1961 Minnesota Twins Replay – May Summary …

TWINS_PROGRAM_1961

After the Twins opened their first April, playing 11 games on the road and just 4 games at home, May would bring 21 home games, and just 7 road games.

The month would see several interesting high-lights and low-lights in the replay …

  • May 2nd, the Twins pound out 15 hits in a 10-4 shellacking of the visiting Yankees.
  • May 9th, Jim Gentile of the Baltimore Orioles belts 3 HR with 7 RBI, in 11-3 drubbing of the Twins.
  • May 10th, the Twins are 1-hit by Dick Hall of the Orioles, but Earl Battey’s solo-blast in the bottom of the 5th give the Twins a 1-0 win, with a 4-hit shut-out pitched by Jack Kralick.
  • May 14th, Twins begin 10-game win-streak with win over the Angels.
  • May 23rd, Twins win their 10th straight, defeating the Tigers.
  • May 24th, the Tigers rout the Twins 20-0, as Twins 10-game win-streak comes to an end.  The Tigers homer 7 times, at least 1 per inning from the 2nd thru the 7th, and score at least 1 run all 9 innings.  This marks the first time the Twins were shut-out this season.
  • May 27th, Dale Long of the Washington Senators hits a 1-out, walk-off, Grand Slam in the bottom of the 9th, to lift the Senators over the Twins, 7-6.

Read the May 15, 1961 Sports Illustrated article on Twins Manager, Cookie Lavagetto …

 

twinsschedule1961

The month of May:

(click on game scores below for either the REPLAY boxscore or the ACTUAL boxscore)

Series #7:  White Sox at Twins, April 30, May 1

white_sox_1960-1975  AT  twins_1961

Game #16-  Replay Score:  WHITE SOX 5, TWINS 4  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 6, WHITE SOX 5)

TWINS RECORD:  Replay (6-10)  –  Actual (10-6)

mgr_al_lopez_white_sox_topps_1961

 

Series #8:  Yankees at Twins, May 2, 3, 4

yankees_1961  AT  twins_1961

Game #17-  Replay Score:  TWINS 10, YANKEES 4  –  (Actual Score:  YANKEES 6, TWINS 4)

Game #18-  Replay Score:  TWINS 5, YANKEES 1  –  (Actual Score:  YANKEES 7, TWINS 3)

Game #19-  Replay Score:  YANKEES 4, TWINS 2  –  (Actual Score:  YANKEES 5, TWINS 2)

TWINS RECORD:  Replay (8-11)  –  Actual (10-9)

pedro_ramos_peters_meats

May 3rd, Pedro Ramos twirls a CG win for the Twins over the Yankees.

 

Series #9:  Red Sox at Twins, May 5, 7

red_sox_1961  AT  twins_1961

Game #20-  Replay Score:  RED SOX 4, TWINS 1  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 5, RED SOX 1)

Game #21-  Replay Score:  RED SOX 6, TWINS 2  –  (Actual Score:  RED SOX 11, TWINS 9)

TWINS RECORD:  Replay (8-13)  –  Actual (11-10)

brewer_tom_1961_topps

Red Sox hurler, Tom Brewer walks 7, but allows just 2 hits thru 8 IP, in a 4-1 victory over the Twins.

 

Series #10:  Orioles at Twins, May 9, 10, 11

orioles_1961  AT  twins_1961

Game #22-  Replay Score:  ORIOLES 11, TWINS 3  –  (Actual Score:  ORIOLES 13, TWINS 5)

Game #23-  Replay Score:  TWINS 1, ORIOLES 0  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 10, ORIOLES 6)

Game #24-  Replay Score:  TWINS 7, ORIOLES 6  –  (Actual Score:  ORIOLES 8, TWINS 7)

TWINS RECORD:  Replay (10-14)  –  Actual (12-12)

gentile_jim_1961_topps

Jim Gentile blasts 3 HR with 7 RBI and 4 runs scored in the 11-3 win over the Twins.

 

Series #11:  Angels at Twins, May 12, 13, 14

angels_1961  AT  twins_1961

Game #25-  Replay Score:  TWINS 8, ANGELS 6  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 5, ANGELS 4)

Game #26-  Replay Score:  ANGELS 8, TWINS 6  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 13, ANGELS 6)

Game #27-  Replay Score:  TWINS 7, ANGELS 2  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 4, ANGELS 3)

TWINS RECORD:  Replay (12-15)  –  Actual (15-12)

building_the_1961_angelsAn interesting SABR read: Creating the 1961 Los Angeles Angels in 120 Days

 

Series #12:  Twins at White Sox, May 15, 16

twins_1961  AT  white_sox_1960-1975

Game #28-  Replay Score:  TWINS 3, WHITE SOX 2  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 5, WHITE SOX 0)

Game #29-  Replay Score:  TWINS 7, WHITE SOX 1  –  (Actual Score:  WHITE SOX 5, TWINS 4)

TWINS RECORD:  Replay (14-15)  –  Actual (16-13)

1961_white_sox_scorecard

 

Series #13:  Athletics at Twins, May 18, 19, 20

athletics_1961  AT  twins_1961

Game #30-  Replay Score:  TWINS 6, ATHLETICS 2  –  (Actual Score:  ATHLETICS 4, TWINS 3)

Game #31-  Replay Score:  TWINS 3, ATHLETICS 1  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 11, ATHLETICS 1)

*Game #32-  Replay Score:  TWINS 9, ATHLETICS 2  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 2, ATHLETICS 0)

TWINS RECORD:  Replay (17-15)  –  Actual (18-14)

*Note, the Twins replay win-streak reaches 6.

killebrew_1961

A young Harm Killebrew blasts his 7th homer of the season in a 9-2 win over KC.

 

Series #14:  Indians at Twins, May 21 (2), 22

indians_1961  AT  twins_1961

Game #33-  Replay Score:  TWINS 8, INDIANS 6  –  (Actual Score:  INDIANS 9, TWINS 0)

Game #34-  Replay Score:  TWINS 1, INDIANS 0  –  (Actual Score:  INDIANS 2, TWINS 0)

*Game #35-  Replay Score:  TWINS 5, INDIANS 3  –  (Actual Score:  INDIANS 7, TWINS 5)

TWINS RECORD:  Replay (20-15)  –  Actual (18-17)

*Note, the Twins replay win-streak reaches 9.

1961_don_lee_photo

Game 2, of May 21st double-header, Don Lee pitches CG, 1-0 shut-out for his 1st win of 1961.

 

Series #15:  Tigers at Twins, May 23, 24, 25

tigers_1961  AT  twins_1961

*Game #36-  Replay Score:  TWINS 7, TIGERS 4  –  (Actual Score:  TIGERS 5, TWINS 2)

**Game #37-  Replay Score:  TIGERS 20, TWINS 0  –  (Actual Score:  TIGERS 5, TWINS 4)

Game #38-  Replay Score:  TWINS 10, TIGERS 8  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 7, TIGERS 6)

TWINS RECORD:  Replay (22-16)  –  Actual (19-19)

*Note, the Twins replay win-streak reaches 10.

**Note, the Tigers end the Twins win-streak at 10.  The Tigers scored at least 1 run each inning and blasted 7 homers.

bill_bruton_1961_topps

Detroit’s Bill Bruton goes 4 for 5, with 2 HR and 4 RBI in the 20-0 rout of the Twins.

 

Series #16:  Twins at Senators, May 26, 27, 28

twins_1961  AT  senators_1961

Game #39-  Replay Score:  TWINS 7, SENATORS 6  –  (Actual Score:  SENATORS 4, TWINS 3)

*Game #40-  Replay Score:  SENATORS 7, TWINS 6  –  (Actual Score:  SENATORS 14, TWINS 4)

Game #41-  Replay Score:  TWINS 6, SENATORS 2  –  (Actual Score:  SENATORS 6, TWINS 4)

TWINS RECORD:  Replay (24-17)  –  Actual (19-22)

*Note, Game #40 ended with a walk-off Grand Slam by Dale Long for a Senators 7-6 win over the Twins.

long_dale_1961_topps

1961_harmon-killebrew_at_griffith_stadium

“Killer” at Griffith Stadium, 1961.  Replay wise, Harmon would homer twice in this 3 game series, his first return to Griffith Stadium.

 

Series #17:  Twins at Indians, May 30 (2)

twins_1961  AT  indians_1961

Game #42-  Replay Score: INDIANS 6, TWINS 5   –  (Actual Score:  INDIANS 4, TWINS 3)

Game #43-  Replay Score: INDIANS 4, TWINS 2   –  (Actual Score:  INDIANS 7, TWINS 5)

TWINS (end of May) RECORD:  Replay (24-19)  –  Actual (19-24)

grant_mudcat_1961_topps

The Indians, Mudcat Grant, earns the win in game 2 of the May 30th double-header.

May ends with 2 losses to the Cleveland Indians, but the Twins close out a very successful May, going 18-10 for the month, including a 10-game win-streak.

Note:  A quick run comparison at the end of May, has the Twins scoring 205 runs (vs 197 actual) and allowing 198 runs (vs 227 actual).

TWINS end of MAY BATTING STATS

TWINS end of MAY PITCHING STATS

TWINS end of MAY FIELDING STATS

TWINS month-by-month Summaries (click on link to read):

APRIL:  6-9 (9-6 Actual)

MAY:  18-10 (10-18 Actual)

 

Metropolitan Stadium C.1961

A nice sketch of Metropolitan Stadium as it appeared in 1961, shortly after early construction of 1st level of stands down first base foul line.

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Regional APBA Baseball Tourney Announcement: TCABT-IX

topps_1964_minoso

The Neil Ess Memorial Twin Cities APBA Baseball Tournament – IX, will take place Saturday, April 7th, 2018.  The usual location, Darrell Skogen’s home in Maple Grove, MN.

TCABT-IX

  • Date:  Saturday, April 7th, 2018
  • Location:  Darrel Skogen’s home in Maple Grove, MN
    • 9575 Glacier Lane, Maple Grove, MN 55369
  • Time:  8:15am till finish (plan on around 6:00pm)
  • Team selection:  Begins Saturday, January 6th at 12:00am (just after midnight on Friday)

TCABT_VIII_GROUP_PHOTO

30 APBA fans took part in TCABT-VIII last October.

Any MLB team from 1901 to 2017 is eligible, except for the following previous TCABT champions:

  • 1927 YANKEES
  • 1954 GIANTS
  • 1902 PIRATES
  • 1937 YANKEES
  • 2011 RANGERS
  • 1930 CARDINALS
  • 1930 YANKEES
  • 1929 ATHLETICS

Email your top 3 team selections to Jim Fraasch at “jwfraasch@mchsi.com” starting after midnight on Friday (Saturday AM), January 6th.  Teams are awarded on a first entry received basis.  If your team has already been selected before you turned in your entry, you would then be given choice #2 or #3 on your list, etc.

Team selection period concludes at the end of the day, Friday, March 16th.

brochurephoto

Some tournament rules include:

  • 22 man roster
  • DH must be used
  • 4-man rotation in division play (to be a starting pitcher, pitcher must have made at least 10 starts in actual season)
  • 3-man rotation during the “best-of-three” bracket play, with the rotation starting over for the beginning of each series.
  • 8 teams qualify for the “best-of-three” bracket play.
  • For a player to be in the starting lineup, he must have had at least 100 PA during the actual season.
  • For a non-pitcher to be on the roster, he must have had at least 25 PA during the actual season.
  • Basic game, using all advanced rules (we utilize only the latest Basic Game booklet, printed in 2013).
  • We also use the APBA Journal Error Distribution Card and Unusual Play Card.
  • We also have our own Bases Empty Error Re-roll card for Fielding One infielders (2B, SS, 3B)
  • No injuries extend past the current game (players are only injured for the remainder of the game, as is the case with Ejections)
  • No rain-outs, re-roll dice using Unusual Play Card a 2nd time.

bracket_championship_trophy_alec_and_terry

TCABT-VIII Champion, Alec Otto (1929 Athletics) on left with runner-up, Terry Borthwick (2015 Blue Jays) on right.

For the 2nd time, we will be offering a tourney t-shirt for purchase through CustomInk.

Here is the graphic for the tshirt, representing our upcoming 2018 tournaments, TCABT-IX and TCABT-X (note cost will be about $14):

tcabt_ix_tshirt

1961 Minnesota Twins Replay – April Summary …

1961_Minnesota_Twins

The 1960 Washington Senators closed out their existence in D.C., and moved to the Twin Cities of Minnesota.  Minneapolis and St. Paul would welcome the Twins and the team would play their games equal distance from both cities, on the prairie by the major airport in Bloomington, MN.

Met_Stadium_Construction_1955_original_grade

(Above): The original grading of Metropolitan Stadium, circa 1955.  – Note, yes, this is where the Mall of America stands today (Below).

mall_of_america

A view of the Mall of America, from the same angle/direction, as the grading picture of the Metropolitan Stadium construction above.

Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington had opened as the home to the Minneapolis Millers from 1956 to 1960, but the town and the state yearned for their first attempt at big league baseball.

eddie_stanky_millers_met_stadium

Millers manager, Eddie Stanky, argues to no avail vs the Wichita Braves, with a packed house at Metropolitan Stadium in the later 1950’s.

Calvin Griffith, looking for new means of better revenue streams, focused his efforts on moving his Senators club out of Washington, D.C.  Calvin realized his wish when the American League OK’d the move of the Senators to the Twin Cities, and granting Washington D.C. a new expansion franchise, along with the Los Angeles Angels.

Some silent footage from the Twins first “Spring Training” in Orlando, FL:

Some of the Twins players you see:  Jim Lemon in street clothes talking to Bob Allison in uniform and Earl Battey on the left in uniform;  #17 Camilo Pascual;  #3 Harmon Killebrew;  #2 Zoilo Versalles;  #18 Paul Giel;  Mgr. Cookie Lavagetto (kneeling by post);  #21 Ray Moore;  At end of video, sitting in street clothes, Chuck Stobbs and Jim Lemon.

I have played APBA Baseball since 1978, and I have always had the desire to replay every Minnesota Twins season, using APBA.  I had attempted solo-team replays before, but never using the actual as-played lineups for a solo-team replay.  Today, with the advantages of the historical online boxscores, and with APBA Game Co. printing every card for a player that appeared in a given season, it is the right time if you are into as-played actual lineup replays.

Hopefully within this blog post, I will capture the excitement and fun of reliving this first Minnesota Twins season, one month at a time.  This 1961 Twins team is nothing special, especially if you are not a Twins fan.  However, it is the first season that MLB was played in Minnesota.  And Harmon Killebrew made his lasting impression in that inaugural 1961 season blasting 46 homeruns while driving in 122 runs.

For a closer look at each player, their 1961 Topps cards (note the last few cards in the rotation are players who were traded to the Twins during the ’61 season):

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I am using the APBA Basic Game, using the 2013 version of the Basic Game booklet.  I am also using BallStat and BallScore to track my stats.  I enter each game into BallScore after I complete a game, scoring the old fashioned way, on paper.  The 1961 APBA Baseball Season set I am using was the last printing of the Basic Game cards, and included every player who played that season, printed in 2013.  I am using all advanced rules, along with the Error Distribution Card and Unusual Play Card from the old APBA Journal.

2013_apba_basic_booklet

The 1961 Twins opened the season with former Brooklyn Dodger, Harry “Cookie” Lavagetto as their skipper.  However, he would only last until June 15th, with Sam Mele taking over as manager on June 16th.  The Twins with Lavagetto had endured a 13 game losing streak, and about a week later, Lavagetto not only was the first Twins manager, but also the first Twins manager to be fired.

Sports_Illustrated_41865_19610515-001-775

Call it the Sports Illustrated “jynx”, with the SI cover date of May 15th, Mgr. Cookie Lavagetto, in the next 31 Twins games after May 15th, would go 7-24 and lose his job after a win on June 15th.

With APBA Baseball and 1961 at my fingertips, I am magically on the top step of the Twins home dugout, calling the shots …

Met_Stadium_dugout_1956

Home dugout, Metropolitan Stadium, during construction, circa 1956.

twinsschedule1961

I will breakdown each month of the replay, starting with April.  Future blog posts will be for each subsequent month.

(click on game scores below for either the REPLAY boxscore or the ACTUAL boxscore)

Season Opening Series:  Twins at Yankees, April 11

twins_1961 AT yankees_1961

Game #1-  Replay Score:  YANKEES 7, TWINS 5  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 6, YANKEES 0)

TWINS RECORD:  Replay (0-1)  –  Actual (1-0)

marilyn_monroe_and_joe_dimaggio_at_yankee_opener_1961

Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio take in the 1961 Yankee opener.

 

Series #2:  Twins at Orioles, April 14, 15, 16 (2)

twins_1961 AT orioles_1961

Game #2-  Replay Score:  ORIOLES 6, TWINS 5  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 3, ORIOLES 2)

Game #3-  Replay Score:  TWINS 4, ORIOLES 0  –  (Actual Score:  ORIOLES 8, TWINS 0)

Game #4-  Replay Score:  TWINS 9, ORIOLES 0  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 10, ORIOLES 5)

Game #5-  Replay Score:  TWINS 4, ORIOLES 1  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 6, ORIOLES 4)

TWINS RECORD:  Replay (3-2)  –  Actual (4-1)

Killebrew Injured April 15, 1961

Harmon Killebrew is helped off the field after injuring his hamstring in just the 3rd game of the season.  Killebrew does not return to the Twins lineup until April 29th.

 

Series #3:  Twins at Red Sox, April 18

twins_1961  AT  red_sox_1961

Game #6-  Replay Score:  RED SOX 5, TWINS 3  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 3, RED SOX 2)

TWINS RECORD:  Replay (3-3)  –  Actual (5-1)

red_sox_scorecard

 

Series #4:  Senators at Twins, April 21, 22, 23

senators_1961  AT  twins_1961

Game #7-  Replay Score:  TWINS 2, SENATORS 1  –  (Actual Score:  SENATORS 5, TWINS 3)

Game #8-  Replay Score:  SENATORS 9, TWINS 3  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 5, SENATORS 4)

Game #9-  Replay Score:  TWINS 2, SENATORS 1  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 1, SENATORS 0)

TWINS RECORD:  Replay (5-4)  –  Actual (7-2)

1961_home_opener_scoreboard

The Met Stadium scoreboard into the 9th inning of the Twins first ever Home Opener.

 

Series #5:  Twins at Athletics, April 24, 25

twins_1961  AT  athletics_1961

Game #10-  Replay Score:  ATHLETICS 6, TWINS 5  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 10, ATHLETICS 6)

Game #11-  Replay Score:  ATHLETICS 10, TWINS 9  –  (Actual Score:  ATHLETICS 20, TWINS 2)

TWINS RECORD:  Replay (5-6)  –  Actual (8-3)

klimchock

The A’s Lou klimchock goes 2 for 5 with a HR and 4 RBI in 10-9 Athletic win over Twins.

 

Series #6:  Twins at Angels, April 27, 28, 29

twins_1961  AT  angels_1961

Game #12-  Replay Score:  ANGELS 5, TWINS 3  –  (Actual Score:  TWINS 4, ANGELS 2)

Game #13-  Replay Score:  TWINS 6, ANGELS 3  –  (Actual Score:  ANGELS 6, TWINS 5)

Game #14-  Replay Score:  ANGELS 9, TWINS 2  –  (Actual Score:  ANGELS 4, TWINS 1)

TWINS RECORD:  Replay (6-8)  –  Actual (9-5)

mcbride

Angel hurler, Ken McBride, pitches a CG win over the Twins, winning 9-2, while striking out 10.

 

Series #7:  White Sox at Twins, April 30, May 1

white_sox_1960-1975  AT  twins_1961

Game #15-  Replay Score:  WHITE SOX 4, TWINS 2  –  (Actual Score:  WHITE SOX 5, TWINS 3)

TWINS APRIL RECORD:  Replay (6-9)  –  Actual (9-6)

carreon

White Sox catcher, Cam Carreon goes 3 for 4, with a HR and 2 RBI in 4-2 win over Twins.

April ends with the loss to the White Sox.

Note:  A quick run comparison for April has the Twins scoring 63 runs (vs 62 actual) and allowing 67 (vs 73 actual).

As I complete this post, the replay is well into May.  I plan to post May results in a few weeks.

TWINS end of APRIL BATTING STATS

TWINS end of APRIL PITCHING STATS

TWINS end of APRIL FIELDING STATS

highlighter_throwback_metropolitan_club

Metropolitan Stadium, circa 1961.

April’s replay high-lights and low-lights included:

  • The first ever game for the Twins.  Yankee Stadium on April 11th, 1961.  Whitey Ford and the Yankees proved to be too much for Pedro Ramos and the Twins, as Mickey Mantle clouts a HR with the Yankees putting up 5 runs in the later innings.  New York prevails 7-5.
  • April 15th, after losing their first 2 games of the young season, the Twins won their first game in franchise history on a 1-hitter, CG shut-out by Chuck Stobbs (DZ), over the Baltimore Orioles.  The 1 Orioles hit was a Gus Triandos single in the 2nd inning.
  • April 16th, 1st game of a double-header, the Twins, with Pedro Ramos (CYZ) on the hill, pitch their 2nd CG, 1-hit, shut-out, back-to-back.  The 1 Orioles hit came as a 2-out, bottom of the 7th double by Jim Gentile.
  • April 21st, vs the expansion Washington Senators, the Twins win their first ever home game, 2-1.  Pinch-hitter, Dan Dobbek. singles home the winning run in the bottom of the 9th with 1 out.
  • April 24th and 25th making their first trip to Municipal Stadium in Kansas City, the Twins see 2 late inning leads turn into 2 heart-breaking losses.  Game 10 of the season, the Twins had just taken a 5-3 lead in the top of the 10th, but KC ties the game with 2 in the bottom of the 10th.  In the bottom of the 11th, KC wins the game in walk-off fashion, a 1-out run-scoring PH single by Lou Klimchock.  Game 11 of the season, has the Twins sporting a 9-6 lead heading into the bottom of the 9th.  Lou Klimchock ties the game with a 3-run blast off of Twins closer, Ray Moore.  With 1 out, the A’s get 2 more base runners and Bill Tuttle hits into a game-winning fielder’s choice when the Twins fail to turn the DP.

al_1961_minnesota

1961 Minnesota Twins Uniform

 

 

 

 

 

 

APBA’view: Richard Hormel

richards_shed.jpg

“THE SHED OF DREAMS”

If you are an APBA fan, or a fan of any board gaming brand, what you are about to read about is a guy with a shed in Nebraska, a shed which would rival any sport’s “Field of Dreams” venue.

I am speaking of Richard Hormel.  Richard is the guy who collects everything we would like to collect and keep in storage, only he has actually done it.  We are not talking about a small room in the basement (which holds my collection).  We are talking about a shed which is 60 ft by 90 ft, and according to Richard, the previous owner used the shed for detailing tractor trailer trucks.

Onto the interview with Richard Hormel …

Jimsapbabarn question #1:  Tell us about yourself, your youth, etc (outside of APBA)?

Richard Hormel:  I was born in New York City but grew up in the small town of Weston, Connecticut.  A great place to grow up…  I don’t know if it was a great place to live as an adult!  My parents were both self employed artists.  My Mom a painter and illustrator of some reknown and my Dad more of a designer type.  I have two younger brothers.

We were all sports nuts.  My Mom was the athlete in the family- used to pitch batting practice and hit fungos to us.  My Dad was a baseball fan, however, and growing up I went to a lot of Mets games (I was a Yankee fan but Shea Stadium was easier to drive to from Connecticut).  My Dad was good about making sure we saw Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente and Hank Aaron play.  A lot of double headers too back in those days.

My Dad, begrudgingly, got involved with the local Little League and wound up running it for years. One nice by-product of this was that we would have various Yankee players come to our Awards presentation at the end of the year.  I remember meeting Gene Michael (who was great), Fritz Peterson (also very nice), Ron Swoboda (a bit of a jerk) and Roy White (who was also great- we still have a half finished bottle of Pepsi that my Mom saved from his visit).  I had them all sign their APBA cards.  Gene Michael was very interested to know what all the symbols meant.  He laughed when I told him he was ‘fast’.  And he told me ‘this is the game that Peterson and Kekich play in the back of the plane’- I’m guessing it wasn’t the only game Peterson and Kekich were playing!

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I played a lot of baseball, basketball and soccer through high school.  My brothers also played every sport imaginable and also played a lot of APBA.

 

Jimsapbabarn question #2:  What do you do for a living?

Richard Hormel:  I’m an attorney.  After graduating from Fordham College (and proud to be associated with the same school at Frankie Frisch and Vince Lombardi), I went to a little law school in St. Petersburg, Florida, Stetson College of Law.

Stetson was ‘home’ to quite a few Tampa Bay Bucs who went to school during the off season.  I was good friends with J. K. McKay (another great guy).  His younger brother Rich- who I think is still the President of the Atlanta Falcons- was a year behind us (we thought of his as a goofy younger brother).  Also in my class was Larry Smith (the old Rams running back) and Mike Boryla (who was traded to the Bucs and was a complete wash out for them).

larry_smith_1973_topps_football

Since graduating, I have worked for the same firm my whole career- starting in our West Palm Brach, Florida office, moving to Boston for a couple of years, and coming out to Los Angeles in 1986.  I represent employers and insurance companies in workers’ compensation matters.  A very dry area of the law.  What makes it a bit more fun is that we present several movie and TV studios and represent the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.  Through a technicality in the law, many NBA and NHL players have filed workers’ compensation claims in California.  The attorney for most of the athletes was Ron Mix, the old San Diego Charger- a very impressive guy well into his 70’s although he has had some tough recent issues.  But I’ve met players such as Earl Monroe and Cazzie Russell which has been a great benefit to the job!

ron_mix_topps_1962

 

Jimsapbabarn question #3:  When and how did you discover APBA?

Richard Hormel:  I grew up playing Challenge the Yankees and Cadaco All Star Baseball.  My Uncle, Dick Miller, lived in San Francisco and although I hadn’t met him at the time, knew I was a big baseball fan.  He was an original 1950 game owner (Scott Lehotski found in one of Dick Seitz’s logs that my Uncle was the 66th person to order from the company) and ordered and had sent to me the 1966 edition baseball game.

1966edition

I actually remember like it was yesterday, coming home and seeing the big box there.  I was amazed that EVERY player was carded (unlike Challenge the Yankees and Cadaco).  And I was immediately hooked!  I think the first year, I played an 18 game season for all the teams and grew from there to 54 game seasons and one 72 game season.  This last all through high school until I went away for college.

I bought the Football game soon thereafter.  And, of course, Basketball, Golf, Saddle Racing and everything else APBA printed.

In High School, friends and I had a Baseball and Football league.  Our first year, we hadn’t thought out ‘usage’ limits- I remember both Jim Brewer and Steve Mingori (who were both A&C’s) probably pitched 400 innings apiece.

I’m sure my parents thought I was nuts- I’d be locked away in my room rolling dice every night- but I have always been very fortunate to have ‘tolerant’ people in my life!

 

Jimsapbabarn question #4:  I thought you had written for the APBA Journal at one time, can you tell us more about that?

Richard Hormel:  Actually, I never wrote for the AJ.  Did have an article or two printed in both the AJ and the APBA Innings.  In fact, I have always felt guilty about not being more a part of the APBA community.  I have really contributed very little.

AJ_hormel_article_1AJ_hormel_article_2

One of Richard’s letters/articles appears in the August, 2000 (Issue #5) of the APBA Journal.

And the community is great.  I did attend the 2nd APBA Convention in New York in 1975 (I believe that’s right).  I was amazed by the turnout!  Met Ben Weiser, Connie Horn and a lot of other ‘legends’ all of whom were great.

APBA1975convention

I haven’t been to any of the ‘recent’ conventions although I hope to sometime soon.  But I have been very lucky here in Los Angeles to live near Hall of Famer Jim Sce who has organized several luncheons.  If you haven’t met him, Jim is terrific with a great sense of humor.  Through Jim, I have met other ‘legends’ such as Roy Langhans (reading the Game of the Day on BTL is always a part of my day); Michael ‘Pengy’ Davidson; and Mark Rukhaus (I was expecting a ‘nut’ due to some of his postings but another great and thoughtful guy!).  Everyone I have met through APBA couldn’t be nicer- it is great to be part of such a wonderful ‘community’.  And there are some very interesting people playing APBA- one of the luncheons attendees is the noted author Harry Turtledove.

 

Jimsapbabarn question #5:  How much APBA do you play today, and do you play only solo and/or face-to-face?

Richard Hormel:  The quick answer is that I don’t play as much as I wish.  And I primarily play solo- cards and dice.

What I do do, however, is go through various seasons fairly regularly.  I’ve got an extensive collection of old who’s who, Baseball Registers and Guides and magazines such as Street & Smith.  I’ll go through old issues but almost as much fun is pulling out an old season and going through it.  It is great remembering all the old names and player tendencies.  And like a lot of APBA players, it is rather amazing but I can recall lineups and rosters for all the teams in the 50’s and 60’s but couldn’t come close to doing the same for today’s teams.

 

Jimsapbabarn question #6:  Describe your APBA collection/storage and “museum”.

Richard Hormel:  Here’s where I get in trouble.  I do have a great collection.  I inherited my Uncle’s old sets (obviously the most valuable being the original 1950 season, which he took to Korea with him but is still very close to ‘mint’ condition) and I more than filled in the gaps.  I believe I have a copy of every card APBA has ever published (many in quantity).  I continue to buy things I don’t need- I just still get a thrill each time a box is delivered- takes me right back to my childhood.

games_1

Living in Los Angeles did not afford me the space to really store things properly.  I had games and cards stuffed everywhere.  I got married late- at 52- and, again, I am fortunate my wife is very tolerant.  But I know she couldn’t have been happy about sets being stored in the bedroom!

My wife (Lisa) is from Lincoln, Nebraska and has always wanted to move back there.  So several years ago we bought a place in Lincoln, with the idea that we would eventually retire there.  My wife’s parents became ill and we have been spending more time there now than originally envisioned.

But the big selling point to me was this big metal barn- a Morton Building’ on the property.  The previous owner had used the building to wash and detail semi tractor trailers so this thing is a good size.  When I first visited the property I was immediately sold- what a great place to spread out and store my APBA collection!

So that’s what I’ve done.  I have all the card sets store in either APBA file boxes or boxes (the ‘Super Vault’) that I’ve ordered from Baseball Card World (they are terrific if you haven’t seen or used them).

In addition to the cards and games, I have such stuff as the ‘Seitz Archives’ sold in an auction by Scott Lehotsky years ago.  In it is Seitz’s old notebooks with games he played over the years.  I also bought an APBA banner sold to me by John Herson several years ago and a few things from Veryl Lincoln’s collection.  I’m still working on getting everything organized but, for me, that is a big part of the fun.

games_2

Of course, we are talking Nebraska and the Morton Building is not heated or air conditioned so it is like an ice box in the winter and very hot and humid in the summer.  The humidity has been a big concern of mine- besides the APBA stuff I have tons of old sports books and magazines.  So I have several de-humidifiers working overtime in the Building.

I also commandeered a guest room in the house for the ‘more important’ parts of my collection.  That room has quickly filled up and the wife is not allowed in (I think my tolerant wife would have a heart attack if she saw what all was in there).  The guest room is in the basement- also hopefully safe from tornadoes!

At the moment, we are renovating and insulating the garage which will, hopefully house my books.

But it is very nice to have so much space- even if it is in Nebraska!  And if any APBA types happen to be traveling through Nebraska, get in touch with me.  We have plenty of room.  I’d love to show-off my collection and roll a few games.

And if you have any choice, come through Nebraska in the fall.  Hopefully, the Huskers will be home and there is nothing like going to a Nebraska home football game!  And there are very few tornadoes in the fall!

hoop_inside_shed

 

Jimsapbabarn question #7:  What would you like to see current APBA CEO, John Herson, create for APBA?

Richard Hormel:  First of all, I think John is great!  I don’t know what it is about APBA that causes all of us to become little kids- the cards are later, there are some mistakes and everyone goes crazy.  But I think it is amazing the quantity and quality of the stuff he has been churning out!

Like I hope many, I would love to see some old Football seasons produced- anything from the 1960’s would be great!

I know it is a pipe dream but I would live to see Saddle Racing, Bowling, Boxing and dare I say Basketball get a new life.  But I think we are very fortunate to have John running the show.

 

A quick AROUND THE HORN with Richard Hormel …

around_the_horn

Your favorite sports team?

Richard Hormel:  Easy.  The New York Yankees!

yankees_team_card_1973

Your favorite ballpark?

Richard Hormel:  I’ve been very lucky to have gone to quite a few.  Fenway and Wrigley are great but, again, not very objective but there was nothing like the old Yankee Stadium.

Old-Yankee-Stadium-Postgame

 

Your favorite restaurant in Lincoln, NE?

Richard Hormel:  This is a bit of a sensitive subject.  I am in no means a ‘foody’ but one of the biggest contrasts between living in Los Angeles and Lincoln is the selection of cuisines and number of great restaurants.  I am always searching for places in Lincoln and what kind of sums things up was a there was a top ten list on-line of the best restaurants in Lincoln…  number 6 was Chili’s!  But there are some great steakhouses.  If I had to pick one in Lincoln I would say ‘Misty’s’- where on the Friday before games, the Nebraska Marching Band would hold pep rallies!

mistys-brewery-lincoln-ne

Your favorite sports movie?

Richard Hormel:  Field of Dreams is hard to top!

Field-of-Dreams

Your favorite athlete (current or past)?

Richard Hormel:  Again, as a Yankee fan, there has been a whole parade.  Lately it has been Derek Jeter while Larry Bird is my favorite basketball player.

 

Richard, I appreciate you taking the time for this APBA Interview.  I hope to make another trip to Lincoln, NE, one day, to meet up and have a chance to visit.  I’m already dreaming up a regional tournament event hosted at your shed … LOL!  I often hear from others who have met you before, and they all say the same thing, what a terrific and humble person you are.  Thanks for taking us inside the “shed”!

TCABT-VIII: The Results …

TCABT_VIII_GROUP_PHOTO

October 7th, 2017 … the turn-out for TCABT-VIII matched our previous high of 30 entrants (TCABT-V), and the picture includes about 27.5 entrants, as 2.5 entrants were cutoff on the right side … at least we got the better half of Leroy Arnoldi.

Another great day at the estate of Darrell Skogen.  It goes without saying, the success of the TCABT has much to do with the fact that Darrell has opened his home for all 8 events, as the gracious host.

dave_vs_darrell

(TCABT 1st-timer Dave Druk on left taking on host Darrell Skogen on right)

Some numbers:

  • 30 entrants
  • 7 first-timers
  • 5 divisions
  • 10 division games
  • 8 ‘th TCABT event
  • 8 bracket teams
  • 8 teams who went a tourney best, 7-3
  • 8 the retired uniform number of the players we named our divisions after
  • 169 total games rolled
  • 1 new champion and runner-up

Besides the few early morning arrivals, managers began showing up in force by around 8am.  Just past 8:30am, the pre-tourney announcements including introducing the 7 first-timers:  Alec Otto, Steve Solmonson, Darrell Shreve, Gordon Rodell, Chris Kaufman, Dave Druk and Terry Borthwick.  Not only is Terry Borthwick one of our first-timers, she happens to be our first female entrant … she maximized her day rolling 18 games as she advanced all the way to the championship series with the 2015 Blue Jays.

By 8:45am, the dice began to roll.

tshirt_snip

(We added a tourney tshirt for TCABT-VIII, utilizing

the old original APBA box artwork)

den_division_play

(Division play, clockwise starting with Ben Lofgren standing, Scott Egge, Marty Lee, Rob Skogen and Dave Druk)

library_division_play_phil_vs_bruce

(Phil Geraffo on left, Bruce Tyler on right)

ron_vs_john_2

(Ron Emch on left, John “The Cooler” Kalous on right)

cleon_vs_ryan_gordon_vs_dave

(Clockwise from left:  Cleon Pavlicek, Steve Ryan, Dave Norlander, Gordon Rodell)

craig_vs_alec_garth_vs_fred_2

(Clockwise from left:  Garth Andersen, Craig Christian, Alec Otto, Fred Johnson)

library_bracket_play_beau_vs_solmonson

(Beau Lofgren on left, vs 1st-timer, Steve Solmonson on right)

division_terry_vs_kevin

(1st-timer Terry Borthwick on left, vs 2-time Champ Kevin Cluff on right)

garth_vs_alec_ron_vs_fred

(Foreground: Dan Skillings, John Kalous.  Background:  Ron Emch, Garth Anderson, Alec Otto and Fred Johnson)

kaufman_vs_dan_craig_vs_john

(Clockwise from left, 1st-timer Chris Kaufman, Craig Christian, John Kalous, Dan Skillings)

jim_vs_kevin

(Jim on left, Kevin Cluff on right)

beau_vs_phil

(Beau Lofgren on left, vs Phil Geraffo on right)

joe_vs_egge

(Joe Pavlicek on left, vs Scott Egge on right)

shreve_vs_jim_with_dan

(1st-timer Darrell Shreve on left, Dan Skillings standing and Jim on right)

basement_leroy_vs_shreve_and_gordon_vs_ryan

(2-time champ, Leroy Arnoldi on left, vs Darrell Shreve on right)

TCABT-VIII DIVISION RESULTS:

TCABT-VIII
Saturday, October 7th, 2017
YOGI BERRA DIVISION W L R OR RDIFF
1930 GIANTS (DAN SKILLINGS) 7 3 52 37 15
2011 PHILLIES (CLEON PAVLICEK) 7 3 43 33 10
1929 CUBS (DAVE NORLANDER) 6 4 54 42 12
1975 REDS (CHRIS KAUFMAN) 4 6 40 38 2
2008 RAYS (GORDON RODELL) 3 7 39 43 -4
1998 BRAVES (STEVE RYAN) 3 7 24 59 -35
TOTALS 30 30 252 252 0
JOE MORGAN DIVISION W L R OR RDIFF
1948 INDIANS (ROB SKOGEN) 7 3 54 33 21
1985 CARDINALS (DAVE DRUK) 6 4 54 45 9
1976 ROYALS (JOE PAVLICEK) 6 4 43 36 7
2012 NATIONALS (DARRELL SKOGEN) 4 6 48 58 -10
2016 CUBS (MARTY LEE) 4 6 35 47 -12
1981 ATHLETICS (SCOTT EGGE) 3 7 42 57 -15
TOTALS 30 30 276 276 0
CAL RIPKEN JR. DIVISION W L R OR RDIFF
2015 BLUE JAYS (TERRY BORTHWICK) 7 3 41 32 9
1953 DODGERS (JIM FRAASCH) 6 4 73 43 30
1969 ORIOLES (KEVIN CLUFF) 6 4 34 25 9
1912 GIANTS (DARRELL SHREVE) 4 6 42 48 -6
1977 PHILLIES (LEROY ARNOLDI) 4 6 31 39 -8
1922 YANKEES (GARY BORTHWICK) 3 7 36 70 -34
TOTALS 30 30 257 257 0
WILLIE STARGELL DIVISION W L R OR RDIFF
1929 ATHLETICS (ALEC OTTO) 7 3 46 22 24
1961 TIGERS (RON EMCH) 7 3 60 47 13
1987 TIGERS (FRED JOHNSON) 6 4 63 56 7
1998 ASTROS (CRAIG CHRISTIAN) 5 5 47 40 7
2015 ASTROS (JOHN KALOUS) 3 7 30 56 -26
1988 EXPOS (GARTH ANDERSEN) 2 8 32 57 -25
TOTALS 30 30 278 278 0
CARL YASTRZEMSKI DIVISION W L R OR RDIFF
1990 ATHLETICS (BEAU LOFGREN) 7 3 49 27 22
1939 YANKEES (STEVE SOLMONSON) 7 3 50 50 0
1909 PIRATES (BEN LOFGREN) 5 5 37 28 9
1928 YANKEES (BRUCE TYLER) 5 5 44 37 7
1916 RED SOX (CHRIS SHORES) 3 7 25 40 -15
1931 ATHLETICS (PHIL GERAFFO) 3 7 26 49 -23
TOTALS 30 30 231 231 0

Division play finished up around 3pm.

After each manager rolled 5 straight 2-game series, a much needed 30-45 minute break, followed by the Play-Off Bracket announcement, which Ron Emch does a great job recording each time he attends our tournament.  The link to his video is below:

 

Following the seeding announcements … the best-of-3, Bracket-Play Offs, began around 4pm.

bracket_solmonson_vs_alec_ron_vs_rob

(Foreground, Ron Emch on left, Rob Skogen on right.  Background, Steve Solmonson on left, Alec Otto on right … Quarter-Final action)

 

Seed TCABT-VIII   QUARTER-FINALS G1 G2 G3 SERIES
1 1929 ATHLETICS (ALEC OTTO) 4 3 4 2
8 1939 YANKEES (STEVE SOLMONSON) 7 0 3 1
2 1990 ATHLETICS (BEAU LOFGREN) 6 5 2
7 2011 PHILLIES (CLEON PAVLICEK) 3 3 0
3 1948 INDIANS (ROB SKOGEN) 7 10 3 1
6 1961 TIGERS (RON EMCH) 4 12 7 2
4 1930 GIANTS (DAN SKILLINGS) 2 3 0 1
5 2015 BLUE JAYS (TERRY BORTHWICK) 3 2 7 2
Seed TCABT-VIII   SEMI-FINALS G1 G2 G3 SERIES
1 1929 ATHLETICS (ALEC OTTO) 3 2 4 2
6 1961 TIGERS (RON EMCH) 1 5 3 1
2 1990 ATHLETICS (BEAU LOFGREN) 0 7 3 1
5 2015 BLUE JAYS (TERRY BORTHWICK) 3 2 4 2
Seed TCABT-VIII   CHAMPIONSHIP G1 G2 G3 SERIES
1 1929 ATHLETICS (ALEC OTTO) 5 7 2
5 2015 BLUE JAYS (TERRY BORTHWICK) 3 6 0

What a day it was for the 2 finalists, Alec Otto and Terry Borthwick, each playing in their first TCABT event.  Alec earns the TCABT-VIII Championship, going 13-5, including a sweep in the championship series over Terry ‘s thundering 2015 Blue Jays.  This after needing 3 games to eliminate the 1939 Yankees (Steve Solmonson, another 1st-timer) in the Quarter-Finals and 3 games to eliminate the 1961 Tigers (Ron Emch) in the Semi-Finals.

(Note Alec below battling Ron’s ’61 Tigers in the Semi-Finals, as he utilizes his own custom made dice tower made of legos)

bracket_semi_ron_vs_alec_with_lego_dice_tower

Terry Borthwick, our first female entrant, guided her 2015 Blue Jays to an overall 11-7 record, after going 7-3 to win the Cal Ripken Jr. Division.  Terry also found the path to the Championship difficult, needing 3 games to eliminate the 1930 Giants (Dan Skillings who left early, managed by Kevin Cluff ) in the Quarter-Finals and 3 games to eliminate the 1990 Athletics (Beau Lofgren) in the Semi-Finals.

bracket_terry_vs_kevin_with_dan_skillings_team

(Terry Borthwick on left, vs Kevin Cluff on right, managing Dan Skillings’ 1930 Giants)

 

bracket_semi_gary_terry_vs_beau

(Gary Borthwick looks on as his wife Terry takes on Beau Lofgren in the Semi-Finals)

With Alec emerging as our TCABT-VIII champion, he retains the October trophy for the next year, and will add his engraved plate to the prize.  And his champion 1929 Athletics find themselves extinct from future TCABT play.

bracket_championship_terry_vs_alec_with_gary_3

(Gary Borthwick on the left, I assume to be cheering on his lovely wife Terry and her 2015 Blue Jays vs Alec Otto and his 1929 Athletics in the Championship)

bracket_championship_terry_vs_alec_with_gary_5

bracket_championship_trophy_alec_and_terry

(Alec Otto with October Championship Trophy standing with runner-up, Terry Borthwick)

Some fun facts that stand out, submitted by the managers themselves:

  • 2 Triple Plays in one game, 1 by each team, Ron Emch’s 1961 Tigers vs Garth Andersen’s 1988 Expos.
  • 13 HR by Rocky Colavito for Ron Emch’s 1961 Tigers in 16 games.
  • 3 HR’s in one game by Rocky Colavito, vs the 1987 Tigers (Fred Johnson).
  • 37 Homers by the 2015 Blue Jays (Terry Borthwick) in their 18 games.
  • .199 Team Batting Average by 2015 Blue Jays.
  • 15 Runs on 15 hits in 1 inning by the 1953 Dodgers (Jim) vs 1922 Yankees (Gary Borthwick).  Final score was 24-3.  The ’53 Dodgers also won the first game of the same series, 13-7.
  • 8 RBI in 1 game for George Shuba, he entered as a 1st inning LF replacement for Jackie Robinson, after Jackie Robinson was injured in the 24-3 ’53 Dodgers win.
  • 6 RBI in 1 game for Sean Berry of the 1998 Astros (Craig Christian), a 3-run triple followed by a 3-run HR the next inning.
  • 1 HR by the entire 1916 Red Sox team (Chris Shores) in their 10 games (only HR came in 4th inning of 10th game).
  • 6 Innings of no-hit ball pitched by Scott Kazmir of the 2015 Astros (John Kalous) vs the 1961 Tigers (Ron Emch).  The no-hitter was broken up by Norm Cash with 2 outs in the 7th.  For the record, 2 different Ron Emch teams have been no-hit previously in TCABT action.  The 2013 Tigers were no-hit in TCABT-I by Jim’s 1973 Reds.  In TCABT-VI, it was Ron’s 1998 Padres getting no-hit by Dallas Keuchel, of you guessed it, the 2015 Astros and John Kalous.
  • 20 Innings of consecutive scoreless offense by the 1931 Athletics (Phil Geraffo).

There are many more highlights and lowlights, these are just the few I was able to gather from the various managers.

craig_vs_alec_garth_vs_fred

(Foreground L to R:  Garth Andersen, Fred Johnson.  Background L to R:  Craig Christian, Alec Otto)

To put the “wrap” on TCABT-VIII, I will leave that up to the snarky, ink-stained, famed Minnesota History author, Fred Johnson (former 2-8 ’29 A’s skipper, new ’87 Tigers handler):

Johnson Claims Credit for A’s Win, Demands Trophy – by Fred Johnson

Filled with fury for a former manager, the revengeful losers commonly known in national APBA circles as the 1929 Philadelphia UnAthletics, captured the 2017 TCABT-VIII title Saturday. Playing in the friendly confines of Darrel Skogen Fields in Maple Grove, Minnesota, the adrenaline-charged UnA’s, produced a surprising a 13-5 mark.

“Chalk this one up to that jerk who managed us last year,” snarled an irate Bing Miller. Miller spoke as head of an agitated posse of UnA’s, who chose to forego the traditional post-series champagne celebration. Instead, they conducted a thorough search for Fred Johnson, their former field boss, to pay tribute. “Johnson inspired us,” growled a sarcastic Mickey Cochrane. “We really despise that bum and would like to thank him—Personally!”

While the bat-wielding winners scoured the field for Johnson, their quarry huddled in the trunk of his 1965 Plymouth Belvidere giving an interview to a cramped ESPN4 reporter. “Those losers got shut out four times in 10 ten games and scored just one in two other games for me,” whimpered Johnson. “Now they get upset because I offered a little constructive criticism!”

“You called them “doleful, defeated, diamond-dust dead-beats,” reminded the reporter. “So, I like alliteration,” parried Johnson.

Newcomer Alec Otto guided the ’29 Athletics to TCABT-VIII championship despite a tough first round challenge. His club sported a 6-2 record moving into the Stargell Division playoff finale. They faced the 1987 Tigers with an identical mark. But the seething A’s knew their former boss, Johnson, was now ensconced in the Tigers dugout. A deeply held animus for their erstwhile chief was revealed for all to see. For a full five minutes, each player gripped a bat pointed menacingly at Johnson.

Mercifully, it was all over quickly. The A’s batted 11 men in the second inning of the first game, in the process scoring seven runs. Doubles by Max Bishop and Sammy Hale and homeruns by Miller and Al Simmons caused most damage. The Otto-piloted pals eked out a 13-1 triumph.

Johnson’s Tigers still held out hope for a split of the two game set, but Bishop locked up game two by clubbing a coffin-nail blast into the Briggs Stadium right field overhang. “Et tu, Maxie!” screamed the stricken Johnson. He moaned, “Bishop is only about an inch taller than Eddie Gaedel.”

Speaking from his Belvidere baggage area, the slippery Johnson now charted a new course. Always magnanimous in defeat, he complimented the A’s manager, “Otto did okay,” said the noble Johnson. “But it is now clear that it was me who finally united the UnA’s into a formidable fighting machine. I deserve the TCABT-VIII trophy!”

Johnson helpfully suggested the Commissioner ship him the prize by special delivery.

********

the_genius_of_yogi_berra

********

TCABT-IX is scheduled for:  Saturday, April 7th, 2018.

TCABT-VIII: Divisions are set …

berra

The divisions are now set for TCABT-VIII, to be played Saturday, October 7th at Darrell Skogen’s home in Maple Grove, MN.

We have 30 APBA Fans/teams participating, tying our largest turn-out (TCABT-V we had 30 teams as well).

The dice rolling begins shortly after 8:30am.

The divisions are named after players whose #8 has been retired … note Bill Dickey has also had his #8 retired for the Yankees, but 1 division named after a Yankee (Berra) was enough …

The random division draw took place at our TCABT group lunch at O’Gara’s in St. Paul.  In attendance were:  Fred Johnson, Bruce Tyler, Gary Borthwick, Darrell Skogen, Kevin Cluff and myself.

With 30 teams, we have 5 divisions, each division with 6 teams.

We are playing 10 divisions games, 2 vs each of the 5 teams in your division.

The 5 division winners plus 3 Wild Card teams will advance to the 8-team bracket quarter-finals (best-of-three).

YOGI BERRA DIVISION

1929 CUBS – DAVE NORLANDER

2008 RAYS – GORDON RODELL

2011 PHILLIES – CLEON PAVLICEK

1975 REDS – CHRIS KAUFMAN

1998 BRAVES – STEVE RYAN

1930 GIANTS – DAN SKILLINGS

JOE MORGAN DIVISION

1985 CARDINALS – DAVE DRUK

2012 NATIONALS – DARRELL SKOGEN

1981 ATHLETICS – SCOTT EGGE

2016 CUBS – MARTY LEE

1976 ROYALS – JOE PAVLICEK

1948 INDIANS – ROB SKOGEN

CAL RIPKEN JR. DIVISION

2015 BLUE JAYS – TERRY BORTHWICK

1969 ORIOLES – KEVIN CLUFF

1912 GIANTS – DARRELL SHREVE

1977 PHILLIES – LEROY ARNOLDI

1953 DODGERS – JIM FRAASCH

1922 YANKEES – GARY BORTHWICK

WILLIE STARGELL DIVISION

1987 TIGERS – FRED JOHNSON

1988 EXPOS – GARTH ANDERSEN

1998 ASTROS – CRAIG CHRISTIAN

2015 ASTROS – JOHN KALOUS

1929 ATHLETICS – ALEC OTTO

1961 TIGERS – RON EMCH

CARL YASTRZEMSKI DIVISION

1990 ATHLETICS – BEAU LOFGREN

1909 PIRATES – BEN LOFGREN

1931 ATHLETICS – PHIL GERAFFO

1916 RED SOX – CHRIS SHORES

1928 YANKEES – BRUCE TYLER

1939 YANKEES – STEVE SOLMONSON

A Chance Meeting with Nimrod’s (Minnesota) Finest …

stigman_dick_topps_1960

1960

Dick Stigman (click for SABR Bio), born and raised in Nimrod, Minnesota, forged his career as a rookie in 1960 pitching for the Cleveland Indians.  Dick was 6’3″ tall, a southpaw featuring a fastball and a devastating curve.  Dick pitched 1 more season for Cleveland in 1961, and surrendered HR #55 to Roger Maris, during Maris’ pursuit of Babe Ruth.

stigman_dick_topps_1961

1961

Dick’s career brought him to his home state, in 1962, as the Twins made their first serious run at a pennant.  In 1962, Dick was 12-5 with a 3.66 ERA in 15 starts and 40 appearances.

stigman_dick_topps_1962

1962

By 1963, Dick was now a regular starting pitcher for the contending Minnesota Twins, making 33 starts, going 15-15 with a career low, 3.25 ERA.  Dick twirled 15 complete games, pitched 241 innings, earning 3 shut-outs and striking out a career high, 193 batters in 1963.

stigman_dick_topps_1963

1963

After 2nd place finishes in 1962 and 1963, the Twins fell back in 1964 as did Dick Stigman and the rest of the Twins rotation.  Dick made another 29 starts in 1964, going 6-15 with a 4.03 ERA.

stigman_dick_topps_1964

1964

The Twins would finally win the AL Pennant, in 1965, where Dick took on the role of reliever.  Dick made 33 appearances in 1965, making 8 starts.  He finished with a 4-2 record, a 4.37 ERA and K’d 70 batters in 70 IP.  However, for Dick, the season was bittersweet as he did not get the call to the mound vs the Dodgers in the ’65 World Series.

stigman_dick_topps_1965

1965

Dick pitched for the last time in the Majors in 1966, pitching for the Boston Red Sox.  Dick would finish with a career record of 46-54 with a 4.03 ERA, amassing 755 strike-outs across 922.2 IP.

stigman_dick_topps_1966

1966

Check on Dick Stigman’s career stats here:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/stigmdi01.shtml

 

with_DICK_STIGMAN_20170624

(Me on left, meeting former Indians/Twins/Red Sox hurler, Dick Stigman on right)

It was truly a pleasure to meet Dick Stigman.  My encounter went like this … my daughter played Club soccer with one of Dick’s granddaughters for 3 years in high school, as well as post high school years during their summers home from college.  One of their teammates and friends married June 24th, 2017.  So my family as well as Dick’s family were invited to the wedding.  Dick’s daughter (the mother of the granddaughter) knew I was a baseball fan, having had a conversation with her about a year ago about her dad pitching for the Twins in the 1960’s.  She made sure she had her dad stop at my table at the reception, and introduce himself, knowing I would appreciate the encounter.  I have met former Major League players in the past, and all have been very nice meetings, including Hall of Famer, Harmon Killebrew.  It is hard for me to not place this encounter at the top of that list, for Dick could not have been a nicer, more genuine person than he was that night.  I asked him about pitching to such greats as Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.  He quickly countered with the fact that he gave up HR #55 to Maris during Maris’ chase of Ruth in 1961.  Dick showed me a recent text exchange with his oldest son, who forwarded a picture from a diary of his playing days, where Dick had documented a CG, 3-hit shutout, from 1963.  The diary showed he had thrown 142 pitches, even though nobody cared about pitches thrown back in those days.  Dick mentioned he is still in regular contact with several former Twins and teammates.  Dick has 9 children, all raised in Burnsville, Minnesota since the 1960’s, and I am guessing the number of grandchildren is close to 20.

 

stigman_with_bench_may_3_1967

May 3rd, 1967, Dick Stigman struck-out 13 batters with a young Johnny Bench as his catcher for the Buffalo Bisons, a AAA Minor League team for the Cincinnati Reds.