One of the joys of learning a new game is coming across results that you’ve never seen before.
With runners on first and third and Glenn Hoffman up to bat in the seventh inning of game #53 in my 1982 California Angels replay using APBA Baseball, I rolled a 13:32.
This result was a first for me:
The game took place in Anaheim, and I tried (in vain) to find a list of all rainouts in Angels Stadium history. I know there couldn’t have been more than a couple dozen, tops. If anyone knows where to find this data, it would be greatly appreciated.
For what it’s worth, according to Weather Underground there was exactly 0.00 inches of precipitation in Anaheim in June of 1982.
I prefer to believe that in this alternate history, there was a butterfly in China or a six-year-old boy in El Monte whose smallest gesture altered the world irreversibly.
CALIFORNIA – JUNE 1, 1982
After 50 games the California Angels sit atop the American League West with a 33-17 record. In two short months, they have justified every hope and quashed every fear that had attended them in the preseason.
How, it was asked back then, could a team with four former Most Valuable Players—Rightfielder Reggie Jackson (Oakland, 1973), Centerfielder Fred Lynn (Boston, 1975), First Baseman Rod Carew (Minnesota, 1977) and DH Don Baylor (California, 1979)—possibly lose? Ah, but how could a club with a lineup averaging 33 years of age and a suspect pitching staff possibly win?
For the answer, consider the Angels’ current 4-game winning streak, which has come at the expense of Milwaukee and Detroit. Milwaukee might boast the AL’s most lethal lineup (non-California Division), and the average age of a player on the Detroit roster is only 27.1 years, ranking 12th of 14 in the league – a full 5 years younger than the average player on the oldest team in the league, the Angels.
But the Angels aren’t deterred by the mighty Gorman Thomas, Robin Yount and the team that’s come to be known as Harvey’s Over-the-Wallbangers. The Angels have scored 312 runs in 50 games – an average of over 6 runs per game that puts them on a pace to plate over 1000. That would make them the first team since 1950 to accomplish the feat.
And, of the youthful Tigers, the veteran Angels say p’shaw. It’s easy to see why: The nine regulars entered the season with a .278 career average, and through Sunday the team was cruising along at a productive .290. There’s the 36-year-old Carew, who is currently at .293 but figures to hit better than .300 for the 14th straight season. There is the Angels’ “youngest” regular, Freddy Lynn at 30 years old, the southern California native who has settled back into home and is batting a robust .349 with 12 HR and 42 RBI. Then there’s Doug DeCinces, known for his terrific defense all those years in Baltimore, who has taken advantage of the great opportunity to come to bat with men in scoring position seemingly every other time up, and who leads the team with 49 RBI.
Reggie Jackson has 17 home runs in the first 50 games of the season. He’s hitting .317 and he’s driven in 40. On pace to clear the wall 55 times this season, he’s a man on a mission.
The Angels’ Designated Hitter, Don Baylor, 33, says Jackson’s presence takes pressure off the others. Jackson says the others take pressure off him. But the Angels do bear his stamp. Even the dugout has become positively Jacksonian, rocking with the popular chant he originated, “Get the hammer out.”
In every sense of the word, Jackson is enjoying a homecoming. The chance to be nearer his homes in Carmel and Oakland was the biggest reason he chose California over Baltimore after becoming a free agent last fall. Whether the word modifies his team or place of residence, Jackson is a Californian through and through. “With this club there aren’t people asking players their view of management, as they did in New York,” he says. “The big difference for me is that I’m more relaxed.” Indeed, his face has never looked softer, and there’s a glint behind those glasses. Jackson has a condo in Newport Beach and is looking for yet another house in Laguna. He’s a familiar but unhassled sight tooling across Balboa Island on his Vespa motor scooter.
Jackson’s best friend on the team is Baylor. “In 1970 Reggie and I played for Frank Robinson in Santurce, Puerto Rico,” says Baylor. “Reggie grew up a lot that year. Charlie Finley had sent him to winter ball after the two of them had a salary dispute the spring before and Reggie’s homers dropped from 47 to 23 that season. In one game under Frank, Reggie hit a pop and just stood there looking at it. The fielder staggered under it, didn’t catch it and still threw out Reggie at first. When he got back to the dugout, Frank said, ‘If it happens again, it’ll cost you $500.’ Well, the exact thing happened a week later. Frank said, ‘That’ll cost you $500.’ Reggie said, ‘I’ll go home before I pay that.’ Frank said, ‘O.K., after this inning I’ll go inside and help you pack.’ Reggie went inside and paid the money. He was fine after that. He hit 20 homers in 50 games and we won the league.”
In 1976 Jackson was traded to Baltimore in a deal that involved Baylor. This year Jackson lived for a month with Baylor before finding his own condo. “A beautiful man,” says Jackson, who is as comfortable and cheerful as he has ever been in the majors.
One of the most fan-friendly and forward-thinking recent innovations of the APBA game company has been the recent policy of releasing free cards of some of the major sporting events in time for gamers to “pre-play” the event.
They did it for the UEFA Champions League Championship in soccer, as well as the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal match for Women’s Soccer. They released the 1933 All Star teams in honor of the MLB All Star Game, and they’ve released the 2012 Ryder Cup set for use with APBA Golf.
I don’t know how I missed it, but Fans of APBA Football received a great gift recently when the company released a free pdf of a set of nine of the top rookies from the star-studded 2012 NFL rookie class (click on the picture below to download the pdf file):
It was made known to me today that APBA Games has taken down the link to the free PDF file of the 2011-12 UEFA Championship cards that they emailed to everyone on their mailing list back on May 16, 2012.
Here is a link directly to the pdf available for free download:
Via SPORTS COLLECTORS DIGEST posted December 21, 2011:
The finest collection of vintage baseball-themed board and arcade games ever assembled, The Dr. Mark W. Cooper Collection, is currently being offered in its entirety via private treaty sale from Heritage Auctions.
“The best-known documentation of baseball’s rich history comes in the form of the rare early cardboard that bears the faces of great players,” said Chris Ivy, director of vintage sports memorabilia at Heritage. “The purest expression of diamond worship, however, may well be the board games that have echoed all the eras and great players, and nowhere is this made more evident than in Dr. Cooper’s amazing collection.”
The actual auction at Heritage Auctions can be found here. From the auction site:
Painstakingly assembled by leading hobby expert Dr. Mark Cooper, this collection of over 250 games spans a full century (1860′s to 1960′s). It includes some of the rarest and most well-preserved examples known to exist.”
Though as a collection it is obviously fascinating and unrivaled, the game in the collection that interests me most is the 1868 The New Parlor Game of Base Ball, which is widely recognized as the earliest tabletop baseball game known to exist.
According to the site, “interested parties are encouraged to contact Chris Ivy to discuss the details of the collection, and to receive our full brochure featuring the highlights and details of this offering.”
I’m feeling grateful today, and blessed, and loved, but alone.
For many – if not most – of us this is a solitary hobby that we pursue. It’s a testament to our human need for connection that blogs like this one and forums like those on Delphi and in other places are such wonderful gathering places to air our triumphs and tragedies, to reach out and to be welcomed and missed.
In the spirit of gratitude, here is a list of things I am grateful for today:
Let’s go to the way-back machine and revisit something I posted on November 14, 2011.
1 Peter – Chapter 5:
5All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.