Being First


Bragging rights… if I can’t talk about it, then what’s the point? The 2006 season of the Illowa APBA League is finally over and you’ll never guess who finished in first.

Well, with an opening paragraph like that, you know dang well it was me. My Twin Cities Thunderchickens finished with a 92-70 record and topped the 10 team league.

Not only that, Teddy Ballgame finished second and Todd V, co-host of Baseball Zealot Radio and occasional poster here eked into the last playoff berth.

What’s the big deal? It’s a stupid baseball dice game, right?

Well, I suppose so. Only, we’ve been playing this stupid baseball dice game for 32 seasons now. My relationship with the IAL, which began when I was a young lad of sixteen, extends longer than my marriage, my job, and pretty much every other entity in my life.

Unlike conventional roto or fantasy leagues, APBA leagues are simulation leagues in the sense that we actually replay a 162 game schedule with our teams. It’s a labor of love as we travel from three different states to get together three times a year to play our games. Our teams battle against each other for rights to make the playoffs and if we’re lucky, the World Series. And we don’t let a computer play our games for us. Our games are played with actual dice and cards and boards that
we can feel in our hands.

We feel glorious when our team is victorious and we feel the pain in defeat.

But mostly, we enjoy the camaraderie of guys who love baseball.

Congratulations to Teddy Ballgame and Todd V.!

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7 Responses to “Being First”

  1. I’m going off-subject with this comment.

    Here’s a Chicago Tribune article on Cubs ticket prices:,1,1957042.story?coll=cs-home-headlines

    There’s a graphic in the print edition that isn’t available on-line. That $2 ticket price for a bleacher seat would be something like $4.50 with inflation. The top bleacher ticket price in 2007 is over $40.00 :-)

    DonS and Teddy Ballgame will remember Jack Brickhouse telling us every day something like “10,000 great seats go on sale the morning of every ballgame folks, so come on out and join us at the ballpark”; he told us this on local TV when broadcasting virtually every single home game. Times have changed.

    One more thing about that Old Style sign at the Cubs Convention: I think that one of the regular contributors here would say something like “well they didn’t have to waste money on that brass easel and that fancy frame: just tape the sign to the wall and lower the price of beer”.

  2. Congratulations on your long association with APBA. I’ve been playing in a face to face
    cards/boards/dice APBA league with (variously) 4 or 5 other guys for 28 seasons but we’ve topped out at 30+ games a “season” spread out over 3 or 4 months. How on earth do you manage a 162 game “season” with 10 teams?

  3. “What good is winning if you can’t BRAG ABOUT IT?” — Erica Sanders.

  4. The White Sox raised all of their ticket prices yesterday.

    My memory is that Mr. Wrigley always kept 22,000 seats for game-day purchase. He said, “I still think there is a place for the guy who gets up in the morning and decides to take in a ball game.”

    When I say things like that, one of my kids will say, “That’s a ‘quaint’ attitude.”

    I need a dictionary to talk to my kids.

  5. CB,
    At the convention during Piniella’s session, one Cubs fan got the mike and praised Cubs management for not raising ticket prices and went on and on about it. Everyone of course, clapped and cheered.

    Piniella then sorta just nodded but later in the session qualified it by saying that certain season tix were not being upped but most ticket prices (as you mentioned) were going to be slightly raised.

    “Booo!” :)


  6. Gary,
    We have 10 teams, two divisions (five in each division).

    Correct me if I’m wrong TB or DS, but each team plays 2 nine game series against each team in their own division. And 3 6-game series against teams outside their division.

    72 + 90= 162 ok, good my math works out.

    It’s not a balanced schedule since we play more games against interdivision teams but it works out since we can get in 30 games in for a weekend.

    Since we are so spread out, we can schedule 3 weekends a year and get 90 games done in that time.


  7. DonS/Tom: I didn’t remember how many seats Wrigley held back for day-of-game sale, but but I knew it was an incredible number by today’s standards. Since some of the younger generation in DonS’ family doesn’t remember the era when the Sox consistently outdrew the Cubs, I’m thinking this will be another thing they’ll chalk up to Dad’s memory going. :-)

    The Tribune presented the idea that the Sox have four tiers of ticket prices this year: six discount Mondays, regular price days, a group of prime games-and a term like “premium” for their highest prices, which are essentially the Cubs games and perhaps Opening Day. They’re going to the EBay, whatever the market will bear idea-but unlike the Cubs, the price of each ticket is printed on its face and is shared with MLB.

    Which regular contributor will be the first to ask if the cost of parking and beer at Comiskey will have discount, regular, etc. tiers?

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