I'm not one to necessarily quote musicians much, but Beatles songwriter John Lennon is credited with a saying that is apropos, somewhat, of the APBA replays we all do. Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.”
The Fab Four guitarist could easily have been talking about doing these long-running APBA baseball replays that take months or even years to play out. Your own life happens while you're rolling a season that can go on for quite some time.
Even the most enthusiastic replayer will spend nearly a year recreating one of the earlier baseball seasons that feature the eight-team American and National leagues. Later seasons — post 1968 that include two divisions for each league incorporates more teams and, thus, more games. So, it takes much longer to play those seasons. Hence, life has more of a chance of changing during a replay.
I've seen that in many of my previous replays, and it'll happen again as I am in the early stages of the 1991 APBA baseball season I recently began. We roll the games for seasons that have already happened; we know the real outcome of whatever season we're recreating, and we know the schedule of games, playing them one by one.
But then, life steps in with its unpredictable changes. To create a visual, metaphorical image of this, think of a linear procession of the games we play and the wavy lines of life, much like a seismograph that records earthquakes, or a criminal trying to bluff his way through a lie detector test. The games provide the baseline, life creates the waves.
Cases in point: I got married while replaying the 1992-93 NHL season that APBA released. Later, my wife's health deteriorated due to kidney failure as I did the 1957 season. I bought the house I'm living in now and moved while replaying the 1987 baseball season. And in the solitude after her passing, as I tried to adapt to a new lifestyle alone, I rolled the 1932 baseball season. The games go on as predicted, but the life side is always changing. Things are resolved over the length of a replay.
So, yes, life happens. Unforeseen things, changes, alterations. I covered a school shooting and its subsequent lengthy court proceedings in 1998 for the newspaper where I work that changed me all the while replaying the 1990-91 NBA season. I lost a lot of weight as I tossed the dice for the 1942 baseball season.
Even now, as I have just begun the 1991 season, things changed yet again for me and the wavy lines of my own life are moving yet again.
I began this replay on Aug. 16. One week to a day later, on the evening of Aug. 23, I called a girl I was interested in and talked to her for three hours. A month later, I drove 554 miles to see her and set change, I hope, in motion.
I am playing the games in this replay a bit slower than usual. For once, my own life has taken precedence over the daily routine of rollin' the games. I'll see how my relationship with my Illinois girl will grow during this 1991 replay. The replay will take months, but life has time and will move along with it. This relationship I've embarked upon will be more defined and, I pray, a hopeful future will be ahead, by the time I roll the last game of the season. I'm doing a refinancing of my home as well and it, too, will be resolved well before this 1991 season ends.
So, we roll these games working a straight line in the season, knocking each game out one by one in that linear procession, while life comes at us with its wavy lines.