Rod’s Replay Insider #1: What do you want to get out of your replay?

oldboardI have exciting news!  Rod Caborn (who has plenty of experience with APBA replays) has offered to write a series of articles on the topic of how to get the most out of your APBA replay! 

Here is his first installment.  – Tom

What’s your reason for wanting to undertake a time-consuming, patience-testing, administratively challenging replay?

Are you simply looking to play APBA baseball games and experience an exciting pennant race? Play a “What if” replay that matches teams from different seasons. Maybe integrate teams from pre-1947 and see what kind of a difference the Negro League players might have made. Learn in-depth about the players from a certain season or era.

Do you want to create entirely new teams and rosters (e.g. an off-season Winter League with six teams)? Find out what would have happened if certain trades had been made (e.g. Ted Williams for Joe DiMaggio, rumored to have been discussed after WWII)?

Do you want to conduct a full-season replay? An abbreviated season that takes less time?

When it comes to defining the reasons APBA fans undertake replays, no two answers are ever quite the same. And no two replays are exactly alike. Nor do they have to be alike.

Replays can take any form you want. There is no one way to do a replay and no one way is correct.  Keep in mind, the only person you have to please is yourself.

Replays are meant to be fun. Whatever kind of replay you undertake, do it your way. And do it for the sole purpose of adding to your enjoyment of baseball.

Next: What’s required to undertake a replay?


  1. Hi Rod,

    Thanks for the article. I actually had no real reason when I started my first “real” replay.

    I had done many seasons with friends before joining the service that never really “completed”. We had just too many distractions, and when the new set was available we would just take the 4 teams in first and start the playoffs (this was pre-wild card)

    I sometimes forget that these replays are actually for ME, and I tend to worry if others will think I did this right.

    I do have some modifications on mine. My initial experience was to just start as far back in time as APBA would allow and start from there. That season was complete at 140 games, so all my replays from 1901 forward will be 140 games.

    I also will be consistent as there will be no wild card EVER. Additionally, there will be NO DH. If you are not good enough to take the field you are an incomplete player and sit on the bench.

    Also I am not going to go to “division” play either. Just a straight out NL vs AL, and NO INTERLEAGUE.

    Anyway I will also put out there that Rod is very correct as these can be very time consuming. I try to push through in a timely manner, but eventually get into burnout mode sometimes and end up playing less.

    If it feels like a chore, put it aside for a while and you will enjoy the games much more. In general it takes me about a year and a half to complete a two league 16 team season at 140 games.

    • Scott:

      Thanks for taking time to comment about the replay column. Your remarks are insightful and, in particular, I liked what you said about consistency, the DH, length of schedule, and “hitting the wall.” I’ll be addressing each of these in future columns. By way of previewing, each of these will be about 250 words in length, which is about all one can absorb at one sitting in a world overloaded with communications.

      Great to hear from you about the column.

      Rod Caborn
      Winter Park, FL

  2. First, I want to say that I’m excited that you are doing this column, Rod. You certainly have the experience to draw from. Like Scott alluded, I also get constrained thinking how to do a replay.
    I am one who feels everything has to be replayed exactly like it was in real life. Now, that is a perfectly great way to do a replay but it doesn’t mean everyone will do it that way. If someone wants to trade Joe Dimaggio to the Red Sox in the middle of the 1941, go for it. Or put the Cubs in the AL. Whatever. The key is, like you said, what is it you want to get out of the replay.

    thanks Rod! Looking forward to more.


  3. Thanks, Tom, for having the APBA Blog and the willingness to allow me to share what I have experienced in all the replays I’ve done. Believe me, I’ve made every mistake in the book as I’ve progressed through something like 16 replays. One learns from the mistakes, so hopefully this will make someone else’s replay speed along more quickly and more enjoyably.


  4. Great stuff, Rod!….TY!

    TY, Tom…For the super site!

    • Thanks, Jim.

      More to follow in the upcoming weeks. Will drill down deep into detail, which I hope will help replayers come up with ways to conduct their replays with more speed and greater enjoyment.

  5. Hey this sounds like a great column.
    I, like Tom enjoy playing it exactly as it occurred.
    For me an avid baseball historian, it is quite interesting to see how players were used by managers…sometimes with very puzzling moves.
    I also like to see how the races develop.
    I feel like I’m watching games from the past.
    I do understand that others enjoy playing it differently… and that’s great too!

    • Clue:

      I don’t personally follow the exact schedule from an individual year (they’re all over the place, I finally figured out). Nevertheless, I build in realistic limits in my replays E.g. starters cannot start or appear in more games than they did in real life, which pretty well dictates how frequently they can be used. Best rule of thumb is common sense.

      On the other hand, it would be fun to build in some”what if” possibilities. E.g., If Ted Williams had not broken his elbow in the 1950 All Star game and been able to play the entire season, how would the Red Sox have done and what kind of numbers would the Splinter had put up.

      I’ve done a few integrated replays and it’s fascinating to conjecture how baseball might have been played if the old Negro Leaguers been permitted to play.

      Great hearing from you and glad you like the column.


  6. It should be very interesting. For me replicating the actual season has little appeal. I started with the game when I was 10 and most of my early attempts at replays failed. It wasn’t till I was 17 that I started a replay that I actually finished in about 2 years. It was a 1964 AL replay. My goal was to see if the Chicago White Sox could beat the Yankees if Moose Skowron was with the Sox for the entire season. I proved my premise although I clearly played most regulars far more than I should have. Not just the White Sox but everyone. From there I went on to 1965 NL, 1930 NL, 1974 NL and 1977 AL. At that point I took a break for about 10 years. I then played around with short projects for a couple of years, mostly World Series, playoffs and individual teams. I then took another hiatus of about 8 years and came back to the computer game. I have found I love the computer simply for the ease of record keeping. I have done about 10 seasons two of which I reported on “Between the Lines”.
    I find that I am clearly into “what if” scenarios culminating in my recreation of integration in 1941. I have played a couple of replays during my 1941 venture just for pure enjoyment. When 1941 raps up I plan another pure fantasy “Someone Has to Win”; somewhere between 10 and 20 teams in two leagues of bad teams. While the truly pathetic like the 1962 Mets and 1916 Athletics others will be bad but interesting teams like the 1930 Phillies who hit .303 as a team but still finished last. I am not sure how I will set that one up—DH or not; AIM era, micromanagers. Any thoughts on that would be appreciated.

    • Bob:

      Enjoyed your interesting take on replays. I’ve played Great Team replays integrated replays, actual replays and enjoyed every one of them. Primary enjoyment comes from getting a better feel for the players with whom I was NOT familiar with.

      I’d be curious learn more about the Tail Ender Replay you are crafting. Since you are using the BBW version, the record keeping is a snap. It’s your replay and you are the Commissioner, so you can set it up in whatever fashion pleases you….and you are the one doing all the heavy lifting, so you’ve earned that privilege.

      Keep me posted.


  7. Hey Rod,

    Great column, I’m very interested in reading the rest of the series. I am currently working on a complete replay of the 1977 season, the season I first started following baseball seriously. I was able to get a lot of my transactions, including disabled list transactions from Who’s Who in Baseball and the Baseball Register when I first started the replay (This was before Baseball Reference which tells you how long I’ve been at this replay.) Anyway, other than those sources, how do you obtain the disabled list and call-ups from the minor leagues?

  8. Jim:

    Thanks for reading the column. Best resource I have ever found is When you scroll down to the bottom, there’s a lot of information that goes unnoticed, including histories of each player. Poke around inside the info and you can glean a lot of information that is not immediately obvious.

    I used to use The Baseball Trade Register by Joe Riechler years ago, but it’s loaded with errors. Thanks to the Internet, there is a ton of available info that did;t previously see the light of day.


  9. Rod,

    I agree, Baseball Reference is a terrific resource for us replayers. But I couldn’t find any disabled list information on the site. Perhaps you may have a suggestion about that?

  10. Best I have been able to find is .

    The info, however, only goes back to 2010. Before than, you will likely have to search injury and disabled list info on a player-by-player basis. Tedious stuff.

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