Don't we all love draft day? I do. All the research, waiting for you turn, or waiting to see what teams are left, making a strategic team selection, or jumping on an overlooked team and toss the research and numbers out the window and go with the gut!
The Twin Cities Neil Ess Memorial APBA Tournament draft day is today (Saturday the 6th of January) and the first 21 team selections are in. Here they are:
1. 1970 TWINS – CHRIS KAUFMAN (MANKATO, MN)
2. 1998 YANKEES – GARY BORTHWICK (CRYSTAL, MN)
3. 1938 YANKEES – DAVE NORLANDER (DULUTH, MN)
4. 1976 REDS – CRAIG CHRISTIAN (EAU CLAIRE, WI)
5. 1950 RED SOX – BEN LOFGREN (HAWLEY, MN)
6. 1987 TIGERS – FRED JOHNSON (COTTAGE GROVE, MN)
7. 2017 NATIONALS – KEVIN CLUFF (APPLE VALLEY, MN)
8. 2016 RED SOX – CHRIS SHORES (MINNEAPOLIS, MN)
9. 1980 EXPOS – SCOTT EGGE (WOODBURY, MN)
10. 1953 DODGERS – JIM FRAASCH (SAVAGE, MN)
11. 2017 ASTROS – PHIL GERAFFO (MINNETONKA, MN)
12. 1969 ORIOLES – ROBERT ELLEY (LONGVIEW, TX)
13. 1911 GIANTS – BRUCE TYLER (ELK RIVER, MN)
14. 2016 INDIANS – BOB COLLINS (WOODBURY, MN)
15. 1948 INDIANS – LEROY ARNOLDI (PRIOR LAKE, MN)
16. 1941 DODGERS – GREGG NELSON (MAPLE GROVE, MN)
17. 1957 BRAVES – ERIC SHEFFLER (OVERLAND PARK, KS)
18. 1972 PIRATES – GARTH ANDERSEN (ANDOVER, MN)
19. 2001 MARINERS – MARTY LEE (LENEXA, KS)
20. 1932 YANKEES – JEFF BOEDING (PLATTE CITY, MO)
21. 2006 PADRES – KURT BERGLAND (WAUKESHA, WI)
There are some interesting teams taken, some predictable (not a bad thing) and to my great pleasure, I know most of these fine managers.
The Neil Ess Memorial APBA Tournement is held in the Minneapolis area twice a year and it is well attended and organized by a gracious group of guys. Here is a link to the blog that typically handles all the details: Jim's APBA Barn
Chris Kaufman is the first across the line with the team that won the First Wisconsin APBA Tournament hosted by the wise and gracious Kurt Bergland (selection 21). I managed those Twins in that tourney; they can hit and pitch and they are a fun team to manage, a good choice Chris. Here is a link to my blog entry on that team: 1970 Twins.
Two Yankee teams go next, the '98 and '38, look out for these tough teams managed by wise men.
Craig Christian takes the 1976 Big Red Machine, a team I have faced many times in tournaments and face-to-face with my friend Chris Strangeman, those Reds are a well constructed team top to bottom.
One of the Lofgren's takes the 1950 Red Sox, I will have to take a look at that team to refresh on the pitching but the offense is loaded. Former winner Kevin Cluff and Guru of the APBA Delphi chat page takes another modern team in the 2017 Nationals. I like taking modern teams for the bullpen, it is usually deep and lights out. Chris Shores takes the 2016 Sox and my mountain climber friend Scott Egge takes a very fun team, the 1980 Expos! Better grab that Expos gear for the tourney, it is sweet.
Jumping down a bit, those tough managers from Kansas and Missouri take the 1957 Braves (my team in the Wisconsin Winter this year), the 2001 Mariners (Ichiro .350), and Jeff takes the killer '32 Yankees. Could the hardware travel to the Kansas City area this year?
And finally, for this quick blog entry, Kurt Bergland takes the '06 Padres. They have some pop with three hitting more than 20 HRs, some speed on the bases, and a bull pen from hell.
One shocking observation: Where are all the Twins Teams? Or at least Senators??? No loyalty up there?
Gardy is not impressed with this development.