Wednesday, August 26, 2009

APBA Baseball

One thing I hate about this blog is the early sixties. Stuff is mixed up in my head time wise and I don't have a way to anchor it to a year or a class. Things extend between years, pop up again and vanish. Boy Scouts, for instance, were part of my life at two very different occasions in the sixties. The same is true of APBA sports games.
ABPA is a game much like Strat-o-matic. Each is a combination of dice, player cards, and result boards. Each game has demented enthusiasts. In Wenonah my neighborhood was filled with APBA Baseball and later football, basketball, and golf enthusiasts. Terry and Chris were the first to purchase games and soon all of us had one. The games were played either in Terry's basement or my front porch.
We were deadly serious about the game. We played full seasons, used real score books and kept detailed statistics. There were leaders in HR's, batting average, and ERA. Just like the big boys. Terry had the Yankees and my team was the Reds, Gary Condell loved the Cardinals and Mick the Pirates. We'd sit for hours in Terry's basement rolling dice and yelling cheers, all the while listening to Mary Flemings collection of show tunes and Frank Sinatra 45's.
We were surrounded by Doc Flemings Yankee memorabilia and bar supplies and the air was damp basement air. The kids who weren't playing were playing the slot machine.
The competition was fierce although it seems the Yankees always won...just as they did in real life. Later we bought into old time teams. I had the 1940 Cincinnati Reds and Terry had the 27 Yankees. He won game after game after game. Every player on his team was light years better than any other player on any other team. Babe Ruth hit a homer every other at bat. It was hopeless.
Once again I was a loser. I had lots of company but the Reds weren't really all that good. I loved them and wanted them to be good but the numbers didn't lie...they were not a championship team vs any other team. Had I known that in the 70's the Big Red Machine would rear its head I would have given any thing to travel into the future and come back with those cards. No more block of k after k after k. I'd be a winner and they'd all be losers. Fat chance. I was stuck in 1965 in a basement getting crushed day after day after day by better players, better strategists, and cooler kids. I was a loser.


Anonymous said...

Good memories, Jack- George Dunn and i used to drive my mother crazy with the rolling of the dice- but as george has said in later years, she was really a good sport about it- we were just fanatical. I remember my first set was the 67 baseball season- George got 68.

Actually, we're still playing as we hit 50- it is all done on computer now, and played against guys all over the country. I'm about ready to play a series of all time players that George heads up.


Jim Maddox said...

I'm not sure of the time line for me either. I was a Strat-O-Matic player. I ordered it from the ad they ran in comic books. John Marcone and I played that game for hours and hours on the weekends. I believe we may have started that in 1966. I was a Yankees fan, so I ordered a lot of the great Yankees teams from the past. John Marcone used to keep meticulous records of our teams' performances. A few years later Dave Yurkow from National Park became my main opponent and we bought a lot of the old timer team packages.

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