When Your Very First Baseball Game and Your Replay Collide (Replay Zone- September 2016)


By Jeff Polman
September ruminations from your trusty Strat-O-Matic replay addict. Check out all four of my season replay-inspired baseball novels on Amazon.
Once again, yours truly will soon be rolling our annual month-long baseball tournament, this time featuring the best eight teams in each league from 2015, and Strat fans around the globe are hereby invited to participate. The eventual champion will receive a $25 gift certificate from the company!
Using super-advanced rules, sixteen “absentee” managers will supply me with 4 or 5-man rotations and starting lineups against lefty and righty pitchers. Teams are seeded by 2015 winning percentage in NHL/NBA format, playing four rounds of 4-of-7 series, and here’s how Round One lines up:
National League
American League
Last year, with the 2014 cards, Matthew Benham’s Giants defeated Scott Seidel’s Tigers in a thrilling seven-game World Series, giving the National League bragging rights in all five of my tournaments so far for this site:
2010—Giants over Yankees
2011—Dodgers over Tigers
2012—Nationals over Athletics
2013—Dodgers over Rays
2014—Giants over Tigers
Will the sixth time be the charm for the A.L.? If interested in trying your luck in the tournament, email me your top THREE team choices by October 10th to jefftourney.13@gmail.com

When Your Very First Baseball Game
and Your Replay Collide
Has the first live baseball game you attended ever become part of a season replay? Last week, mine finally did.
For an “off-season” solo project, I’ve just completed the month of May in my full super advanced 1963 replay, and the May 30th Thursday matinee at Fenway Park against the Yankees was the game in which my childhood reality and Strat fantasy merged.
In the actual event, Earl Wilson got the ball for Boston against Ralph Terry of the Yanks, while in my replay, the very same Wilson threw against Stan Williams. I couldn’t do an “as played” format because my rotations weren’t aligned, and I do have injuries, but it was still great fun to re-live the afternoon. Here’s a link to a more detailed article I wrote six years ago about the real game, which the Yankees won 6-5 in ten innings, and here’s what happened on the Strat table…
The Yankees are off to a juggernaut-like start in the A.L., and have a 32-9 record coming into the game (though the White Sox are just two and a half back at 31-13). The Red Sox are mired in the second division (where they often were back then) at 19-26. The teams split the first two games at Fenway and go scoreless here for the first two innings.
Top of the 3rd. Kubek leads off with a single, Richardson doubles him to third, and consecutive singles by Williams and Tresh make it 2-0 New York. Wilson gets out of further trouble, though, when Phil Linz nearly lines into a triple play but Tresh dives back into first, and Mantle grounds out.
NYY 002 – 2 4 0
BOS 00  – 0 0 0
Bottom of the 4th. Stan Williams gets wild, sandwiching a Gary Geiger single around walks to Felix Mantilla and Carl Yastrzemski to fill the bases with nobody out. Malzone singles in one run but that’s all Boston gets.
NYY 002 0 – 2 5 0
BOS 000 1 – 1 2 1
Bottom of the 5th. After Berra singles in the top of the inning and Tresh is gunned down at the plate to end the threat on a 1-16 chance, Lu Clinton rockets a homer over the Green Monster in left to tie the score.
NYY 002 00 – 2 7 0
BOS 000 11 – 2 4 1
Bottom of the 6th. Stan Williams falls apart. Stuart and Malzone lead with singles, followed by a wild pitch and a walk to load the bases. Future Boston manager Dick Williams then singles in the go-ahead runs, with pitcher Wilson adding a two-run single an out later off reliever Hal Reniff.
NYY 002 000 – 2 8 0
BOS 000 114 – 6 8 1
The Yanks put a man aboard in the 8th and two in the 9th, but Wilson bears down and gets himself out of each jam to nab the fairly easy win.
NYY 002 000 000 – 2 10 0
BOS 000 114 00x – 6 10 2
W-E. Wilson (CG) L-S. Williams
HR: Clinton
GWRBI-D. Williams
Weather: perfect 
Attendance: 1
Interesting side notes:
—The Yankees have grounded into 17 less double plays than any team in either league, yet hit into three in this game.
—Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, who both played in the game I witnessed and went a combined 2-for-5 with Maris homering and driving in three, go zero-for-8 on the tabletop.
—Yaz, who batted .321 that season to lead the league, had one hit in his last 23 at bats going into this game and went 0-for-3 to drop his batting average under .180 for the first two months.