August 4, 2013

With a new Dixieline Lumber pencil being used to keep score today, the Phillies and Braves kicked off July 26th with an afternoon game at site AZ8, where the Phillies exploded for five runs in the first inning – thanks to home runs from Mike Schmidt and Richie Hebner – and toppled the Braves 7-3. Randy Lerch (8-6) defeated Preston Hanna (4-2), while Bake McBride led both teams in hits with a 4-for-4, two RBI night. Philadelphia pitcher Tug McGraw made his first appearance since sitting out five days with dizzy spells, and pitched two perfect innings in relief. The win put the first place Phillies 13½ games in front of the Cubs in the NL East; the loss was the 60th for the Braves.  (Game #1309,  7/26/78)

TWISP Notes #73


August 3, 2020

• You may have noticed something new on the team stats pages for August: some players now have a small ‘a’ or an ‘o’ next to their names. This signifies if a player or pitcher is currently playing for the team’s AAA club (a) or is currently injured, on the disabled list, or suspended (o). These designations will only be seen in the main Batting and Pitching stat boxes, and at some point I’ll be adding them to prior month’s pages as well.

• The Padres, hoping to make a late-season run at first place in the NL West, have revamped their lineup and are returning to one implemented by manager Roger Craig in May, when the team went 21-6 for the month. Oscar Gamble and Derrel Thomas will platoon in left, while Gene Tenace will alternate between catcher and first base; Gene Richards will be at first when Tenace is catching, and Rick Sweet will be behind the plate when Tenace starts at first.

• Oakland rookie Tim Conroy, called up from AAA Vancouver a week ago, was a last-minute replacement for scheduled starter Matt Keough in their game against Baltimore on August 21st. In 4.2 innings pitched, he gave up 12 hits and six runs in a 6-5 loss, dropping his lifetime ML record to 1-1. Conroy will be returned to the Canadians tomorrow to make room for veteran Steve Renko, who will be coming off the 21-day disabled list.

• Pray for Boston and Montreal if they ever have a player go on the DL: the Expos only have have three fielders—all catchers who can’t hit—and five PB 2-5 pitchers available from their AAA squad, while the Bosox have just three players available: catcher Fred Kendall, outfielder Sam Bowen, and PB 2-5 pitcher Bobby Sprowl.

• With Mets third baseman Lenny Randle and backup Elliott Maddox both out with injuries, NY hot corner chores have fallen to Bobby Valentine (E10), who’s played five games at third this season, and Joel Youngblood (E9), who’s played three. Valentine started in the August 21st game against the Giants and made two errors in a 3-0 New York win.

• Cleveland activated outfielder Paul Dade from the 45-day disabled list on August 21st, after he spent 17 years out of action thanks to a collision with teammate Rick Manning during a July 6th game against Detroit. To make room on the roster for Dade, the Indians sent outfielder Danny Briggs to Portland of the PCL.

• The SP78 40th Anniversary trip to Cincinnati is—as of right now—a go! My friend Steve P and I will be departing Phoenix on August 20th, staying at the Marriott near Great American Ballpark (located on the spot where Riverfront Stadium once stood), visiting the Reds Hall of Fame, and playing a handful of SP78 games, including the 40th Anniversary contest between the Reds and Cardinals on Saturday, August 22nd. We’ll return to Phoenix on Sunday night.

• The starting lineups for the Reds-Cardinals 40th Anniversary game will be identical to those used in the actual August 22, 1978 contest; the starting pitchers will also be the same, with Tom Seaver (10-10, 2.97) going for the Reds, and John Denny (7-10, 3.38) starting for the Cards.

• The same number of games—four—that were played on SP78’s opening day will played during the 40th anniversary on August 22nd; all will be NL match-ups.

• I’m currently working on updating player hitting streaks and team won-lost streaks, neither of which have been updated since 2006…a stretch of 36 SP78 days between July 15th and August 20th.

Listen to all four SP78 40th Anniversary games on
CBS Radio and the SP78 radio network!


20: A Charlie Moore Odyssey

It began innocently enough for Brewers catcher Charlie Moore: a two-out single in the last of the eighth off Detroit reliever Ed Glynn, the final hit of the night in Milwaukee’s 6-0 win over the Tigers at County Stadium on May 17th. The boxscore would show that designated hitter Larry Hisle led all batters with a double, a home run, and two RBI, and that Brewers starter Bill Travers shut down the Tigers on four hits, earning his first win. But for Moore’s late-inning base hit, which had no affect on the outcome, it mostly went unnoticed.

The next day, Moore connected for a single in an 8-1 Brewers win, and in the two games he’d start against the Angels in the three-game series that followed, he’d collect two more hits, including one in the infamous ‘Sixto Lezcano Game’ of May 19th. Four straight games, with one hit in each…at the time it wasn’t worthy of mention, but 16 games and 22 hits later, the 24-year-old from Birmingham, Alabama would possess the longest hitting streak of the young season at 20 games, and along the way would become an SP78 legend.

“I’d just come off a seven-game streak, and I was more than happy with that one,” said Moore, when asked about his accomplishment. “I never thought I’d even make it to ten, much less twenty.” Continue reading

Inside the SP78 Vault: 1978 Padres Program

Perhaps my very first addition to the SP78 vault, even before their was an SP78! On September 29th, 1978, my Dad and brother Scott and I attended the third-to-last game of the Padres season (and my fifth of the year, and first since June), a Friday night match-up against the Dodgers, who were in first place and headed for the World Series against the Yankees. LA’s Burt Hooton was going for his 20th win, but it wasn’t to be as the Padres pulled out a 3-1 win, in a game that took just 1 hour, 58 minutes to play.

On the way in, I paid a vendor fifty cents for the program, whose cover celebrated the Padres’ tenth year of existence, as well as them being the host team of that summer’s All-Star Game. It’s fun for me to look through the program now and check out all the San Diego ads, and the places I used to frequent that are no longer around: Square Pan Pizza, Dow Sound City, Monterey Jack’s, Picnic ‘n Chicken, Kinney Shoes, and sadly, San Diego Stadium itself, which hasn’t seen a Padres game played there since 2003.

Besides acquiring this program, this was also the game where I caught my first batting practice home run ball, in the left field seats off the bat of LA outfielder Dusty Baker. My brother also got himself a baseball, tossed to him by Dodgers utility player Joe Simpson from the bullpen, where Scott was watching some players warm up before the game.

My Friend Bob

It was forty years ago today that my friend Bob passed away, struck down by leukemia at age sixteen, when he was just a junior in high school and had plenty of years still ahead of him. Besides being my friend, and being someone I could share a love of baseball and football with, and ride bikes and watch movies and simply hang out with, he was also the one who introduced me to Statis Pro Baseball, back in October of 1979, and it was his excitement and enthusiasm for the game that convinced me to buy one for myself.

Nowadays, it’s hard for me to fathom how long he’s actually been gone, and it sobers me to realize that I’ve lived more than two of his lifetimes since 1980. And then, it saddens me to think about all he’s missed—and all I’ve done without him—over those four decades. And how he’d visited me in Washington during that final summer, and how I eventually moved back to San Diego not long after he’d returned to the hospital for good, when my Dad and brother and I stayed with his family until we could find a place of our own. And how I got off the school bus that February afternoon with my friends Brent and Reid, and saw my Dad parked nearby, waiting to drive us home and tell us Bob had passed away earlier that day. Continue reading