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Old 06-28-2003, 01:38 AM   #1
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HOB4 Our Story Begins

THE HOB4 OUR STORY BEGINS
PROLOGUE

1940 - AN UNEASY PEACE AT HOME, TURMOIL ABROAD
To borrow a line from Dickens it really was the best of times and the worst of times for baseball fans. 1940 marked a new era of co-operation between the established major leagues and the rebel Western Baseball Alliance. However, as baseball executives were dousing a firestorm that had ravaged the game over the past decade, it was only a matter of time before events a continent away would challenge not only the well being of the game but, far more importantly, the very fabric of our society.

Britian and Canada had already be drawn into what was quickly becoming the second 'World War" and it was only a matter of time before the United States would join them. Many young American ballplayers had left the playing field for the battlefield twenty-odd years ago during the first Great War and it was clear that many talented young men would again leave the game to join the war effort.

Despite the looming war, executives throughout baseball had to be pleased with the state of the game. Following an 18 year battle that sent salaries spiralling out of control, the Major Leagues and rival Western Alliance had agreed to a truce that would only make both organizations stronger. Before we discuss the details of the truce, perhaps a little background on the Western Alliance should be shared.

The Pacific Coast League always had a strong following in California and it had never been stronger than in 1921. That was the year that a slugger from the east named Babe Ruth stood the game on its ear with a 59 homer season after hitting 54 the year before. Even in California, word was getting out about the Babe's accomplishments and fans everywhere were flocking to the ballpark to see the game. It was Ruth himself, the man who pulled Major League baseball out of the doldrums following the Black Sox scandal of 1919, that can be blamed (or credited) for the birth of the Western Alliance. You see, in the winter of 1921 Ruth and several of his major league teammates made a barnstorming tour of the southwest and California. Fans packed stadiums and that, of course, got the enterprising owners of the Pacific Coast League thinking.

"Why don't we declare ourselves a major league," was the question posed to PCL owners at their annual meeting prior to the 1922 season. Naysayers among them warn of the ill-conceived Federal League but those in the know explain that one of the Federal League's biggest errors was choosing to go head-to-head with the big boys. "Our league," they counter "will focus only on untapped cities and exist primarily west of the Mississippi.

In 1921 the Pacific Coast League had teams based in Oakland, Sacramento, Salt Lake, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Vernon and San Francisco. All except Sacramento and Vernon will join the new Western Baseball Alliance. In addition San Diego, Hollywood and Vancouver will be accepted to the loop.

The Kansas City Blues bolted the American Association to join the new professional alliance. Other larger centres were approached and as a result teams were awarded to Dallas, Houston, Alburquerque, Denver, New Orleans and Phoenix bringing the alliance total to 16 teams.

The 16 clubs would be arranged in 2 leagues:

MOUNTAIN LEAGUE
Alburquerque Arrows
Dallas Texans
Denver Bears
Houston Buffaloes
Kansas City Blues
New Orleans Pelicans
Phoenix Roadrunners
Salt Lake Bees

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE
Hollywood Stars
Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Oaks
Portland Ducks
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Seals
Seattle Rainiers
Vancouver Mounties


The Major League owners would view the Western Alliance as nothing more than a nusiance for nearly a decade. However, by the early 1930's Western Alliance teams began raiding major league rosters. The major league owners, not used to the competition, were now forced to pay their players more money since the Western Alliance refused to acknowledge existing major league contracts. Few big leaguers jumped to the West but many threatened and as a result earned a healthy raise. This battle continued for 8 years and might have continued for another dozen had not 3 things happened.

The first did not directly affect any major league team, but the MLB took it as a slap in the face when 43 year old Babe Ruth came out of retirement to play for the Denver Bears in the 1939 season. The major leagues felt insulted that an icon like Ruth would give the league credibility. Certainly he was not the player he used to be, but the Babe packed them in everywhere he played, and he did manage to belt 12 homeruns.

The second event really left the major league owners fuming. Ted Williams, a future superstar, had agreed to a contract with the Boston Red Sox. The San Diego native was even reportedly on a train bound for Boston when he was intercepted by WBA personnel and when they were done Williams had agreed to play for his hometown San Diego Padres. The Red Sox and the major leagues were incensed. Next, the Yankees suffered a blow when highly touted pitching prospect Marius Russo, a New York native, signed a lucrative deal with Seattle rather than play for the Yankees. These two moves signalled the Major Leagues that the Western Alliance had to be taken seriously, and if they were not careful, the PCL may steal away many other talented young players. The Yankees, worried that San Francisco native Joe Dimaggio would be the next to go, pressured the MLB to open negotiations with the Western clubs.

It was World War II that would actually be the final straw in forcing the leagues to merge. Major League Baseball still did not want to acknowledge the Western clubs as its equal, even with the salaries rising and players bolting. However, the threat of war and the likely financial crisis that would result forced the eastern clubs to the bargaining table. Negotiations began early in 1939 and it wasn't until mid-January of 1940 that a truce was official. Looking back at the agreement it really did not cost the major league's much, other than perhaps a slight loss of face in having to accept the Western clubs as their equal. The Western Alliance gained the recognition, if not the respect, of the original league, but little else. The big winners as it would turn out would be the players.

The Western teams agreed to honour all major league contracts and would only attempt to sign players that had declared their 'free agency'. The free agent system would allow players to play out their option and be free to sign with any professional club associated with the new Major League Baseball Alliance. Player salaries were sure too skyrocket with the open bidding format. The big loser could be small market clubs in centers like Salt Lake City and Albuquerque. In fact, one scribe - Jim Murray of the Los Angeles Times, claims this will signal the death of all but the strongest Western franchises.

Murray sees only 6 to 8 Western Alliance clubs surviving more than a decade under this system. "The other centres are simply too small to compete with Los Angeles or any of the New York clubs for prized free agents. I think free agency may be the end of the game - at least as we know it."


Regardless of Murray's opinion, the Western Alliance owners were all smiles after the agreement was reached. Each of the 4 leagues (American, National, Mountain and Pacific Coast) would continue to operate on their own with a 154 game schedule. At the end of the season the Mountain and PCL champs will play for the Western Alliance title while the American and National League winners will meet for the Major League title. The two winners will then square off in a best-of-7 World Series. In addition, the all-star game will now be in a Major League vs Western Alliance format.

This new plan will commence immediately, beginning with the 1940 season. The first act of co-operation between the two leagues was the inagural amateur draft. In the past the Major League clubs had been allowed to sign whoever the wished (players were assigned to original teams) but beginning with 1940 all rookies will be placed into a draft pool and all 32 teams will take turns, with last years worst record selecting first. There will be some fictional rookies mixed in along with the real life rookies for that particular season.

The Chicago White Sox had the luxury, based on their terrible 1939 showing, of selecting first and they responded by taking California native Tiny Bonham, Bonham, a 27 year old righthander would spend the entire season with the White Sox. San Francisco native Wally Judnich, an outfielder, was selected second by Denver. Rounding out the top 5 were pitcher Jack Hallett from Toledo, who went to Albuquerque; Kentucky native Pee Wee Reese, a shortstop selected by the Philadelphia Athletics and Steve Rachunok, a pitcher from Ohio picked by Brooklyn.


Next up Chapter 1 of our story - THE GREAT BEGINNING

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Old 06-28-2003, 03:28 PM   #2
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simply awesome
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Old 06-28-2003, 05:21 PM   #3
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finally ill be able to follow something like this from the beggining
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Old 06-28-2003, 06:42 PM   #4
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Steve,

Your stuff is amazing.......
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Old 06-28-2003, 08:35 PM   #5
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yeah! HOB is back
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Old 06-29-2003, 12:49 AM   #6
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thanks for the kind words. I am going to go into a fair bit of detail so hopefully it proves to be entertaining.
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Old 06-29-2003, 12:58 AM   #7
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1940 THE GREAT BEGINNING
The new Major League Baseball Alliance took its first steps on April 16,1940. That was the first day games were played in the new 4 league Alliance and symbolically 4 games were played - one in each league.

The National League started in Philadelphia where Phillies catcher Rollie Hemsley had 3 hits and a pair of rbi's as the hometown Phillies doubled Brooklyn 4-2. An hour after the Phillies game started, the American and Mountain Leagues joined the act. In Chicago, ex-Pacific Leaguer Kyle Werdman and longtime White Sox catcher Billy Sullivan each drove in 3 runs to lead the Chisox past the Boston Red Sox 14-5. Further south in New Orleans,
first baseman Mike Stentz had a 5 hit afternoon to help the visiting Dallas Texans beat the New Orleans Pelicans 9-3 in the Mountain League opener. Around the time the other games were ending the first pitcher was thrown in Los Angeles. The Pacific League opener would be a battle between the LA Angels and their cross-town rivals from Hollywood. 25 year old Don Barrett snapped a 3-3 tie with a 2 run shot in the bottom of the 8th to give the Angels the victory. Remember that name, as Barrett appears destined for superstardom. With those four
games a new era in professional baseball was underway.

Shortly into the new season not all the clubs were feeling comfortable about this new arangement. Small Western centers like Kansas City, Vancouver and Albuquerque were beginning to wonder if they could prosper in such a setup. Without the fan base, they would lack the revenue to lure high-price free agents and they were even more concerned that their were now 16 more teams that could outbid them for their own star players. Only time will tell, but with the revenue differences it was clear that for at least the Western clubs, there could be a real division between the haves and have-nots.

By midseason, it was obvious there was going to be some excitement down the stretch. Several players were on pace to hit 50+ homers, we were seeing some great pitching performances and most importantly, there were 3 great pennant races. Only Mountain League leader Phoenix appeared to be running away from the pack.

July 11th in Phoenix brought us the first all-star game between the two organizations. On paper the major league stars appeared to have the better squad but the Western Alliance squad had some clout. Cardinals ace Dizzy Dean was given the task of holding the Alliance hitters in check to start the game and he did so marvelously. Dean fanned 4 and allowed just 1 baserunner. Opposing Dean was ex-Yankee Ira Hutchinson.

Hutchinson, as you may recall, was the American League Cy Young winner in 1938 and 1939, going a combined 52-17 before signing with Denver as a free agent prior to the 1940 campaign. Hutchinson had no trouble the first two innings but surrendered the game's first run on an Andy Webbe RBI single. Webbe was traded to Cincinnati in spring training in yet another foolish move by the hapless New Orleans Pelicans. There will be more on Webbe later in this game and down the road as he makes a run at Babe Ruth's single season home run record.

Roman Goodwyn, who bolted the PCL for Cincinnati in the offseason, took over for Dean in the 4th and was promptly shelled for 3 runs. San Diego's young outfielder Ted Williams drove in one of the Alliance runs. In the 5th the Major Leaguers cut the defeciet to 3-2 thanks to a Joe Dimaggio single but Don Barrett restored the 2 run Alliance lead with an rbi in the home half of the inning. In the 8th, the Major Leaguers scored 3 times with the big blow, a 2-run homer, coming of the bat of Andy Webbe. Webbe, of course, was named the game's MVP.


Even with all the changes in baseball some things remained the same. Take the New York Yankees for example. A surge in August gave the Bombers a comfortable lead and they would coast to their 11th pennant in 14 years. The Yankees lineup still included 37 year old Lou Gehrig (.200,25,79) along with homegrown youngsters Joe Gordon (.269,38,98), Joe Dimaggio (.308,32,94) and Charlie Keller (.344,25,78), who missed the American League batting crown by less than .001. Free agent pickup Michael Opie (.282,31,83) , who never got a far shake with Albuquerque, prospered in the power-laden lineup. A back injury cost Lefty Gomez (6-4) a chance at his seventh straight 20-win season but Don Brennan (25-7,2.23) more than picked up the slack. Brennan, who has been in the Yankee system since 1933 but was bothered by injuries most of his career, who his first Cy
Young Award and asserted himself as the Yankee ace. Spud Chandler (17-14) and Vito Tamulis (15-16) also earned a spot in the rotation but it was former Indian Dick Coffman (11-4) who became the number 2 starter after Gomez went down.

Don Hurst of Boston hit .345 to win the American League batting crown. First overall pick Tiny Bonham went 18-11 to win the rookie of the year award and lead the White Sox to a third place finish behind Washington. Jeff Heath of Cleveland (.298,48,126) was named the AL's top batter after leading the league in both rbi's and homers.


In the National League Pittsburgh held off Cincinnati and New York for its third straight pennant. A pitching staff of Bill Swift (22-13, 3.79), Cy Blanton (22-13. 3.34) and Jim Tobin (21-14, 4.05) was the key to the Bucs success. An outfield led by batting champ Joe Medwick (.345,24,91) and Johnny Rizzo (.273,29,101) didn't hurt matters either. However, the Cincinnati Reds seemed to be by far the better club. Newcomers Roman Goodwyn
(21-10, 3.61) and Schoolboy Rowe (22-14, 3.70) propped up a weak pitching staff but in the end the Reds were still one starter away from winning it all. The offense was certainly abundant with the great Jimmie Foxx (.306,52,130) and future great Andy Webbe (.297,60,156) providing a bang on imitation of the real life M&M boys.

Webbe would fall 4 homers shy of tying Babe Ruth's record set in 1924. Webbe's story deserves to be told and will be in the next segment.

Phoenix clubbed its way through the Mountain League by blasting a record 385 homers. Roadrunner Stadium was a haven for the longball but having 3 50-homer players in any lineup borders on ludicrous. Never will you find more dangerous 3-4-5 hitters than Roadrunner outfielders Vince Sutera (.349,60,134), Mitchell Senft (.291,57,120) and Joe Selleck (.351,51,103). Add in another pair of S's in pitchers Josh Setwright (29-9) and
Jamie Shellington (24-9) and the Roadrunners were simply superb. Sutera, the Mountain League MVP, would break Dennis Roberts' 1935 record for homers in a season. The Dallas slugger had 57 that year. Sutera would also win the Triple Crown.


The best race of the season occurred in the Pacific Coast League where 4 teams were still in the running with a week to play. San Diego and Vancouver were eliminated as the final weekend began but Hollywood and Oakland would need a extra-game to pick a winner. The Oaks won the coin toss and would host the Stars in the playoff.

It was a whale of a game and Oakland had a 2-1 lead heading into the top of the ninth. However, with 2 on and 2 out, pinch hitter Kirk Shunk provided the Stars with a Hollywood ending, driving in both runners with a double. The Stars would hang on in the bottom of the ninth and escape with a 3-2 win and their 3rd PCL pennant.

Don Barrett (.380,57.160) of Los Angeles would win the Triple Crown and be named the PCL's top hitter. Barret would set a new PCL record for homers and rbi's in a season. Second year San Diego outfielder Ted Williams (.370, 27,97) would finish second in the batting race. LA's Jerome Sigurdson (27-10, 2.63) was named the league's top hurler.

Next up the Andy Webbe story and the 1940 postseason.
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Old 06-29-2003, 12:59 AM   #8
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Man this stuff is fantastic. I always get inspired reading this stuff......

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Old 06-29-2003, 02:33 AM   #9
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Just a note before I start this. I was using Ctorg's fictional database for the Western Alliance portion of my league. One of the things I like about it is that each fictional player is given a hometown and it just so happened the Andy Webbe was from Cincinnati which makes his story all that much better.

HOMETOWN HERO - ANDY WEBBE
Growing up in Cincinnati, Andy Webbe always dreamed of playing for the hometown Reds, especially since the Reds were the class of the National League during Webbe's early teen years. However, the 5'10" outfielder was considered too slow and too poor a fielder by Reds scouts and they never offered him a contract. In fact, none of the 16 major league baseball teams would take a chance on the rightfielder. However, the New Orleans Pelicans must of saw something in Webbe during his final season at Cincinnati's Runyan High School, as the Pelicans selected the 19 year old with the 8th pick of the first round.

"We liked the kid's power potential and he can sure handle a bat," said Pelicans scouting director Joe Fernandez at the time. Mind you the Pelicans, with the worst career franchise mark in Western Alliance history, have never been a keen judge of talent. Webbe would not immediately prove Fernandez right. His first two seasons were spent backing up another former first round Pelican pick, Daniel Sible, and part of his second season was spent with the AAA Sacramento Solons. However, by 1934, at the tender age of 22, Webbe's was the starting right fielder for the Pelicans.

He would hit 22 homers that season and batted a respectable .271. His defense was weak but he worked extra
hard at it and would surprise everyone 3 years later when he won the first of his 3 straight gold gloves. Webbe would hit a career high 35 homers in 1936 and would make his first allstar team that same year. A hip injury in 1937 would cost him 2 weeks but he still managed 27 homers. In 1938 he hit 34 round trippers and set a career high with 43 the following season.

By the time of the 1940 merger, Webbe now considered himself a New Orleans native and was committed to seeing the Pelicans finally escape the lower division of the Mountain League. Clearly he was becoming a player that New Orleans could build their team around. Then it happened. The Pelicans have never been known for their bright moves and this one has to rank as one of the worst. During spring training 1940 the Pelicans dealt Webbe to Cincinnati in exchange for 3 players who's careers are discussed below.

Pitcher Dee Moore - a 26 year old with loads of potential but a 37-73 career record in 4 seasons with the Reds. Moore would go 9-23 with a career worst 6.27 era in the season after the trade.

2B Tony Robello - The 27 year old has never progressed past AA but he did hit 20 homers at that level in 1939. Injuries have robbed him of a lot of development time and he will likely never play a major league game

OF Pinky Jorgensen - The 29 year old k'd in his only major league plate appearance (with the Reds in 1939). He hit .253 in AAA in 1939 but after batting .the same 253 with just 1 homer in 54 games the Pelicans choose to buy out his contract and cut him in June of 1940. The Pelicans, by the way, would once again finish last in the Mountain League in 1940.

As for Webbe, while he was saddened to be dealt by the only franchise he ever played for, he was even more thrilled that he would be suiting up for his hometown Reds. It was the perfect situation for Webbe, who would bat ahead of slugger Jimmie Foxx. Everything clicked for Webbe and he had 33 homers by the allstar break. Babe Ruth's record of 63 was within sight. Foxx was also on a tear but an August slump by both of them cost them a shot at the Babe. Webbe righted himself with a 12 homer September but at 60 would fall 3 shy of the record.

"It was a dream come true playing here," said Webbe. "I only wish we could have won the pennant. Still to hit 60 homers in the major leagues after every team passed me by is rewarding. To do it in this city is unbelievable." His Reds gave Pittsburgh a fight but finished 5 games off the pace. With no key free agent losses, next season may just be the year the Reds return to glory, If they do, you can bet that Andy Webbe will be one of the main reasons why.

ANDY WEBBE CAREER STATS


Year G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R AVG Teams

1932 56 82 27 4 0 4 18 12 .329 NO
1933 86 200 62 6 0 12 29 33 .310 NO
1934 142 517 140 22 1 22 64 69 .271 NO
1935 144 532 154 33 2 21 79 70 .289 NO
1936 146 554 165 29 2 35 108 96 .298 .NO,ML
1937 135 500 148 29 2 27 103 74 .296 NO
1938 146 571 151 22 2 34 106 91 .264 NO,ML
1939 147 565 156 37 2 43 120 101 .276 .NO,ML
1940 145 548 163 23 0 60 156 114 .297 NO CIN,ML
Total 1147 4069 1166 205 11 258 783 660 .287


Webbe is still just 28 and has a great chance at joining Foxx, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth in the 500 homer club. I will update his progress regularly. Below is Reds slugger Andy Webbe.

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Old 06-29-2003, 02:44 AM   #10
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Dont know what happened to first attempt to post Webbe's picture so here he is. Next up the 1940 postseason.

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Old 06-29-2003, 06:42 AM   #11
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wow, great writings!!
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Old 06-29-2003, 11:17 AM   #12
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very fun to read
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Old 06-29-2003, 11:34 AM   #13
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tigerfan PM me about ctorg's fictional database if you could...
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Old 06-29-2003, 01:27 PM   #14
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1940 POSTSEASON
The New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates were anything but strangers, having met 4 times before in the World Series, including the last two years. However, this series would be different as the winner would still have another round of playoff games to go before it could be called the World Champion. So it was a pair of old foes competing for the newly created MLB Championship Trophy. A year ago the Yankees needed the maximum 7 games to dethrone the defending champion Bucs, who had ousted the Bombers in 4 straight the previous season.

The Pirates would enter the series with everyone healthy while the Yankees would be missing their ace pitcher Lefty Gomez. Gomez, who's season ended June 18th with a back injury, had won at least 20 games in the previous 6 seasons but missed all but one inning of the '39 series after hurting his back early in Game 2.

GAME 1 - The series opened in New York with Vito Tamulis on the hill for the Yanks against 21 game winner Jim Tobin. Tamulis, a 29 year old Cambridge, Mass. native had bounced around the Yankees farm system for 5 years before finally getting a regular spot in the rotation this season with the defection of Ira Hutchinson to Denver. Vito had a so-so start to the season but won 6 of his last 7 starts to finish at 15-16 on the year. He carried that success into the playoffs, 3 hitting the Bucs to earn the player of the game award. Charlie Keller provided most of the offense in what would finish as a 6-0 Yankee victory. The man nicknamed 'King Kong' would launch a solo homer in the second and single in two more runs in the 6th to propel the the Yankees to their opening win.

GAME 2 - Another great pitching performance from an unlikely Yankee hurler. This time Clark Shunkwiler tossed a 4-hitter as New York won the second game by a 3-1 margin. Shunkwiler, a 32 year old who spent a decade with Houston of the Mountain League before signing with Albuquerque this past winter. The Arrowheads traded him to New York in July for 3B Eddie Joost and a pair of minor leaguers.
Charlie Keller again led the New York offense, driving in all 3 runs with a homer and a sac fly. Joe Dimaggio and Harland Clift each had 2 of New York's 7 hits off of Pirates ace Bill Swift.

GAME 3 - After 2 off days the series shifted to Pittsburgh and both clubs elected to go with their game 1 starters. Tamulis allowed just 1 run on 5 hits and Keller drove in two more runs as the Yankees took a commanding 3-0 series lead with a 6-1 win. Tamulis helped his own cause at the plate, going 3 for 4 with 2 rbi's. Pittsburgh starter Jim Tobin also did well at the dish, collecting 2 of the Bucs 5 hits. Pittsburgh's big 2 hitters, Ducky Medwick and Johnny Rizzo were now a combined 1-for-22 in the series.

GAME 4 - Shunkwiler and Swift hooked in a game for the ages. Harlond Clift led off the game for New York with a solo homerun. Swift would not allow another run and would in fact only allow one other Yankee to get as far as second base. Shunkwiler was perfect until Joe Medwick doubled in the 5th. He would be stranded at second and Pittsburgh would manage just one more hit on the day. The leadoff homer by Clift stood up for the game's only run and the Yankees had swept Pittsburgh.



WESTERN FINAL
The Phoenix Roadrunners were the class of the Mountain League, winning their 5th straight pennant and 7th overall. However, like the modern day Atlanta Braves, the Roadrunners could never win the big one, losing in all 6 trips to the Western Series. In 1940 their opponent would be the Hollywood Stars, who were fresh off of a one-game playoff victory over Oakland. The Stars had beat Phoenix in 5 games in the 1938 Series.

Hollywood had the best era in the entire Western Alliance but a woeful offense that would be made even worse with the absence of outfielder Felix Walbeoff, who broke his ankle in August. Second baseman Kurt Shunk (.320,38,83) and catcher Jesse Misiano (.290,26,61) were the best hitters the Stars had. Fortunately, the played in a pitcher friendly park and would hope it would be enough to help stifle one of the greatest offenses in league history. Check out the Phoenix lineup:

1)C. Bergman 2B .281 12 sb
2) R V. Sutera LF .349,60,134 won triple crown
3) L M. Senft CF .291,57, 120
4) L F. Wheare RF .342,42,87
5) L J. Snell C .292,36,96
6) L J. Cain 3B .273,23,55
7) R J. Brandin 1B .261,21,67
8) R J. Vandermar SS .294,24,65

Phoenix also had arguably the best pitcher in the West in Josh Setwright. The 30 year old Brooklyn native won 29 games to run his career record to 216-89 since being selected third overall by Phoenix in 1930. Counting this season he has been named the Mountain League's top hurler on 5 occassions.

GAME 1 - Josh Setwright got the start for the Roadrunners at home against Hollywood's Elmer Scully(19-16). The game was anything but a pitchers duel as the two clubs combined for 15 runs including 5 homers at hitter-friendly Roadrunner Stadium. Catcher John Snell homered twice with teammates Vince Sutera and Mitchell Senft each going deep once in a 9-6 Roadrunner win.

GAME 2 - The Stars gave the ball to their best pitcher, Douglas Swirski (22-9) in game 2 and he shut down the mighty Phoenix offense tossing a 4-hit shutout as Hollywood evened the series with a 3-0 win. All of the Hollywood runs came on a homerun from shortstop Larry Mathes in the 4th inning. Jamie Shellington took the loss despite allowing just 7 hits.

GAME 3 - Hollywood's RKO Stadium would favour the pitchers much more than Roadrunner Park did in the first two games. The Stars elected to give the ball to game one starter Elmer Scully while Phoenix countered with number 3 man Bob Muncrief, the ex-Dodger. There were just 10 hits in the game, 5 from each side but 5 of the hits were solo homers. In the end Phoenix finished on top by a 4-2 margin. Roadrunner catcher Snell socked his third homer of the series for what proved to be the game winner.

GAME 4 - A weird game all round. First Phoenix ace Josh Setwright was scratched with a sore shoulder so the Roadrunners gave the ball to number 2 man Jamie Shellington. Phoenix built a quick 6-0 lead thanks to a pair of Vince Sutera homers but Hollywood battled back with 7 runs in the 8th to take the lead. The Roadrunners would load the bases in the ninth but Sutera's bid for a third homer would die on the warning track to end the game 7-6 in Hollywood's favour. The Stars had evened the series.

GAME 5 - Another 'Hollywood ending' as the Stars rallied with 2 runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat Phoenix 6-5. A pinch-hit 2 out homer by Will Meares was the difference in the game. Stars first baseman Mike Wace had his second straight 3 hit game running his series average to .474 - this after hitting a career worse .192 during the season.

GAME 6 - The series shifts back to Phoenix but we learned quickly the city of Hollywood is not the only place for magical finishes. Sutera and Senft homered in the first to give Phoenix a 2-0 lead but Mike Wace's 2-run double in the 6th tied things for Hollywood. The Roadrunners scored in the bottom of the 6th to take a 3-2 lead and the score remained that way until Hollywood manufactured a run in the top of the 9th to tie things up. The tying run crossed the plate following a wild pitch from Roadrunners reliver Steven Lackner. The Roadrunners would answer in the bottom of the ninth and win the game not with their patented longball approach but rather in Hollywood style with a walk, a stolen base, a sacrifice and and rbi single from pinch hitter Danny Metrik. that blooped over shortstop Mathes's ourstretched glove by inches....er with a name like Metrik I should say centimetres.

GAME 7 - Phoenix had been here before, 3 times to be precise, but the Roadrunners had never won a 7th game. In fact, in 7 trips they had never won a Western Series title. It looked like another bitter loss for the Phoenix faithful after Hollywood scored 4 times in the top of the first. Shortstop Larry Mathes 3-run homer was the big blow of the inning. The Roadrunners countered with a 2-run shot from Frederick Wheare in the bototm of the first but Hollywood made it 5-2 when Dustin Walterick hit a solo shot in the second.

Don't count the Roadrunners out yet as shortstop John Vandermar narrowed the deficiet with a 2 run homer in the bottom of the second and it was all even after catcher John Snell lifted a solo homer out of the park in the 3rd. In the 4th inning Vandermar went yard again to give the Roadrunners a 6-5 lead. Then the scoring stopped.

Bob Muncrief suddenly became unhittable and the Hollywood relievers were the same. Muncrief gave way to the Phoenix bullpen in the 8th when Lackner, the goat of game 6, set down the Stars in order. Closer Dale Sonby, a veteran of 15 seasons with Phoenix, retired the final 3 batters in order and the Roadrunners had their first Western Series title. For Sonby, the only Phoenix player to play on all 6 previous series losing clubs, the win was especially sweet. Unfortunately, he and his teammates would have very little time to celebrate as they would

have to host the mighty New York Yankees just two days later with the reputation of the Western Alliance on the line.

Next up the first 'New' World Series between the Yankees and Roadrunners.
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Old 06-29-2003, 01:41 PM   #15
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Hope you guys dont mind but I am leaning towards taking a much slower approach to this than past HOB's. I want to go into much more detail with this league and I imagine it will allow me to dig up many great stories that would have gone unreported in previous incarnations of the HOB. I plan to put more emphasis into the offseason news and in-season develops rather than just a World Series recap like in old HOB's. Plus, with fictional players scattered throughout the league I would like see some of them become as 'real' as the historical players in my league.

The drawback is I will likely only be simming one season a week rather than the quick pace of the past so it may be OOTP6 before I reach the seventies and beyond.

Any thoughts? Are these articles too long so that they become difficult to follow or is the league becoming more life like with them. Be honest with your thoughts as I can see how these posts may look to be too much work for someone to wade through.
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Old 06-29-2003, 02:26 PM   #16
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I like reading them, the length is fine

the only problem i've been having is remember whos on which team

lets go roadrunners
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Old 06-29-2003, 03:04 PM   #17
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Tiger Fan, great suff as always!

But two little things:

First, I still miss seeing the final standings for the season you're covering in your articles. It'd be nice to see how all the teams finished in a given year, so we could see how some of the also-rans do from season to season.

Second, in your prologue, you mention the Kansas City Blues bolting from the International League to join the Western Alliance. A small technical correction to mention here: Kansas City was actually a member of the American Association, not the International League. So the Blues would've bolted from the AA not the IL.
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Old 06-29-2003, 03:54 PM   #18
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I will continue posting the standings but could some one tell me how to do the html so they can be listed properly. For some reason my old style of (pre)(font size="2) prior to the list and (/pre)(/font) using these brackets <> of course does not work anymore on this board.

As for Kansas City, you were right. It was a typo on my part. Thanks
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Old 06-29-2003, 04:50 PM   #19
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Keep the article lengths the same TF. I like it.
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Old 06-29-2003, 05:03 PM   #20
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awesome stuff here, one thing.. whast does "HOB" stand for?
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