (GEORGE ADAMS) 6
2 1990 ATHLETICS (BEAU LOFGREN) 1
VS
9 2008 CUBS (PAT MARTIN) 2
3 1930 SENATORS (JIM FRAASCH) 2
VS
6 2010 TWINS (KEVIN CLUFF) 4
4 1930 ATHLETICS (GARTH ANDERSON) 1
VS
5 1946 RED SOX (CHRIS SHORES) 0
Seed SEMI-FINALS (CONSOLATION) Score
1 2015 ASTROS (JOHN KALOUS) 5
VS
9 2008 CUBS (PAT MARTIN) 3
4 1930 ATHLETICS (GARTH ANDERSON) 6
VS
6 2010 TWINS (KEVIN CLUFF) 3
Seed CHAMPIONSHIP (CONSOLATION) Score
1 2015 ASTROS (JOHN KALOUS) 3
VS
4 1930 ATHLETICS (GARTH ANDERSON) 9

Where the action is:

APBA GAME COMPANY

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