Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2 Million Dice Rolls And Counting

There are times when I'm replaying an insignificant game late in an APBA baseball replay season when my mind tends to wander. Sometimes I think of work, which is counterproductive to the game because I roll the dice to forget about the job.

Sometimes, I think about other games ahead in the season and how the pennant race for whichever replay I'm doing is going. Sometimes I think of ideas I have for writing something for a magazine.

Sometimes I think of inane, mindless things.

The other night, while rolling a 1950 contest between the Washington Senators and Detroit Tigers, I thought of the inane. I've reached Aug. 8 in the replay. The Tigers, while starting well and making noise in the American League early on, are now about 10 games out of first behind New York and barring any miracle, they won't challenge the Yankees for the pennant. Washington is … well, Washington.

So, while rolling the Senators-Tigers clash on autopilot, I began thinking of how many times I roll the two dice in an APBA baseball game.

For the uninitiated, APBA is a brilliant game that allows people to replay various baseball and other sports seasons. The athletes are given cards with numbers on them. Gamers roll dice, compare the results to numbers on the players' cards which are computed based upon their actual batting statistics for that particular season. The gamer then matches those numbers to game boards. The final numbers give play results. It sounds complicated, but after memorizing many of the resulting numbers, I can knock out a game in 15-20 minutes.

During that recent Tigers-Sens tilt, I began tallying the number of times I roll the dice for a game. I use a mouse pad to roll the two dice upon. If they roll off, I roll them again. I average about 12-15 rolls per inning. Add the miscues and the occasional extra-inning games or slugfests that require more rolls and I'm looking at roughly 120 rolls per game.

Some players use computer generated dice rollers, others use actual dice towers where they drop the dice in a bin and let them roll to the bottom to get results. I used to use the plastic yellow cups the game company provided, but the clackety-clack noise kept my dad up late at night when I was a kid playing the basketball game into the wee hours, so I rolled by hand only. I still do, even though now I have no one to keep awake with the noise.

I continued with my math exercise while the Tigers took the lead. Since I began playing baseball in 1998, I've done nine full season replays. (I know, I have no other life.) I've rolled replays for 1932, 1942, 1957, 1964, 1974, 1977, 1981, 1987 and 1998. I've also rolled half of 1925 before, regrettably, I burned out and quit. And I've tossed 842 game so far in the 1950 season I'm currently playing.

I've replayed 17,224 games since I began this APBA baseball obsession.

Multiply the 120 dice rolls per game by 17,224 games and come up with 2,066,880.

I've rolled the dice playing baseball more than 2 million times!

And that's just for baseball. Throw in all the basketball, football and hockey games I've played since I began APBA in 1977 and it has to be another million or so rolls.

The inane things one thinks of while playing the game ...


  1. How much have you invested in your APBA hobby? Calculate the value and that is a very cost effective hobby! - Steve

  2. Steve, it really is. A set of APBA cards cost less than a movie and a dinner and it lasts for over a year! Pennies a day.