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.
TCABT-VII DIVISION RESULTS:
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
TCABT-VII BRACKET PLAY:
|1||1930 YANKEES (JEFF BOEDING)||5||8||2|
|8||1909 TIGERS (CURT BARTELL)||3||7||0|
|2||2004 YANKEES (CLEON PAVLICEK)||3||3||0|
|7||1929 CUBS (DAVE NORLANDER)||8||4||2|
|3||1977 ROYALS (MARTY LEE)||5||5||2|
|6||1954 INDIANS (GARTH ANDERSON)||1||3||0|
|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|
|1||1930 YANKEES (JEFF BOEDING)||7||9||2|
|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
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.
ADDITIONAL TCABT-VII PHOTOS:
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.