Dave Larson, Apopka, FL, has been an APBA replayer for nearly forty years. Dave oversees the long-running Orlando APBA Association, which is heading into its 30th season in 2018 and has conducted one of the most ambitious replays I have ever learned of—using teams from all 50 states and overseas, incorporating players from all eras of baseball.
Dave has an interesting system for awarding post-season honors for his replay superstars. It’s a different approach and one that goes beyond the obvious stats.
When completing a replay, how do you determine your top performers for the honors that are doled out at season’s end?
Do you look at the final stats to determine who the MVP, Cy Young winner, or Rookie of the Year? Or do you look at other metrics, like how players performed on a game-by-game basis?
I have found that by looking at the year-end numbers, it is easy to overlook someone who might have been more valuable to a team’s performance. For example, player “A” hit .310 with 112 RBIs while player “B” may have hit .275 with 97 RBIs
An example is the argument that Bill James posed back in the ‘70s, “Who is more valuable? Bill Buckner who hits .300, but walks 40 times a year, or Mike Hargrove, who hits .275 with100 walks.”
Forty years ago, traditional baseball analysts said Buckner was the better player due to his higher batting average. But James pointed out that Buckner actually made more outs then Hargrove. While Buckner may have scored more runs and drove home more, he had more opportunities to do so. Much has to do with the lineup of each team.
I have used a system that analyzes game-by-game performance and award points for the most valuable player of each game. I do this at the end of each game. It takes less than a minute. As you total up your stats for the game or series, you note on the player’s sheet each point he has earned.
I award two points at the end of each game for the most outstanding player(s) of the game. I also split the points if there are multiple performances that merit. You could even award four points a game if you didn’t want to split points.
Let’s say you have a game where one player drove home five runs after the game was already decided. There might also be a player who broke the game open early with an rbi single that drove home two runs. Driving home five makes the year-end numbers look good, but it was the player broke open the game who may be over looked.
In this case, I award one half point to each hitter. Now what to do with the other point? Was there a pitcher who had a solid outing? Did someone on the other team have four hits? You might award a half point to the pitcher and opposing player. You might award four half points to players on the winning team who all had multiple hits.
You may have a game where a pitcher tossed a complete game one hitter and wins 1-0. You could award a full point to the pitcher and the player who drove home the winning run. Or the pitcher might get a point, the hitter a half point, and the player who started three double plays gets a half point. Let’s say the pitcher also drove home the lone run in the game. He might get both points.
By awarding points at the end of a game, you can quickly identify the stars of the game. That is something you may not recollect at the end of the year when just looking at totals. I found the point system can bring players to the forefront who can be easily overlooked.