THE REPLAY ZONE – AUGUST 2012
By Jeff Polman
August ruminations from your trusty Strat-O-Matic replay addict. Follow my Mystery Ball ’58 blog three times a week!
Much like I did with my 1977 replay, I’ll be having another All-Star Game contest for Mystery Ball ’58. Whoever comes closest to picking the final combined line score totals will win two home-burned, 1950s-inspired MP3 CD mixes from the Mystery Ball music collection: New Rockabillians (rockabilly) and Retropalooza (lounge and bossa nova).
The game is scheduled for July 8th in Baltimore on my 1958 schedule, which should be the last week of August in real time. To enter, just e-mail your game totals (and in case of a tiebreaker, your pick for winning team and choice for game-winning RBI man) to email@example.com by August 25th.
Here are the final 30-man rosters, with some notable stats for some of the players through the end of June. Just so you know, Memorial Stadium is the toughest pitcher’s park in the ’58 set. Good luck, everyone!
Infield: Roy Sievers-WASH (.324, 30HR, 72 RBI), Bill Skowron-NY, Pete Runnels-BOS, Nelson Fox-CHX, Gil McDougald-NY, Luis Aparicio-CHX, Frank Malzone-BOS, Andy Carey-NY
Outfield: Minnie Minoso-CLE (.341), Ted Williams-BOS (.392, 1.187 OPS) Bob Nieman-BAL, Bob Cerv-KC (.340, 23 HR, 62 RBI, 1.040 OPS), Al Kaline-DET, Mickey Mantle-NY (.324, 22 HR, 64 RBI, 1.125 OPS), Rocky Colavito-CLE (.329, 22 HR, 68 RBI, 1.141 OPS), Jackie Jensen-BOS, Harvey Kuenn-DET
Catchers: Sherm Lollar-CHX, Yogi Berra-NY (19 HR, 62 RBI), Red Wilson-DET (.351)
Pitchers: Billy O’Dell-BAL, Arnie Portocarrero-BAL (9-3, 2.04), Hoyt Wilhelm-BAL (9 SV), Jack Harshman-BAL (9-6, 2.64, 3 shutouts), Jim Bunning-DET, Dick Donovan-CHX, Whitey Ford-NY (11-3, 2.02, 3 shutouts), Don Larsen-NY, Camilo Pascual-WAS, Dick Hyde-WAS
Infield: Dale Long-CHC, Stan Musial-STL (.333, 55 RBI), Johnny Temple-CIN, Dick Groat-PIT (.352), Ernie Banks-CHC (.307, 20 HR, 53 RBI), Don Zimmer-LA (.317), Ken Boyer-STL, Eddie Mathews-MIL
Outfield: Bob Skinner-PIT, Harry Anderson-PHL, Joe Cunningham-STL (.332, 1.013 OPS), Frank Robinson-CIN (.339, 23 HR, 78 RBI), Wes Covington-MIL (.363, 28 HR, 53 RBI), Willie Mays-SF (.342, 15 HR, 39 RBI), Bobby Thomson-CHC, Richie Ashburn-PHL (.348), Jerry Lynch-CIN (.303, 45 RBI), Duke Snider-LA, Hank Aaron-MIL (.331, 23 HR, 63 RBI)
Catchers: Del Crandall-MIL, Ed Bailey-CIN
Pitchers: Roy Face-PIT, Bill Henry-CHC (6-0, 0.82), Don Elston-CHC (9 SV), Don Cardwell-PHL (7-2, 2.38), Robin Roberts-PHL, Vinegar Bend Mizell-STL (11-2), Roger Craig-LA, Bob Rush-MIL (8-2, 2.29), Don Drysdale-LA
On the morning I left to fly back east for a recent 10-day vacation, I was in the middle of rolling a ’58 Cards vs. Phillies game. Sad Sam Jones, the pitcher with the toughest card on St. Louis, has had virtually no luck the entire season. Sure enough, right before I put the dice down, Jones came up to hit and missed a 1-16 single chance that may have added to his 1-0 lead. Philly then got three straight hits on 20-sider rolls of 1-8, 1-3, and 1-4 to ignite a 5-run rally.
I wondered what would happen if I interrupted the game and flew 3,000 miles away. Would it change the Cards’ unlucky dice mojo? Just going outside to get the mail usually does that. But this was Sad Sam Jones we were talking about. So I left for my vacation, lay in the sun for over a week and did not think about Strat at all. Got back home tanned and rested, and picked up the dice. Sure enough, the Cards staged a 3-run rally in the 9th to cut the Phils’ lead to 5-4. Gene Freese then pinch hit for Kasko, rolled a 1-16, three-run homer chance off Turk Farrell that would have put the Cards ahead—but dropped a 20. And the Cards lost anyway.
I guess in some cases when the dice are haunted, they stay haunted. Be back next month with 1958 pennant race updates!