Micro League Baseball (Atari)

Nobody asked for this, but last winter I put together a bunch of ATX files for Micro League Baseball that can be used by Atari emulators.

Yes, you can now can play with any team from between 1900 and 1909.

I also went ahead and created a disk that it includes all the pennant winners by themselves, if that’s more your flavor.

I did some play-testing and it came out pretty well, I think.

Some notes…


In this era, almost every pitcher was used exclusively as a starting pitcher. Relief appearances were rare.

That being said, if a team has no pitcher listed as “R” (Relief), then Micro League will just never replace the starting pitcher. This isn’t completely awful, given that pitchers were completing about 70% of their starts this decade, but it’s also unfortunate because it makes it hard to ever see some of the non-regular rotation pitchers get pulled into the game.

The stumbling block there, though, is that I find Micro League will manage pitchers in the way they were used when the game out in the 1980s. So… it’s not like the game knows to only bring in a reliever in an absolute blowout. You’ll get situations where Cy Young runs into trouble in the 2nd inning and gets pulled right away. (Not great…)

I tried to come up with a good compromise for realistic usage and you’ll find plenty of guys on these rosters who, while primarily used as starters, I went ahead and rated as relievers. Furthermore, there are plenty of teams with absolutely nobody rated as a reliever.

I had to go by feel here…

I was hesitant to have team rosters without a single “R” and initially set to only mark pitchers with “S” if they were almost never used in relief. However, I noticed MicroLeague would routinely have pitchers tire out after 3 or 4 innings if they were marked as “R” and so that leaves most teams in this era without a reliever available.

Pitching staffs are arranged in order of how frequently they should be used as
starting pitchers. This approach will change in future seasons as teams begin
to use relievers more commonly.


For the most part, I have attempted to put as many players as possible on each roster. In some cases, however, I have omitted players with fewer plate appearances or innings pitched, particularly in cases when they were amazing in short amounts of playing time. Players who went 4-for-10 or had a 1.00 ERA in 9 innings, for example, would be left off.

If a player was used both as a position player and a pitcher, I have tried to assign the player where the team needs them most. In most cases, this was an easy decision – for example, a player who made 80% of their appearances as a pitcher.

In order to qualify for inclusion on the season disk, batters needed 0.4 Plate Appearances per Team Game (56 in 1901) and pitchers needed 0.2 Innings Pitched per Team Game (28 in 1901).

Player Usage

Be aware that, because every roster consists almost entirely of “S” pitchers, there will be no pinch-hitting done by computer-controlled games.

It is up to you to occasionally swap out low-usage members of the lineup for bench players, just as it is up to you to decide on how frequently pitchers should be used as a starter.

Fielding Ratings

Micro League has fielding ratings of 2 for most players with a 3 or 1 for a select few and a 0 for almost nobody.

For older seasons, there is no way to recreate the fielding percentages of the era without also resulting in teams allowing way more hits than they did in real life. For that reason, I have chosen to rate fielders relative to league averages and preserve the standard of most fielders receiving a 2.

Sorry, the game isn’t well set up for eras where teams were making 6 errors per game. We’ll adjust!

Download the file here and rename the file extension as ZIP


Micro League Baseball


This web site is called “Sports and Dice“, so this is going to be a little bit off the beaten path.

This past Easter I was transported back to a special day for me in my gaming history – Easter Day 1986.

On that day I received a special gift from the Easter Bunny – Micro League Baseball.

It was a game-changer for me.

By today’s standards, it’s obviously crude. There’s not a lot depth to the game, but it was huge at the time. It was the first computer game I had come across that had real MLB teams and players on it.

I was hooked.

The only problem with it was that it was slow as hell on my IBM PS/2. (Or was it a PC Junior? Can’t remember for sure.)

Well, a few weeks ago I went on a mission to find somebody that had a copy of the game for download.

I do this search every few years but the best I ever come up with is the ability to play the old DOS version of the game online.

That’s not what I wanted.

I wanted to be able to download the GM/Owner’s Disk and create old teams, because that’s how I roll.

Finally I came across something!

Although this was on the Commodore 64, it’s good enough for me.

Everything you need is right here.

And this past week I created my first home-brewed season for it, starting with the beginning of the American League – 1901.

I am a big fan of those old Deadball years, but if other people are actually interested in using these home-brewed seasons, drop me an email with a photo of you playing Micro League Baseball and your requested season, and I’ll add it to my queue of seasons to create.

One caveat, I don’t think the game’s math is able to handle modern seasons. I created the 2019 season disk and I’m not going to bother posting it because every game was ending up with pitchers throwing 22 strikeouts!

It’s one thing for the game to make starters complete games more than half the time – that doesn’t bother me as much for the fun factor. But seeing guys rack up over 20 strikeouts per game is a little tedious for gameplay…

I had gone through a process to “normalize” stats to bring them closer to what you’d expect for the era in which Micro League came out (mid-1980s) and it did seem to work well. The only problem with that was that when you look at your team’s stats you might be annoyed to see that the statistics listed are not what the player actually had that season.

I might revisit it at some point, but for now I’m planning on focusing on seasons from 1901-2000.


NOTE: After downloading the file, change the extension from “.pdf” to “.d64”. (WordPress doesn’t let me upload .d64 files.)

Strat-O-Matic Basic Fielding Chart Add-On

I continue to do a fair number of projects with the Basic version of Strat-O-Matic.

I don’t really miss the lefty/righty splits. I cut my teeth on Basic APBA and I prefer the simple straight-ahead sim that I can knock out in 20 minutes instead of taking 30-plus.

But I do sometimes wish that some of the things that Basic was able to get from Advanced and Super Advanced Strat-O-Matic were realistic on-base events and hit batters.

I noticed, for example, that wild pitches and passed balls are woefully absent from the Basic game. The CATCHER’S CARD-X reading is going to come up 3 times per 216 plate appearance. Figure roughly half the time there’s actually a man on base. The average team in 2018 faced 6,171 batters. Crunch the numbers and you’ll get that the average pitching staff will have 43 CATCHER’S CARD-X readings per 162 games. But the average team had 62 wild pitches. So there is no way for the Basic Fielding Chart to get you enough wild pitches, to say nothing of passed balls.

I’ve been playing around with some formulas and think I came up with something that really shouldn’t add too much time to your game play if you want to incorporate these things.

In short, each team you have to check the Basic Fielding Chart, you’ll also check the chart attached to this post. This chart allows for on-base events (wild pitches, passed balls and balks) and also adds hit batters to the Basic Game.

For example, let’s say you roll a GROUNDBALL(ss)X reading from the pitcher’s card. The shortstop is rated a 3. You roll the 20 sided die. On this Add-On, the box reads “HP3”. Looking at the instructions in the box, it says that we would check the batter’s card and count up their HBP chances. (A HBP on a roll of 2 or 12 counts as 1 chance, on a roll of 3 or 11 counts as 2 chances, on a roll of 4 or 10 counts as 3 chances, on a roll of 5 or 9 counts as 4 chances, on a roll of 6 or 8 counts as 5 chances, and on a roll of 7 counts as 6 chances.) If they have 3 or more HBP chances on the Advanced side of their card, then it’s a HBP. Either way, follow this up with the regular Basic Fielding Chart reading for the next batter. In this case, it says “roll 20 sided die again”.

(A few notes: I’m pretty sure cards always have the same number of the HBP chances on both the left and right sides, so it shouldn’t matter which one you count from as long as you only count one side.)

In the same example above, let’s say your 20 sided die was a 5. In this case, the Add-On box reads “WP8”. Flip over to the Advanced side of the pitcher’s card. If their “wp” rating is 8 or higher, it’s a wild pitch. Either way, we follow up with the “out-3” reading from the Basic Fielding Chart.

Let me know what you think!

Basic Fielding Chart Add-On

Strat-O-Matic Baseball: Basic Pitcher Fatigue

For a few years I had been playing a version of Strat-O-Matic that I called “Modified Basic” – the Basic rules with a bunch of add-ons.

But recently I decided to strip it all down and start from scratch, playing Basic straight out of the box with no add-ons of any sort.

The reason, really, was just to keep things simple and get through my games as quickly as possible without fussing too terribly much about some of the statistical oddities that arise when playing the game that way.

What’s really revealed itself to me in the process it that, yes, I still want some add-ons. But not nearly as many as I used to use.

One thing I’ve been using is a much simpler system for pitcher fatigue.

If you’re using recent card sets with Advanced sides and you like the POW system, I say go for it. Whatever floats your boat.

I put together a spreadsheet that calculates an “Endurance” rating for pitchers based on their Complete Game rates. Only… rather than calculating one for each individual pitcher, these numbers are intended to be used for all pitchers.

The formula could be used for individual pitchers and basically prevent guys from throwing a complete game if they never pitched one in real life, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought the following: pitchers go deep into games because they’re good, not because their arms only have 5 innings in them.

A guy with a 2.50 ERA is more likely to throw 9 innings because he’s as good or better than the arms in the bullpen. A guy with a 4.50 ERA is only going 5 or 6 for the sake of eating up some innings to spell the ‘pen, but there are 5 relief arms available that are much better than him.

The formula breaks things down so that a pitcher is given a certain number of Endurance Points based on the season and whether they are listed as a “starter”, “reliever” or both (“starter/reliever” or “reliever/starter”).

A pitcher loses one point for (a) each run allowed and (b) each inning completed.

Once a pitcher has 0 Endurance Points remaining, they are considered fatigued. At that point, all X Chart readings come from the 5 column. In addition, change all error readings to hits. (Example: 1-base error is a single, single + 1-base error becomes a double, etc.)

I’ve been using this system for replays lately and have been very happy with the results.

The following numbers show the Endurance Points to use by season.

The first number is the Endurance Points to use for the starting pitcher. (Note: This is their number regardless of whether they are a “starter”, “starter/reliever” or “reliever/starter”).

The second number is the Endurance Points to use for a relief pitcher who is also eligible to start. (i.e. a “starter/reliever” or “reliever/starter” who is appearing in relief.)

The final number is the Endurance Points to use for a relief pitcher who does not have a “starter” listing.

1989-2018: 9/6/3
1988: 10/6/3
1987: 10/7/3
1986: 10/6/3
1979-1985: 10/7/3
1978: 11/7/4
1977: 10/7/3
1971-1976: 11/7/4
1970: 10/7/3
1969: 11/7/4
1964-1968: 10/7/3
1955-1963: 11/7/4
1954: 11/8/4
1941-1953: 12/8/4
1939-1940: 13/8/4
1935-1938: 13/9/4
1933-1934: 13/8/4
1926-1932: 13/9/4
1925: 14/9/5
1922-1924: 13/9/4
1921: 14/9/5
1918-1920: 13/9/4
1916-1917: 12/8/4
1914-1915: 13/8/4
1913: 13/9/4
1911-1912: 14/9/5
1908-1910: 13/9/4
1906-1907: 14/9/5
1904-1905: 15/10/5
1902-1903: 16/11/5
1901: 17/11/6

You’ll note that for the modern era, your starting pitchers are only going to get through an entire game without being fatigued if they throw a shutout.

In fact, since 1989, the ratio of complete games to shutouts is only about 3:1, so this seems acceptable. You’ll have some games where your bullpen needs a breather and you’ll go ahead and let a starter throw the 9th inning while tired but he’s nursing a 7-1 lead. That’s fine.

On the flip side, a season like 1925 (where a whopping 5.1 runs were scored per game) shows a starting pitcher getting 14 Endurance Points! Almost half of all pitcher starts were complete games and the only way you’re going to achieve a number close to that with this system is by granting those 14 points. They’ll get used up quickly!

Strat-O-Matic Baseball: Basic Closer Rule

One of the nice things about playing a sport simulation on the tabletop instead of a computer is the ability to “mod” things to your liking.

And while I like the Advanced and Super Advanced versions of Strat-O-Matic Baseball and completely understand people who don’t see why anybody would play otherwise, I tend to stick to Basic.

My reasons, really, are to expedite things.

I get the richer experience and additional levels of play – the lefty/right splits, the individual WP/PB/BK ratings, the N/W power ratings, the ballpark/weather effects, the clutch ratings, the separation of one generic fielding rating into separate range and error ratings, use of fielder arms, better managing of the stolen base game…

I could go on, but the fact is that I’d rather just be able to quickly put out a lineup without thinking of the lefty/righty matchup and ballpark effects. That takes one minute instead of three or four to think things over.

And I can roll out a game in 20 minutes instead of 30.

It’s enough for me to stick with Basic.

Although… there are a couple of things in the Advanced world of play that I really wish were a part of the Basic game.

And after years of playing, I’ve got a few easy tweaks that you might want to consider using in your next Basic replay.

The first of these is a basic version of the Closer Rule.

My simple method goes like this…

Basic Closer Rule
At the start of the game, I find which available pitcher (i.e. a pitcher who is not currently resting or injured) has the most Saves on the carded team. That pitcher, as well as any other available pitcher who has at least half as many Saves is designated as a potential closer for the team in this game. If any other non-closer is used in a save situation in the 9th inning, all X Chart readings come from the 5 column. In addition, change all error readings to hits. (Example: 1-base error is a single, single + 1-base error becomes a double, etc.)

For example, I’ve got the 2016 Chicago Cubs cards over here, so I’m going to go through their cards. Here are the carded Saves totals:

32 – Wade Davis
3 – Mike Montgomery
2 – Koji Uehara
1 – Justin Grimm

On most game days, Davis will be the only pitcher who is designated as a closer for the team. If any other reliever is on the mound in a save situation in the 9th inning, it’s as if Kyle Schwarber is playing every position on the diamond. (No offense, Kyle.)

Let’s say Davis is currently resting or injured, but every other pitcher in that list is available for the game. At this point, either Montgomery or Uehara is eligible to be used as closer. Montgomery because he’s the top Saves guy, with 3. Uehara because he has 2, which is at least half as many as Montgomery’s 3. Grimm is left out because he has 1 save, which is less than half of 3.

Grimm could sneak in there as an eligible closer, but only if Davis and Montgomery are both out. This is because he’d still have at least half as many saves (1) as Uehara (2).

I’m over-explaining it, but it’s a simple idea in that above paragraph.

I’ve enjoyed using this rule in my own replays as it’s both simple to implement and also helps keep you honest with how you use the players.

To reference Davis again, it would be tempting to play Basic and plan on using Adam Ottavino (2.43 ERA, 6 SV) or Scott Oberg (2.45 ERA, 0 SV) as the closer for the 2018 Rockies instead of Davis (4.13, 43 SV).

This method is going to force your hand a bit and use Ottavino and Oberg more as the setup-type pitchers they actually were.

Of course, it’s a game. So you can always feel free to throw this out the window and say “I’d like to see how the 2018 Rockies season would have played out if Ottavino was the closer” and just go with it. Have fun.

But for those looking to find a way to implement the Closer Rules in Basic play, I think you’ll find this approach works very well.

I have a couple of other Basic Add-Ons I’ll try to post on the page throughout the winter: Pitcher Fatigue; Weak Home Runs; and Pitcher Rest.

Strat-O-Matic Baseball: Basic Outfield Assists

I have my own game I developed and have been selling on the side. This is definitely cribbed from a chart I use in that game, but here’s one suggestion for crediting outfielder assists when a base-runner is thrown out on the bases in a Basic game of Strat-O-Matic Baseball.

If (like me) you’re a score-keeping fanatic, you may be dismayed to roll a SINGLE, try to score a runner from 2nd base, roll the d20 that results in the runner being thrown out at the plate and then have to decide who gets credit for the outfield assist.


Here’s a quick and dirty chart I use for my replays played with Basic Strat-O.

Roll Outfield Assist Chart
1 Runner thrown out by left fielder.
2 Runner thrown out by center fielder.
3 Runner thrown out by right fielder.
4 If left fielder’s fielding rating is better then center fielder, runner thrown out by left fielder; otherwise, center fielder.
5 If left fielder’s fielding rating is better then right fielder, runner thrown out by left fielder; otherwise, right fielder.
6 If center fielder’s fielding rating is better then right fielder, runner thrown out by center fielder; otherwise, right fielder.

If a runner is thrown out at home on a single, score it directly from the outfielder to the catcher. (Examples: 7-2, 8-2, or 9-2.)
If a runner is thrown out at 3rd on a single, score it directly from the outfielder to the third baseman. (Examples: 7-5, 8-5, or 9-5.)
If a runner is thrown out at home on a double, left fielders go 7-6-2 and right fielders go 9-4-2. If you credited the center fielder and your d6 roll was a 2, score it 8-3-2; if your d6 roll was a 4, score it 8-6-2; if your d6 roll was a 6, score it 8-4-2.

That’s all, folks!

APBA – Simple Fatigue Rules

I’m soon going to be embarking on a project full of all-time great teams, played out between my older brother and myself.

(He’s the one who first introduced me to APBA when I was a tyke, so this obsession is sort of his fault.)

We’ve been trying to lay down some simple, home-brewed rules for the tournament.

One of those governs pitcher fatigue.

Let’s face it, there’s no reason why a team with an A starting pitcher should ever remove them from a game, especially if nobody in their bullpen is better than an A.

Sure, there are Grade Advancement and Grade Reduction rules you could play with, but they don’t kick in all that often, especially for an A pitcher.

So here’s the rule we’ll be using.

Each pitcher is rated for throwing a certain number of innings before fatigue sets in.

For starting pitchers, you calculate this number by finding their statistics (in their starts only – use BaseballReference, Fangraphs or whatever…) and use the following formula:

Fatigue = Ceiling(.25 + (IP / GS))

If you are using players from an era before game logs are available, use the following formula instead:

Fatigue = Ceiling(.25 + (IP / (GS + (GR / 2))))

The .25 is sort of a “fudge factor” that accounts for things like pitching in games on the road where you may never get a chance to pitch the bottom of the 9th if your team loses. And the Ceiling (which basically means “always round up”) accounts for some other factors, like helping to ensure your pitcher could go the distance, even if he may not bother because he’s pitching in a blow-out, or gets pinch-hit for, or injured, or whatever…

Let’s use a few guys with December 15th birthdays for examples.

First, a guy from the modern era – Rick Helling.

In 1999, Helling had 35 starts and pitched 219.1 innings.

His fatigue would be a 7.

And then an older player – Mike Prendergast.

In 1915, he made 30 starts and pitched 228.2 innings in those starts.

His fatigue would be an 8.

(Say, by the way, that we didn’t have split stats available for Prendergast, who also made 12 relief appearances that season and totalled 253.2 innings. Using our alternate formula, he’d actually still end up as an 8.)

Now that you have that fatigue number, how do you use it?

Essentially, you just say that following that inning, they automatically go down a grade for each inning after that.

I have no idea what 1999 Helling’s grade is, but looking at his stats, let’s assume he was a C. He could pitch as a C for innings 1-7. But if he comes out for the 8th inning – even if he’s throwing a no-hitter – he’s down to a D.

An A pitcher who has a 6 fatigue is downgraded to a B to start the 7th, a C to start the 8th and a D to start the 9th.

This rule helps keep your starting pitchers in line, especially when playing with teams who come from modern eras where specialized relief pitchers are brought in and starting pitchers have their workloads shrunk in order to keep them firing massive strikeout rates in each game out.

Relief pitchers are a bit trickier to do, particularly since they often enter games mid-inning or are lifted for pinch-hitters as soon as their spot in a lineup comes up.

I don’t have a hard and fast calculation here, but in general you can do something similar to what I believe Strat-O-Matic does and sort all their relief appearances by innings pitched, go down 10% and use that number, rounded up.

It’s been a few years since I looked at that, but I think that’s how they do it. I’m in the ballpark, anyhow.

For example, Prendergast made 12 relief appearances in 1915.

We sort those 12 by innings pitched, and go down to the 2nd record – he pitched 3.2 innings in that game. I’d give him a 4* fatigue rating in relief, which means he would start getting downgraded after 4 innings.

For relievers, I’d also consider stiffer penalties – perhaps downgrading them one grade immediately after they’ve pitched their maximum number of innings and making them a D after the conclusion of an inning.

For example, Prendergast enters with 1 out in the 3rd inning. With 1 out in the 7th inning, he is downgraded one letter grade. But at the conclusion of the 7th inning, he’s an automatic D.

1901 APBA: New Board Strikeout Ratings

As an addendum to an earlier post, I understand that some folks wouldn’t be terribly keen on changing pitcher grades.

This is particularly true for those who think that pitchers can “pitch to the score” (despite evidence to the contrary) and therefore the pitcher win statistic is somehow meaningful.

Those folks believe a 20-10, 4.50 ERA pitcher who throws for a team that scores 5 runs per game deserves an A while a 15-10, 2.50 pitcher who throws for a team that scores 2 runs per game doesn’t.

Obviously you can figure out where I stand on that.

But I digress.

At the simplest, I’d recommend making the following changes to strikeout ratings for the 1901 APBA cards when bringing them over to the newest board version:

  • National League
    • Chesbro – add (Y)
    • Dinneen – add (Y)
    • T. Hughes – replace (Y) with (X)
    • Leever – add (Y)
    • Pittinger – add (Y)
    • Tannehill – add (Y)
    • Townsend – add (Y)
    • Waddell – replace (Y) with (X)
    • Willis – add (Y)
  • American League
    • Garvin – add (Y)
    • Patten – add (Y)
    • Young – add (Y)

This is to account for the fact that when the 1901 cards were issued, A pitchers earned about 1 strikeout per game because of PRN 9 rolls with the Bases Empty.

That’s no longer the case with the new boards and we need to find those strikeouts somewhere.

An A is roughly equivalent to a (Y) and an A(Y) is roughly equivalent to an (X).

Among pitchers who saw significant playing time, the cards as issued had 2 A(Y), 6 A without a (Y), and 4 non-A (Y) pitchers in the NL. That boiled down to needing to find a place to assign 2 (X) and 10 (Y) ratings.

Keeping their (Y) were W. Donovan, Hahn, Mathewson and White.

You may notice one additional (Y) in there and that’s Townsend, who had decent strikeout rates but is the #5 starter for the Phillies. He’s not likely to get a whole lot of appearances and throwing him a (Y) seems acceptable here.

Over in the AL, there was 1 A&C and 2 A pitchers with no (Y) ratings. So we basically needed to find place for 3 (Y) ratings.

That was easy enough as we distributed them out to the 3 pitchers with the best strikeout rates – Garvin, Young and Patten.

1901 APBA Baseball: Re-Grade

I’ve dove back into a replay of the 1901 season using APBA Baseball.

I have a long, horrible history with this project.

I tried to do it once and quickly found something was amiss with the cards.

For example, of the 32 pitchers who are members of the 4-man rotations in the National League, 29 have a (Z) and 1 has a (W).

How can 29 of them have a (Z)?

Only 6 of the 32 NL starting pitchers have a (Y), while none of the 32 American League pitchers have a strikeout rating.

I entered every result of every card into a spreadsheet, weighting them by their plate appearances that season and I couldn’t find any way that strikeout totals would come anywhere close to historically accurate.

So I set off on an adventure of re-grading and re-rating every card from that set based on an elaborate set of equations using the card data.

However, it was only recently that a thought occurred to me.

I’d been trying to play these cards with the latest set of boards.

The 1901 set was issued in 1988, before things like (ZZ), (K) or (R) ratings had been issued.

And, more to the point, when this set was published, the board included Strikeout readings for some pitchers on those hits that get taken away due to being an A or B pitcher.

Oh dear…

So, for example, my concern about a guy like Christy Mathewson not being able to come anywhere near his real-life strikeout rates with only a (Y) on his card were somewhat unfounded. After all, by my math, that’s good for maybe one extra strikeout per game.

But giving him a Strikeout with the Bases Empty when a batter rolls up a Play Result Number of 9? That’s good for another additional strikeout per game.

So now I realize that him being an A with a (Y) was actually good for about 2 extra strikeouts per game over a pitcher who was neither an A nor a (Y).

Given the National League average that year was 3.8 strikeouts per 9 innings and Matty whiffed 5.9 per 9 innings – a difference of 2.1 – that suddenly seemed pretty valid.

In short, I started replaying the season by “retro-fitting” my current boards so that they more closely resemble the boards at the time that the 1901 card set was first released.

(You can find PDF files online that document the history of APBA board changes to accomplish this.)

And, as low-fidelity as APBA can be, I’ve been enjoying it so far. I’ve rolled about 35 games and it’s been fun.

However, there are a few things that have still been bothering me.

Guys like Rube Waddell (6.2 SO/9) and Tom Hughes (6.6 SO/9) had higher strikeout ratings than Mathewson that season, but they are both B(Y)(Z) pitchers.

As B pitchers, they don’t get the benefit of strikeouts on a PRN of 9 with the Bases Empty, so even though their strikeout rates were noticeably higher that that of Mathewson, they will actually strikeout fewer batters than him.

My obsessive compulsive tendencies over these games started to kick in.

As I have been rolling these games and comparing my sim rates to historical rates, they’re really not all that far off.

So I know that as a whole there are probably a fairly correct number of (Y), (Z) and (W) ratings out there.

But where I’d still find a point of contention is how they are distributed.

So I got to work.

I plugged every carded pitcher into a spreadsheet, calculating how many total batters faced are given to each grade and each rating.

For the purpose of bringing these ratings over to the modern board, an A pitcher was the equivalent of a (Y). An A(Y) was the equivalent of an (X).

Doing this, I came up with the National League having 2,851 Batters Faced allocated to an (X) – this was contributed by Mathewson and “Wild Bill” Donovan, each of whom are A(Y) pitchers in the original set. 11,784 Batters Faced belong to (Y) pitchers.

Then I re-distributed everything.

By a point of example, I sorted all carded pitchers by strikeout rate (strikeouts per batters faced). I started giving out (X) ratings until I had given them out to 2,851 totals Batters Faced. Then I gave out (Y) ratings until I had given out some type of rating to a total of 14,635 Batters Faced – this is 2,851 plus 11,784 from above.

So what I did was just try and ensure that the chances of a plate appearance being affected by a pitcher grade, strikeout rating or control rating were no different than before.

All I did was move things around.

One other note about this – the re-distribution didn’t penalize pitchers with small sample sizes. Much like the newly issued sets of cards from the APBA Game Company, these formulas are assuming that you will use pitchers close to their historical usage. So a pitcher could get an A even if he only made one appearance. It’s expected that the re-player won’t cheat the system and use this guy as a regular member of the rotation.

Okay, that’s the backdrop. What changed?

Well, surprisingly little. I’ll call some things out alphabetically as I go through the list.

Name Old New Notes
Jack Chesbro A(Z) A(Y)(Z) A touch above league average in K/9
Roger Denzer D(Z) B(Z) Close to league average ERA in 62 IP
Bill Dinneen B(Z) B(Y)(Z) A touch above league average in K/9
Ed Doheny C(Z) B(Z) Close to league average ERA in 150 IP
Jack Harper B(Z) C(Z) ERA was 29th out of 34 qualifying pitchers
Tom Hughes B(Y)(Z) B(X)(Z) Led league with 6.6 SO/9
Brickyard Kennedy D(Z) B(Z) Nice 110 ERA+ in 85 IP
Bob Lawson D(W) B(W) 110 ERA+ in 46 IP
Sam Leever C(Z) B(Y)(Z) Finished 10th in ERA and 9th in SO/9 but had just 20 GS
Gene McCann D B Right around league average ERA but just 34 IP
Mike O’Neill D(Z) A(Z) 1.32 ERA in 41 IP
Togie Pittinger B(Z) B(Y)(Z) A touch above league average in K/9
Ed Poole D C Only 80 IP, but really only slightly below average in ERA
Jack Powell B(Z) D(Z) ERA was 26th out of 34 qualifying pitchers
Jesse Tannehill A(Z) A(Y)(Z) A touch above league average in K/9
Happy Townsend C C(Y) A touch above league average in K/9
George Van Haltren D(W) A(W) 3.00 ERA in 6 IP
Rube Waddell B(Y)(Z) B(X)(Z) 6.2 SO/9 was 2nd best in NL
Vic Willis A(Z) A(Y)(Z) Above league-average strikeout rate

Now, how about the AL, where we originally had 1 A&C, 2 A and no strikeout ratings?

Remember from above that I am converting this to the equivalent of 3 full-time (Y) pitchers.

Name Old New Notes
Bill Bernhard C(Z) D(Z) 17 Wins but ERA was 32nd out of 34 qualifying pitchers
Pete Dowling C D ERA was 28th out of 34 qualifying pitchers. On the cusp here.
Jack Dunn D B ERA was just better league average but only 60 IP
Chick Fraser B C Another downgrade for Philly. ERA worse than league average.
Ned Garvin B B(Y) League-best strikeout rate deserves one of the (Y) ratings
Clark Griffith A(Z) B(Z) 4th-best ERA in the league, but if we’re only giving out 3 As or better…
Bill Hart D C 3.77 ERA was only 0.08 worse than league average.
Zaza Harvey D B ERA was a little better than league average in 92 IP
Ed High D(Z) B(Z) 3.50 ERA is better than average. 18 IP.
Watty Lee C(Z) D(Z) ERA was 31st out of 34 qualifying pitchers
Ted Lewis B(Z) C(Z) ERA a touch better than league average, but no world-beater
Jack McAleese D D(Z) Walked 1 of 17 batters he faced.
Harry McNeal D D(Z) BB rate in line with other full-time pitchers who have a Z
Fred Mitchell D C In 109 IP, his ERA was barely worse than league average
Jerry Nops D(Z) C(Z) ERA was 26th out of 34 qualifying pitchers
Frank Owen D C ERA not great, but not bad enough for a D
Casey Patten C C(Y)(Z) 3rd best strikeout rate in the AL deserves one of the Y ratings
Wiley Piatt D C ERA was 27th out of 34 qualifying pitchers
George Prentiss D A(W) 1.80 ERA and 5.4 BB/9 in just 10 IP
Bill Reidy C(Z) D(Z) ERA was 29th out of 34 qualifying pitchers
Crazy Schmit D(W) A(W) 1.99 ERA in just 23 IP
John Skopec D(W) B(W) 111 ERA+ in 68 IP
Tully Sparks C B ERA was 13th out of 34 qualifying pitchers
Snake Wiltse C(Z) B(Z) ERA just a touch better than league average
Joe Yeager B(Z) A(Z) 3rd best ERA in the league makes him deserving of one of the 2 A grades
Cy Young A&C(Z) A&C(Y)(Z) Led league in ERA and was a very close 2nd in strikeout rate

So I hope some folks find that interesting.

Honestly, I’m this far into my replay already that I will probably just stick with things as they are.

But as I get into this a little further, I’ll be interested to see a few things in particular from the top 4 pitchers on each staff:

  • Tom Hughes and Rube Waddell should easily simulate to be the top 2 strikeout rates in the National League. But with B(Y) readings as-carded, will they even make the top 5?
  • How badly will Jack Harper and Jack Powell over-perform? Because they sure don’t seem to warrant B grades.
  • How badly will Sam Leever under-perform?
  • Will the top 3 strikeout leaders in the American League resemble real life or will the 3 A pitchers dominate it despite two of them ranking 14th and 16th that season?

Been a While

Just checking in with an update.

Been laying a bit lower as of late, though I have been plenty busy in the hobby.

Here are all the projects I am currently logging time on…

  • 1984 MLB
    • A 64-game replay using all 26 teams, played with Strat-O-Matic Cards & Dice. I started this towards the beginning of 2016 and it is nearing completion. I’ve rolled 774 of the 832 games in the regular season schedule, which is good for 93% of the project. Hoped to get it done by year’s end and that won’t happen, but it’s still good progress.
  • 1901 MLB
    • A full season replay using APBA Cards & Dice. This is early going, but I still re-visit it from time to time.
  • 2004 NFL
    • A full season replay using Strat-O-Matic Cards & Dice. Just started this this fall and, gotta’ say, pleasantly surprised. Thought it would take too long to roll games and I’d lose interest, but the opposite has happened. I’m half-way through Week 2 of the season and sometimes would rather roll these games than the 1984 MLB project, but I don’t want to flake on that thing. It’s so close to wrapping up, that I just have to hammer away.
  • 1966 NFL
    • A team replay of the Green Bay Packers using Strat-O-Matic PC. I’m off to a 3-0 start with one amazing come-from-behind victory in there. Enjoying it.
  • 1997-98 NBA
    • A replay of the postseason using Strat-O-Matic Cards & Dice. Haven’t played this since last winter and need to get back into it. So far I had played 2 games for each team in the postseason.
  • 2012-13 NHL
    • A full season replay using Strat-O-Matic Cards & Dice. This is going way too slow. Again, other projects seem to get in the way, but I really enjoy Strat Hockey.

And this doesn’t include other projects I intend to be running right now…  I’d like to get another team replay using Diamond Mind Baseball going. I’d like to get a team replay using Strat-O-Matic Basketball for PC going. I’ve got some other things that I’ve been play-testing that I’d like to dive into more.

There’s just not enough time to get to it all.

I may be stretching myself a bit thin with all of these projects!

Hope everybody is finding time for everything.