Tuesday, February 7, 2017

GMABT III - Divisions Announced!

We are just under 4 weeks away from the 3rd Annual Greater Michigan APBA Baseball Tournament -- and Pastor Rich Zawadzki has just announced the Division brackets, which were done by a blind draw. It seems like yesterday, is when we all went to the very 1st tournament, now we are rolling on with a third tourney & more participants than ever before, with 38 attendees!

Let's check out how the divisions look, via Rich on Facebook...

I'm pretty excited about the theme this season, I will be honest though, I am probably so-so at best when it comes to managing a dead-ball team... so it will be interesting, to see how my decisions play out when it comes down to tournament time. I decided to do some exhibitions to help get ready for the tournament.

The scene from the first GMABT Tournament (March 2014).
Believe it or not, but my first two tournament experiences (Chicagoland 2013 - Winter) & my first GMABT appearance were both with deadball teams in the 1912 New York Giants & 1917 Chicago White Sox. My two aces for those tournaments in Christy Mathewson & Eddie Cicotte were basically no-shows.

The good news is that I won't have to change my starters really or my starting pitching, consistent lineups in the past seem to really work for me... for example, my 1993 Atlanta Braves, that I would win last year's tournament with, I never changed the lineup once, I pinch-hit & ran on a few occasions, but the lineup never varied in all 13 games.

The bad news is the Walter Johnson Division may be what Rich described best, as the "Division of Death" with opponents such as the 1905 New York Giants, 1909 Detroit Tigers, 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates, 1911 Philadelphia Athletics & 1913 New York Giants to go along with my 1901 Pittsburgh Pirates. I will be completely shocked if we have a wild card coming out of our division.

If you all remember, I really love the early Pirates teams, and had a lot of fun with them during my BBW World Series projects (inside the 'Replay Booth') -- I personally love the 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates the most, but I didn't want to go through the process of purchasing them, when I owned the 1901 Pirates.

I will get the honor of playing Ron Emch a third time, I joked about this possibly happening at the end of my "First GMABT Exhibitions (Doubleheader)" article -- hopefully Ty Cobb & Sam Crawford don't have their way with my pitchers this time. I will also get the legit honor of playing my other friends in Rich Zawadzki & Ken Schulz for the first times in tournaments -- I played Ken the night before (in a exhibition) my big day last year, while I did play Rich in the tournament while he was standing-in for someone else's team, this time it will be his own team. I also look forward to playing both Dave Rueck & G.F. Korreck for the first time as well... this will be a fun group regardless what happens.

By the way, I realized that I will be sitting at the table with three guys who have ran tournaments in Zawadzki (GMABT), Emch (Glass City Toledo Tournament) & Schulz (LBS Pittsburgh Tournament)... while I will be trying my hand at a one-time only APBA Baseball Tournament with the "Cherry APBA Baseball Roll-Away by the Bay" (June 2020) in Traverse City, Michigan.

Myself (Shawn), enjoying some good eats at Gene Davis & Sons. 
I'm not one to make any predictions, but I couldn't help but notice that John Roels and Greg Wells, two stellar tournament contenders, who both have tournament championships under their belts, both have great teams, could run the tables in their respective divisions. I would not be surprised to see both of them in the playoffs; Roels won the 1st Greater Michigan APBA Baseball Tournament, while Wells has won the National APBA Baseball Tournament, plus both Linda B. Schulz Pittsburgh Tournaments & he happens to also be a member of the APBA Hall of Fame as well.

Looking forward to this great event, excellent food at Gene Davis & Sons, and great company with friends -- while meeting new friends.

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On Deck (Future Posts on Boys of Summer):  News from the Wisconsin Tournament! Plus Hall talk between the Baier Boys!

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