September 28, 2011 arguably goes down in MLB history as the Greatest single day in regular season history with a finish so unlikely and so dramatic it seemed it was scripted from the writers of “24”.
Dan Johnson’s 2-out, 2-strike Home Run in the bottom of the 9th that capped off a seven run comeback vs. the Yankees and saved the season for the Rays. For Johnson’s heroics he earned a Clutch hitting situation rating on his new 2011 season DYNASTY League Baseball player card. It is very unusual for a non-RBI leader to earn a Clutch hitting rating, but it has happened before with Al Weis 1969 Mets, Tom Lawless 1987 Cardinals and Manny Mota’s 1977 Dodgers player cards.
The AL East perennial powers Boston and New York both failed to earn a JAM situation rating for their relief aces Jonathan Papelbon and Mariano Rivera. Papelbon lost his chance for a JAM with an unimpressive .273 BA with RSP/2 out. Rivera was not only mediocre with a .261 BA/.435 SLG with RSP/2 out, but got rocked with RSP at a .326 BA/.488 SLG clip.
DYNASTY League Baseball fans Dave Kerpen and Andrew Kaufmann debated the merits of the Mets R.A. Dickey chance for a JAM rating in the 2011 season player card set. What it came down to is that even though Dickey won only 8 games he was a candidate for a JAM rating because he was amongst the Official ERA leaders with his 3.28 ERA. Dickey earned his JAM rating on the basis of a .184 BA/.241 SLG with RSP/2 out.
The poster boy for a JAM rating is Tim Lincecum who dialed it up with RSP/2 out allowing a .115 BA/.177 SLG. Now THAT is a pitcher who can get out of a jam!
Carp JAM rating? This year a resounding YES for Cardinal Ace Chris Carpenter.
How could he not after besting Phillie Ace Roy Halladay in a Game 5 NLDS 1-0 duel of aces to end all pitching duels? A .236 BA with RSP/2 outs during the regular season helps too.
Beer in the bullpen? The Red Sox cleaned house after the season becaue the clubhouse chemistry had gone awry. The starting rotation of Beckett, Bucholz, Lackey and Lester all got slapped with a D intangible rating for their Boston beer party.
Mark Buehrle staked his claim on this generation’s version of Jim Kaat with an A+ Range rating and 90 Error rating. Buehrle ranked #1 in the Fielding Bible Plus/Minus leaderboard for pitchers with a +4 score to his right, +2 in the middle and 9 runs saved.
Troy Tulowitzki (A/100/-5) earned an A Range rating on the basis of his excellent 5.05 Range Factor (1st) and his solid Fielding Bible +10 score. Error 100 ratings are historically rare and Tulowitzki’s .991 Fielding pct. got him the top historical rating on the scale. Tulo’s player card is a true gem topped off by his -5 Double Play pivot rating which was earned on the basis of his #1 ranked DP pct. of .681.
In the AL, Brendan Ryan (A/70/-5) ranked 1st in the shortstop Fielding Bible rankings for the second year in a row with a +22 Plus/Minus.
It’s rare that a rookie would debut with an A range rating, but that is exactly what the Angel’s Mark Trumbo (A/70) did ranking 1st in Fielding Bible Plus/Minus (+11).
Washington’s Rick Ankiel continues to not just impress, but to put himself in the pantheon next to Clemente in terms of throwing arms. Ankiel’s 7 “kills” and 9 runs saved ranked him 1st among all CF. MLB scouts also graded Ankiel’s arm an 8 on their 2-8 scale. Ankiel (B+/90/-4) earned a very rare -4 throwing arm rating in 2011 in both CF and RF.
Atlanta’s Michael Bourn continues to be as menacing as Jason Bourne – only Michael does his killing on the basepaths. Bourn scores a 10 Baserunning rating and top tier lead (7/6/2) and steal (8/7/1) ratings at 2nd/3rd/Home.
The new DYNASTY League Baseball 2011 season player card set is available for DYNASTY League Baseball Online right here right now and available in the original Board version format at the Ticket Window.
New to Pursue the Pennant and it’s successor DYNASTY League Baseball? DYNASTY League Baseball is an extremely realistic Baseball simulation game that has it’s roots in the original Pursue the Pennant board game that debuted in 1985 and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Hobby Games of the last 50 years.
In the DYNASTY League Baseball Online Greatest Teams leagues you will choose from one of 76 of the Greatest Teams in Baseball history and then Manage your team in a 12 team league that is divided up into AL and NL Divisions of 6 teams.
1) You will have fun learning Baseball history
Instead of reading about Baseball history in the process of managing your team and playing other great teams you will learn who the great historical players were and why they were so great because you are playing against the likes of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Stever Carlton, Tom Seaver and Dizzy Dean.
2) You will learn how Major League scouts evaluate a players “baseball tools” and the strengths and weaknesses of the greatest baseball players of All-Time.
3) You will learn offensive strategies by managing real MLB players.
When should you steal, hit and run, take the extra base, pinch hit, pinch run, sacrifice bunt and suicide squeeze? What is the best lineup and batting order for my team? When should I platoon vs. left-handed and right-handed pitchers and with which players?
4) You will learn defensive strategies by managing real MLB players.
When should you warm-up a relief pitcher, bring in a relief pitcher, bring in a defensive replacement, throw through or cut-off a throw, bring the infield in, set the infield corners in or call for the intentional walk? What is the best pitching rotation for my team?
5) You will learn which Major League ball parks are hitters or pitchers parks and the various outfield and foul territory dimensions.
As you play out your season you will be playing in historical ball parks from every era in Baseball history.
6) You will learn how a players fielding range, fielding percentage, throwing arm, double play pivot and catcher’s handling of pitchers effects various plays.
7) You will learn how power hitters, contact hitters, high on base hitters, clutch hitters, spray and pull hitters effect each at bat.
8) You will learn how control pitchers, ground ball pitchers, fly ball pitchers, strikeout pitchers, pitchers who rarely walk the lead off batter, pitchers who rarely give up HR with runners on base and pitchers who are tough in jams effect each plate appearance.
9) You will learn how fast and slow basestealers, baserunners with good and bad instincts effect steal attempts and taking the extra base. You will also learn how important both a pitchers ability to hold baserunners and catchers and outfielders throwing arms are.
10) You will learn about Baseball statistics and why they are important in evaluating players and making managerial decisions.
Do you know what OBP and SLG are, how they are calculated and why they are one of the best offensive indicators? Baseball is more than just physical tools it is a cerebral sport where at times the smartest teams and players can beat a more physically talented team.
Thank you to all of the great fans of Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball for 25 fantastic fun years of playing!
Some of the history is captured at the DYNASTY League Baseball reviews and feature link with a new column just added “Yanks Control Board Meeting” from Michael Bauman of the Milwaukee Journal and MLB.com that left us all smiling.
We are celebrating 25 years of Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball during the AT&T Park Tour Tournament Express September 11-13. Your invitation to this amazing event is at the DYNASTY League Baseball League link.
If you are on Facebook, you can read about the AT&T Park Tour Tournament event at the DYNASTY League Baseball Fan page.
The Tour Tournament leads off Friday, September 11 from Union Station in Los Angeles, CA with connections from San Diego, Anaheim and Santa Barbara where we will board Amtrak’s Coast Starlight premier train with first class accomodations and private roomettes.
If you live in the San Franciso bay area there is an opportunity to join us on Saturday, September 12 for the Tour of AT&T Park, Greatest Teams bracket tournament and Dodgers vs. Giants game.
All of you native Giant and A’s fans in the bay area we want you to join our group coming from Los Angeles!
If you live in other parts of the country please contact us so we can help you connect into Los Angeles or San Diego.
As our on-board chef prepares breakfast, we’ll watch some of the most spectacular scenery in the USA roll by in the Dining car. After breakfast, we’ll head to the one of a kind Pacific Parlour car (the only passenger Parlour car on Amtrak) accessible to first class passengers only and ideal for gaming. In fact, it has a cabinet of board games. The Pacific Parlour car will be serving appetizers, wine and cheese so prepare to be pampered. This doesn’t even happen in the Legend seats at Yankee Stadium!
Our Greatest Teams tournament will allow you to select from any of the great teams. I’ll be on the tour tournament event of course and will be skippering the 1985 Cardinals. You’ll have your chance to play me with your favorite greatest team as well as all the other fans on the trip which will be some of the top competition.
On Saturday September 12 we’ll head out to AT&T Park for a tour. On your behind-the-scenes ballpark tour of sensational AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants, you will get to go places only the players and staff go including:
The Field Warning Track
Indoor Batting Cages
The Visitors’ Clubhouse
The Press Box
The Luxury Suite
Ballpark Features and Views
After the tour, we’ll be starting up a local mini-Greatest Team bracket style tournament right at AT&T Park that DYNASTY League Baseball fans from the Bay Area can join in with the group from San Diego and Los Angeles.
The tournaments will include play with the Board version, Windows version and the debut on the new Online version using the Giants Wi-Fi broadband wireless network at AT&T Park.
After the tournament our group will see the Dodgers battle the Giants at AT&T Park.
At the league page there are links to recaps of previous tour tournaments which have some incredible stories to be told.
Stadium Express are just a few of many stories. Above, Dan Treuden (middle) and Mike Mack (right) join me with the Green Monster looming behind before the hurricane hit on the Fenway Park Oympic Stadium Express Tour Tournament.
AT&T Park Express Tour Tournament includes:
– Greatest Teams tournament
Team selections are at this MLB.com News Blog:
– Round trip first class rail fare with private roomette and chef prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner on both Friday and Sunday.
– Two nights San Francisco Hilton Garden Hotel
– Tour of AT&T Ball Park
– Club Level ticket to Giants vs. Dodgers September 12, 2009
Double occupancy: $448
Tour, Tournament and Game only on September 12 for local DYNASTY League Baseball fans in the Bay area: $124
Space is limited…
Team selections on first come basis.
Deadline for reservations is Monday June 15, 2009
Call 561-494-2711 or email email@example.com
See you in September!
The DYNASTY League Baseball 1957 season board version card set is being re-released this Summer in the new color format with updated vs. LH and vs. RH batting and pitching splits. The 1957 season Windows version will also be updated with new vs. LH and vs. RH splits.
What would have it been like to sit in the empty chair and have dinner with Eddie Mathews (middle) in what looks like a typical German restaurant in Milwaukee?
First off, you haven’t eaten unless you’ve been to one of Milwaukee’s famous German restaurants the king of which is Karl Rausch’s.
Most of you are like me. We never had the chance to see the great stars of the 1950’s. So here is your chance to learn a bit more`and take in some of the images of what Baseball was like in 1957.
My Grandfather from my father’s side of the family owned an Optical company near Mitchell St. in Milwaukee. In the 1950’s, Mitchell St. was a thriving area and some of the Milwaukee Braves would come in as customers including Eddie Mathews. The unique thing about the Milwaukee Braves and their fans is that it was a mutual love affair. It was more than the Milwaukee attendance records that were set while outdrawing larger markets in Chicago and New York. The fans loved the Braves and the Braves loved the fans.
From the new book “Milwaukee Braves: Heroes and Heartbreak” author William Povletich explains the love affair: “People ask me what the common theme is for all the guys I talked to, and it’s almost like they all have been brainwashed with the same script,” Povletich said. “It’s ‘We loved Milwaukee. When we came here our money was no good. They installed lockers in the dugout and filled it with meat and dairy products and ice cream. When we came home from a game, there’d be cases of beer on our front porch.
Shortly after Pursue the Pennant began in September of 1984, Bob Allen and I took the Amtrak train from Milwaukee to Chicago to meet with the Advertising agency that we were designing the Pursue the Pennant logo and Ad campaign with. Bob was the Milwaukee Braves PR Director for all 13 winning seasons of Milwaukee Braves history from 1953-1965 and was also Hank Aaron’s agent. He actually had the Milwaukee Braves Championship trophy in his house! Bob did not want to have the Braves memorabilia taken to Atlanta when the Braves were hijacked to the deep south.
Bob Allen borrowed his 1957 Official scorebook to me so I could research the Milwaukee Braves vs. LH and vs. RH splits. I sent copies of his scorebook to retrosheet.org to help with the project of finding original scorebooks from past seasons.
Bob Allen appears in the dugout at the start of this incredible video with rare color footage of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Joe Torre and Eddie Mathews in Milwaukee County Stadium. How lucky is this kid? Best day ever? You bet. When you get right down to it isn’t this really what Baseball is all about?
My parents took me to St. Louis to see the Cardinals play vs. the Atlanta Braves in August of 1973. I became a Cardinals fan in 1967, but had never seen them play in St. Louis. We went to the historic Chase Park Plaza hotel that the Braves were staying at and sure enough here comes Hank Aaron walking through the lobby. Hank was in the midst of his chase of Babe Ruth’s home run record. I went up and told him I was from Milwaukee and Hank signed my baseball.
Later that day we went to Stan Musial’s restaurant and as soon as we walked in there was “Stan the Man”.
Stan was extremely friendly and asked me where I was from and “Can you hit?” I said, “Yeah!” Stan signed the same baseball Hank signed. Best day ever? Certainly right at the top of the list.
This Spring while at the St. Louis Cardinals camp in Jupiter, FL I ran across Peter Gammons and told him about the 1957 Milwaukee Braves winning the DYNASTY League Baseball ESPN.com Greatest Teams bracket style tournament. Peter’s reaction was, “How did that happen?”
Peter would put the 1939 Yankees at the top of his list, but what about the 1957 Milwaukee Braves?
Below are Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract rankings for the Milwaukee Braves:
BILL JAMES POSITIONAL RANKINGS INDEX
Del Crandell, C____________30
Red Schoendienst, 2B_______28
Eddie Mathews, 3B___________3
Johnny Logan, SS___________39
Hank Aaron, RF______________2
Joe Adcock, 1B_____________43
Bobby Thomson, RF__________59
Warren Spahn, P_____________5
The big three of Eddie Mathews (3), Hank Aaron (2) and Warren Spahn (5) may be the highest ranking trio of any greatest team.
By comparison, the 1939 New York Yankees big three had Joe DiMaggio (5), Joe Gordon (16) and Bill Dickey (7) as their highest ranking trio. Below: Joe DiMaggio playing casino on a train trip with teammates. Too bad Joe and the rest of the Yankees didn’t have a copy of the DYNASTY League Baseball board version on the train to have their own tournaments! The 1950’s marked the last decade that players would travel by train. In 1957, the furthest most western team was still Kansas City.
From the Wisconsin Historical Society:
The Milwaukee Braves were already a very good baseball team when Albert “Red” Schoendienst joined them in June of 1957. Featuring future Hall of Famers Warren Spahn, Eddie Matthews and Henry Aaron and a strong supporting cast, the Braves had dueled the Brooklyn Dodgers for the 1956 National League pennant, losing by a single game on the last day of the season.
Schoendienst, a 12-year veteran and 10-time All-Star, was just what the Braves needed. Acquired from the New York Giants, Red brought sharp hitting and excellent fielding to the second base position, along with a wealth of baseball knowledge and understated experience. Many people consider Scheondienst the player who transformed the Braves from a competitive team in 1956 to World Champions in 1957.
Henry Aaron recalled, “I’ll never forget it. Red came in to the clubhouse and put on the Braves’ uniform, and it made us all feel like Superman. We knew he was going to mean so much to our ballclub that wouldn’t show up in the boxscore. He provided the leadership in the clubhouse and on the field. He was never a rah-rah college kind of guy, but he definitely became the leader of that ballclub.”
Above: 1957 World Series hero Lew Burdette and wife celebrate winning the championship in Milwaukee.
What about some of the great stars of the 1950’s that Eddie Mathews and the Braves played against? Let’s take a look:
Above: Pull up a chair. Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Mickey Mantle all part of the new 1957 season DYNASTY League Baseball re-release.
Above: Mickey Mantle had one of his best seasons in 1957. .421 BA with A Power vs. LH and .339 with A Power vs. RH on his DYNASTY League Baseball player card. Where do you think this ball is heading?
Above: Maybe the bleachers in Old Yankee Stadium, one of the parks included in the new ULTIMATE Ball Park charts for the 1957 season.
Above: Before his knee injury, Mickey Mantle could really run and was the fastest player in the AL earning a 10 Baserunning rating on his 1957 DYNASTY League Baseball player card.
Above: Ted Williams hitting in Old Comiskey Park. Williams had one of his best seasons in 1957 hitting .388 with an OBP of .528 and SLG of .731. With RSP, Williams hit .373 with an .800 SLG easily earning him a Clutch hitting rating on his 1957 DYNASTY League Baseball card.
Left: The joy of Willie Mays playing for the New York Giants in Wrigley Field. 1957 was the last year the Giants would play in New York before moving to San Francisco. Has there ever been a better defensive CF (Mays A+/65/-3 defensive player ratings)?
What couldn’t Willie Mays do? Run (10 Baserunning rating),
hit (.333 BA), hit for power (A Power), get on base (.411 OBP), and hit in the Clutch (Clutch hitting rating earned in part by hitting .361 with a .701 SLG in Close and late situations).
You’d be hard pressed to come up with better CF than in the 1950’s with Mantle, Mays and Duke Snider.
Above: Polo Grounds DEEP CF distance of 430 feet for a HR off the DYNASTY League Baseball ball park chart.
Left: Duke Snider hit 40 HR in 1957 (A Power) in the last year the Dogers would play in Brooklyn.
Above: Ebbets Field. Has anyone hit a 395 foot HR into the DeSoto car dealership in RF using the DYNASTY League Baseball Greatest Team Ball Park charts?
Left: Frank Robinson in the Crosley Field clubhouse. The clubhouse is typical of what they looked like in the 1950s’.
I had the chance to meet Frank Robinson while working for the Baltimore Orioles and he is a super guy – friendly and open. On the field he was a tremendous team leader (A Intangible rating) and a fierce competitor who would cut your heart out.
Perhaps one of the most overlooked stars. Somehow he was not elected on the MLB All-Century team even though his 586 HR ranked him 5th on the All-Time HR list. Bill James ranks Frank Robinson as the third best RF of All-time.
Left: Frank Robinson is ripped! Robinson was a tremendous athlete and fierce competitor having played with Celtics Bill Russell on his high school basketball team.
In 1957, Robinson was coming off his previous rookie of the year season with the Reds and hit .322. Robinson was also an outstanding outfielder with the Reds (A+/80/-2).
Above: Ernie Banks playing shortstop. Other shortstops had more range (Banks has B range on his 1957 player card), but how many hit 43 HR?
Above: Mr. Cub. Fans could literally reach out and touch the players at Wrigley Field.
Hope you enjoyed dinner with Eddie Mathews and remember this is the Milwaukee Braves in the 1950’s so remember to pick up the check!
JAM rated pitchers can dominate non Clutch Hitting rated batters with runners in scoring position and 2 out and in close and late situations in DYNASTY League Baseball. They also are the kryptonite to otherwise terrorizing Clutch hitters by neutralizing their Clutch hitting ability.
Pitchers in DYNASTY League Baseball are awarded a JAM situation rating based on their performance primarily with RSP/2 and in Close and late situations with RSP/2 weighted more heavily.
I asked Dennis Martinez in our previous interview why he pitched so well in JAM situations and the answer seems to be in part being able to bear down in those situations. Great pitchers with great stuff more often than not perform exceptionally well in jam situations.
NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum is a great example.
Lincecum has made a meteoric rise to best pitcher in the NL. I love watching this guy pitch. Lincecum is a fast working pitcher who absolutely attacks the batter with a blazing fastball. In RSP/2 situations, Lincecum allowed a BA and SLG of .200/.311.
After having a mediocre year in 2007 and failing to get a JAM rating, Mariano Rivera came back with a vengeance in 2008. Rivera had a 1.40 ERA for the Yankees and a dominating RSP/2 BA/SLG of .045/.045. Your eyes are OK and it isn’t a typo: .045
This years biggest surprise at not getting a JAM? AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee. Lee had a tremendous season, but not in JAM situations where his RSP/2 BA/SLG was .289/.382. What Lee did do well was keeping lead off runners off base and was awarded an off situation rating (off ratings awarded to pitchers who rarely walk the lead off batter).
Here is a guy I hate to see pitching vs. either of my favorite teams the Cardinals and Brewers. My lasting memory of Roy Oswalt was during Game 6 of the 2005 NLCS. Albert Pujols had just launched a Brad Lidge pitch onto the railroad tracks at Minute Maid Field in Game 5 to save the Cardinals season and send the series back to old Busch Stadium. Oswalt faced off vs. Mark Mulder as I watched from my center field bleacher seat. The momentum was all with the Cardinals as Cardinal fans were sky high and Astro fans were deflated. Everyone hoped this would not be the last game at Busch Stadium, but Oswalt ended the Cardinals season and Busch Stadium in a completely dominating performance.
Oswalt was as tough as ever in 2008 with RSP/2 BA/SLG of .189/.243.
The Red Sox pitching staff, even without the injured Curt Schilling who perennially is as tough in JAM situations as any pitcher, still came through exceedingly well in the JAM situation awards.
Lead by “Dice K” Matsuzaka, the Red Sox staff has four JAM rated pitchers for 2008. Daisuke Matsuzaka blew away hitters with RSP/2 with a BA/SLG of .153/.222. Jonathan Papelbon, Josh Beckett and emerging lefty ace Jon Lester join Matsuzaka for Baseball’s most dominating pitching staff in JAM situations.
Smashing the All-Time single season saves record held by Bobby Thigpen in 1990, Francisco Rodriguez recorded an amazing 62 saves in 2008. In both Close and late .194/.264 and RSP/2 situations .208/.292, K-Rod excelled at getting out of jams.
48 batters stepped to the plate with RSP/2 and 20 of them went down in smoke to K-Rod.