The Dodgers are two games behind the Cardinals as of Sept. 4, 1942. The two teams will play a two-game set in Brooklyn on Sept. 11 and 12; the games loom on the horizon like an approaching gleeful holiday or, pending the outcome if your team loses, a scheduled balloon payment on a house note. This is one of the many reasons why APBA is amazing.
The Yankees have gone on a 45-17 winning tear, stretching a one-game lead they had of the St. Louis Browns on June 30, 1942, to their current 9.5-game cushion. Boston has played well lately as well. They've gone 43-24 since June 30, but barring mishap, i.e. Joe DiMaggio and Joe Keller quitting the team, for instance, the Yanks will make the World Series, just as they did in the real 1942 season.
Here are the standings at the end of the day on Sept. 4, 1942:
W L GB
New York 89 43 –
St. Louis 80 53 9.5
Boston 80 57 11.5
Cleveland 68 66 22
Detroit 65 70 25.5
Chicago 52 79 36.5
Washington 52 80 37
Philadelphia 50 88 42
W L GB
St. Louis 91 42 –
Brooklyn 88 43 2
New York 70 64 21.5
Cincinnati 67 67 24.5
Chicago 65 71 27.5
Pittsburgh 61 73 30.5
Boston 56 82 37.5
Philadelphia 36 92 52.5
A few observations: Ted Williams continues to knock the cover off the ball. He's hit 38 home runs so far. I've found a phenomenon occurs during replays — there's always one player who defies the statistical logic of their card produced by APBA. For those unaccustomed, APBA issues cards for players during a particular season, basing their number formulas on the results produced during the actual season. Replayers roll dice, corresponding the rolls to those numbers on the baseball players' cards to determine outcomes. Ted Williams had a great season in 1942. In real life, he hit 36 home runs. In my replay, it seems whenever he comes to bat there's a good chance the dice roll will result in a homer.
I had this happen with Harmon Killebrew in my 1964 replay, Gil Hodges in 1957 and Greg Vaughn in 1998 to name a few. They all hit more dingers in the replays than they did in the actual season and when each came to bat, I'd expect and even feel a home run was coming.
On the inverse, the Chicago White Sox have clubbed only 19 home runs this season in my replay — Williams has hit twice as many as the Slight Sox alone. True to APBA form, though, in 1942, the real Sox trotted the bases only 25 times.
The saddest tale of the year belongs to Tiger pitcher Hal Newhouser. He' received an “AX” rating on his card, meaning he's one of the better pitchers with a higher-than-average amount of strikeouts. But rather than sporting a great record, Newhouser is 7-14 so far. When he pitches, it seems Detroit does not give him run support. In fact, in a recent loss, Newhouser held Cleveland hitless in 8.1 innings, only to lose, 1-0, when Oris Hockett dribbled a single and scoring Oscar Grimes, who had reached base on a walk.
In the National League, Brooklyn's Dolph Camilli leads the league with 31 home runs. Pitcher Curt Davis is 18-1 for the Dodgers. Tiny Bonham of the Yankees holds the same won-lost record. Coincidentally, both Davis' and Bonham's lone loss of the season came in St. Louis. The Cardinals beat Davis and the Browns edged Bonham.
The Philadelphia Phillies have the worst pitching staff I've ever seen. Three of their starters have only one victory each this year. Lefty Hoerst (rhymes with “worst”) is 1-11. Cy Blanton, sigh, is 1-8, and Ike Pearson has one win with his seven loses. Had ABPA issued cards for managers, I'm sure Phillies skipper Hans Lobert would have a lot of his hair pulled out by now.
Mort Cooper of the Cardinals leads the National League with a 22-5 record and he's thrown two no-hitters. If the league issued Cy Young awards back then, Cooper would be a shoo-in to receive it. And Johnny Vander Meer, he of the back-to-back no-hitters during the real 1938 season, has one of his own in my 1942 replay. He's also thrown 15 strikeouts in two games this year.
I began playing this replay on April 14, 2013, which was the same day in 1942 that the season actually started. I should wrap this one up in mid February and then, like all the game replayers do, I look ahead for the next adventure the APBA cards will bring.