APBA Baseball Hobbies Ode to Baseball Rednecks CHML YCL Page
The How & Why I got hooked and links to APBA League sites and News.
APBA Baseball - I was devastated when my first APBA game arrived. Talk about naive!!! The cards were based on 1960's statistics! The Yankees didn't even have Luis Arroyo on the roster and Whitey Ford was a lousy BY pitcher! Ralph Terry was a BZ! Roy Face damned near couldn't make an out as a batter. So, while the Yankees and the M&M boys were running roughshod over the AL and the Reds and the Giants were lighting scoreboards in the NL, Ronnie and I spent the summer memorizing the APBA playing boards and card numbers. In 1961, my favorite pitcher of all-time, Bob Gibson, came into his own. His 1960 card was a DXYW ... But then, so was Sandy Koufax's! Oh yeah, Dick Groat was the sample card --- that hurt too!
Of course, everyone knows about 1961. What a season. Ronnie and I debated over whether we should spend the money on the 1962 APBA game. We had cut out every 1961 Yankee boxscore from The Sporting News so we caved in and bought the cards. We decided that we would replay the entire 1961 AL season and try to duplicate every lineup for the Yankees. When the game arrived, we were ready.
We did, in fact, replay the whole damned AL season. Of course, we had to improvise because there were no "extra cards" in those days. We only had 20 players per team. While we were playing the American League, we also played the entire Reds' NL schedule. It took us till Christmas of 1962 to finish, but the results sold me on APBA for the rest of my life.
Maris hit 60 homers. He hit number 60 in game 155, and never hit another one. Mantle hit 58. Whitey Ford won 28 games. Jim Gentile and Rocky Colavito each hit 53 homers. Norm Cash didn't hit .361; he batted .372. Elston Howard hit .355 (.348) and the Yankees clubbed 262 homers as a team. Frank Robinson of the Reds (the NL MVP) really proved the laws of probability. At the 81-game mark, F Robby was hitting .399. We figured we had proved APBA wrong --- his card was so good that he'd never get down to his .323 average. Guess what, he finished at .325!! Sure there were statistical aberrations; but the big names caught our attention.
That did it. Throughout high school and even my college days at LSU, I bought the cards every year. In my junior year at LSU, I organized a replay NL league for the 1966 season. The APBA League was born. One of my fraternity brothers, Jeff David, had started playing APBA with his dad about the same time that I had begun to play. We assigned the replay as a pledge project. We spent two months "teaching" the pledges how to play and think like managers and how to accurately score and keep stats. We even prepared an "APBA Pledge Exam" that they had to pass with a 90% grade in order to be awarded a team. The replay went great, but two pledges flunked out of school (they're probably Big League GM's now!!!).
In January 1969, I graduated with my degree in Accounting. Unfortunately, I graduated two weeks after the second Tet Offensive and Uncle Sam was looking for "a few good men". My adventures in the Army (3 years) are right out of Catch 22; but they're for another time. In the Summer of 1970 I founded the DINFOS APBA Leagues (baseball and football). To my knowledge it was the first Joint-Service League. All four services were represented. FYI...you would not believe how popular APBA baseball and football were in the military during the Vietnam War ... especially on ships at sea. We ran the DINFOS league until the Fall of 1972 when most of the players got out of the military.
A couple of the guys from the DINFOS league settled in the Cincinnati area. In 1974 they formed, and invited me to join, the Mill Creek Valley League. I had run across some APBA players in Baton Rouge; and three of us joined the MCVL in what was my first experience with a long-distance-by-mail league. The MCVL died out as we all hit that 28-31 age. Burgeoning careers, babies, and divorces took their toll. Until the Great Baseball Strike, I bought the cards each year, played a few solitaire games and concentrated on my CPA career.
My old fraternity buddy, Jeff David, called me one afternoon during the Strike and said, "Hell, I'll put up the money to run an ad in the sports section of the Morning Advocate (the Baton Rouge newspaper) if you come up with an idea to attract APBA players. I'm sick and tired of life without baseball!" So, I wrote a simple ad that said something like APBA. If you're sick of the strike and know what it means, call 925-1120. League now forming. We took out a two-by-three inch box ad on every page of one Sunday sports section. I think we had something like 20 people respond and attend the organizational meeting of the River City APBA League (RCAL) at my accounting office. We had media people, lawyers, engineers, a pharmacist, oil men, politicians, and even two desperate Strat-O-Matic players show up. The RCAL was off and running. I served as Commissioner and chief statistician for several years. I also earned the right to retire the four-foot revolving World Series trophy (it is still the centerpiece in my office today). During that time, I had begun my career transition from "traditional" accounting to computer consulting. I wrote a menu-driven Lotus 123 system for accumulating and reporting statistics. When APBA published its first PC game, I lost interest in the RCAL. When Statmaster first appeared, I realized that playing games on the computer would relieve the strain on my marriage and career. Since the RCAL was a face-to-face league, the handwriting was on the wall. It would soon be going the way of the dinosaur.
I dropped out. Not only from the RCAL, but also from Public Accounting. I sold my partnership interest and founded a computer networking and integration company. One of the original RCAL members, Bob Anderson, founded the BRAA (Baton Rouge APBA Association). BRAA was a board solitaire league, composed mostly of newspapermen. That didn't appeal to me. Eventually, in 1994, I sold the computer company and went back into Public Accounting; this time as primarily a networking and internet consultant for businesses and local governments.
Two factors got me back into APBA. First, my "semi-retirement" as an employee instead of a CEO gave me some free time. Second, BRAA started accepting, and even encouraging, computer players. I took over a ragtag AL franchise and spent last four years re-building it. I later took on an expansion NL franchise.
I've spent the last several years developing tools to make electronic APBA interchange more efficient. I joined the Arriba Baseball Confederation because it appeared to be an organization heading in the right direction and open to ideas that would facilitate "long-distance" gaming. I hoped to contribute to the infrastructure of the league and win a few games along the way! I've accomplished both of those goals. My Livingston Rednecks have been a successful franchise and I've published several analytical tools to assist owners and league officials, as well as introducing the ABC and the Yankee Clipper League (YCL) to Acrobat electronic publishing and using databases to maintain historical statistics. In 2005 I became a charter member of the Catfish Hunter Memorial League (CHML). My Lionel Steamers just missed the inaugural World Series and became the second season 2006 World Series champs and repeated as 2007 World Series champs. Most recently, the resurrected Livingston Rednecks joined the APBA Lifers League TALL for the 2011 season. The Rednecks made it to the TALL World Series, losing the 2011 title. They won the 2012 TALL World Series in a thrilling 7-game series.
From time to time, I publish useful utilities on the various File Downloads pages of my website.
Return to TeamCPA