First, the who’s who in the picture above:
TOP row (L to R):
Cleon Pavlicek, Kevin Cluff, Joe Pavlicek, Scott Ellingworth, Gregg Nelson, Tom Shores, Chris Shores, Fred Johnson, Dan Walker, Dave Norlander, Jeff Boeding, Rob Skogen, Scott Egge, Phil Geraffo, Pat Martin, Curt Bartell, Gary Borthwick.
BOTTOM row (L to R):
Jim F, Ben Lofgren, Leroy Arnoldi, Ron Emch, George Adams, Chris Lyons, Darrell Skogen, Beau Lofgren, Eric Berg, Bruce Tyler, Craig Christian, Andy Bartell, Roger Parsons.
TCABT-V essentially went without a hitch, and that is thanks mainly to the ease at which everyone got along, showed up on time, had a great time rolling and a better time hanging out with one-another. A HUGE “thank you” to all 30 guys for making this work.
30 teams each rolled 10 divisions games, starting at just after 8:30am and finishing by 2:30pm. The 8-team best-of-three bracket-play started by around 3:30pm and finished by around 7:00pm.
The trophies were presented at the “opening ceremonies” … since we just acquired the 2 heavy-weight trophies, and had them engraved with each of the previous 4 champions. We have an April Championship Trophy and an October Championship Trophy:
During the pre-tournament ceremonies we presented the previous April champ and previous October champ with their respective hardware:
2015 APRIL & OCTOBER CHAMPIONS
Andy Bartel with April 2015 Championship Trophy as his 1902 Pirates won the title with 15 teams entered in the competition. Andy is the youngest TCABT champ to date.
Leroy Arnoldi with the October Championship Trophy, his last championship with the ’37 Yankees with 23 teams competing in October of 2015, and previously the October 2014 champ with the ’54 Giants with 8 teams competing. Thus, Leroy is now referred to as “Mr. October”.
After trophy presentations and a quick question and answer session, the dice began to fly just after 8:30am.
With plenty of room in Darrell Skogen’s home, we had 2 divisions (12 teams) situated on the main floor: 1 division in Darrell’s 4-season porch, the other in Darrell’s “Study”. The basement held 3 divisions (18 teams), with the area recently cleared out and cleaned up by Darrell’s nephew/handy man, Rob Skogen.
Thanks to Ron Emch, we have several pictures from the various divisions …. I am realizing with 30 guys entered in the tournament, it is much more difficult to make sure I have at least 1 photo of each person, besides the group photo.
Ron was also able to take some video of the Bracket-Play round. That video can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_K0OB92KgM&feature=youtu.be#
ROGER MARIS DIVISION
Clockwise from upper left: Gary Borthwick (1920 Indians), Eric Berg (2015 Royals), Craig Christian (1988 Mets), Andy Bartel (1999 Diamondbacks).
On left: Phil Geraffo (2015 Cardinals). Middle, Kevin Cluff (2011 Rangers).
PAUL MOLITOR DIVISION
Clockwise from lower left: Dan Walker (1987 Twins), Tom Shores (1975 Reds – his back is to the camera), George Adams (1949 Athletics), Scott Egge (2015 Mets) and Cleon Pavlicek (2007 Yankees). Missing from this photo, from this division is Darrell Skogen.
George Adams vs Scott Egge, with Tom Shores in foreground.
Tom Shores won the “long distance” award, flying in from Massachusetts to roll in the tourney with his son, 2nd-timer, Chris Shores. Wish I had a father-son photo to share. Tom, a die-hard Red Sox fan, as is his son Chris, decided to arrive with the 1975 Reds. His son fared better with the 1912 Red Sox.
JERRY KOOSMAN DIVISION
Clockwise from upper left, KOOSMAN DIVISION: Pat Martin (1954 Indians), Ben Lofgren (1985 Blue Jays), Leroy Arnoldi (1961 Yankees) and Dave Norlander (1969 Twins with back to camera). Dave Norlander happens to be Bruce Norlander’s brother (https://archrivalsbaseball.wordpress.com/). Dave promises Bruce will be making it to TCABT-VI. Missing from photo, members of the KOOSMAN DIVISION, Ron Emch (1962 Giants, is taking the photo) and Gregg Nelson (1997 Mariners).
DAVE WINFIELD DIVISION
From the WINFIELD DIVISION, Fred Johnson (1929 Athletics) vs Rob Skogen (1968 Cardinals).
More action from the WINFIELD DIVISION, as Bruce Tyler (1910 Athletics) faces Chris Shores (1912 Red Sox) and Roger Parsons (1972 Pirates) face Chris Lyons (2006 Twins).
From the WINFIELD DIVISION, lower left, clockwise: Bruce Tyler (1910 Athletics – with back facing camera), Chris Lyons (2006 Twins), Chris Shores (1912 Red Sox).
JOE MAUER DIVISION
Near table, clockwise from lower left: Curt Bartell (1922 Browns), Scott Ellingworth (1998 Yankees), Jeff Boeding (1977 Phillies) and Joe Pavlicek (1976 Athletics).
Gregg Nelson looking on as Beau Lofgren (2001 Athletics) takes on Jim F (1930 Senators).
Gregg Nelson standing, left, happens to be the brother of MLB umpire and crew chief, Jeff Nelson, originally from Cottage Grove, MN. Fred Johnson covered both as high school basketball players in the 1980’s when Fred Johnson wrote the sports column for the Cottage Grove Community newspaper. Beau Lofgren (A’s jersey) and Fraasch (red Nationals shirt) split their opening series, 1 game apiece.
|Saturday, April 2nd, 2016|
|JERRY KOOSMAN DIVISION||W||L||R||OR||RDIFF|
|1954 INDIANS (PAT MARTIN)*||8||2||39||26||13|
|1985 BLUE JAYS (BEN LOFGREN)||5||5||46||32||14|
|1962 GIANTS (RON EMCH)||5||5||44||40||4|
|1969 TWINS (DAVE NORLANDER)||4||6||53||55||-2|
|1997 MARINERS (GREGG NELSON)||4||6||35||49||-14|
|1961 YANKEES (LEROY ARNOLDI)||4||6||26||41||-15|
|ROGER MARIS DIVISION||W||L||R||OR||RDIFF|
|2011 RANGERS (KEVIN CLUFF)*||7||3||51||34||17|
|1988 METS (CRAIG CHRISTIAN)||6||4||37||45||-8|
|1920 INDIANS (GARY BORTHWICK)||5||5||51||37||14|
|1999 DIAMONDBACKS (ANDY BARTEL)||5||5||43||41||2|
|2015 ROYALS (ERIC BERG)||5||5||35||35||0|
|2015 CARDINALS (PHIL GERAFFO)||2||8||28||53||-25|
|JOE MAUER DIVISION||W||L||R||OR||RDIFF|
|1922 BROWNS (CURT BARTEL)*||7||3||50||28||22|
|1930 SENATORS (JIM FRAASCH)*||7||3||51||40||11|
|1977 PHILLIES (JEFF BOEDING)||6||4||58||54||4|
|1976 ATHLETICS (JOE PAVLICEK)||4||6||38||49||-11|
|1998 YANKEES (SCOTT ELLINGWORTH)||3||7||45||53||-8|
|2001 ATHLETICS (BEAU LOFGREN)||3||7||47||65||-18|
|PAUL MOLITOR DIVISION||W||L||R||OR||RDIFF|
|2015 METS (SCOTT EGGE)*||7||3||46||39||7|
|2004 CARDINALS (DARRELL SKOGEN)*||6||4||58||41||17|
|1975 REDS (TOM SHORES)||5||5||56||46||10|
|1987 TWINS (DAN WALKER)||5||5||62||63||-1|
|2007 YANKEES (CLEON PAVLICEK)||4||6||43||60||-17|
|1949 ATHLETICS (GEORGE ADAMS)||3||7||39||55||-16|
|DAVE WINFIELD DIVISION||W||L||R||OR||RDIFF|
|1912 RED SOX (CHRIS SHORES)*||8||2||46||31||15|
|1910 ATHLETICS (BRUCE TYLER)*||8||2||36||19||17|
|1972 PIRATES (ROGER PARSONS)||5||5||36||33||3|
|1968 CARDINALS (ROB SKOGEN)||4||6||34||32||2|
|2006 TWINS (CHRIS LYONS)||3||7||22||35||-13|
|1929 ATHLETICS (FRED JOHNSON)||2||8||18||42||-24|
* Qualified for Bracket Play
BRACKET PLAY RESULTS
|1||1912 RED SOX (CHRIS SHORES)||2||5||3||1|
|8||2004 CARDINALS (DARRELL SKOGEN)||3||4||13||2|
|2||1954 INDIANS (PAT MARTIN)||5||2||0|
|7||1930 SENATORS (JIM FRAASCH)||7||11||2|
|3||1922 BROWNS (CURT BARTEL)||4||5||2|
|6||1910 ATHLETICS (BRUCE TYLER)||3||3||0|
|4||2011 RANGERS (KEVIN CLUFF)||4||8||2|
|5||2015 METS (SCOTT EGGE)||0||3||0|
|3||1922 BROWNS (CURT BARTEL)||7||13||4||1|
|8||2004 CARDINALS (DARRELL SKOGEN)||11||4||6||2|
|4||2011 RANGERS (KEVIN CLUFF)||5||7||7||2|
|7||1930 SENATORS (JIM FRAASCH)||7||5||1||1|
|4||2011 RANGERS (KEVIN CLUFF)||6||3||7||2|
|8||2004 CARDINALS (DARRELL SKOGEN)||5||5||5||1|
A great match-up between 2 loooooong time APBA vets: Host Darrell Skogen and his 2004 Cardinals vs Kevin Cluff and his 2011 Rangers. The best-of-three series went the distance (as did the 2 semi-final series). Kevin’s 2011 Rangers win the series 2 games to 1, and only out-scored Darrell’s 2004 Cardinals, 16-15 in the series. This is the first time any team from the 2000’s has made the championship series.
Congratulations to Kevin Cluff, now a 2-time TCABT champion! Kevin also won the APBA Convention Tournament in Alpharetta, Georgia in June of 2015 with the 1998 Yankees. Needless to say, it has been a rewarding 10 months for the APBA skipper from Apple Valley, MN.
I’ve known Kevin personally since the fall of 2013. This tournament would not be the same without him. He has a national APBA presence thanks to his involvement with APBA Game Co. I often ask for his opinion on tournament topics and rules, and he always comes up with something good. In case you missed it, I interviewed him for my APBA Blog here:
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:
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.
THE FOLLOWING TEAMS ARE NOW ELIMINATED FROM FUTURE PLAY IN THE TCABT:
1927 YANKEES (TCABT-I, Kevin Cluff over the 1973 Reds, Jim F)
1954 GIANTS (TCABT-II, Leroy Arnoldi over the 1930 Cardinals, Bruce Tyler)
1902 PIRATES (TCABT-III, Andy Bartel over the 1919 White Sox, Eric Berg)
1937 YANKEES (TCABT-IV, Leroy Arnoldi over the 1905 Giants, Jeff Boeding)
2011 RANGERS (TCABT-V, Kevin Cluff over the 2004 Cardinals, Darrell Skogen)
Stay tuned for TCABT-VI, set for Saturday, October 1st, 2016 … our plan is to reach 32 teams. Information to come soon.