Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Seasons' Personalities

Each baseball season has a distinctively different personality and replayers of the APBA game know this. It's one of the reasons and the draw of why we spend so much time recreating an entire season.

Obviously, each season is unlike the past. Certain players stand out, some have career seasons, others fall short. Some teams over achieve and others, which are expected to perform well, don't meet those expectations instead.

When selecting a season to replay. Game players take this in consideration. I think when we debate about choosing the next one, we include our own personal reasons — to an extent. Personally, my coming-of-age in baseball year was 1969. It's the first season, when I was 8, that I learned about the divisions, the playoffs and the entirety of a season. I also like 1977 because of my father's influence upon me about the Yankees, 1987 and 1991 because those were the Twins' World Series years and 2006 because the St. Louis Cardinals won the Series then and, in the small way sports can, it somehow took a tiny bit of the sting out of my wife's passing away earlier that year.

Those are seasons we remember; ones we've lived through. But replays also include earlier seasons. I wasn't alive in 1906, but I have that year to do a replay with. I chose 1957 because of Henry Aaron. I'll play 1919 sometime to recreate the Chicago Black Sox scandal year. I did 1942 to replay a season with Stan Musial.

Different seasons, different personalities.

There is a bit of dedication required to complete a season. It takes several months to do one if, like me, you have no other life. It could take normal people years to finish a full 162-game season for each team. Replayers hit the wall during a season; there comes a point when the games begin running into each other and take little importance. Those August clashes between Cleveland and Chicago (for almost any season) have no meaning. That's when the personality of the season needs to come through.

I've hit the wall early in the 1950 replay I'm underway with. But the season's personality is helping carry me through. In the real 1950 season, Brooklyn and Philadelphia were neck-and-neck in the race for the National League. In my replay, both teams are vastly under achieving. The Boston Braves are leading the National League as of May 16, 1950. It is odd.

And in the American League, the personality of my replay is already taking shape. New York, Boston and Detroit are stand-outs and the three teams have traded division leads so far. If they are knotted throughout the year, that's a personality of the replay that will come through. If one teams takes off, leaving the others behind, well, that's another aspect of a replay.

All of us APBA guys have closets full of the game cards. Some collect each year when they come out, but others, like me, are selective when picking card sets. Personality of the seasons is one factor we rely on.


  1. Excellent post, Kenneth! I agree that seasons have personalities. I had a great time transporting myself back in time to get into my 1955 replay. Since I like to watch tv while I play, I made a list of movies that were released that year and watched many of them while rolling the bones. I found a few treasures that way, but, even better, I got a real sense of the era and the people that populated my season. It was a blast!

    All the best,

  2. Paul, that's a great idea! The movies would really capture the era of the replay season. I tend to read a lot of baseball books and get fired up to do a replay for whatever season I'm reading about. I'm reading Marty Appel's "Now Pitching for the Yankees" about Marty's years as the NY Yankees PR guy, and I'm chomping to do a 1976 replay. I also bought Crazy 8s the other day about the 1908 season...

    Watching movies would be a good way to really get into the year you're playing. Great idea!