W L Pct GB
Nazgul (Tsuan) 33 17 .660 -
Knights of Ni (Jed) 29 21 .580 4
Nads (Tom) 25 25 .500 8
Dukes (John & Ritchie) 22 28 .440 11
North Dakota (Arnie) 21 29 .420 12
Sardukar (Joel) 20 30 .400 13
June 1979. Tsuan's parents' basement. North Dakota had first pick in the team by team draft, and chose the Yankees (in Volume I, No. I of the SOMBILLA newsletter, from 11/83, I stated "I wanted 25-3 Guidry, please I'm ashamed as it is...no comments"). Tsuan chose next and picked the Red Sox...Eric did the drafting for the Dukes, but after the draft, decided to live in a cabin in the New Hampshire woods. The league procured John (who in turn drafted his brother Ritchie) to manage the team.
I hated Reggie Jackson, so I essentially gave him to Tsuan. I also traded Gossage and Rod Carew to Jed for someone named Jerry Martin and 3 other nobodies.
Batting leader - Mike Ivie, Dukes
Homers - George Foster, Nads 18
Cy Young - JR Richard, N. Dakota (8-2)
Nazgul d. Dukes 3-0
Knights of Ni d. Nads 3-0
August 1979 at Jed's house in Framingham. I was the only witness to this historic event. I remember second-guessing Jed for something, with him defending his move. I also remember saying, before the sixth game, "Some didn't think it would go this far, others said, 'It's going seven'." (You had to be there).
Nazgul d. Knights of Ni 4-2
November 27, 1981. The draft almost got called off. This was the first winter league and we did the draft on a Friday night after work in my Marlborough St. apartment. Tsuan was sick and couldn't make it, but nobody wanted to reschedule, and we (Jed, Eric, Joel, Lou, [and I] were all ready. I called him:
Merchants of Venice d. Knights of Ni 3-1
Nazgul d. Sardukar 3-2
April, 1982 at Lou's place, near Inman Square, Cambridge. The entire league (Eric, Jed, Joel, and I) showed up for this one and was rooting for Lou, but Joel arrived late and the sweep happened so quickly that by the time Joel showed up the series was already over.
Nazgul d. Merchants of Venice 4-0
"Scrappy" Andrew (as described in the first SOMBILLA newsletter) and Robin joined the league this year. Robin's joining was a milestone for the league as she became the first female to invade the previously staunchly all-male league. Jed had the first pick in the draft and chose the Dodgers.
Tsuan, always a step ahead of the rest of us, introduced the concept of lefty-yanking, by pitching lefty Tom Underwood to one batter and then bringing in a righthanded pitcher. As a result, the league instituted the first starter-yanking rules (requiring the starter to go 3 innings or give up 3 runs after this season [later increased to 4 innings])...North Dakota set a league record with 13 consecutive losses that still stands. After then winning two in a row (breaking the losing streak on an 11th inning passed ball by Andrew's catcher), North Dakota lost 11 more in a row for a total of 24 losses in 26 games...Robin and Tsuan beat me 9 out of 10 times that year. I decided not to break up with her.
Bay City Nazgul d. Shellshock 3-1
Real Men d. Marakesh Express 3-1
April 1983. For many years, this was the first series played on two different nights. Piloting "The Greatest Team of All-Time", Robin/Tsuan split the first four games with Jed (Jed winning the first two) at Robin's apartment in Brighton. The series ended at Jed and Joel's house, 'Farrington,' in Allston, one week later.
Bay City Nazgul d. Real Men 4-2
Joel rips off 11 in a row for Sardukar to start the season, still the league standard for winning streaks...Jed's team began the season as "Them," became the "Burglers of Banff" in midseason, and finished the season as "Shithead"...This season marked the first year of regular newsletters - creatively titled "THE SOMBILLA." Vol I, No. 1, dated November 20, 1983, started with a brief history of the league. After the brief history, the newsletter noted, "This season welcomes the absence of Tsuan, with Robin getting her own franchise. In this, the fourth season of the SOMBILLA, we salute Arni, Jed and Joel for starting their 4th complete season." The newsletter went on to discuss the origin of the league's name, SOMBILLA, noting that the "name has stuck, despite the changing of league educational credentials."
The next section of the league's first newsletter went over some rules, but stated "Rules. There are no rules. Inasmuch as a systematic set of guidelines can be created, we present the following...
1. Dues. All persons wishing to participate in the League must pay the Commissioner $1,000.00 in unmarked bills by midnight November 30, 1983. (This is historically significant, because in fact, Arnie was not elected the league's first Commissioner until 1985. Perhaps he was making assumptions...)
The rest of the rules laid out in Volume I, No. I actually formed the basis of the league's first set of bylaws.
Batting average: Lynn, Marakesh Express
.324 Wins: Rogers, Sardukar 8-4
HR: Cooper, North Dakota 15 Ks: Soto, Sardukar 111
RBI: Cooper, North Dakota 38 ERA: Show, North Dakota 2.30
RP: Murray, Shithead 54 SV: Gossage, Sardukar 9
SB: Henderson, ND 26
MVP: Cecil Cooper, N. Dakota
Cy Young: Dan Petry, Bay City & Nolan Ryan, Shithead
Shellshock II d. Sardukar 3-1
Shithead d. North Dakota 3-1
April 1984 at Jed & Joel's Farrington house in Brighton. Robin, Joel and I witnessed this boring series on a Sunday afternoon when I remember feeling guilty for not studying for my actuarial exam.
Shithead d. Shellshock II 4-0
This season marks the last one-year league with team-by-team draft. The first SOMBILLA feature article - "Tsuan attempts to pull draft coup" is written in mid-November (Vol. II, No. 1). The first SOMBILLA study, "The Ralph Houk Rating" is also published in that issue.
Eric drafted first and chose the Expos. Joel picked the Red Sox 9th overall, even though they had the major league's 17th best winning percentage in 1983...TWITS Notes (This Week In The SOMBILLA) debuted on January 6, 1985 and noted "Only team without a stolen base attempt or a save? The same team that has used only 5 innings of relief in 8 games. (Hi Joel!)"...The headline on 1/27/85 touted this as the "Year of the Pitcher", and stats showed only 2 batters over .300, with a league ERA of 3.27. In fact, John Denny's ERA of 1.52 is still a SOMBILLA record...Defending champ Jed started off the season as "Shithead", changed to "Ack!" during the season," and finally became the "Evil Bunnies" for the post-season.
Batting average: Boggs, Sardukar .341 (through 48 games *)
Wins: Hoyt, Ack!* 8
R: Murphy, S3N; Murray, BC 14
Ks: Soto, ME* 101
RBI: Schmidt, Ack!*; Murray, BC; Horner, ND 34
SV: Ladd, ME* 5
RP: Horner, ND 58
ERA: Denny, Ack* 1.52
SB: Henderson, BC 31
Rolaids: L. Smith, ND 6-0, 4 sv
GWRBI: Ripken, BC; Horner, ND 8
MVP: Murray, BC
Cy Young: Boddicker, BC
North Dakota d. Marakesh Express 3-1
Evil Bunnies d. Bay City 3-2
(at Jed & Andy's place in Brookline)
Game 1: EB 6 ND 5 (13 innings)
After Gary Lavelle's wild pitch in the 13th scores Kittle for sleaziest win in Series history, Eric left, leaving Robin as the only witness to this series rout. K. Hernandez' homer in the 10th appears to win it for ND, but Strawberry's ties it in the bottom of the 10th. After this heartbreaking loss, ND could never recover.
Game 2: EB 7 ND 1
Matt Young, Ray Burris, and Jack Morris pitch a 5-hitter for Jed, backed by Strawberry's 3-run homer to key the blowout. Arnie considers postponing the rest of the Series, then decides to play Game 3.
Game 3: EB 5 ND 3
Quisenberry shuts the door on ND comeback bid with 2 2/3 innings of 1 hit ball. McGee's 3 hits and Kittle HR lead the attack for EB. Arnie considers postponing the rest of the Series, then decides to play Game 4.
Game 4: EB 8 ND 6
3 homers in the 8th inning, including Kittle's grand slam blast away the remnants of North Dakota's self esteem and complete the sweep. Mel Hall's 5 rbi's go for naught.
Evil Bunnies d. North Dakota 4-0
The first year of the "permanent" league, and the first year with 8 teams...The SOMBILLA entered the final week with the newsletter declaring "At the wire - wildest SOMBILLA finish ever". Only 2 1/2 games separated 3rd place (Sardukar) from 8th place (Bay City). Joel went 1-4 to miss the playoffs..."Stars of the week": F. White, ND; Ripken, BC; Baines, FW; D. Smith ND; T. Pena, ME; Gooden, FW; Welch, ND; K. Hernandez, ME; Winfield, LH; Winfield, LH (2 weeks in a row); C. Davis, TD; Boddicker, SA; Carter, SA; S. Davis, FW
Batting: Leonard, LH
Sutcliffe, ME 10-1
HR: Armas, TD; D. Murphy, ME 14 ERA: W. Hernandez, TD 2.17
RBIs : Baines, FW 47 K's: Gooden, FW 149
MVP: Ripken, BC
Cy Young: Sutcliffe, ME
Manager of the year - Yitz
Marakesh Express d. North Dakota 4-3
Learned Hands d. Future Wax 4-2
At Eric's house, Lexington St. in Newton. Robin and I were the only witnesses. We were more interested in imbibing and watching the Red Sox on TV than we were in watching this yawner.
Game 1: ME 5 LH 1
Dale Murphy's 4th post-season homer, double and 2 walks lead the Express as the game is never in doubt. Sutcliffe wins his 3rd against no defeats.
Game 2: ME 9 LH 3
Murphy's 3-run blast in the 6th breaks the tie and sends Express to victory. Two errors by Brooks and one by Leonard lead to 6 unearned runs for the Express rout.
Game 3: ME 5 LH 3 (12 inns)
Leonard's 2-out single in the 8th ties the game at 3. Both teams strand 2 runners in the 9th. Express leaves two in the 11th, the Hands load the bases with 2 out in 11th but Mattingly flies out. Claudell Washington's single in the 12th wins it. Express had runners on in every inning but the 4th.
Game 4: ME 10 LH 4
Sutcliffe scatters 8 hits for fourth win in complete game effort. Wockenfuss' 3-run triple and Yount's 2-run double in the 4th are the key blows. Pena, Hernandez, and Barrett (3 hits each) contribute to the rout as Express sweeps the series marking the second consecutive year for series sweeps.
Marakesh Express d. Learned Hands 4-0
The SOMBILLA newsletter enters the computer age, as the stats are no longer written by hand each week...Matt was installed as a 1,000-1 choice in the preseason. After which, no one was ever higher than 40-1...Dues were instituted for the first time to reimburse me for general league expenses. The first dues were $1.56...Wild finish had FW, MF and BC all tied at 28-20.
AVE: Boggs, BU .319 Wins: Valenzuela, LH 8-5
HR: Fisk, MF 16 ERA: Guidry, MF 2.52
RBI: Baines, BU 38
MVP: Baines, BU
Cy Young: Velenzuela, LH
Future Wax d. Bay City 4-2
Bubba d. Manilla Folders 4-0
(Notes: At Jed & Joel's condo in Brookline. Andrew showed up late and I remember all Jed had to eat were munchies and the series was so excrutiatingly long that I felt sick. Robin was the only other league member there.)
Game 1: Bubba 9 Future Wax 0
It's a rematch of 1984 when Jed swept Andy, and it took only two batters to hit the GWRBI for Jed. Lynn's 3-run shot and Baines' 2-run homer in the 2nd make it 9-0 and portend an astronomical wipeout - instead it was a boring game.
Game 2: Future Wax 2 Bubba 1
No sweep this year as eight pitchers (Soto, Hesketh, McDowell, Righetti, Garrelts, Agosto, James and Ma Davis), none pitching more than 1 2/3 innings, throw a five-hitter. The close and well-played game was won on Barfield's 7th inning homer (Barfield had both RBIs).
Game 3: Future Wax 8 Bubba 0
Close game is broken open against Higueara and Thomas in the 7th. Schmidt goes 4 for 5 with 2 RBIs. Bradley adds 2 more RBIs as the Wax rolls to take a 2-1 lead.
Game 4: Future Wax 4 Bubba 2
Schmidt's 1st inning 2-run homer and 2 more in the second give Wax the game as Bubba rally falls short. Agosto comes in with 2 on and 1 out in the 7th and gets out of it, and James, Righetti and McDowell pitch the pressure-filled 8th and 9th for Wax.
Game 5: Bubba 7 Future Wax 1
Future Wax's unprecedented 9 pitchers are to no avail, as Lopes, Boggs and Baines lead the pounding, extending the series to six games, and a new night and different location.
Game 6: Future Wax 2 Bubba 0
Gedman's fielder's choice (with infield back) scores Strawberry in the second. Bailey's sac fly in the 6th is the insurance run, as no Bubba batter reaches second all game against 8 pitchers. Davis strikes out Lynn with Boggs on first to end the season.
Future Wax d. Bubba 4-2
Dave joins the league, sharing a team with Yitz...Mike Scott pitches league's second no-hitter...1/15/88 newsletter declares this to be the Year of the Offense, noting that the league is on pace to shatter records for highest league average and ERA...Headline from 1/17/88 newsletter "Eric Davis (a.k.a. Roger Maris) homers off Jack Morris (a.k.a Tracy Stallard) to break George Foster's (a.k.a. Babe Ruth's) record. 'There will be an asterisk" declares Commissioner (a.k.a. Ford C. Frick)...Also in January, league founder Joel stuns the league by announcing his resignation, effective at the end of the season. Despite pleas and threats from the league, Joel moves on with his life...On 2/15 FW sweeps 4 games agains KH to break a 1st place tie at 32-16.
AVE: Sax, KH .338 Wins: Witt, FW 10-2
HR: E. Davis, FW 26 ERA: Gubicza, FW 1.91
RBI: Schmidt, FW 49 Ks: Scott, MA 133
MVP: E. Davis, FW
Cy Young: Clemens, KH
Manager(s) of the year: Andrew & Tsuan
Future Wax d. Madagascar 4-1
Learned Hands d. Knuckleheads 4-1
"The greatest SOMBILLA World Series of All-Time". At Yitz's office in West Newton (great table).
Game 1: Learned Hands 8 Future Wax 7
Back-to-back homers by Murphy and Morrison, shortly followed by Van Slyke's grand slam pace LH to seemingly insurmountable 8-0 lead. FW chips away, capped by Pasqua's pinch-hit 3-run homer off Eichhorn in the 8th. Meanwhile, Gooden allows one hit after the fourth in rare complete game for FW. In the 9th, Eichhorn, Honeycutt, and McGaffigan get FW 1-2-3 to win the first game against the heavy favorites.
Game 2: Future Wax 8 Learned Hands 5
Once again LH jump out as Winfield's 2 homers and 4 rbis stake them to a 5-0 lead, with Youmans twirling a one-hitter through six. Suddenly, E. Davis and Barfield explode for homers in the 7th, bringing FW back 5-3. Schmidt leads off the 8th with a homer off Eichhorn to make it 5-4. Bottom of the 9th and Davis and Snyder go out easily against Fernando. Barfield cracks a homer to tie it. An error by Winfield and single by Schmidt bring up pinch-hitter McReynolds. His three-run homer ties the series 1-1.
Game 3: Future Wax 4 Learned Hands 1
The scene shifts from Seattle (13 HRs in two games) to LA (no homers here), and Morrison's single gives LH another lead. FW's Hassey ties it with his hit in the third as LH strands 8 in the first four innings. In the sixth, Dw. Murphy guns out Doran at the plate. Both teams strand two in the 7th. A bases loaded walk to Bradley by Eichhorn, followed by a two-run pinch-hit double by McReynolds off Honeycutt, blows it open in the 8th. Unrealistically, Witt earns his fourth save of the post-season.
Game 4: Learned Hands 4 Future Wax 3
Van Slyke's rbi single and Mookie Wilson's three-run homer off Gooden give LH a 4-0 lead and the 'first strike' in all four games. Darling walks in a run, and Barfield's single bring FW back. Bradley squeezes in another run in the 7th to make it 4-3. In the 9th, T. Fernandez leads off with a double. Doran and E. Davis make outs, but Bradley singles. Darling leaves the game to a standing 'O', and Ojeda gets pinch-hitter McReynolds, to even the series for the huge underdogs.
Game 5: Learned Hands 5 Future Wax 0
Once again LH jumps out, this time Bernazard and J. Davis with rbi hits in the second. Brooks makes it 3-0 and FW strands 3 in the 4th. Two more solo shots (Van Slyke, Maldonado) should ice it, but in the 9th FW loads the bases with no one out to chase Youmans. Guante and Eichhorn come on to get Pasqua, Doran and E. Davis (Mr. MVP who strikes out) to give LH a 3-2 lead.
Game 6: Future Wax 2 Learned Hands 1
The first time LH didn't score first in a game, McReynolds has an rbi double. Mattingly's solo shot off Mark Davis is only the second hit for LH as McCullers is yanked after going 5 1/3 allowing 1 hit and 1 walk. Bradley's two out double in the 7th gives FW all the edge they need as Ma. Davis and Witt slam the door, allowing no baserunners after Mattingly's sixth-inning homer to send the SOMBILLA World Series to a seventh game for the first time in its eight seasons.
Game 7: Future Wax 2 Learned Hands 1 (11 innings)
Bradley leads off the first for FW and scores on a seemingly harmless fielder's choice by Schmidt. Each team pulls off a clutch DP early, and Gooden departs after 5 2/3 with 3 hits and 5 Ks. Another DP gets FW out of a 2-on 1-out jam in the 7th, and LH strands two more with one out against Witt in the 8th. Meanwhile, Ojeda has sailed through eight innings, allowing only 3 hits and 2 walks, but it could be all for naught as LH leads off the ninth inning down 1-0 in the seventh game. Mitchell leads off with a walk against Witt. Maldonado fans, but M. Wilson singles him to second. Bernazard ties the game, fighting off pitch after pitch! Righetti comes in to get a DP and end further damage. Ojeda pitches a 1-2-3 bottom of the 9th. In the 10th, Virgil leads with a pinch-hit single, and is bunted over by Murphy. King comes in to get Van Slyke, and Mattingly is intentionally walked. Mitchell pops out to end the threat. In the bottom of the tenth, Ojeda yields his fourth hit, but gets Bradley to ground into a DP. Future Wax's 4th DP in the top of the 11th ends a minor threat. In the bottom of the 11th, FW has E. Davis, McReynolds, Schmidt, and Laudner scheduled up. The following is as close as I can recollect the conversation:
Either Yitz or Dave: "Should we put in Eichhorn?" (Historical
note - Eichhorn had 0 hit or walk chances vs. righties but was
vulnerable to lefties).
The other: "What if he pinch-hits for Eric Davis?"
The first one: "Do you think he'd pinch-hit for Eric Davis?"
Yitz: "He'd never pinch-hit for Eric Davis"
Yitz and Dave put in Eichhorn to face Eric Davis. Andy pinch-hits Daryl Strawberry for Eric Davis. With Eric (SOMBILLA manager) listening over the speakerphone, and me straining to escape to drive Robin's friend, Bev, to the airport, yet unable to bring myself to do it, Daryl Strawberry hits a homer off Eichhorn's card.
Future Wax d. Learned Hands 4-3
Dave takes over the Sardukar franchise from departed league member Joel, renaming the team The Hatchbacks. Over the summer, Yitz surprises the league by resigning from the Learned Hands, and Durga and Harold take over the team's managerial duties. A rough start as Harold begins his inaugeural season at 3-17...Dave, however, written off as a 30-1 last-place pick, is in the thick of the race at 18-18 as late as 1/18...The Folders and Yoknapatawpha cruise through the season and are tied at 27-13 on 1/25; TWITS Notes noted that, between them they'd lost just 1 series all season...ND needed BC to knock off FW on the last week of the season; the last newsletter noted "Slim North Dakota hopes rest upon wife"
AVE: McGwire, MF .335 Wins: Reuschel, YK 9-4
HR: McGwire, MF 24 ERA: R. Robinson, HB 2.37
RBI: McGwire, MF 70 Ks: Ryan, MF 126
MVP: McGwire, MF
Cy Young: Ryan, MF
Yoknapatawpha d. Future Wax 4-3
Manilla Folders d. Madagascar 4-1
(Notes: At Matt's apartment in Brighton. Although impartial beforehand, once Eric won the first game, I was secretly hoping for a sweep (sorry, Matt) since I had a horrible head cold and my cat, Minot, had just died, and I was plum miserable. No one else came.)
Game 1: YK 6 MF 5
The Folders strike first on a clutch double by Dewey Evans, but Ashby's 2-run shot gives the Yoks the lead. Molitor's clutch 3-run double in the second holds up for the Folders until the 8th. Ryan has a four hitter going into the 8th, but with 2 out and 1 on, 4 straight hits, capped by Gaetti's 2-run double, send Ryan to the showers and give the Yoks a great come-from-behind lead. Manilla has 1st and 3rd with two out in the ninth, but Burke gets Dewey to fly out. A moment of silence is observed for Minot the cat before the first pitch.
Game 2: YK 9 MF 2
The Yoks pound out 5 homers, started by Fielder's 3-run shot in the 1st. With the score 5-2, a runner on and one out, the Eck gets McGwire and Evans in the 8th. Ashby's pinch hit 3-run homer is the icing on the cake.
Game 3: YK 4 MF 0
A shift of scene for the hopeful Folders has Sutcliffe and Leibrandt battling though 5 scoreless innings, yielding a combined 5 hits. A walk, an error, and a Dernier clutch single give the Yoks the lead, and Gaetti's 3-run shot is the crusher. The Folders load the bases with one out in the 9th, but Burke fans Burks and Lar. Parrish for the shutout.
Game 4 YK 3 MF 2
Fighting for their SOMBILLA lives, the Folders strike first on Da. Murphy's two-base error in the first, and Diaz's clutch single makes it 2-0 in the fourth. Barrett doubles in Gaetti, who stole 2nd, to break up Ryan's shutout in the 5th. In the top of the 7th, Hernandez's 2-run shot gives the Yoks the lead for the first time. Reuschel walks Roenicke to lead off the ninth, Devon White pinch-running. Burke comes in, and B. Hatcher moves White over. Whitaker flies out, but Parrish singles, with White holding at third. O. Smith grounds out to end the sweep. It is the 5th World Series sweep in the SOMBILLA's 9 seasons.
Yoknapatawpha d. Manilla Folders 4-0
**POST-MORTEM** Within weeks, Eric traded away Game#4 winning pitcher Rick Reuschel.
Tsuan moves to California, ending 10 years of managing in the SOMBILLA...Controversy erupts with the 12/10 headline "League uncovers "Raines-gate": Commissioner to be burned at the stake, beheaded, and face firing squad; retains first place" ...North Dakota streaks to an amazing 20-4 record by 12/18, the best start in league history, with Yoknapatwapha close behind at 18-6, setting up a big 4-game series in Gackle (ND) Park. The Yoks sweep the series, pitching 3 shutouts and holding ND to 2 runs. Eric, using slugger Gary Gaetti (4e48) as his starting shortstop, goes on to destroy the rest of the league for an alltime best, phenomenal record of 44-12...'Mellor Magic,, (coined from 'Morgan Magic,' when Joe Morgan took over the 1988 Red Sox) takes the LH's, picked for 9th in the preseason, into 4th place in January...Robin threatens the all-time worst record as she is just 11-33 with 12 games to go.
AVE: Winfield, YK .359 Wins: Hershiser, YK
HR: Strawberry, FW 19 ERA: Hershiser, YK
RBI: Strawberry, FW 44 K's: Langston, LH
MVP: Winfield, YK
Cy Young: Hershiser
Manager of the year: Eric
Yoknapatawpha d. North Dakota 4-1
Plymouth Satellites d. LH's 4-2
(Notes: At Jed & Joel's condo in Brookline. Robin and I were there. Clint showed up in the middle, [literally, plunking down in between Jed & Eric at a tense moment to see what they were doing until his ejection shortly thereafter]).
Game 1: PS 5 YK 3
Puhl belts Hershiser's 1st pitch of the series for a home run, but Gaetti's rbi double ties it up. W. Clark's bases-loaded double in the 5th gives PS the lead for good. Clutch pitching (and excellent relief usage) help out as J. Howell and Franco strike out Palmeiro and Downing with 2 on in the 6th, J. Robinson strikes out 2 with 2 on in the 7th, and Mirabella gets K. Hernandez to fly out with 2 on to end it.
Game 2: PS 4 YK 3 (11 inns)
Scott carries a 2-hitter into the 7th, but is yanked after a leadoff single by Gaetti. J. Robinson gets tagged, and Yount's 2-run triple off G. Harris gives the heavily favored Yoks the lead 3-1 in the 9th. Jones blows the save by giving up a leadoff walk to pinch-hitter Puhl, follwed by Puckett's game tying 2-run homer. Snyder leads off the 11th with a double, and Puckett's single drives him in, giving the underdog Satellites a stunning 2-0 edge, with the next three games at home.
Game 3: YK 11 PS 4
Backs against the wall, the greatest team in SOMBILLA history responds in a big way, pounding 5 Satellite pitchers to make the series 2-1. Gaetti's 2 homers, double and single pace the Yoks' balanced attack as 8 men get rbis for Eric. The Satellites actually tied the game 4-4 with 4 runs in the 4th on a bases-loaded single by R. Jones but the Yoks put the game away in the 5th and 6th.
Game 4: PS 3 YK 1
The Satellites hit 8 singles in the first 2 innings and lead Hershiser 3-0 after 2. Hershiser settles down, with shutout pitching the rest of the way (all 13 hits were singles). Meanwhile Higuera pitches 8 innings for PS with threats only in the 3rd and 4th. In the 9th, K. Hernandez homers with 1 out, then Higuera hits Steinbach, precipitating an all-out brawl. When the dust settles, Sax singles Steinbach to third. Sax then steals 2nd. Downing pinch-hits for Uribe. Howell relieves Higuera. Howell gets Downing to foul out and gets Hayes (pinch-hitting for Palmeiro) to ground out, and the Satellites are, incredibly, up 3-1.
Game 5: YK 4 PS 2
Really with his back to the wall (no, really - I mean it this time), Eric shits bricks as the game is scoreless through five, leaving the bases loaded in the 3rd. Gaetti smashes a 3-run homer off Henneman with none out in the 6th. In the bottom of the 6th, though, Puckett's 2-out, 2-run homer off Leary makes it 3-2. Two walks by Harris and a single by Winfield make it 4-2 in the 7th. Eckersley retires 9 straight (4 K's) to slam the door for the Yoks.
Game 6: YK 4 PS 3
It's back to Mississippi for game six, and Gaetti's 2 out double off Scott gives the Yoks the early 1-0 lead. When H. Reynolds botches a squeeze in the 2nd for PS, it appears the Strat-O gods are giving a sign. However, when Trammell cracks a 2-run shot off Clemens, followed by a walk, stolen base, single and a Puhl sac fly, the Satellites lead 3-1. In the 7th, K. Hernandez homers with one out off Henneman. Henneman then hits Steinbach, triggering another brawl. Ashby's pinch-hit double then ties the game 3-3. The Satellites load the bases but can't score in the 8th off Jones and have now stranded 13. Bottom of the 9th - Howell walks Hernandez and pinch-hitter Palmeiro. Sax bunts them over. Barrett botches a squeeze. Tracy Jones's single then wins the game and ties the series. It's a seven game series for the 2nd time in league history.
Game 7: YK 4 PS 3 (11 innings)
It's the battle of the H's as Hershiser and Higuera sail through the first 3. In the 4th, a Reynolds error contributes to Yount's rbi single and the Yoks lead 1-0. The Satellites appear to score 2 in the top of the 5th, to take a 2-1 lead, but after the half inning, the ever-alert Commissioner, justifying his high salary demands, noticed Terry Puhl, who had hit a 2-run triple in the 5th for Jed, had already used up his limited playing time. The 2 runs were off the books and Jed's 5th was played over. Instead of 2, this time Jed scores 3 runs on 3 singles and 2 walks to give him a 3-1 lead. In the 7th, the Yoks load the bases off Howell. Anderson's botched squeeze is followed by Barrett's sac fly and the Yoks settle for one. Yount's rbi single ties it in the 8th, 3-3. Meanwhile Jones, Eck, Holton and DeLeon pitch the 6th-10th without yielding a hit. In the bottom of the 11th, K. Hernandez walks against J. Robinson. Downing cracks a double, Hernandez stopping at 3rd. Sax's sac fly wins the series - it's Eric's 2nd championship in a row and 3rd in 5 years.
**POST MORTEM** About 2 or 3 days after the series, Eric
discovered to his horror and dismay that in the 9th inning of game 6,
Barrett, who botched a squeeze just before Jones's single won it, was
pinch-hit for Uribe because no one was left to play shortstop. What to
do? Replay it from there, and then possibly replay game 7? (Horrors!)
first consulted Jed, and then me. Both Jed and I came to the following
1. Barrett's at bat was inconsequential - he screwed up; it was T. Jones who won the game.
2. If the games were replayed and Jed won, it would be a 'tainted' victory.
Because Jed & I came to the same conclusions on our own, it was agreed by all three of us to let the games stand. Thus, it is Eric who has the 'tainted' victory. (Just kidding).
Yoknapatawpha d. Plymouth Satellites 4-3
**POST-POST MORTEM** A couple of weeks after being the World Series Game 7 winning pitcher, Jose DeLeon was traded by Eric to Jed.
Matt changes his team's name, dropping the extra 'l' from Manilla...Jed begins the season as 'Nick's Nose Cove' and the league favorite (the preseason newsletter stated 'let's face it - the rest of us are playing for the honor of getting trashed by Jed in the World Series') but was in last place at 4-8 on 11/27 and changed his team's name to Ha Ha late in the season...This season marks Clint's first year in the league, as he shares a team with Dave...Eric nicknames his bullpen the Baloney Men, and he and Future Wax turn the season into a 2-team race in late December. Harold makes a nice charge and makes it a 3-team race in January. After 40 games, Eric is 2 GB and Harold 3, with everyone else 8 or more...Andrew opens up a 5-game lead by winning 9 of 12, but Eric finishes at 7-1 against BC and ND to close the gap.
AVE: Greenwell, HB .336 Wins:
Bosio, FW 9-1
HR: G. Davis, BC 19 ERA: Clemens, GZ 2.07
RBI: E. Davis, FW 52 Ks: Ryan, MF 114
MVP: E. Davis, FW
Cy Young: Clemens, GZ
Manager of the Year: Harold
Future Wax d. Manila Folders 4-2
Ross's Raiders d. Golgonooza 4-2
(Notes: At Arnie & Robin's in Watertown - I think they needed a neutral site. Robin & I were the only witnesses. With my final exams looming, after Andrew won the first game, I was secretly hoping for the sweep. Sorry, Harold).
Game 1: FW 7 RR 4
The Raiders leave the bases loaded in the top of the first - a bad omen. McGriff's rbi single scores Roberts for a 1-0 FW lead. Mitchell's homer gives RR a brief 2-1 lead, but Barfield's 2-run shot in the 3rd gives the Wax the lead for good. FW explodes in the Waxdome with 2 walks, a 3-run homer by Biggio and a solo shot by Dunston in the 4th for a 7-2 lead. The Raiders try to come back, but strand 2 in both the 8th and 9th as Dibble closes the door, getting Mitchell and Mattingly to end it.
Game 2: FW 8 RR 5
Once again FW jumps to a big lead as Tartabull's 2-run homer in the 1st, and rbi double in the 3rd, followed by McGriff's pinch-hit 2-run single, give FW a 5-1 lead. Barfield's homer makes it 6-1. The never say die Raiders come back with Mitchell's 3-run shot off Dibble in the 8th to make it 6-5. The Dome taketh away and the Dome giveth, though, when O. McDowell's pinch-hit 2-run homer in the 8th off D. Jones makes it 8-5. RR loads the bases with 1 out in the 9th off Dibble, but M. Morgan comes in and gets McReynolds and Mitchell to put the Wax in the driver's seat.
Game 3: FW 6 RR 3 (12 innings)
The series switches to the Ross Sea, and the Raiders take advantage of home cooking with 3 runs on 4 hits off Bosio for a 3-0 lead. Bosio settles down, allowing only 2 hits over the next 8 innings, while his mates chip away, tying it on Biggio's 7th inning rbi single. The Wax strand 16 runners in the first 9 and leave them loaded 3 times. Each team strands 2 in the 11th. Bradley's 5th hit leads off the 12th. Jones, the 7th pitcher for the Raiders, fans Barfield, but Harper singles. E. Davis hits a 3-run homer. Morgan pitches a 1-2-3 12th and it's 3-0.
Game 4: FW 3 RR 2
Backs against the wall, in front of a packed, rabid crowd, the Raiders strike first on a Pettis walk, sb, and Mattingly rbi single. Dunston's leadoff triple and Barfield's sac fly methodically tie it up for FW in the 2nd. Dunston's single, sb and Harper's rbi double make it 2-1 Wax in the 5th. McClure leaves with a 2-hitter in the 5th, and P. Perez takes the 2-hitter into the 7th. Roberts's walk, sb, and Tartabull's rbi single make it 3-1, FW, in the 7th. Bob Boone's last SOMBILLA at bat is a home run to make it 3-2. Kittle then follows with a missed ballpark homer (or great catch by E. Davis, if you prefer). Buechelle then walks, steals 2nd and goes to 3rd on an overthrow. Andrew orders Mitchell intentionally walked, and Dibble gets Mattingly to pop out. Dibble pitches a 1-2-3 9th for the sweep. Incredibly, it is the 6th World Series sweep in the SOMBILLA's 11 seasons.
Future Wax d. Ross's Raiders 4-0
Land joins the SOMBILLA, sharing a team with Dave, while Clint leaves Dave and begins sharing a team with Jed...Future Wax was predicted to repeat in the preseason newsletter, which noted "of all teams to end up with Fielder!"..Andrew starts 10-2, and leads the Wax to a wire-to-wire finish, although in early December 4 teams are within 3 games. In January, Andrew rips off 11 in a row to tie Joel's 8-year-old league record, and he ends up setting the standard for most games ahead of 2nd place...Eric dropped an 'e' from Freedonia in November, but decided to add back the 'e' in December.
AVE: Dykstra, FR .366 Wins: Drabek, BC 10-4
HR: Strawberry, FW 24 ERA: Drabek, BC 1.76
RBI: Mitchell, RR 56 K's: Clemens, FR 110
MVP: Strawberry, FW
Cy Young: Drabek, BC
Manager of the year: Robin
Ross's Raiders d. Arkansas 4-2
Future Wax d. Bay City 4-3
(Notes: At Andrew's condo in Brookline. For the first time in the league's 12 years, I am unable to attend the World Series, being en route from Bev's wedding in Washington, and no other free weekends available for at least a month). (Addendum: Bev was divorced several years later).
Game 1: FW 5 RR 0
Eric Hanson is the story in game 1, pitching a masterful 3-hit shutout, walking none, and striking out 5. Magadan's rbi single in the first, and rbi triple in the 3rd stake Hanson to all the runs he needs. Fryman and Barfield hit back-to-back pinch hit home runs in the 7th to add insult to loss as the Raiders lose their 5th straight World Series game to the Wax, having been swept in last year's World Series.
Game 2: FW 5 RR 4
Grace doubles in Sandberg, who tripled, for the early lead, but E. Martinez's error leads to an unearned run to tie it for FW. Martinez atones with a 2-run single in the 2nd, making it 3-1, and Maddux (the 1st of 7 Wax pitchers) is yanked. A fielder's choice scores Strawberry and it's 3-2, but 3 straight singles by the Raiders chase Mulholland and make it 4-2 in the 5th. In the 7th, Gant misses a ballpark homer (or, for those of you believing in realism, is robbed of a homer by a great catch by Bonds), which would have made it 5-2. In the bottom of the 8th, with 2 out and 2 on, Harvey (the 7th RR pitcher) gives up a 3-run homer to Bonds, and the Wax lead for the 1st time. In the 9th, the Raiders get runners on 1st and 3rd with 2 out, but Dibble gets S. Alomar to end it, and the Wax is up 2-0.
Game 3: FW 9 RR 5
Van Slyke misses a ballpark homer to lead off the game, a bad omen, even when the Raiders score anyway on Daulton's rbi double. McGriff's solo shot off starter Stewart ties it, and rbi hits by T. Fernandez (triple) and Doran make it 3-1, FW, in the 5th. Staring at a potential 3-0 deficit , the Raiders take advantage of 'Neidlinger yanking' by pounding Mulholland for 4 hits and 2 runs in 2/3 of an inning to tie it in the 5th. In the 7th, with the score 3-3, a single, double, error and walk give the Wax a 4-3 lead with the bases loaded. Harvey comes in. T. Fernandez hits a bases-clearing triple. A sac fly makes it 9-3. The stunned Raiders manage a couple of runs off Gooden in the 9th, but it's too little, too late and they stagger into Game 4, down 3-0.
Game 4: FW 5 RR 4 (14 innings)
Strawberry and Bonds crack solo shots for a 2-0 FW lead and the power is back. When Biggio's rbi double in the 4th makes it 3-0, you could hear a pin drop in Ross Sea World. Realizing this is it, Mitchell's 3-run homer in the 4th off Hanson ties it up, and when Sandberg hits one out in the 5th, the Raiders take the lead 4-3. Amazingly for these teams, both starters (Hanson and R. Martinez) pitch through the 6th. Doran's solo shot in the 8th chases R. Martinez and ties it at 4. The Raiders D. Jones is outstanding in relief, as he pitches 4 1/3 innings of shutout ball. Leading off the top of the 14th, Bonds hits a home run off Schooler. Hartley (the 15th pitcher of the game) strikes out the side to end it. And for the second year in a row, Future Wax sweeps the Raiders. It is the 7th World Series sweep in the SOMBILLA's 12 seasons. If you can explain this, please let me know.
Future Wax d. Ross's Raiders 4-0
Robin becomes the first manager in league history to manage while pregnant, and the 12/13/92 headline notes "Bay City on rampage; the "Managing for Two" Advantage?" Despite the close race, she goes 19-9 in the first half, and leads almost wire-to-wire...A wild scramble shows only 4 games separating 7 teams after 35 games...Dave makes a late season charge, winning 16 of his final 20 games to take 2nd after a slow start...Jed moves to Maryland and Clint takes over the team full-time. They start the season as Tierra del Fuego, changing to the Adirondack Barking Spiders in December...North Dakota begins the season as Moose Jaw, becoming Amsterdam, then Greenland, before ending back in ND. Read about the team's sojourn. Not to be left out, Andrew changes his team's name to Bismark in the middle of North Dakota/Moose Jaw/Amsterdam's sweep of Future Wax, before changing back to Future Wax in January...Allegations of bias nearly force the Commissioner out of office in January...After the season, North Dakota's team ended up buried in the snow, driven over, and became bird cage lining.
AVE: Ju. Franco, HB .337 Wins: Belcher, HB 10-3
HR: Mitchell, RR 21 K's: Clemens, FJ 104
RBI: Mitchell, RR 56 ERA: R. Martinez, RR 2.27
MVP: Bonds, FW
CY Young: R. Martinez, RR
Manager of the Year: Eric
Hatchbacks d. Ross's Raiders 4-1
Franz Josef Land d. Bay City 4-3
(Notes: At Dave's house in Framingham. I am again unable to attend - this time due to a hockey playoff game. The series was witnessed by Dave's wife, daughter, and mother-in-law).
Game 1: FJL 3 HB 0
Roger Clemens is the story in game 1, pitching a complete-game 4-hit shutout, walking 2, and striking out 8. Only 4 batters reach second base for HB, one on an error. Ventura's rbi single in the first, scoring Hrbek, is all the offense Clemens needs.
Game 2: HB 3 FJL 2
Dave's lefty-oriented staff, in this case Glavine, wins game 2 in another close well-played game. L. Walker drives in McGriff with a single to give the HB a 1-0 lead, but Palmeiro's single ties it for FJ in the 3rd. Ventura's solo shot gives FJL a brief 2-1 lead, but Walker's 2-run shot in the bottom of the 4th makes it 3-2 HB. Eric uses 5 pitchers in the 5th and 6th to keep Dave from scoring, to no avail, since Glavine settles down for Dave, retiring 14 in a row after Ventura's homer.
Game 3: HB 10 FJL 5
FJL suffers its obligatory blowout (Eric was actually outscored 271-242 for the year), as his pitching and defense fall apart. Walker (solo), Tettleton (3-run), and Canseco (solo) all connect in the 6-run 3rd for the HB off Hill and Greene. The HB feature a balanced attack, with every player getting a hit and either knocking in or scoring a run. FJL threatens in the bottom of the 8th, when Hrbek's 2-out pinch hit single makes it 8-5, with runners on 1st and 3rd, but Aguilera comes on and strikes out Steinbach to end the threat, and the favored HB, now winners of 22 of their last 28 games, take a 2-1 lead.
Game 4: FJL 5 HB 3
A shaky Belcher walks the bases loaded before Steinbach singles in Ventura for a 1-0 FJ lead. Four consecutive singles for the HB in the 3rd tie it up. Hrbek and Canseco trade solo shots in the 5th and 6th to make it a tense 2-2. In the 7th, Larkin boots an easy double play ball and it costs Dave when Ventura and D. Jackson both single in runs to chase Belcher for a 4-2 lead. Canseco homers off Clemens to make it 4-3 in the 8th, but Eric's 3 consecutive hits off Swindell, including Hrbek's rbi double, give Clemens the insurance run he needs. A 1-2-3 9th and Roger has his 2nd World Series win and it's 2-2.
Game 5: HB 6 FJL 5 (12 innings)
FJL races off to a 4-0 lead after 4 innings, taking advantage of Baerga's miscue on Dykstra leading off the game. Glavine settles down a bit, while Gordon pitches out of a few jams to keep the shutout. In the 7th, after a Ventura error, Tettleton cracks a 2-run shot off Greene, and McGriff doubles off Fassero to score Ju. Franco, and suddenly it's 4-3. A 2-out rally by FJL in the 8th makes it 5-3. In the 9th, Eric's Rolaids winner Frowirth (14 saves, 1.35) gives up a lead-off single to pinch-hitter K. Miller, a walk to Tettleton, and a run-scoring single to Franco to make it 5-4. Poole comes in, and Canseco's sac fly ties the game. Walker's homer leading off the 12th gives Dave a 6-5 lead. In the bottom of the 12th, a Steinbach single and Trammell double give Eric men on 2nd and 3rd with none out. Aguilera comes in to get Dykstra and Sax, then Righetti strikes out Palmeiro, and Dave is up 3-2.
Game 6: FJL 5 HB 2
With their backs to the wall, FJL can ill afford Palmeiro's missed ballpark homer in the 1st, and, sure enough Larkin's rbi double scores Gibson and it's 1-0, HB. Sax doubles in Dykstra to tie it, but Canseco comes right back with a solo shot in the 4th to make it 2-1 HB. The HB strand runners on 1st and 3rd in the 5th when Fassero comes in with 1 out, and Steinbach's groundout rbi ties it up in the 6th. After Dykstra walks and Sax singles leading off the 7th, Abbott is yanked and Harnisch comes in to face Palmeiro, who more than redeems himself with a 3-run home run. Frowirth, who also has some redeeming to do, goes the final 3 1/3 innings, yielding just 1 hit and 1 walk, striking out 4 for the win, and we go to game 7 for the 3rd time in league history.
Game 7: FJL 9 HB 5
Dave employs a controversial strategy by sacrificing his defense to stack his lineup for offense. It backfires, as Eric uses the X-chart and comes out pounding a stunned Belcher with 4 hits and 2 runs (including Hrbek's homer) in the 1st. Eric uses more hits off the X-chart in the 2nd and its 3-0. Like a bloodhound nearing its prey, 3-time champ Eric can smell the championship; 3 more hits in the 4th and it's 5-0. A double and 2-base error by M. Thompson on the same play gives the HB new life, and Canseco's 4th homer of the series makes it a game at 5-3. Belcher and the defense fall apart again in the 6th, giving up 4 hits, a walk and 3 runs to make it 8-3. Canseco's 2nd 2-run homer of the game in the 5th makes it 8-5, but 3 more hits (Eric had 20 in the game) off Swindell and Harnisch make it 9-5, a lead Roger won't relinquish as he becomes the first pitcher to win 3 games in the SOMBILLA World Series. Eric becomes the first team to be outscored during the regular season to go all the way.
Franz Josef Land d. Hatchbacks 4-3
W L Pct GB
North Dakota 37 19 .661 -
Future Wax 32 24 .571 5
New Orleans (Harold) 31 25 .554 6
Manila Folders 29 27 .518 8
Hatchbacks 28 28 .500 9
Adirondack 27 29 .482 10
Bay City 24 32 .429 13
The Hollowmen (Eric) 23 33 .411 14
Constantinople 21 35 .375 16
AVE: Kruk, ND .352 Wins: Langston, NO 9-3
HR: McGwire, MF 21 K's: Clemens, HM-ND 98
RBI: Griffey, FW 51 ERA: M. Perez, MF 2.72
McGwire, MF 51
MVP: McGwire, MF
Cy Young: Maddux, FW
Manager of the Year: Andrew
Eric begins the season as Lord Henry, but changes to The Hollowmen in November...New Orleans jumps out to 12-2 and 16-5 records to hold first place into December. North Dakota wins 3 of 4 in a 12/9 showdown to take first place for the first time in 5 years (since starting out at 20-4)...Andrew is 11-16 in 7th place at the holday break, but he acquires Piazza in a controversial trade with Adirondack, then goes 21-8 to finish 2nd...At the trading deadline in January, North Dakota attempted to acquire Roger Clemens via loan, because nobody had protested an earlier 'lesser' loan of Chili Davis to Adirondack. But the Clemens loan precipitated the "Trading and Loan Scandal." In response, Andrew acquired 3 pitchers by loan later that day, and by 8:30 PM, both parties were threatening each other with acquiring more players by loan. The situation was escalating into a farce, when cooler heads prevailed and the league decided to formally adopt a policy against loans and rescind the loans. A few weeks later, Twits Notes published a letter from Tsuan blasting the Commissioner, accusing him of, among other things, deliberately starting the scandal, deciding to end the escalation "for the good of the league" only after another team also acquired loaned players, and disengenously taking credit for acting for the good of the league. In return, of course, the Commissioner issued a scathing rebuttal (see "How League Members React to Getting Shit" ), accusing Tsuan of, among other things, simply not having his facts straight, blasting me out of both sides of his mouth, and disengenuously not allowing historically noncompetitive teams to better themselves.
When the dust settled, North Dakota ended up acquiring Roger Clemens anyway - permanently from Eric for 2 first round picks. Upon discovery of the permanent trade, Andrew pursued trades with others in the league, including with the North Dakota manager's wife, Robin, the manager of Bay City. Robin, at the time of receipt of Andrew's call, had played 38 games. Two nights before, a scheduled 4-game series with Dave that would have put Robin beyond the 40-game trading deadline was postponed when Dave simply forgot to show up. Dennis Martinez was Robin's best pitcher that year, and one of the best starters in the league. Robin's husband (the North Dakota manager)'s arch-rival Andrew acquired Dennis Martinez and a 6th round pick from her for a second-round pick (which became Sean Berry). Martinez went on to win two games in the World Series against North Dakota, including winning a 2-1, 5-hitter in Game 5. (But see also 1995-1996 World Series Game 6).
North Dakota d. Manila Folders 4-0
Future Wax d. New Orleans 4-2
(Note: The first SOMBILLA World Series to ever be played in Medford. Robin witnessed Games 1-4, and Matt, Eric and Robin witnessed Games 5-6 one week later).
Game 1: ND 6 FW 2
With two outs and R. Alomar on first for ND in the bottom of the first, FW walks McGriff intentionally to face Brunansky. Brunansky doubles in Alomar, while Griffey throws out McGriff at home to end the inning. Tartabull's 2-run shot in the 3rd makes it 2-1, FW. In the bottom of the 3rd, Gilkey's homer ties it at 2. In the 5th, Lankford singles in Gilkey, and with 2 out and Lankford on 2nd, FW again walks McGriff intentionally, and again Brunansky doubles in a run, and again, Griffey nails McGriff at home to end the inning. In the 8th, FW loads the bases against Clemens with two outs, but Beck comes in and get Bonds to foul out. Two more insurance runs score in the bottom of the inning, and when Le. Smith, Wetteland and R. Rodriguez combine to pitch a scoreless 9th, ND has its first franchise World Series win.
Game 2: FW 9 ND 3
Sheffield triples in Bonds to take a 1-0 lead in the 1st. North Dakota ties it when Maddux walks in a run after loading the bases on 2 walks and a HBP, and Slaught's single makes it 2-1. But FW retakes the lead in the 3rd on Tartabull's 2-run blast, and two more runs score on 3 hits and rbis by Fielder and Griffey. Griffey's sac fly makes it 6-2 in the 6th, and FW gets 2 more runs on 3 walks and 2 hits in the 6th to make it an 8-2 rout. D. Martinez goes to 3-0 in the postseason, yielding just 5 hits in 7 innings.
Game 3: FW 6 ND 5
Another homer by Tartabull and an rbi single by Sheffield take FW to a 2-0 1st inning lead. Justice's solo shot off Morgan cuts the lead in half in the 4th. In the 5th, after Gilkey's leadoff single, Meacham comes in and promptly serves up back to back homers to Lankford and McGriff, a single to Kruk and a double to Gomez and it's 5-2 ND. In the 7th, Fryman leads with a homer off Le. Smith to cut the lead to 5-3, and 2 singles and a k later, it's 1st and 3rd with one out and Sheffield due up. Rod Beck, he of the league-record setting 19 saves, he who had converted 19 of 20 save opportunities (and actually won the 20th) comes in and gives up a 3-run homer to Sheffield for a 6-5 FW lead. In the ND 8th, Bruno is fooled by the hidden ball trick to end the inning. Eck and Dibble pitch the 9th, ND leaving 2 on, for the FW win.
Game 4: ND 4 FW 1
In the top of the first, Gilkey reaches on Maddux's error, steals 2nd, and scores on McGriff's single. Clemens gives up his first 3 hits in the 4th inning, and it's a 1-1 game. Through 5 innings, the teams have combined for a measly 5 hits in the Waxdome. In the 6th, after a leadoff double by Gilkey, Meacham comes in, walks McGriff and gives up an rbi double to Kruk. A sac fly by D. Martinez makes it 4-1, more than enough for Roger. Clemens goes to 4-0 in the postseason, and the teams adjourn for one week.
(During the week, the North Dakota manager receives mysterious phone messages at work by someone singing the song 'Loser' by Beck. The Future Wax manager receives more direct and threatening phone calls).
Game 5: FW 2 ND 1
One week later, surprise starter Bret Saberhagen makes his first start of the season for North Dakota, here in the Waxdome. In the top of the second, Saberhagen appears to be staked to a 1-0 lead when Kruk cracks a ballpark homer (1-18) and breaks into his homerun waddle. The team is stunned after rolling a 19. In the bottom of the 2nd, 3 straight singles score J. Gonzalez. With one out and men on first and third, ND has the infield back in the Waxdome. Fryman shocks ND and even the home crowd by squeezing in Fielder; it is the first squeeze play by FW all year and gives FW a 2-0 lead. Saberhagen pitches valiently, striking out the side in the 5th. D. Martinez leaves after 6 1/3, having scattered 5 hits with 0 BB. In the 9th, an extremely limited Rasmussen, carried on FW's staff all year, gives up singles to McGriff and Slaught. Kruk grounds into a DP, scoring McGriff, but Gomez flies out to end the game and FW is up 3-2.
Game 6: FW 4 ND 2
Back in Gackle Park, it's a standing room only crowd of 453 to see Game 6. Tartabull's 4th homer of the series gives FW a 1-0 lead in the 2nd. Great pitching by Morgan has ND befuddled as the team doesn't register its 1st hit until the 4th. In the 5th, Fryman doubles home Nilsson and it's 2-0. In the 6th, Griffey singles in Magadan to make it 3-0 and the fans sit quietly, stunned. In the bottom of the 7th, McGriff leads off with a double, but 2 quick outs follow. C. Hayes pinch hits for Justice. Mercker comes in. Sierra pinch-hits for Hayes and cracks a double to break the shutout. In the 8th, Slaught singles to lead it off against Rasmussen, who has just come in. With one out, Gilkey's up. The ND manager, concentrating on Gilkey's card vs. righties, summons all his available karma, and, incredibly, appears to roll a 2-run homer to tie the game, causing witnesses Eric, Matt and Robin to cheer, and sending the manager into the other room deleriously shouting for joy. The FW manager wonders what the fuss was about; looking on the correct (vs. Lefty) side of Gilkey's card, he calmly points out that Gilkey has hit only a single, because Rasmussen, a lefty, is now in. Instead of a tie game, it's still 3-1. A dead silence ensues. Summoning their wits, ND sends up pinch-hitter Santiago, who reaches on an error by Magadan, scoring Slaught to make it 3-2, but McGriff and Kruk both fly out. Griffey's homer in the 9th makes it 4-2, FW. In the bottom of the 9th, Gomez walks to lead it off, but pinch-hitter Dunston strikes out. No one is left on the bench to fight Rasmussen and ND has used up all its karma when looking on the wrong side of Gilkey's card. Bruno and Slaught strike out to end the series and FW has won its 3rd championship in the last 4 years. North Dakota's manager lies awake in bed, mumbling "it's just a stupid game you play with dice".
Future Wax d. North Dakota 4-2
(Note: In the summer newsletter following the season, I played North Dakota vs Future Wax in a 2,000 game computer simulation, to determine which team was really better, and concluded that Future Wax really was the better team).
W L Pct GB
North Dakota 36 20 .643 -
Manila Folders 32 24 .571 4
Future Wax 31 25 .554 5
The White Visitation (Eric) 31 26 .544 5.5
Bay City 30 27 .526 6.5
Haiti (Clint & Jed) 26 30 .464 10
Mirkwood (Dave & Jeff) 25 31 .446 11
New Orleans 23 33 .411 13
Constantinople 19 37 .339 17
Jeff joins the league, managing Mirkwood...Robin is pregnant again, and this time her due date is just about Opening Day. The league amends its unofficial opening day rules, to now say the league opens after the MLB World Series, except for earthquakes delaying the MLB World Series, AND managerial pregnancies. Beginning her season in September, Robin surprises her opponents, including a 4-game sweep over Eric, and when she goes into labor and delivers Jinny Ryann Pollinger on November 9th, she is solidly in first place with a 20-8 record. See The Advantages of Managing While Pregnant ...Sure enough, upon returning from 'leave' in January, the 'post-partum jinx' hits, and Robin starts out 5-13 to drop into 4th. Her hubby, (and new father), the North Dakota manager, takes over first place in January for good...Meanwhile, Bay City's slide is good news for Eric, who is 5 games out of 4th place in December. A couple of trades (adding Russell, Sandberg, Buhner, and Fielder) and he slowly closes the gap, and by 2/5, he's only 2 games behind 4th place Bay City, with 10 to go. A week later, he's closed the gap to 1/2 game with 6 to go.
Then Land discovers that he accidentally used Astacio for 2 more innings than allowed for the season during a win over Robin, and the game is suspended, with Land ahead, from that point in the 7th inning. After all the games are finished, Robin is still 1/2 game ahead of Eric and the Land game is played over with Astacio replaced by Gott. Land hangs on to win 2-1 and the league has it's first one-game playoff ever. Unfortunately for Robin, Frank Thomas was injured in the last series of the season, causing him to miss the playoff game.
AVE: Jeffries, HT
Portugal, WV 9-2
HR: Bonds, FW; Tartabull, WV 22 K's: R. Johnson, ND 118
RBI: Bonds, FW 64 ERA: Schilling, MK 2.73
MVP: Bonds, FW
Cy Young: Wetteland, ND
Manager of the Year: Eric
The White Visitation 9 Bay City 2
The White Visitation d. North Dakota 4-1
Manila Folders d. Future Wax 4-1
(Note: The Series was held in Arlington. Arnie was the only witness).
Game 1: MF 4 WV 3
Kevin Appier threw a complete game 5-hitter to lead the MF to victory in game 1. Despite giving up 6 walks, only one of those batters came around to score, on the first of two Hrbek HRs. Offensively, the Folders had a big third inning, starting with a leadoff HR by Chuck "Chip off the" Knoblauch. White, Stocker and Belle all had hits to bring in three runs and the lead. Tommy Greene gave up one more HR in the 6th to Dante "I have to take a really" Bichette, which gave the Folders the insurance needed to survive Hrbek's second shot of the game.
Game 2: WV 11 MF 1
What started out as a pitching duel ended up a rout. Rijo and Hill pitched 5 strong innings, Rijo working out of jams in the first and second, Hill allowing only 1 hit through 5. Then in the top of the sixth, the feces hit the Folder fan. Rijo got Tartabull for the first out, then allowed a solo shot by Greg Vaughn. A single by Trammell was followed by a strikeout of Ventura. It looked like Rijo would get out with minimal damage. But the Visitation would not have it. Dykstra homered to make it 3-0, Deshields singled to score on a two-run homer by Palmeiro, then Stanley walked, setting up a third straight two-run homer, this time by Hrbek. Eric would add 4 more in the 7th to put the game out of reach on 3 singles, a walk, and a two-run double for Palmeiro (4 for 5, 2 doubles, HR, 5 RBI).
Game 3: MF 7 WV 4
Things start off badly for the Folders as Bill Swift is knocked around for 3 runs in the first two innings, including a pair of solo shots by G. Vaughn and Ventura in the 2nd. In the third inning, however, Manila comes storming back. Two singles and a walk load the bases with one out and the heart of the order up. Portugal hangs one to Matt Williams who crushes it for a rare World Series grand slam. Portugal is not through, walking 3 of the first 4 batters in the 4th, and giving up a bases-loaded 3-RBI double to Stocker. Swift pitched strongly through the 7th, giving up only two more hits.
Game 4: MF 6 WV 5
The series continued to be error-free in game 4. No one was going to give anything away. The teams played evenly for three innings, 3-3. Greene got the first two batters in the 4th, but then bad luck and wildness would cost him the game. Tartabull lost a ball in the lights that Bichette turned into a triple. Knoblauch was up next and was bonked on the back by what was supposed to be an outside fastball. Greene then put a pitch in light-hitting Devon White's wheelhouse that just cleared the leaping Dykstra's reach at the wall for a three-run homer. That was all Appier would need. He strikes out 11 and was never in serious trouble, although a solo homer by Ventura leading off the 9th, makes it 6-5, but he strikes out Dykstra and Deshields and gets Palmeiro easily, for his second win of the series.
Game 5: WV 9 MF 3
Backs against the wall, things started well for WV as a walk to Deshields turned into two runs when Mike Stanley took Rijo deep in the first. Hill gave one back in the second on two singles and a D. White sac fly, but both pitchers were strong through 4. In the 5th, a D. White triple sets up a Molitor 2-run shot and a 3-2 Folder lead. A pall fell over the Visitation fans, as they faced the prospect of someone other than Eric or Andrew bringing home the trophy. But in the bottom of the 5th, the fans came to life again, with their now famous cheer:
Boooo, booo, boo boo boo booooo,
Boooo, booo, boo boo boo booooo,
(Sung to the tune of the Atlanta Braves cheer).
This seemed to spook the Folders, who began living up to their name. Rijo walked Ventura. Two errors by Bichette and a single by Stanley load the bases, and Hrbek blasted the second grand slam of the series to finish the comeback and chase Rijo. Trlicek and Guzman combine for 5 strong innings to finsh the game and send it back to the Philippines for the phinale.
Game 6: WV 9 MF 2
The largest crowd ever at Folder Field turned out for what they hoped would be the first Manila championship. On clearly the biggest day in the country since MacArthur's return, everyone from Aquino to Marcos was there. They would be disappointed. Swift and Portugal matched goose eggs for three innings, then a two-out single by Stanley turned into a 2-run homer for Hrbek. Palmeiro's solo shot leading off the 6th chased Swift, and the visiting Visitation had all they needed. Eric's bullpen went to work, and after a homer to Hoiles, allowed no runs through the 8th. Matt had kept it close, hoping for a 9th inning comeback. Instead, he got buried. A hat trick of home runs by Ventura, Palmeiro, and Stanley put 6 runs on the board and the game out of reach.
Game 7: WV 12 MF 2
Folder fans had even more hope than the day before, as this matchup pitted Appier against Greene, a pairing that twice before had meant Folder supremecy. After a scoreless first 3, the 4th ininng was the beginning of the Robin Ventura show. After getting the first two batters in the 4th, Appier walked G. Vaughn and Trammell singled. Ninth hitter Ventura strode up to the plate and crushed an Appier fast ball for a three-run homer and a lead the Visitation would not relinquish. When Appier loaded the bases in the 5th, R. Hernandez came in to try and keep it close. He did his job, but an error by Stocker made it 4-0. Hernandez, starting the 6th, hits Ventura and opens the floodgates. Three singles, 2 walks, a sac bunt and an error by Williams lead to 5 runs, and the Folders were out of it for good. Ventura would finish 3 for 3 with a walk, HBP, 2 HR, 4 RBI, and 3 runs scored to garner MVP honors. Jesse Orosco got the win in relief. Appier was interviewed after the game and said, "This pitching on three days rest really kills me. I hope I never have to do this again."
The White Visitation d. Manila Folders 4-3
Andrew moves to California, like his co-GM Tsuan, and will not manage any SOMBILLA games for the first time in thirteen years. Randy is hired to be the day-to-day manager of Future Wax...Land jumps out to a surprising first place at 10-4 on 11/13...North Dakota quickly takes over the top spot, with a 9-2 start, and on 12/21, North Dakota and Future Wax are dead even at 17-8...The first controversy of the season erupts when Clint discovers a scheduling error whereby certain teams played 4 home games and 3 away games vs. the same team in two consecutive years (the league is supposed to alternate the home advantage each year). A further examination of the schedule shows an uneven number of home-away games for each team. The embarrased league scheduler (and Vice-Commissioner) makes the appropriate adjustments for the remainder of the season...Future Wax takes over first place for good in January at 20-9, with ND 1 game out...Harold's sweep of Eric in early February (the Brooks St. massacre-outscoring him 41-18) effectively ends Eric's season and vaults New Orleans into 3rd place for good.
In mid-February, the league's second major controversy of the season erupts, when Clint raises the issue of playing post-season games on the computer. An ill-advised e-mail flame by Arnie touches off a firestorm and results in Clint's resignation. Randy ('I return from vacation to find the league in the midst of a crisis') saves the day by rationally dealing with the issues, making Arnie apologize and getting Clint to rethink his resignation. Both Arnie and Clint agree to therapy and the league schedules a group hug...Land enters the final weekend of the season with 7 makeup games against Dave and Matt, needing to win 5 to clinch 4th place, 4 to force a one-game playoff with Clint. Land comes through winning exactly 5 games to become the most unlikely playoff team since the Manilla Folders finished second overall in their second season, back in '86-87.
AVE: Belle, MF .360 Wins:
Maddux, FW 11-3
HR: M. Williams, MF 25 K's: R. Johnson, ND 120
RBI: M. Williams, MF 56 Benes, BC 120
ERA: Maddux, FW 1.74
MVP: Thomas, BC
Cy Young: Maddux, FW
Manager of the Year: Land
Future Wax d. Constantinople 4 games to 1
North Dakota d. New Orleans 4 games to 3
A rematch of the 1994 World Series captured by Future Wax in 6 games. The summer after that World Series, the SOMBILLA newsletter carried a 2,000 game computer study between the two teams, concluding that, in fact, Future Wax was a better team. Up until the very first dice roll, rumors were rampant that Andrew was going to fly back to Boston just for the series, the latest World Series ever, (March 23). Future Wax beat North Dakota 4 of 7 games during the year.
Game 1: ND 5 FW 1
A team with Bonds batting 2nd, Piazza batting 8th and Greg Maddux on the mound seems like a lock for a win. But North Dakota found a chink in the armor. Conine and Gomez combine for a double and single in the second for the first run, and Fred McGriff took his real-life teammate deep in the third, scoring Dave Justice from 1st. McGriff wasn't done, as he put the icing on the cake with a 2-run double in the 5th. On the pitching side, Clemens and Johnson combined for 6 innings and 9 strikeouts. All in all, the North Dakota relievers allowed 1 hit over 4 2/3 innings.
Game 2: ND 15 FW 6
ND scored early and often in game 2, and once again McGriff led the way. Hill led off the first with a single. An error by Whitaker put two on for McGriff, who deposited the first pitch into the FW giant cleaning bucket in centerfield. (A giant bottle of Future Wax rises out of this when the home team homers). With two outs, Daulton singled and Conine connected for a 2-run homer for a 5-run lead, chasing J. Hamilton from the game.
FW doubles its run production from game 1 with an rbi double by Griffey and an rbi single by Piazza in the 1st. This would prove to be B. Jones's worst inning, as he would go 7 2/3 with 9 hits and 3 Ks.
Meanwhile, ND was pouring it on with a 3-run homer by Larkin and an eigth-inning 2-run homer by McGriff, giving him 9 RBI and 3 HR in two games.
Game 3: ND 6 FW 4
Dennis Martinez faced home-town favorite Bret Saberhagen in game 3. FW was not going to take any chances with McGriff any more, intentionally walking him in his first two plate appearances. The second would hurt, loading the bases with one out. Gomez follwed with a sac fly for the first run of the game. Then Martinez lost his normally superb control, walking Daulton to load the bases again, and then Huff to force in a run. Lankford followed with a single, but Griffey nails Daulton at the plate, stopping the damage at three runs.
FW got its revenge in the 5th. A walk to Whitaker and a single by Boggs set up a three-run homer by Barry "I'm the best player of the decade but I can't hit in the post-season" Bonds. That was it for Saberhagen, as Randy Johnson was brought in for his second relief stint of the series. He would K 4 in 1 2/3 innings. The Dakotans took the lead back in the 7th. Alomar reached base, and John Kruk hit a two-run homer that proved to be the game winner. Nemesis McGriff reached on an error and came around to score on a Daulton double. Hoffman pitched the ninth for a save and North Dakota leads 3-0!
Game 4: FW 7 ND 3
"Hit me once, shame on you. Hit me twice, shame on me." -- Greg Maddux
Maddux was back to normal in game 4, throwing a complete game 5 hitter. Future Wax gave him the lead in the 2nd. A rare error by North Dakota (they made none in the first round against Harold) led to a three run rally with two outs, capped by an RBI double by Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaade Boggs (Matt gets it). A single run in the fourth and a two run homer in the 8th would be all that Maddux would need. Maddux had four 1-2-3 innings and struck out 9 but did walk an unusual 4 batters.
Game 5: FW 10 ND 4
The North Dakotans hoped to be able to see a World Series victory at home. They had hope for 8 innings. It was a quiet game for 4 innings as Hamilton and Jones dueled. A solo shot by Castilla and one by Mcgriff (his 4th of the series) make it 1-1 in the 5th. A walk, single, and a GDP later, ND had a 2-1 lead, and the fans were smelling victory.
But in the 6th, Assenmacher puts one in Griffey's wheelhouse for a tie game. Assenmacher follows that beauty with another meatball to Sheffield for a double. Plunk is brought in and Piazza takes him deep to give the Wax a two run lead. North Dakota was not licked yet. Once again, McGriff gets them rolling with a double to lead off the 7th. Two batters later, Daulton tied the game with the 5th HR of the game.
It was 4-4 after 8. It started simply enough. Whitaker singled and Cordero sacrificed him to second as FW played for 1 run. Boggs lines out to third, then ND decides to give the sac back by walking Bonds and bringing in Hoffman. Hoffman walks Griffey to load the bases. With two outs, he gets a grounder to Alomar, but the usually sure-handed Alomar boots it to give FW the lead. Hoffman is visibly shaken but he stays on the mound and gives up a single to Sheffield and a 3-run homer to H. Morris. ND goes 1-2-3 in the ninth, and FW survives the road trip. ND leads 3-2 but has lost 2 in a row and now faces the prospect of blowing a 3-0 lead and having to face Maddux in game 7.
Game 6: ND 7 FW 6
The starting pitcher for North Dakota, Bret Saberhagen, was the only North Dakota player remaining from the original 35-round draft in 1985. Saberhagen was also the starting and losing pitcher in game 5 of the '94 World Series against Dennis Martinez and Future Wax by a score of 2-1.
Randy can't decide between Pedro Martinez and Dennis Martinez to start the 6th game, and finally chooses Dennis Martinez. Two years earlier, in '93-94, North Dakota was battling Future Wax for first place and acquired Roger Clemens at the trading deadline from Eric for 2 first round picks (after attempting to acquire him via loan, precipitating the Trading and Loan Scandal). Upon discovery of the Clemens trade, Andrew called Robin, the North Dakota manager's wife, to pursue a trade. At the time of receipt of Andrew's call, Robin had played 38 games, 2 fewer than the trading limit. Two nights before, a scheduled 4-game series with Dave that would have put Robin over the trading deadline was postponed when Dave simply forgot to show up, luckily for Future Wax. Dennis Martinez was Robin's best pitcher that year, and one of the best starters in the league. Robin traded Dennis Martinez (and a 6th round pick) to her husband's nemesis, Andrew, for a second round pick (which became Sean Berry). Martinez went on to win two games against North Dakota in the World Series, including a 2-1, 5-hitter against Saberhagen in a crucial Game 5 showdown. For the two years after that, the trading of Martinez to Future Wax and Martinez's World Series success against North Dakota caused a small amount of marital friction.
Martinez and Saberhagen match up again, and Martinez doesn't have it. Justice homers in the first, and Daulton and Gomez homer in the second to give North Dakota an early 4-run lead. An RBI single by Conine in the 4th makes it 5-0, but then FW starts its comeback.
Piazza leads off the bottom of the 4th with a HR, followed by a double by Thome and a single by Salmon to cut the lead to 5-2. The Dakotans get one back in the 5th on McGriff's 5th HR of the series, and Pirkl answers in the bottom of the inning with one of his own.
The bottom of the sixth saw a strong start by middle relief specialist Randy Johnson, striking out Piazza and Cordero. But then his control left him as he hit Salmon and issued a walk to pinch-hitter Boggs. Trevor Hoffman was brought in and Jeff Kent hits a pinch-hit 3-run homer to tie the game. Both teams go 1-2-3 in the 7th. In the 8th, ND manages to load the bases with two outs on three walks, but Bass strikes out to end the threat. FW uses a single and a sac to get a man in scoring position but can't deliver.
With Ayala on the mound, FW's worst nightmare, Fred McGriff, leads off the inning with a double. Daulton hits a shot up the middle, but Jeff Kent makes an amazing stab of the liner to hold McGriff at second. It's a play you only see 1 out of 20 times. Alomar flies out to left, and it looked like FW would get out of it, but little Leo Gomez came up and in the clutch delivered McGriff with a single, the biggest hit in North Dakota history.
It was then up to Wetteland. He K's Kent. Galarraga grounds to short. Then, the last ND pitcher, Dave Leiper, comes in to face Bonds. A good matchup for FW in real-life, as Bonds was 3-6 with no strikeouts vs. Leiper. Bonds worked his way to a 3-2 count, then Leiper dropped one over the outside corner to ring Bonds up for the first Worlds Series victory for North Dakota after 17 long seasons.
North Dakota d. Future Wax 4 games to 2
That night, the North Dakota manager absolved the Bay City manager of all future discussion of the Dennis Martinez incident.
2005-2006 (2004 cards)