Sunday, July 9, 2023

Replaying Games on an Impacting Day

If APBA baseball game players replay any of the seasons of when they were alive, chances are they’ll come across games on a date that had some significance in their own lives.

Maybe it’s a date that a replayer graduated school, or the date of their wedding or birth of their child. Maybe it’s their own birth date.

And sometimes it’s an event that, while it may have not seem that impacting at the time, had been one of life’s turning point and an important moment when given the advantage of hindsight.

I came across one of those days in my 1972 APBA baseball replay.

I reached June 30, 1972. And I remembered what I had done on that actual day.

It was a Friday, a day after my 12th birthday. My aunt and uncle from Arizona visited my family in Minnesota then and we went to the Itasca State Park near our home that day. That’s where the Mississippi River begins its more than 2,300-mile journey through the heart of the country.

I know this because my father bought me a metal flip calendar that day. It’s got a drawing of the iconic tree stump at the headwaters that notifies visitors of the river’s origin. People can flip a metal box on the upright calendar that contains plates with numbers for each day.

On the bottom of the calendar is a red label I made back then with my father’s 3M label maker noting the date I got it.

It’s also the day my aunt bought me Jim Bouton’s classic book “Ball Four.” It was the white paperback with the picture of a hand holding a baseball just before throwing a knuckleball. The title is in green capital letters.

Those not acquainted with the book should immediately go out and get a copy. It’s Bouton’s diary of the 1969 season when he pitched for the Seattle Pilots and Houston Astros. On one level, it’s a rollicking look – complete with cussing a plenty – at a season on an expansion team that was pretty bad. On another level, though, it was a study of why people act the way they do; it was a doctrine about challenging authority and questioning it if it seemed a tad defunct. Don’t accept life the way it is if you see discrepancies in it, Bouton says.

At 12, I didn’t realize the great significance of the book; I giggled at the curse words and enjoyed reading stories about players I watched on the baseball field.

Later, I read it more for content and now think it had a major impact on the way I grew up. Sure, I had my parents’ upbringing, but Bouton’s words made me think for my own albeit with a bit of paranoia and distrust. Now, more than 50 years later, I still own the copy and still read it with that in mind.

So, while the real games went on during that day –Minnesota hosted Kansas City down in Bloomington, Minn., Atlanta was playing a west coast game in San Diego and the Twins’ rivals the White Sox were playing Oakland – I was standing at the beginning of the Mississippi River with my book and calendar in hand.

The symbolism was real: I had just turned 12. I was leaving the safety of my grade school in Minnesota and headed for unchartered territory in seventh grade at the town’s junior high. I, like that river, was starting a new journey.

I walked down the path by the river that day. It’s odd to call it a river there because it’s more a dribble. At points, you could stand on both sides of the banks at the same time. But, like our own lives, it starts small and progresses.

Years later, I stood on the edge of the Mississippi River in Helena, Ark., watching the strength and power of it as it roared. I was a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and one of my beats was covering weather. The river had reached near-record flooding and its width was more than two miles there. Bits of houses, farm buildings and uprooted trees rushed by. I thought back to the headwaters where it began, and where I got both my book and calendar.

I rolled the games for June 30, 1972, this week. In my replay, the Twins beat Kansas City, 6-2. San Diego crushed the Braves, 13-3, and Oakland and Chicago split a doubleheader.

I still have the calendar. I keep it on the table where I roll my games and keep it set to whatever day I’m on in the replay instead of the acutal date. I also have my first copy of “Ball Four,” along with two other copies. I just read it again early last month.

It’s one of the interesting things about doing replays in the years we’ve lived. We recreate games of the past and bring back memories of those days.

Sunday, April 30, 2023


Last April, one of the stray cats who would come to our house each evening for the bowl of food we’d leave out slinked into the garage in very apparent distress.

He was having difficulty breathing and was listless. Because my wife and I like animals much better than humans, we put the cat, who was too weak to refuse, into the cat carrier and took him to the veterinarian.

After inspecting him, the vet said the cat had heartworms and his lung capacity was very limited. It was a bad diagnosis. When he was asked him how long the cat had, the veterinarian said we should make him comfortable. He only had about a month to live, he said.


My wife named him Elvis because he’d saunter into our backyard at nightfall, stop for whatever food we left out for him, get his pettings from us and then stroll out of the back and go to wherever he’d go to next. You could almost hear him going, “Thank you. Thank you very much,” after he ate his food.

Sometimes, he’d miss a day and we were worried he was either hit by a car or injured in some cat fight. But he’d return a day later and seemed okay. Once, during a rare Arkansas snow storm, we left our garage door opened a crack so he could ride out the cold weather. We placed an electric pet heating pad on the floor and stuffed a nylon cat cube with blankets and pillows. He failed to show up then and for at least a week we didn’t see him.

Elvis finally returned, but he had lost a lot of weight; we hoped he got out of the storm in some shelter in either someone else's garage or at least in a warm, safe place.

And once, when he was staying in our garage, another cat attacked him and cut open his leg. I chased off the cat, but Elvis was hurt. We kept him the garage again to recuperate.

But then last April was the worst. The veterinarian gave us some medication and wished us good luck. We fully expected Elvis wouldn’t make it through the spring.

Now, a year later, Elvis is still with us and doing much better. He plays with the three other cats we have. Two are feral cats. Skitty, a silver and grey cat named because she is so skittish around us, and Spooky, a black and brown kitten who showed up here on Halloween, have moved in.  We also have Squeaky, a black cat who we got in June 2019 after my wife’s mother passed away.

I think we relate with the ferals. They may be down on their luck with no family. They need help and love and we're just the ones to do that.

Elvis is a success story for us. He is a good, friendly cat who loves his pampered indoor life now and likes routines. At night, Holly and will take him and Squeaky out into the yard, each on leashes, so they can smell the smells and get a feel of the outside life. I know we look like the neighborhood crazy people walking cats around on leashes, but they enjoy it.

When I roll my APBA games in what Holly calls the “baseball room,” Elvis jumps onto a chair behind mine, curls up and then goes to sleep.

And today, Elvis achieved another title. He officially became an APBA Cat. While I rolled the June 18, 1972, replay game between San Diego and Pittsburgh, Elvis stepped onto the window sill by the APBA game desk and then jumped onto the playing field.

The game was delayed on account of cat. He got down eventually and I had to rearrange the players’ cards and make sure he didn’t knock the dice away.  Years ago when I was single, I had a cat who would jump onto the table and steal the dice. Her name was May and I lost her in January 2015. If you go my Goodreads page, you’ll see my profile photo is of her looking at an APBA card of Milt May.

So, Elvis is now deemed an APBA cat. I’m sure many of the APBA players know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve seen picture of players posting their cat delays on the APBA Facebook page and they make me smile.

A year ago, we weren’t sure if Elvis would be with us much longer. Today, a year after that prognosis, Elvis is fine. He runs with the other cats, has a hearty appetite and jumps. And, he is now an APBA Cat as well.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Happy Birthday, Mom: A Mother's APBA Influence

Today, April 23, would have been my mother’s birthday and as I roll the games in my 1972 ABPA baseball replay, I have her to thank for getting me into this game.

She passed away in early 1998 of sudden heart failure, although I guess any heart failure is sudden and not prolonged when you think about it.

I came late in my mother’s life. She was 45 years old when I was born and she called me a “Miracle Baby.” I think that was a polite 1960s term for “whoops.” And I read that after a mother reaches 40 years in age, the chances for mental deficiencies in a baby’s life increased dramatically. I think I am living proof of that.

So, with that all in mind, here are two stories of a mother’s impact in a game hobby that I’ve been playing for nearly half a century now.

The first is how I got into the APBA realm in the first place. I had done other games, like most sports fans, dabbling with the simpler games. In 1975, I got a Sherco II baseball game that provided a formula for figuring out players’ game ratings based on their stats. It was a decent game for me at the age of 15, but I tired of the simplistic way it set up fielding and wind effects.

I needed something more challenging and by the age of 17, I set my goal on the APBA football game. My father was a huge supporter of that idea. I had the electric football game, along with the electric baseball game, and the constant clicking noise of the electric switch and the “whirring” of the motor probably drove my folks crazy after a while. I think my dad loved the idea of a quiet, peaceful game for a change.

So, with my dad’s blessing, my mom okayed that purchase since she was the family comptroller of moneys and on Christmas Day of  1977 they pulled from under the Christmas tree the heavy box that contained the football game.  The following year, they bought me the 1976-77 APBA basketball game and away I went, stepping into the APBA journey that I’ve been on since.

Had my mother, who saw the effects of the Great Depression on her parents, said we had to save money and could not afford the game, who knows what I would have done. A life of crime? I was, after all, destined for a career in journalism.

The second story comes when I was an adult. I was enrolled in a PhD program in English at Texas Tech University in 1991. It wasn’t that I necessarily wanted that degree, but instead the girl I was seeing at the time was accepted there and I had to follow her.

It was doomed from the start. In addition to really hating my classes – the only time I really understood what was going on was when a grad assistant and I drank a huge pitcher of beer for lunch before going blitzed to an English literature critical analysis class – the girl I was enamored with burned out on me. She found another guy and dumped me. In Lubbock, for cryin’ out loud.

I opted to drop out of school. I called my mom and told her of the failure. And I asked her to order the 1990-91 APBA basketball season for me. I think she realized the heartache I was feeling and didn’t ask questions about it.

She didn’t press, but instead said I could come home.

The game would be there for me when I returned home, she said. Maybe she knew the peace that comes with the APBA games – even the plodding, never-ending basketball contests. I wrapped up life in Lubbock over two weeks, dropping my teaching load, fighting with financial aid and packing my stuff. I also began writing out team schedules for that basketball season and that gave me hope. I was leaving a girl I thought I had a connection with, but I was shedding the constant studying of early American literature, theory of composition and that damn analysis class for more APBA games.

I left for home between Games 2 and 3 of the 1991 World Series so I wouldn’t miss my team, the Minnesota Twins beating the Atlanta Braves. I pulled out of Lubbock at about 5:30 a.m.; the girl stood in the parking to see me off—more probably to ensure I was finally gone.

I made it home in north central Arkansas late that afternoon. There, on the kitchen table by the entry, was the package with the red APBA logo easily seen. I was home.

Obviously, there are so many more things a mother does for one’s life. But if not for her, I’d not be rolling games these past 46 years and thinking ahead, always thinking ahead, of the next replay.

So, what would have been her birthday, thanks, Mom. Maybe you’re watching me roll all these games over the years. And if you’ve got any pull with the big guy up there, maybe you could put in a good word for my Twins in this 1972 replay I’m on.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

1972 Replay Update: June 1

I’ve reached June 1 in my 1972 APBA baseball replay and, as the case with any replay done of a season during which I was alive, I think about where I was at that time.

As I’ve said in the beginning of this replay, 1972 was a transitional year for me and baseball helped keep at least one constant in my world then. I was a sixth grader in Bemidji, Minn., and attended a laboratory elementary school on the campus of the local college. I had gone there all six years of my education and I had made friends.

My dad taught at Bemidji State University and I’d walk home from school, cutting through the campus and meeting him at his office. We’d then go home together, making the two-block stroll up 14th Street to Bixby Avenue.

On June 1, 1972, I was almost finished with sixth grade. In Minnesota, at least back then, we’d go to school through the first week or so of June before ending for summer break. We’d return after Labor Day in September.

Obviously, I don’t remember the exact day back then, but I’m sure I was filled with some anticipation of summer, but also with a little fear of going to junior high in an entirely different realm than what I was used to.

And that’s where baseball came in to help. On that day in 1972, my Minnesota Twins were only a game and a half out of first place behind Oakland in the real season. Detroit was half a game in front of Baltimore to lead the American League East and the New York Mets and Los Angeles led their divisions in the National League. (Remember, the 1972 real season began late because of a player’s strike).

In APBA, there are no strikes and I am playing the original schedule. There are no rainouts in my replay world as well, so every team plays a full 162 games.

That said, here’s how the season has gone so far.


WEST                         W        L          GB

Oakland                     30       17        --

Minnesota                 26        21        4

Kansas City               23        25        7.5

Chicago                      21        26        9

California                  22        27        9

Texas                          12        38       19.5


EAST                          W        L          GB

New York                  30       19        --

Detroit                       28       17        --

Baltimore                  27        21        2.5

Cleveland                  25        20       3

Boston                       23        23        5.5

Milwaukee                16        29        12



Home runs: Mayberry, KC, 12; Darwin, Minn., 11; Grich, Bal., 11.

Wins: G.Perry, 10-1, Cle.; 9-2, Hunter, Oak.; Lolich, Det. 9-3

Saves: Lyle, NYY, 7; Allen, Cal., 6; Sanders, Mil., 6

Strikeouts: Ryan, Cal., 106; Lolich, Det. 97; Bradley, Chi., 89


The season started out pretty bland. Most of the teams were playing around .500 ball and no one, other than the Yankees, seemed to stand out in the American League.

The Yankees have been a surprise in the East. It’s mostly because of their pitching. Mel Stottlemyre has six shutouts. Other Yankees’ pitchers have a combined four shutouts. A third of New York’s wins, 10 of 30, involved games in which opponents never crossed the plate. The big bats aren’t really part of the team. Bobby Murcer leads the Yankees with nine home runs. Catcher Thurman Munson is second on the team with only four.

Cleveland has also been a surprise. Gaylord Perry has been amazing, winning 10 of his 11 decisions. The Indian bats aren’t all that great, either. Greg Nettles leads the Tribe with six home runs. All other Indians have combined to hit 23 home runs.

In the West, Minnesota opened quickly and just as in the real 1972 season, they took an early lead. But a 13-2 run by Oakland at the end of May gave the As the division lead. Reggie Jackson has been a disappointment so far, and I guess APBA replayers see that often. Stars that should stand out sometimes don’t produce. Jackson has only six home runs for the season. Two came in the ninth inning of a game against Minnesota in which Oakland won, 21-1. In the real 1972 season, Jackson had 10 home runs by June 1.

Texas is just plain bad. They were 3-3 on April 6. Then, they fell apart, suffering losing streaks of seven, 11, six and seven games. In between the streaks, they only won five games. A 5-31 record won’t get you out of last place.


EAST              W        L          GB

Pittsburgh     34        15        --

Chicago          28       20       5.5

Phil’phia        27        23        7.5

St. Louis        26        22        7.5

New York      22        26        11.5

Montreal       20       28       13.5


WEST             W        L          GB

Houston        29        23        --

Los Angeles  25        25        3

Cincinnati     24        25        3.5

Atlanta           23        27        5

San Diego      21        32        8.5

San Fran        20       33        9.5



Home runs; Stargell, Pitt., 16; Aaron, Atl., 14; Kingman, SF, 12.

Wins: Wise, Stl., 8-1; Carlton, Phl., 8-3; Jenkins, Chi., 8-4

Saves: McGraw, NYM, 9; Giusti, Pitt., 8; Marshall, Mtl. 7

Strikeouts: Carlton, Phl., 125; Seaver, NYM, 82; Wilson, Hou., 77

Pittsburgh is definitely the team to beat in the National League so far. With Blass, Moose, Briles, Ellis and Kison as their starters, I don’t see any long losing streak ahead for the Pirates. And relievers Dave Giusti and Ramon Hernandez (both A (Y) pitchers) have combined for 12 saves.

Cincinnati, on the other hand, is the NL’s disappointing team. Catcher Johnny Bench has 10 home runs, but the rest of the team seems weak at bat. From May 3 to May 21, the Reds won only three out of 19 games.

San Francisco is an odd team to play. Their batters bomb the long ball with Bobby Bonds, Dave Kingman, Ken Henderson, Willie McCovey and Dave Rader. But their pitchers bomb on the mound. Sam McDowell is 2-8 and Juan Marichal is 3-7.

The Cubs bolted into second place by winning 13 in a row. Five were shutout games, including a 20-0 whitewashing of Montreal. They followed that game with another shutout of the Expos and then a 1-0 win over St. Louis.

June 1972 starts now and as I roll games for this month, I’ll be thinking of my time back then, playing whiffle ball with my best friend in his back yard on Callahan Street, of riding bikes to Diamond Point Park and of staying out late, enjoying the cool of the Minnesota evenings while the Twins were playing on television.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

I Am a Dinosaur

I was turned down for a job recently because I didn’t have enough technical skills.

The job was a marketing and public relations director for a local business and it sounded interesting. I applied with the hopes of getting it, being able to be paid to write things and to earn a better weekly check than I am getting now.

But, alas, when the employers found out I didn’t know how to do Power Point and I wasn’t all that fond of Facebook and other social media, I didn’t make the final cut. I should have seen it coming because the employer found out I was a reporter, she asked me more about my thoughts on the West Memphis 3 murder mystery than what I could do for the business.

At first I was depressed about it. The increase in pay would have been nice. We have saved three stray cats in the neighborhood and the vet and food bills are always high. A change of job scenery would have been nice, too.

I am a dinosaur. I’m old and trapped in the ways of yore. A friend of mine is an editor at an Arkansas paper and he talks about his pagination process of putting the paper to bed each day. When I was starting in newspaper so many years ago, I typed on a real typewriter, like those reporters you see wearing fedoras and clacking out stories in smoke-filled newsrooms. Pagination? I used to print copy out on typing paper, cut it, run the strips through a waxer and stick it on dummy sheets that replicated the final page.

Later, when I became a bureau reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette all I had to learn how to push a couple of keys on the laptop to send my stories to the Little Rock office. Still, I had issues and our computer tech people told me I was considered job security for them since I was pretty illiterate in the world of computing.

So, I was saddened. Looking back, I don’t know why I applied. Obviously, technology is part of a public relations job. You have to get the word out about the business as quickly as you can, but I don’t know the difference between a jpeg and a farm pig and I have to get my wife to help me post pictures on Facebook on the infrequent times I do.

I could probably get a job as the town crier, hawking out news from street while wearing a three-cornered hat and knickers, but there aren’t many jobs like that around anymore.

Yes, I am extinct. Technology has passed me by. I’m sitting on the information highway, trying to bum a ride with the young speedsters.

I turned to my APBA 1972 baseball season replay game to drown out my sorrows. One of my favorite players as a kid, Willie Stargell, was leading the majors in home runs in my replay. The Minnesota Twins, the team I learned baseball when I lived in Minnesota in 1972, was doing pretty well and most of the teams had developed playing personalities. I could easily get lost in a few games and forget my worthlessness.

And I realized then, that APBA does cater to dinosaurs like me. There’s the computerized version, but I prefer rolling dice and using the game cards the company prints.

I never got into the video game things; I was awful at them. Before my first wife passed away, my stepson played Mortal Kombat with me and took glee in beating the stuffing out of me every time because I couldn’t tell which buttons to push. I also showed my ineptness when a friend tried to get me to play some Nintendo space game. I’d usually get fried by a laser before the first round of aliens settled in for the battle.

Nope, it’s the basics for me. Give me a red and white dice, two teams of carded players and away I go.

I sought comfort in a game that’s created for people like me who were depressed because I’m not technologically savvy.

The depression passed. I mean, there’s nothing I can do about it anyway. But the game has helped. It’s one thing that I can enjoy and excel at without worrying about computer stuff and Power Points and all that.

So, for all you dice and cards APBA players, who, like me, aren’t zipping down the info highway, embrace your dinosaur.

Just don’t expect a hug back if your dinosaur’s a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Their tiny arms wouldn’t be able to reach around you, you know.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Cubs Win ... and Win... and Win


During the first month’s games of my 1972 APBA baseball replay, it seemed like the teams were replicating the bell curve of statistics. There were a few teams on the winning end – Pittsburgh and the New York Yankees were winning far more frequently than the other teams. And there were the outliers on the other end – Milwaukee and Texas were on a race to see which team would lose 100 games first.

And the rest of the teams all hovered around each other. Most were within two to four games of playing .500.

I wasn’t all that enthused at first. I mean, 1972 was the first real baseball season I became totally aware. I was 11, living in northern Minnesota and watching and reading as much as I could about the Twins then. I learned how to compile ERA and batting averages and I could see that, despite a good start, the Twins were probably destined for a near .500 season themselves.

So, when I began rolling 1972, I was hoping for a stroll down nostalgia lane with teams like Oakland and Detroit and Cincinnati really taking off. Instead, I got mediocrity.

Until May 1972 rolled around.

And the Cubs.

Chicago has won 12 games in a row from May 18 to May 30 in the replay. They’ve moved from fifth place, only a tad ahead of Montreal, to second place. They’re still seven games behind Pittsburgh, but the streak is on-going. The Cubs play two more at home against St. Louis and then start a nine-game road swing against San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles, before heading home  to face the same teams nine more times.

Then, on June 23, 1972, the Cubs host Pittsburgh in a three-game set and then play them again at the end of the month in the Pirates’ stadium.

The Cubs have been amazing during this streak. They’ve outscored their opponents 89-14 and pitchers tossed five shutouts during the run, including a 20-0 shellacking of Montreal. The pitchers have hurled an incredible 0.92 earned run average in the 12 games.

The team has batted .320, with Glenn Beckert leading them with a .381 average. Billy Williams has five home runs and 13 RBIs during the streak and is batting .320.

Even Ron Santos, the slowest of the slow, is hitting .341. Prior to this streak, it seemed Santos, who is given the “S” for slow (should have been “GS” for glacier slow) would get on base and then be constantly caught at second or third when the next batter got a hit. If he ever hit a triple in a game, the ivy on Wrigley’s wall would have grown six inches before he slid into the base. Once when Santos hit a double, the grounds crew had to run a folding chair out there for him to sit and catch his breath. Chicago officials are talking with the commissioner to see if they can get Santos a moped or Segway to putter to bases with.

Yeah, Santos is slow.

But in these 12 games, he’s not been caught on base at all.

Long streaks are not that common for me in APBA replays. I’ve had a few teams win 10 in a row and the Minnesota Twins lost more than 20 in a 1977 replay. But I’m pretty sure this 12-game winning stretch has to be the longest I can recall. And it’s not over. Yet.

Burt Hooton is scheduled to start the next games for the Cubs against Cardinal’s pitcher Johnny Cumberland. Cumberland is carded as a “D,” the worst rating given for pitchers based upon their performance. Hooton is a “B” with a “Y” rating for strikeouts, which gives him a chance to record more strikeouts than other pitchers based upon his real-life performance in the 1972 season.

It’ll be a while before I can get to that game. Because of work and life, my replay has slowed down a bit. Maybe this upcoming game-- and the Houston-Cincinnati clash ahead—can speed my rate of play a bit.

This is one of the neat things about the APBA game. It may seem plodding to some to do a complete replay, rolling all the games for every team, but there is always something that’s happening, something to marvel over and something to look ahead to.


Sunday, January 1, 2023


I assume it’s a safe guess that most of the APBA players have been playing the sports replay for a while now. We probably began rolling the dice and holding the cards at an early age and the game stayed with us as we grew over the years.

And I suspect many of us began the APBA voyage after receiving the game as a Christmas gift from our parents.

I had two APBA anniversaries last week, including one on Christmas Day in 1977 that got me started. (Actually, there’s a third anniversary—I began this blog on Jan. 1, 2012. Hard to believe I’ve been doing this for 11 years now.)

My parents bought me the football game that year. I probably began backwards; most people first play the basic baseball game as a kid and graduate to the football and other game offerings of APBA. I was indoctrinated into the world of the large red dice and small white dice, the player cards with dice roll results printed on them and the counting of each play as a measure of time keeping with the football version.

That night on Christmas, I played my first game with Washington and the New York Giants. I’m sure I didn’t do it right that time. The rules were difficult and detailed. This wasn’t the Pop Tarts card baseball or the electric football games I used to play. I remember the Giants won the game, something like 41-34, and Larry Brown ran back a kickoff for 100 yards for the Redskins.

A year later, I received the APBA basketball game – a game that received much criticism because of its complex and plodding style of play. I played a streamlined version that consisted mostly of shooting, rebounding and figuring out assists with a detailed dice system. I loved the game and it’s what made me a dedicated APBA fan for life.

Just the other day I also observed another APBA anniversary. I began playing the baseball game on Dec. 28, 1998. I was seduced by the steroid-aided home run race that season by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa and returned to being a fan after the 1994 season-ending strike drove me away. I got the game to replicate that season’s fun.

I’ve been rolling some baseball season now for 24 years and I’ve been with APBA for 45 years.

I am sure there are scores of other APBA players who can boast much longer anniversaries of 50 and even 60 years.

And that’s the point of this game that I mention frequently. What other game has stayed with us for so long? It’s the draw of the APBA game and I think it’s what keeps us coming back to the company to get more seasons. We can live our past by rolling seasons we remember as we continue growing older. I’m doing 1972 now and I recall the season when I turned 12 years old that summer and left the security of my northern Minnesota grade school for a larger junior high. The consistency of baseball helped me get through that transitional time.

The APBA game has been with us as we grew up. We may have put it aside when we went to college or got a job. It may have waited when we got married or had kids and it stuck with us during other life changes. I began my replay of the 1991 baseball season in August 2015. A month later, I drove to Chicago and met the woman who would become my wife. It took four years to complete that replay; usually, because I have no life, it takes about a year and a half to roll a full season replay.

But now, life has settled into a routine again and I roll games nearly every day.

Twenty-four years of rolling doesn’t seem that long. But in the years I’ve been playing the baseball game, I was hired as a bureau reporter for a statewide newspaper, covered a school shooting here that got national coverage, lost my mother and wife, got laid off at the newspaper job, dealt with my own health issues and got remarried. It’s been a lot of life in that quarter of a century and APBA has been there.

Another anniversary has passed. What’s ahead for the next year of APBA games? I see myself finishing the 1972 replay late this year and beginning another season. Maybe I’ll drag out the APBA basketball game. I could finish a game in time for the next anniversary.