WHAT:  TCABT-V (The Neil Ess Memorial Twin Cities APBA Baseball Tournament – V)



                    9575 Glacier Lane

                    Maple Grove, MN 55369

Harmon Killebrew, All Star Game, July 13, 1965 Metropolitan Stadium
July 13, 1965: Harmon Killebrew hits a home run during the 1965 All Star game held at Metropolitan Stadium. Photo by Minneapolis Tribune(now the Star Tribune) staff photographer John Croft.

Team selection will begin on Saturday, Jan 2nd, 12:00am.  Any APBA issued MLB team from 1901-2015, except for the following teams:  1927 Yankees, 1954 Giants, 1902 Pirates, 1937 Yankees.  No team entries will be allowed before January 2nd.  Team entry is made by sending an email to me (, listing your top 5 choices.  You will receive your highest choice as long as that team was not already selected prior to receiving your top 5 picks.

Tournament structure:  We plan to have 4-team divisions, with each division playing a total of 9 division games.  4-man rotation.  Bracket play with be best-of-three with 3-man rotation.  Division size will ultimately depend on the total number of teams entered into the tournament.  The goal is to get to 32 teams, which would be the maximum # of teams allowed in the tourney.  The number of teams qualifying for bracket play will depend on the total number of divisions and teams entered in the tournament.

We had 23 entrants at TCABT-IV.  We hope to keep it growing!





(Saturday, April 2nd, 2016)

The date has been announced for the 5th semi-annual Twin Cities APBA Baseball Tournament:

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016 – 8:45am start time (arrive no later than 8:15am, play will begin no later than 8:45am)

Our tournament was named in honor of Neil Ess, an APBA Baseball player since 1961.  He attended our first TCABT in April of 2014.  He passed away suddenly while on a fishing trip in July of 2014.  Neil Ess, Bruce Tyler and Leroy Arnoldi had played in their own APBA Baseball league together since 1962.  Bruce and Leroy have managed to keep the league going, for 50+ seasons.




Version of game:

Basic game utilizing the most recent set of game boards (issued by APBA in 2013 – year is noted on back of booklet, and it is the larger sized booklet).  We will supply enough sets of boards for use at the tournament, just in case you do not own the current set.  You just need to bring your team.

The Unusual Play Card and Error Distribution Card will be used (the versions printed in various issues of the APBA Journal – copies of the cards will be supplied at the tournament – in easy to read format).

All “Advanced” basic game rules found on the APBA boards will be used.  Any variation to these rules will be listed in this document.

We have a TCABT custom fielding rule regarding errors by “Fielding One” 2B, SS and 3B with the bases empty only.  This is detailed in the “Fielding” section of the rules.

Team Selection:


You may select any team covering the seasons 1901 to current, from Major League Baseball, issued by APBA Game Co.  This includes the various GTOP, any version of release (single column teams, etc).  Former champions EXCLUDED (TCABT-I: 1927 Yankees, TCABT-II: 1954 Giants, TCABT-III: 1902 Pirates, TCABT-IV: 1937 Yankees).

Roster size is limited to 20 players.  You must supply the roster sheet of the team you are bringing.  If team issued contains more than 20 players, you must identify which 20 players you are including.  No

XC’s issued by APBA are not allowed.  XB’s are allowed, as long as the roster size remains 20 (please note there are usage restrictions on J4 players with fewer than 100 plate appearances, noted in the “Misc rules”).

Once the field of teams is complete (once a team is selected, it is no longer available), divisions will be randomly selected for division play.

Method used for the selection of teams:

  1. We are using a “Beginning Team Selection Date” of Saturday, January 2nd. This means, as of 12:00am (CST) on Saturday, January 2nd, you may begin selecting your tournament team by submitting via email to Jim Fraasch using this email address:, listing your top 5 choices, ranked 1 thru 5.  I will not select my team until at least 1 entrant has already selected their team.
  2. Order of your team selection is determined by the email I receive in my inbox, by timestamp, starting at 12:00am, on Saturday, January 2nd. We will accept new entrants for the April 2nd tournament up until midnight on Saturday, March 19th.  After March 19th, no new entrants will be accepted (unless we need an even number of entrants).
  3. We are setting a maximum number of teams at 32. If we are fortunate enough to get to 32 teams, no new entrants will be allowed.
  1. For the 1st selection email received, I will assign the #1 team on that person’s list to them. I will then move on to the 2nd team selection email received, and select the #1 team from that person’s list, as long as that team has not already been selected.  If that person’s #1 team has already been selected, I will move down to team #2 on their list, etc, until they have a team selected.  As each team is selected, I will post this information on the BTL thread for the tournament, and reply to the person letting them know what team they ended up with.
  1. We wanted to announce the tournament first, and then give people a chance to research what team they wanted to bring, and give everyone a chance to get their team choice in. Any team selection email received before the January 2nd date, will be replied to saying it was sent too early.  But at 12:00am (CST), on Saturday, January 2nd, the selection emails will be processed in order that they are received.
  2. I will not select my team until at least 1 other entrant has already selected their team.

Division Play:


Our goal is to have 4 team s in each division, with a schedule consisting of 9 games.  We will be playing 3-game series vs each team in your division.

Depending on how many divisions we end up with, anywhere from 4 to 8 teams will advance to bracket play (best of 3 series).  If 2 or more teams are tied for the bracket play spot (within a division, or for an overall wild card spot), the tie-breaker is as follows:

  1. Head-to-head record vs team you are tied with.
  2. Run differential in all games played.
  3. Fewest runs allowed in all games played.
  4. A coin flip.


Unless the original roster for your selected team contains 6 pitchers, you must have at least 7 pitchers (at least 4 qualified starting pitchers and at least 3 relief pitchers) selected on your roster.

DH will be used for ALL games.

When you are pairing down one of the larger size APBA rosters (26 man rosters for example with the XB’s), you must include at minimum each of the “starting” players listed on the roster sheet (for positions C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF – and if a DH is on the roster, the starting DH) from that team’s roster.



For division play only, a 4-man pitching rotation is required.  You may select any 4 of the “starting pitchers” from the lineup sheet.  For example, if the team has 5 “non asterisk” pitchers on the lineup sheet, you can select your 4-man rotation from any of those 5 starting pitchers, and place them in any order.

Once bracket play begins, where each series is a best-of-three, you may use a new 3-man rotation.  This 3-man rotation begins new at the beginning of each best-of-three series.

No pitcher can be a starting pitcher if they have only a * – they can only be used as a relief pitcher.

Split-grade pitchers must be named with a starting pitcher using their starting grade or a relief pitcher using their reliever grade.  To be used as a starting pitcher, the split-grade pitchers still need to appear in the list of available Starting Pitchers on the APBA issued team lineup sheet (no asterisk on the lineup sheet).  If the split-grade pitcher is named a reliever before division play or before bracket play, they may only be used for 2 IP per game max, using their reliever grade.

All “Advanced” pitching rules as described on boards will be used.

A starting pitcher must pitch at least the first 5 innings of the game, unless his grade has been reduced prior to completing 5 innings, or if he has given up any 5 runs, earned or unearned, he may be removed from the game, even before his grade is reduced.

Relief pitchers with an *, may pitch only 2 innings (6 outs) per game (this now included split-grade pitchers who are named a relief pitcher before division play or before bracket play).

If, in a game, you run out of pitchers, the last pitcher in the game is reduced to a straight D, unless he is already a D, once he reaches the maximum innings pitched for a reliever.

The RvsR and LvsL, grade advancement for the relief pitcher entering a game in mid-inning, follows the advanced board rule, and only applies to the first batter they face, if they are from the same side.

Any game entering the 11th inning of play, ALL pitchers become a straight grade “D”, with no control ratings, in effort to speed up the games to complete play.  In other words, do not hold back those strong relievers since by the 11th inning, they become a “D”.

Any pitcher may be used as a pinch-runner (provided they have not already been used as a pitcher).  Using them as a pinch-runner, means they are not able to pitch that game.

No pitcher can ever be used to hit.



Optional fielding rules as described on the game boards are being used.

A player needing to play “out of position”, that is he does not have that position listed on his card, will play that position with the lowest rating for that position.

A player cannot start at a position not listed on their card, unless due to injuries, your team no longer has a player available at a position.


This rule helps to limit the errors made by Fielding One SS, 3B and 2B when the bases are empty, to help provide for more realistic fielding results and reward those top notch infielders.

When Bases are Empty, and while still using the Random Error Card, if PRN# 18 (vs SS – a 9 or 10), #19 (vs 3B – a 5 or 6) or #20 (vs 2B – an 8 or 9) occur when the team in the field has a Fielding One player at that position, the player currently rolling dice for the hitting team, re-rolls the “White” die, and will refer to our new custom chart (this new result chart will be provided for each table at the tournament for quick reference).

TCABT ERROR RE-ROLL CARD (use after Random Error Card re-roll, if necessary)
on PRN 18, 19 & 20 vs Fielding One players at those positions
18 SS 9 1,2,3 = error, E6;     4,5,6 = ground out, 6-3
18 SS 10 1,2 = error, E6;     3,4,5,6 = ground out, 6-3
19 3B 5 1,2,3 = error, E5;     4,5,6 = ground out, 5-3
19 3B 6 1,2 = error, E5;     3,4,5,6 = ground out, 5-3
20 2B 8 1,2,3 = error, E4;     4,5,6 = ground out, 4-3
20 2B 9 1,2 = error, E4;     3,4,5,6 = ground out, 4-3
(note – ignore the 2-out* result for 3B, fielding one)


Base running:

Optional base running rules as described on the game boards are being used.

No limit to sacrifice attempts.

The following rules pertain to Hit&Run use:

  • A player with 2 or more “31’s” on their card – UNLIMITED USE (no limit on the team or per player)
  • There is a “team” limit of only 1 H&R by a player with 1 “31” on their card.
  • A player with no 31’s on their card may not Hit&Run.


A player is only injured for the remainder of the game, without regard to their J-rating.  With only 20-man rosters, we feel this is the fairest way possible to handle injuries.


Misc Rules

J4 rated players are only eligible for a starting lineup position if they had at minimum, 100 Plate Appearances.  If a J4 rated player has fewer than 100 Plate Appearances, they may still pinch-hit.  A J4 rated player with fewer than 100 PA’s may not enter a game to pinch-hit until the starting position player has had at least 2 PA’s in that game.

There are exceptions to this rule:

  • If, during a game, an injury or ejection occurs meaning you lose a starting position player during the game, a J4 with fewer than 100 PA’s may enter the game before the starting position player has at least 2 PA’s.

If a manager brings a team which was issued pre-1974, and contains no J rating, we will supply a roster for that team with the calculated J ratings for that team.

The DH is used for ALL games.

For division play, home field is determined by rolling the dice.  High number is home team.  After home team is determined for the 1st game, just alternate home team for each following game.

In bracket play, the higher seeded team is home team for game 1.  Then alternate home/away after the first game.

Dice can be rolled in a box, a dice tower, or on the table.

Both die need to be re-rolled if either 1 or both die fall from the table, or if 1 or both die are not completely flat when they come to rest on the surface being rolled on (table, box or dice tower).

Bring your own beverages.  We will go “pot-luck” for food, so plan to bring something to share, snacks, desserts, whatever.

Plan on scoring your own games using whatever scoresheet you prefer (both managers will score the game).

Any omissions in this rules document will be added prior to the tournament date, and emailed out to each of the participants.


Tournament Contact and address:

Please contact me if you have any questions about the Neil Ess Memorial Twin Cities APBA Baseball Tournament:  Jim Fraasch (

Darrell Skogen is the gracious host of the Neil Ess Memorial Twin Cities APBA Baseball Tournament – IV.  Darrell’s address is:

9575 Glacier Lane

Maple Grove, MN 55369


*** April 2nd, 2016 ***

*** Saturday ***

*** From 8:15am till finish ***



 PREVIOUS Twin Cities APBA Baseball Tournament CHAMPIONS:


Saturday, April 5th, 2014:

KEVIN CLUFF (1927 Yankees) defeated Jim Fraasch (1973 Reds), 2 games to 0.



Saturday, October 4th, 2014:

LEROY ARNOLDI (1954 Giants) defeated Bruce Tyler (1930 Cardinals), 2 games to 1.



Saturday, April 4th, 2015:

ANDY BARTEL (1902 Pirates) defeated Eric Berg (1919 White Sox), 2 games to 0.



Saturday, October 3rd, 2015:

LEROY ARNOLDI (1937 Yankees) defeated Jeff Boeding (1905 Giants), 2 games to 0.



Saturday, April 2nd, 2016:

Champ TBD …









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