This California Angels replay is a part of a larger project, replaying seasons from various eras of Reggie Jackson‘s career. I call this collection of replays “The Reggie! Project.”
1977 New York Yankees
1982 California Angels
1973 Oakland A’s
1969 New York Mets
Obviously, Reggie Jackson never played for the New York Mets, but the 1969 replay will be a “What If” project, asking the question: What if the Mets had drafted Reggie Jackson intead of Steve Chilcott in 1966?
The 1977 Yankees replay began in early 2013 and was completed on Christmas Day, 2013. Reggie’s stats from that season:
The first 81 games of this 1982 replay were played with APBA Baseball. Since then I’ve played mostly with Payoff Pitch, though there have been a couple dalliances with Strat-O-Matic, and even Dynasty League Baseball. I now have a homebrewed 1982 set for History Maker Baseball that will see some use in this project in the near future, too.
I know that there are Baseball simulation game purists among you that are scoffing at the notion of mixing game engines to complete a replay, that somehow “accuracy” of the statistics is compromised by not maintaining a sole engine for the whole project. I disagree.
For me, the most important part of any sim project is not the end result. It’s not the statistics compiled, it’s not the pennant won or lost, not the records set. For me, the replay season is all about going on a journey back in time, to visualize players and games from long ago. I enjoy each game in the moment. I enjoy winning streaks and losing streaks. I enjoy watching a hitter get hot for a series or two. I especially enjoy games that are bitterly fought to the last out, when a closer comes on to face a Hall of Famer with the game on the line. I enjoy rallies and comebacks. I enjoy complete game 3-hitters and 14-12 slugfests.
The stats that are compiled over the course of a replay are of secondary importance to me. The playing of the game is first. I don’t care about statistical “accuracy” (within reason, of course). I just want to feel like I get all the drama of each game, each series, each month of each season. So far, this 1982 California Angels replay has done that and more.
I was six years old in 1982, turned seven as the season was winding down. I remember the end of 1981 well – Fernandomania and the hometown Dodgers winning the World Series – but 1982 was the first full season of baseball that I can remember. This replay has brought me right back to those early days of my fandom, when ballplayers were heroes of mythological stature. Reggie!, Rodney Cline Carew, Freddy Lynn, Don Baylor, even Brian Downing, Bobby Grich and Doug DeCinces. It’s an amazing feat of our imaginations that these tiny cards with a few symbols and numbers can bring these ballplayers back to life. It’s an amazing place to visit, where these heroes can once again be larger than life; this theater of the mind.