Archive for the ‘Play’ Category

Down The Rabbit Hole With A Long-Dead Ballplayer

Friday, October 10th, 2014


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

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

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.

APBA Imitates Life In 1985 World Series Replay

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

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.

1985 World Series Replay, Game 5

Monday, October 6th, 2014

1985 World SeriesMy APBA 1985 World Series replay was tied 2-2 after the first four games, but game five belied the closeness of the two Missouri teams. Find out about a near-record performance by one team’s hitters after the jump.

1985 World Series Replay, Game 4

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

1985 World SeriesAs you know if you’ve been following along, I’ve been replaying the 1985 World Series using the APBA Baseball Game. The teams split the first two games in Kansas City before the Cardinals won game three at home. Game four would be a chance for the Royals to get even again. Find out what happened after the jump.

1985 World Series Replay, Game 3

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

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.

1985 World Series Replay, Game 2

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

1985 World SeriesMy replay of the 1985 World Series using the APBA Baseball Game continues with the Cardinals looking to bounce back after a late loss in game one. Unlike in the actual 1985 Series, the Cardinals have speedster Vince Coleman – who stole 110 bases during the season – available for duty. The story after the jump.

What If Vince Coleman Hadn’t Missed The 1985 World Series?

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

1985 World SeriesFrom time to time, I replay World Series of the past using the APBA Baseball Game. You can see the details of all the replays here. The 1985 Series was memorable for a number of reasons, but Don Denkinger’s call, Joaquin Andujar’s meltdown and Brett Saberhagen’s MVP performance may have pushed an important detail out of the minds of some: NL Rookie of the Year Vince Coleman missed the series after a freak tarpaulin accident during the National League Championship Series that left him with a fractured knee. In the universe of this replay, Coleman suffered only a bruise and was ready to go by the time the Fall Classic against the cross-state Kansas City Royals began. The story of game one is after the jump.

1987 World Series Replay – Game Four

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

1987 World SeriesI’m replaying the 1987 World Series using the APBA Baseball Game, only with the injured Jack Clark and Terry Pendleton at full strength for the Cardinals. If you’re just joining us, you can find the recaps of games one, two and three earlier and that of game four after the jump.

1987 World Series Replay – Game Three

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

1987 World SeriesMy APBA replay of the 1987 World Series between the Twins and Cardinals shifts to Busch Stadium in St. Louis for game three. In real life, the Cardinals didn’t have slugger Jack Clark and had only limited use of thirdbaseman Terry Pendleton, but in this replay, they have both at full strength in a “What If?” scenario. After the jump, the story of game three.