superstar baseball [Updated October 2006]  

2006 WBC Report  

 2007 Status: pending 2007 GM commitment

Mark Giddings, NY

2006 Champion

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Event History
1991    Mike Ryan      21
1992    John Brandeberry        9
1993    Mike Ellsworth      16
1994    Randy Cox      16
1996    Jon Diminnie      11
1997    Henry Richardson        8
1998    Harry Flawd III        9
1999    Randy Cox     18
2000    Carl Coscia     20
2001    Mike Hazel     24
2002    Ken Samuel     20
2003    Gordon Elgart     18
2004    Chris Palermo     22
2005     Harry Flawd     19
2006    Mark Giddings     36


Rank  Name               From  Last  Total
  1.  Chris Palermo       NY    04     47
  2.  Mark Giddings       NY    06     40
  3.  Harry Flawd         PA    06     36
  4.  Randy Cox           SC    05     28
  5.  Ken Samuel          VA    02     28
  6.  Rich Moyer          MN    06     24
  7.  Gordon Elgart       CA    03     20
  8.  Mike Hazel          SC    01     20
  9.  Carl Coscia         DC    00     20
 10.  Ilan Woll           CT    06     16
 11.  Henry Richardson    VA    00     14
 12.  John Tighe          NJ    05     12
 13.  Ken Richards        SC    04     12
 14.  John Emery          SC    02     12
 15.  Jared Scarborough   IL    01     12
 16.  Brian Stone         NY    06      8
 17.  Dave Gantt          SC    05      8
 18.  Greg Schmittgens    KS    04      8
 19.  Bob Jamelli         PA    03      8
 20.  Ralph Gleaton       SC    01      8
 21.  Steve Vance         MI    05      6
 22.  Pete Putnam         PA    04      6
 23.  Michael Destro      NJ    02      6
 24.  Greg Berry          VA    01      6
 25.  Ben Goldstein       SC    99      6
 26.  John Welage         OH    06      4
 27.  Devin Flawd         PA    04      4
 28.  Bill Beckman        SC    03      4
 29.  Darren Velez        NY    00      4
 30.  Terry Coleman       BC    99      4
 31.  Greg Berry          VA    05      2
 32.  Dan Dolan Sr        NJ    04      2
 33.  Joe Haardt          VA    03      2
 34.  Bill Cleary         MD    99      1

2006 Laurelists

Rich Moyer, MN

Ilan Woll, CT

Harry Flawd, PA

Brian Stone, NY

John Welage, OH

Past Winners

1991: Mike Ryan, NS
1992: John Brandeberry, IL
1993: Mike Ellsworth, IL

Randy Cox, SC
1994, 1999

Jon Diminnie, TN

Henry Richardson, VA

Harry Flawd ,PA
1998, 2005

Carl Coscia, DC

Mike Hazel, SC

Ken Samuel, VA

Gordon Elgart, CA

Chris Palermo, NY

 Privately updated team charts for the long out-of-print game are part of the appeal.

 Mark Giddings (left) shows excellent taste in headwear as he plays his way to the title.

The Nation's Pastime ...

Mark Giddings' All-Time Giants pounded Rich Moyer's All-Time Yankees in the World Series, to conclude the most successful Superstar Baseball tournament yet at the World Boardgaming Championships.

Having languished as a trial event for most of the past 15 years and never having drawn more than 24 participants (and as few as eight or nine some years), the event got a last-minute pardon when the rules for selecting Century events was changed in 2005.

A new format was designed - one that pulled strongly from Phil Barcafer's innovative Ace of Aces tournament. Rather than having all participants meet at one time - and subjecting fast-playing players to wait for slower players, just to see who made the playoffs, each player would receive his team, some charts and some dice and had the entire convention (until Saturday evening) to play as many games as they could.

There was concern as to the effectiveness of this format change; Ace of Aces is a far quicker playing game, and there was no indication this new format would appeal to players OR that it would work (besides, of course, the GMs buy-in to the system).

The numbers were overwhelmingly positive. This year's event saw 36 participants who played a total of 170 games (including a 5-game playoff). The flexible scheduling meant 15 players joined AFTER the draft (more on that later), something that would previously have been impossible. A total of 29 players played four or more games each (with a high of 26!); most prior years, the vast majority of players played - at most - three games.

Teams accumulated "qualifying points" based on the number of games they played and their performance. Play often and play well quickly became the mantra of the managers. If only one of the criteria was met, it could have dire consequences (as Andy Lewis discovered, missing the playoffs with a stellar 8-1 record).

When the regular season carnage cleared, the top six teams (in terms of qualifying points) advanced to the playoffs. There, they were re-seeded according to winning percentage (hence the "play well" advice).

#1 Mark Giddings - Giants - 17-3 record
#2 Harry Flawd - Red Sox - 16-8 record
#3 Brian Stone - Athletics - 10-7 record
#4 John Welage - Cardinals -12-9 record
#5 Rich Moyer - Yankees - 14-12 record
#6 Ilan Wall - Red Sox - 7-10 record

In the first playoff game, #4 St. Louis started its 7-0 ace, Bob Gibson, vs. the #5 Yankees. Gibby gave up one run, scattering five hits over the first eight innings, and received enough support from the offense to take a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth, although many scoring opportunities were squandered. The Yankees used a battery of pitchers to keep St. Louis at bay. In the bottom of the ninth, the Yankee bats awoke, and the St. Louis dream evaporated, as hits from Gehrig, Mantle and Berra gave the Yankees the 3-2 come-from-behind victory. John had to settle for the #6 spot overall in the standings.

In the next playoff game, #6 Boston started Roger Clemens who completely dominated the third seed Athletics, allowing only four hits and two runs while striking out ten, en route to a 12-2 victory. Ted Williams' 3-run homer in the fourth inning was the death knell for Vida Blue who was knocked out after 3 1/3 largely ineffective innings. Reliever Dave Stewart stopped the bleeding long enough to allow Oakland to crawl back to an 8-2 deficit, but Rollie Fingers' four-run ninth gave Brian the #5 spot overall in the standings.

The Yankees took on Harry Flawd's #2 seed Red Sox. The Sox failed to take advantage of early scoring chances, and the Yankees made them pay in the 6th inning, when Joltin' Joe DiMaggio doubled in two runs to draw first blood. In the bottom of the 7th, with a runner on base, Flawd elected to pinch-hit for ace Roger Clemens with Babe Ruth, who smashed a home run to tie the game. The Yankee incarnation of Ruth paid the Sox back, when he led off the ninth with a double, and - two batters later - scored after a Berra single. The Sox went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth, landing Harry squarely in the #4 spot in the standings.

Ilan's Red Sox - the last chance for Red Sox Nation - took on the favorite Giants who had truly had an impressive regular season. Three errors by the Sox led to three unearned runs. Additionally, fatigue rolls that hamstrung the Red Sox pitchers also helped the Giants pull out the tough 7-6 win, giving Ilan the bronze.

The World Series matchup between the upstart Yankees and Giants was greatly anticipated. However, the actual game - unlike most of the other playoff games - was anything but a nailbiter. Yankee starter Vic Raschi started the game wild, walking six Giants in the first two innings, which - along with the potent offensive firepower the Giants normally bring - led to a 10-0 Giants lead. The game ended mercifully with a 14-4 Giants victory, as Willie Mays and light-hitting Travis Jackson popped homeruns to lead the Giants charge.

Players were asked to report on any regular season notable events, as well:
Detroit starter Virgil Trucks had a perfect game through seven innings. In the 8th inning, opposing Baltimore pitcher Mike Cuellar beaned him and forced Trucks out of the game. Reliever Hank Aguirre continued perfectly until Davey Johnson's pinch-hit single with one out in the bottom of the 9th. Detroit combines on a 1-0 shutout.
White Sox starter Alex Fernandez, with a 5-3 lead in the top of the ninth over the Yankees, surrendered back-to-back homers by DiMaggio and Ruth to tie the game. Reliever Keith Foulke entered the game, and allowed SEVEN runs in the top of the tenth, to give the Yankees a 12-5 win.
Another game between the White Sox and Yankees saw five injuries in the game.
Satchel Paige (of the late Negro Leagues) shut out the Yankees in Yankee Stadium on a 3-hitter, taking away two home run rolls from Babe Ruth.
Cleveland used eight pitchers in a game over Seattle, settled only by a Cleveland walkoff homerun in extra innings.
Relievers had it hard this year - Padres reliever Trevor Hoffman walked the bases loaded with no outs, but still managed to escape without giving up a run in a 5-3 victory.
The Dodgers had few bright spots in a 2-10 season - despite Dazzy Vance's 53 strikeouts in four starts.

A handful of changes are planned for next year - primarily to avoid the GM having to crunch stats from 3:30-5:00 am each morning! More importantly, there will be changes to team distribution (latecomers will not end up with better teams than draft attendees), scheduling and paperwork.

 GM      Chris Palermo [1st Year]   NA   NA

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