It was the Aug. 16, 1987, game when Seattle traveled to the old Metrodome to play the Minnesota Twins. In the real game, I sat above first base in the second deck and was one of 28,006 who watched as Minnesota won, 5-1, on Frank Viola's pitching. I can't find my game replay records for the1987 I played, but I know they won in the recreated contest as well.
But it's hard to roll any games I've attended when I usually replay seasons before I was born.
I thought of this as I sat in Row R, Section 333, of the Scottrade Center in St. Louis Saturday and watched the Blues beat the New York Rangers, 5-3. As the game progressed, I considered setting up an NHL replay with APBA next year when game company puts out this season's cards.
I tend to do that, as any sports fan who plays APBA should. I get fired up for whatever season is being played and, when I go to an actual game, I really, really want to do that particular sport.
So, Saturday night as the Blues skated to their win, I thought about the alternate reality of playing a game that I actually attended. Why does the outcome differ? Obviously, the randomness of the dice roll makes a difference, as do line ups, pitching changes, errors and other variables. But there are other, weirder questions one ponders late at night: Does it create a vacuum to do a game that I've seen years before? And the even deeper ones: In the 1987 Twins' game, no one hit a home run in the game I saw. In my replay, I know Kent Hrbek hit one. So, it's something to think about. Why does a replay game differ from the actual game that much?
I could only come up with that 1987 game that I've both seen and replayed. I've been to several St. Louis Cardinals games over the years since I live within 4 hours of the stadium. I went to games in Philadelphia when I lived there briefly in the fall of 1983. I've been to a few of the St. Louis Blues' games the past several years, but I only own the 1993-94, 1998-99, 2001-02 and the 2004-05 NHL seasons with APBA. I guess I could buy newer NHL seasons and do games I've attended.
But when you replay older seasons, like the 1942 baseball season I'm engaged in now, or 1957, or 1932, or 1925. as I have played in the past, I'm not going to toss any games that I've seen in person.
I tend to steer clear of the newer seasons to replay. When I first got the baseball game in the winter of 1998, however, I did play that season. New York beat Atlanta in my World Series, 4 games to 3, and I was hooked. I was also hooked on the historical aspect of the replay process as well and I gravitated toward those older seasons. I did do 1987 because the Twins won the Series that year, and I did go to the actual Game 4 of the Series in St. Louis that year. However, in my replicated contest, Minnesota did not make the APBA Series and instead St. Louis beat Kansas City.
I'm about 65 percent finished with the 1942 season. I am now considering getting the 2013-14 NHL season next year just so I can replay a second game that I actually saw in person.