Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My 3-D baseball players

I have had a few of these for several years.
There are 4 poses:
1) A pitcher in a windup
2) A Catcher
3) A batter
4) Fielders
I have added to my collection of these and have 34 pieces total: 5 pitchers, 5 catchers (one missing an arm - I think I know where I might find this), 5 batters, and 19 fielders

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Rookie Of Year and 10 years later MVP

I think this is a great group

Frank Robinson 1956-1966

Willie McCovey 1959-1969

Pete Rose 1963-1973

Rod Carew 1967-1977

Andre Dawson 1977-1987

Joe Morgan SHOULD have won the ROY in 1965 and he was NL MVP  in 1975 and 1976

My 2000-2009 32 Strat-O-Matic team tournament

Tournament recap , but first this was out of my comfort zone as I almost uniformly play 1960s-1970 teams plus the oldtimers

First Round Brackets and Results

2009 NY Yankees (A01) defeat 2009 Dodgers (N16) 4-1
2000 Mets (N08) defeat 2008 Rays (A09) 4-2

2007 Red Sox (A05) defeat 2003 Braves (N12) 4-1
2001 A's (A13) defeat 2006 Cardinals (N04) 4-2

2002 Angels (A03) defeat 2002 Diamondbacks (N14) 4-3
2001 Mariners (A11) defeat 2002 Giants (N06) 4-2

2003 Yankees (A07) defeat 2005 Astros (N10) 4-0
2006 Twins (A15) defeat 2008 Phillies (N02) 4-3

2008 Cubs (N15) defeat 2005 White Sox (A02) 4-0
2009 Phillies (N07) defeat 2006 Tigers (A10) 4-0

2002 Braves (N11) defeat 2000 Yankees (A06) 4-2
2003 Marlins (N03) defeat 2008 Angels (A14) 4-1

2003 Giants (N13) defeat 2004 Red Sox (A04) 4-3
2004 Cardinals (N05) defeat 2002 A's (A12) 4-1

2001 Yankees (A08) defeat 2007 Rockies (N09) 4-2
2001 Diamondbacks (N01) defeat 2007 Indians (A16) 4-1

Second round brackets and results:

2000 Mets (N08) defeat 2009 Yankees (A01) 4 games to 3
2001 A's (A13) defeat 2007 Red Sox (A05) 4 games to 2

2001 Mariners (A11) defeat 2002 Angels (A03) 4 games to 2
2003 Yankees (A07) defeat 2006 Twins (A15) 4 games to 2

2009 Phillies (N07) defeat 2008 Cubs (N15) 4 games to 1
2003 Marlins (N03) defeat 2002 Braves (N11) 4 games to 1

2003 Giants (N13) defeat 2004 Cardinals (N05) 4 games to 1
2001 Diamondbacks (N01) defeat 2001 Yankees (A08) 4 games to 2

Quarterfinals brackets and results

2000 Mets (N08) defeat 2001 A's (A13) 4 games to 3

2001 Mariners (A11) defeat 2003 Yankees (A07) 4 games to 3

2003 Marlins (N03) defeat 2009 Phillies (N07) 4 games to 3

2001 Diamondbacks (N01) defeat 2003 Giants (N13) 4 games to 3

Semifinals brackets and results

2000 Mets (N08) defeat 2001 Mariners (A11) 4 games to 1

2003 Marlins (N03) defeat 2001 Diamondbacks (N01) 4 games to 1


2003 Marlins (N03) defeat 2000 Mets (N08) 4 games to 0

My all time best games (from 1969-2009)

from another forum posted in 2009, I have had more projects and more highlight games since then

I have been an avid Strat-O-Matic Tabletop Baseball Game Player, Collector and Hobbyist for exactly 40 years (started May 1969). These are my all time favorite games .... (I only play "basic" cards and dice as opposed to advanced C&D, Super Advanced C&D or computer, which are all options with Strat-O-Matic). 

1. (Summer 1972, while vacationing in Santa Cruz, CA). The 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers oldtimer team defeat the 1927 New York Yankees oldtimer team, 2-0. Sandy Koufax records an all time record 17 K's for me, including a rare strikeout result obtained from the Catcher's card defensive chart.

2. The 1931 Philadelphia A's defeat the 1935 Chicago Cubs 14-7. Al Simmons of the 1931 A's goes 6 x 6 with 10 RBI. He gets a bases loaded triple in the first, an RBI single in the second, a 3 run Home Run in the 4th, a single in the sixth, a single in the 8th, and adds a 3 run Home Run in the 9th.

3. The 1969 Mets defeat the 1964 White Sox 1-0, Jerry Koosman outdueling Joel Horlen. After 8 innings, both teams have combined for just one hit, a triple by the Mets Ken Boswell, who was stranded in the second inning. Donn Clendenon breaks the scoreless duel with a 1 out 9th inning homer, Art Shamsky follows with a single but is quickly erased on a double play. In the bottom of the 9th, Al Weis is sent up to pinch hit for Horlen and flies out. Don Buford also flies out, leaving the White Sox Mike Hershberger as the last hope. Koosman winds and deals, STRIKE THREE, a NO HITTER! Mets win 1-0.

4. The 1965 Reds (who scored almost as many runs than the 1961 Yankees) defeat the 1969 Mets 19-3. Seven of the first 17 Red batters homer, which is (then) an all time record for me. Gary Gentry is the culprit for most of these.

5 The 1969 Braves face the 1970 Orioles. The Braves score 7 runs but lose by 10! Boog Powell hits the home run cycle (a solo HR, 2 run home run, 3 run home run and grand slam) as the Orioles pound out 7 home runs and win 17-7. Powell ends up with 10 RBI. Trailing 17-1 after 7 innings, the Braves score a solo run in the 8th and 5 in the 9th. The Orioles miss a chance to break my all time home run record in one game (7) when Don Buford does not get the 1-14 (out of 20) on his split chance early in the game. All 4 of Powell's home runs were rolled off his own card, 3 of them being identical 1-10 rolls.

6. The 1974 Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the 1971 Oakland A's 14-13. The A's are trailing 14-6 heading into the bottom of the 9th and score 7 times and with 2 out and 2 on Rick Monday just misses a three run HR on a roll off his card by one number. This is the most runs ever scored for me by a losing team.

7. Another 1971 A's game, this time a little more low scoring. The 1971 A's send MVP Vida Blue to face the 1965 Dodgers and CY Young Winner Sandy Koufax. The A's get an unearned run in the second on a double, an error and a sac fly. Meanwhile Blue retires the last 22 Dodgers for a no-hit gem. Vida allows just 2 walks in a 1-0 victory.

8. Yes a third Koufax/Dodgers game, but this time it is the 1963 Dodgers facing Sam McDowell (17-11, 2.18 ERA, 325 K) and the 1965 Indians. McDowell is on fire and after 5 innings has 11 strikeouts. Oh by the way, Koufax has a no-hitter. The Dodgers get a Tommie Davis double and Ron Fairly single to plate a run in the 6th. After 8 it is 1-0 Dodgers with McDowell cooling off and having 13 K's. Meanwhile. the Dodgers have made some errors but Koufax has allowed no runs, no walks, no hits. Pinch-hitter Chuck Hinton get a favorable roll to lead off the Indian 9th and gets a split chance single. An out later, Koufax walks a batter the Indians have the go ahead runners on base. Leon Wagner strikes out and Rocky Colavito is the last hope for the Tribe. He drills a Koufax pitch way back in LF and it is going, it is going, it is CAUGHT by Johnson preserving the Dodger victory. Koufax settles for a 1 hitter and a 1-0 victory.

9. (Played 2009) The 1972 A's face the 1972 Astros in the third game of a 3 game series, Oakland easily winning the first two games and hitting three homers in each of the first two games. This time the A's set an all time record for me in 40 years by blasting 9 home runs in a 13-1 shellacking. Sal Bando and Mike Esptein homer in the first. Joe Rudi and Reggie Jackson homer in the 5th and the A's are fortunate to see both light hitting middle infielders, Bert Campaneris and Tim Cullen homer in the 6th with rolls off the opposing pitcher's card. In the 8th, Sal Bando, Joe Rudi and Mike Esptein all hit their second home runs of the game, giving the A's 9 for the game.

10. The 1934 Cardinals send Dizzy Dean (30-7) out to the mound to face the 1931 Philadelphia A's and Lefty Grove (31-4). I will cut to the end where a 14 inning scoreless duel is finally won in the bottom of the 15th by the A's 1-0. Both Dean and Grove pitched the entire game.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Billy Martin 2015 bio

A few tidbits from the book I bought several months ago ... Great Book

I found this hard to believe but the  book was adamant, Billy Martin, not Mantle or Stengel, etc. was considered the real leader of the Yankees in the mid 50s.

Martin was recalled to military service after his hardship case was reopened (after winning the WS MVP in 1953) and he missed the 1954 season. That was the one season between 1946 and 1959 the Yankees did not win the pennant. Stengel thought the two were related.

Billy used to hang out in New York with Joe D and Marilyn Monroe (early 50s) and Jackie Gleason and sometimes Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball would join Martin and Gleason (mid 50s). Gleason loved to compete with Martin and Billy would wax him at everything, including bowling where he could easily keep a 225 average (but Gleason could take him at billiards).

I thought I posted it here but the Yanks GM George Weiss thought Billy was a "bad influence" on other players and was always trying to get rid of him. However, it was pointed out that Martin roomed with Rizzuto, then Berra, then Mantle in his years with the Yanks.  They each won an MVP the year he roomed with them. Some bad influence.

He was also known as an adapt sign stealer (knowing when the other team would steal or pitch out etc) and this helped the Yankees tremendously and unnerved many opponents (players and managers)

After Martin was released by the Twins (spring training 1962) the Twins made him a scout
... one of his recommendtions was to sign a pitcher out of Arizona, which the Twins refused
... some guy named Jim Palmer, who the Orioles then signed in 1963

In 1968 After the Denver Triple A team starts 7-22 or something, Martin takes over as manager and coaches them to over .500 the rest of the season

He s promoted to Twins manager in 1969 and gets Oliva to pull more, Killebrew to pull less, and is a big brother to Carew helping with hitting, fielding, base running and off the field / personal issues.

Killebrew win MVP, Carew wins the batting title, steals home 7 times (after being taught by Martin) and the Twins improve by 16 games over 1968

Billy also has some success with an aging clique-ruled Detroit Tigers team then gets hired by Bob Short to manage the Rangers. Two days before the 1974 season starts, Short sells the team. Billy was his own GM until the ownership change, he did trade young Bill Madlock for Ferguson Jenkins and promotes Jim Sundberg  from AA and Mike Hargove from A ball and makes Lenny Randle a starter. The Rangers are the first team to post a .500 record after consecutive 100 loss seasons. Billy gets fired in 1975 for ordering the PA system to play Thank God I'm a Country Boy, instead of God Bless America at the 7th inning stretch. Texas then goes through 6 managers in 6 years, including 4 in 1 season.

My connection to baseball history part 2

The 1968 Santa Clara Colt League All Stars.
After winning about 4 tournaments, they would finish second at the colt league world series, with key 15 year olds (in a 15-16 year old league) at C, 1B, 2B, SS, LF and one starting pitcher. In 1969 they would win it. Here is a picture after an early tournament victory. I am the batboy, holding the trophy.
My father was president of the league that year. Future Atlanta Falcons QB Steve Bartkowski is bottom row, right. He was a power hitting SS, later a home run hitting 1B for Cal. His father was  manager and is lower row in the white "Cincinnati" jersey. To his right is coach Jim Brown, a long time baseball associate of my father's who played (and won) in the first ever college world series in the late40s, playing against future president George Bush 1 from Yale. Mr. Brown would grab me in the mid sixties at baseball functions and take me out in the outfield pregame and we would work on double play pivots.
I believe in their first double elimination tournament, they lost the first game 2-1 and then came back and pitched 4 consecutive shutouts to take the tourney. After winning 3-4 more tournaments they made it to the Colt League World Series - featuring 8 teams from across the country. They won some early games then lost to a team from Ft Worth Texas about  16-2 after a controversial safe call on a bases loaded play at the plate - a grounder where the catcher caught the ball then fired to first trying for an inning ending double play. The home plate umpire ruled his foot left the plate too early before catching the ball and said the runner was safe.
They then advanced back to the finals where they had one loss and the Ft Worth team was undefeated. They had to win 2 games and the Texas team just one. I know they won the first of the two games and barely lost the second. In one game (not sure which) they were trailing in the bottom of the 7th inning (last inning) and a 2 out single tied the game. One of the games went  way into extra innings, again not sure which. I know they narrowly lost the final game when both teams had 1 loss.
Anyway, they came back the next year and won it all, although I was not involved as a batboy any more.

My custom made Strat-O-matic card

The Oscar Zamora Memorial Award

For many years, I gave out 3 awards for the newest Strat-O-Matic Card set
1) name of the year - previous winners included Kila Ka'aihue, Tuffy Gosewich, Irving Falu, and Marc Rzepczynski
2) Miss Photogenic - this was the pitcher (basic card) with the most elegantly arranged home runs on his pitcher's card  
3) The Oscar Zamora Memorial Award - the pitcher with the largest amount of home runs on his pitchers card

The Marvin Miller Strat-O-Matic card

The Roy Hobbs Strat-O-Matic card

Youth baseball - and my connections to history

From a similar thread on another site

I was supposedly a young baseball pheenom but did not make Little league All stars. I was allowed to miss school every year and go see the SF Giants play the local college Santa Clara in an exhibition game - met Willie Mays and others at those games.

When I was 8, I made my first team in farm league, the intermediate league between minors (8-9) and majors (11-12). I made the team by drawing straws with a 12 year old (!!!), he drew the short straw and I slept in my uniform that same night. When I was 10 , I made majors (11-12) but most teams had at least 2 10 year olds (ours had 3 - and the three of us are Facebook friends 47 years later after no contact for 42 years). I was a very good fielder and a slow but excellent baserunner- our manager told our team the same. They moved me to SS for a few games at age 10, but I settled back as a 2B, and occasional C. Even at 10 years old, they called me the human vacuum cleaner - I had exceptional hand eye coordination. Our little league almost went to Williamsport 2 years in a row in 1967 and 1968, back when if you lost 1 game you were out. I think my 10 year old year they went 9-1 and led 3-2 in the bottom of the 6th before 2 runs kept them from going to the LL Word Series.

That same year, 1968, I was occasional bat boy for the Santa Clara Colt League All Stars that came in second in the Colt league World Series (they would win it all in 1969 and again in 1975). On those 1968-69 teams (and a facebook friend today) was future overall NFL #1 pick QB Steve Bartkowski of the Falcons.

Don't remember much about my 11 year old year, 1969, but my good friend Jeff Walsh, also 11, made the nearby Briarwood LL all stars who did win the US LL championship but became the first team to lose to Taiwan. Jeff played in one of the games, subbing for some guy named Carney Lansford, who was injured. Jeff and I reconnected on FB about 18 months ago after 44 years. His niece, Keri Walsh, is the famous Olympic beach volleyball player. 

My 12 year old year I was easily the best 2B in the league. But we moved 1/2 way through the season and I did not make all stars. They chose 7 SS and 7 P and 1 C (and 7 coaches sons). I took some satisfaction that the SS they played at 2B in all stars made 4 errors in the AS tournament game they lost, to Campbell, another District 44 team (there were just 4) that in 1970 also made it to the LL World Series, one year after Briarwood. Notable is in 1969, Briarwood became the first team to ever lost to Taiwan. I did not make 4 errors in 3 years of LL majors. My 18 year old brother was his high school ping pong champion but could not beat his little brother (me) who was in grade school.

I did not play baseball my 13 year old year after we had moved, but played Pony League my 14 year old year. I was elected as an all star alternate. OK some progress. I played SS when our SS pitched, C when our catcher pitched and 2B when our 1B pitched.

At age 15 I attended Oak Grove High and we had 1800 in our freshman class. Nearly 200 guys went out for baseball and I was the starting 2B, but I broke my finger about 1/2 way into the season and played the rest of the year basically one handed. I excelled at fielding once again - some opposing coaches were amazed at my fielding ability but swung the bat 1 handed and had a dismal offensive season, although we finished 11-1. Oh I was also one of four freshman to be elevated to the frosh-soph team (for a huge Easter tournament) which we won.

At age 16 (still on double session due to high student population), I played jayvees. Our star freshman pitcher (the year before) was elevated to varsity. We finished 15-3 without him. We split with the league champions who went 17-1 (they had gone 12-0 as freshman and given us our only loss). The other two games we lost included a loss to a team after our first seven batters in the game scored to lead 7-0, we lost 10-7. Then our coach got mad after we fell behind 6-2 to the 10th place (last place) team and pulled the starters and we lost 17-2. The next day (a rain make-up) he put the starters back in and our fat knuckleball pitcher pitched a perfect game! I made 4 plays out of the 21 outs, at least 1 a tough chance. Also that year, during Easter, the varsity sent down a cannon armed OF to try pitching - he was horrible. Later this OF converted to P and started two all star games - Dave Stieb of the Toronto Blue Jays. I did make colt league all stars (finally) my 16 year old year. One odd thing, I was twice picked off third base!!! (by a LH!!!) and got out of the pickles both times

They opened a new school the next year and I went there although we did not have any seniors and mostly sophomores (I was a junior). The football team went 0-9, the basketball team went 2-12 but we went 11-13, losing our first 3 and last 3 games and going 11-7 in between. I was team captain both my junior and senior years.

The school we split from that year, Oak Grove made it to the section semis (150 school section). Bob Ash who made all section was 24-0 in his high school career up until the section semifinal which he lost 1-0 on an unearned run. Carney Lansford and Wilcox reached the final but lost to the same team OG lost to. We played Oak Grove our last game of the year and they pitched Ash against us, we led 3-0 after four pitches (double-single-triple-wild pitch - I was the single) but lost 4-3. Always a defensive stalwart, I made zero errors that year in 24 games, and made a spectacular play in the Oak Grove game, diving for a screaming liner that bounced once or twice as it was shot up the middle, standing up and getting the runner in a bang bang play at first saving 2 runs.

I was very good offensively, leading the team in hits, runs and walks but was voted 5th best IF in an 11 team league, missing all league by 1 vote. Oak Grove won a regional final vs Pioneer (Dave and Steve Righetti among others) 2-1 despite giving up 3 triples in one inning. A key play was CF Dave Stieb gunning a runner out at the plate from deep CF trying to tag up and score. 3B - 3B - flyout double play - 3B - third out. I faced Ash twice that year and the other all section pitcher from Pioneer (Dave Righetti's school) - the best 2 pitchers out of 150 schools, and went 6 for 10 against them.

The school that went 12-0 as freshman and 17-1 as sophomores took the new "north division" - we had 11 schools and they divided us into 2 divisions, but we beat them twice (with no seniors). One of the games I grounded into a double play my first AB and while heading back to our dugout, the opposing coach said to me I was a rally killer. The next AB I doubled home the first run, scored the second run, and then singled in the winning run in a 3-2 win. Rally kill this.

In the summer, my 17 year old year,  I made city wide PAL all stars (San Jose - the 11th largest city in the country). I think I hit .396. I led off the all star game, one of the few times I did not bat second in my life.

My senior year our football team went 10-0 (now with seniors), in one game future NFL #1 picks JR Rich Campbell and Soph Jim McMahon dueled at QB in a 55-34 game; ... our basketball team went 12-2 and everyone figured (as we were BY FAR the best team of the 3 the year before) we would be off the charts good. We even had a transfer come in - a hard throwing big left hander to join our other two aces. We were ranked 5th in NorCal in preseason (out of maybe 400 schools).  But we faced all #1 pitchers that year (vs mostly #2 pitchers the year before) and lost a zillion close games like 1-0 and 2-1 and we finished a disappointing 10-12.

The next year I played JC ball and one of my claims to fame was getting a 2 run single off future AL ROY and Yankee great Dave Righetti (long time pitching coach of the Giants). Dave Stieb was on that team, still an OF at the time.

That was my last year of baseball.

My Table Top Sports - A Short History - Part 3

In 1986 I purchased the 1985 season, my first new season purchase since the 1979 season.

I was able to get a few missing teams from 1976 and 1977 and the complete 1980-1984 seasons as well.

I started a project to try and get pre 1968 teams and in a few focused periods, was able to get most of 1963-1967. I ended up finally getting all the 1963-67 teams within a few years of joining ebay in 1998.  I was even able to upgrade (adding XPs or improving quality) of many sets I had since the 70s.

I tried the SOM computer games two different times but just don't enjoy it.

I guess I am just an old time cards and dice guy. I never liked much of the progress, in most cases.

When advanced came out in 1972 (1971 season) using the previous unused back blank side, I thought that was as cool as it can get. Local teams (Giants, A's) both won divisions in 1971 and Vida Blue was a sensational MVP. I can still remember sitting on the couch in our family room opening the card set and gawking at the new cool cards.

When I left the hobby for 5 years, but came back and bought the 1985 set in 1986, I was shocked to see all the weird crazy symbols plastered all over the advanced side. I thought then, (and do today) that stuffing the super advanced version onto the advanced version was the worst execution of an "improvement" I ever saw. It literally stopped me from ever playing advanced again. Adding other features, eliminating the team nicknames, adding colors and shading to me were all bad as well. The evolution of the card patterns which were changed around 1990-91 I also find to be less than positive. Having a 9 "out" roll in your "good" column for every player does not make sense. Changing the home runs on batters cards to 6 and 10 rolls (for the most part) was boring and repetitive.  Having almost all pitcher's card HR chances on 5 and 9 rolls was also boring and repetitive. And then the whole steroid PED era coincided which was also was a turn off.

Despite all the things I truly disliked, I stayed loyal and bought the new sets (previous season and newest recreated season) every year. Although I rarely played them or even looked at them. Then one day I woke up said "get rid of all this garbage".

But hopefully I will cherish and enjoy the old school cards (and dice) for years to come.

My Table Top Sports - A Short History - Part 2

So in 1969 I received my 8 team SOM selector set. It was a very poor offensive year. Some of the offense was so bad, I made offensive upgrades to some of the cards IN BLACK FELT INK. Ouch!

1970 was a weird year. We moved on June 19, 1970, the day after my brother graduated from high school. I did not make Little league all stars. Moving did not help. And it seemed you had to be a coaches son or P-SS to make all stars. I took some satisfaction in the SS they played at 2B, made 4 key errors in their loss to Campbell, who made it to the LL World Series that year. Also my grandmother took her first vacation in about 54 years (to Italy) and was killed in an auto accident on the night she was to fly back to America.  We got our first dog and cat ever after moving, My sister got her drivers license.

Somehow in all the goings on, my SOM game got buried with my baseball cards back in the garage.
In 1970, I never ordered the 1969 teams.

In 1971, I did start with SOM again. I vividly can remember opening a game box with all 24 1970 teams and the then 28 team oldtimer set. Two of my teams came with gold cards. A casual acquaintance at school said "all the oldtimers came in gold cards". Huh? I only had 2. Many years later I did obtain all 12 original gold card oldtimer teams and the original 8 team red ink cards. MUCH later, I obtained the rare red ink 1931 A's team.

1971 was a good year for Bay Area baseball The Giants won the division, as did the A's who had a sensational young MVP, Cy Young Winner Vida Blue. When I received the cards in the spring of 1972, I can remember where I was and just gawking at them.

I continued to buy the cards for 1972-1975, then just the 1976 Reds. I skipped 1977. The reasons were so dumb. My friends finally got involved and I knew they would destroy the cards using them in a league and I liked more pristine cards. I then bought 1978 and 1979 and was able to get 1976 (several teams) and 1977 (ditto).

I played a 54 game schedule for 1975, I am sure the Royals Red Sox Phillies and Reds won the divisions. I believe the Royals upset the Red Sox and I think (?) the reds took the series. Bobby Bonds and Johnny Bench both had 3 home run games during the season. I had a lot of success with the Indians, using rookies Rick Manning and Duane Kuiper who seemed to get 2 hits every game each. Later Duane Kuiper would become a long term beloved announcer for the local Giants.

We had a 4 team league in 1978 using stock 1977 teams (with draft choices). I had the Reds. two teams finished 17-19 and 2 finished 19-17. My George Foster hit 12 home runs in 36 games. We had several rounds of tiebreakers and playoffs. I ended up in the World Series vs the Pirates. Tom Seaver and Frank Tanana pitched back to back shutouts for me in Games 1 and 2. We then started a SI football league and never finished the league. True story!

I then quit the hobby for 5 years.

I came back in 1986 ..... to be continued.

Mom's first game 11/27/2009

Here was some ink I got highlighting my mom's intro to Strat-O-matic


Strat-O-Matic’s Ageless Appeal

My 81-year-old mom was here for an extended Thanksgiving stay. She is a lifelong baseball fan (heck she married a ballplayer) and she knows about my 40-year love affair with SOM baseball, so two days ago I showed her some cards and we did a basic batter 1-2-3 column pitcher 4-5-6 column walk-through with a few rolls so she could get the hang of it. Today I talked her into a game and asked her what team she wanted and she said Giants. I said well pick a team AND a year and she said 1938 Cubs. I said I don’t have that team, pick another team. She said Red Sox 1941 because Ted Williams hit .406. I talked her into taking the 1935 Cubs. I took the 1924 Senators and pitched Zachary (not Walter Johnson). She pitched Bill Lee. I let her roll all the split chances and let her find all the results for all rolls in the game. She did great with no mistakes. She managed well.
The game was scoreless for two innings, and then she broke through with a leadoff triple by Stan Hack in the third and a groundball B fielder’s choice RBI a few batters later for a 1-0 lead. Meanwhile I could not get a runner on, having the first 12 go in order.

In the 5th, Ossie Bluege got a Flyball RF (X) chance and Chuck Klein played it into a triple. Roger Peckinpaugh then drove home Bluege with a clutch, two-out single. In the 6th, Zachary lined a single off his pitcher’s hitting card to start the 6th and McNeely singled him to second. I had Bucky Harris bunt the runners to second and third, but Sam Rice grounded out -- Mom had the infield in. She then walked Goose Goslin intentionally and got Joe Judge to ground out leaving the bases filled. Zachary had a 1-2-3 6th. In the 7th, Bluege led off with a double and Phil Cavaretta botched a ground ball chance giving the Nats runners on first and third with one out. Muddy Ruel lined out, but Zachary coaxed a walk off Lee loading the bases. McNeely then drilled a sac fly to give the Nats a 2-1 lead.
With one out in the 8th, Judge tripled but a strikeout of Bluege by Charlie Root and a groundout by Peckinpaugh ended the threat. Mom got to the point (in her first game) of saying, “This is exciting,” and “I can’t look at the rolls” as the tension mounted.

In the Cubs 8th, with one out Phil Cavaretta rolled a 2-10 for a HR 1-9, 2B 10-20 chance. Opportunity #1 for mom (I was hoping she would get the roll). The roll was a 13 for a double. With two outs Bill Jurges got his third hit of the game and mom faced a big decision to send Cavaretta in or not. Cavaretta was a 1-13 and with 2 outs his chances of scoring and tying the game were 1-15 (75%) ... opportunity #2 ... finally mom decided to send him and rolled a 17 (darn!) to nail Cavaretta at the plate.

After a 1-2-3 top of the 9th, the Cubs come up for their last chance. 2 quick popouts and the Cubs are down to their last out. Stan Hack walks, and the winning run comes to the plate. DeMaree rolls a 6-6 Single 1-19 and lineout 20. Opportunity #3. A single would have the winning runs on base, two outs and the Cubs best hitter up. Can you believe she rolls a 20!!?? Game over. Ouch!

Game over. Mom had three big opportunities in the last 2 innings, a 45% chance for a game-tying HR, a 75% chance for a safe attempt to score on a single, and a 95% chance to have the winning runs on base with the Cubs best hitter in the 9th. The 20 sided die rolls went against her. But she really enjoyed and said the game is super realistic!

1924 Senators 000 010 100 - 2 8 0
1935 Cubs 001 000 000 - 1 10 1
Zachary and Ruel
Lee and Hartnett
WP Zachary
LP Lee
(Mom’s first game 11/27/2009)

Some misc. Table Top sports wants and Needs

Some  misc. Table Top Sports wants and needs:
1) I need a SOM BASKETBALL roster sheet for the 1976-1977 season (will say 1977-1978 roster sheet) ... not pictured
2) I love the SI game charts folders - I have several of the football charts folder (yellow and brown?) but really want a baseball charts folder (blue - red?) ... I am color blind. The blue/red is the bottom picture. I figure my odds of finding one about .001%

APBA Bowling Game

Not only is this game very rare, it is very expensive once listed. A fellow gamer was very kind and provided me with copies of the game boards and instructions.
A few days ago, I was able to obtain this game at prices well under the prevailing market. Should be here in another 4-5 days.

My dad the pro baseball player

My dad played about 5 years in the Minor leagues.
He received a phone call from Lefty O'Doul telling my dad he wanted him as his catcher for his San Diego team. His team refused to trade or release him, and my dad got frustrated and quit. 
He was a very  prolific  home run hitter, kind of like Gus Triandos (who was a personal friend of my dad's as was Yankee Gil McDougal).
My dad played on the 1947 Ports who had a minor league record 26 game win streak. One of his managers one year was Vince DiMaggio. Dad is in the Stockton Ports Hall Of Fame.
In 1991, I got a new job and had accounts all over Northern California. I went to an account in Stockton and an older guy was the owner. He looked at my card and told me when he was a boy, there was a home run hitting catcher for the Ports he used to watch with the same last name as me. He was amazed that 45 years later, I was his son.
from wiki about the 1947 Stockton Ports, Dad's first team:
In 1947, the Ports won the California League pennant again without a major league affiliation (they had a limited working agreement with the Pacific Coast League's Oakland Oaks).
After going 24–18 playing through June 4, they went on a 26-game winning streak and took first place, never to relinquish again in that season. The win streak is one of the longest in professional baseball and is still a California League record.
The Ports finished that season with a record of 95–45 (.679), and sixteen games ahead of the two teams tied for second place.
Years later, baseball historians Bill Weiss and Marshall Wright rated the 1947 Ports as one of the one hundred best minor league teams of all time, ranked at number 98.[1]

History Maker Baseball - a very creative concept.

Some more SI baseball games from the early 70s. Funny they have almost identical pictures of Dave Kingman.

My APBA Baseball want list

I have an original 1976 with XBs available for trade as well 

Still looking for:
1) 1977 XBs (original release)
2) an original 1964 Mel Stottlemyre card
3) XB roster sheet for original 1979; regular and XB lineup sheets for: original 1965, original 1966, original 1971, original 1973
4) original 1970 with XBs, team envelopes and roster sheets (top priority)
5) original 1969 with XBs, team envelopes and roster sheets (top priority)
6) original 1968 with XBs, team envelopes and roster sheets
7) original 1967 with XBs, team envelopes and roster sheets
8) 1963R - will accept a first generation reprint with XBs, team envelopes and roster sheets (would also consider an "affordable" original 1963 with team envelopes and roster sheet)

My Strat-O-Matic Baseball Want List

Looking for these items:

1) original 1 sided 1964 Angels (20 cards)
2) 6 original 1968 1 sided teams (Cards, Cubs, Braves, Tigers, Orioles, Twins)
OBTAINED 3) original 1 sided 1970 Twins plus extras (24 cards) OBTAINED
OBTAINED 4) original 1973 A's plus extras (24 cards) OBTAINED
OBTAINED 5) original 1973 Mets plus extras (24 cards) OBTAINED
OBTAINED 6) original 1974 A's 4 extra players only (or all 24 cards) OBTAINED
OBTAINED 7) original 1975 Reds plus extras (24 cards) OBTAINED
8) original 1975 A's plus extras (24 cards)
OBTAINED 9) original 1976 Reds plus extras (24 cards) OBTAINED
10) original 1977 Yankees 4 extra players only (or all 24 cards)
11) original 1977 Red Sox plus extras (24 cards)
12) original 1977 Reds plus extras (24 cards)
13) original 1978 extra players only for Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers (or complete teams)
OBTAINED 14) original 1977 season (says 1978) baseball roster sheet in excellent or better condition (upgrade) OBTAINED

My Strat-O-Matic Baseball Collection

I have bought and sold many things over the last 10-12 years. I made the decision about a year ago that I never liked or played anything from 1990-current so I sold all of those seasons. Also, I did not like many of the recreated seasons in the "new" format with Super Advanced Features (separate post coming on that) so I sold most of my recreated seasons as well. Space was a major concern, I was not playing these seasons, and I do not like the cards with SA features. So it is what it is. My current collection:

ORIGINAL ISSUE: 1963-1980 inclusive, includes all extra players and roster sheets. I  sold 1981-1989 last year but a sure I may try to re-acquire them one day. I am also rebuilding my duplicate team collection - these are teams I use in my leagues.

OLDTIMERS: Huge collection, most in the cut card, blue ink rendition. Plus all/any original gold card, red ink, etc renditions. Over 400 teams total.

RECREATED SEASONS: 1930, 1950, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1968, 1969, 1970. These are all original cut card editions, with the exception of 1955, had to have Brooklyn's only Champ. I may also get 1958 and 1959 again for those original SF Giants teams.

SPECIAL SETS: 1968-69 expansion set plus expansion roster. I have never seen any other original expansion roster offered on ebay or privately. 1976-77 expansion set. 1980 corrected pitchers (copies and scans) - I sold my card set last year. Negro League Set. All Hall Of Fame and related sets.

PAST SEASON: several renditions including the original "minis" and the out of print blue ink set.
Some of my Sports Illustrated Games. The first one I ever had was SI Pro Football, top picture bottom left "Pro Football Game". I came home one day and saw this game on a desk where we put the daily mail. Loved it from Day 1.  The bottom picture includes 2 very rare games, the 1972-73 Pro Football game with the Steelers-Dolphins cover, and the All Time All Star baseball game with Babe Ruth pictured. 

In 1969, I decided on Strat-O-Matic as my choice for a table top baseball game. I ordered an 8 team selector set. The box pictured is very similar to the box my original game came in.. 

APBA Baseball

Here is a version of APBA baseball, similar to the APBA game that was my introduction to Table Top Baseball in 1966. 

Lowe's World Series Baseball

This is a replica of the Lowe's World Series Baseball game I got for Christmas in 1968. It was so generic, in the spring of 1969, I decided to get serious about getting a "real" table top baseball game.

My Table Top Sports Gaming Collection

My Overall Table Top Sports Games Collection

(I will list individual game inventories/seasons by collections as well)

By Sport

1. Strat-O-Matic Baseball
2. Sports Illustrated Baseball
3. APBA Baseball
4. Pursue The Pennant / Dynasty League Baseball
5. Sherco Grand Slam Baseball
6. Replay Baseball
7. Plaay.com History Maker Baseball
8. Box Seat Baseball
9. Payoff Pitch Baseball
10. Home Run Baseball

1. Sports Illustrated Pro Football / Paydirt
2. Sports Illustrated College Football / Bowl Bound
3. Tudor Electric Football
4. Plaay.com Second Season Football
5. Strat-O-Matic Pro Football

1. Strat-O-Matic Pro Basketball

1. Tudor / Munro Table Hockey
2. Wayne Gretzky Overtime Table Hockey
3. Stiga Table Hockey
4. Plaay.com Hockey Blast

1. Sports Illustrated Golf

1. APBA bowling game (copies)


By Manufacturer (multiple games only)

1. Baseball
2. Pro Football
3. Pro Basketball

1. Baseball
2. Bowling (copies)

Sports Illustrated
1. Pro Football
2. College Football
3. Baseball
4. Golf

1. History Maker Baseball
2. Second Season Football
3. Hockey Blast

1. Electric Football
2. Table Hockey

Christmas 1968

Christmas 1968, I am playing my new Tudor NFL #620 Browns vs Giants game. Partially pictured at the bottom right is the World Series baseball game by Lowe's

My Table Top Sports - A Short History - Part 1

A Cliff Notes version of my table top sports history.

My first exposure to table top sports was circa 1966.  My father was a former professional baseball player and we were a "baseball family".  More on that later.  A baseball associate of my father's brought over an APBA baseball game, the 1964 season edition. He said he could not make heads or tails out of it. My brother (6 grades older than me) started using it first, but I inherited it not much later. I played it a little (not a lot) but was more interested in collecting baseball cards (more on that later too). I used to arrange the baseball cards with a player for each position spread out on a diamond and have a batter whack a marble or ball or something to simulate a baseball game. Ah, table top gaming was already in my blood. I even used to tear the rookie cards in half so each player was an individual card (like the 1968 Nolan Ryan rookie card).

Sometime in 1968, we visited some family friends, who had a son a year younger than me.  He had a Tudor electric football game, the generic version with the yellow and white players. For Christmas in 1968, I had asked for an electric football game and a watch. A few days before Christmas, I noticed two packages with my name on it. A small box, obviously the watch and a larger box, too small to be the electric football game. I was disappointed. I opened the larger box first, there was nothing in there but a bunch of filler. Tucked into one corner was a small box which contained the watch. OK, but what was in the other small box?

Puzzled, I opened the small box next and it had the NFL Browns and Giants electric football players in beautiful uniforms, from the Tudor #620 NFL football game. I was over joyed. Out came the box with all the parts, I thought the removable bases etc. were so cool. I set up the game and on my first play, "Homer Jones" caught a pass and raced 80 yards straight into the end zone for a touchdown. I will never forget it to this day.   I will do a separate piece on electric football later.

That same Christmas, I also received the World Series baseball game from Lowe's. Very generic. Any player could hit 4 home runs or strike out 4 times. Not too realistic.

In the spring of 1969, I decided to get serious about a table top baseball game. I took my dad's Sporting News and Street and Smith's and sent away for 4-5 brochures. Not sure if I sent away for APBA as I already had exposure to it. After reviewing the brochures, I had about made up my mind. I was leaning towards Strat-O-Matic. Then I learned another local family had the 1966 season Strat-O-Matic game. I talked to one of the older kids and he told me a lot of good things about it. He also told me they do not order the new cards every year, they just make "cosmetic"  changes to the cards. For example, Sandy Koufax retired after the 1966 season and Tom Seaver was a very good rookie in 1967 so they just made Koufax's card now Seaver. That struck me as odd. I decided to get Strat-O-Matic and told myself to order the new cards every year. Not bad for an 11 year old.

I decided to go for the selector set version, thinking all 20 teams plus game parts would be too much to ask for. I settled on 2 teams from each division (it was 1969 and divisional play had just started): Tigers and Orioles, A's and Twins, Giants and Braves, Cardinals and Cubs. I can remember receiving it after school one day. a school chum (not into sports) was over when it arrived.

And that was the start.

To be continued ...