The 28 entrants: From top left standing – Bruce Tyler, Garth Andersen, Chris Kaufman, Phil Geraffo, Fred Johnson, Robert Elley, Gregg Nelson, George Adams, Pat Martin.
From 2nd row left standing – Paul Van Beek, Craig Christian, Marty Lee, Bob Collins, Leroy Arnoldi, Jim, Dave Norlander.
From left sitting – Ben Lofgren, Beau Lofgren, Jeff Boeding, Scott Egge, John Kalous, Darrell Skogen, Kevin Cluff.
From left kneeling and sitting on floor – Kurt Bergland, Rob Skogen, Gary Borthwick, Mike Vitt, Darrell Shreve.
Thanks to Terry Borthwick for taking this group photo, and most of the photos shown throughout this post!
We had a punctual group of 28, ready to get at it, Saturday morning, April 7th, 2018. Although it felt more like February outside, we knew better, and baseball was the name of the game today. APBA Baseball that is. After a few announcements, introductions of the 3 first time entrants (Bob Collins of APBAOnline fame, Robert Elley and Mike Vitt) and some rules review, all 28 were ready to roll by 8:45am. At stake, the April hardware, waiting for the next April victor …
There are 3 primary playing “areas” laid out through Darrell Skogen’s Maple Grove home: The Pennant Porch, which is a beautiful 4-season wood and windows porch, with plenty of sunlight, holding one division at play. The Den, which is another well-lit room on the other side of the main floor, with plenty of book shelves and APBA cards stored about and holding another division of 4 teams. And then the Basement, which is hosting 5 of the 7 divisions today, a total of 20 guys, each rolling dice either with a shaker or a dice tower, making plenty of noise, between groans and sighs, and all lined up sitting at long tables looking like they are all waiting to yell “BINGO!”, or, as is the case with Leroy Arnoldi, “BANG GOES THE DYNAMITE!” each time one of his players goes deep.
In the Pennant Porch, Leroy sitting on right, with George Adams explaining how he came to pick the “Miracle” Braves of 19
Also in the Pennant Porch, newcomer, Mike Vitt from Louisville, KY on left vs Bruce Tyler.
The Minnie Minoso division in action.
The Den, hosting the Gabby Hartnett division: from L to R … Dave Norlander, Darrell Skogen facing off at the desk and in the background, Ben Lofgren and John Kalous at the table.
At one end of the basement, back in the corner and working clockwise: Phil Geraffo, Gary Borthwick, Gregg Nelson and Jeff Boeding playing out their games in the Ted Williams division.
The Enos Slaughter division, with games in action, starting clockwise from front left: Newcomer Bob Collins from Woodbury MN, Kevin Cluff, Darrell Shreve and newcomer Robert Elley from Longview TX.
The Reggie Jackson division, starting clockwise from back left: Craig Christian, Scott Egge, Fred Johnson and Marty “Doc” Lee.
The Frank Howard division, starting clockwise from front left: Chris Kaufman, Kurt Bergland, Paul Van Beek and Garth Andersen.
Closing out the basement division setup, the Roger Maris division, starting clockwise from back left: Pat Martin, Rob Skogen, Beau Lofgren and Jim.
The Division Results:
|Saturday, April 7th, 2018|
|GABBY HARTNETT DIVISION||W||L||R||OR||RDIFF|
|1938 YANKEES (DAVE NORLANDER)||6||3||34||33||1|
|1942 YANKEES (BEN LOFGREN)||6||3||42||27||15|
|2017 ASTROS (JOHN KALOUS)||4||5||33||39||-6|
|2006 TWINS (DARRELL SKOGEN)||2||7||26||36||-10|
|FRANK HOWARD DIVISION||W||L||R||OR||RDIFF|
|1995 INDIANS (PAUL VAN BEEK)||7||2||42||26||16|
|2006 PADRES (KURT BERGLAND)||5||4||36||45||-9|
|1970 TWINS (CHRIS KAUFMAN)||4||5||38||38||0|
|1972 PIRATES (GARTH ANDERSEN)||2||7||34||41||-7|
|REGGIE JACKSON DIVISION||W||L||R||OR||RDIFF|
|2000 MARINERS (MARTY LEE)||6||3||57||56||1|
|1987 TIGERS (FRED JOHNSON)||5||4||54||35||19|
|1980 EXPOS (SCOTT EGGE)||4||5||39||50||-11|
|1976 REDS (CRAIG CHRISTIAN)||3||6||46||55||-9|
|ROGER MARIS DIVISION||W||L||R||OR||RDIFF|
|1953 DODGERS (JIM FRAASCH)||7||2||44||28||16|
|2017 INDIANS (ROB SKOGEN)||5||4||34||28||6|
|2010 TWINS (BEAU LOFGREN)||3||6||27||33||-6|
|1954 INDIANS (PAT MARTIN)||3||6||28||44||-16|
|MINNIE MINOSO DIVISION||W||L||R||OR||RDIFF|
|1973 BRAVES (GEORGE ADAMS)||6||3||45||51||-6|
|1911 GIANTS (BRUCE TYLER)||6||3||46||23||23|
|1993 BLUE JAYS (LEROY ARNOLDI)||3||6||35||49||-14|
|1998 BRAVES (MIKE VITT)||3||6||38||41||-3|
|ENOS SLAUGHTER DIVISION||W||L||R||OR||RDIFF|
|2017 NATIONALS (KEVIN CLUFF)||7||2||37||18||19|
|1968 TIGERS (DARRELL SHREVE)||5||4||38||26||12|
|1969 ORIOLES (ROBERT ELLEY)||5||4||34||36||-2|
|2016 INDIANS (BOB COLLINS)||1||8||26||55||-29|
|TED WILLIAMS DIVISION||W||L||R||OR||RDIFF|
|1941 DODGERS (GREGG NELSON)||6||3||41||29||12|
|1936 YANKEES (JEFF BOEDING)||5||4||38||33||5|
|1998 YANKEES (GARY BORTHWICK)||5||4||35||37||-2|
|1955 DODGERS (PHIL GERAFFO)||2||7||34||49||-15|
Kurt Bergland and Garth Andersen in a Frank Howard division showdown between the 2006 Padres and 1972 Pirates.
Leroy appears less than amused during his division play match-up with George’s Miracle Braves of ’73.
After finishing up division play by around 2:30pm, it was well deserved break and then onto the 8-team, best-of-three, bracket play session.
George Adams (1973 Braves) and Paul Van Beek (1995 Indians) waste no time in getting their Quarter-final match under way. George is making his first bracket-round appearance.
The Bracket Play Results:
2 former TCABT Champs go at it in the Quarter-finals, Bruce Tyler (1911 Giants) on left, vs Kevin Cluff (2017 Nationals) on right, inside the Pennant Porch.
2 Quarter-final series taking place in the Den. In the foreground, Gregg Nelson (1941 Dodgers) vs Dave Norlander (1938 Yankees). This is Gregg’s first TCABT appearance in the bracket play round. In the background, Jim (on left) with his 1953 Dodgers battles Marty “Doc” Lee and his 2000 Mariners.
Semi-final action in the Pennant Porch between Dave’s 1938 Yankees and Jim’s 1953 Dodgers. Dave’s 1938 Yankees with a big top of the 9th inning in game 1, comeback from down 9-6 to win 11-9. Dave’s ’38 Yankees would sweep the series with a 4-3 victory in game 2.
In the other semi-final match, Kevin Cluff’s 2017 Nats need just 2 games to tame George’s Miracle 1973 Braves.
The championship series would pit Dave Norlander’s 1938 Yankees vs Kevin Cluff’s 2017 Nationals. Kevin has been here before, winning the April TCABT title twice, in 2014 and in 2016. Would he make it a 3rd time in 2018?
TCABT-IX Championship series, Dave Norlander on left vs Kevin Cluff on right.
The Championship match-up featured a 2-time April champion, Kevin and his 2017 Nats vs Dave and his 1938 Yankees, and Dave looking for his first title. The ’38 Yankees won game 1, 3-2. The 2017 Nationals win game 2, 7-3. Game 3 for all the marbles, would go 11 innings. The ’38 Yankees had an early 4-0 lead. The 2017 Nats tie it up 4-4 in the bottom of the 9th, after entering the 9th trailing 4-3. A scoreless 10th. Once we get to the 11th inning, all pitchers are reduced to a straight D, regardless of their actual grades. The Yankees put up 2 in the top of the 11th to go up 6-4. In the bottom of the 11th, Harper blasts a 2-run homer to tie it and Zimmerman a 2-run homer to win the championship in walk-off style, as Kevin and the 2017 Nats win 8-6, and win the series 2 games to 1!
One note about the division names … the divisions were named after baseball greats who wore the #9 during part or all of their careers. We originally had 8 divisions of 4 teams, but due to drops, we ended up with 7 divisions of 4 teams. One glaring omission … one of the divisions was appropriately named for Bill Mazeroski. But after 2 of the 4 drops came from the Mazeroski division, unfortunately, the Mazeroski division faded away.
It has become tradition to conclude each TCABT Results write-up with a wonderful, if not self-serving, offering from tourney entrant, and Minnesota’s top author on Minnesota History, Fred Johnson:
Twin Cities APBA Baseball Tournament – IX [April 7. 2018]
Editor’s Note: APBA “expert” Fred Johnson is back with yet another twisted version of a TCABT tournament, this regarding the recent April, 7, 2018 playoffs in Maple Grove. Take his words with a grain (a tablespoon would be better) of salt.
APBA Veterans and insightful rookies alike know my contempt for a sore loser, the whiner and wailer, who make excuses for defeat. So, to be clear, this brief account of my April 7 set back at Darrell Skogen Fields in Maple Grove is not a evasion or cover-up for a loss. It is an explanation.
In fact, two words quite aptly summarize the Saturday massacre: Jack Morris. The Tiger’s alleged ace sported a 0–2 record as he stumbled toward the critical division-deciding game with Craig Christian’s ’76 Reds; it is worth noting the rest of the Tiger pitchers were a combined 5-1 at this point and had won the first two games with Reds by a combined 12-7 count. Personal and professional redemption stood within easy reach if the Tiger tosser could prevail in the finale. Instead, Morris surrendered 10 runs, all earned, while his valiant teammates finished with 9 and the tying run at the plate.
In another display of Tiger toughness, the Detroiters piled up a +19 run differential within the Reggie Jackson division. The only other division club in the positive range was Marty Lee’s 2001 Mariners with an embarrassing +1. Not surprisingly, the Tigers’ +19 proved to be the highest among all division teams—if you don’t count runs scored by Bruce Tyler’s 1911 Giants and Kevin Cuff’s winning 2017 Nats, and I don’t.
Clearly my Tigers proved far superior to all of their division competitors, a point I made with Lee, whose Seattle club actually advanced to the next round. “Hey Marty,” I announced cordially, “since the Tigers are the real class here and they stomped your boys 2–1 in our series, doesn’t seem obvious that they should move on to the playoffs? It is evident you should hand over the title to them. This is not about me; it’s about them and justice.” Lee haltingly offered a cliche excuse—“But my Mariners had a better record”—and refused to concede.
A final point: If Jack Morris can’t compete fair and square with the baseball greats in Maple Grove last Saturday, how is it that he will be entering the MLB Hall of Fame this summer? In a search for baseball justice, I will be assembling my case against Morris with a concise 25-page synopsis of his April 7 TCABT-IX performance and submit it the Modern Baseball Era committee next month.