Saturday, January 28, 2017

Photos from the Wisconsin Tourney

Go ahead and grab any photo you want. It was a fantastic tourney.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Twins Win the Wisconsin Tournament!

The 1970 Minnesota Twins won the first ever Wisconsin APBA Tournament! The 1970 Minnesota Twins defeated the 1978 Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 in a one game winner-take-all World Series.

I managed the Twins and Alec Otto managed the 1978 Dodgers. The Tourney was put on and run by the gracious and organized Kurt Bergland.

The Twins went 5/2 in divisional play with losses to the 1970 Reds by one run 2-3, and the 1970 Braves 2-5.

The Twins beat the 1977 White Sox a.k.a. the South Side Hit Men 8-6, the 1974 Dodgers 3-0, 1974 As 4-2, the 1973 Braves 5-2, and the 1978 Red Sox 5-1.


Blyleven 1 win 1 loss.
Perry 3 wins
Kaat 2 wins
Hall 1 loss

Williams 5 saves in 7 appearances, no blown saves.


Tovar .181 2 HRs
Oliva .333 3 Doubles
Carew .314 3 stolen bases
Killebrew .250 7 total hits-4 Home Runs!

Alyea .233
Reese .433!
Holt .333
Mitterwald .111
Cardenas .321 2 Doubles

The Championship game was a one-and-done cutthroat game, winner take all.  The Twins brain-trust took a few minutes to select the starting pitcher the whole tournament rested on, and they gave The Commodore, Jim Perry the nod, and it was a good choice.  Perry, a Byz-2 gave the Twins a #1 defense for the game and threw 7 complete.

Perry gets the World Series MVP- giving up just 2 runs over 7 innings,
The veteran right-hander spread 5 hits over 7 innings, gave up a Home Run to Rick Monday, walked 5, and stuck out 3 for the W.

World Series game:
Killebrew Went 0 for 1 official at bats, but drew 3 walks.  Respect.
Carew went 2 for 5 with a single and a solo Home Run.
Reese went 2 for 3 with a single, a double, and a walk.
Holt went 2 for 4 with two singles and two runs scored.

The Dodgers:
Steve Garvey went 2 for 3 with a double, a triple, and a walk.
Rick Monday went 2 for 4 with a Home Run and a single.

Taking the loss, Don Sutton threw 7 innings, gave up all 4 Twins runs, and struck out 7.

Well played, well attended, a fantastic tournament.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Wisconsin Pre-game!!!!

Here we go to the Wisconsin APBA tournament!   Saturday, January 21, 2017 in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin Hosted by Kurt Bergland. The theme is the 1970s! Any team from 1970 to 1979 is eligible.

And by "we" I mean the 1970 Minnesota Twins.  They went 98-64 and won the AL West but then were swept by the A's.  The last Met Stadium playoff team, as the Twins would not return until 1987 and resided in the Metrodome at that time.

They look to be a great squad anchored by Killebrew, Carew, and Oliva.  Or, POWER, Pure Hitter with Speed, and a Pure Hitter with Power.

Killer:  .271/.411/.546  41 Home Runs and 113 R.B.Is.

Carew:  .366/.407/.524  Only 50 games, but ruled eligible due to 191 ABs

Tony O:  .325/.364/.514  204 hits, 36 2Bs, 23 Home Runs

Here is a link to a blog entry on the batting lineup if you are interested: Click Here.

This squad can pitch a bit.  The tourney calls for a 4 man rotation in divisional play then a 3 man rotation for the next round.  I feel good about the 4 man rotation as I can run 4 Bs out there and the odds that I face a few Cs or even Ds are good with a limited pool like this tournament.

1.  Blyleven Bxz
2.  Perry Byz
3.  Hall Bxy
4.  Kaat Bz

The pen is very solid:

Williams A*yz
Perranoski A*
Haydel C*

With the 5 inning rule I can go to an A* for the 6-9th innings if necessary and use Haydel the C* as needed. I like a C* that can roll up to a B* to kill a batter heavy with 8s and Williams has that sought after z as a closer.

And the bench is sufficient:

Speed: Nettles and Hill both fast.
Backup catcher Tischinski 7
Utility Quilici 2B-7, 3B-3, SS-6

Pinch Hitter El Tiante!  

In my warm-up games the three way switch of El Tiante pinch hitting for catcher Mitterwald, and pinch running Hill, then unfortunately decreasing the D with Tishinski as a sub has worked well when the time has been right.

I will do a full recap after the tourney, with photos.

Mad Hits

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Nakatomi Plaza Memorial Tournament

Each year I run a solitaire APBA tournament called the Nakatomi Plaza Memorial Tournament over the Holidays.  Home games played at Roger Maris Field, away at the Coliseum in LA.   Below is an outline of the tragedy remembered by this tournament.

This year I decided to use the Wilkin County Linemen set that I had the wonderful and skilled Howie Mooney create for me.  For more details on this team see this blog entry: Chasing the Bashers 

I ran my Linemen out against the current (2017) HOF ballot using mostly the new set from APBA with fillers from other sets, if I had the cards.  I also picked the team with a bias towards my favorites or least hated and to make the games a bit more balanced.

The Linemen are dominate by players from the 1980s and 1990s, especial 1991, and many of the HOFers are from this era, thus the trophy for this tourney was an M.C. Hammer bobber.

Bruce Willis threw the first pitch.

The HOF lineup:



1B Bagwell
2B Kent
SS Renteria
3B Sheffield
C  Posada

LF  Ramirez
CF  Raines
RF  Walker

DH Martinez

Stairs (yes, he is on the ballot)
Drew (I saw him play for St. Paul many times)

Batting line up:

1.  Raines
2.  Walker
3.  Bagwell
4.  Martinez
5.  Ramirez
6.  Sheffield
7.  Kent
8.  Possada
9.  Renteria

I ran a best of 51 game tourney and the Linemen won with a record of 25-20. Congrats to the Linemen!  The afterparty at the local bar The Wilkin, had outstanding live music.

R.E.M took the stage first.

Followed by the master himself Glenn Campbell, backed my the Stone Temple Pilots.

A special salute was arranged for that killer Linemen outfield of Bo, Puckett, and Ichiro-knicknamed the "Ghost Riders in the Sky" for their ability to rob HRs on the wall.

The top of the lineup for the Linemen raked.  Ichiro hit a scorching .370 against that staff and Puckett an outstanding .336-they really pushed the runs across and scored a lot of runs.  Cal contributed with 17 Hrs over the series and clustered them towards the end to push the Linemen to the 25 win mark.

I use a custom unusual play card that indicates a "gold glove play" and Sabo was a rally killer at 3B, contributing 15 circus catch-and-throws at the hot corner.  The custom card does not increase outs or probability of a 5-3, it just indicates a gold glove level play randomly, adjusted for fielding rating.

Ramirez was a victim of 7.  Being asked what happened in the series, Manny was quoted in the press:  "That F---ing guy out there with the goggles."

The M&M boys (Mauer and Morneau) hit for power, mostly doubles but really drove in the runs.  Many times Ichiro or Puckett would cross home with Mauer or Morneau standing on second.  

MVP: Ichiro
He hit .370, 8 gold glove plays, and stole 6 bases.

The HOF squad pitched well for the most part, holding the Linemen to an average of 5 RPG (removing some blowout outliers) and some HOF players underperformed like Sheffield and Ramirez hitting a paltry .223 and .222 respectively.  Bagwell stole more bases than I expected (10) and Raines was constantly on base, putting pressure on the B stacked Linemen rotation and gave Tom Kelly a constant worry.   T.K. went to his A* pen early and often. 

One real highlight was Matt Stairs hitting a game-winning pinch hit home run in game 10, his trademark. 
He was unavailable for play the next day with "flu-like symptoms." 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Rolling Pits

As it is mid-winter I thought I would do a post on rolling pits and perhaps give you some inspiration to make one.

I have two-one I made and one I purchased (or, to be clear, in the process of purchasing).  I made the cigar-box rolling pit.

Cigar-box Roller

Packed away for travel to a tournament: 

Georges's Minimalist Park.  The immensely skilled and gracious George Adams lent me this beauty at a TCBAT tournament and I now want to make it my own.

Rolling pits are a great addition to your APBA experience and you can customize them to fit your home, your favorite team, era, field, or even make a travel pit.

I made my first one last winter and it was a blast, and cheap.  It is now the pit I use at tournaments or if I am playing on the road.

Materials List for the Cigar-box rolling pit:

Cigar Box (JoAnnes Fabrics)
Balsa Wood Sheets (Model RR store)
Drywall screw anchor
Green Felt (JoAnnes)
Cork (Model RR store)
Simulated Brick Wall (Model RR store)
Simulated Corn (Model RR store)
Black Wood Stain

I won't walk you through the whole process, but here are some steps.  Cigar box comes assembled and I stained it with black stain, brown may be nice also.  I measured and cut the cork to resemble an outfield warning track, and glued it down with standard Elmers glue.  I also took the time to lay the cork flat under some heavy books as it came in a rolled sheet and I didn't want it to curl up later. Then, I measured and cut the green felt and glued that down the same way.

The side and back walls are covered with a nice product model railroaders use for buildings.  It has adhesive on the back and is a rubberized plastic product that is easy to cut and the adhesive stays well.  I used this product as it resemble a great stadium in Hannibal, Missouri I have watched Minor League ball in and even played a Vintage doubleheader in last summer.

I used a short dowel and a screw anchor to support the outfield wall.  I placed the blue screw anchor on the right side to model right field. Obviously you can do either, or not use it and model center field. I painted the stubby dowel to match the drywall anchor and glued them into place with Gorilla Glue.  Just use a dab of that glue, it goes a long way and foams, but is very strong.

The large wall back is great for throwing the die, the felt and the cork are both smooth and true landing surfaces.  The only place they die have ever not settled true is in the corners-then apply the house rules for re-rolling.

I then cut the balsa wood sheet to length and the height I desired.  Here is where the creativity comes in!  I realized I can make many walls and change ballparks as I desire.  I wanted the outfield wall and fair pole to be removable so it could all pack away in the same box and be self-contained.  It then dawned on me to make several walls.  Three (all three Minnesota Twins stadiums: Met, Metrodome, Target) grew into 10.  I did all three Minnesota Fields, Wrigley, Old Comisky for the 1919 Wt Sox team I love to play (I like how the Bull Durham banner looks like it is hanging), Robin Roberts Field here in Springfield, and Minnesota American Legion Post #53 in Breckenridge, Minnesota (where I grew up) the field I play my team of favorites, the Wilkin County Linemen.  To see some info on the Linemen, see this link.

For the art and swag on the walls I simply surfed the 'net and printed images on heavy card-stock, cut them out, and glued them to the wall.  For Wrigley I returned to the model railroad store and found the brick and the ivy.  The ivy was easy to work with an manipulate around the distance numbers and holds well with Elemers glue.  The Field of Dreams was made with corn from the same model railroad store, and very small holes punched in a balsa-wood base dyed black.  I usually roll off a side wall when playing Field of Dreams.

Here are some shots of the various walls I made.

Field of Dreams:

Minneapolis Metrodome:

American Legion Post #53 Minnesota:

Old Comisky: