I had played a handful of tabletop baseball games and owned just about as many but had not settled on a favorite. I took a another chance and bought the 2014 edition of APBA Baseball.
This edition came with all the necessary game parts and pieces as well as complete card sets of the teams who had made it to the AL and NL League Championship series the previous season.
Even though I had invested in the game, I had to find out if I wanted to invest further in the game and purchase a complete season set of cards. If I did not like the game enough I could pass the game on to someone or let it sit in my closet for while. If I did like the game I could then begin the process of deciding which season of cards to buy (fun in itself!).
I did not know what to expect, so I chose the teams i was least familiar with in Baltimore and Boston. I follow the National League much more closely, having grown up a Cubs fan, picked up the Braves in the 80's and 90's thanks again to my Dad, my Mom, my brother and WTBS.
Below are the short write-ups for the 3-game series I played.
BAL Chris Tillman hurls a complete game 1-hitter, strikes out 6 and walks none.
BOS Dustin Pedroia's 1st Inning single is all the Red Sox can muster.
Final: Baltimore 6 Boston 0
BAL Nate McClouth goes 2-3 with a home run, 2 runs and an RBI.
BOS Will Middlebrooks has a 2-4 day with a double, RBI and run.
Final: Baltimore 7 Boston 4
BAL Ryan Flaherty goes 1-3 with a home run, a run and 2 RBI.
BOS Mike Naopli gets thrown out at home in the Sixth and strikes out with the bases loaded to the end the game.
Final: Baltimore 3 Boston 2
I was liking the game before Game One was over.
By the time Game Two had concluded I was all in.
I couldn't get to playing Game Three quick enough to find out if Boston could salvage a win or if Baltimore could earn the sweep.
I will go into more detail in future posts (probably elsewhere on this site) about why I like APBA Baseball and why it has come out on top for me above all of the other tabletop baseball games I have played. There are certainly a lot of choices in tabletop baseball games these days, and there is something for everyone. APBA Baseball just works for me.
As for which season set I decided to get - that decision was easier than I had though it would be.
I had to make this decision in 2014 and though the Cubs had made the playoffs more recently the team I was most fond of and heart-ached most over was the 1984 squad. Other contenders were some of the mid -1970's seasons when my family watched them on television and followed them on radio during those really tough Cubs years. 1908 was in my thoughts, too - the last (at that point in 2014) Cubs World Series Win, Tinker, Evers, Chance, Three-Finger Brown and the crew.
The 1984 Season Set was purchased and those Cubs are chugging along in my APBA World right here.
I recently acquired a set of random APBA baseball teams by way of an on-line auction. These teams are primarily older teams from the 1930's. 40's and older (I don't know how the 1972 Chicago White Sox got in the group).
I know a good bit of baseball history but that good bit is about the all-time great players, teams and seasons. When I looked at the teams I had just gotten a hold of I didn't know much about them. I thought I would get them out on the ol' Desktop Park and learn something in the process.
I chose the teams by rolling dice. I had 18 teams so the 20-sided dice worked (19-20 = re-roll!). I started to research lineups trying to find the most used lineups for each team. I decided to use actual lineups and starting pitchers from real games. I chose the random date of June 25 to look up the batting order/pitcher for the 1933 Tigers and the 1942 Yankees. I chose to play in Detroit because any teams needs help playing the Yankees.
New York starter: Lefty Gomez
Detroit starter: Vic Sorrell
Gomez and Sorrell went at it pretty good.
The Tigers scored a run in the Fifth Inning on a Gene Desautels double that plated Jo-Jo White.
The only threat the Yankees got together was in the Sixth Inning when Tommy Heinrich reached on an error, Joe DiMaggio doubled and Charlie Keller walked to load the bases with two outs. Joe Gordon flied out to center to end the inning.
The only other scoring chance the Yankees had was in the top of the Ninth Inning when DiMaggio led off with a walk. Keller then bunted DiMaggio to second letting Keller single home the tying run. Bill Dickey then ground into his second inning-ending double play of the game.
My notes and stats are pretty sketchy, but I know both teams used two relief pitchers when DiMaggio led off the 12th Inning with another walk Keller and Gordon then singled driving in the go-ahead run. Frank Corsetti the doubled in an insurance run to put the Yankees up 3-1.
Detroit did not quit. Charlie Gehringer banged a single leading off the bottom of the inning. John Stone then grounded to Phil Rizzuto at short and the ensuing 6-4-3 double play seemed to close out the game. White then singled and jetted to second on a Buddy Hassett error at first base. This brought up Hank Greenberg as the tying run. I think Marius Russo was pitching at this point. Russo struck out Greenberg to preserve the win for New York.
Final Score: Yankees 3 Tigers 1
I will keep better stats going forward because I cannot figure out the pitch stats due to my lousy notes and boxscore. DiMaggio pushed his team over the top with those two lead-off walks of all things. Sorrell pitched great. I think I pinch-hit for him at the start of the 10th Inning.
These APBA games are always fun. For a game so simple (I play the Basic Game) it always provides a really great narrative. The statistics are always great too (when readable!) Hopefully, I will play two more games in this series using lineups/pitchers from June 26 and 27 for 1933 and 1942....
PIT Bob Friend
NYM John Maine
Burgess 2-3 HR 2 Runs RBI
Stuart 2-5 2B RBI
Virdon 1-5 HR Run 2RBI
Clemente 0-5 K
Valentin 4-5 2B SB Run
Delgado 3-4 2HR 3 Runs 2RBI
Wright 0-5 K
The game was tied 3-3 at the end of the 7th Inning.
Pittsburgh scored 2 in the Top of the 8th Inning to take a 5-3 lead, keyed by Friend's RBI single.
New York scratched back to within 5-4 on Delgado's second solo home run and Valentin sliced his third single of the ballgame before David Wright was robbed of a hit by a nimble Bill Mazeroski who made the clean throw to first base for the final out.
Final Score: Pirates 5 Mets 4
What This Is
A collection of random sports replay game recaps and stats from the many sports games I play.