Two slams; two swings; it’s all knotted up.
I began this replay in December 2011, rolling three to five games a day. Now, at Game No. 2071 on Oct. 2, 1981, I’ve got the closest pennant race I’ve ever played.
For those of you new to the game, or to this blog, APBA is a statistical-based game that recreates baseball seasons. Baseball players for that particular season are given a card with numbers on it. Game players roll dice, match the rolls with the numbers on the cards and then compare them with play results. It generally takes 15-20 minutes to play a game.
I’ve played APBA for nearly 36 years. However, I only got into the baseball game 15 years ago. But since 1998, I’ve rolled at least one baseball game nearly every day (unless I was sick or on some news assignment). This season is the tightest pennant race I’ve seen.
New York, Baltimore and Detroit are all sitting atop the American League East with 95-65 records. Early on, it appeared the Yankees would run away with the division, but Detroit and Baltimore stormed back.
Today, I rolled two games before leaving town on assignment. Both featured game-turning grand slams.
In the first contest, Baltimore hosted New York. The Yanks took a 4-1 lead in the third, but Orioles’ third baseman Doug DeCinces hit his first grand slam of the season in the bottom of the third and the Birds ended up winning, 8-4.
In the next game, Milwaukee led 4-0 after two innings against Detroit, but Brewers’ pitcher Jim Slaton gave up a single to Lou Whitaker and then walked two in the third to load the bases. Steve Kemp then hit his slam. For APBA fans, Kemp’s home run was somewhat backwards. I rolled a “33” for Kemp’s double-column card. It resulted in a “0,” meaning I needed to roll the dice again for his hit. The dice tumbled around on the second toss, ending on the “66,” APBA’s signature roll for home runs.
Dan Petry then shut down the Brewers and the Tigers ended up taking the game, 9-4.
Two simple dice rolls, well, three actually when factoring in Kemp’s second one. Two outcomes that really make this game interesting.
I’m hitting the road soon today, heading to Little Rock to cover a conference on school shootings. I’m sure while at this meeting I’ll relive my coverage of the 1998 Westside Middle School shooting where four children and a teacher were killed. It won’t be fun.
But I know when I return home, I’ll have more games to play and I’ll know that as the season draws to a close, each roll could really mean something big. Two of them already have.