It was a long replay for me to do, despite fewer games to play than a more modern season. And a lot happened during the replay in my own life. My cat of seven years got sick and in January I lost her. She was a part of the replays, often sitting in the same room, watching me roll and hoping for an errant dice to fall off the table to chase. A huge wind storm, or duracho, hit my home last June, tearing off shingles, causing leaks and gaining me a new roof. I continued writing stories at my newspaper and life went on, just as the games did.
There's always that odd, bittersweet feeling after completing a season, too. The players, the cards, become commonplace. I know the St. Louis Browns' 1950 starting line up. I don't even know the 2015 St. Louis Cardinals' lineup. We live these replays. Finishing the season and placing the cards back into their envelopes and then storing them in their boxes is sad. But then there's always another season to delve into, which I will soon,
Anyway, here's the game-by-game recap of the 1950 APBA World Series. The home team is in capital letters:
New York 11 BROOKLYN 9
The Yankees took a 5-1 lead after three, but the Dodgers came back, bolstered by Gil Hodges' two home runs. His second, in the sixth inning, gave the Bums a 9-8 lead. But, foreshadowing Ralph Branca's trouble in the real 1951 playoff series between his Dodgers and the New York Giants, he got in trouble in my game. He loaded the bases in the top of the ninth before Gene Woodling hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game. Phil Rizzuto and Yogi Berra then hit singles, scoring two and giving New York the win.
New York 4 BROOKLYN 3
Joe DiMaggio hit his first of four home runs in the Series in the first inning, giving his Yanks the early lead again. But Brooklyn responded with three of their own runs in the bottom of the frame. The score stood until the sixth inning when Billy Johnson doubled in one run and Jerry Coleman plated Johnson with an ensuing single. Vic Raschi went the distance, giving up five hits and striking out six for the win.
NEW YORK 2 Brooklyn 1
This was the game that gave DiMaggio the MVP of the Series. The Dodgers, with Preacher Roe on the mound, held a 1-0 lead and had two outs in the ninth when Joltin' Joe came to bat. Phil Rizzuto, who ended up batting .417 for the six-game Series, stood on second. Roe struck out Yogi Berra for the second out and now faced DiMaggio. DiMaggio's dice roll came up as a “5,” which translated into a home run with a runner on second. Game over. The ending echoed Roe's season. Despite his “B” rating on his card, Roe seemed to lose a lot of games in last-play ways. I met Roe once in a West Plains, Mo., restaurant, interrupting his Mexican meal to talk about the Bobby Thomson home run of 1951 that he saw while in the dugout. I felt bad for his season in my replay.
Brooklyn 13 NEW YORK 1
The Dodgers' bats came alive and saved a sweep. Whitey Ford was chased after two innings, giving up seven runs and Duke Snider, Roy Campanella and Billy Cox (that's one of the joys of playing ABPA... actually being able to say that phrase).
Brooklyn 14 NEW YORK 1
Again, the Dodgers dominated New York and, after seeing the outburst of hits, I wondered if this could go to seven games. Snider drove in four runs, Hodges hit a three-run homer and Jackie Robinson had two RBIs of his own. Only DiMaggio's home run in the seventh kept the Yankees from being shut out.
New York 5 BROOKLYN 0
Realizing who they were, the Yankees took control of the game early and shut down the Dodgers quickly. DiMaggio hit a two-run shot in the third off Carl Erskine and New York never looked back. Raschi had his second complete game of the series, giving up only one hit and striking out six.
In fact, an argument could be made that Raschi deserved the Series MVP. But, in my opinion, DiMaggio earned it with his .304 average, four home runs, seven RBIs and six runs scored.
Snider led the Dodgers with a .333 batting average, two home runs and five RBIs.
So, the 1950 season is completed. The cards are stored and the 1991 season is about to begin. I've done my obsessive-compulsive routine of handwriting each team's full schedule on paper and creating stat pages for home runs and pitching wins, losses and saves.
It'll be a change. For the first time in a few years, I'll roll games for the Minnesota Twins. There'll be DH players; Cal Ripken for the Orioles; Nolan Ryan pitching; Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek and Dan Gladden batting in my games. There are so many more games in a more modern season to roll, and this will take a long time to play. As I've said before, beginning a replay is embarking on a journey. This will be a long one, but with the dynamics of this season and the change I'll make from baseball more than half a century ago, it'l be an enjoyable one.