Cardinals Legends Brian Jordan and Tito Landrum have an awesome experience
What does Brian Jordan think of the new DYNASTY League Baseball Online version?
“This is an awesome game.” Brian didn’t just repeat the word awesome and DYNASTY League Baseball Online in the same breath once, but several times during the 1996 NLDS game he managed as Cardinals skipper vs. the Padres.
The game took place at the Marriot hotel in Palm Beach Gardens, FL as part of the Cardinals Legends Greatest Team tournament held in conjuction with the Cardinals Legends camp. I was there along with Miami International airport air traffic controller extraordinaire Tim Lewis and his daughter May who came along to help introduce the campers and Cardinals legends to DYNASTY League Baseball Online.
Brian Jordan starred on the 1996 Cardinals team (finishing 8th in the MVP voting in 1996) that swept the 1996 Padres in the first round of the 1996 playoffs. Brian also is one of the few athletes to play in two sports simultaneously playing in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons. Currently Brian is the pre-game analyst for the Atlanta Braves on FSN South and also runs the Brian Jordan Foundation for underpriveleged children.
Brian is very friendly and gregarious and I invited to manage the 1996 Cardinals so he could manage himself. Still looking in great shape as if he could play for the 2011 Cardinals, Brian loved the idea and from that point on until the end of the game Brian was captivated by the new DYNASTY League Baseball Online version.
I helped Brian get started and showed him how you could use the lineup assistance button to load in a historical lineup from the retrosheet.org database. From there Brian easily caught onto the lineup interface and made a couple of changes to the historical lineup including getting center fielder Willie McGee into the game in the #2 spot in the order and moving Ray Lankford into the #3 spot (he kept himself in the clean up spot) and selected Andy Benes as the starter.
Brian quickly picked up on the user interface and was intrigued by the depth and realism of DYNASTY League Baseball. Brian asked about his A+/85/ -1 defensive ratings in right field and I showed Brian the tool tips that display descriptions of each rating when you mouse over a player rating. I told Brian that his range rating of A+ was “historically great” and Brian knowlingly nodded and smiled.
Cardinal Legends Steve Kline, Rick Horton and Brian’s girlfriend all stopped by to see what Brian was doing, but they all had a hard time tearing him away from making his managerial moves. Everytime someone came by to greet Brian he quickly jumped right back into his managerial chair and delighted in making his moves.
The managerial moves were not easy either. The 1996 Padres got off to a great start and before you knew it Brian Jordan and the 1996 Cardinals were down 7-0. Not only that, but Jordan grounded into a double play his second at bat in the fourth to stop a potential Cardinal rally.
I explained to Brian how you needed two batters to warm up your pitcher in the bullpen, but you could only get your pitcher up twice and then you had to bring him in or he would come into the game tired. Brian warmed up Mark Petkovsek and brought him into the game. You could easily tell Brian knew the 1996 Cardinals in-depth and making moves came like second nature to him.
The 1996 Cardianls finally got something going in the bottom of the 5th loading the bases with Petkovsek’s spot in the lineup coming up. Brian clicked on the substitution button to look carefully for the pinch hitter that he thought could get the Cardinal back into the game and the move was made for left-handed hitting Mark Sweeney. Next Brian clicked on the warm up button to get Danny Jackson up in the bullpen to come into the game in the top of the 6th.
Brian clicked the swing button and the HOME RUN range of 142 – 152 on Mark Sweeney’s player card lit up like a neon sign in red as we watched the flashing HR target show where the 386 foot grand slam landed in right-center in Busch Stadium. Brian and I exchanged high fives across the table as if we were greeting Sweeney back into the Cardinal dugout. The 1996 Cardinals were back in this thing and Brian Jordan’s pinch hitting move made him look like a managerial genius.
Brian Jordan lead off the top of the 6th for the 1996 Cardinals and walked. I suggested to Brian that he should give himself the green light to steal and moused over his steal rating of 5 to show the pie chart percentage display that he had a 74% chance of stealing successfully.
Brian said “let’s go!” and I explained we needed a low dice number to steal successfully. Brian clicked the steal button and the dice roll of 34 displayed and I knew he would be slide in safely. Brian and I exchanged another high five delighting in our comeback attempt. The inning ended quickly with Gary Gaetti, John Mabry and Tom Pagnozzi all failing to drive in Jordan from second base.
Brian Jordan was looking for his first hit in the top of the 8th with the 1996 Cardinals now down 8-4. Jordan smoked a single to right bringing up Gary Gaetti. BAM! Gaetti slammed a 373 foot HR to left as we watched the flashing home run target in left field show where Gaetti’s blast landed and once again exchanged our “dugout” high fives as the Cardinals drew to within two runs at 8-6.
San Diego Padre Trevor Hoffman in perhaps his best season enters the game, but Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee lead off the bottom of the 9th with back to back single’s bringing the winning run to the plate and Brian and I are feeling the pulse of a Cardinal comeback win. Ray Lankford strikes out swining for the first out, but here comes none other than Brian Jordan to the plate. With no fear vs. Baseball’s all-time saves leader, Brian reminds me, “I hit a home run off of Hoffman to win the 1996 NLDS.” Brian clicks the swing button and lines himself a single to left scoring Ozzie and sending McGee to third with Brian Jordan taking second on the throw. 8-7 only down by one run and I give Brian a high five for his line single feeling for a moment that I am also on the 1996 Cardinals!
Gaetti grounds out to third and it is too sharply hit to get in McGee so it brings up John Mabry as the Cardinals last hope. Manager Brian Jordan has been holding an ace up his sleeve as he says, “I am have been saving Ronnie.” Ronnie is Ron Gant the power hitting outfielder who hammered 30 HR for the Cardinals in 1996. Gant strikes out swinging to end the game as the Cardinal comeback just falls short, but Brian Jordan has just completed his first experience with DYNASTY League Baseball Online. Brian is so delighted with his experience that he immediately signs up for his own DYNASTY League Baseballl Online account with his email address and password.
At the end of the game I shared the box score on my Facebook page using the share box score button and asked Brian to write something about his experience playing DYNASTY League Baseball. Brian was happy to and wrote “this is an awesome game”.
Up next was valuable Cardinal reserve outfielder Tito Landrum who stopped by just in time to join a Greatest Team bracket tournament. Tito and I teamed up to co-manage the 1985 Cardinals vs. the 1981 Expos in round 1 of the Greatest Teams tournament. Tito is super friendly and a fun person to talk Baseball with.
Like Brian Jordan, Tito Landrum took to the easy game user interface immediately and was hooked. The 1985 Cardinals got out to a 4-0 lead and I wanted to get Tito into the game. I had Tito click on the substitution button and view Tito Landrum player card so he could see his 1985 card. “Look, you hit .345 against right handed pitching in 1985.” I told Tito. Tito replied, “Wow, really .345? Whitey wouldn’t let me play against right handed pitchers.” I then showed Tito that he had only 29 AB’s vs. RH pitching and there was a Use rating on his player card limiting him to 29 AB vs. RH. Tito smiled thoroughly impressed and said, ”Wow, you have really thought of everything haven’t you?”
Vince Coleman singles in the bottom of the 7th and I told Tito, “We need to attack with this 1985 Cardinals team.” Tito smiled and said “Yes, definitely let’s send Vince!” Tito clicked on the steal button and in we see Vince get the jump and take off for second with an 88% of being safe. The 1985 rookie of the year slides in safe and Tito and I high five each other delighting in our successful steal sign. Vince Coleman (who Tim Lewis and I would later help find the coaches meeting room) said that he was able to steal so many bases (three consecutive years of 100 stolen bases) because Whitey always gave him the green light.
Above: “Let’s send Vince!” Tito Landrum and Mike Cieslinski
Tito was having a great time and thoroughly enjoyed playing DYNASTY League Baseball Online as we thumped the Expos 7-1 to advance to the final round of the bracket vs. 1999 Atlanta. You can see our game with the 1985 Cardinals vs. the 1981 Expos box score and game summary here.
Tito had to head to the coaches meeting, but before he left wanted to know how he could sign up for DYNASTY League Baseball Online so I explained he could go to DYNASTYLeagueBaseball.com and handed him a postcard.
Who knows, you too may run into Brian Jordan and Tito Landrum for a game at DYNASTY League Baseball Online!