Saturday, January 24, 2015

We Are (APBA) Family

Thanks to Ken Schultz on the APBA Facebook Group -- I now own the 1979 APBA Baseball Set. The set of course features the World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates ("We Are Family") led by Willie "Pops" Stargell; It also features the American League Champion Baltimore Orioles, the California Angels, Cincinnati Reds, Montreal Expos (which Baseball critics have considered this Expos team, the best of the franchise), and other exciting teams such as the Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox & Kansas City Royals.

I decided to do a 1979 APBA Tournament to break the cards in, using the lineups (for most part) suggested by the yellow APBA sheet, with guidance by Baseball . The League Champions (of course) have the top seeds in each of their league brackets, while their LCS competition are the #2 seeds -- so basically the Pirates & Orioles are #1 in their brackets, with the Angels & Reds being #2 seeds in their respective brackets. The rest of the teams I ranked using Baseball Reference's Pythagorean Records.

The American League rankings (after Baltimore & California)
3. Boston Red Sox
4. Milwaukee Brewers
5. New York Yankees
6. Texas Rangers
7. Minnesota Twins
8. Detroit Tigers
9. Kansas City Royals
10. Chicago White Sox
11. Cleveland Indians
12. Seattle Mariners
13. Toronto Blue Jays
14. Oakland Athletics

The National League rankings (after Pittsburgh & Cincinnati)
3. Montreal Expos
4. St. Louis Cardinals
5. Los Angeles Dodgers
6. Houston Astros
7. Chicago Cubs
8. San Diego Padres
9. Philadelphia Phillies
10. San Francisco Giants
11. Atlanta Braves
12. New York Mets

Due to the style of the brackets & the National League having fewer teams, the #3 Expos & #4 St. Louis Cardinals have first-round byes with the Pirates & Reds; The American League only has byes for its top two teams. It's interesting in real-life the Royals (#9) finished only 3 games behind the Angels, but according to their Pythagorean records, the Texas Rangers & Minnesota Twins were better teams, even the Detroit Tigers (who finished 18 games behind the Orioles, in 5th place - A.L. East) was ranked higher at #8.

All the rounds up to a certain point are in Best-of-Three series. I felt one game was just not enough, plus going through the difficulty of when to pitch the ace, and how often, every game of tournament, every other? The best-of-three scenario I think will work for a top three starters setup. Games 1 (and a possible Game 3) are hosted by the higher ranked team, one day of travel set in-between, there may be a scenario where someone pitches their ace again for Game 3 of the first round series, but know this he won't be ready for Game 1 of the next series -- forcing to stick with the top three starters setup.

This will only take a few weeks - tops! Good practice for the upcoming Greater Michigan APBA Baseball Tournament in March. I already have most of the first round played & will be reporting the results soon. I will be looking forward to meeting Ken Schultz & many others, including a member of my Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League in Robert Mosher, who is in numerous leagues, plus enjoys playing other APBA sports as well. I will meet many new faces, while reuniting with friends Rich Zawadzki and Doug Schuyler. My youngest brother Chris will also be attending the tournament, which will be a cool experience as well.

Back to the whole Family theme though, just like the Pittsburgh Pirates of 1979 were, I feel our APBA community is very much the same. We happen to look out for one another, help each other out on APBA issues, or help APBA fans sell their season sets to other fans who are willing to help take them off their hands, instead of dealing with many of the eBay sellers who want an arm & leg.

We enjoy getting together for tournaments, forming new friendships, chatting & debating on APBA Facebook Group to the point that we are brothers -- APBA brothers, so yes...

We are Family indeed, in this case... We are APBA Family!

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