If you read my previous blog entry, then you know that I have created a “calm time” in my day by setting up a tournament with my old Strat-O-Matic baseball game, which features the American League teams from 1971. I am happy to say that the Baltimore Orioles, my team since 1964, won the tournament by defeating the Boston Red Sox in 7 games. The Birds had a 3 games to 1 lead, and then lost 2 straight, and yes–I would have been upset if they had lost that 7th game. They’re my team whether they are real players on a diamond, or stat cards on a table in my basement. (For the record, no shenanigans were employed to insure the outcome.)
The tournament took 44 games to complete, and I kept statistics on every team, compiled the league stats and individual leaders, and named an all-star team and a Most Valuable Player. (Actually, Ray Culp and Frank Robinson were co-MVPs. And all of this information is available upon request.)
I feared having more quarantine than tournament games, which has turned out to be the case, so as I suggested in that last post, I ordered the player cards from both leagues for the 1941 season. It’s been a great deal of fun sorting through those players. I found Boots Poffenberger’s catcher from his days in the Marine Corps, i.e. Gene Desautels as well as two players–Cliff Melton and Don Heffner–whom my mother had major crushes on when she was a girl and those two gentlemen played for the Orioles when they were a minor league team. There was also a pitcher for Cleveland named Al Smith, and regular readers of this blog will understand the significance of that.
So, in the next day or two, I will begin managing Ted Williams the year he hit .406 and Joe DiMaggio the year he hit in 56 straight games, and Pete Reiser before he crippled himself by repeatedly running into walls, and Mel Ott hitting in the Polo Grounds (yes, the new and improved Strat-O-Matic includes a “ballpark effects” chart) and Bob Feller and a bunch of guys you never heard of, but who played major league baseball and they have the Strat-O-Matic cards to prove it.
Of course, if I complete this tournament before the quarantine is lifted . . . Well, we just won’t think about that.