Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Year Into the 1981 Replay

As the final dice roll of the Aug. 18, 1981, APBA replay baseball game between St. Louis and San Diego tumbled on the mouse pad tonight and I recorded the last out, it ended my first year of replaying this season.

A year ago today, I began rolling the 1981 season and embarked on a venture that the replay gamers take every time they begin a project.

It is a long venture, one that is drawn out for months upon months, game upon game, dice roll upon roll.

I’ve played 1,543 games in the year’s time. That averages to 4.2 games when you divide it by 366 days (I’m including the Leap Year Day of 2012). I don’t know how it compares to other people’s replay schedules; it may be more than an average daily amount for many people.  On the same hand, it may be slow. I average playing a real day’s slate of games in about four days. A four-to-one ratio is not a great pace to knock out the games quickly.

But I plod on, determined to finish the season.

And this one is a bit different. In the real 1981 season the games were disrupted by a player’s strike in June, resulting in the loss of 50-60 games per team. It was followed by a goofy playoff format akin to minor league baseball where the league winner of the first half of the season played the league winner of the second half to move onto the World Series.

In APBA, there was no strike. The games are played as scheduled. So that makes the season longer for me. Throw in the fact that I don’t do rain outs and every team plays its full schedule of 162 games.

A lot has happened in the real world this past year while I played the fictional season. As a news reporter, I covered a lingering drought in this state for many months. I wrote about several trials, detailed several murders and other crimes in my coverage area and scribed numerous decisions made by city and county leaders. Life moves on. And the progression of real life is mirrored somewhat by the progression of the 1981 replay days.

I keep a small desk flip calendar on the table where I play the APBA games. But rather than keep it current with the present day’s date, I set it to whatever day I’m playing the season. So, the calendar will stay on Aug. 18, 1981, until I finish that day’s slate and move on to the next day.

I still have 563 games remaining to complete the 1981 season. If I maintain my 4.2-game a day pace, I’ll wrap this up in 134 days. So, by mid April I’ll have finished this season and gear up for the next one.

It’s never ending, this obsession with the game. And the pace I keep means one of two things to me. Either I possess the dedication and the determination to complete seasons (I’ve finished six seasons so far since 1998 when I started playing the baseball games), or I totally don’t have a life.


  1. Do you do the trades and stuff, with actual lineups, or do you do everything your own way?

  2. cant wait to see the final stats, a true labor of love.

  3. This is just a guess..but I would have to say that you average way more games per day than most people.

  4. I take it that Ken doesnt read the comment section. lol. Thats okay, as long as he keeps the blog going!

  5. Lenny, Sorry about my slow delay! I've been pretty busy at work hacking out news stories and I've had some computer issues to juggle with. I have enough time to pop in here, burp out a blog and, of course, roll a few games.
    I am probably the least technical APBA player out there. I used to do transactions and follow trades and playing times closely. I played the 1996 NHL season and the fact that Gretzky was carded with the Blues, but played only about 15 games was too much. However, it got overbearing following the day by day transactions and I quit.
    I also did complete stats for several basketball seasons and one baseball season and each time, seriously, my computer crashed and I lost everything. Now, I keep up with home runs, won-loss and saves and, on occasion strike outs, walks and ERA by hand.
    So, I'm really pretty low maintenance. I've evolved from being more into the stats into just playing the game and watching the standings.
    Thanks for reading.

  6. Also, RE: my games-per-day average. I don't know how most people can replay seasons. I live alone, don't have kids, don't have a girlfriend and don't sleep much. Other than working at the newspaper, I have spare time. So, while the rest of the world is living, I'm playing the games.