May 21, 1991

A battle between AL West rivals Minnesota and Kansas City at SD4 saw the Royals take a 4-3 lead into the top of the ninth, only to see the Twins first baseman Rod Carew rip a two-out triple off relief ace Al Hrabosky, good for two runs and a 4-3 advantage heading into the last of the ninth. But after securing two quick outs, Twins closer Mike Marshall served up a triple to Amos Otis and a game-ending home run to Hal McRae, giving KC a comeback 5-4 win. The homer was the second of the game for McRae, and seventh of his season, and made a winner of Hrabosky, who won his first of the SP78 campaign. The win also moved the fourth-place Royals into third, seven games behind the front-running Twins.  (Game #483,  5/19/78)

Major League Baseball

TWISP Notes #63

May 20, 2015

• The first game at site AZ15 in Peoria, Arizona was played on March 1, 2015 between the Mets and Cardinals at Busch Memorial Stadium, an NL East match-up won by the Cards 8-7 in 15 innings. The new 1-bedroom apartment site is located in the same complex as AZ8, the all-time games hosted leader.

• With the August 5th slate of games wrapped up, AZ15 has now hosted a total of 15 games, tying it with RB8 for 21st on the all-time SP78 games hosted list. Five more games played there will bump it past CA14—my brother Scott’s former Carlsbad apartment—into the 20th spot on the list.

• Pirates backstop Ed Ott was ejected from a game for the third time this season when he argued with home plate umpire Dutch Rennert over balls and strikes calls during the first game of a doubleheader between the Bucs and Phillies at Three Rivers Stadium on August 5th. Catchers Gene Tenace of the Padres and Bob Boone of the Phillies still lead the majors in expulsions, with four apiece.

• While researching an entry for a recent This Day in SP78 History, it was discovered that the final score of a Reds-Mets game from June was incorrectly recorded, on both the SP78 site and the original scoresheet! No team or player statistics were affected, however, and the error was corrected without further incident.

• Third baseman Darrell Evans and catcher Marc Hill of the Giants were injured when they collided chasing a pop foul off the bat of Bill Russell during their game against the Dodgers on August 5th. Evans will be out for six games, while Hill was placed on the 15-day disabled list the following day. Pitcher Phil Nastu of the AAA Phoenix Giants was called up to fill Hill’s roster spot; he’ll make his major league debut on August 6th at Candlestick Park when he gets the starting nod versus LA.

• Joe Wallis of the A’s and Roy Smalley of the Twins each connected for a pair of home runs in their respective AL games on August 5th. Smalley’s latter blast was a grand slam, the second of his career and his first as a Twin.

• With individual and team statistics for May almost completed (determining league leaders is the only task remaining), work will begin soon on re-compiling June stats, which will require a complete run-through of every June scoresheet, from game numbers 644 to  1012…a total of 368 games, and about six months of work, if the time frame for May tabulations is any indication. Creating empty stat tables for June is currently in progress, and work should begin on compiling these stats this week.

• About a month from now, SP78 enthusiast Steve P and I will begin our two-week vacation to the northeast corner of the US, where we’ll see eight minor league baseball games in eight different ballparks in a span of eight days. The trip will also include a two-day stop at Cooperstown to visit the Hall of Fame, as well as an overnight stay in Hartford, Connecticut to kick off the tour. Most importantly, the trip will feature eleven games of Statis Pro played, one per day at eleven different sites; most will take place in the hotels where we’ll be staying, but hopefully a few will also be played at university libraries, one somewhere on the grounds of the Hall of Fame, and if possible, one in a luxury suite at Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton, New Jersey. The eleven contests will set a record for most consecutive days of games played, and will introduce SP78 to eight states that have never before hosted a game.

• Orioles ace Scott McGregor became the third pitcher this season to reach the 17-win mark, joining Jon Matlack (17-3) and Mike Caldwell (17-4) when he bested the Yankees 5-1 at Yankee Stadium on August 5th. After falling behind by a 1-0 score after two innings, McGregor retired the next 22 out of 23 Yankee batters over the next seven innings to improve to 17-4.

To Box or Not To Box

I spent most of this past Sunday working on a boxscore template to use on the SP78 site, taken from a boxscore generator I’d found on-line the day before. The design of the boxscore had a nice look to it, but thankfully it also had HTML code that I could tamper with, which I took full advantage of to create an overall better-looking product. The adjustments I made were minor (center-justifying some words and titles, adding a date and stadium to the linescore, etc), but in the end they helped give the boxscore a more polished, baseball-savvy appearance.

The game I chose was one I’d already typed up a boxscore for years ago, and therefore was easier to plop into the generator: the SP78 All-Star Game, which in hindsight was probably a bad choice, since it was one of the more stat-deficient games I’ve ever played. Click here to see how it looks on a site page.

Right now this is just a test run, and I still have some modifications to experiment with, so don’t look for hundreds—or even a handful—of these babies to suddenly appear on the site (I calculated that if I created one boxscore a day for every game I’ve played so far, I’d be finished in four years). Trust me, this is strictly in the planning stage; I’m also working on my own template, which won’t be as colorful as the generated one but may be more true to a boxscore you’d find in a 1978 issue of The Sporting News.

In the end, I may just use the linescore portion of the template, and add that to the bottom of each game’s recap, which would be far less time-consuming. Or, I may just scrap the whole plan, create just a few more boxscores to add to the site for the fun of it, and concentrate on getting the thousand other more important aspects of the site taken care of first. Let me know what you think of it all in the comments below.

All-Star Game - alternate

Ask Statistor

Statistor, Baseball RobotDeveloped by Sperry Rand in 1963, Statistor is a robotic information-gathering and data storage system, later modified by Texas Instruments specifically for use by Statis Pro 1978 Replay. Statistor will answer any and all SP78-related questions, either bi-monthly or whenever the mood strikes him.


Dear Statistor,

Did Todd ever play other baseball games, and play other seasons, before his Statis Pro 1978 Replay season?

Greg L.
San Diego, CA

Dear Greg,

Yes, the Supreme Controller played his first simulation-type baseball game in the early 1970s, when he and a friend started a season using a deck of playing cards and the rules supplied with a box of Frosted Flakes cereal. Several years later, he would play a short season using a simple ‘pocket game’ created by a company called Tomy, before initializing his SP78 board game season in 1980.

Hi Statistor!

I know the text on Fast-Action cards is printed in four colors – red and black on one side, and blue and green on the other. But why does each SP78 game start with the blue-green side facing up on the deck?

Jim B.
Des Moines, IA

Dear Jim,

Because it is so.

Cardinals To Experiment With Infield Shift

With Garry Templeton hitting .330 with 62 STL - Garry Templeton b-w crop darkenstolen bases this season, and my Statis Pro dopplegänger playing above all expectations after just two games, I’ve been trying to come up with a way to consistently and logistically have both shortstops take part in each of the 52 games remaining on the Cardinals SP78 schedule. Templeton is on a pace to collect 200 hits for the second consecutive year, and I don’t want to jeopardize that opportunity, but I’m also having fun seeing myself take part in a major league baseball season. Templeton played all 155 of his games at shortstop in 1978 (which included two pinch-hitting appearances), while my Todd Benefiel player card shows that I played all my games at short except for one, when I was stationed in the outfield. So in the end, the question remains: who gets to play shortstop? Continue reading