Thursday, October 23, 2014

RRIT American League Semi-Finals

DETROIT, MI - The APBA world was shocked with another upset by the Yankees.  This time the #5 seed Bombers knocked off the tournament’s number one seed, ’84 Detroit Tigers, in 3 games.  Detroit looked good in Game 1, as Jack Morris pitched another quality game for 8 innings and Willie Hernandez picked up the save.  On the Yankee side, Ron Guidry pitched well, but not well enough, suffering the 2-1 loss.  In hindsight, the writing was on the wall.  As a team, Detroit had 9 hits in Game 1 but did not draw a walk and struck out 8 times while scoring only twice.  It would be a preview of things to come.  In New York, the Tigers managed only 4 hits while striking out 7 more times, and this time, finished on the wrong side of a 2-1 score.  With the series moving back to Detroit for the decisive Game 3, Tiger fans were confident they would clinch on their home turf.  But the Tiger bats got even colder, getting only two base runners into scoring position all night, scratching out 6 singles and striking out 11 more times.  Tiger Mascot Paws (above), like Tiger fans everywhere, was frustrated and prepares to show some rather obnoxious Yankee fans his own special cheer just for them.  Many New York faithful made the trip to Motor City and were celebrating Detroit’s offensive drought a little too much for the beloved Tiger mascot’s taste.

Reagan studied the prototype large print APBA cards for the ’84 Detroit team, and commented, “How does this team manage only three runs in three games and strike out 27 times?”  Tiger fans everywhere shared Dutch’s pain.  With the Tigers splitting the first two games with identical 2-1 scores, the Detroit offensive problems weren’t noticed that much.  But the collapse in Game 3 highlighted the fact that their bats never showed up.  Lance Parrish’s solo homer in Game 2 was the only Bengal power displayed in the series.

NEW YORK - The printing presses were running full speed as major changes were made to the 1985 New York Yankee Official Yearbook.  Yankee Boy has become a favorite of fans in the Bronx as well as owner George Steinbrenner, after winning the 1986-1990 tournament and piloting the ’85 team into the 1981-1985 American League Championship.  Billy Martin, when asked for comment about Yankee Boy’s success, would only reply, “The kid doesn’t need to get too comfortable.  As a Yankee manager, when I meet people on the street these days, they don’t know whether to say Hello or say Good-bye.”  

*     *     *     *

SOMERSET, KY - The world has tilted on its axis.  Yankee Boy took the ’86 Yankees (90-72) and swept his way through the “Best of 1986-1990” tournament, going a perfect 10-0 in 5 series against, the ’89 Royals, ’87 Tigers, ’87 Blue Jays and ’86 Indians before beating the cross town ’86 Mets in a subway series championship.  Although the ’85 Yankees (97-64) had a better record, and is primarily made up of the same players, I thought the pitching staff wasn’t as deep and his luck couldn’t possibly continue.  Dad was wrong on both accounts.  Just for clarification, I play most of the tournament games solitaire.  But he insists on managing the Bronx Bombers and I always (yes, ALWAYS) manage against him with the opposing team.  I also play to win.  There are no participation medals or awards in our house.  If you win at something, it’s because you earned it.  “I don’t care if you’re only (INSERT AGE OF TODDLER), You lose!!  I win!!  I win!!” was chanted in our home on many occasions.  Enter APBA baseball.  The Boy is now 13 and a Yankee fan.  I wonder where I failed as a parent, prior taunting not withstanding.

I'm not really an American League fan.  I don't like the DH rule and I didn't follow many of those teams growing up.  But I really do like the ’84 Tigers.  I appreciate the quality of the players on that team.  1984 was also my very first APBA baseball season, and I played it to death.  The cards used for this tournament are from that original set.  There’s history and familiarity with me.  My son and I use a dice app for our games that I find faster than actual dice.  There are no miss-rolls off the table and no way to stack the dice in an attempt to roll 66.  I also find more random results.  It is dad vs. son, head to head.  He’s rolled 19 games in the two tournaments and he’s 16-3.  I would normally appreciate his success, except the inverse means I’m 3-16 AGAINST HIM!  He’s outscored my teams 19-1 in Game 3’s.  There must be something wrong.  I think, “The dice are loaded, or he’s somehow cheating.”  Then I remember it’s an app, you can’t stack the dice, and I’m sitting right there with him.  And he beats me … over … and over … and over ... and now has eliminated the ’84 Tigers.  I’m awaken at night from deep sleep with taunts in my head of “I don’t care if you’re only 46!  You lose!!  I win!!  I win!!” Only Casey Stengel, with a crystal baseball, could have seen this day coming.  Yes, it’s scary.

Some Yankee players from different eras were told about our little APBA tournament world, where 1971 to 1990 is divided into four, five-year periods with the best team from each franchise participating.  They were asked how many tournaments they thought Yankee Boy would win.  Opinions varied.

The Captain believes the Boy and the Yankees can
sweep all four tourmanents
The only dissenting opinion from a Yankee
came from Black Jack McDowell, who raised
one finger, indicating his belief that the
1986-1990 tournament would be the only
Yankee Championship
A young Mick agrees with Jeter that the
Boy can win all four tournys
A Tex message indicates confidence in a
full run by the Boy as well

Updated American League Bracket


  1. This is awesome, Joel. I particularly love your Photoshop skills. Reagan holding the APBA cards is priceless.

  2. Thanks Frank! My Photoshop skills are actually pretty limited. I did that on my iPhone, LOL