APBA Baseball, 52 years ago …

main_box     main_box_view_2

Probably my favorite APBA Baseball item in my APBA collection is a vintage game from 1963, which included the 1962 MLB season. And while this game is not in pristine, mint condition, it has withstood the trials of existing for 52 years because the owner never decided to toss it in the trash.  The game box is the one featuring artwork depicting a baseball player swinging a bat (not the box displaying the great Henry Aaron swinging a bat at Connie Mack Stadium).


(Note, click on any of these photos, above and below for a better view)

The contents of the game include the 4 base situation boards, the Hit&Run booklet with the tape material binding, 2 of the old cardboard dice shakers, with the smaller dice, 2 of them still wrapped in the plastic they came in 52 years ago, the old baseball diamond with the path between home and the pitchers mound, a plain cardboard box holding the 20 teams, with long envelopes, the 1962 lineup sheet, and a form for ordering 24 different Great Teams of the past from APBA Game Co. for $1 each, postage paid.

contents_1      field

all_boards     dice_and_shakers

hitandrun     lineup_and_product_sheet

I stumbled upon this game at an estate sale.  It was the only APBA game there.  It did have a large water stain on the main box cover, and some of the water did seep into the other cardboard box within the game box.  Only a few of the teams were affected, but all the teams are accounted for and playable.  Many of the teams appeared to have never been touched, with cards in alphabetical order.  And even the teams which had some of the water damage, the water damage had apparently turned into dust, and I was able to wipe the dust off the cards, without damaging the card itself.

wills     killebrew

The impression I got was that this game was sitting unplayed, for the majority of those 52 years.  Did the original owner receive the game, and play only a few games with it?  Perhaps.  Either way, the game is in better shape than any of the games I originally owned back in the 70’s and 80’s because I wore my games out.  Here is what is left of my original baseball game box, from the game I purchased in August of 1978:


The 1962 envelopes themselves remain in excellent overall condition (note the water stain on the Phillies’ envelope).

teams     coleman_no_12

If you look closely at the Choo-choo Coleman card for the ’62 Mets, you will notice he does not have a “12” result, which is supposed to be at dice roll #36 (for reference, see http://www.zackapbahandbook.org).

So that I can handle this game without changing the condition, I have sleeved each of the 400 player cards.  I have also printed my own custom envelopes for the 20 teams, with 1962 logos.  This way I can handle the teams and cards without affecting their overall condition.

One of my favorite pieces of J. Richard Seitz advertising were his descriptions of the various Great Teams of the Past found on his Great Team of the Past listing/price sheet, like this one featuring 2 dozen teams.

gtop_order_1     gtop_order_2

Thank gosh this gem of a game avoided being thrown in the trash …


18 thoughts on “APBA Baseball, 52 years ago …

    1. Jack,

      I recall Maynard Aaberg’s name very well from his name appearing in all of those APBA Journal letters and articles … what a great APBA history, must have been a fun league. Thanks for checking in!

      – Jim


  1. Jim,

    That was the first Apba game I purchased . I still have the original cards. Not the box, however.😀😀😀 . Packers vs Vikings in two weeks! Pack is in a funk right now.


    1. Dick,

      My first card set was the 1977 set … I do not have my set any longer, but I do have a mint original 1977 set as its replacement. Wish I was around in the early 60’s with those Killebrew led Twins. The NFC North suddenly got exciting with GB and Minny all tied up at 7-2! And I think I have mentioned this before, but awesome last name 😉 – Jim


  2. Jim, spectacular memories. I received my first APB game back in 1958, (1957 season). I’ve been hooked for life and these photos of the old box, etc., just are great to see again.
    Great site, by the way.


    1. Mr. Sce,
      Mucho gracias! That is a common bond I think with all of us APBA guys, that feeling we had opening up our first game, whether the year was 1958 or 1978. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comments!

      – Jim


  3. Jim,
    Your beautiful game is similar to the mint condition 1960 and 61 season games I obtained very inexpensively in separate auctions in the early 2000s. Neither one was well described so I didn’t know that they would be in unused condition until I lifted the box lids. What a thrill it was to take the the seemingly untouched cards out of the envelopes for the first time.

    Skol Vikings!


    1. John, sometimes “too good to be true” is the wrong attitude to take when taking risks on “blind” purchases! Would love to see those finds! Suddenly there is hope for the Vikings in 2015! Thanks for stopping by!


  4. Cool post! ’63 is when I started playing tabletop (’62 season). I was Strat for a couple of years, then I went over to APBA. Unfortunately my stuff did get thrown in the trash in the 70s. But fortunately, I picked up the APBA bug in the late 80s. Nice blog. Nice pix.


    1. Steve,

      Thanks for the comments!. Interesting start before ending up with APBA. I did play SOM Hockey in the early 80’s, so I know some SOM.


  5. Nice post. I bought an 1985 complete set in 2013 and that was my first go around with APBA, now I am hooked. I don’t collect, just play so I prefer the cards with the stats on them, but had to spring for a 1974 origional set on Ebay earlier this year just for the play of it!


    1. Eric, there is something about the original sets, especially when you go back at least 40 years. I prefer the stat sets now for playing, but I will never pass up a chance to own and use an original set as well.


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