Tuesday, May 21, 2019

2nd APBA Vegas Looking for More Contenders

The Vegas APBA 2019 Tournament is still looking for some participants in its upcoming tournament, which takes place from August 8th - August 11th, at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The tourney criteria will be any MLB team between 1969 through 2009 with 2-Man rotations. 

Last year, the Vegas tourney had a guest appearance that featured four-time batting champ, Bill Madlock, who played from 1973-1987. The team that won that tournament happened to be the 1987 Detroit Tigers, which featured Madlock in his final MLB season.

Who will win it this season?! Maybe you, if you sign up for this exciting tournament... Chris did an amazing job, making a huge splash with last year's debut.

Contact Chris White via email at cwhitesports@yahoo.com

Thursday, May 9, 2019

1978 Brothers in Dice: Out of the Gate

As I mentioned in previous post, my brother Chris Baier and I, are replaying the 1978 MLB Season together, with him playing the National League, and with me playing the American League. I have already rolled 47 games since Easter, and that involves about 38 games logged in the team-by-team statistics & write-ups for about 33 of those games (27 of those games reported on APBA's Between the Lines Delphi Forums.

So if you are following me on "Brothers in Dice: 1978 MLB Replay, A.L." on the Delphi Forums, don't read below -- Spoiler Alert!

Here is some of the action so far..

The American League East is already playing out as advertised with 6 teams all within 2 games from one another. At the moment, the Detroit Tigers and Milwaukee Brewers lead the division with a 4-2 record.

The Tigers have just won their 3rd straight (winning their series finale against Texas, plus two straight against Toronto). The Tigers' Rusty Staub took a little bit to get going, but has been on fire during this streak, batting 7-for-13 (.538) with 3 HR & 10 RBI (He was 0-for-11 during the previous three games). The Tigers consistent leader has been Ron LeFlore, batting .444 with 12 hits, a HR & 4 stolen bases. 

The Brewers' lineup is just sick, it's pretty scary when Gorman Thomas is your 7th hitter in the batting order. The Brew Crew's Larry Hisle is currently tied for the American League with 4 home runs, while being tied with Oakland's Gary Alexander. Personally, I believe this Brewers team is the team to beat in the A.L. East, plus they have yet to plug Mike Caldwell into the rotation, who went on to win 22 games in 1978 with a 2.36 ERA while leading the league with 23 complete games. Caldwell did already win a game through 3 innings of relief in a big 8-6 victory over the New York Yankees.

Caldwell of course, did not win the A.L. Cy Young in 1978, any other year he may have, but he was against a man named Ron Guidry. The Yankees' Guidry (Grade A&C-KZ) for the most part has been spectacular his first two outings, he allowed only 2 hits & 1 earned run, striking out 9 in 9 innings against the Rangers in his season debut, while he was in cruise-control during his 2nd outing, until he stayed in a inning too long & got rocked for 4 runs in the 9th... 

Even so, his season totals are as follows -- 1-0, 3.06 ERA, 21 K & 11 BB (17.2 innings)... The walks are high, but he has only allowed 7 hits, which gives him an excellent 1.019 WHIP still. If you take away the 4-run 9th inning against the White Sox, he has a 1.08 ERA (2 ER) through 16.2 innings. 

The Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals kicked off the season in back-to-back games that went to extras. During the first game, Cleveland pitchers walked 11 Royals, but Kansas City kept stranding their men, leading to extras, but Al Cowens' RBI double in the top of the 11th helped the Royals defeat Cleveland. The next game went 15 innings, the Royals would be triumphant again, but once again K.C. should have put the game away earlier, as they had 16 hits, while Cleveland only had 5 hits!

If things couldn't get worse, both teams would go on to play someone else for their 3rd games, and both would still go to extras... again! This time K.C. losing to Baltimore through 10 innings, while Cleveland lost again, this time to Boston, 2-1. Cleveland lost all three of their first three games in extras, losing by no more than one run. 

Cleveland was only batting .180 through the first 4 games, while their pitching has actually been stellar in the ERA department, with a 1.76 ERA (particularly their starting pitching, 1.09 ERA).

The Boston Red Sox like the Milwaukee Brewers have a monster lineup, and although they are 3-3 and in excellent shape to compete for the division, it so far has not come by the hands of stars such as Jim Rice, Carl Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk & Fred Lynn -- who were a combined 8-for-51 (.157), while it has been the two men at the top of their order in Rick Burleson & Jerry Remy, who were a combined 15-for-28 (.536). Remy started the season with three consecutive games with 3 hits each, while he is still batting .423 through 5 games.

Over in the A.L. West, the California Angels were on 7th Heaven with their 7-0 start to the season, until getting blanked by Oakland, 6-0. Through their first 6 games, the Angels were batting .290, while their pitching was lights out with a 1.77 team ERA. They outscored their opponents, 40-11 (+29 Run Differential), even though they only hit 4 home runs. The team has already had three innings of 5+ runs, their biggest being an 8-run outburst in the 4th inning during their 3rd victory of the season, in a 11-0 shutout against Oakland. Bobby Grich has been heating up at the plate, which included a 4-for-5 performance that included a HR, 2 doubles, 5 RBI, 4 runs & a walk.

The Kansas City Royals have been trying to keep pace, and are currently in 2nd place with a 4-1 record. The Angels and Rangers in real-life finished 1978 in second place, and I believe that at the moment, the Royals and Angels should definitely be in the mix. The Texas Rangers in the meantime are not looking like a division contender one bit. They are worst off than the Indians, with a .151 batting average & lousy 5.87 team ERA. Jon Matlack (Grade A-YZ) is the only Rangers pitcher worth talking about, who is currently 0-2 with a 2.55 ERA & 11 strikeouts. 

Two players off to really hot starts, are Seattle's Bruce Bochte is batting .410 (16-for-39) with 2 HR & 13 RBI through 10 games, while Minnesota's Dan Ford is batting .429 (18-for-42) with no HR, but 15 RBI through 10 games. 

Quick Glance at the National League (through 23 games): On Chris's side, I do know that the St.Louis Cardinals opened the season by sweeping the Philadelphia Phillies. The New York Mets won a double-header against the Montreal Expos, to split series 2-2. The Atlanta Braves are off to a surprise 3-1 start, with Gary Matthews hitting his 2nd HR recently.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Brothers In Dice: 1978 Season Replay (Collaboration)

As I have mentioned in one of the prior blog posts, my brother Chris and I will be partaking in a APBA season replay of the 1978 MLB Season. Chris will be playing the National League, I will be playing the American League. 

We decided to do this project shortly after the New Year. 

We have went to a APBA Tournament together before... Chris was runner-up in the 1st Greater Michigan APBA Baseball Tournament in Jackson, Michigan.

Four teams won 90+ games in the American League, all within 9 games or less of each other... even the 5th place Tigers won 86 games that season.

You can follow both of our projects regularly through the Delphi Forums at APBA Between the Lines.My topic is labeled "Brothers in Dice, 1978 Replay, A.L." and Chris' topic is labeled "Brothers in Dice, 1978 MLB Replay, N.L."... or just go to Advance Search, and type brothers in dice.

Highlights, coming soon...

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Bits & Pieces

1981 Tigers Season Replay

The Detroit Tigers took 3 of 4 from the New York Yankees, like they did in real-life that series.

The first two games both went into extras with Jack Morris (Grade B-Y) and Milt Wilcox (Grade B-Z) each going 10 innings, while the Yankees also had a pair of 10-inning pitchers in Ron Guidry (Grade B-XZ) and Rudy May (Grade D-Z). The Tigers would prevail in both, winning 2-1 due to a Alan Trammell sac fly in the 12th of Game 1 & by the same score, 2-1, in Game 2 with a RBI single by Steve Kemp.

Morris only allowed 3 hits, 0 ER & 1 run, with 7 strikeouts and 3 walks, while Wilcox allowed only 2 hits & 1 ER, to go along with 6 strikeouts and 2 walks.

Kevin Saucier logged 3 more saves to bring his season total to 18.

The Yankees won the 3rd game, but should have won the 4th game possibly, stranding 14 men on base, while the Tigers only needed 7 hits all game to pull off the 3-1 victory -- Thanks to RBI doubles by Al Cowens and Steve Kemp.

1916 Tigers Fall Short (Once Again to the Athletics)

The Detroit Tigers who were favored to win the A.L. West before the season, barely did, over the Chicago White Sox, while suffering two untimely injuries in Ty Cobb and Jack Barry. The Tigers would once again fall short to the eventual 1916 Back-to-Back World Champion Philadelphia Athletics, who defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in another all-Philly fall classic. The poor Phillies have now lost three consecutive World Series.

The Tigers didn't waste no time by making changes. Former owner Rocky McQueary sold the Tigers to Jacob Piasecki. I am not going to lie, I was pretty thrilled with this move, McQuery hounded and hounded me to trade Ty Cobb, but I stuck to my guns.

Cobb would reward me with his 5th career batting title (.353).

Last season was the first season that I stepped down from managing the Tigers, while transitioning to full-time General Manager. I signed the great John McGraw to take over the managing duties, who led the Tigers (83-57) to division title, winning by a game.

We made the most trades in one off-season that we can remember, it may be a new rebuilt lineup, but we still have the best rotation in baseball in Walter Johnson, Hugh Bedient, Claude Hendrix & Guy Morton.

  • Traded RP-Babe Adams, RP-Dustin Mails & P-Alex Main to reacquire pitcher Carl Mays.
  • Traded RF-Sherry Magee to the St.Louis Browns in exchange for RP-Bullet Joe Bush, catching prospect C-John W Peters, RP-Harry Harper & OF-Beals Becker.
  • Traded C-Les Nunamaker straight-up to the St.Louis Cardinals in exchange for closer Eddie Cicotte; Cicotte pitched for my Tigers from 1905-to-midway 1910 & has developed into a closer.
  • Traded 1B-Fred Merkle and C-Otto Miller to the New York Giants in exchange for 2B-Heinie Groh and catching prospect Muddy Ruel.
  • Traded 2B-Jack Barry and 3B-Hans Lobert to the New York Yankees in exchange for 1B-Ossie Vitt, 3B-Tillie Shafer & 2B-Manuel Cueto.
  • Traded LF-Greasy Neale, 1B/RF-High Pockets Kelly, LHP-Harry Harper & $3,000 to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for LF-Ken Williams (pictured above).
  • Traded RP-Leon Cadore to the St.Louis Cardinals in exchange for C-Pinch Thomas and RP-Elmer Brown.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Leveling the Field: 1916 Tigers with High Expectations

Ty Cobb decked out in the 1916 Detroit Tigers home uniform.
It's been a little while since we have talked about the Detroit Tigers in my "Leveling the Field" project for Out of the Park Baseball 19.

The 1916 Detroit Tigers are coming off a 78-62 season in 1915, as the Detroit Tigers won the A.L. West, but would lose to the A.L. East & eventual World Champion Philadelphia Athletics, 4-1 in the 1915 American League Championship Series.

The Tigers made a few changes over the off-season...
  • Traded pitcher Hippo Vaughn to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for RP-Harry Albes.
  • Drafted (Dec 15th) & Signed LF-Greasy Neale, who will be on the 1916 opening day roster for the Tigers.
  • Traded long-time starting pitcher Jack Quinn and prospect RP-Stan Baumgartner to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for starting pitcher Claude Hendrix. Quinn ranks 3rd in Wins (113), 4th in ERA (2.68) & 2nd in WAR (23.7) among all-time Tigers pitchers.
  • Signed RP-Burt Keeley to a 1-year deal worth $1,900.
  • Signed 3B-Jimmy Austin to a 1-year deal worth $1,800.
  • Traded SS-Tom Downey to the Boston Braves in exchange for 3B-Walter Barbare.
  • Traded OF-Jim Thorpe to the New York Giants for RP-Slow Joe Doyle.
  • Traded (recently acquired) 3B-Walter Barbare to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for RP-Babe Adams and prospect RP-Oscar Harstad.
  • Traded OF-Ted Cather to the Pittsburgh Pirates in for RP-Alex Main and RP-King Lear.


Sunday, April 14, 2019

What is Too Much?

People constantly look at everything as too much. 

Bryce Harper for example, when you look at 13 years separately, it comes off as too long. If you look at the overall total of the price tag, it appears to be too much... but when you look at the second-half of that contract, by then 2nd-tier stars will be making $25 million a year. That deal actually was great for both. People penalize players for jumping teams all the time, but then the same people penalize players for wanting to stay in one place, which was his #1 objective in the contract negotiations. I do wonder about his durability, but if they get even 10 years of that 13 from him, that would be great. It has already energized the city, it appears to be a marriage made in heaven (Harper-Philly) while it will only attract more starts to Philly, who now has the money to start acting like the big market team that it is.

As recent as the holidays, I would never have declared myself a fan of Harper... but since the contract, I have been in his corner for many reasons.

I get sick of the old-school baseball fans knocking a contract, just because they don't understand something simple like inflation. Yes, I do understand that baseball players make more money than pretty much any average human does on any given year, but that has always been the case dating back to even Ty Cobb. I know that we will have a billion-dollar baseball contract inside these next 10 years, that's a given!

So I can't even tell you how elated I was to watch this morning's highlights of Bryce's epic return to D.C. -- facing off against his ex-teammates. I was so glad to watch go 3-for-5 with HR, 2B & 3 RBI in that game...

The HR blast, the bat flip, which I don't have any problems with after those pathetic, thankless, DC fans booed in the manner that they did... Do they forget that he was a major (if not THE major) reason that they were winners in the first place? Boo your owner, who was afraid to commit to Harper. Harper wanted his new contract to keep him in one place for the remainder of his career, Washington had every opportunity to do this, much like Philadelphia, the L.A. Dodgers and whoever else did. He could have grabbed the $45 million-a-year contract the Dodgers offered, but he didn't.

This is the same pathetic fan base that should have embraced winning when they had the chance, I do think they will be winners with new stars on the rise in Juan Soto and Victor Robles...
But keep in mind that this is a fan base that knows nothing but losing for Washington Baseball history, as well as nothing but losing for its badly-offensively named football franchise and its silly-nicknamed basketball franchise. They are losers, and the fan base only echoed these notions by their actions.

Plus the Nats voicing on twitter, only opened up a nice response by Phillies above.

The Angels made sure that Mike Trout didn't go anywhere (go to Philly or the Yankees), by extending his contract. So there won't be no Andrew McCutchen-Trout-Harper 2020 Phillies outfield as some was projecting, due to Trout being a lifelong Phillies fan prior to becoming a big leaguer. He's the biggest star in the game, while there is only a small handful of players all-time that have had maybe a greater start to their career. Unlike Angels' previous contract disasters this one should be a win-win.

The Atlanta Braves won big time by extending Ronald Acuna, Jr. This deal was truly amazing for Acuna and the Braves, this was a no-brainer for both... while keeping a bona fide superstar for years to come right in one place. Plus the Braves' farm system echoes that of the early 90's... this team could be championship contender for years to come. The prospects that they STILL have coming up are so talented, it makes sense to tie down the future MVP.

Now the Braves landed a steal of a deal in extending Ozzie Albies on top of that, with many from the players union and many former big leaguers scratching their heads on why Albies settled for such a small amount (7 years, $35 million). Maybe Albies knows as much as I do that the Braves may be the next dynasty in the making. The team has its best farm system in 20-25 years, and will make a lot of noise, much like those 90's Braves with prospects such as Mike Soroka, Kyle Wright, Ian Anderson, Cristian Apache, and Austin Riley to go along with young studs Acuna, Albies, Dansby Swanson & veteran leaders such as Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann, Josh Donaldson & Julio Teheran.

Extensions might start becoming the new norm, while the crusty people will lose their heads when that first superstar gets a billion-dollar contract inside this next decade.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Big Landings for 1997

It's the 1997 off-season, and it started off with a bang when Ken Griffey, Jr signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates, on a 7-year deal worth $52.4 million. Griffey looks to help the Pirates rebound, who lost Barry Bonds to free agency last season when he opted out of his contract and landed with the division rival Montreal Expos.

The Pirates fell to 4th place with a 74-88 record last season, after two division titles in 1990 & 1991 and five consecutive 90+ win seasons from 1990-1994.

Other signings & trades...

  • Ellis Burks resigns with the Chicago White Sox for 4 years, $27.6 million ($6.9 per year).
  • Todd Hundley resigned with the New York Mets for 5 years, $29.14 million ($5.828 per year).
  • Jeff Bagwell signs with the California Angels for 4 years, $28 million ($7.0 per year).
  • Andres Galarraga leaves the Montreal Expos, where he spent 11 of his last 12 seasons, signing a 3-year deal worth $18.7 million.
  • Tony Gwynn signs with the Baltimore Orioles for $14.1 million over 3 seasons. "Mr. Padre" joins his 4th team in this alternate reality, after reaching two World Series over three seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, and one lone season in Detroit (1993).
  • Charlie Leibrandt, age 40, signs 2-year deal with Yankees for $7.92 million ($3.96 per year).
  • Jeff Fassero, the reigning N.L. Cy Young & N.L. MVP winner, signs 5-year deal worth $39.5 million ($7.9 million per year).

  • Larry Walker returns to Canada, as Oakland trades him in a blockbuster deal for second baseman Roberto Alomar and SP Derek Lowe; Toronto recently acquired Lowe from Seattle in a deal barely two weeks prior.
  • The computer lost its damn mind when it had Baltimore trade Cal Ripken, Jr to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for prospects LF Roberto Mendez and RP Jay Tessmer.
  • The Detroit Tigers traded LF Gregg Jefferies to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for catcher Paul Lo Duca & RP-Bobby Ayala.
  • The Boston Red Sox signed OF-Gary Sheffield to a 7-year deal worth $57.1 million.
  • The Montreal Expos signed 3B-Robin Ventura to a 4-year, $29.9 million.
  • The Baltimore Orioles traded OF-Dante Bichette to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for 1B-George Arias, 2B-Mark Bellhorn & minor league catcher Kirk Pierce.
  • Baltimore acquired 2B Bret Boone via Rule Draft 5 from the Atlanta Braves (my Braves kind of goofed that one up).
  • The Atlanta Braves signed CF-Steve Finley to a 4-year deal worth $20.8 million ($5.2 million per year). The Braves traded OF-Brian McRae the next day to the New York Yankees in exchange for OF-Ruben Rivera and minor league pitcher Matt Kinney.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Strike Ends, 1981 Tigers Start 2nd Half Hosting Jays

For my 1981 Tigers Season Replay, the 1981 Baseball Strike has just ended, while the Tigers begin the second-half of the 1981 MLB Season, hosting the Toronto Blue Jays for a three-game series.

The Tigers won the first-half A.L. East Division title with a 37-20 record.

I had to debate a little over which starting pitcher to start the 2nd half with, Sparky Anderson (in real life) went with Milt Wilcox, then Dan Schatzeder & Jack Morris for remainder of Toronto series. I don't have Schatzeder for my 1981 APBA set (I have the bare minimum APBA set). I did decide to go with Wilcox as well, then Petry & Rozema to finish the series, so it would set up Morris, Wilcox & Petry to kick off the next series against the New York Yankees. 

Wilcox is located in the 2nd slot of my regular season rotation. I thought about being greedy in getting Petry (Grade B-Y) more shots at wins, since he already has 11 wins in just 57 Tiger games.

Game 1 (Game #58)

The Detroit Tigers just couldn't get anything going on 5 hits against Jim Clancy (Grade D), while squandering two men on base in both the bottom-half of the 1st & 2nd innings. Clancy got comfortable, while striking out 7 of the last 11 batters he faced, to finish with a 9 strikeouts and a shutout.

Kirk Gibson, in particularly, struggled against Clancy by striking out three times, in four hitless at-bats.

John Mayberry's three-run home run during the top of the 5th, cemented the Jays' 5-0 victory.

Game 2 (Game #59)

The Tigers' lineup made up with the Tigers' faithful, by jumping out to a 1st inning, 3-0 lead, with Alan Trammell and Steve Kemp drawing walks, while Kirk Gibson added a RBI single & Lance Parrish added a two-run single.

Trammell and Kemp would both draw back-to-back walks again during the bottom of the 3rd, as they would score on a RBI single by Gibson, and Parrish's grounding into a double play. Gibson would end the day on 3-for-4 hitting, 2B, 2 RBI & a run. Kemp walked three times, while scoring on all three times he was on base.

Short day for the Jays' newly-acquired Juan Berenguer - 3.1 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 K & 6 BB.

Dan Petry won again! Petry now owns a 12-2 record with a 2.48 ERA through 16 starts this season. Petry allowed 5 hits, 3 walks & one earned run, while striking out 3 Jays in 7 innings of work.

Tigers beat Jays, 6-2

Game 3 (Game #60)

The Tigers scored 3 runs in the first 4 frames to make Tigers starting pitcher Dave Rozema (Grade D-Z) comfortable on the mound. Rozema's only run allowed came at the top of the ninth, with a solo home run to John Mayberry.

The Tigers' Lynn Jones (2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI) & Richie Hebner (2-for-3, RBI) were the Tigers' leaders at the plate that day.

Kevin Saucier would collect his 15th save to secure the Tigers' 3-1 victory.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Hefty Raises

The following players for my No Expansion - Out of the Park 19 project (featuring the Atlanta Braves) all got hefty raises with one-year deals through arbitration (November 1996)...
  • CL - Mark Wohlers (1996 N.L. Fireman of the Year) - $1,725,500
  • 3B- Chipper Jones - $4,000,000
  • RP- Roberto Hernandez - $1,625,000
  • 1B - Jason Giambi - $1,600,000
  • SP - Alan Benes - $1,174,250
  • OF- Johnny Damon (1996 N.L. Gold Glove) - $273,000
  • OF - Ryan Klesko (1996 N.L. Home Run & RBI Leader) - $2,150,000
  • C- Javy Lopez - $3,000,000
The Braves also didn't tender contracts to minor league OF-Bill Ashley & 2B-Mark Lemke.

We were also able to extend Chipper Jones to a 7-year deal worth $44.8 million.

The Braves signed 2B-Bret Boone ($500,000) and IF-Tony Graffanino ($350,000) to minor-league deals, which they both are most likely to make their salaries, since there is really no depth at second base at the moment.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Atlanta Finally Wins One!

For those that have been following this blog, you would know that I play simulations and roll dice through APBA Baseball's Basic Game (using Advanced Fielding), APBA's Baseball for Windows, while also doing simulations with Out of the Park 19.

The Out of the Park helps me gets simulations done in a quicker manner than say someone doing a APBA Season replay, while it keeps the general manager in me sharp for APBA projects.

For those that are not familiar with the 1993 No Expansion project (that I have been doing through both Out of the Park 18 & 19). I created an alternate reality in which no further expansion in 1993 & 1998 occur -- Meaning no Marlins, no Rockies, no Rays & no D-Backs. This of course would lead to an alternate route that would lead to numerous different decisions by the 26 existing franchises.

I decided to run the Atlanta Braves, because they are my National League team, and was in love with those 90's Braves, with Greg Maddux, John Smoltz & Tom Glavine all ranking as all-time favorites with me -- between just those 3 players, I probably have a 1,000 total baseball cards of them.

I also got a little redemption back for the 1993 Atlanta Braves by winning the 2016 Greater Michigan APBA Baseball Tournament II, while they went 11-2 during the entire championship run.

I started with the 1992 off-season, as a start point, while clicking off the automatic expansion, keeping commissioner decisions in my hands.

Season-to-Season Recap

Atlanta would reach the 1992 World Series in a rematch against the Minnesota Twins, but we would once again fall short to the Twinkies, this time in disastrous fashion (in which I can't find the old post for some reason)... but had a 2-1 series lead, with a 6-run lead I want to say in the 9th, when everything went to hell, and the Minnesota Twins scored 7 runs to come back and win, tying the series, in which the Braves never recovered from that inning, losing the next two games & series.

The Braves would almost slide and miss the playoffs in 1993, but hold on for the division title over the Houston Astros. They would end up getting swept by Andres Galarraga & the eventual World Champion Montreal Expos in the National League Championship Series; Montreal would go on to defeat the Oakland Athletics, 4-2 in the 1993 World Series.

The Braves would win the N.L. West for a 4th consecutive season during 1994. Yes, there was a full season, plus playoffs in this alternate 1994. The Braves (103-59) won the division pretty easy, this time over the Los Angeles Dodgers by 16 games.

They would be outplayed once again by the Montreal Expos, 4-1. The Expos (103-59) won the hard-fought N.L. East by only 5 games over Barry Bonds & the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bonds signed a 6-year deal worth $24 million prior to the 1994 season, with a possible player opt out after the 1995 season.

The Montreal Expos repeated as World Champions in all-Canada 1994 World Series, taking the Blue Jays, 4-1. The Blue Jays reached their first World Series by defeating the defending American League Champion Oakland Athletics, who had better luck continuing their postseason success further than their real-life MLB counterparts -- partly due to continuing strong pitching staffs with pitchers such as Kevin Brown, Bob Tewksbury, Mark Langston & Terry Mulhollnad, while Jose Canseco & Mark McGwire actually stayed healthy.

The 1995 Atlanta Braves found themselves strapped for cash, while committed to plenty of contracts. The Braves would make no major trades come the trade deadline, while the Los Angeles Dodgers who were chasing Atlanta all year, would land starting pitcher Chuck Finley from California. The Dodgers would eventually catch the Braves, and end their playoff streak by winning the N.L. West.

The Dodgers rode a three-man playoff rotation of Tom Candiotti, Finley & a young Pedro Martinez, while they would go on to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-2 in the NLCS, while winning the 1995 World Series over the Chicago White Sox, 4-2.

Plenty of changes happened for the Braves to setup their 1996 World Championship run, prior to the season. The Kansas City Royals countered one of my offers, by acquiring outfielder David Justice in exchange for outfielders Johnny Damon and Brian McRae. Another deal is that I traded Fred McGriff away to the World Champion Dodgers to make room for up-and-coming Jason Giambi on the roster. McGriff's haul wasn't much (due to the fact that I was trying to shed payroll), which involved a handful of small pieces, one of those pieces was Mark Mimbs, who served as a good left-handed specialist for me during my 1996 run.

During the 1996 season, we acquired Doug Drabek from the Pirates straight-up for Steve Avery, making our rotation Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Drabek & Alan Benes. Our bullpen was also another great strength with Mike Timlin, Scott Radinsky, Dan Plesac, Roberto Hernandez & Mark Wohlers. The Braves (106-56) would go on to win the N.L. West, winning the division over the Dodgers by 10 games.

The Braves would come head-to-head with the Montreal Expos once again in the National League Championship Series for the 4th time in 5 years. The Expos, this time were led by Barry Bonds, who opted out of his contract with the Pirates, and then signed a 6-year deal worth $40.2 million with Montreal. Braves would go on to win their first postseason series against Montreal since 1992, winning the series, 4-1.

The Toronto Blue Jays won the American League Championship Series, 4-3 over the Texas Rangers.

1996 World Series 

Game 1 

It was all hitting by both teams, a combined 28 hits, while the Blue Jays would take the Atlanta Braves in Game 1. Jeff Kent and Derek Bell would each collect 4 hits for the Jays, while Kent homered, doubled, hit 2 singles & knocked in 4 ribbies.

Kent batted .308 with 33 HR & 123 RBI during 1996, he already has 123 career homers & 502 RBI over the first 5 years of his career; Kent has reached the century mark 3 times in the RBI category.

Greg Maddux allowed some crooked numbers: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER & 3 K (80 pitches)

Blue Jays win 8-6.

Game 2

Jeff Blauser was the overall hero for the Braves, his 2-run homer during the bottom of the 6th, put the game further out of reach, making it 7-0, in which the score would stick.

John Smoltz would only go 4 innings (2 H, 0 ER, BB & 5 K), as Doug Drabek would pitch 2 innings of relief to earn the win.

Game 3

Tom Glavine would go 6 strong innings, allowing 6 hits and just 2 runs & a walk, while striking out 6 Jays on 90 pitches.

For the Braves' hitters it was a group effort, while Deion Sander's 2-run home run in the 8th, gave Atlanta more breathing room, on their way to a 7-2 victory.

Game 4

The Braves scrapped together a 4-0 lead by the top of the 5th, on fielder's choices and sac flies, but the Jays would not give up. Mickey Tettleton would hit a 3-run home run off Greg Maddux during the bottom of the 7th, to cut the Braves lead to a run, making it 5-4.

Deion Sanders would once again add insurance with a solo home run in the 8th, to give Braves a 6-4 lead -- that run would be crucial with Mark Wohlers giving up a run to earn his 3rd save of the postseason.

The Braves definitely wanted to walk away with a win in Game 4 (which they did) and not end up giving the Blue Jays new life this series.

A 3-1 series lead now gives the Braves quite the advantage moving forward.

Game 5

Chipper Jones (Atlanta) would hit a solo HR in the first, while Jeff Kent (Toronto) would even up the game with an RBI double to make it a 1-1 ballgame.

John Smoltz was not exactly sharp allowing 4 walks & 3 hits through 5 innings, but only allowed a run.

The Braves would rely on clutch relief from Doug Drabek, Dan Plesac, Roberto Hernandez & Alan Benes & clutch pinch-hitting, which came from Aaron Guiel, who pinch-hit for Mark Lemke, and hit a sac fly to right, to drive in (Brian McRae) the go-ahead run, to make it 2-1.

Benes would get the 1.2 inning save, usual closer Mark Wohlers didn't have much in the tank, while the Braves' bullpen was worked more than usual in this series. Benes, was used much in the way of real-life's 2017 Houston Astros did with Lance McCullers Jr.

The Braves win their first World Series in the city of Atlanta.

Now we'll have to see what the Braves do for an encore, it won't come easy.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Tournaments, Tournaments & More Tournaments!

Eric Berg (left) and Kyle Daniels (right) at the 2019 Wisconsin tourney.
In the APBA community, everywhere you turn around it seems like a new APBA tournament is springing up somewhere.

Here is what happened in the latest tournaments....

Florida's 2019 Spring Break from Reality APBA Tournament 

I believe this is the second consecutive year that Tony Stevens has hosted a tournament now down in Florida, I will say, I do like this title better.

The winner was Tony Orlando (from Tampa) winning with the 1998 New York Yankees, which is always a great choice. I asked Stevens, if Tony tied a yellow ribbon around the ole oak tree, afterwards? I'm sure he's never heard that one before.

2019 Heartland APBA Tournament 

Don Wegley and his 1974 Cincinnati Reds would go on to win the 2019 Heartland APBA Tournament.

APBA Wisconsin 2019 Spring Tournament

Host Kurt Bergland came up with a clever idea of having two tournaments in one day, one tournament for teams over .500 winning percentage & another for teams under .500... I really would have liked to go to this one, but it was scheduled too close for the 2019 Greater Michigan Tournament (that I was supposed to go to).

Kyle Daniels, who I have seen pictures of at some of the other APBA tournaments, Chicago and I want to say possiblyPraireland? Good to see him get a win, and I couldn't be more happier for one the absolute good guys in the APBA community in Mr. Eric Berg! He won the sub-.500 tournament.

There are many other tournaments scheduled as well, including Chris White's 2019 Vegas APBA Tournament, last time he pulled out all the stops with Bill Madlock as a special guest, he's got another surprise guest coming to this one as well.

More to come...

and oh, Greg Wells won with the 1942 St. Louis Cardinals at the Greater Michigan tourney...

while my wife wants to add her thumb and wrist are much, much better, thanks for asking!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Updates on Numerous Projects

Horner, one of many stories from 78'.
From 1987 to 1978, switching the 7 & 8 [APBA]

I mentioned that my brother Chris Baier and myself would be replaying the 1987 MLB Season via APBA Baseball, but than we realized we didn't have access to every player from that year... So we switched things up and purchased the 1978 APBA Baseball Season instead.

I will be replaying the American League, while he would replay the National League. The A.L. East that season had four teams with 90+ wins.

We are looking forward to the project, Chris pointed out that Bob Horner of the Braves, would be drafted that year, debut for the Braves in 78' while winning N.L. Rookie of the Year. Horner would hit 23 HR & 66 RBI while playing only 89 games for Atlanta.

1996 Atlanta Braves Season Update (No Expansion) [Out of the Park 19]

The Atlanta Braves (106-56) finished off the Montreal Expos (106-56), who won the 1993 & 1994 World Series. The Braves are still seeking their first World Championship in the city of Atlanta. They have won World Series in Boston (1914) and in Milwaukee (1957).

They will be facing the Toronto Blue Jays (97-65), who have reached their 2nd World Series in franchise history, their first series appearance happened in the All-Canada 1994 World Series against the Expos. The Jays' lineup is what got them here, loaded with studs such as Roberto Alomar, Jeff Kent, Tony Gwynn, Matt Williams, Carlos Delgado and Mickey Tettleton. The Jays' pitching is not so great, while their bullpen is horrible.

This is Atlanta's 3rd World Series appearance this decade, while they lost back-to-back seasons (1991-1992) to the Minnesota Twins.

The Braves traded away David Justice prior to the season to Kansas City in exchange for outfielders Johnny Damon and Brian McRae. During the season they lost their young star Chipper Jones for 5 months due to a broken elbow, while Ryan Klesko carried them with his huge bat, as he led the National League in home runs (55) and RBI (145). The Braves also made room for their prospect Jason Giambi by trading away Fred McGriff; Giambi had 33 HR & 97 RBI in his first full season as a starter.

The Braves' signature mark is their pitching of course, both Tom Glavine (21-6, 3.14 ERA) and John Smoltz (23-6, 2.38 ERA) won 20 games, while Greg Maddux (19-9, 2.99 ERA) just missed out with 19 wins. The team acquired former Cy Young Winner Doug Drabek from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Steve Avery.

1957 Braves Swept by 1971 Pirates with Mazeroski Series Walk-off [APBA]

Hebner: One of the 71' Bucs role players.
Both teams suffered key injuries to Roberto Clemente (Pirates) and Eddie Mathews (Braves) in Game 1, giving both teams different identities the remainder of its series.

Willie Stargell (2 HR), Al Oliver (HR, 3B, 3 RBI) & Richie Hebner (HR, 2B, 3 RBI & 2 BB) were major factors for the Pirates' first two victories of the series -- giving them a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-five series.

Milwaukee led most of Game 3, 1-0, thanks to Wes Covington's 2nd inning solo home run, but the Pirates would eventually tie the game up in the bottom of the 7th with Milt May's pinch-hit sac fly.

Bill Mazeroski (no stranger to series walk-offs) came in with a runner on second, pinch-hitting for Gene Alley, as he would roll a 66-0, 64-6 for the series walk-off off of Braves' starting pitcher Bob Buhl. For Mazeroski, it was his only at-bat all series.

The 71' Pirates live another day as they await the winners of the Aaron bracket series between the 1906 Chicago Cubs and 1915 Philadelphia Phillies, which is currently tied at 1-1, while switching to Philadelphia's home turf at the Baker Bowl.

UAL's Traverse City Fighting Tigers Awaits Playoffs in April

My Traverse City Fighting Tigers, who are awaiting their road results against the Crooked River Carp & Durham Bulls, eagerly await to see who they will be playing in the upcoming postseason, coming this April.

With 150 games of results in my hand, the Tigers are currently 98-52 (.653), with 10 games on the road still to be recorded.

It's been truly an amazing season. I will be doing a season statistics recap, while I will also do a blog piece on the bizarre, final home series of the regular season against the Durham Bulls. In that series, I done something that I never have done in probably my 5,000+ solitaire lifetime games... oh, who am I kidding?! 10,000+ solitaire lifetime games...

For now, I will keep you in suspense.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A One-Sided Battle of Ohio Goes Down (ATOC Update)

A update on my APBA Tournament of Champions...

The 1920 Cleveland Indians (#5) and 1940 Cincinnati Reds (#12) went face-to-face in a best-of-five opening round series, dubbed "The Battle of Ohio". The Battle overall was anything but, and was a one-sided series sweep victory for the Indians in the Aaron Bracket.

Both teams weren't exactly lighting up the scoreboard at the plate, a total of 33 hits & 12 runs between the two teams during the short (3-game) series.

All 3 games were relatively close, with the Indians winning by scores of 4-3, 4-0 & 1-0.

The Reds could only manage 12 hits all series, with their third baseman Bill Werber (pictured right), making up half of those hits, by batting 6-for-9, with a solo HR, 2 doubles & 2 runs, to go along with 4 walks.

Tris Speaker of the Indians, produced most of the tribe's offense (what a surprise!), going 6-for-12, with 4 doubles, 1 RBI & 2 runs.

All three of the Indians' starting pitchers went the distance in their games, highlighted by Stan Coveleski's two-hit shutout in Game 2.

Game 3 went 10 innings, with Speaker scoring from third on a sac fly from Bill Wambsganss, to give Cleveland the go-ahead 1-0 lead & eventual win.

12 Series remains for the opening round, they are...

  • 1927 Pittsburgh Pirates (#11) vs 1942 St. Louis Cardinals (#6) - Ruth
  • 1983 Baltimore Orioles (#13) vs 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers (#4) - Aaron
  • 2002 Oakland Athletics (#14) vs 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates (#3) - Aaron
  • 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates (#10) vs 1957 Milwaukee Braves (#7) - Aaron
  • 1915 Philadelphia Phillies (#15) vs 1906 Chicago Cubs (#2) - Aaron
  • 1969 New York Mets (#16) vs 1998 New York Yankees (#1) - Cobb
  • 1993 Philadelphia Phillies (#14) vs 2001 Seattle Mariners (#3) - Cobb
  • 1909 Detroit Tigers (#11) vs 1912 Boston Red Sox (#6) - Cobb
  • 1998 San Diego Padres (#15) vs 1998 Atlanta Braves (#2) - Cobb
  • 1914 Boston Braves (#16) vs 1937 New York Yankees (#1) - Wagner
  • 1934 St. Louis Cardinals (#12) vs 1954 Cleveland Indians (#5) - Wagner
  • 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (#14) vs 1931 Philadelphia Athletics (#3) - Wagner

All series in opening round are a best-of-five, with the better seeded team having home field for Games 1, 2 & 5.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

2019 BoS - 1st Round

The 2019 Boys of Summer Annual Draft is among us, and there was a strong possibility of any one of three (or even four guys) going #1 overall between Shohei Ohtani, Ronald Acuna Jr & Juan Soto.

The South Side Spartans decided on outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr, who will be joining Mookie Betts in the Spartans' outfield. The Portland Microbrewers would select outfielder Juan Soto for 2nd overall, while the Urbana Locomotives decided on Yankees phenom shortstop Gleyber Torres for the 3rd selection. Shohei Ohtani would go 4th overall to the Vancouver Storm, a team that was recently taken over by new owner Jimmy Stanton.

The Traverse City Panthers took a risk and traded one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, Corey Kluber (back) to Portland in exchange for two 1st round picks.

Kluber was traded in 2013 to the Panthers in the early-part of its inaugural season, in fact it was the league's 2nd transaction up to that point. Kluber was traded along with pitcher Nathan Eovaldi & OF-Ryan Raburn in exchange for starters Brandon Morrow, Matt Harrison, OF-Austin Jackson & a 3rd round T.C. draft pick (Scooter Gennett).

Years later, Kluber returns to Portland, while the Panthers with their two 1st round draft picks selected 2B/SS-Willy Adames and SP-Shane Bieber.

Portland had four 1st round picks going into draft, but ended up drafting for two of those selections, along with Soto, Portland drafted the Braves' Kyle Wright.

This is how our first round went...

Friday, March 8, 2019

New BoS League Website

The Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League is proud to say that they have a new website for their league. Just in time for their 7th BoS Annual Draft that starts March 9th.

You can check it out here on the link below...

There is still plenty to do, but I am proud to say that the work displayed above, took me only a week, mostly over this past weekend.

I got wonderful help from Bobby Porter of the World Baseball Organization (WBO), he helped me through the process of designing a template. I happened to message him, mentioning how much I love their site, and wondered if they could help me. Bobby took time out of his busy life to help a perfect stranger. That is what I love about the APBA Baseball community, we help one another out, even total strangers...

I have added his league to the blog links on this blog site, feel free to check out their WBO, or one of their two APBA Football leagues (NCFL & ACFL) as well.

Thank you so much, Bobby!

Here is some more screen shots of the site below... or click on link near very top to see it for yourself.

More to come about the draft and site in future posts.

Monday, March 4, 2019

A Trio of Yankees

Andy Pettitte / 1996 - Historical All-Star (Rating 77)

In my last Out of the Park 19 post, I mentioned 'Perfect Team'. My team, the Traverse City Fighting Tigers (same name as my APBA UAL League team) started off slowly out of the gates at 7-20, since then we had gone 39-29 (.573), which means of late we are playing like a 93-win team. We were within a win from reaching .500 at 46-47, but finished the 1st half of the season at 46-49, while we are no longer in last place.

By the way, by the time you read this post, I will be in the middle of my 3rd season of the same or a new league.

Entering July, we climbed up to #13 on the league's power rankings, this shows how much we have improved from our lousy start,

This has a lot to do with finding ways to make the lineup work.

At the beginning my lineup looked something like this...

At the end of June, it evolved to this...

Torii Hunter and Don Mattingly were named All-Stars, while Jeff McNeil cooled off, and fell out of his All-Star picture, he was 4th in the league in batting at one point with a .341 batting average, but is now batting about .303 the last I checked.

While the rotation started out as Stephen Strasburg, Hunter Greene, Carl Mays, Alec Mills, and Harry Kelley. It later had Lance McCullers Jr taking Greene's spot after an auction. I recently purchased Andy Pettitte for the rotation in my last post. Since then I added Charlie Morton & David Cone.

Charlie Morton / Live - 2018 MLB (Rating 79)

The rotation now is Stephen Strasburg (Diamond 90), Lance McCullers Jr (Gold 83), Andy Pettitte (Silver 77), Charlie Morton (Silver 79) & David Cone (Bronze 68) -- To put the improvement in perspective, my bottom 3 starters used to be in the low Bronze 60's. Cone, I got for only 40 perfect points, while I purchased Morton for 310 perfect points.

David Cone / 1999 - Historical All-Star (Rating 68)

Now the lineup gets yet another strong addition in Paul O'Neill (500 perfect points), I was getting close to a 1,000 perfect points (830), but felt I will get there quickly with the addition of these 3 New York Yankees...

Paul O'Neill / 1998 - Historical All-Star (Rating 77)

To be a champion, you should at least pluck some champions.

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Perfect Team

Out of the Park Baseball 19 introduced the hugely anticipated 'The Perfect Team' to go along with its game. In the game, you start with 6 start-up standard packs of cards, which have 6 cards each. Apparently, its similar to MLB The Show's Diamond Dynasty.

With these cards you can plug them into your lineups and rotations as you see fit. The cards have overall ratings and attributes that play into the simulations. Through the game, you can earn "perfect points" which can help you buy more packs. You can also auction off cards for perfect points in the same manner as you would auction off something on eBay, or sell cards to the game immediately for its sell price, or in the auction do a "Buy Now" price for an card, or by setting a minimum on a card.

Like big league rosters my initial team has evolved over the first two months of the season. A season is done in only a week, with the first 6 days of the week being a day for each month. The 7th day, you play head-to-head with teams in the postseason, if you even get that far.

At the end of the week, after the playoffs, your team is suddenly thrusted into another league, which will be according to your competition level. There are 4 tiers of leagues, with many leagues in each tier. You can also check out your progress from season-to-season, with season records and season

Standard & Gold packs with their odds of certain card pulls.

I am currently in the Bronze .330 League. My team, the Traverse City Fighting Tigers (same name as my APBA UAL League team name) started off pretty bad, but we are inching closer and closer, slowly to the .500 mark... In fact, I will be thrilled beyond belief if my team finishes the season with a .500 record in its first season, but not counting fully on it.

We currently sit in last place in the N.C. Central Division at 37-43 (.463), 13.5 games out of first.

Your team is like a player trying to get to "The Show". I am on the bottom in B330. 

The tiers are also reminiscent of the big leagues, the Bronze Level (which I am in) is Rookie-Ball, while Silver Level is Single-A, Gold Level is Double-A, Diamond Level is Triple-A & the Perfect Leagues are Major League Baseball, "The Show", and that's the ultimate goal. However your team progresses, they get moved up or fall down a level. I don't plan to jump to another level anytime soon, there are some talented teams in the Bronze Level with multiple Gold & many Silver cards on each roster, and they are still in Rookie Ball... that gives you an idea of the competition, but I am always game for some competition & a good challenge.

By the way, there is more leagues than pictured above, you can scroll from left to right, I am in B-330. There are currently 413 leagues with 12,342 teams!

The Leagues: Teams are promoted & demoted.

At one time, I auctioned my 2018 Future Legends Card of Hunter Greene, earning almost 3,000 perfect points, in which I used to purchase 3 standard packs. If I happened to get to the 5,000 perfect points pack, I would have purchased one gold pack, which you are guaranteed a Gold Card. I still got a Gold card (which Hunter was) in Lance McCullers, Jr though, via the 3 standard packs.

I actually pulled a somewhat rare diamond card in Stephen Strasburg (90 rating) out of my 6 start-up packs, I could sell it to the game for an automatic 4,000 or try to auction off the card. I decided to check its auction stats, and this is what it came up with...

  • Average Winning Bid All-Time: 4,555 perfect points
  • Average Winning Bid (Last 5 Auctions): 4,700 perfect points
  • Highest Winning Bid All-Time: 11,999 perfect points (3 times the actual price of the card).
The chances of pulling a diamond card is 1:150 packs, once again I pulled it in one of my 6 start-up packs. The chances of pulling a 'perfect card' is 1:1000 picks, I heard the Roger Clemens 'perfect card' is a hot commodity.

I really love the historic cards, as you can see above, my Don Mattingly - 1985 All-Star card, his card was done in the 1987 Topps style (one of my absolute favorite Topps Baseball Cards).

Here is a look at some of the interesting cards from my team or reserves section, cards that you don't want on your 25-man roster, stay in the reserves section...

Vern Stephens / 1943 - Historical All-Star (Rating 65)

Vern Stephens has been a huge contributor once I called him up, I stalled for awhile to bring him up, due to his poor defense. I had a better fielder in Maury Wills, plus it's his record breaking steals season from 1962, plus making for a great lead-off man.

Eventually I got sick of Wills' weak bat, put him up for auction, hoping to maybe double his weak 25 perfect points value, and no one picked him up. Stephens, meanwhile has batted .327 with 5 HR & 10 RBI in only 13 games & 55 at-bats, with a 1.111 OPS! Stephens bats 5th in the lineup now, while Wills currently sits on the reserve roster with a .250 batting average & .570 OPS.

Maury Wills / 1962 - Record Breaker (Rating 65)

Carl Mays / 1920 - Unsung Heroes (Rating 61)

Carl Mays is on my big league roster in the 4th slot of the rotation, he is currently 4-6 with a 5.08 ERA, 27 K & 11 BB in 39 innings & 6 starts. Although I am not a fan of his stats, it's understandable facing tougher competition, while I don't mind his off-the-charts 109 for stamina.

Otis Nixon / 1991 - Unsung Heroes (Rating 61)

I was hoping that Otis Nixon would become the lead-off man once I tried to auction off Wills, he was batting good early on, but must have had a bad month, as he is now batting only .211 for the season through 33 games & 114 at-bats, while he only had 9 steals (on pace for 67 games & 18 steals)... well-below his pace that helped him swipe 72 bases for the Braves in 1991 at age 32. I reached back into the minors & called up Scott Podsednik's 2005 Unsung Heroes (Rating 57) in hope that he can do better.

The game also has One Hit Wonder cards, like Harry Kelley's card below. He was part of my rotation until I landed McCullers Jr.

Harry Kelley / 1936 - One Hit Wonder (Rating 60)

Doug Ault / 1977 - Unsung Heroes (Rating 49)

The Doug Ault card won't see the light of day on my big league roster, especially with Don Mattingly at first & Joe Mauer (below) at DH/1B for me. I will keep this card though until I get a better 70's stud, then I will likely sell it for its measily 5 perfect points. 

Joe Mauer / Live (Rating 63)

The 'Live' cards are the current MLB players' cards, as you can see I own a bronze rating 63 for Joe Mauer, sure I would love to have an early version of Mauer for sure... but he has done a really good job for me so far. Mauer is batting .289 with 7 HR & 33 RBI, while posting a .382 on-base percentage & .805 OPS. 

Plus he looks really cool in the Fighting Tigers' uniforms, don't you agree Eric Berg?!

Eddie Yost / 1952 - Historical All-Star (Rating 62)

At the moment, I have plenty at third base in Yulieski Gurriel, while David Bote can play there, as well as my starting second baseman Jeff McNeil from time to time. I plan to keep this Eddie Yost card in my reserves for now, as good depth to have in my back pocket.

Now onto my team MVP at the moment in Torii Hunter, who by the way is leading the league in All-Star voting for center field. 

Hunter's current league rankings (both conferences combined):
  • Runs Batted In - 61 (8th)
  • Slugging Pct - .571 (8th)
  • Doubles - 28 (tied/3rd)
  • Triples - 6 (tied/2nd)
  • Total Bases - 177 (6th)
  • Extra-Base Hits - 47 (tied for 2nd with Barry Bonds)
The Bonds' card by the way, is a Peak / Diamond - Historical Legends (Rating 96), Hunter's card is only a Bronze (68). 

Hunter was not the only Traverse City player among the statistical leaders, Jeff McNeil (Rating 68) is currently winning the Second Base job for the All-Star Game, while ranking 4th in batting average (.341) and on-base percentage (.415). Don Mattingly is 7th in runs with 55.

We just purchased Andy Pettitte / 1996 - Historical All-Star (Silver / Rating 77) for 600 perfect points on the auction board, slated to be our 3rd starter behind Strasburg (Diamond 90) & McCullers (Gold 83). Carl Mays and Matt Harvey will pitch from the 4th & 5th slots of the rotation.

By the way, it may come as  no surprise, you can also buy perfect points with actual money as well. 

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