Monthly Archives: August 2014

Gooden debuts

Well here’s a pitcher whose card I will definitely be looking forward to playing with – Dwight Gooden.

Here’s Gooden’s debut inning in Major League Baseball, going up against the Houston Astros.

Due up for the ‘stros were 2B Bill Doran, RF Terry Puhl and SS Dickie Thon.

One of those things I’m always struck by when watching an old broadcast is the absence of any chryons on the screen.  It used to be that when you watched a game you had to wait until between innings to find out what the score was and what inning you were in.

Now of course we have the score, the inning, the count, which runners are on base, etc.  Which is, of course, for the better.  But back in 1984 we were probably watching games on a 12 inch screen.  There wasn’t enough real estate on our television to display those kinds of things.

So, hoorah for big screens!

It would have been nice to see the radar gun reading on that final pitch to Thon, because it sure looks like it’s in the upper 90s.

Gooden was such a monster in those early years.  Seemed like a sure-fire Hall of Famer after those first few seasons.

I’ll have more thoughts on “Doc” as we get into things a bit deeper here.

Hope everybody has an enjoyable long weekend.


First Games Rolled

Well I finally started rolling a few games this past Monday night.  If they were any indication of what’s to come, we’re in for some crazy.

Without naming names, the first game had a score like a church league softball game (16-8) while the second game featured blown saves by both teams followed by 8 innings of shutout relief pitching to result in an 18-inning ballgame.

It was more than a little exhausting but I still have to say that it’s entertaining to see so many names from my childhood being brought back to life.

Look for weekly recaps of the real 1984 MLB season starting this weekend!

500 Days Away…

The first posts for the 1984 replay are 500 days away. This seems impossibly distant right now, but I will be bringing some weekly goodies for your 1984 fix until then.

Basically what’s happening behind the scenes right now is that I’m rolling the games out and getting the stories loaded into WordPress and post-dated, so stories are in the queue to come out on their own.

While those games get loaded up, I’ll be bringing posts about the 1984 season plus, as things develop, news stories related to players from that year.

Stay tuned and don’t forget to subscribe!

The (Blank) Notebook

Like many card & dice players, I keep score the old fashioned way: by hand.

Since I rolled my first APBA game in 1982, I’ve always kept a full scorecard for each game I roll.

I’ve seen some that do what I would call “short-hand score-keeping”.  By that I mean that the outs are just drawn out as, say, a giant X on the score-sheet.

That won’t do for me.  I need to see “6-3” or “7”.

With each new project started comes the purchase of a new notebook to keep all the game results in.

My wife has bothered me for a while about how many notebooks are lying around the house.  She probably wouldn’t be surprised to find out how many of those notebooks are remnants from projects for Strat-o-Matic, APBA, Dynasty League, or home-brewed ball games.

We recently moved up from the Chicago suburbs to Madison, Wisconsin.  Nothing forces you to examine how much of a pack-rat you’ve become more than moving.

So this past winter, boxing things up, I finally parted way with those notebooks.  It was the sensible thing to do.  As I came across each past season, I’d look at it and wonder “Honestly, am I ever going to look through these old score-cards again?”

Of course the answer was no.  So out they went into recycling.  Or at least the games were torn out and whatever pages were left over were handed off to our wonderful children so that they could use it for drawing.


Summary File – Detroit Tigers

I’ve just about got all my teams “prepped” for my replay.  I have a sheet for each team that prints out all the information I like to have handy for them during a replay.  Their rotation, their bullpen assignments, their lineup, their bench, the maximum number of games I’ll allow each position player to miss during the season, their ages, and some notes about the kinds of pitches a pitcher threw.

I like to picture those things as the game plays out.

But, to circle back around here, the one thing I didn’t have yet was my new notebook for the replay.

I picked one up on the way home from work yesterday.

There are some problems with it.  Where the holes exist on each page are always an important factor, because I may not have space to write in a player’s name.

In my 1934 replay, for example, I couldn’t always fit “Knickerbocker SS” in for Billy Knickerbocker.  The damned hole always ended up where I was supposed to write that!  So he routinely was just listed as “BK” instead.

Also, it’s time for Back to School shopping.  Which meant that the selection of notebooks was extremely limited.

This is what I ended up with.

White Notebook

White Notebook

Colorless. Plain. White.

But it will do.

This is a canvas after all.  Waiting to be filled with memories from another replay.

When I was a kid, a close friend and I were pretty well obsessed with new notebooks.  In high school, we were both into creative writing.

He stuck with it.  I did not.

But once or twice a month, we’d head over to the bookstore at our high school to purchase a new notebook.

There was a thrill there, thinking of all the possibilities about what might end up in that notebook.  Stories.  Comics book sketches.  Song lyrics.

Things could come to life in that blank notebook.

It’s 25 years later now and not much has changed.

Street & Smith 1984 Preview Issue

Street and Smith's 1984 Preview Issue

Street and Smith’s 1984 Preview Issue

So I had to pick this up on eBay.  It just arrived yesterday.

I started to dive through it a bit last night and, coming from the background of setting up to do a cards & dice replay, was really startled at how many advertisements are in here for games.

I came across at least two that I didn’t recognize as well as those for Strat-o-Matic (of course), Avalon Hill (I think this was done in cooperation with Sports Illustrated, if I recall correctly), Koch (which I owned and then paid a fortune to reclaim off of eBay because the two seasons I owned got sold at a garage sale or something when I was away at college; I’m still a little bitter about it), and Replay (which I didn’t even realize has been around for so long).

I haven’t seen an ad for APBA, but I haven’t really gone through every page of the issue yet.

Looking forward to getting through this and remembering what led up to the 1984 season as well as seeing what some of the predictions were for the season.

In my household I have strong memories of my dad bringing home an annual preview magazine with Bill Mazeroski’s name on it.  I haven’t been able to find a copy of his ’84 preview yet, nor have I been able to confirm that Maz was doing the magazine in that year.

But Street and Smith’s has been the standard for some time, so this one will do just nicely.