This morning I rolled Game No. 906 of my 1942 APBA baseball replay and while it's no big landmark, it does mean I have only 300 more games to play before I complete the year. I should wrap this up by the end of January or early February, and then begin yet another replay of some other season.
It's been a good season, but I always say that during any replay. I've never done a season replay from during the 1940s; this helped teach me about that era of Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and the rest. The St. Louis Browns are a fun team to play. They find ways to win. Detroit is a frustrating crew. They find ways to lose. Both Philadelphia teams are just awful, and the Cardinals-Dodgers race to the pennant is sizing up to be a good one.
Here are the standings after Game 906, which is five games into Aug. 15, 1942.
W L GB
New York 73 38 –
St. Louis 68 47 7
Boston 65 47 8.5
Cleveland 61 53 13.5
Detroit 58 59 18
Washington 45 65 27.5
Chicago 42 68 30.5
Philadelphia 41 76 35
Philadelphia 41 76 35
W L GB
St. Louis 76 34 –
Brooklyn 75 36 1.5
New York 59 56 19.5
Cincinnati 54 57 22.5
Pittsburgh 52 60 25
Chicago 53 62 25.5
Boston 51 70 30.5
Philadelphia 32 77 43.5
Ted Williams leads the league with 32 home runs so far. Dolph Camilli has 27 for Brooklyn and Max West hit 22 for the Boston Braves. Mort Cooper has 18 wins for the Cardinals and Denny Galehouse and Elden Auker, both of the St. Louis Browns, are tied for the American League with 15 victories each.
I have hit “the wall” a few times and the replay slowed down. I found myself looking ahead to whatever next replay I'll do. Maybe 1991, maybe 1919. I have even toyed with the idea of playing the APBA basketball game that really first introduced me to this company. While others have bemoaned how slow that game is, I played it all the time when I was in my late teens and I loved it. I may drag that out.
But for now, the focus is on completing 1942,and here are some tidbits that we, the game players, search to help progress the season.
New York Yankees: They win a lot, but they win on pitching and doubles. The big bats just aren't there. Charlie Keller leads the team with 21 home runs. Joe DiMaggio has only 9 home runs. This team reminds me of the Yankees of 2003, when Jeter told the dugout that they would beat the Red Sox in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series because the “ghosts” of Yankees past would guide team. Well, this 1942 apparently features some of those ghosts.
St. Louis Browns: In the replay, they are nine games better than in real life at this point. They are 6-11 against the Red Sox so far and and 9-9 versus the Yankees. They've beaten up on the weaker teams by going 13-5 against Philadelphia and 13-2 against the White Sox, hence their decent record.
Boston Red Sox: They lost their first 10 games in the season, but have rebounded and are streaky now. They'll go 6-2 on a run, and then lose two of three games. But they'll put it back together and run off another five or six wins in seven or eight games. Ted Williams is amazing in this replay. He's batting well over .400 (remember, I don't keep detailed stats. I know, blaspheme).
Detroit Tigers: I can't understand this team. Five of the six regular starters have 'B' ratings. (APBA grades pitchers. In the basic game, an 'A,' obviously, is the best. D is the lowest rating). Hal Newhouser has a rating of A. Each pitcher also has an above strikeout average which is reflected on the card. In a game that pretty much sums up the Tigers' season, Newhouser threw 8 innings of perfect baseball against Cleveland. Problem was, Detroit didn't score either. Newhouser opened the bottom of the ninth with two walks, got Jim Hegan on a flyout and hoped for a double play to send the game into extra innings. Instead, Oris Hockett hit a single and the Indians won on one hit.
St. Louis Cardinals: They were behind the Dodgers early on, just as in real life in 1942. They suddenly took off, winning 20 of 23 from July 4 to July 25. They passed the Brooklyn Dodgers and had a 6-game lead over them at one point. But since then, they've played .500 ball while Brooklyn has returned the favor, going 13-5 in its last 18 games. It looks like it'll be a fun finish for those two teams.
New York Giants: Mel Ott has 18 home runs and Johnny Mize has 17. It seems like whenever one hits one, the other follows. A friend of mine gave me a recording he found of the 1942 All-Star Game and in it, the announcer was discussing the virtues of rookie outfielder Willard Marshall. He's the third best long ball hitter for the Giants in my replay, and it was neat hearing the recorded broadcast about him.
Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates are 52-60. Without Vince DiMaggio, they'd be lucky to have won 40 games so far. He's hit 10 home runs, but seems to come through in the clutch with a lot of doubles to drive in runs. That's it for Pittsburgh. The rest of the team is mired in mediocrity. Or worse. Ken Heintzelman is the league's worst pitcher with a 1-14 mark.
So there's the recap so far. Those who don't play APBA, yet read this blog can see how replayers get caught up in the seasons. There are the nuances and quirks that pop up in every replay and it's what keeps us rolling and rolling the dice