How to win an APBA Tournament with an all “C” pitching staff …


Ed Wells (CZ) pitcher for the 1930 Yankees, pitches 2 shut-outs for Jeff Boeding

When team selection had begun for TCABT-VII, Jeff Boeding had chosen the 1997 Seattle Mariners.  After all, this has become Jeff’s style … to pick a team who may not have won a pennant, but carried a strong lineup, 1 thru 9, and could pitch “well” enough to allow the offense to out-score the opposition.  As tourney day (April 1st, 2017) drew closer, Jeff was having doubts about his 1997 Mariners selection.  Jeff and I regularly exchange emails with the topic of conversation usually centered around our APBA projects and of course, the upcoming TCABT.  This leads to discussion about possible TCABT team entrants.  Over the last few years, Jeff has been working on a Lou Gehrig career replay.  The one Gehrig team Jeff had taken to a TCABT event were the 1936 Yankees (TCABT-II), and even though the 1936 Yankees outscored every team in the tourney with 62 runs in 8 games, Jeff’s squad finished 3-5 and in 4th place in a 4-team division.


TCABT-III:  Jeff Boeding on left vs Eric Berg on right

They had outscored their opposition by 10 runs, but failed to advance to bracket-play.  So in search of something better, Jeff turned away from his favorite Gehrig-led Yankee teams, and sought more balance between hitting and pitching.  In TCABT-III, Jeff found himself in the Semi-finals with his powerful 1975 Reds squad (going 5-3 in division play and earning a Wild Card in the 13 team field), only to be swept away, 2 games to 0, vs Eric Berg’s 1919 White Sox.  In TCABT-IV (23 team field), Jeff decided to go deadball, taking the 1905 Giants all the way to the TCABT-IV championship, before surrendering to the IV Champs, the 2-time TCABT Champ Leroy Arnoldi, and his powerful 1937 Yankees.  In TCABT-V (30 team field), Jeff had a strong contender, the 1977 Phillies, but going 6-4 in division play, finishing 3rd, just out of the running for a Wild Card birth.  In a “twist” of 1930 irony, my 1930 Senators were in Jeff’s division, facing off in the final series of division play, with Jeff’s ’77 Phils.  Jeff was sitting at 6-2, and my ’30 Senators were 5-3.  The Senators swept Steve Carlton and the ’77 Phils, 4-0, 6-4, to advance as a Wild Card.  In researching teams for TCABT-VI (a 23 team field) Jeff’s own “play-in” tourney had the 1933 Pirates rising to the top.  In VI however, the ’33 Pirates fell flat, going just 3-7.

While searching for his TCABT-VII entrant, during another email exchange, the comment came up, why not the 1930 Yankees?  Jeff knew the team was full of C starters, and nothing better.  But the club also touted the likes of Jeff’s all-time favorite, Lou Gehrig and of course, The Babe.  The team was thrown into one of Jeff’s “mini team selection tourneys”.  The 1930 Yankees prevailed, and on March 8th, less than a month before the tourney date, Jeff had changed his team from the 1997 Mariners to the 1930 Yankees.  Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth pack their lumber for another TCABT tourney bid.


Jeff arrives at TCABT-VII with a powerful & hungry ballclub, the 1930 Yankees (this is the 1989 copyright version, the 2nd 1930 set released by APBA Game Co.).  The Yankees went 86-68 in 1930, good for 3rd place, 16 games behind the 1st place Athletics, and 8 games behind the 1930 Senators (who made a run for me in TCABT-V, achieving the Semi-finals).  Jeff knew that hitting was going to have to carry his ’30 Yanks.  His 4-man starting pitching rotation included:  Red Ruffing (CYZ), George Pipgras (CZ), Ed Wells (CZ) and Hank Johnson (CYW).  Jeff had a bullpen full of DZ’s …. including a 19-game starter, Herb Pennock (DZ).

I had Jeff provide a quick summary of each of his TCABT-VII division and playoff series (1930 Yankees go 7-1 in division play, 13-2 overall in earning the title).

***NOTE, if you have not participated in a group APBA tourney setting before, the below breakdown of each series really captures “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” of playing the games, head-to-head:

Series 1…vs 1993 Blue Jays…


Joe Pavlicek (left) and his ’93 Blue Jays vs Jeff Boeding’s (right) ’30 Yankees.

Game 1…5-3 win…Ruth homers, scores 2 and drives in 3…while Combs scores 2…Yankees score 2 in 7th to take lead and hold on to win.

Game 2…5-4 win…Yankees score 2 in third and 3 in 5th and hold off a late Jays rally to sweep the series…Combs drives in 3 while the bottom third of order scores all 5 runs.

Series 2…vs 2001 Mariners…

Game 1…6-0 win…Ed Wells tosses a 3 hit shut out and the Yankees use a 5 run 2nd inning to pull away and seal the win.

Game 2…10-3 loss…score is 4-2 after 5 but the Mariners bat around in a 6 run 6th to give the Yankees their first loss of the day.

1930 Yankees 3-1 going into their bye.

Series 3…vs 1998 Yankees…


Game 1…9-8 win in 11 innings…98 Yankees rally with 3 in the 8th to tie the game…no runs in the 10th…visiting 98 team scores 3 in top of 11 highlighted by a Strawberry 2 run jack…but the 30 Yankees score 4 runs with 2 outs to secure the unlikely victory…Gehrig delivers the game winning 2 run single.

Game 2…10-1 win…Pipgras scatters 8 hits…advances to an A and holds the 98 version in check all game..Ruth hits a 2 run triple in the 3rd and Gehrig finishes off a 5 run 4th with a bases clearing triple, record 5-1.

Series 4…vs 2016 Cubs…


Game 1… 7-6 win…Russell hit 2, 2 run jacks and Cubs lead 6-4 after 7…Chapman’s 2 run double ties it in the 8th and Gehrig hits a walk off bomb in the bottom of the 9th to win it.

Game 2…10-4 win…Yankees lead 5-0 going into bottom of 8th and the Cubs score 4 to make it 5-4…Yankees score 6 in 9th highlighted by a Dickey 2 run triple followed by a Reese 2 run homer…Yankees end their bracket play 7-1.

NOTE, Jeff’s 1930 Yankees end up with the #1 seed heading into the 8-team, best-of-three Bracket Play.


Quarter-Finals (best-of-3):

Playoffs Series 1…vs 1909 Tigers (Curt Bartell)…

Game 1…5-3 win…Tigers take a 3-0 lead after 3…Yankees score 4 in the bottom half if 3 highlighted by back-to-back HRs from Ruth and Gehrig…and Lazzeri’s solo HR ends the scoring as Ruffing shuts down the Tigers after the 3rd allowing only 1 single the last 6 innings…Yanks up 1-0.

Game 2…8-7 win…the Yankees score 4 in the first as Gehrig hits a 2 run bomb and Lazzeri rips a 2 run single…a Tigers cut lead in half with 2 of their own…and tie the game 4-4 heading to the 4th…Gehrig rips a 2 run double and they add 2 more in the 6th and hold off the Tigers to take the series 2-0

Semi-Finals (best-of-3):


Semi-final action between Jeff Boeding’s ’30 Yankees and Dave Norlander’s ’29 Cubs as Kevin Cluff and Roy Langhans look on …

Playoffs Series 2…vs 1929 Cubs (Dave Norlander)…

Game 1…all Cubs as Cuyler, Hornsby and Wilson lead the visitors to a 11-4 beat down of the Yankees…Cubs up 1-0.


Game 2…12-8 in 11 innings…the Cubs smack 4 homers to take a 7-2 lead after 6 innings…but the Yanks rally for 5 in the 7th to tie the game as Ruth provides the big blow with a 3 run homer (44-5)…game stays tied until the 11th…as the Yankees score 5…all coming with 2 outs…and hold off the Cubs to take the series to a deciding third game.

Game 3…1-0 win…The Yankees score an improbable run in the first as Ruth singles…goes to third on a Gehrig single and he steals second…Dickey up…rolls a 13-36…Unusual play reroll is a 39…which is a SF6…to score the only run of the game…and Ed Wells twirls a 5 hit masterpiece to send the Yankees to the finals.


Playoff finals…vs 1977 Royals (Marty Lee)…


Jeff Boeding feeding the dice tower, Marty Lee (Royals jersey) anticipating his fate, with Jim looking on …


Game 1…7-5 win…the Royals take a 5-3 lead heading into the 9th as Al Cowens scores 3 and drives in a pair with a HR…but Chapman ties the game with a 2 run HR…and Ruth raps a walk off 2 run homer to win the game and shock the Royals…Yanks up 1-0.

Game 2…9-5 win…Gehrig starts scoring in first with a 2 run HR…but Royals get 3 of their own to take a 3-2 lead…Yankees score 1 in the 4th and 5th innings and 2 in the 6th…and take a 6-5 lead after 6…and put the game away punctuated by a Ruth 2 run homer to end the scoring….’30 Yanks win TC VII tourney title.



Overall tournament record:  13 wins, 2 losses

Combs 66 17 21 6 3 1 0 5 5 0.318 0.394 1
Ruth 58 18 22 17 3 2 6 4 13 0.379 0.603 2
Gehrig 53 10 21 20 3 1 5 4 17 0.396 0.717 1
Dickey 58 5 14 16 3 2 1 2 6 0.241 0.345 0
Reese 62 11 13 8 3 1 1 3 4 0.210 0.274 1
Lary 57 8 14 4 3 0 0 4 8 0.246 0.386 4
Lazzeri 57 10 14 9 3 2 1 7 7 0.246 0.368 0
Chapman 58 11 17 10 5 3 1 5 3 0.293 0.345 1
Rice 51 11 13 9 4 0 1 2 5 0.255 0.353 0
520 101 149 99 30 12 16 36 68 0.287 0.417 10
Ruffing 47 46 30 30 25 19 8 4 1 5.74 0 1.383
Pipgras 47 55 25 24 17 19 6 5 0 4.60 0 1.5745
Wells 27 20 6 6 9 9 2 3 0 2.00 0 1.0741
Johnson 15 19 14 9 13 13 2 1 1 5.40 0 2.1333
Pennock 3 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0.00 0 0.3333
139 141 75 69 67 60 18 13 2 4.47 0 1.446


Jeff Boeding, TCABT-VII Champ

Jeff, thanks for providing the game blow-by-blow.  Looking forward to your next TCABT “entrant” …

Teams retired from TCABT Tournament play:

TCABT-I:  1927 YANKEES (Kevin Cluff)

TCABT-II:  1954 GIANTS (Leroy Arnoldi)

TCABT-III:  1902 PIRATES (Andy Bartell)

TCABT-IV:  1937 YANKEES (Leroy Arnoldi)

TCABT-V:  2011 RANGERS (Kevin Cluff)

TCABT-VI:  1930 CARDINALS (Bruce Tyler)

TCABT-VII:  1930 YANKEES (Jeff Boeding)

TCABT-VIII:  TBD, October 7th, 2017


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