January 23, 2012

First post - here we go!

Hello all - thanks for stopping by and checking this out. In the mid 1980's my father bought me Statis Pro Baseball. As a grade school kid with an exponentially growing interest in baseball he couldn't have given me a better present. I remember sitting at the dining room table with him learning to play the game. He was usually his favorite team, the Dodgers, while I would play with my favorite, the Orioles. My dad always seemed to win, either on a fluke Ken Landreaux double or a pitching gem from Alejandro Pena. I loved batting Alan Wiggins lead off, hoping Cal Ripken Jr. or Eddie Murray would knock him in.

My other favorite gift from my parents as a kid was my annual Topps baseball card set. My first one was the 1985 set, which on the card backs corresponded with the 1984 season. I loved those cards and spent hours upon hours studying them, dividing them into teams, mock drafting new teams, etc. The design of the cards were simple, colorful, and mesmerizing. I still think it is the best designed card Topps ever put out (my apologies to the fans of the wood panel backgrounds).

A couple of Christmases ago my dad found someone online who was selling a cd with over fifty different seasons of Statis Pro team cards. Our game (a picture of it is on the front of the blog) only came with the 1985 season. We've had a blast drawing random teams from random years and doing battle once again. Recently we've played a version of "king of the hill," where the winner gets to keep playing with his team while the loser draws for a new challenger. (Don't get my dad started on his odds-defying, four game win steak with the 1979 A's...)

Anyway, I've recently stumbled across some baseball card blogs showcasing my favorite team (http://oriolescards.blogspot.com/) and my favorite Topps set (http://1985topps.blogspot.com/). It got me thinking - what if I could play a season with my old friends from 1984?
So, this blog will be my chronicle of walking down baseball memory lane, using my favorite board game from my childhood. It doesn't hurt that 1984 was such an interesting season, too. Will the Tigers win it all again? Could the Cubs defeat the Padres this time and break the curse? Will Tony Armas still lead the American League in home runs?

Here's a few ground rules to start with:
1. I'm kind of making this up as I go - the point is to have fun.
2. I'm following the real 1984 baseball schedule.
3. I'm trying my best to record the stats of each game and will update league leaders every now and then.
4. I'm sticking to 25 man rosters, but I'm not going to strictly adhere to "when" a player was on the active roster relative to the point in the season I'm playing. This is a hobby for me, but I don't want to drill down too insanely deep - even attempting this is insane enough.
5. I'll be "coaching" both teams in a game. I will try and do this as objectively as possible. One advantage I have is knowing the original outcome of the 1984 season. That influences my batting orders, reliever choices, etc.
6. I'll give a brief recap of each game, but I'm not going to reprint entire box scores. That feels too tedious to me.
7. I plan to have a "Player of the Game" for each game, and hope to feature their 1985 Topps card in the recaps.

Anyway, I may be the only person who reads this, but oh well. Let's play ball!

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