Friday, March 17, 2017

New Project: Team Ireland

This is a mid-winter project I started in January.  I married into an Irish family and have adopted a love of that culture.  This winter, I decided to create an all Irish team, using only players born in Ireland. I toyed around with the idea of an Irish-American team, but the options were too many, I like a more selective pool to draw a team from.

There have been 47 Irish-born Major Leaguers, a number smaller than I thought, and no player born after 1887 to debut, I expected a handful of players born in the 20th century to make an appearance, but that is not the case. I really have to thank Baseball Reference for the ability to sort players by birth location, what a wonderful option for projects like this.

The project yielded a team of 18 that will be competitive. I downloaded career stats and peak year using mostly WAR to determine peak year.   I'd like to see them match-up against older sets; I have the 1901 APBA and 1894 Skeetersoft  sets. But, knowing how I roll, they will face some 20th century Twins teams.

Equal thanks goes to Steve's APBA Card Computer for generating these cards or sourcing similar players' APBA numbers from, and using his computer, to make the final APBA-like cards.   And, I am sure the talented Howie Mooney will be asked to make envelopes and possibly cards worthy of this team in the end.

Team Name:  Hibernian Baseball Club

Ballpark:  A Boston based team, they will play their home games at the South End Grounds II.  I will make a stadium adjustment chart for this interesting ancient ballpark.  A pull hitter's bandbox; rectangle outfield, no foul territory down the lines and a lengthy 440 to dead center, 450 to left-center, and a ridiculous 250 to left and 255 to right.  Quick corner outfielders to give help to the cathedral that is center are needed, and a quick fielder with a great glove in center would be a big advantage. Too bad Ichiro is not Irish.   How do you position the center fielder?  Normal depth is going to let a lot of doubles or triples go over his head, too deep and a ton of bloop singles are the order of the day. After you position center, it is not a pitchers park when facing pull hitters, so he may not make the difference in every game.  Dream Team outfield for the South End Grounds: LF Erstad, CF Ichiro, RF Kaline.  An intimidating ballpark to walk into, and I expect an intimidating home team.

Field sizeLeft Field – 250 ft
Left-Center – 445 ft
Deep Left-Center – 450 ft
Center Field – 440 ft
Right-Center – 440 ft
Right Field – 255 ft
* Dimensions for South End Grounds II

I've not made the park-adjustment chart for this replay yet but it will be interesting.  In the past, the most I have done is made a few adjustments for The Metrodome, Met Stadium, and Target Field given Diamond Mind (I know, heresy) data and other sources.  For example, it has proven very difficult to hit one out of right-center at Target Field.  

For this fantasy replay, something on the order of a spray chart for dead-away, pull, and opposite field.  R/L will not matter for pull or opposite as the lines are about the same.  Up the chance for a pull or opposite field HR by a set % and reduce it for dead-away.  I may have the manager announce "deep" or "standard" for the center fielder, with standard being the default. If a HR roll comes up short from the park-adjustment, and if the CF was deep it may be a F-8, if positioned normal, a "6".  When "deep" singles that are hit out of the infield may get a re-roll for a 2B unless the runner is slow.  F7s and F-9s will be able to re-roll against the South End Adjustment Chart. If the hitter pulled it or went opposite field, that chart may yield a HR in this park. 

The Hibernians are a deadball team, so playing a team like the 1988 A's in this park may make a circus out of it, but I will have to host one or two expositions in South End. 

Not the greatest revenue producer for ownership seating about 7,000, but a team like this needs a unique historical ballpark.  Now for the team!

The Team:

Rotation with Peak WAR and year

Tony Mullane       11.6   1883
Tommy Bond        9.9    1879
Hugh Daily           6.9    1883
Mike O'Neill          2.9    1904

Position Players
Peak WAR and year

C -   Jimmy Archer              1.7   1912
1B - Jack Doyle                   3.8   1896
2B - Andy Leonard              1.8   1875
3B - Mike Muldoon              2.1   1885    
SS - Barney McLaughlin     1.9   1890
LF - Jako Fields                  1.7   1890
CF - Patsy Donovan            2.3   1896
RF - Jimmy Walsh               1.4   1916


  1. With Tony the Count and Maggie Muldoon how can you go wrong?

  2. We will see! I will update as I play a few series.

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