Why replay a baseball season? It is a way to fully dive into a season that I can only read about in a book. The latest season I have replayed is 1971, and my first true baseball memory is the 1972 World Series. Others have described replaying a season which they actually witnessed as watching a movie a second time and the plot being slightly altered. My goal with this particular project is to continue through the seasons beginning with 1965, and to build a database, an encyclopedia, of these seasons played “a second time through the order”. The modus operandi of my replays and accompanying web site is to use real-life lineups and transactions. The games will have differing results than that in real-life but all injuries and transactions will occur as they did in reality. So in 1965, Juan Marichal does attack John Roseboro and Campy Campaneris does play all nine positions. In 1967, Tony Conigliaro is beaned and injured, but in my replay of the season, the Red Sox do not win the pennant. The games are presented online in a newspaper or narrative format. As the sites evolved, my goal was to make reading the web site as if you were reading a newspaper account complete with standings, stats, a list of today’s starters, etc. With the 1966 replay, I added an online jukebox so a reader could listen to the top songs of the time while reading game accounts.
How did this hobby come about? I remember an older neighbor kid playing in a APBA card league in 1973 or so. I guess it was ’73 because Cesar Cedeno was his idol, and it was before Cedeno shot his girlfriend. I was around 8 at the time. I thought his league was pretty cool, but I continued to play around with my baseball cards and create imaginary baseball and football leagues complete with typed standings and news stories of the playoff games. I think I even tried to invent my own card and dice game. When I reached high school, I saw those cards and dice again. An APBA league existed among the juniors and seniors of the all-boys Catholic high school I attended. As a freshman, I of course could not get into the league with the seniors, so by my sophomore year, I purchased APBA and the 1979 card set. A friend and I set out to replay the season, but then the news hit that my family and I were moving. I spent the summer of 1980 in a town where I had no friends (yet) rolling dice and keeping tabs on our 1979 replay. My friend and I updated each other (I played the AL, he played the NL) by mail. We cut the season short at 40 games and I played the World Series. The Orioles defeated the Expos.
Flash forward to college, where I shared my APBA experience with a dorm mate. He had played APBA also. We took off with the same game plan to replay the 1982 season. I believe the Angels and Cardinals reach the Series in our abbreviated season. He introduced me to rotisserie baseball in 1984. I told him to draft this kid pitcher Dwight Gooden out of my hometown of Tampa, and he selected Cubs because he was a masochist. It worked out pretty well. I dove headlong into rotisserie baseball in 1987, and around 1990-91, I discovered a computer version (MS-DOS) of that APBA game I played as a kid. I used the game primarily to help with my rotisserie team. Around 1995-96, I purchased the APBA Baseball for Windows (BBW). With the advent of the Internet and AOL, I played in several AOL sim leagues using BBW. I won one league using a combination of the 1953 Dodgers and 1948 Braves. In 1997, I embarked on a 1971 replay as that season came standard with the game. I finished that replay and at the same time learned how to document it on this thing called the World Wide Web. You can see that replay for yourself a decade and a half later as I preserved the web site.
My AOL sim leagues spawned into the Legends Baseball League which consisted of ten drafted teams beginning with the 1946 season. The league continued for five seasons before dissolving. My participation in that league as the Atlanta Crackers piqued my interest in post-WW II baseball and I read “When The Boys Came Back.” I believe I had finished the chapter covering Opening Day when I loaded that season in Baseball for Windows and began a year long journey into The return of veteran players from the horrors of war, a challenge from the south in Jorge Pasquel’s Mexican League, and the first attempt to unionize the players since the turn of the century, oh…and one heck of a World Series. The Cardinals prevailed over the Red Sox, minus the Mad Dash, but plenty of thrills.
Shortly after my parachute free fall into 1946, I began a 1969 Baseball for Windows replay with my old dorm mate. E-mail and the League Manager program of Baseball for Windows allowed us to jointly replay the season. He guided the Washington Senators to an impressive second-place finish in the new AL Eastern Division as I managed the NL Western Division champion Atlanta Braves. The Miracle Mets beat the mighty Orioles in the climax of a very enjoyable season replay. Meanwhile, the 1946 replay begot 1947 and 1948 as the game APBA Baseball for Windows faded in popularity as a new owner failed to continue its development.
A few years later, I rediscovered Diamond Mind Baseball. I originally purchased version 7 of this game, but it did not surpass APBA Baseball for Windows. With my Baseball for Windows seasons gone from hard drive crashes and computer upgrades, I decided to try version 9 of Diamond Mind. As my current replays reveal, I was hooked. The play-by-play of version 9, now version 10, completely immerses you into the game. During these passed years, my knowledge of web site creation continued, and the reporting features of Diamond Mind Baseball led to a new web site for a 1965 replay project. Unlike 1946, I knew on the first pitch that I would continue into 1966 and beyond. As had been my practice, each season received its own uniquely styled web site. Finally in the beginning months of the 1968 replay, I converted all of the Diamond Mind replay sites into a centralized site. This site received a major upgrade thanks to Corky Shealy, webmaster extraordinaire, of the Hall of Fame League.