Results tagged ‘ Cardinals ’

25th Anniversary Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball Tour Tournament event AT&T Park September 11-13


logo.gifThank 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.

at&tpark3.jpgWe 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.

PacificParlourcar.jpgAs 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
The Dugouts
Indoor Batting Cages
The Visitors’ Clubhouse
The Press Box
The Luxury Suite
Ballpark Features and Views 
 
AT&Tparknight.jpgAfter 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.

attparkupperdeck.jpgAt the league page there are links to recaps of previous tour tournaments which have some incredible stories to be told. 

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 A hurricane at Fenway Park, the lost George Brett folder, the miracle comeback on the Three Rivers express, the young titans battling in the Amtrak cafe car enroute to the Busch

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:
http://mlblogsdynastyleaguebaseball.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/fenwaydugout096-thumb-400×271-11505911.jpgarchives/2009/04/new_greatest_teams_tournament.html

- 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 orders@designdepot.com

See you in September!

- Mike

Dinner with Milwaukee Braves Eddie Mathews: 1957 season re-release and a trip back to the 1950′s with friends Willie, Mickey, Duke,


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.

EddieMathewsdinner.jpgWhat 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. 

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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?

Aaron.jpgMy 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”.

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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?

MilBraveslogo.gifBelow 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.

 

Spahndelivery.jpgBy 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.

DimaggioTrain.jpgFrom 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.”

BurdetteWifecelebrate1957.jpgAbove: 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:

Williams.Musial.Mantle2.jpgAbove: Pull up a chair. Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Mickey Mantle all part of the new 1957 season DYNASTY League Baseball re-release. 

Mantleswing2.jpgAbove: 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?

 

YankeeStadiumbleachers.jpgAbove: Maybe the bleachers in Old Yankee Stadium, one of the parks included in the new ULTIMATE Ball Park charts for the 1957 season.

 

Mantlerunning.jpgAbove: 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.

WilliamsComiskey2.jpg
 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.   

 

MaysWrigley.jpgLeft: 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.

 

 

PoloGrounds.jpgAbove: Polo Grounds DEEP CF distance of 430 feet for a HR off the DYNASTY League Baseball ball park chart.
Duke Snider.jpgLeft: Duke Snider hit 40 HR in 1957 (A Power) in the last year the Dogers would play in Brooklyn.

EbbetsField2.jpgAbove: 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?

F.Robinsonclubhouse.jpgLeft: 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.

 
F.Robinsonripped.jpgLeft: 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).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banksss.jpgAbove: Ernie Banks playing shortstop.  Other shortstops had more range (Banks has B range on his 1957 player card), but how many hit 43 HR?

Banks14.jpgAbove: 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!

 

 

 

Cardinals Ricky Horton and the story of the 1985 locker room celebration champagne bottle


Many of the great St. Louis Cardinal Legends are in Jupiter, FL January 21-25, 2009 playing against 102 Cardinal fantasy campers at Roger Dean Stadium to benefit Hire Heroes USA. Hire Heroes USA is dedicated to providing job assistance to our wounded and disabled military personnel returning from conflicts overseas.

St. Louis Cardinal Camp coordinator Sara Trask invited me to camp for a meeting with St. Louis Cardinals left-hander Ricky Horton. First, I had a chance to see the Cardinal Legend team play and I spotted pitcher Ken Dayley in right field and also said “Hi” to catcher Mike Matheny. Many former Cardinals participate in camp including Lou Brock (instructor), John Tudor, Mike Lavalliere and Joe Magrane just to name a few.

This is Field of Dreams Cardinal style.

Oh yeah, and while I was waiting for Rick Horton we had to find a glove for Lou Brock so he could play in the afternoon game. Pinch me am I dreaming?

Rick Horton is the St. Louis Cardinals Legends Camp Commissioner and also is one of the Cardinals television color commentators.  He arrived in his golf cart by the batting cages where we met for our interview. I shook Rick’s hand and told him this was not the first time we had met and that I had something to show him.


 
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Ricky Horton reviews his 1985 Cardinals DYNASTY League Baseball card in the shadow of the 1985 celebration champagne bottle 

I had boxed and packed what I was about to show Rick like it was the Ark of the Covenant from Raiders of the lost ark. Rick watched wide-eyed as I unwrapped a champagne bottle from the Cardinals locker room on Saturday October 5, 1985. The Cardinals had just clinched the NL East Pennant in a 7-1 win vs. the Cubs with John Tudor getting the win. On the bottle are the signatures signed in the champagne drenched locker room of John Tudor, Andy Van Slyke, Jack Clark, Joaquin Andujar (#47), Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee (1985 MVP) and Ricky Horton

Rick’s reaction was “WOW! This is so cool! We have to show this to John Tudor and the rest of the guys.”

Rick’s signature was the only one in ink (the rest were from a sharpie that Willie McGee was nice enough to borrow me) and was faded. After our interview, Rick re-signed his signature with a sharpie so this one of a kind piece of Cardinal memorabilia would not forget him.

The champagne was flowing that day in the Cardinal Busch Stadium locker room. I was in the locker room after meeting with Mike Rappaport of the old St. Louis Globe Democrat who wrote a column in which we pre-played the key October 1-3 series vs. the rival New York Mets in a thrilling pennant race that went right down to the wire.

After Willie McGee borrowed me his sharpie, I went locker to locker to congratulate the players and record the moment on the champagne bottle. As I walked out of Busch Stadium with my prize firmly in hand, waiting outside were thousands of fans. I was like Moses parting the red sea of Cardinal fans as they cheered loudly realizing what I had in hand had come from the victorious locker room. What a moment!

Rick was one of the key pitchers out of Whitey Herzog’s bullpen for the 1985 Cardinals. The 1985 Cardinals are part of Greatest Teams 1 so everyone pull out your Ricky Horton DYNASTY League Baseball player card or fire up the DYNASTY League Baseball Windows version and load a game with the 1985 Cardinals (maybe vs. the 1986 rival NY Mets?) to view Rick’s player card.


 


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“Is my 7/A (-2) pickoff hold rating good?” – Ricky Horton

I handed an uncut sheet of 1985 Cardinal player cards to Rick with the Ricky Horton card in the upper left-hand corner of the sheet. Rick studied his player card and immediately asked if his Pickoff/Hold rating of 7/A (-2) was good?

I explained that the 7 Pickoff rating was excellent on a scale of 1-10 and that the A Hold rating was excellent at preventing runners from attempting to steal and the (-2) reduced the SB success percentage of opposing base stealers.

I then went on to show Rick the Deep Drive Ball park chart distance numbers in feet with the various power ratings, wind and temperature adjustments along with the Ball Park charts of Busch Stadium 2 from both 1966-1969 and 1977-1991.

“I used to play Strat-O-Matic, but DYNASTY League Baseball is much more realistic.”, said Rick.

Then we went on for a few questions:

MC: You were especially tough vs. LH batters (.219 BA vs. LH in 1985). Which pitches did you feel were your best pitches vs. LH batters?

RH: “Slider away and fastball in were the pitches that I used most to get LH batters out.”

MC: Did you feel that the Cardinals had an advantage over other teams with Whitey Herzog managing?

RH: “Absolutely.” “I saw many times how Whitey boxed other Mangers in.” “Whitey was an incredible Manager and always was thinking one step ahead.”

I followed up by saying that Whitey Herzog has to be in the Hall of Fame as a Manager and Rick agreed that there is no question he has to be in the Hall of Fame.

MC: You were an excellent fielder. Is fielding ability something that you took extra pride in given that the Cardinals were such a great defensive team?

RH: “The bar was set high with the Cardinals.” Rick said that there was a team influence and emphasis on defense. Since he was not a power pitcher, fielding was one of the things he focused on.

MC: In 1985 you lead the Cardinal staff with 3 pickoffs pitching only 89 innings.

You had a very good pick off move and ability to hold runners. Were you especially conscious of stopping the running game since it was such a big part of the Cardinal attack?

RH: “When I was in college I would look in the mirror to work on my pickoff move instead of studying for calculus.” Whitey Herzog told Rick that since he was not an overpowering pitcher that it was important to do the little things right. Rick mentioned that in 1986 he was voted Best Move in the League by NL Managers.

We ended exchanging contact info and the real prospect of DYNASTY League Baseball becoming a sponsor of St. Louis Cardinals Legends Camp. So stay tuned and hopefully we’ll have much more with Ricky Horton and the rest of the Cardinal Legends with their take on DYNASTY League Baseball.

 

 

2008 Season Fielding ratings preview: Who deserved Gold Gloves and who didn’t?


With the 2008 AL and NL Gold Glove ratings being awarded here are a few highlights from the 2008 season DYNASTY League Baseball fielding ratings that have been awarded.

One of the more challenging fielding ratings to rate is a players Range rating.  No one statistic can accurately rate a player’s fielding range. So how are Range ratings determined in DYNASTY League Baseball?

DYNASTY League Baseball uses a players Zone rating and his Range factor to determine where the player grades out on a historical scale.  From there, the grade is cross-checked with input from major league scouts, beat writers, broadcasters and even players and managers.  In 2008, more use is being made of John Dewan’s +/- fielding ratings as another source to check against.

OK, now onto the good stuff…

Albert Pujols.  We all know he is the best hitter in Baseball.  Do you know how great a fielder Albert Pujols is?  Here is how Pujols ranked in +/- the last three years among first basemen:

Year   Rank
2006   1

2007   1

2008   2

Pujols1b.jpgPujols zone rating in 2008?

.935 which ranks first among all regular first basemen.

Want more?  Pujols Range factor at 1b was 10.64, again easily ranking first among all first basemen.  Range factor at 1b can be misleading, but the fact that Pujols ranks so high in +/-, Zone rating and Range factor gives him a clean sweep.

Amazing.

Pujols not only has great range, but also rarely makes an an error fielding at a .996 clip with only 6 errors.

The NL Gold Glove first base award went to Adrian Gonzalez (B+ / 85), but the greatest hitter in Baseball is also the greatest fielding first baseman.

Pujols 1b: A+ / 85

St. Louis Post Dispatch’s Derrick Goold has a great blog on “Adding to St. Louis Cardinals’ golden history of Gloves” that includes the All-Time Gold Glove team leaders.

The Phillies and Rays were two of the best defensive teams in Baseball in 2008 so it is no surprise that both teams ended up in the World Series.  Emerging as one of the prime fielding second basemen in Baseball is Chad Utley.  Utley’s 5.18 Range factor and .844 Zone rating were both excellent.  What stands out even more is Utley’s +47 +/- rating which ranked 1st among all second basemen by a wide margin (Mark Ellis +26 2nd).

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Utley  2b: A / 75 

One overlooked defensive outfielder is the Orioles Jay Payton.  Payton put up outstanding to excellent Range factors in both LF (2.96) and CF (3.14) and also has a good arm allowing only 11 extra bases in 40 opportunites to advance (.275) in LF and (.432) in CF.    


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Look at some of the fan expressions as Jay Payton makes a great leaping catch at the wall. 


Payton scored +6 with his +/- rating.

OK, the guy has Range, but does he commit a lot of errors a la Arizona’s Justin Upton (5 Error rating on a scale of 100)? Zero errors.  A pristine perfect 1.000 fielding .pct earned Payton a 100 Error rating.

Payton lf: A / 100 / -1

           cf: A / 100 / -1

Thankfully the Gold glove voters did not award the AL Gold Glove to Derek Jeter who once again had one of the worst Range factors (4.05) in Baseball.  You saw how great Pujols was at first base. Now compare Jeters +/- rankings the last three years among regular shortstops to Pujols:

 

Year   Rank

2006   34

2007   34

2008   31

What Jeter did do well in 2008, was to make the plays hit to him as his .979 Fielding .pct earned him an 80 Error rating.

Jeter  ss: D / 80

Player who has not received a Gold Gold yet and most deserves it?

Yadier Molina finally broke through in 2008 with a Gold Glove even though he had better defensive years previously.

                       Range  Error  Throw  Passed Ball  Handling   
Yadier Molina   A+ /     40 /    -1 /      B /               A

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Carl Crawford has been one of the premier defensive left fielders in Baseball for years in the anonymity of what has been Tampa Bay Rays Baseball.  In 2008, Crawford lead regular LF in Range (2.28), Zone rating (.909) and +/- (+23).  We have been watching or for many fans not watching one of the great defensive left fielders not only among current players, but of All-Time. 

Crawford  lf:  A+ / 70 / 0

 

 Who has Baseball’s best OF throwing arm?

It may well be Rick Ankiel. 
ankiel.arm.jpg
The Pitcher turned Outfielder was featured in two amazing ESPN web gems throwing out a runner at 3rd from the warning track.  Ankiel ranked 3rd best among CF in preventing runner advancement (.468) and the only question with his rifle arm is if it ranks with Roberto Clemente (-4 with that rating being reserved for the best of All-Time).  

Rick Ankiel -3 Throwing arm (scale of -4 best of All-Time to +4 horrible) 

Even though Brandon Inge has been moved all over the field defensively he still continues to amaze at third base even in a part-time role.  In 51 games at third, Inge made only one error.

Inge  3b: A+ / 100

Among AL regulars at third base, Adrian Beltre had an excellent defensive season ranking first in Zone rating (.844) and +/- (+32).

Beltre 3b: A / 80  

Dennis Martinez plays DYNASTY League Baseball and Pursue the Pennant: Part One


“The most exciting series I’ve ever played in was the last four games against Milwaukee.”
- Cal Ripken

DennisMartinez.AlBumbry.jpgDennis Martinez and Al Bumbry meet in Camden Yards for the Orioles 25th Anniversary reunion.

With the new release of the 1982 season for DYNASTY League Baseball, I wanted to ask “El Presidente” Dennis Martinez about his new 1982 Orioles DYNASTY League Baseball player card and then have us play game 1 of the final four game series of the 1982 season in Baltimore between the Orioles and Brewers that determined the AL East winner on the last day of the season.

Why Dennis Martinez?  Dennis has a special place with not only the 1982 Baltimore Orioles, but also with Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball.  Back when I was first designing Pursue the Pennant in 1981 and 1982, I interned as Assistant Public Relations Director at the 1982 Baltimore Orioles Spring Training site in Miami, FL. 

During that time Dennis Martinez and I played some of the first games of what was to become Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball. 
ElPresidente.jpg 

Here we are playing in the Miami Stadium dugout with Dennis Martinez managing the Orioles as Earl Weaver and I’m managing the Brewers as Buck Rodgers with player cards based on the 1980 season. 

What I remember most is how much fun it was to play Dennis.  Each roll of the die with him on the mound he literally pitched the dice.  Ever see a dice roll curve ball when you have played?  Dennis was throwing curveballs, fastballs and changeups.  Every play result seemed do or die with Dennis and I as Gorman Thomas, Paul Molitor and Robin Yount would try and hit the Baltimore star pitcher.

After Spring Training ended and I graduated from University of Miami, FL , I went back home to Brookfield, WI to experience the greatest season in Brewer history.  I went to more Baseball games in 1982 than any other year.  When the Orioles came into Milwaukee I met Dennis at the Pfister hotel to get together and drive him to Milwaukee County Stadium.

We played another memorable game that day in the visiting clubhouse of Milwaukee County Stadium before the scheduled Brewers vs. Orioles game.  This time Dennis was joined in our game by relief ace Tippy Martinez and infielder Lenn Sakata taking turns rolling the dice and managing.   Just about every Oriole in the clubhouse stopped by to watch our game including none other than Earl Weaver.  Earl’s a bit old school so I’m not sure he grasped all of the realism and attention to detail that Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball have, but it did catch the legendary Manager’s attention in what was to be his last year of Managing.

Twenty six years later and Dennis and I are sitting together outside Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, FL, Spring Training home of both the Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals as well as home to the Marlins and Cardinals Minor League Florida State League High – A teams.   Dennis is now pitching coach for the Palm Beach Cardinals helping to create future stars of top prospects like Jess Todd the Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2008.

I brought along Dennis” new 1982 DYNASTY League Baseball player card with me to show Dennis and asked him about his ability to get left-handed batters out.  I had researched the vs. LH and vs. RH splits before our meeting and found that there were many years that Dennis was more effective vs. LH than RH even though he throws RH.  In 1982, Martinez allowed a BA and SLG of .248/.392 vs. LH and .285/.430 vs. RH. Dennis said that he was able to throw his change-up vs. LH batters giving him an extra pitch and had trouble throwing the same change-up vs. RH batters.

Have you ever wondered what it is that makes some pitchers better in “JAM” situations?  Dennis Martinez earned a JAM situation rating on his 1982 DYNASTY League Baseball player card based on his .218 BA and .338 SLG allowed with runners in scoring position.   When I asked Dennis how he was able to pitch so well in JAM situations, Dennis started to change his body language and said it came down to heart and you could see that a JAM situation was a transforming situation for him that helped make him the top latin pitcher in wins All-Time over runner-up Juan Marichal.

I also brought along the box scores and play by play from Game 1 of the October 1, 1982 doubleheader matching up Dennis Martinez vs. Pete Vuckovich.  The Brewers came into Baltimore three games up with four to play.  Dennis remembered the game well and asked with great interest if he could take the box scores and play-by-play home with him.

Dennis Martinez and I play Game 1 of the October 1, 1982 final series with the DYNASTY League Baseball Windows version in Part 2 …

Stay tuned…

As a sidenote, I rode my bicycle to the Publix on Palm Beach early in the morning last week to pick up a few items.  In the bakery was Jim Palmer.  I recognized him immediately having looked at his photo on the cover of The Sporting News 1974 Baseball Guide I have been studying for the new 1973 season that has just been released.  

PalmerMurray.jpgI introduced myself and Jim Palmer and I talked about some of the people I worked with for the Baltimore Orioles.  Jim was friendly and dressed in work out shirt and shorts looked at the age of 62 like he could still take the mound.  I told him of the game with Dennis Martinez and extended an invitation to join us up in Jupiter, FL.

 

 

2008 Season: DYNASTY League Baseball and Pursue the Pennant Nation fired up for 2008 season release.


The Decade of the Underdogs Continues…

After the Subway Series in 2000, every World Series Champion with the exception of 2007 has waited a seeming eternity to win the World Series:

  • 2001 Diamondbacks (1998)
  • 2002 Angels (1961)
  • 2003 Marlins (1997)
  • 2004 Red Sox (1918)
  • 2005 White Sox (1917)
  • 2006 Cardinals (1982)

    2008?  


    chc.gifCubs (1908)

 

 


mil.gifBrewers (1970)

 

 

Phillies (1980), Mets (1986), Dodgers (1988), Rays (1998), Rockies (1993), Twins (1991)

What used to be an annual rite of Spring is now an annual rite of Fall.  Instead of your player cards arriving around the time Pitchers and Catchers report to signal the start of the new Baseball season, your player cards arrive when the annual awards for Cy Young, MVP, Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year and the Gold Glove awards are announced in November and the Hot Stove league heats up with trade rumors over the Winter Meetings.

We used to talk about the possibility of coming out with the new player cards in time for Christmas in some of our Pursue the Pennant meetings.  Are you kidding?  Not possible. It wasn’t even on the radar back then. To do what will happen with the release of the DYNASTY League Baseball 2008 season was unthinkable:

The DYNASTY League Baseball Windows version 2008 season CD will be released in November and all pre-orders are expected to ship the same week of release.

The DYNASTY League Baseball Board version 2008 season player cards will be released in November, the same as they have been since 2004, but here is what is different in 2008 on the board game player card front:

The entire printing system and equipment was upgraded this Summer and the results far exceeded expectations – printing speeds are now 40 x faster than before.  What does that mean?  The player card pre-orders that used to take 3-4 months to print, now will take 3-4 weeks.  That’s right.  So the staggered first in first out shipping won’t be nearly as staggered.

Everyone who pre-orders will have their season player card set shipped in November.

The new printing system also has the benefits of very high print resolutions with very sharp and clear text and a coating on the paper stock to prevent player cards from sticking.

The 2008 World Series teams will once again be offered as PDF’s so you can play the 2008 World Series.  If you have placed a pre-order for the 2008 season, send an email to:

 orders@designdepot.com

Include  2008 World Series in the subject of the email and your name in the body of the email and the PDF of the Rays and Phillies will be sent to you prior to the 2008 season release.  Estimating the 2008 World Series PDF will be emailed in late October or early November prior to the release of the 2008 season set. 

Mike Wilner of FAN 590 Radio has been pre-playing the World Series each year since 2004 with DYNASTY League Baseball.  In case you missed it, Jamie Hall took over as Jim Leyland and I was Tony LaRussa as we pre-played the 2006 World Series before each game for CBS. 

Size of the 2008 season set?  Same as 2007 (972 players).

Top three most anticipated 2008 DYNASTY League Baseball teams:

  1. Cubs
  2. Brewers
  3. Rays

 
Top three most anticipated 2008 DYNASTY League Baseball player cards:


  1. CCSabathia.jpgCC Sabathia
  2. Albert Pujols and Chipper Jones (tie)
  3. Josh Hamilton


Top three most anticipated 2008 DYNASTY League Baseball rookies:

  1. Evan Longoria
  2. Geovany Soto
  3. Armando Galarraga

    2008 season playoff players receiving Clutch hitting ratings:

    Ryan Howard .322 BA and .552 SLG RSP/2

    Manny Ramirez  .318 BA/.576 SLG  RSP/2. Manny just being Manny, but he also gets a D Intangible rating for his antics with the Red Sox.

    Mark Teixeira .352 BA/.716 SLG Close and Late

    Kevin Youkilis .328 BA/.492 SLG RSP/2

    Carlos Quentin .351 BA/.757 SLG Close and Late

    Vladimir Guerrero .350 BA/.638 SLG Close and Late

    Aramis Ramirez .423 BA/.873 SLG Close and Late

    David Ortiz .346 BA/.885 SLG RSP/2 and bonus points for the three run jack in game 5 of the ALCS that sparked the greatest comeback in post season history.

    Evan Longoria .333 BA/.754 SLG Close and Late

    Garrett Anderson .356 BA RSP/2, .371 BA/.578 SLG Close and Late

    Dustin Pedroia .368 BA/.526 SLG Close and Late

    Andre Eithier .327 BA/.500 SLG RSP/2

    Alexei Ramirez .321 BA/.566 SLG RSP/2 

    Biggest surprise not to get a Clutch hitting rating?
    Chase Utley  .242 BA RSP/2 and .221 BA in Close and Late

    NOTE: Clutch hitting ratings are awarded based on a combination of stats including RSP/2, Close and Late, RSP and RBI.



    DYNASTY League Baseball ULTIMATE Ball Park charts (Board version) and updated Ball park effects for the Windows version and Online version

    minutemaid_800.jpg
    pujolsLidge.jpg
    New in 2008 are updated HR results for Minute Maid Park that include the Crawford Boxes,
     Train Tracks (Pujols blast off Lidge in the 2005 NLCS) and Conoco HR porch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making it’s debut in 2008 is Nationals Park:

 

 


Most Anticipated New Version of Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball:

It probably won’t happen in 2008, but in 2009 it is likely that you will be able to pre-play the World Series with the new DYNASTY League Baseball Online version.  If you have not had a chance to check out the new screen shots at the league link – it’s a must.  DYNASTY League Baseball Online will be rocking the Baseball world in 2008 and 2009.

A next generation user interface is designed to make bracket style Greatest Teams tournaments and continuous Draft League play much easier, faster and more fun.

Don’t have enough time to play? A new profile based Computer Manager and Scheduler allow you to play live or have the game Managed for you based on your Manager profile so no matter how busy you are you’ll always have time for DYNASTY League Baseball Online.

Leading Off…


Welcome DYNASTY League Baseball and Pursue the Pennant Fans!

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If you are a DYNASTY League Baseball and Pursue the Pennant veteran welcome. 

If you are a rookie, here is a good place to start to learn about the game and it’s history from reviews from such sites as USA TODAY, ESPN.com, Milwaukee Journal and the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

For more than 20 years discerning baseball fans have played this super realistic Baseball simulation that let’s you become the Manager and GM of your own team.  The Game Design tour can be found at the DYNASTY League Baseball home page

There are two versions of DYNASTY League Baseball:

  • The original DYNASTY League Baseball Board version which is great for local leagues and face to face play.
     
  • The new DYNASTY League Baseball Online version that is all about taking league and tournament play to the next level with a next generation user interface and loads of new features that make league and tournament play easier, faster and much more fun than ever before. ptp1.jpgMichael Bauman wrote the first major review of Pursue the Pennant which was to morph into DYNASTY League Baseball using an upgraded version of the original Pursue the Pennant game engine.  You can read PDF versions of his reviews at the DYNASTY League Baseball reviews link

Michael Bauman is currently the National Baseball writer here at MLB.com where you can read his Perspectives columns.  Mathew Leach, beat writer for the Cardinals at MLB.com played a DYNASTY League Baseball Winter game with St. Louis Post Dispatch beat writer Derrick Goold whose Bird Land blog is a great read for Cardinals fans.

Orioles MLB.com beat writer Spencer Fordin is an avid DYNASTY League Baseball player and is in hot competition in the THROW continuous season draft league along with Mike Wilner of the Blue Jays FAN 590 radio.

We’ll be including DYNASTY League Baseball news and notes along with interviews with MLB Players, Managers and Front office personnel with their slant on DYNASTY League Baseball and Pursue the Pennant.

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