There is 345 cards, the company gave me 13 envelopes, I decided to see how many players per team would 12 teams get me, and it came out to 28.7, in which 9 teams came up with 29 players, and 3 teams with 28 players each.
When I broke the teams down, I wanted at least 2 players at each of the C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS positions, plus 2 at each outfield positions for the most part, of course there was going to be teams with players like Willie Mays at CF, in which you were not going to draft another strictly CF with that backup practically collecting dust, so you looked more to have a guy that has CF experience that can play one of the other corner outfield positions as well.
I decided to have all the teams have a Designated Hitter as well, overall there is so much talent in this set, it would simply be a shame to keep these guys on the bench, due to one less lineup slot for an everyday position player. Believe me on some teams, there is position batters, and stars sitting on the bench. One team for example, the Cincinnati Outlaws (or 'Outlaw Reds') has Tony Perez and Harmon Killebrew splitting time at third base.
Draft Pile Set-Up
I conducted a draft, drafted for about 23 rounds, and then I just went about the rest of the pile, and slapped a card on each team in draft order until the pile was out. Each team will go with a solid 26-man roster, with a soft 2-or-3 sitting to the side. Meaning, those 2 or 3 cards are not touched, if they are called up, someone has to go down & they are left unprotected for any team to take.
I made a pile for each position and with help from many books, I came up with the piles to be placed best-to-worst for each position to help the drafting process a little more... meaning Mike Schmidt sat on the very top of the third base pile, with George Brett & Eddie Mathews just under him.
Leagues & their Team Names
There is two leagues of 6 teams each, I decided to use old league names with old-school team names, the decision process was tough, I felt bad that Boston got the boot, for the Cincinnati Outlaw Reds, but Cincinnati has been around as long as 1857 or something. I decided to try to put these teams as best as I could in their original leagues.
American Association (A.A.)
- Baltimore Terrapins
- Cleveland Spiders
- Louisville Colonels
- New York Gothams
- St. Louis Maroons
- Washington Potomacs
|Baltimore's hat & sleeve logo.|
|Cleveland Spiders' logo.|
The city of New York could have went many ways with their team names, we have the Metropolitans (which was actually used in the 1800's, long before the 1960's Mets), Gladiators, and I thought about the early 1900's with Giants, Yankees, or even Hilltops -- I decided to go with the New York Gothams, it was a 1800's name & the term Gothams, comes from one of New York's early nicknames "Gotham City" -- plus it helps that I am Batman fan, just don't count on seeing Bat logos!
|Going with look that represents both Giants & Yankees, with theme of colors.|
|The 'M' Logo will be featured on their Home jersey's around heart, with stripes, similar to Phillies.|
|The Potomacs representing the Nation's Capital.|
National Association (N.A.)
- Brooklyn Atlantics
- Chicago Grays
- Cincinnati Outlaws
- Detroit Wolverines
- Indianapolis Federals
- Philadelphia Centennials
So you all know that I left out Boston, and I'm sure Bostonians or fans of the Boston franchises may give me grief over it, pointing to the fact that I have two Ohio teams & two New York teams. I could not see old-school baseball without a team from Brooklyn, I needed a New York team in each league, because let's face it New York was the heartland of early baseball prosperity and produced tons of talent. The city of Chicago needed to be represented as well, Philadelphia? Same story. I needed a western team (or what was considered western then) in St. Louis (A.A.), so quickly Boston got axed, I kind of regretted it, but once I made the envelopes it was too late. We will have a Boston team in the future, likely for Year 2 of this project, but for now...
Brooklyn could have had many names, there was the Gladiators & of course, the Dodgers, but I decided to scale it back earlier with my choice of the Brooklyn Atlantics. I have a cool Atlantics logo, that looks much like the current Dodgers logo, so there you go.
At one point, there was Providence Grays in my selection process, but much like Boston, found its way on it's butt... well, somewhat... -- At one point or another in the history of the game & especially in the 1800's, each city at one point or another, happened to sport the Grays name. Plus we had the famous Negro League team name as well, in the Homestead Grays. I knew I wanted Chicago to represent, at one point I picked Orphans, but us Baseball geeks know that this is an old name of the Cubs franchise, I thought of the White Stockings, but I wanted to pick something neutral, I almost went with the Chicago Nationals, a name I went with in my Heritage League, but decided to go with the hybrid of the Chicago Grays.
|The Chicago Grays will basically go with the Orphans' Logo 'C'.|
The Cincinnati Outlaw Reds was a name that was used closer to the mid 1800's, and the Reds, Red Stockings or Red Legs were all used throughout time. I went with Cincinnati Outlaws, because the 1800's and deadball era was really the Outlaw & Wild West of the early Baseball days. Plus I had some fun with it, when the Outlaws drafted both Ty Cobb and Joe Jackson, both considered outlaws.
I'm a Michigander, and I felt the good blue collar worker of the city of Detroit, must be represented. I went with its 1800's name, the Detroit Wolverines had a good successful run as a National Association team, and that's one of the reasons I went with them.
|Old school Michigan Wolverines logo with Old English D.|
The Indianapolis Federals happened, due to the fact, while I was looking through this Hall of Fame set, that there was many Indiana-born Baseball talent, plus Indianapolis was a team in the 1800's that supported plenty of Baseball teams, even into Negro League Baseball with the Indianapolis ABC's. I almost went with the Hoosiers, but thought there was too much of a connection with the University of Indiana (another thing I wanted to avoid) and its connection with Basketball. The Federals moniker of course, is a link to the Federal League.
The city of Philadelphia is rich in Baseball history & of course in American history, so to not have a Philadelphia team would be a crime. There of course was the Philadelphia Athletics, and I contemplated for a good long time to go with that name, but it's a direct link to a current MLB name... even so, I still almost went with it, because I felt its remarkable that despite their moves from Philly to Kansas City and to Oakland, it still kept its namesake (which all started from the Athletic Club of Philadelphia). Then there was the Quakers, I believe Colonials bounced between the Boston, Washington & Philadelphia cities as well, then there is the Phillies (again, direct link) and at the last minute, I found in one of my Baseball books, the Philadelphia Centennials, and I was sold!
Let it be known, although I came up with official names for these teams, to not be surprised to see me mention other nicknames for these franchises while reporting their series recaps.
The Draft was a very interesting process & took a life of its own, the first few rounds went as predicted for the most part, but then depending on needs or team connections or geographic connections, the teams started becoming a thing of beauty. Sure, there is some players on these teams, that I have to question if they belong with someone else, but those questions won't be answered until the season takes off.
For the draft I made sure that the leagues were balanced, with a American Association team picking, then National Association, then American, then National, so that the talent may not all sit on one side. I determined the order by dice rolls...
The First Round draft order turned out to be this...
- Louisville Colonels (A.A.)
- Indianapolis Federals (N.A.)
- Washington Potomacs (A.A.)
- Chicago Grays (N.A.)
- New York Gothams (A.A.)
- Cincinnati Outlaws (N.A.)
- St. Louis Maroons (A.A.)
- Detroit Wolverines (N.A.)
- Cleveland Spiders (A.A.)
- Brooklyn Atlantics (N.A.)
- Baltimore Terrapins (A.A.)
- Philadelphia Centennials (N.A.)
The draft would continue in the Serpentine format, in which each round flips, so Philadelphia would end up starting the 2nd Round with Louisville ending that round, then starting off the 3rd Round, etc etc...
So take in mind, that my draft was my perspective, and there is always going to be a debate, who should have been taken when. I tried to do it, in which with the position players were shooting for their starters first, so there was some players that fell to later rounds that you would never have imagined... For example, Center field seemed to have many studs, so once guys like Cobb, Duke, Mays or Mantle taking up those slots, some centerfielders had to wait, as these franchises started drafting their corner outfield slots & other positions.
So here it is, with the first selection of the Hall of Fame League, the Louisville Colonels select...
* * * Stay Tuned for Part III (The Draft) * * *