For this installment of SP78 Flashback, I’m taking you all the way back to May of 2012, when I ventured out to San Diego from Phoenix to visit my brother and friends for a week of movies, fast food, the NHL playoffs on TV, and four SP78 games at four different households; included on the slate was a game against my friend and fellow Statis Pro enthusiast Steve N at his home in Lemon Grove.
It was the first time he’d managed one of my SP78 games since 1995—a whopping 17 years past—and the first time he’d participated in Statis Pro Baseball at all since he’d sadly put his own replay season of 1986 on indefinite hiatus many years ago. Today he was piloting his favorite team, the White Sox (possessors of the worst record in the majors) against the Orioles, in a July 19th matchup at Comiskey Park. Ken Kravec was starting on the mound for the Chisox, with Mike Flanagan getting the nod for the fifth-place O’s.
Steve’s wife and young daughter were gone until the afternoon, so what did us two adventuresome guys do with a house all to ourselves? Well obviously, we set up the Statis Pro game board on his high-top kitchen table, assembled our lineups (yes, I started Billy Smith at second base for Baltimore, and no, there were no improperly-weighted bats in his possession), and proceeded to play a fairly entertaining game of SP78 Replay, with the Orioles exploding for five runs in the first inning and hanging on for a 6-4 win.
Since moving to Arizona in 2003, I’d played only two games where I’d had someone managing against me, and both of those were played within the past year, so it was nice to have an opponent taking part again so soon, and a treat to have Steve playing me in a game of Statis Pro once again. I can’t imagine he was all that pleased with the outcome, but I’d like to think he had a fun time anyway.
*By the way, did I mention that Steve’s record managing against me had been an astounding 6-0 going into this contest? And that afterwards it was, of course, a tarnished 6-1? If asked about this streak-snapping game, I’m sure he’d fire back with details of his thrilling victory in his first SP78 managerial stint ever, where his decision to call for a suicide squeeze in the last of the ninth won the game for the Padres 3-2 over a stunned Cardinals squad helmed by yours truly. Perhaps I’ll find the time to discuss that doozy in a future post…