Earlier this year, my brother and I celebrated the release of the great PC baseball game Out of the Park Baseball by starting a new league in 1900. The idea is that we use only made up players, but keep the existing teams, expansion rate, and everything else. I chose the Giants (with the vein hope that we will play long enough to see San Francisco) and my brother plays the Cubs (or the Orphans as they were known in 1900) so that we are in the same league. We take terms simming/playing any games we want. The only real rules are that any time we play each other, the home team gets to play or sim the game.
The season played pretty quickly, we would often move the league file back and forth a couple times a week. From the beginning, Chicago was hot and the Giants were sort of lurking a little ways back in 2nd or 3rd. Then Chicago lost 3 OF to injury in short order, which really crippled the team, and led to some ugly lineups. This coincided with a pitching slump that dropped them in the standings.
Around the same time, New York took advantage of their near bottomless pockets, and traded for George Quint, a young 3B who was leading the league in hitting, but that Cinncinnati couldn't afford. We had to give up a pretty good young pitcher, but it was well worth it, as Quint led the majors in hitting and in homers (with an unheard of total of 13!)
The reason we could survive with a 3 man rotation is that we have the best pitcher in the game. Andrew Orson, the Stormin' Mormon, won 34 games in our first season and led the majors in strikeouts. He was also 2nd in ERA. He did wear down a little towards the end of the season, and we had a rough patch when my #3 starter was suspended for throwing at one of Chicago's hitters, leading to a brawl.
It came down to the last 2 days of the season. We were playing the Phillies who were tied atop the league after beating us in the first game. Orson was starting, and he was his usual brilliant self, spinning 8 innings of 3 hit, shutout ball. After handling the Phils, the World Series was anticlimatic, as we swept the Detroit Tigers.
Now we head into the offseason, which should be interesting. There is no free agency, and players can be traded, bought and sold at an owner's whim. Given that Quint and Orson are both in their 20s, the Giants feel pretty good about the future.
This has been a fun experience, creating our own history. I'm looking forward to seeing if Orson is a one year wonder, or if he will someday be our version of Cy Young. And will the Giants be able to keep paying the ridiculous $6,000 salaries of their top stars? If you have any interest in baseball or in league building, I highly recommend Out of the Park. It's very easy to set up any sort of legacy league you want (I have another solo play of the Giants starting with when they came out to SF using real players, so I can watch Willy Mays go!)
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