Saturday, May 17, 2014

Real Time, Replay Time

I reached the point APBA baseball replayers hit once each year, but it came earlier this time than I had anticipated.

Each year, at some point, the date of a replay day coincides with the actual date. They are two separate clocks, the replay time and the real time, and eventually, they meet for a brief time. When we replay games, we seldom play an entire slate of games for that day in one real day. In my 1950 replay, there are 16 teams and on a busy day that means there are eight games to play. Add in the Sunday doubleheaders that were popular back then and I'm looking at 12 to 13 games to play for that particular day.

I can't play that many games in a day. Lately, I'm lucky to reach that amount in a week. My job may be partially to blame: I am a bureau reporter at a large newspaper. Last month, a tornado struck central Arkansas and killed 16 people. I was part of the team that covered that constantly. Long hours, tiring hours. When I came home, rather than hit the game for relief and peace, I hit the bed for sleep.

Then, two weeks ago, a person fatally shot three people before killing himself in the town I live. We wrote three stories about that for the paper.

It was a busy few weeks and it put me behind on the schedule of games. And that's too bad because I've found that over the years the APBA replay has kept me sane during the stressful times. The games are a way to shut out the bad that I see and report on and it's a controlled world that takes me away.

I began the 1950 replay on March 7 this year. The replay date for the first games that season was on April 18, 1950. So, I was about five weeks ahead of schedule when I started this.

During my last replay of 1942, I began the season on April 18, 2013, which was the actual start date for that year's replay. I fell behind quickly, so that coinciding day was only April 18 and 19.

I'll continue to play on, of course. Today is May 17, 2014. After another game tonight I'll reach May 14, 1950.There are 11 games scheduled for that day; it'll take me a few actual days to knock out those games. Then, I'll pick up some time because May 15, 1950, has only one game scheduled.

We play these games, rolling contests each day, slowly heading to the replay's end. And there's more seasons to play next. I have a very limited life outside of work so that allows me to play maybe two, three or four games each day if I'm not worn out from the day's work. Maybe I can pick up the pace and knock out a few days quickly.

I know I won't catch up the actual date with the replay date during this replay. But each year, at least once in a replay, both days are the same and it gives me a perspective of how long these things can really be.


  1. Hi Ken!
    Great blog!..Fine writing and presentation! ..sad t'hear of that horrible news..God rest those folks souls....Thanks again!

    1. Jim, Thanks... The news stories of late have been rough. Kids were involved in both the tornado and the shooting; it was pretty sad. The game is a great way to put that stuff behind and avert the focus for a while.

  2. I truly enjoy your writing, Kenneth. You capture the essence of why these games, which on the surface may appear to be childish and even a waste of time to those less enlightened, are so important to so many of us. They allow us to recapture an innocence from our youth that otherwise would be lost. Write on. Dude! Joel

    1. Joel, Thanks! You get it. The game may seem childish to some. When I try to explain the excitement of the game or some quirky stat, or some breakout performance (The Red Sox' Vern Stephens, for example, hit three home runs and drove in 11 RBIs in a double header recently against St. Louis). I try to tell about it and I sound a bit off. But, you are right. APBA allows us to regain that innocence, if maybe only for a brief moment before we head back into the real world. Glad someone else understands!

  3. Hang in there. No matter the outside world's woes (of which there are plenty) there's always another "66" coming up soon (we hope). Recaptured innocence indeed and a sense of order that's very valuable. As for "trying to explain" ...
    well, I gave that up decades ago. Enjoy.

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