1981 World Series Replay Game 5

1981 World Series programThe 1981 World Series is memorable for coming at the end of a season interrupted by a 59-day players’ strike, George Steinbrenner‘s bizarre maybe-it-happened-maybe-it-didn’t encounter with Dodger fans in an elevator and Dave Winfield’s 1-for-22 performance that set the stage for his owner later calling him “Mr. March.” My APBA replay of the 1981 World Series has been a memorable one, too. You can catch up on Games One, Two, Three and Four before you read all about how it wraps up after the jump.
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1981 World Series Replay Game 3

1981 World Series programAfter two exciting games in the Bronx in my 1981 World Series APBA replay, the scene shifted to Dodger Stadium, where LA had won six of their last eight going back to the end of the strike-interrupted regular season and 37 of 61 games overall. As if the excitement of the first World Series at Chavez Ravine since 1978 wasn’t enough, the Dodger faithful would be cheering on the electrifying lefthanded rookie, Fernando Valenzuela, who went 7-2 with a 1.57 ERA at home. The story of Game Three is after the jump.
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1981 World Series Replay Game 2

1981 World Series programGame One of my APBA replay of the 1981 World Series between the Dodgers and Yankees was an extra-inning pitcher’s duel, and as the teams took to the Yankee Stadium field for Game Two on Wednesday night, October 21, the question was whether the series would be tied heading to Los Angeles or if one team would take a commanding 2-0 lead. The pitching matchup featured a pair of veterans in LA’s Burt Hooton and New York’s Tommy John. Find out more after the jump.
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1981 World Series Replay Game 1

1981 World Series programIt’s time for another World Series replay, courtesy of the APBA Baseball game. This time, we go back to 1981, where the infamous strike forced a strange split season and three-round postseason that was a harbinger of the system we have today. That October, the Yankees and Dodgers – no strangers to each other or to the Fall Classic – squared off despite having the tenth and fourth-best records overall in the interrupted regular season. The Yankees were without 1978 playoff hero Bucky Dent, as he was injured in late August. He won’t be playing in this replay, either, but many other stars will be, so, enjoy the first game after the jump.
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Down The Rabbit Hole With A Long-Dead Ballplayer


I’ve recently acquired the 1932 set of APBA baseball cards, and while going through them, I found a very interesting story.

Apparently the St. Louis Browns of ’32 had a thirdbaseman named Jim McLaughlin (I stopped for a second because I have a friend with the same name.)

Turns out Mr. McLaughlin received a card for the Browns in that set, despite having just one plate appearance.

Also as it turns out, that was Jim McLaughlin’s only plate appearance in the major leagues.

Apparently in the late stages of a 14-7 loss to Detroit on April 18, 1932 at Navin Field, McLaughin – a St. Louis native who somehow found his way to the Browns after six years in the Pacific Coast League – either pinch-hit for or went into the field for thirdbaseman Red Kress (who had gone 0-for-4) and in his only at-bat, drove in a run on a groundout.

That was it. He never played again in the majors or (apparently) the minors.

One at-bat on a Monday afternoon in Detroit at the age of 30. A groundout. An RBI. A lopsided loss.

McLaughlin had a pretty good record in the PCL: He was a career .299 hitter, but his career was interrupted (by what, we don’t know) a couple of times. He played for Sacramento in 1924 and 1925 (that’s him pictured, above, in a Sacramento uniform), then disappeared in 1926 and 1927 before re-surfacing and hitting .310 with 10 homers for the Senators in 1928. He was a regular in Sacramento until 1931, but doesn’t seem to have played in 1932 before appearing on the roster of the Browns early in the 1932 season.

I’m intrigued by this guy I had never heard of until 15 minutes ago. How did he come to be with the Browns? (As you probably know, the Brownies were bad, but not unprecedentedly bad. They finished sixth in 1932 and had finished fifth the year before with an identical 63-91 record.) What was he doing in 1932? Why did his career have a break in 1926 and 1927? And why was he out of the game at 30?

Jim McLaughlin died December 15, 1968 at the age of 66 in Mount Vernon, Illinois and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery. He’s not even a footnote in the history of baseball. But he has an APBA card and, as of now, someone interested in finding out about him.

I’ve put the word out to some folks. I’ll let you know what I find.

Show-Me Series Scintillating In Seven

1985 World SeriesJust as in the “real world,” my APBA replay of the 1985 World Series went to a decisive seventh game after late-game controversy in game six. But would the Royals continue their magic and win game seven at home, or would the Cardinals claim the title over their Missouri neighbors? Find out after the jump.
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APBA Imitates Life In 1985 World Series Replay

1985 World SeriesI’m sure one of the lasting memories for those who watched the 1985 World Series was Don Denkinger’s blown call at first base in game six. To this day, Cardinal fans curse his name, even though St. Louis had a chance to win the series the next night in the seventh game. Anyway, just as in game six in the “real world,” things got interesting late in the sixth game of my replay. See more after the jump.
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1985 World Series Replay, Game 3

1985 World SeriesI’m replaying the 1985 World Series using the APBA Baseball Game, but with a twist: The NL champion St. Louis Cardinals have Rookie of the Year Vince Coleman healthy. The outfielder missed the “real” series after a freak tarpaulin accident, but in APBA, he’s totally fine. See what happens in game three after the teams split the first two games in Kansas City, after the jump.
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