Sunday, July 29, 2018

APBA Single Season Set Review

Many of us have waited for the ability to buy single teams from APBA for a long time.  The usual outlet for single season teams has been Ebay or the wiki's and this causes the dilemma of buying APBA products from the secondary market and weakening direct sales from APBA.  But, many of us want a certain team and do not want to buy the whole year.  I believe this desire has been growing with the incredible popularity of tournaments in the last few years. 

The company used back stock of XC's to sell single season teams to the lucky few that jumped on the order a few weeks ago.  Not everything went according to plan.  The company indicated it would launch the sale on Monday and when I checked into their APBA Store page at 8pm central on the Sunday night before, it was already live. I wonder if anyone didn't get a chance to get single season team because they were late and waited for Monday?  I received my cards about 10 days after ordering. 

I bought 8 teams including the 1990 Reds and I will take a quick look at the cards and comment on the quality.

The team sets come in sheets that are perforated. The cuts on my sheets were straight and the blades were sharp as the teams easily pull apart.  The perforations have rounded corners so I had to be careful at the edges so the little diamond shaped perforations came off easily.  

Overall the quality is good. As you can expect there are some small perforation ridges that show up on some cards, especially on the rounded corners.  The print stock is slightly thinner that I like and the occasional card is a bit off center. As you can see, both cards I happened to pick are off-center.  The print is in that small font that shows up on some XC sets and I really don't like it as it can be hard to read, especially the stat line in light green. The card stock is also less slick that the normal cards so they do have a tendency to stick together just a bit more than other cards. 

For those in the hobby that collect sets of cards like baseball cards, the negatives above may be a big deal, for gamers it is not a big deal.  I use my cards to play the game so I really don't care much for their quality in the collectible area of the hobby.  

The company includes printed envelopes for each team and that was something I didn't expect and I am quite pleased with their choice to do this. 

The back stock of baseball is gone As of July 28, 2018 and the offer is over for true baseball APBA teams, I think. The link to buy single teams is still up, however you are directed to this message:

You are ordering single APBA baseball teams. Each team is $8. In the comments section of the order form list the team and season year you are ordering. This only applies to teams offered in a regular season set. Only the latest version of that season is available. A team set will include all the cards for that team that are included in the season base set for that year. XCs are not part of this sale. We will adjust the shipping charge manually as we process the order. The ONLY way to order this product is via the store. No phone orders.



Obviously nobody knows how long the Hocky or Soccer back stock will last, but jump on it now if you want more sets from APBA directly.  But, be aware they are not on Baseball backs. 

I applaud the company on this move to at least test the market for single team sets, we will see if this becomes a standard feature of APBA. 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Defense or one more bat?

For the 2018 Summer Chicagoland I am managing the 1995 Tribe.  They are a team that needs no lengthily introduction; explosive bats 1-8 and a lights out Bullpen. 

Here are the cards starting with the position players 1-9, Murray is the DH.  As I have worked this team out, I believe I will sit Sorrento and play Murray at 1st if the pitcher hits. 

Here is the Bullpen, about as solid as I can ask for.

The rotation for Chicago (Remember it is Any grade, no better than a B, no better than a C, and no better than a D)

Everything else falls into its typical place; defense 2, not much speed and a serviceable to solid rotation for this specific tournament. 

Here is the rub: my #9 hitter (with a DH) is Omar Vizquel, he is a SS 10 but hits very poorly.  I can start Espinoza who is a SS 7, but that drops the defense from 2 to 3.

Here are the SS cards: 

Not great.  I hate that 8 sitting at 33 in a tournament, he has the 15-11 and two 0s, two 10s, and remember he keeps the defense at a 2.

Espinoza lowers the defense 3 points and that takes the team to a defense 3.  He has the virtue of a 7 at 33, two 0s and a 22-7, but lost the 15-11 and the 10s.  He is not a J-4 so I can start him.

It feels a bit offense greedy to sit Vizquel for the 33-8 just to get a 7 at 33 and take the defensive hit.

What has worked out well is having Vizquel bunt with runners on and less than two outs to essentially manage him like a pitcher at the plate with this team.

I have failed to mention up to this point that with the XCs I have a set of three monster cards. 

Giles .556, Ripken .412, and Burnitz .571.  This allows a pinch hitter for Vizquel and Espinoza to come in and play SS with the defensive hit.  It also allows for a monster option to pinch hit for a pitcher if I lose the DH. 

The 1995 Cleveland Indians Murderers' Row:

The Chicagoland continues to be one of the premier APBA events in the county, including the national event. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

April 28th is the 3rd Prairieland!

This has turned into quite a regional tournament, with creative drafts, new players, competitive games, sportsmanship, and friendship. 

We start to roll about 9am at the Ramada Inn on the east side of Springfield, Illinois. 
I will send an email blast this week with final information and ask if anyone wants to meet for supper after the tourney. 

I have been working out the 1930 Washington Senators this weekend and they play much like a team from that decade should.  

Strengths- they can hit. 7 of starting 8 hit over .300 in 1930.
And, as this photo shows, they are tough. 

They can run. 6 of the starting 8 are (F)ast and nobody is (S)low.

They are decent in the field. My starting lineup is fielding 2 and can go to a 1 with one change (but it is the cleanup hitter).

They can hold they own on the mound. 

Weakness: no bullpen
This hampers pinch hitting for the pitchers spot, but it is the 1930s so one cannot typically expect much. 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Prairieland 3 Preview

First, an announcement: there is still time to join!  If you are interested email Thomas Nelshoppen at:

Here are the picks, lifted directly from The APBA Blog. Please check this wonderful blog out as soon as you can!  The link in the last sentence is "hot". 

The managers and picks:

Kyle Daniels1928 Philadelphia Athletics
Chris Strangeman1931 New York Yankees
Dave Rueck1930 Chicago Cubs
Todd Daniels1923 Cleveland Indians
Joe Schall1951 Brooklyn Dodgers
Tom Fulton1931 New York Giants
Janes Welch1947 Boston Red Sox
Eric NeyTBA
John Gedwill1954 Chicago White Sox
Mark Dyel1922 St Louis Browns
Dave Kagel1920 Chicago White Sox
Thomas Nelshoppen1930 Philadelphia Phillies
Jeff Boeding1930 New York Yankees
Kurt Bergland1954 Brooklyn Dodgers
Quinn Naugle1952 St. Cardinals
John Roels1927 Philadelphia Athletics
Eric Berg1930 Washington Senators
Rob Spatz1942 Brooklyn Dodgers
Dick Butler1927 Chicago Cubs
Bob Eller1956 Milwaukee Braves
Ryan Daniels1924 Pittsburgh Pirates
Scott Dike1922 St. Louis Cardinals
Dave Chestnut1954 Milwaukee Braves

6/22 teams either from 1930 or 1931 and a fairly even spread of teams represented.

1930 seems to be the big draw with the Yankees, Cubs, Phillies, and Senators all representing. 

I took the 1930 Senators, my last Twins/Senators only selection for the draft year as I took the 1995 Tribe for the Chicagoland. 

Here is how the 1930 Washington squad lines up:

1.  Sam Rice (F) CF-2
2.  Joe Cronin (F) SS-10
3.  Heinie Manush (F) LF-2
4.  Joe Judge 1B-5
5.  Sammy West (F) RF-2
6.  Buddy Myer (F) 2B-8
7.  Ossie Bluege (F) 3B-5
8.  Pinky Hargrave C-8
9.  Pitcher

A quick preview of 1-4:

Speed up and down the lineup, and fielding 1 all the way. 

The Rotation:

1.  General Crowder Bz
2.  Bump Hadley By
3.  Ad Liska  B
4.  Firpo Marberry Cz (and he can hit)

Not much of a pen in the 1930s:
Gimpy Brown Cz
Sad Sam Jones Cz

I can pull Gimpy out of the pen if I am in a critical spot and the opposing batter has a lot of 9s. 

I probably won't use the bench much.  Sheriff Harris is (F) and can play OF as well as the others if I need a fast runner, but with no (S) players I doubt I will need a pinch-runner. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Prairieland 3 Informtion

Today, I will post some helpful information for the Prairieland 3 APBA Tournament.

Date: April 28th!

The Theme:  Any team 1920-1960 that did not participate in a World Series and the 1941 Red Sox.

The Draft:  In order to be in the actual team draft for the tourney, you must join on the Facebook event or email Thomas Nelshoppen at:

The deadline to enter the draft is February 26th at midnight.

We will publish a list of managers and update it here and on Facebook.

We will conduct an email draft that begins after February 26th.

If you miss the draft deadline, you may play, however you will have to pick from teams not drafted, first-come-first-served.

There will be a prize for first place!

Where:  The Ramada Inn, Springfield Illinois
3281 Northfield Drive, Springfield, Illinois 62704

Conference room, second floor.
First Pitch: 9am
We have a block of rooms set aside for $94.00 each (w/o tax).
Phone # 217-523-4000

There are other good hotels nearby and lots of food options.

Things to do in Springfield:

The Lincoln Museum is fantastic

The Abraham Lincoln Tomb

Springfield has one of the finest Frank Lloyd Wright homes: The Dana Thomas House

Drive by Robin Roberts Stadium

The Lincoln Museum, the Lincoln Tomb, and the Dana Thomas House are all open and available to tour.  I highly recommend all three.

Cost to manage in the tourney:  $20.00

Questions? Ask on Facebook, email Thomas, or leave them here.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Michigan!

March 3rd is the 4th annual Michigan APBA Tournament hosted by the gracious Rich Zawadzki.

This year the theme is the DH era, or any American League team 1973-2017.  I selected the 1988 Twins.

The 1988 Twins finished 91-71, a solid year coming off their World Series win in 1987 and on their way to their next ring in 1991. Statistically, it was one of the best years for the big three: Puckett, Hrbek, and Gaetti.

Here is how they stack up by batting order and position:

1.  John Moses  (F)  RF-2
2.  Kirby Puckett (F) CF-3
3.  Gary Gaetti  3B-5
4.  Kent Hrbek (S) 1B-4
5.  Randy Bush (S)  DH
6.  Tim Laudner  (S) C-7
7.  Tommy Herr (F) 2B-8
8.  Dan Gladden (F) LF-2
9.  Gregg Gagne (F) SS-9

The Michigan tourney uses a three man rotation and each arm must go 5 innings unless injured.

The Rotation:

Frank Viola  Ayz
Allan Anderson Az
Bert Blyleven  Dyz

The rotation is hot or cold with two As at the top and Bert as a D at the bottom with z's up and down.

Bull Pen:

Jeff Reardon  A*xz
Keith Atherton  B*yz
Juan Berenguer C*xyw

The pen looks OK with the z's for the #1 and #2, Atherton and Reardon may get work when Bert takes the bump.


Brian Harper (S)  C-6
John Davidson  (F)  OF-2
Gene Larkin  1B-3
Al Newman   (F) 3B-4, SS-7, 2B-7
Steve Lombardozzi  2B-8, SS-6, 3B-3

Some speed off the bench and the necessary reserves for injuries with a decent pinch hitter or two in Larkin and Lombo.

Defense is almost always a 1.

In a DH tourney, Randy Bush gets the nod for the Twins.

Here are the APBA cards for the starting 9.

Lead-off hitter and short-time Twin Moses playing Right Field.  I like the 11s.

Mr. Twin and HOFer Puckett in CF.  Look at that card!  Try to ignore the 13-13.  Batters 2-6 have a 66-1.

You can't sneak the cheese by The Rat!  A very solid #3 hitter. and great with the glove.

 Heribie!  The hometown hero hitting cleanup and playing 1B.

Randy Bush holding down the DH spot in a DH tourney. Another single column card for this team.
 Tim Laudner behind the dish.

 Another short-time Twin, T-Bone Herr at 2B.  Starring the Speed-at-the-bottom part of the lineup.

The best nickname on the team- Dan "Wrench" Gladden in LF.

Long-time Twin hero at SS-Gags. With some pop, don't miss that 66-1

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Prairieland III Tournament Reveal!

The Prairieland III Tournament is all set and here is the scoop!  These are the basic parameters, a complete set of rules will be available on Facebook and here in a few weeks. 

Date: April 28th
Location: Springfield, Illinois, Ramada Inn (3281 Northfield Drive) 
We have a block of rooms set aside at a rate of $94.00

Teams must come from The Golden Age of Baseball: 1920-1960
No World Series Teams and the 1941 Red Sox are ineligible because they are a past Prairieland winner.
A 4 man rotation must be used. J4 rule relaxed for D pitchers: you can use any Starting Pitcher rated J4 and D (xyzkrw ok) in your rotation.

Draft Type: On-line entry - deadline February 26th - instructions to follow on the draft.
Cost: $20 per manager

How do I enter?  Sign up on Facebook, leave a comment here, or email me at @

If you enter by February 26th you will be randomly assigned a draft position and will be notified when you are up and what teams have been taken via email. If you enter the tourney after 2/26 you will be able to take any eligible non-drafted team. 

Do not make your team selections on Facebook, here, or in email. All we need is your name and email address.

These rules are subject to modification.