Thursday, March 7, 2013

The End Is Near

I’ve been playing the games of the 1981 baseball replay game with more fervor lately, rolling up to six games a day. It’s because the end is near; I’m closing in on the conclusion of the season.

Those who roll the dice with the APBA game can attest that replaying a season game by game is a task that takes months or, in some cases, even years. Each game may take 15-20 minutes to play and that time must fit in with work, sleep and the other aspects of life. You may be married and have kids and friends and that takes time. You try and squeeze a few games in when it’s convenient; it’s tough to complete a season. Since I have no other life than work, and I hate sleeping, I can play more games daily than most.

I began the 1981 season in December 2011 and tonight I’ve reached Game No. 1,958. There are 158 games remaining to play and that is what drives me. I hope to finish the year by mid April and I figure that if I maintain my pace of six games a day  I can complete the season by April 1, when the actual baseball season opens.

There is the burnout factor replayers go through when doing a full season and I’ve hit it a few times. It’s hard to get motivated to play those meaningless games late in the season. Those San Diego-Atlanta clashes of the 1981 season don’t really make you want to grab the dice to see how the contest turns out.

But as the finish line nears and the marathon of replaying a season draws nigh, it’s enough to roll a few extra games each day. I’ve got a good pennant race ensuing in the American League East Division which is an additional draw.

So, with 158 games left, I set these higher daily goals to move along the game. When I’m finished with this season, I’ll immediately turn to doing 1942 and, because there were fewer teams in baseball then and they played 154 rather than 162 games, that season will go more quickly.

It’s not that I want to finish the season out of boredom or some felt tedium in playing game after game after game in 1981. In fact, there is a sadness in completing a season. When the games are done, the players’ cards are returned to their envelopes and the box holding those envelopes returns to the shelf where they probably will remain for the rest of my life. I have enough seasons left to play that I can never duplicate a year for as long as I live. The season will become a memory; the characteristics of that particular year will be shelved; the life that I experienced while playing the game will pass on.

But the next replay beckons and I’ll go through the same roller coaster routine of playing it out. The first few hundred games will fly by because of the newness of the season and players I’m dealing with. It’ll slow down in the midsummer of whatever year I’m playing, much like it does in real baseball. 

But as that season wraps up, I’m sure the games will pick up again and I’ll roll them with the maniacal glee I’m experiencing now.


  1. Excellent post, Kenneth! Was curious how long it took for you to play the 81' Season. Looking forward to future posts & your future replays as well.

    1. Shawn, thanks. I began the 1981 season on Dec. 11, 2011, so it should take 16 months to wrap this season up. I don't compile many stats after each game (pitcher wins and saves, and home runs is all), so I can knock out 2-3 games easily before work and a few more each night.

  2. Ken

    here is a question. Might be a good topic on the APBA board too sometime: I read someplace where you keep very, very minimal stats. Don't you feel like you might be missing something? Did someone hit .400? Did someone drive in 165? Anyone steal 90 bases?
    Did a closer save 35 games and blow only 2? Stuff like that.

    1. Lenny, sometimes I do feel like I miss out on that. I kept full stats by hand for the 1925 season, but I didn't finish that replay. I also did pitcher strikeouts and RBIs for a season by hand. I did two basketball seasons by computer and both times my computer crashed (They were old junky Fisher Price Close and Play brand computers). I found I'd rather play the game then spend a lot of time compiling. But, like you said, I may have missed out if someone hit .400, or I used a reliever way too many innings, etc.

  3. Great Job and Congratulations!!! I know exactly what you mean.... .I have 98 seasons and they all sit in boxes, and while it is cool, I often wonder will I really play with any if not all of them??? LOL When I first started playing APBA I played a 36 game schedule using all teams for the 1984, 1986 and 1987 seasons. I started a replay with the 1986 California Angels, but not real sure if I even got out of April with that one. I one day hope to replay an entire season, but before I even attempt that, I will replay an Angel season or two to work on my system. LOL Anyway, have fun and great job... Go Dodgers!!!