Saturday, August 19, 2017

1956 NL APBA Replay, End Of May Report !

Joe went yard 16 times in May!
May is over in the happy alternate universe of my 1956 National League replay. Joe Adcock set (or tied... can't find what the record was in 1956, but I know he at least tied it) the NL mark for home runs in a month with a whopping 16 long balls! Go, Joe!

The standings through May 31st, 1956: 

MIL  29-11  ---
BRK 27-15  3
CIN  26-15  3.5
STL  23-20  7.5
PHI  17-23  12
NYG 17-27  14
PIT  15-29  16
CHI  14-28  16

Best teams in May: MIL 20-8, CIN 20-9
Worst: NYG 9-21 despite winning their last three.

MIL 1.80 (most cg 19, least RA 89, least HR 24)
BRK 3.24
PIT 3.48
PHI 3.49 (least K's 163)
CIN 3.55 
NYG 3.91 (tied most K's 222)
STL 4.08 (tied most K's 222, most HR 44)
CHI 4.63 (least cg 7, most RA 209) 

CIN .283 (most runs 224)
BRK .259 (most doubles 76, most steals 23, most GIDP 35)
STL .258 
MIL .229 (most HR 52, least CS 5)
PHI .228 (least HR 23)
PIT .223 (least runs 120, least steals 1, most CS 14)
NYG .218 (least triples 6)
CHI .218 (least doubles 36, most triples 18, least GIDP 17) 

Fielding has been superb league-wide; not sure why except that there are very few "1" starting outfielders, and most of the pitchers are "2." STL and BRK have the least errors with 23, but four teams also have less than 30, NY has 31 and PIT has the most at 36. STL and CHI have turned the most DP's with 39, and BRK the least with 28. 


MIL--Two things have the Braves in first place: their unbelievably good pitching, and the power bat of Joe Adcock. Apart from him, the team didn't hit well in May, with Aaron disappearing from the batting leaders (leader board to follow team reports) and dipping below .300 at .297. Del Crandall vanished as well, slumping and also spending some time on the shelf with an injury. Del "Rice Is Nice" Rice just isn't the same. Billy Bruton suffered through an awful month, seeing his average settle at a horrible .156 for the season. In May, he scored only 2 runs and has 9 for the season, batting lead-off! Andy Pafko (.318 in 44 ab's) will be seeing starts in center against lefties starting in June. Eddie Mathews (5, 17, .228) Johnny Logan (.230) and Bobby Thomson (4,10,.188) just aren't doing enough. But the pitching is sublime! Only one pitcher--Ray Crone, at 4.50--has an e.r.a. above 2.92! 

He's didn't get there for getting doubled up!
BRK--The Bums have been nagged with injuries to some of their second-tier players, and in some ways are showing the team's age, but still and all, they are one tough bunch. Don Newcombe has fireballed his way to an 8-1 log, while Don Bessent (2-2 0.92) has put out any fires that arise. Jackie Robinson fell just 4 at bats short of qualifying for the leaders with his stellar .337 average to go with being 7 out of 9 in steals. They have needed Jackie due to injuries to third sacker Ransom Jackson (.282) and flyhawk Sandy Amoros (.261) who faded in May after his excellent April. Reserve Dick Williams (2,5,.319) made the GIDP leaders despite only having 47 ab's! He keeps muttering something about wanting to manage.

Klu is dreaming of a 16-hopper through the infield!
CIN--After an uninspiring 6-6 April, the Redlegs exploded in May! Frank Robinson went from .209 to .340, and wore out NL pitching with his extra base power. Big Klu continues to lead the league in BA at  a gaudy .382 despite having only 2 homers all year. "I'm a slap hitter!" he crowed. Speaking of, his caddy Big George Crowe went 0-for-17 for the month and is hitting .071 with no homers. After George ate some bad bird seed, and Klu fell off an embankment, Stan Palys had to play first base for a few games and responded with 1,7 and .286. Even shortstop Roy McMillan went insane, lifting his average to a nifty .333 with 26 runs and 23 rbi from the 8th spot. The Rhinelanders smoked the league with a 20-8 record. Let's see if they can continue their winning ways. Klu coming back on June 1st should only make them scarier.

The man with the total 1950s baseball name.
STL--Like scoring? This is your team. The Redbirds have scored 195 runs and surrendered 188 so far. Let's start with the pitching staff, which except for acquisition Murry Dickson (3-2 2.92 as a Card) is in complete disarray. Already, nine different chuckers have toed the slab for St. Louis, and they join the sad-sack Cubs as the only staffs with ERA's above 4. When your "ace" is Tom Poholsky (5-4 3.54) it will be a long season. The Cards have a triple threat in the middle of the order, consisting of Ken Boyer (7,35,.318), Stan Musial (8,32,.304) and Wally Moon (7,19,.289) who have accounted for all but 7 of the team's homers so far.  Catcher "Cura" Smith has been limited to 61 ab's due to injury, but he boasts 2, 17, and .426! On the down side, All Name Team captain Rip Repulski languishes with 1, 10, and .195.

"Field goal!"
PHI--The league has divided neatly into the haves and the have nots. Now we begin with the nots. The Phillies are not a terrible team, and would be a lot better if Del "The Black Hole" Ennis would improve upon his 2, 12, and .188 stinko numbers. Stan Lopata (10 homers) and Granville "Granny" Hamner (29 rbi) have tried. First sacker Blaylock went insane in May, raising his average to a salutary .312, but with only 13 rbi. These Quakers just don't score. Lead-off man Richie Ashburn, coming off a dreadful .149 April, got as far as .216 for the season in May, but that's still not nearly enough. Of course, handing half their rotation to St. Louis didn't help. Skipper Mayo Smith babbles that he dreamed he won the World Series. Yeah sure, Mayo, what ever you say! 

"I am made of cardboard but i KNOW if you try to bat me lead-off!"
NYG--the Giants placed a very respectable third in April, but the wheels came off in May as they dropped 21 of 27 before sweeping three at Pittsburgh to end the month. Bill White, the scourge of the National League in April, dropped off the map in May. Hank Thompson (6,21, .279) took the first two weeks off, though his body kept going up to bat without him, before waking up in the latter half of the month. New York has no one to get on base in front of Willie Mays. Mueller (.207) and Lockman (.208) aren't getting on base and have zero power. Alvin "Yes, Dave?" Dark (0,10,.271) hits well lower in the order, but goes poof when placed at lead-off. Ace pinch hitter Dusty Rhodes suffered through a godawful 2-for-34 month, leaving him at .085. At one point, the team sank to the cellar, but when they beat the Buccos they rose back to the giddy heights of 6th place. Whee.  

Red Munger. He may be dead, from the looks of him.
PIT--Grr. The league has seen a spate of shutouts, and here is the main offender, having been blanked an incredible 14 times in 44 games. There were 21 shutouts in 50 games in April (!), but then the rate slowed to 21 of 118 games in May, no thanks to these punchless pikers. Frank Thomas (7,25,.248) doesn't show up half the time and Lee Walls (.276, 16 x-base hits) is their only other competent hitter. Dale Long set a record in real life for consecutive home runs in 1956, but for me he "boasts" 4, 15, and .238. Roberto Clemente (.230) and Bill Mazeroski (.168) aren't ready for prime time, evidently. It's too bad, because the pitching has been very good. Ancient "Red" Munger (2-4), salvaged from the Pacific Coast League, even took a no-hit bid into the 8th inning against Philadelphia before imploding. But this team just does anything it can to avoid scoring. They run into outs, bang into double plays, get tossed out stealing (1 of 15 in steal attempts.). I hate them. At least they suckered the Cardinals into taking Bobby Del Greco (.169 with PIT) for Bill Virdon (.250 since coming over).

"Watch me almost hit .300!"
CHI--The Cubs have the worst pitching, by far, to this point. Emblematic of their system-wide failure is "bonus baby" Don Kaiser, owner of an 0-8 log to go with a 6.04 e.r.a. Don began the season as the number two starter! Then he was banished to the pen, but necessity required that he start again. He lost, of course. But what about Ernie Banks? You know, Mister Cub, "Let's play two!" He's hitting .230 with 4 homers, and is tied for the league lead with 10 errors. The one bright spot was first sacker and spray hitter Dee Fondy, who lit it up in May and raised his average to .299.  He even played one game in left field when the team ran short of pickets. I wonder if he can pitch?


WINS: Newcombe-brk 8-1, Spahn-mil 7-4, 5 tied with 6.

ERA: Spahn-mil 1.06, Burdette-mil 1.11, Conley-mil 1.99, Newcombe-brk 2.08, Kline-pit 2.17, Friend-pit 2.21, Dickson-stl 2.46, Klippstein-cin 2.59, Buhl-mil 2.70, Margoneri-ny 2.83

IP: Spahn-mil 93, Newcombe-brk 91, Dickson-stl 84, Friend-pit 81.1, Rush-chi 79

CG: Spahn-mil 8, Dickson-stl 6, Burdette-mil 5,  Newcombe-brk 5

LOSSES: Kaiser-chi 0-8, Roberts-phi 2-8

K's: Spahn-mil 66, Jones-chi 49, Haddix-phi 46, Newcombe-brk 46, Antonelli-ny 45, Dickson-stl 45

SHO: Spahn-mil 4, Burdette-mil 3

AVG: Kluszewski-cin .382, Robinson-cin .340, Mays-ny .355, Adcock-mil .333, McMillan-cin .333, Boyer-stl 318, Blaylock-phi .312, Musial-stl .304, Bailey-cin .303, Fondy-chi 299

HR: Adcock-mil 20, Robinson-cin 14, Mays-ny 13, Snider-brk 11, Lopata-phi 10, Crandall-mil 9

RBI: Adcock-mil 38, Boyer-stl 35, Musial-stl 32, Snider-brk 31, Lopata-phi 30, Mays-ny 30

RUNS: Bell-cin 33, Robinson-cin 33, Musial-stl 32, Adcock-mil 30 

2B: Jablonski-cin 16, Boyer-stl 12, Robinson-cin 12, Snider-brk 12

3B: Banks-chi 5, Post-cin 5

SB: Mays-ny 15, Gilliam-brk 8, Bell-cin 7, Robinson-brk 7

GIDP: Jablonski-cin 7, Bell-cin 6, Jones-phi 6, Williams-brk 6

ERRORS: Banks-chi 10, Blasingame-stl 10

Paul Schaal Award "hopefuls": (The PS Award goes to the last position player with a team from opening day to not have a hit.) Cimoli-brk 0-for-1, Gorbous-phi 0-6, Wilson-ny 0-1, Kindall-chi 0-5. Wilson will be traded to the AL eventually. If the award is not yet "won" by then, he will be disqualified.

See you in June!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

My APBA Playing Space, Updated

It's been a while since I showed my playing space for my baseball game. 

Here we see the Milwaukee Braves in town for a May 18th, 1956 contest against the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds

1956 Sporting News Guide, schedule, and vintage brown sacrifice book at the ready!

And of course, music, spare pencils and what-have-you. . .

. . . not to mention the new stadium clock. Play ball!

Friday, July 28, 2017

They Must Be In The Front Row! : Mid-May 1956 Replay Mini-Update

7 homers in May so far for Frank.
The Braves continue to lead the world, the Great Shutout Plague abates, and the Pirates manage to start scoring (a few) runs. Here's my 1956 NL replay through May 15th.

MIL  20-5  ---
BRK  17-10  4
CIN  16-10  4.5
STL  13-13  7.5
PHI  10-14  9.5
NY  11-17  10.5 
PIT  9-18  12
CHI  8-17  12

Except for Milwaukee and Brooklyn being flip-flopped, my teams are in the exact spots in the standings that their actual counterparts finished in.  

"Watch me win the game!"
Braves--Milwaukee continues to steamroller the league, going 11-2 so far in the month. The only speed bump was two straight losses at Cincinnati, but the Braves came back and swept a doubleheader the next day. The injury bug has bitten a bit, with Bruton, Crandall and Covington out, but even with Joe Adcock returning to earth, it doesn't seem to slow this squad. The team enjoyed a pair of walk-off hits from unlikely heroes Felix Mantilla and Danny "The Irish Cop" O'Connell.  

Gill Man knocked in 5 against the Cubs.
Dodgers--The Bums started the month horribly, dropping 6 of 7, but have since reeled off 7 wins in a row. Superannuated infielder Pee Wee Reese, who couldn't buy a hit in April, is a .300 hitter in May, and contributed an 11th inning walk-off single against St. Louis. Jackie Robinson, pressed into every day duty by an injury to Ransom Jackson, has hit a solid .300 as well, while Gil "Gill Man" Hodges and Roy Campanella have provided plenty of muscle.  

The kid just might stick.
Reds--Rookie sensation Frank Robinson has socked 7 dingers so far in May, giving him 9 for the season and the team lead. He also has 5 doubles, 14 rbi and 15 runs scored in the month.  Reds fans have already forgotten last year's left field platoon tandem of Stan Palys and George Thurman! Joining the young star with 14 rbi in May is Big Klu, who continues to hit over .400 for the season. "I'm Ichiro!" he crowed, pooh-poohing his meager 2 home runs. On May 8th against New York, the Rhinelanders exploded for a 21-2 destruction of the visiting Giants. Robinson drove home 6, and even pitcher Brooks Lawrence managed to score 4 times. 

Cardinals--Stan Musial shows no sign of slowing down, as he has knocked home 16 tallies and scored 14 himself in May while slugging 10 x-base hits. Ken Boyer has chipped in with 15 rbi. Hitting hasn't been what's keeping the Cardinals treading water. However, GM Frank "Trader" Lane has already jettisoned disappointing starter Harvey "The Stupid Little Kitten" Haddix and has more deals in the works. However, his recent acquisitions of crap utility men Bobby Morgan and Grady Hatton seem perplexing at best. 

He gets the max for the minimum at TJ Maxx.
Phillies--For some reason, the Phillies found it necessary to trade half their rotation to St. Louis for. . . . The Stupid Little Kitten. Why? Goddess knows. Gone are effective artifact Murry Dickson and stingy anchor man Herm Wehmeier. Arrived, in addition to Haddix, are two crap relievers. Whee. Causing further worries in Philadelphia is the continued non-production of Del Ennis, who hit 1 homer in April and still sits goggling at it and refusing to hit any more. There was a little bit of good news, though. Robin Roberts notched his first win of the year and faced only the minimum 27 batters in destroying the Pirates 10-0 on the 11th. The Bucs did have three runners, but hit into one double play and the other two got caught bumbling around between bases and were tagged out. 

He can even stand on his own shoulder!
Giants--Hard times have befallen the Giants following their very presentable April. A dismal 3-11 log in May has sunk them to sixth place. Willie Mays is 22-for-52 in the month with 5 HR, but he can't do it alone. April basher Hank Thompson has turned into a May pipsqueak, and Bill White, dominant last month, is merely serviceable so far in May. 

They're two, two, two mints in one!
Pirates--After suffering through being shut out a whopping 11 times on the season, the Buccos seem to have finally gotten the knack of scraping up a run or two every now and then, but they still stink. What seemed to snap them out of their offensive coma was a 3-run inside-the-park homer by little Eddie O'Brien, one half of the Pirates' twin pairing at the end of the bench along with brother Johnny. It was the league's 2nd such blast of the year, along with one by Whitey Lockman of N.Y. (For the record, in over 550 major league ab's, Eddie never hit a single home run. Johnny hit 4. "I owe it all to the Orsino Board!" he crowed to assembled reporters.) Still, it's been a circus of incompetence in Pittsburgh. To wit: they have been unsuccessful in 11 out of 12 steal attempts. Throw in clean-up hitter Dale Long's failure to drive in even ONE run so far in May, and you see why they are virtually tied for last.

Cubs--Ah the lovable losers, those Cubs, etcetera etcetera. Take it from me, they'll never win a pennant! What they did have in early May '56 was two walk-off hits from Dodger reject Eddie Miksis and Giants cast-off Monte Irvin. What, you want more? There IS no more!

See you at the end of May for leaders and all of that. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

1956 NL End Of April Report

April is completed in my new APBA baseball project, the 1956 National League. It's been kind of a surprising month in some ways, and a lot of fun to send these old players back onto the field. I was only a year old in 1956 and so most of these players are new to me, and my 1956 Baseball Register is getting a work out!

The most surprising thing--and one I am not very thrilled about--is the preponderance of shutouts in the early going. I have played 50 games and 21 of them have ended in shutouts. Part of this can be attributed to top starters going more often at the beginning, what with the rotations being set for Opening Day, and the frequent off days. Also, I am still learning the players and doodling around with the line-ups. But 42% shutouts? (My 1969 NL replay started out with an avalanche of errors, and I was worried about that, but over the length of the replay, it came out right on the money. So, maybe this is an aberration, too.) By contrast, there have only been 9 games decided by one run, and only 2 extra inning games. (Both went into extras tied at 0!) But for all of the zeroes, there was only 1 low-hit game, a 2-hitter by Bob Friend on Opening Day. 

Lou Burdette: 3 starts, 3 shutouts!
Milwaukee (9-3, 0 gb)  The Braves shot out of the gate like gangbusters, winning 9 of their first 10, and riding unbelievably good starting pitching. The team e.r.a. is a microscopic 1.18--well over a run better than any other team. Braves chuckers completed 10 of 12 starts (again well ahead of the league) and tossed a whopping 6 blank jobs, allowing only 16 runs against total. Del Crandall and Joe Adcock paced the offense with a 5 and a 6 rbi game respectively (leader board to follow team reports) while Spahn and Burdette headed the staff. In a total 50's move, the Braves did not even attempt a stolen base so far.

Gil thought the rbi's would just never come.
Brooklyn (9-4, 1/2 gb)  The Dodgers twirled 5 blanks of their own, headed by Roger Craig and 4-game winner Don Newcombe, who had a little luck in the form of booming Dodger bats. Brooklyn is second in the league in batting average (.252) and leads in doubles with 29. Sandy Amoros and Duke Snider paced the attack. Jim Gilliam is always on base, and third sacker Ransom Jackson did his share. Veteran shortstop Pee Wee Reese struggled to get above .100, and legendary Jackie Robinson has been relegated to utility duty in his final season, but is hitting north of .400 in that role. Gil "Gill Man" Hodges took forever to get his first rbi, but ended the month with 5.

"I want to be league president!" crowed a delirious Bill White.
New York (8-6, 2 gb) The Giants want to say just one word to you, young man. No, not "plastics." They say, "Power!" The Giants paced the loop with 17 round trippers and placed 4th in runs (50) despite being 6th in average (.217). Bill White, who would have been player of the month if they had that in 1956, sprayed the ball all over the Polo Grounds, and despite a disappointing .236 average, Willie Mays did plenty of damage, too. Add in timely blasts from Hank Thompson and Dusty Rhodes (2 pinch hit home runs, including a grand slam!) and the New Yorkers found themselves in third place at month's end despite having lost their first two games at home to Pittsburgh.  

Cincinnati (6-6, 3 gb) As expected, the Reds pounded the ball, leading the circuit in average (.265) runs (62) and even stolen bases (8). The pitching was suspect, placing 7th with a 4.29 e.r.a. The attack was remarkably balanced, with 9 different players hitting either 1 or 2 home runs. Ace Brooks Lawrence would like to forget April, after having gone 0-3. 

"Call me. Don't be afraid you can't call me..."
Philadelphia (5-7, 4 gb) The Quakers had surprisingly good pitching, placing second with a nifty 2.47 team mark despite being last in strikeouts (45). The problem in Philly was a lack of scoring. The Phils plated just 32 runs (7th) and were tied for last in homers with just 6. Stan Lopata and Granny Hamner (who had a 2-homer, 8 rbi game against Brooklyn) did their bit, but Richie Ashburn--after stroking 3 hits on opening day--hit just .149 and Del "The Black Hole" Ennis hit a mere .125 with 1 HR and 2 rbi. Saul Rogovin came out of nowhere to post a zero e.r.a. based on one shutout start and a few innings of relief. 

St. Louis (5-7, 4 gb) The Cardinals pitching was so awful that even a double shutout of the Braves on the 29th only lowered the team e.r.a. to a dismal 5.43, worst by far in the loop.  Redbird pitchers gave up a league-high 65 runs and 17 homers against. The offense was capable of exploding, but was spotty. They hit only 9 homers, and were 0-2 in steal attempts. Catcher "Cura" Smith started hot, going 7-for-14 with 6 rbi's including a grand slam, but then he was kicked in the head by a Missouri mule and will miss several weeks. Expect GM Frank "Trader" Lane to start dealing soon if the cards don't start flying a little higher. 

Pete rocks a 1926 vibe for the 1956 Cubs.
Chicago (4-8, 5 gb) The Cubbies had one remarkable stat at the end of April, quite an amazing one, in fact: they grounded into only 1 double play. The next least in the league was 7. Perhaps part of the reason is that they hit just .215 (7th). However, they did get a big performance from journeyman flyhawk Pete Whisenant, who had the audacity to hit for the cycle against St. Louis. "The Whiz" scored 4 runs that day, and cemented his place in Cubs history. There wasn't much else to crow about except for ace Bob Rush's three wins.

Pirate skipper Bobby Bragan keeps searching for solutions.
Pittsburgh (4-9, 5 1/2 gb) The Pirates won their first two games, then dropped 9 of their next 11. The problem is, that in a league starved for runs, the Pirates were the most anemic of all, plating just 28, last in the circuit. They were also last in average at .203, and tied for last in HR with 6 and triples with 2. Did I mention they were last in fielding as well, with 17 errors? Dick Groat and first sacker Dale Long were a comedy team on the Pirate infield, each charged with a whopping 6 miscues in just 13 games. The one bright spot was the pitching, which clocked in 5th at 2.99.  


WINS: Newcombe-brk 4-0, Burdette-mil 3-0, Rush-chi 3-1, Spahn-mil 3-1

ERA: Burdette-mil 0.00, Rogovin-phi 0.00, Spahn-mil 0.25, Wehmeier-phi 0.60, Craig-brk 0.88, Nuxhall-cin 1.15, Gomez-ny 1.17, Friend-pit 1.43,  Conley-mil 1.50, Dickson-phi 1.67

CG: Spahn-mil 4, Burdette-mil 3, Dickson-phi 3

Shutouts: Burdette-mil 3, 3 tied with 2

IP: Spahn-mil  36, Newcombe-brk 33, Friend-pit 28, Burdette-mil 27, Dickson-phi 27, Kline-pit 26.2, Rush-chi 26

K's: Spahn-mil 27, Fowler-cin 19, Kline-pit 19, Haddix-stl 16, Burdette-mil 15, Newcombe-brk 15

Losses: Kaiser-chi 0-3, Law-pit 0-3, Lawrence-cin 0-3, Roberts-phi 0-3

AVG: Kluszewski-cin .409, Adcock-mil .400, Aaron-mil .373, Lopata-phi .357, Crandall-mil .342, Jones-phi .317, Jackson-brk .311, Musial-stl .311, Thompson-ny .310, White-ny .306

HR: Crandall-mil 5, Snider-brk 5, White-ny 5, Adcock-mil 4, Amoros-brk 4

RBI: Crandall-mil 13, Adcock-mil 12, Snider-brk 11, Mays-ny 10, 5 tied with 9

RUNS: White-ny 13, Aaron-mil 10, Snider-brk 10, Bell-cin 9

2B: Jablonski-cin 8, Snider-brk 6, 6 tied with 5

3B: Bruton-mil 3, 7 tied with 2

STEALS: Mays-ny 5, Bell-cin 4, Gilliam-brk 2, McMillan-cin 2

ERR: Groat-pit 6, Long-pit 6, Spencer-ny 5

See you next time for the end of May report!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Cards Win Flag Three Games To One Over Giants

The NLCS was a little bit of a disappointment, to be honest. I expected low scores, what with both teams featuring two shut-down aces, but it got silly when neither team could buy a run at all. 

The Cardinals won game one, 2-1, behind Gibson. Bobby Bonds hit a 9th inning solo homer to get the home crowd excited, but that was it. Perry took the loss after giving up 2 in the top of the first on three doubles before settling down.

In game 2, the Cards scored an unearned run and that was all she wrote. STL 1, SF 0. Carlton tossed a 2-hitter with 10 strikeouts. Marichal took the hard luck loss.

Game 3 saw the same script reversed, when the Giants scored an unearned run and rode it to a 1-0 win at St. Louis to stay alive. McMahon the winner, Briles the loss, Linzy the save.

The Cardinals jumped on Bob Bolin for a run in the bottom of the first in game 4, and then exploded for 9 runs in the second off of Bolin and Ray Sadecki. Chuck Taylor got the win as the final tally was a whopping 13-1. St. Louis wins in four.

Lou Brock was named the NLCS MVP for hitting .400 (6 for 15) with a double, 4 runs scored and 2 rbi.  The Giants only scored 3 runs for the entire series, and never more than 1 in any game. There was only the one home run by Bonds in the series. 

St. Louis Cardinals, 1969 replay National League champions. 

Note: my next project will be the 1956 National League. I won't be doing daily updates like I did for this replay, but I will turn up in this space now and then with news about it.

Final 1969 NL Replay Stats, Leaders, & Team Reports

My 1969 National League regular season replay is over! I started it on April 3rd, 2016 and finished on June 26, 2017, so a little under 15 months to play it.

The NLCS will appear in my next --and last--post, but for now let's take a look at the season just gone by (um, almost 50 years ago!). The Cardinals and Giants both went 97-65, winning their respective divisions, but the Giants had a much tougher fight, eventually winning by 2 over the Dodgers, while the Redbirds skunked the Cubs and the rest of the east by 8 games. 

Some random fun facts to know and tell, before we get to the leader board and team summaries:

20-game winners: replay 7, actual 9.
.300 hitters qualifying for the batting title: replay 13, actual 11.
No hitters: 4. Hands, Singer and Marichal 2.
Cycles: 3. Lee May, Pete Rose and Donn Clendenon

Player of the Month
April--Rose, cin
May--McCovey, sf
June--H.Aaron, atl
July--H.Aaron, atl
August--Tolan, cin
September--May, cin

My league totals vs (actual).
ERA--3.60 (3.59)
K's--12,080 (11,628)
Shutouts--162 (166)
Saves--302 (356)
CG--638 (531)

Errors--1768 (1758)
DP's--1636 (1777)
TP's--4 (4)

BA--.247 (.250)
HR--1282 (1470)
2B--2549 (2455)
3B--450 (471)
xbh--4281 (4396)
SB--874 (817)
CS--468 (548)
steal pct.--65% (60%)
runs--7997 (7890)
rpg--8.23 (8.12)


WINS--Carlton-stl 22-7, Perry-sf 22-8, Singer-la 22-11, Maloney-cin 21-10, Veale-pit 20-10, Sutton-la 20-11, Hands-chi 20-12

LOSSES--Santorini-sd 6-24, J.Johnson-phi 6-22

ERA (162 IP)--Hands-chi 1.88, Carlton-stl 1.99, Perry-sf 2.10, Koosman-ny 2.11, Gibson-stl 2.19, Marichal-sf 2.21, Seaver-ny 2.29, Briles-stl 2.31, P.Niekro-atl 2.32, Sutton-la 2.34

K's--Jenkins-chi 233, Singer-la 232, Carlton-stl 230, Veale-pit 224, Wilson-hou 212, Ellis-pit 211, Sutton-la 207, Hands-chi 206 

IP--Hands-chi 306, Marichal-sf 301.2, Maloney-cin 300.2

CG--Wise-phi 25, Carlton-stl 24, Marichal-sf 24, Dierker-hou 23, Koosman-ny 23, Perry-sf 23

SHO--Dierker-hou 7, Marichal-sf 7, Singer-la 7

Saves--Upshaw-atl 29, McGraw-ny 27, Regan-chi 21, Face-mon 20, Linzy-sf 20

BAvg--Rose-cin .368, McCovey-sf .362, Jones-ny .357, Davis-la .352, Mota-la .330, Clemente-pit 329, Oliver-pit 323, Tolan-cin .317, H.Aaron-atl .313, Allen-phi 304, Bench-cin .303, Javier-stl .303, Brock-stl .300

HR--H.Aaron-atl 44, Allen-phi 38, May-cin 34, McCovey-sf 32, Oliver-pit 32, Staub-mon 31 

RBI--May-cin 136, Oliver-pit 121, Staub-mon 117, McCovey-sf 116, Tolan-cin 112, H.Aaron-atl 109, Rose-cin 105, Santo-chi 103, Stargell-pit 100 

2B--Laboy-mon 42, Kessinger-chi 39, Javier-stl 38, May-cin 38 

3B--Tolan-cin 14, Sanguillen-pit 13, Harrelson-ny 12

Runs--Rose-cin 140, Bonds-sf 130, Brock-stl 119, Wills-la 114, Wynn-hou 114,  May-cin 108, H.Aaron-atl 107, Oliver-pit 106, Tolan-cin 103, Davis-la 100

Hits--Rose-cin 233, Davis-la 219, M.Alou-pit 200

Steals--Bonds-sf 62, Morgan-hou 62, Wills-la 55, Brock-stl 47, Tolan-cin 31, Wynn-hou 31, Davis-la 30

Errors--Morgan-hou 38, Arcia-sd 37, Sizemore-la 37


MVP--Rose, cin
Cy Young--Carlton, stl
Rolaids Fireman--Upshaw, atl
Rookie of the Year--Oliver, pit 


Dud of the Year:  Colbert, sd
Sigh Young: Guinn, hou 
Shouldn't Have Comeback Player: Whitfield, cin
Paul Schaal Award (last position player to get a hit): Grabarkewitz, la
Jim Hardin Award (the high J-factor pitcher who never gets injured and puts up big numbers): Carlton, stl and Maloney, cin co-winners.
Orsino Award (same as above, but for position players): Herrera, mon 
Overcarded Pitcher: Briles, stl
Overcarded Hitter: Oliver, pit


STL--The Cardinals jumped out to a sensational 20-4 start, then sputtered their way through May and June, finally being caught and overtaken by the Cubs in July. But the Redbirds regrouped and played very sold ball through the rest of the season to take the east division handily by 8 games. Injuries limited Bob Gibson to 18-6 in 33 starts, but the entire Cardinal starting four were sensational all year.  With the pitching solid, when they got enough hitting, they won. Julian Javier (13, 84, .303) had a career year at second base. Star Performance: On May 17th at San Diego, Gibson carried a no-hitter into the 9th and got the first two batters, only to give up a hit to the last man. He ended up with a 1-hit, 4-1 win. Team Thrill: On Sept. 23rd, the Cards clinched the east with an 8-2 win at New York. Beetle Bomb Award: Vada Pinson, supposed to replace Roger Maris in right--and for whom they traded away Tolan and Granger to the Reds--had a dismal 6, 50, and .214.

CHI--Freaking Cubs. They got superb pitching all year, but the bats just never heated up. Ernie Banks (16, 77, .229) hit only 2 home runs in the first half! The team hit only 114 homers. On the bright side, Ferguson Jenkins won the strikeout crown--as he actually did--edging out Carlton by a single whiff.  Star Performance: Way back on April 9th, Bill Hands no-hit the Phillies 2-0, allowing only one runner, a walk. Team Thrill: The Cubs won 11 in a row from June 27th through July 6th. Beetle Bomb Award: Late acquisition Jimmie Hall was picked up to hopefully provide some missing pop, but hit .091 with no xbh, no runs and no rbi.

PIT--The Bucs got off to their traditional lousy start, and although they warmed up and had lots of hitting, they never had enough starting pitching to get them further than they got. The clearly overcarded rookie Al Oliver (1-5-6 power for 19 doubles and 17 homers in almost 500 ab's) went wild, but veteran Roberto Clemente, though he hit .329, had only 31 xbh's and 62 rbi.  Matty Alou set a record with 722 ab's, but hit a disappointing .277. Star Performance: On June 4th at Forbes, Oliver launched three home runs for 7 rbi in an 8-1 demolition of the Reds. Team Thrill: on Sept. 25th the Pirates turned a triple play in the first inning against the Phillies. Beetle Bomb Award: the whole team, for collecting 24 hits on April 11th vs. Philadelphia, and losing 15-11. 

NY--One reason I chose this replay was to see if the Miracle Mets could replicate their legendary run. They couldn't. The Mets won 86 games and finished third in '70 and '71, and that's about right for them. Here, they won 86 and finished 4th, all due to non-existent offense. Tommie Agee (18, 75, .228, 71 runs) was counted on to hit, and he mostly didn't. Art Shamsky actually hit .300 in part time duty, but went 16, 57, .233 here. Tom Seaver actually went 25-7, but went 16-13 for me, in large part due to lack of support and facing the other team's ace a lot of the time. Star Performance: On August 10th at Atlanta, Agee hit a grand slam and had 6 rbi in an 8-6 win. Team Thrill: In a crazy doubleheader on June 24th vs. the Phillies, Swoboda hit a pinch hit walk-off in the opener for a 12-11 11-inning win, and Garrett hit a walk-off single in the 12th inning of the nightcap for a 4-3 win and the sweep. Beetle Bomb Award: Donn Clendenon. He had 16 HR (and 40 rbi with a .290 avg) to lead the league when the Mets got him in June from the Expos. He only hit 8 for the Mets, with 30 rbi, and batted .232.

MON--The Expos lost 9 of the first 10 games of their existence, but then rallied. Wills, Mota and Clendenon were hitting, and the team enjoyed their first-ever winning month in June, going 16-15. But then management dealt away all three of those players and the troubles began. Rusty Staub did his part (31, 117, .276) and Roy Face--acquired from the Tigers in late April to help a dismal bullpen--turned in a surprising 20 saves with a decent 3.04 e.r.a. Coco Laboy made a bid for rookie of the year with 20, 97 and .265 with a league-high 42 two-baggers. Utility man Jose Herrara got the Orsino Award for batting 480 times with an inexplicable 34 doubles (he only had two zeroes) and a .281 average. Star Performance: May 23rd at Crosley Field, Donn Clendenon hit for the cycle and drove in 4, but the Expos lost 11-9 anyway. Team Thrill: existing! Beetle Bomb Award: Ron Fairly, acquired in the June trades, hit only 4 HR with a .254 avg after hitting over .300 for the Dodgers, plus he was injured all the time. 

PHI--Oh dear me, was this team awful. They had two starters, Wise (12-16) and Grant Jackson (16-14) and absolutely no other pitching. The bullpen didn't have a left-hander at all, and the "closer" was Billy Wilson (1-12, 16 sv, 4.37). The Phillies couldn't pitch, couldn't field, and couldn't generate sequential offense. The one and only thing they could do was hit home runs. They were 3rd in the league with 134. Rich Allen (38, 92, .304) and John Callison (19, 76, .261) appear to have played their last game for the Quakers. Star Performance: July 18th, Rick Wise tossed a 10-inning 2-hitter and walked away a winner after Callison's 2-out walk-off double. Team Thrill: the season ending. Beetle Bomb Award: Hurler Jerry Johnson, who was the third starter, at least to begin with, and went a horrid 6-22 with a 5.79 e.r.a.  

SF--What a race the Giants had with the Dodgers! The San Francisco club rode 3 starters--Marichal (19-12 2.21), Perry (22-8, 2.10) and McCormick (13-7, 2.60) and some timely hitting to the west title. Bob Bolin went 16-11, but his 5.16 e.r.a. shows how lucky he was. The bullpen is weak, but Frank Linzy did manage 20 saves and 3.05.  The big mystery is, how did a team in the middle of the pack in every offensive category, manage to score 758 runs, second only to the Reds? I have no idea. Willie McCovey (32, 116, .362) was a terror in the first half, but turned into a slap hitter in the second half. Aging Willie Mays (13, 77, .259) was inconsistent, but he really helped carry the team in the last two months. Jim Ray Hart, not even counted on to start, turned in 10, 81, and .287, sore shoulder and all. Even little Hal Lanier hit only .225 with just 10 xbh's, but somehow drove in 56 runs, 22 of them after September 1st. Star Perfomance: August 8th, Juan Marichal threw his second no-hitter of the season, defeating St. Louis 2-0. Team Thrill: hearing that the Dodgers had lost to Houston on the next-to-last day of the season, giving the Giants the division. Beetle Bomb Award: Rookie flyhawk Dave Marshall, counted on to be a left-handed threat off the bench, had no homers, 4 rbi, and a dismal .097 average.

LA--After the '66 World Series and Koufax's retirement, the Dodgers became irrelevant for '67 and '68. They weren't irrelevant in '69! They battled the Giants down to the wire. In fact, they looked like the odds-on choice to win the west before a rash of injuries slowed them fatally down the stretch. After starting strong, they ended the final month 15-16, their only losing month all year. One who missed time late was Willie Davis (15, 93, .352, 100 runs) who lit up NL pitchers all season.  Before he got hurt he was torrid, spraying hits all over the place and combining with Wills for steals galore. At the end of June, the Dodgers were last in the league in steals, with 16, but they re-acquired Wills, and Davis went crazy, lifting their final total to 85. The bullpen tandem of righty Mikkelsen (9-4-17, 1.97) and lefty Brewer (4-5-16, 2.68) was solid. Injuries and the lack of a 4th starter was all that kept the Dodgers from winning the west. Star Performance: On April 18th, Bill Singer no-hit the Astros 1-0. Team Thrill: In a meaningless game on the last day of the season, sore-armed star Don Drysdale came in to toss the final two frames and make his last appearance in Dodger flannels. Trailing 6-3 with 2 out and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth, Don was allowed to step to the plate, as the Dodger fans rose and gave him a lengthy standing ovation, knowing this was goodbye. Plate umpire "Hell" Enkeller took his time dusting off home plate, to give Drysdale a chance to have his moment. Even Don's usually potent bat was quiet in '69, but he swung and belted a double off the wall. The crowd went nuts all over again. The next batter made the final out, but what a nice moment. Beetle Bomb Award: rookie infielder Ted Sizemore, much ballyhooed, hit just 2, 46 and .225 with 37 miscues in the field, many of them during the pressure-packed days of September. 

ATL--It was the Henry Aaron show all summer in Atlanta. He belted 44 homers (hitting the last one on the final day, to match his actual total), drove in 109, scored 107, hit .313 and did not make an error all season. Hammerin' Hank was Player of the Month in both June and July, when he was sending balls out of the park with stunning regularity. It was only a slow start and so-so finish that prevented him from taking the league MVP award.  I almost gave it to him anyway. The Braves matched their actual 93-69 record, but it wasn't quite enough in the replay. A bad month of August and start of September sank the Braves, who fell too far back and couldn't make it all up in time. The pitching was stellar, posting a 2.98 team e.r.a., but the offense relied too heavily upon Aaron, Cepeda (23, 96, .295) and Rico Carty (21, 60, and .283 in 382 ab's.) Clete Boyer hit ten homers, but none after July 15th. Felipe Alou had no power. Catcher, shortstop and second base were offensive black holes. Star Performance: June 20th, Hank Aaron hit 3 home runs in a 6-1 win vs. S.F., giving him 5 HR in 2 games. Team Thrill: playing the Astros. The Braves took 16 of 18 from the Spacemen.

CIN--Good gravy could these guys hit! They led the league with a whopping 842 runs scored and were entertaining as can be. If they had had anyone behind Jim Maloney (21-10, 3.05) to start games, they would have won. Granger was a good stopper if they managed to get to the late innings; he had 19 saves and was a workhorse. The Reds were never out of games. They had May (34, 136, .281), Tolan (18, 112, .317), Rose (22, 105, .368 and 140 runs), Bench (17, 78, .303) and Perez (26, 96, .263). Alex Johnson threw in 14, 68 and .313 when I could keep him on the field. However, a putrid July, when they went 10-17 and inexplicably stopped hitting, did them in. Star Perfomance: Tommy Helms set a NL mark for consecutive hits with 11, over three games in late September. He had 10 singles and a double. With a chance to tie the MLB record of 12, he flied to center. Team Thrill: On April 28th at San Francisco, the Reds turned 6 DP's but lost 3-2. Beetle Bomb Award: Fred "Wingy" Whitfield batted 61 times, never had an xbh, never drove in a run, and hit .148. Hang 'em up already, Fred.

HOU--All right, class, which one is not like the others?:  9-15, 12-15, 10-19, 21-5, 8-20, 12-16. If you said 21-5, you're right. That was the Astros record in July, when they suddenly went from doormat to powerhouse. Honestly, I've never seen anything like it. They didn't acquire anybody, nothing changed except for a new line-up, and the line-up stopped working after July when they turned back into pumpkins again. The offense was spotty but could be potent. Denis Menke (9, 96, and .276) turned in a career year, and Joe Morgan, piddling around with a .208 average at the end of July, turned it on and ended up with 14, 60 and .253 with 62 bags. Jim Wynn (23, 69, .240, 114 runs) was slump-ridden much of the time, going weeks without doing anything at all. The Astros did walk a lot, though I didn't keep that stat. I do keep bullpen stats, though, and theirs was terrible, posting a league-low 14 saves. Fred Gladding ( 4-8-9, 3.89) actually had a league-leading 29 saves despite an e.r.a. above four. How he did it, I have no idea, but even though his e.r.a. for me was slightly better, he stank, and let numerous leads go a-glimmering before finally losing his job to Jim Ray (8-3-2, 2.20).  Down there at the end of the bullpen bench we find Skip Guinn with his 0-2 record and 12.46 e.r.a., more than four full runs worse than the next worst pitcher in the league, Ron Bryant of the Giants (8.05). Star Performance: Tom Griffin fanned 15 Padres on September 8th, winning 12-2. Team Thrill: On June 5th, the Astros rallied for 3 runs in the bottom of the ninth against St. Louis, capped by Curt Blefary's 1-out 2-run walk-off triple for a 4-3 Houston win. Beetle Bomb Award: Jesus Alou, acquired from Montreal before the season began at the cost of Rusty Staub, put up 2, 43, and .222 and spent long stretches riding the lonesome pine, though he did at least smack 20 doubles. 

SD--Hahahaha. The Pods were putrid, plain and simple. They couldn't field, they couldn't hit, they didn't have much of a pitching staff. Al "Losing Pitcher" Santorini was thrown to the wolves in 34 starts and posted a barf-worthy 6-24, 5.64, though he did lead the team with 186 K's. Five other Padre hurlers lost at least 13 games, while Joe Niekro (9-16, 3.53) led the team in wins. Slugger Nate Colbert was expected to approximate his actual 24 HR, but he only hit 11, with 58 rbi and a paltry .225 average, though he did display gap power with 31 doubles--4 in the season's final 2 games--and 8 triples. Ollie Brown led the team with just 14 HR and the whole team hit just 66, down by a third from their actual 99. Star Performance: Al Santorini fanned 14 Phillies on June 4th, but naturally lost the game anyway, 4-3. Team Thrill: watching ancient relic Johnny Podres stumble out to the mound to post his 1-2 record with 6.62 e.r.a. Beetle Bomb Award: the entire team.