Baseball Classics All-Time Greats – Kansas City Royals

Baseball Classics All-Time Greats – Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals were one of the latest crown jewels to be added to the American League back in 1969.  They really focused on building their strength up mostly through a farm system that produced some of their best players to ever wear royal blue.  The team was founded by Ewing Kauffman, a local entrepreneur and enjoyed their first winning season a couple seasons later in 1971. Kauffman Stadium Let’s review their 24 greatest players in their 40+ year Major League Baseball history. NOTE – The Kansas City Royals are 4 of the next 4 Major League Baseball Franchise teams we will be adding to the #1 selling Baseball Classics All-Time Greats set in the Fall of 2013.  These 4 teams will be available as an add-on for those who already purchased the Baseball Classics All-Time Greats.  Stay tuned in our Blog to learn about the final MLB franchise to be added! In the Fall of 2013 Baseball Classics will welcome the Kansas City Royals, Houston Colt .45s-Astros, Los Angeles/Califonia/Anaheim Angels, and New York Mets to the All-Time Greats set.  There are many great and exciting players to choose from; here’s who makes the cut for the top 15 position players and 9 pitchers that will be added and their impact on the franchise.

Pitchers Brett Saberhagen

Brett Saberhagen – Two-time Cy Young award recipient is the best pitcher to play for the franchise.  Pitched half his 16-year stellar career with the Royals.  Kept walks to a minimum which is reflected in his impressive ERA.  Fielded his position very well.

Cy Young/All-Star/Gold Glove | Wins 167 | ERA 3.32 | BB/9 1.7

Larry Gura – Logged 10 consecutive seasons with Kansas City with a healthy winning percentage for the club.  Was a steady double figures winner for seven consecutive seasons earning 99 wins over that span.

All-Star | Wins 126 | ERA 3.76 | IP 2047

Dennis Leonard – Great mound presence.  3-time 20 game winner, played all 12 seasons for the Royals and somehow was snubbed from the All-Star team.  A workhorse until he finally broke down towards the end of his career with injuries.  He liked to finish what he started.

ERA 3.70 | Wins 144 | WHIP 1.262 | CG 103

Paul Splittorff – The all-time wins leader for the Kansas City Royals during his 15 years with them.  He’s another Royal who surprisingly never made an All-Star team.  Consistent year after year, had 10 seasons of double-digit victories to his credit.  Long-time pitcher threw the first pitch in the minors for the franchise in 1968 before they joined the American League.

ERA 3.81 | Wins/Losses 166/143 | WHIP 1.34 | HR/9 .7

Kevin Appier – Very impressive 13 season stint with the Royals.  Known for his nasty forkball and wild pitching motion.  Walked a lot of batters, though also struck out more than twice as many.  Didn’t surrender the gofer ball much at all with the Royals, though after moving on he did.  Appier was tough to get a hit against with his arsenal of pitches.

All-Star | ERA 3.74 | Winning Pct. .552 | WHIP 1.294 | SO 1994

Steve Busby – Fired two no-hitters becoming the first pitcher in MLB history to do so in his first 2 MLB seasons.  Had a blazing fastball that came with plenty of chin music. Unfortunately his career was short-lived due to a torn rotator cuff, he was never the same since.  It’s no wonder, he had 38 complete games over a 2 year span.

All-Star | ERA 3.72 | Winning Pct. .565 | WHIP 1.354 | HR/9 .6

Dan QuisenberryAl Fitzmorris – Not too many pitchers who are first to be on a new franchise go on to have a winning record with them, though he accomplished that feat.  Fitzmorris was solid for the Royals during his 8 years on the mound with them.  Worked his way from bullpen to starter, nothing flashy, but consistent.

ERA 3.65 | Winning Pct. .566 | WHIP 1.256 | HR/9 .6

Dan Quisenberry – The quintessential relief ace during his time, not only for the team, but in MLB.  His sidearm submarine motion that launched from about a foot off the ground was wicked.  He used his pinpoint control to dominate hitters.  Was AL saves leader 5 out of 6 seasons.

All-Star | ERA 2.76 | Saves 244 | WHIP 1.175 | BB/9 1.4

Jeff Montgomery – The franchise all-time saves leader.  Spent his rookie season in Cincy before spending the rest of his 13-year career with the Royals.  Averaged 29 saves a season over that span.  Recorded 30 or more saves 5 seasons including 45 when he was the AL saves leader.

All-Star | ERA 3.27 | Saves 304 | WHIP 1.244 | SO/9 7.6

Catcher

Darrell Porter – Known for his keen eye at the plate, that significantly elevated his OPS well above his average hitting.  Had some pop in his bat, thus always a threat to get on base or knock one out.  Played 17 seasons, his finest with the Royals for 4 seasons.

All-Star | OPS .763 | BB 905 | HR 188

Mike Mcfarlane – Played 11 of his 13 MLB seasons with the Royals and showcased some good power along the way.  Also was plunked a lot and had a decent eye leading to a very respectful career OPS.  Authored 6 consecutive seasons of 13 or more home runs.

AVG .252 | OPS .752 |HR 12 | FLD .992

First Base

Mike Sweeney – He can hit.  Not so hot with the glove at Catcher or elsewhere, he made a handsome career for himself with blistering batting.  He could hit for power too plus could get on base with more than his share of walks.  Sweeney cranked out doubles like they were going out of style.

All-Star | AVG .297 | 2B 325 | HR 215 | RBI 909 | OPS .851

Billy Butler – Played 9 of his 23 Major League Baseball seasons for the New York Mets plating two different stints.  He reached base safely well over 4000 times.  Staub was a terrific hitter, later in his career was a pinch hit specialist that all teams feared lurking in the dugout.  Though he played most of his career in the outfield, he also played 11 seasons at first base.

MVP/Gold Glove/All-Star | AVG .296 | OPS .821 | HITS 2182

Frank White RoyalsSecond Base

Frank White– A great clutch hitter, could play multiple infield positions well.  His versatility and knack to drive in game winners throughout his career and ability to play a very dependable second base in the field well deserves to be listed among the Mets

All-Time greats. All-Star | AVG .284 | HITS 1532 | OBS .782

Cookie Rojas – He hustled while playing 9 of 14 Major League Baseball seasons for the Mets.  Backman was a solid number 2 hitter with his above average on base percentage.  Though he never was voted to an All-Star team, his consistency and number of games he played for the Mets at  2nd base earns him a spot.

AVG .275 | OBA .349 | HITS 893

Third Base

George Brett – The greatest player to ever play for the Kansas City Royals, he’s the face of the franchise.  13 straight seasons was an All-Star and owns the single season record for the highest batting average at .390.  Owns just about every batting award one could accomplish short of the Triple Crown.  Fiery player, always the most fierce competitor he is one of the very best to ever play MLB.

Hall of Fame/Gold Glove/All-Star | AVG .305 | OPS .857 | HR 317 | HITS 3154

Kevin Seitzer – The man who ultimately replaced George Brett at Third base was a hitting machine.  He batted .323 over his first 841 plate appearances from the time he joined the big leagues with the Royals.  How about 8 seasons in full or limited duty batting over .300 during his career?  Consistently had impressive batting averages from start to finish.

All-Star | AVG .295 | HITS 1557 | 2B 285 | RUNS 739

Shortstop

Freddie Patek – Pint-sized Patek was an absolute menace to play against.  He could steal, was an outstanding fielder, and ran the bases like a mad man legging out triples on the slick astro-turf surface which was like a skillet during the hot summer days and nights.

All-Star | AVG .242 | 3B 55 | SB 385

UL Washington – Long time Mets shortstop was far more of a glove man than a stick man.  He joined the team at 21 and played with them for 13 seasons.  He could swipe a few bases and considering his batting average; his on base percentage was respectable for the value he brought to the team which included his leadership.

Gold Glove/All-Star | AVG .236 | OBP .327 | Runs 539

Outfield

Amos Otis – How about a .340 batting average the same season your franchise win’s it’s first World Series?  Jones was a staple for the New York Mets for most of his 13 MLB seasons; a good all-around player and steady contributor.

All-Star | AVG .281 | OPS .744 | Runs 565

Willie WilsonWillie Wilson – Speed burner covered miles of carpet during his 15 seasons with the franchise. Wilson was electrifying and known as one of the best leadoff hitters of his generation. Unfortunately he had off the field problems, thus peaked about half way through his career. Yet he was brilliant and a force to reckon with at bat, on the base paths, and in the field. All-Star/Gold Glove | AVG .285 | 3B 147 | Runs 1169 | SB 668

Danny Tartabull – Played 5 of his 14 seasons with Kansas City and saved his best for them with a .290 batting average during that time and .518 slugging average.  Belted in more than 100 RBI’s 5 times in his career.  Known to be a slugger in his day, had 10 seasons of double-digit round trippers.

All Star | AVG .273 | HR 262 | RBI’s 925 | OPS .864

Johnny Damon – Played for a lot of MLB teams, though spent most of them with the Royals where he began his career.  Outside of a weak arm he could do just about everything else for your club, including pop a long one now and then.  Had outstanding speed which legged out over 100 triples in his career.

All-Star | AVG .284 | HITS 2769 | 2B 522 | SB 408

Hal McRae – The only original New York Met to make the Baseball Classics All-Time Greats New York Mets team played all 18 seasons of his career for the franchise.  He wasn’t flashy, but wound up with a respectable career as an outfielder and first baseman.  He had his moments towards the Mets winning the 1969 World Series.

All-Star | AVG .261 | HITS 1418 | TB 2047

Notable Franchise Names That Missed The Cut The Royals franchise produced some of the finest home-grown talent including superstar Bo Jackson who missed the cut due to a football injury.  Bob “Hammer” Hamelin and Al Cowens gave the franchise a thrill in their day.  Lou Piniella took his best years over to the Yankees.  John Wathan was a decent average hitting catcher and enjoyed a 10 year MLB career all with the Royals, though not good enough to outshine the other catchers that made this roster.  David DeJesus and Alex Gordon were very good, though just falling short.  Charlie Liebrandt was difficult to cut; it could easily be argued he’s deserving of a roster spot here though just like Tom “Flash” Gordon, he narrowly missed it. Here’s the starting lineup I recommend generally starting for the All-Time Great Kansas City Royals:

  1. George BrettOF – Willie Wilson
  2. 2B – Frank White
  3. 3B – George Brett
  4. OF – Amos Otis
  5. OF – Hal McRae
  6. 1B – Mike Sweeney
  7. C – Darrell Porter
  8. SS – Freddie Patek
  9. P – Brett Saberhagen

We look forward to adding them to the Baseball Classics All-Time Greats later this year.  Do you agree with our top 24 selections for the All-Time Kansas City Royals?  Who do you think is the best Royals player to ever play?  What’s your favorite memory of this franchise?  Let us know in the comments below!

How Baseball Classics Player Cards Are Made

How Baseball Classics Player Cards Are Made

I’d like to invite you to go behind the scenes and show you how Baseball Classics baseball board game is made today.  Since it’s conceptual design in an apartment in Woodland Hills, California during the summer of 1985, it has evolved to a premium baseball board game that thousands have enjoyed.

From MLB Statistics to Baseball Classics Player Cards

Baseball Classics Player Cards

Baseball Classics baseball game play design is centered around the player results and ratings that are based on their actual MLB season performance.  They are all translated into full color “traffic highlighting” player cards for any MLB teams and seasons 1901 to present.  That is one tall order, though it’s a fundamental requirement since Baseball Classics baseball game was founded.  Here’s how we are able to scale and today support over 110 MLB seasons, which roughly comes to making available over 63,000 unique player cards. The official MLB player stats are gathered from the Baseball Almanac Statmaster website and pasted into Microsoft Excel.  Each Baseball Classics player card is 100% generated from a combination of formulas and programming.  This ensures player ratings are not subjectively altered and supports the scaling necessary to offer any MLB teams or seasons since 1901. Now that we covered an overview, let’s dive in deeper to this process.  Naturally, it’s the most important process in creating Baseball Classics.

  1. First we take the Baseball Almanac Statmaster Pitching Stats for a MLB team.  They are copied and pasted into an Excel spreadsheet, then formatted using an in-house program that creates a Baseball Classics pitching stats template.
  2. Next we do the same for batting and fielding stats into their own Baseball Classics templates.
  3. These 3 Baseball Classics pitching, batting, and fielding statistics templates are then combined into a master Baseball Classics data template.  This template is loaded with formulas to that generate each players individual symboled, color-coded fielding rating.  This process takes about 5 minutes per MLB team on average thanks to the program code and formulas.
  4. This stage is where the bulk of the work is done.  The calculated master Baseball Classics data template is moved into what we call our “Grid Calc”, where 3 more templates using hundreds of formulas and lines of code generate an entire MLB team of player cards for the batters and pitchers.  It typically takes about 2-3 seconds to then generate a  Baseball Classics MLB team.  Thus once we have all the master Baseball Classics data templates for each team in a MLB season ready we use that full season worth of data to create an entire MLB season of Baseball Classics player cards.  For example, once we get to this stage it takes approximately 90 seconds to generate the Baseball Classics 2012 MLB Season player cards for all 30 teams.  Each card unique and generated 100% by our objective algorithms to ensure consistency as well as the ability to scale being able to offer any MLB teams or seasons from 1901 to the present.
  5. Next the full color, traffic-highlighted, symbolic, color-coded player cards with vital statistics are ready for print.  One-sided for Standard design (blank on the back of each player card), two-sided for Premium Design (full color Baseball Classics logo playing card design on the back).
  6. Standard Design player cards are straight-edge cut and grouped by team while Premium Design player cards have additional processing to have their corners rounded.
  7. Each Baseball Classics team of grouped player cards banded (rubber bands) then shrink wrapped for secure packaging to be shipped.

Baseball Classics 2004 Player CardHere’s a sample of a test Baseball Classics player card created in 2004.  It was never released and for the first time revealed publicly.  Note many changes we’ve made to this test model since 2004 with the exception of the font type.  Everything else has changed dramatically in some cases such as the formulas used to generate this card to the Baseball Classics website address shown at the bottom of this 1980 Kansas City Royals George Brett player card.  About 60% of this card was computer generated compared to today’s 100% of computer automation designed and used by Baseball Classics.

When Baseball Classics was first offered in 1988, each MLB player stat was individually entered by hand into a spreadsheet from the Baseball Encyclopedia.  It was a lot of work, pain staking days to almost a full week to generate 1 MLB season of team sheets back then.  Individual player cards were not offered, it simply was not scalable using such a manual process.  Should we have attempted to create individual player cards manually back then it would have taken at least 45 to 60 days to create a full MLB season.  At that pace we would have only been able to offer any MLB team or seasons from 1901 to 1906.  The team sheets back then were based on 3 ten-sided dice, using a completely different method to create player ratings.  The modern version and process of Baseball Classics was updated and incorporated 10 years ago.  To date our customers have received nearly 1 million Baseball Classics player cards.

Baseball Classics Team Sheets Today

This year we released Baseball Classics Team Sheets based 100% on their player cards.  They provide a complete bird’s eye view of their strengths and weaknesses. Each sheet contains the very same players, ratings, and statistics as the player cards all in a single sheet for download to print & play!  For a nominal fee, Baseball Classics will print them on special high gloss paper and ship them to you Free. We leverage the player card templates to generate every Team Sheet to ensure that the player ratings are identical to the player cards.  There are several templates consisting of many formulas used to transform the player card templates into Team Sheet templates.   The final Team Sheet template ultimately produces each final Team Sheet in full color.

Baseball Classics Team Sheet

Team Sheets are available for download using Print & Play Game Set or now available printed and shipped to you.

Ted Williams Baseball Classics 1953 Boston Red Sox Baseball board games have been around for many decades, dating way back.  Next generation baseball fans will still be playing them from childhood through adulthood as the generations prior.  Baseball Classics has evolved over the years adapting new technology to automate the process of creating player card and team sheet formats.  This has allowed us to scale, thus continuing to offer any MLB teams or seasons from 1901 to the present while each players ratings are unique based on their actual performance.  Over the past years there have been incredibly eye-popping MLB performances by players, Baseball Classics tells their story by painting their picture.  Recently an order was placed for the Baseball Classics 1953 MLB Season.

It’s a season where Ted Williams was coming back in August after serving his country coming back from the Korean War.  The player card generated by Baseball Classics system is the only one we have seen with 4 Home Runs and 4 Walks.  Any MLB fan can appreciate the amazing accomplishment by him finishing out the season with an astounding performance captured and portrayed by Baseball Classics baseball game.

In a previous article we posted Top 5 Baseball Board Game Under The Radar Player Cards to highlight some of the best MLB under the radar players since 1901.  Which MLB player card would you like to see?

Baseball Classics All-Time Greats – New York Mets

Baseball Classics All-Time Greats – New York Mets

In 1962 Major League Baseball welcomed a new team to the National League named the New York Mets.  They were greeted with much fan fare, then went on to set a record for the worst record in the 162 regular season format with a mere 40 wins, an underwhelming .250 winning percentage.  However this great franchise took the baseball world by storm only several years later becoming World Series Champions as the “Miracle Mets”!  The Mets went on to collect their second title in 1986.  Let’s review the 24 greatest players in their 50+ year Major League Baseball history.

Baseball Classics 1962 New York Mets Team Sheet

The New York Mets are 3 of the next 4 Major League Baseball Franchise teams we will be adding to the #1 selling Baseball Classics All-Time Greats set in the Fall of 2013.  The 4 teams will be available as an add-on for those who already purchased the Baseball Classics All-Time Greats.  Stay tuned in our Blog to learn about the final MLB franchise to be added!

In the Fall of 2013 Baseball Classics will welcome the Houston Colt .45s-Astros, Los Angeles/Califonia/Anaheim Angels, and New York Mets to the All-Time Greats set.  There are many great and exciting players to choose from; here’s who makes the cut for the top 15 position players and 9 pitchers that will be added and their impact on the franchise.

Pitchers

Tom SeaverTom Seaver – “Tom Terrific” is not only the greatest pitcher in Mets history, he’s also considered one of the all-time greatest pitchers in Major League Baseball.  He’s racked up every major pitching award leading the league several times in ERA and strikeouts along his amazing 20 year career.

Hall of Fame/Rookie of the Year/Cy Young/All-Star | Wins 311 | ERA 2.86

Dwight Gooden – A 19 year old with tremendous talent, he joined the Mets in 1984 and dominated with a 276 strikeouts on his way to receiving the Rookie of the Year Award.  “Doc” Gooden pitched 11 seasons for the Mets and whiffed batters with his lethal 98-mile an hour fastball and wicked curve.

Rookie of the Year/Cy Young/All-Star | Wins 194 | WHIP 1.256 | Strikeouts 2293

Jerry Koosman – “Koos” enjoyed 12 seasons with the Mets, he logged a reliable 200+ innings pitched 10 times.  He was a staple on the Miracle Mets 1969 World Series championship team and a beloved member of the franchise ever since.

All-Star | ERA 3.36 | Wins 222 | WHIP 1.259

Ron Darling – One sign he was a great pitcher is that he was able to overcome the unusually high number of walks allowed.  He typically kept batters in check with his 5 pitch repertoire and that lowered the amount of hit- per inning pitched.  A member of the 1986 Mets and key reason they went on to capture the World Series.

All-Star/Gold Glove | ERA 3.87 | Wins/Losses 136/116 | WHIP 1.335 | HR/9 .9

Sid Fernandez – “El Sid” was nasty against lefties with his crafty, yet whipping angled left-handed arm motion.  He pitched 10 seasons for the Mets, best known for keeping the amount of HITS given up to a minimum.

All-Star | ERA 3.36 | Winning Pct. .543 | WHIP 1.144

Al Leiter – A two-time World Series champion, though neither was with the Mets organization.  He was a “gamer”, pitched 7 of his 19 Major League Baseball seasons with the franchise that were his best of any of the other teams he played for.  When you had a pressure game, Leiter is a safe bet to come through as he did throughout his illustrious career.

All-Star | ERA 3.80 | Wins/Losses 162/132 | WHIP 1.1386 | Strikeouts 1974

David Cone – A gritty and tough mound presence backed up with his talent.  Cone pitched the 16th perfect game in Major League Baseball history and pitched for 5 World Series champion teams though not as a member of the Mets.  However like Leiter, he pitched most of his career and had his best numbers with the franchise.

Cy Young/All-Star | ERA 3.46 | Wins/Losses/Pct. 194/126/.606 | WHIP 1.256

Jesse OroscoJohn Franco – Pitched 14 of his 21 seasons with the Mets and is their all-time saves leader.  A team captain and local favorite, Franco shined during his tenure with the Mets.  He was a saves league leader in his career 3 times and stingy when it came to giving up the gopher ball.

All-Star | ERA 2.89 | Saves 424 | WHIP 1.333 | HR/9 .6

Jesse Orosco – Pitched in a remarkable 1252 Major League Baseball games, he’s the all-time leader in that category.  It’s no wonder he pitched in somany games, especially as a specialist.  Orosco was virtually unhittable for most left-handed batters with a side sweeping, nasty release that cut across the zone.  Pitched 4 decades which included being a member of the 1986 Champion Mets.

All-Star | ERA 3.16 | Saves 144 | WHIP 1.263 | SO/9 8.2

Catcher

Mike Piazza – One of the greatest Mets as well as one of the all-time best hitting catchers in Major League Baseball history.  A 12-time all-star, he amassed the most Home Runs for any Catcher to ever play.  His career launched with the Dodgers as Rookie of the Year, played most of the second half of his career as a leader for the Mets.

Rookie of the Year/All-Star | AVG .308 | HR 427 | RBI 1335

Mike Piazza

Jerry Grote – Played 12 of his 16 MLB seasons with the New York Mets including as the starting catcher for the 1969 World Series Championship team and that amazing pitching staff.  Though he never won a Gold Glove, he was an outstanding defensive catcher.

All-Star | AVG .252 | HITS 1092 | FLD .991

First Base

Keith Hernandez – One of the very best Mets of all-time, Hernandez was a high performer with his bat and glove.  Had a keen eye at the plate walking more than striking out during his 17-year career.  He played more games for the Cardinals, though as great a career he had, fell short of making their Baseball Classics All-Time Greats roster.  However there is a perfect landing spot for him on the Mets franchise where he played 7 of his 17 seasons.

MVP/Gold Glove/All-Star | AVG .296 | OPS .821 | HITS 2182

Rusty Staub – Played 9 of his 23 Major League Baseball seasons for the New York Mets plating two different stints.  He reached base safely well over 4000 times.  Staub was a terrific hitter, later in his career was a pinch hit specialist that all teams feared lurking in the dugout.  Though he played most of his career in the outfield, he also played 11 seasons at first base.

All-Star | AVG .279 | HITS 2716 | Walks 1255 | RBI 1466

Second Base

Edgardo Alfonzo – A great clutch hitter, could play multiple infield positions well.  His versatility and knack to drive in game winners throughout his career and ability to play a very dependable second base in the field well deserves to be listed among the Mets All-Time greats.

All-Star | AVG .284 | HITS 1532 | OBS .782

Wally Backman – He hustled while playing 9 of 14 Major League Baseball seasons for the Mets.  Backman was a solid number 2 hitter with his above average on base percentage.  Though he never was voted to an All-Star team, his consistency and number of games he played for the Mets at  2nd base earns him a spot.

AVG .275 | OBA .349 | HITS 893

Third Base

David Wright – Outstanding 10-year career and counting.  Averages 26 home runs each year, over 100 RBI’s, and over .300 batting average.  It’s no wonder he’s a multi-year All-Star with Cooperstown taking notice for future reference.  He’s also a great glove man at the hot corner, the best Mets player to field this position.

Gold Glove/All-Star | AVG .301 | OPS .888 | HR 217 | RBI 862

Howard Johnson – Big run producer, Johnson knocked the ball out of the park in big numbers.  Not known for a high batting average, instead his ability to get extra base HITS and outstanding on the base paths for this type of hitter; he was a definitely threat to steal a base and did many times.

All-Star | AVG .249 | HR 228 | OPS .786 | RBI’s 760 | SB 231

Shortstop

Jose Reyes – One of the few speedsters on the New York Mets All-Time Greats.  However Reyes is a dangerous weapon far beyond that.  He has a terrific leadoff batting average and is a triples machine, though has enough pop in his bat to knock one out and rack up two-baggers.

All-Star | AVG .292 | HITS 1521 | SB 418

Bud Harrelson – Long time Mets shortstop was far more of a glove man than a stick man.  He joined the team at 21 and played with them for 13 seasons.  He could swipe a few bases and considering his batting average; his on base percentage was respectable for the value he brought to the team which included his leadership.

Gold Glove/All-Star | AVG .236 | OBP .327 | Runs 539

Outfield

Cleon Jones – How about a .340 batting average the same season your franchise win’s it’s first World Series?  Jones was a staple for the New York Mets for most of his 13 MLB seasons; a good all-around player and steady contributor.

All-Star | AVG .281 | OPS .744 | Runs 565

Carlos Beltran – 5-tool player Beltran played 7 seasons for the Mets belting 149 home runs and making the All-Star team 4 times.  He has shuffled around in his career and battled injuries, though when healthy has been very productive.  He won the Rookie of the Year honors coming up with the Royals.

Rookie of the Year/All-Star | AVG .283 | HR 353 | RBI’s 1296 | OPS .857

Ed KranepoolMookie Wilson – One of the franchise best leadoff hitters, Wilson roamed the outfield for the Mets for 10 seasons.  A catalyst on the base paths, he could leg out a triple and steal bases in batches.

AVG .274 | HITS 1397 | Runs 731 | OPS .700 | SB 327

Darryl Strawberry – Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year for the Mets in 1983, he was a star for the team during his 8 seasons.  Played a large role on the 1986 World Series Champion Mets team, though his best season for them was 2 years later when he was narrowly edged out as MVP.

Rookie of the Year/All-Star | AVG .259 | HR 335 | OPS .862 | RBI’s 1000

Ed Kranepool – The only original New York Met to make the Baseball Classics All-Time Greats New York Mets team played all 18 seasons of his career for the franchise.  He wasn’t flashy, but wound up with a respectable career as an outfielder and first baseman.  He had his moments towards the Mets winning the 1969 World Series.

All-Star | AVG .261 | HITS 1418 | TB 2047

Notable Franchise Names That Missed The Cut 

The Mets franchise has some of the finest pitching, Craig Swan had a shining career though breaking into this staff requires more than being a shiny penny.  Roger McDowell racked up a good number of saves for the Mets and was impressive.  Gary Carter and his Hall of Fame career had 4 really good seasons, but not long enough to be on this team. Kevin McReynolds a very good player for the Mets, but just not quite enough to make this team.  Dave Magadan was the toughest decision, though just like his career went trying to make a spot for him between first and third base, ultimately he just couldn’t quite beat out the others.

Here’s the starting lineup I recommend generally starting for the All-Time Great New York Mets:

  1. SS – Jose Reyes
  2. OF – Carlos Beltran
  3. 3B – David Wright
  4. C – Mike Piazza
  5. 1B – Keith Hernandez
  6. OF – Darryl Strawberry
  7. 2B – Edgardo Alfonso
  8. OF – Cleon Jones
  9. P – Tom Seaver

We look forward to adding them to the Baseball Classics All-Time Greats later this year.  Do you agree with our top 24 selections for the All-Time New York Mets?  Who do you think is the best Mets player to ever play?  What’s your favorite memory of this franchise?  Let us know in the comments below!

How To Generate Random Dice Rolls Without Dice

How To Generate Random Dice Rolls Without Dice

Dice are the #1 choice playing board games when it’s necessary to generate random numbers.  Classic games like Monopoly, Yahtzee, Trouble, Backgammon, and hundred more use dice.  Naturally tabletop baseball board games such as Baseball Classics baseball game, Strat-o-matic, APBA, and many more require “rolling the bones” too.

Dice make a great choice because they are conveniently sized, typically last a long time, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes to generate many variations of random numbers.

With the popularity of more and more board games offered as a download, this presents a challenge.  Google is littered with people listing ways to generate random numbers without using dice or asking how it’s possible.  I decided to do some extra research to see what was being proposed to see what options were suggested.  In addition, I’m challenging myself to devise a system to generate random numbers by merely using 1 piece of paper to play Baseball Classics baseball game (which uses 3 six-sided dice and 1 binary die).

Here’s what I learned in my research.  Well, first some people are very funny!  Hilarious even with their witty comments and suggestions on this topic that Google surfaced.  I digress.

Here is a list of some of the suggestions (sans the witty banner) I came across on how to generate random numbers without dice:

  1. Use the random number key in a calculator
  2. Use a spreadsheet
  3. Open to random pages from big fat book (using the last number)
  4. Spinners
  5. Draw pieces of paper with numbers on them from a bag, hat, or coffee mug
  6. Write a computer software program
  7. A deck of playing cards
  8. Use your brain to think of numbers randomly 😉
  9. Ask someone to give you a random number
  10. Use a telephone directory, using last digit(s) of the phone number
  11. Use a stop watch or seconds hand of a clock/watch
  12. Dice simulators online
  13. Pop out numbers from an old key board, shake them in a cup

I’ve used a number of these suggestions to test playing Baseball Classics, the calculator and spreadsheet worked best.  Using a calculator is handy and quick, though takes extra button presses to generate the 3 six-sided dice and binary dice roll.  The one that is most effective is a spreadsheet using the RANDBETWEEN function in Excel (or other similar spreadsheet products).  I can assign a macro to it and just like that am 1 click away from generating the random numbers needed to play Baseball Classics.

Generating Random Dice Roll Numbers Using 1 Sheet of Paper

The system I needed to devise could only rely on a single sheet of paper to generate random dice rolls, nothing else in addition such as a bag, hat, calculator, cup, etc.

Sometimes the answer is right in front of us.  I used a combination of some of the suggestions listed above to create a way to generate random dice rolls using 1 piece of paper.  And I’m happy to report it doesn’t include writing 1 number on a equally torn piece of the paper and tossing them in the air or anything like that.

Since standard six-sided dice are most popular, I used them as the model for the end result to generate a dice roll for 1, 2, or up to 3 six-sided dice.  I thought about shapes like a hexagon (6-sided) putting 1-6 on each corner.  A hexagon with all sides and angles equal could be a card, rotating it, but just 1 card alone would essentially be like using a spinner.  Back to the drawing board…

I still like going with a card system, but not a deck of cards; too many to shuffle.  So then I thought about 3 hexagons, they would be easy to shuffle while rotating.  The corner that points to you is the random dice roll.  It’s that simple and fast to use.  Draw or print out the hexagons with numbers in each corner, cut them out and you have random dice rolls for 1, 2, or up to 3 six-sided dice using only 1 sheet of paper.  Next, what I designed to play using this system for Baseball Classics with 1 binary die and 3 six-sided dice with 1 sheet of paper.

Dice Cards: Playing Baseball Classics Baseball Game With No Dice

The binary die adds a wrinkle here, but one that was easily attainable to iron out.  By adding a ZERO or ONE to each hexagon card; that would make for an uneven distribution of the binary roll availability on the 3 cards.

Adding a 4th hexagon card would work, but as long as that needs to be done it’s an opportunity to add a bit more into the mix in the spirit of random dice roll generation.  By switching to an octagon and going with 6 cards, that would still be a very small number of cards to shuffle and rotate to determine each roll, while adding additional numbers equally distributed across all 6 cards.  They fit on a single sheet of paper, about size of your palm, a perfect fit!  Baseball Classics Dice Cards are born.

How To Use Baseball Classics Dice Cards

Baseball Classics Dice CardsPrint and cut out the 6 Baseball Classics Dice Cards.

To use: hold or place cards face down, next shuffle and rotate them.  Pick 3 dice cards, turning each one face up.  Each point on the 3 Dice Cards facing you is the number of the “dice roll”.  Add the 3 numbers and use the 3rd card for the result of the binary roll ZERO or ONE).

Example – Shuffle and rotate all 6 Dice Card face down.  Then pick and turn face up as follows: 3, 6, and 6 are the points facing you, this adds up to 15.  The 3rd card has a “ZERO” on it, that is the binary roll.  Refer to the pitcher card Roll 15 for the Result.  For the next “dice roll”, place the 3 cards back and repeat

Recommend printing your Dice Cards on 100 or 110 lb card stock, though heavy printer paper is fine too.

Playing with Baseball Classics Dice Cards is a fast and convenient way to play anywhere, anytime!  An added bonus is the build up of what the final roll will be as you reveal each card.  Definitely a lot faster than if you were to roll one die at a time to achieve the same type of suspense.

You can download your FREE Baseball Classics Dice Cards here in PDF format.

Check out Baseball Classics Print & Play format.  Choose any MLB teams or seasons from 1901 to the present, includes everything you need, just print and play!  Perfect match with Baseball Classics Dice Cards.

Let us know what you think, this system can be used to generate random dice rolls for your favorite board games too!

Baseball Strategy: Managing Against Real-Time Decision Manager

Baseball Strategy: Managing Against Real-Time Decision Manager

Baseball fans love the game for many reasons.  They have favorite players, teams, and even seasons filled with thrilling Pennant races wire-to-wire.  All major sports have these 3 favorite reasons; they also have a strategy to winning.  Strategy is the next level fans are entrenched watching their favorite sport.  The best part about strategy in sports in my view, are the decisions made and carried out in real-time.

Baseball Classics Real-Time Decision Manager

When managing against the Real-Time Decision Manager it’s all about strategy used based on the players ability to execute and game situation.

Baseball has many factors to be considered throughout a game as listed in the last article 21 Factors Impacting Baseball Board Game Play.  Each factor impacts which strategy to use depending upon the game situation in real-time.  When playing your baseball board game solitaire you take on the role as Manager for both teams.  Calling all the shots depending upon the strategies you see fit then and there.

Baseball Classics has added an innovative approach to your solitaire play so you don’t have to do all the managing from the first pitch to the final out.  The Real-Time Decision Manager can manage 1 or both of your Baseball Classics MLB teams, calling all the shots, making the calls in real-time.

Consider the Real-Time Decision Manager as the equivalent of having a Football Head Coach on the sidelines with a playbook.

The Real-Time Decision Manager can make decisions before, during, and after at bat, hence in real-time.  There are 16 pages that provide the choices made, divided by the current inning played, current score, number of outs, runner(s) on base, and each batters OPS (On base average plus slugging average – listed on each Baseball Classics player position card in the Player Stats column).  These form an intersection that reveals the decision(s) for that game situation.

For example, when the Real-Time Decision Manager is managing the team on offense, an intersection may consist of calling for a steal attempt, sending the base runner(s) as extra base, bringing in a pinch hitter, etc.  When on defense, examples are pickoff attempts, pitchouts, bringing the infield in, changing pitchers, etc.

Some of the decisions are dynamic, such as stealing a base.  A dice roll is used to determine if the Real-Time Decision Manager wants the runner to steal or not.  Other decisions such as sending the base runner an extra base on a hit or intentionally walking a batter are straight up calls.

Once you choose the teams to play, make the lineups, and select the starting pitchers, the game then turns over to the Real-Time Decision Manager handling any game situation.  It’s built to handle your managerial challenge and will keep you guessing from the top step of the dugout move after move.

The Real-Time Decision Manager is seamlessly integrated into your Baseball Classics baseball game play adding the challenge of someone else making the calls to counter your moves.

Let’s walk through a game situation to see how the Real-Time Decision Manager is processing what to do when on offense.  It’s the bottom of the 9th inning, the team is behind 3-2, 2 outs, runner on 1st, and the batter at the plate has an OPS of .832.

Real-Time Decision Manager Example

This would take you to the page in the Real-Time Decision Manager for that game situation.  The Real-Time Decision Manager has pages organized first by managing on offense or defense and the inning, then it’s based on the score, outs, runner(s) on base, and batter OPS.  Note the grouping in the illustration above that reveals the intersection highlighted by the red rectangle.

The icon symbols represent the decisions made by the Real-Time Decision Manager based on this game situation.  The first symbol in the green, calls to send a green Run rating base runner from 1st to 3rd on a single, 2nd to Home on a single, or 1st to Home on a double.

The next symbol is calling for a pinch runner to come in for the current runner on 1st if the following condition is met with an available player on the bench: He has a higher Run rating than the current runner.  If so, then choose an available player from the bench with the highest Run rating when in the 9th inning or extra innings or second highest Run rating when in the 7th or 8th inning.

Every game situation is covered from the top of the 1st to the bottom of the 9th or through extra innings.  Even threatening weather conditions.  And just like watching a Major League Baseball game, you may disagree with the manager’s decisions now and then.  There may be times when you second-guess the Real-Time Decision Manager too; it comes with the territory.

Now you don’t have to play your solitaire games alone, you can always have the perfect companion to play your games against.  Think you can out wit, out play, and out manage the Baseball Classics Real-Time Decision Manager?

21 Factors Impacting Baseball Board Game Play

21 Factors Impacting Baseball Board Game Play

You’re watching a baseball game on TV and a friend walks into the room.  What’s the first question your friend would typically ask you about the game?  Who’s winning, right?

Baseball Game Factors

That’s how simple baseball can be to watch, then again it’s beauty runs deeper than a long blast off the bat of Reggie Jackson in his prime.  Here’s something to think about, consider these 21 factors that can and will impact your baseball board game play and how Baseball Classics incorporates them.  Some may surprise you!

Let’s start with what I call the Situational Factors:

  1. Who’s playing and which one is the Home team?  This fundamental answer shifts the in-game strategy, especially from the 5th inning on.
  2. What’s the score?  The score is constantly running through your mind as you consider this key factor throughout every at bat.
  3. Which inning is it?  The compass for your game play, naturally your decisions vary upon this depending variable.
  4. How many outs?  The most precious commodity outside of runs scored and innings played.
  5. Threatening skies?  Did you know in Baseball Classics you can be playing under inclement weather conditions that can rain out your game?  It’s true and naturally changes how you manage every at bat.
  6. Who is up, pitching, and on deck?  We condensed these 3 essential immediate areas into one that determine how you make the current managerial move.
  7. Who’s on base?  Abbott and Costello aren’t the only one’s pondering this critical question.  Base runners dictate everything.

Let’s start with what I call the Impact Decision Factors for the Offense (team at bat):

  1. What are the base runners steal ratings?  Worth trying a theft or move them over with a bunt attempt, or perhaps just swing away to see what happens?
  2. What are the base running ratings?  It is possible for a base runner to score from 1st base on a single.
  3. What is the batter’s bunt rating? Is it the right time, if so what type of bunt attempt?
  4. How about a Hit & Run?  High risk with double play odds increasing, high reward automatically advancing any base runners an extra base.
  5. When to pinch hit?  Could this force a pitching change and if so, how does that change your decision?

More Impact Decision Factors though for the Defense (team in the field):

  1. Should I make any changes to team in the field to improve?  Read this article to see why this is so crucial.
  2. Is it time for a pitching change?  If so, what am I needing to minimize the strengths of the current batter?
  3. Should you bring the infield in?  Increases the chance for a hit, though also cuts down any runner on 3rd base.
  4. Time for a pitchout?  If the other team is attempting to steal it will cut down his chances of success.
  5. How about a pickoff attempt?  Watch out for throwing the ball away.
  6. Which runner(s) do you make a play on in a Groundout Forceout or Double Play?  Your decision may change depending on who is on deck.
  7. Does your Catcher have the ability to lower your chances of giving up a passed ball or wild pitch?  Especially keep an eye on during close games.
  8. Should you make a play on a runner attempting to advance an extra base?  Doing so could nail him, then again if you don’t, other runners can advance.  In some cases a runner can attempt to score from 3rd base on a base hit!

With these 20 factors and all the possibilities for decisions, it’s another example of why playing Baseball Classics or any baseball board games stimulate your mind.  It’s why I wrote the article Baseball Board Games Generate Brain Power earlier this year.

Another factor to add to this list is an injury.  Surely that too can truly impact the outcome of any game.

Here’s a brief case example for you, I welcome your responses in the Comment section below.  Enjoy!

The combination of these factors will spawn your next move and more interestingly it’s likely someone else would instead have called for a different move.

1. 2013 Washington Nationals at 2012 SF Giants

2. Nationals 1 Nationals 2

3. Top of the 7th

4. 1 out

5. Skies are threatening to rain out the game

6. Strausburg is due up now, Vogelsong pitching, leadoff man Lombardozzi on deck.

7. Runner on 1st, Blue steal rating, yellow Run rating

What do you do if you’re managing the Nationals?