I've finally reached Game No. 500 in my 1991 APBA baseball replay season.
When Boston outfielder Ellis Burks dribbled a grounder to Detroit first baseman Cecil Fielder to seal the Tigers' 11-0 victory over the Red Sox, I reached that milestone.
After what I counted as 513 days since this replay began, I hit Game No. 500. That's less than a game a day; it's a far cry from my old average of playing about four or five games a day. Used to be, I could finish a season-long replay involving the cards and dice of the game in 15 to 18 months. Now, based upon my less than stellar speed, I won't wrap this season up until well after the next presidential election.
We've all had those spells where life steps in and changes things and competes for the time we had for rolling APBA's games. For some, it's when high school dating began, or college days, or moving from home and beginning a career, or having kids. But the game will always stay with us, albeit at a much slower pace at times.
Since I began this replay on Aug. 16, 2015, I've driven to northern Illinois and back 18 times and almost went up there again last weekend. Work beckons often and I've been dealing with a medical issue of late that has gotten my attention some. It all takes up time. Time away from the game that we've loved since childhood.
But the game is there, always. And it provided some fun when I did finally reach Game No. 500 the other day. Detroit opened a 6-0 lead in the first inning when Andy Allanson hit a grand slam homer off Red Sox pitcher Joe Hesketh. Alan Trammell hit his first of two home runs in the second inning and by the third inning, the Tigers were leading 9-0. Walt Terrell held the Red Sox hitless until the fourth inning and gave up only four hits in his complete game outing.
The game was also the first of seven in a row where the home team won. Milwaukee upended Cleveland, 10-1, in the following game and later, Jose Canseco hit his American League leading 13th home run to give Oakland a 10-2 win over the White Sox. Seattle, Baltimore, Cincinnati and the Cubs also took home field wins.
I've found that the frequency of games occurs in frenzied spurts. I may not toss a contest for four or five days in a row and then spend an hour playing four or five games in a row when I find a wedge of free time. I hit No. 500 and several games beyond the other day when Holly, my Illinois girl who moved down here, called her aunt on the phone and talked for a while.
I still have 1,606 games to play to complete the 1991 season. I've reached May 24 in the replay and it's sizing up to be yet another good season to do. Right now, Seattle is leading Minnesota by three games in the American League West and the National League West is a dogfight early on. Montreal still continues to lose. The Cubs beat the Expos in 10 innings the other night, dropping the Canadian team to a record of 8-33. The Expos may be the worst team I've ever played in a replay; they aren't a bad team when you look at the players' statistics for that year, but as a team, they find so many ways to lose games.
One thousand, six hundred and six games left to go. At this rate, I'm still looking at four and a half years before completing this. I may have to step up the pace a tad.