Random thoughts on starting an APBA replay Part II

diceA couple days ago, I posted an article about some of the things we (or at least I) think about when attempting an APBA replay.  That post hit on some of the more abstract thought processes that go into a baseball replay.  I encourage you to read it especially for some of good ideas in the comment section.

Now let’s look at some of the more practical and “brass tacks” decisions that need to be made.

What game will you play?


Ok, that seems like a silly question but it really isn’t.  Take my 1966 baseball replay, for example.  Most likely, I’ll be playing the APBA baseball basic game.  The options don’t stop there, though.  Do I use the advanced rules?  What about modifications?  The Coxx Pitching Grade system?  Error chart and unusual play card?

Make those decisions before you start and not midstream.


What is the scope of your replay?


There are many ways to do a season replay when it comes to what games you will exactly replay.  Will you do a full 162-game replay of both the American and National Leagues or just one of them?  Maybe you’ll just replay your favorite team’s schedule.  Or to save time, you could cut the schedule down to a more manageable number of games.  It’s all been done by replayers out there.

I’ll do the math for you:

  • One team in a 162 game schedule= 162 games
  • 30 teams in a 162 game schedule = 2430 games
  • 15 (one league) in a 162 game schedule = 1215 games
  • 16 teams in a 154 game schedule = 1232 games
  • 8 teams (one league) in a 154 game schedule = 616 games

Anyway, you look at it, a league replay is a time commitment.  To be honest, I still haven’t made my decision on what I will do when it comes to my 1966 replay (though I’m leaning toward the NL).

Issues of Stats and Player Usage


One of my favorite takeaways of doing an APBA replay are the stats.  Okay, maybe doing them can get tedious.  However, looking through the team’s stats and leaderboards shows me a job well done.  Before you start a replay of any type, make sure you document what stat categories you want to keep throughout the season.

While we’re talking about stats, it’s a good idea to get a good stat keeping method in place.  It doesn’t matter which one as long as it’s one that does the job and one you’re comfortable.  For me, Excel is quite flexible and does a great job but I know others use different methods they are quite happy with.

One decision you’ll want to make before your opening day is: “will I limit player usage and if so how much?”.  For example, do you want your 1953 Ted Williams to actually play full season or would it be more realistic for him to play his real life 91 at-bats?  This goes back to my post yesterday about accuracy vs. realism.  If you want a truly accurate replay, you may want limit players to their actual games or at-bats (or plate appearances or whatever).   Same goes for pitchers.  Even if realism if your goal, you still might want to implement some sort of limit system.

Some more thoughts on this:

  • if your card set has the XBs and/or XCs, limiting players to actual usage will be easier.  If not, perhaps actual usage + 10% might be more flexible.
  • There are some innovative injury systems modifications for replays out there which throws all this out the window.  And to be honest, some of them sound a lot of fun (heh, you want to talk about ‘realism’?).
  • Finally, let’s make this clear.  There’s no one that says you need to limit player usage in your replay.  It’s just an idea.

What other prep work needs to be done before opening day?


Depending how anxious you are to get started, there’s always something to do.  Such as:

Finding a schedule for whatever year you choose to replay.  If you are replaying an older year, check out Retrosheet’s Original Regular Season Schedules page.  They have the announce schedules (not just the games played) for the years 1877-2011.   If you’re interested in playing the actual games played (and finding out actual lineups and starting rotations), Retrosheet is also good for that.  Check out their Gamelogs page.  Alternatively, Baseball Reference is always a good go-to site.

Might be nice to have a nice scoresheet for you replay.  Here’s one I use for my baseball games (MS Word).

Finally, John H had such a good idea in the comments section today that I’m going to steal it and put it in this article:

“Pick a year that has a pennant race & read everything you can about the players, the race and the outcome. Then, go to the library and look through the old newspaper archives and copy the standings as they appeared on the morning of September 1 of the year you are replaying. Once you have the September first standings, its time to begin the replay. Be sure to use the lineups and rotations that were used that September and follow that formula through the completion of the season.”

…and if don’t want to go to the library, Baseball Reference should help with the Sept 1 standings.

Thanks, John H!

As I said, there were some good ideas from readers in the former post.  Keep them coming.


  1. Tom,
    Mark Miller’s Baseball Goodies contains a treasure trove of great information for a replay. Google it and check it out!

  2. Hello!

    I love the blog here…great stuff!

    I’ve been playing the APBA Master Addition for a short time, but I enjoy it. I am playing the entire schedule for the 1987 Oakland A’s…trying to get them to the post season after falling short by 4 games back in the day…I also purchased the 1988 game TODAY on eBay!

    I’ve played 90 games so far…I check the boxscore prior to each game I play to get the exact lineups/pitching/defense to get as realistic to that particular day as possible…it’s fun!

    Two quick questions:

    1. I seem to be getting a ridiculous amount of singles when I play…any reason why? Right now, Mark McGwire has like 20 HRs, 10 doubles, and 70 singles (just an example)….rarely do I have games where either my team or opponent has less than 10 overall hits in a game.

    2. Any suggestions on how to play games faster? It takes me a good hour to play one game…maybe I’m a little pokey, but I’d like to budget more games into my schedule if I can.

    THANKS for any help!

    • Beau,

      I’ve played the Master game for years, and most of my games take about an hour, so I wouldn’t consider yourself pokey, especially with a high-offense season like 1987.

      I have a guess as to why you’re getting so many singles in your replay…I have that season and there are an awful lot of D pitchers in that set. I think that back then, the pitching grades were more firmly tied to ERA (for instance, anything over, say, 4.20 was a D). And since the ERAs were pretty high that year, you get a lot of Ds…meaning a lot of pitchers who can’t stop 8s and 9s, and thus, more singles.

      I would bet, if that season was re-issued today, a good number of those D pitchers would be Cs.

      Hope that made sense.

  3. Love your blog. I just recently restarted playing APBA after a 20 year hiatus! And I am having a blast.

    I am replaying the 1927 Yankees and 1927 Pirates schedules. I am keeping track of stats. I am using the most used line ups but am allowing for managerial leeway when a player is slumping to put someone different in the starting lineup. I am using the actual starting pitchers of each game accoring to Baseball Reference. I am using the basic game and it takes about 30 minutes to play. The scoring adds 15 minutes to a game but that is OK. I am getting quicker at scoring and hope to make good progress each week. So far I am 25 games into the Yankees schedule.

    Keep up the good work and 66’s!


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