The Final Game is Nigh!

A few weeks ago, while I was calculating when my milestone 200th Statis Pro game here at site ‘AZ8’ would be played, I realized that, with the advent of this blog, I was now playing a steady schedule of at least one SP78 game per week, which would of course put me in the neighborhood of 52 games played for 2013. It struck me then that, if I continued at this pace, I could—for the first time ever in the 33-year history of playing this game—accurately predict when my season would end.

And that knowledge gave me a strange feeling: my SP78 season, and the game I’d played and enjoyed since high school, was now mortal. I’d never considered this inevitable possibility before, and had never looked that far ahead, wondering what year I’d wrap this all up, or how old I might be when I was done. The number of games I played had always varied drastically from year to year—165 games in 1989, just four in 1982, and 55 in 2012, for example—so there was just no way to predict when and where it would all end. Years and years ago, I even got the idea to write a book about it all, and call it The 50-Year Season, on the vague assumption it could take me that long to complete.

SP78 Game #1321

But now, I knew when this point would be reached, and by taking the actual number of games in the 1978 schedule (2,106), and subtracting the number of games I’d already played, excluding exhibitions and games postponed by rain (1,300), that left me with 806 games remaining in the regular season. Divide that by the 52 weeks in a calendar year, and I had myself 15½ long years of Statis Pro Baseball left to be played.

Fifteen and a half years! By the time I completed the regular season, the year would be 2029 and I’d be 66 years old…and the title of my proposed book would be prophetically close to accurate. But then I asked myself: do I really want to be retirement age when I finally played that last regular season game, between the Rangers and Mariners on October 1st? The immediate answer was ‘no’ (what if I was incapacitated, or in an iron lung?), and the immediate solution was obvious: I had to start doubling my efforts.


From now on, two games every week, which means at least 104 games played per year, and thus 7¾ years remaining in the season. Now that sounds more reasonable, doesn’t it? And if I picked up the pace a bit, and played a game or two extra each month, I could possibly play my final game sometime in 2020…perhaps on August 22nd, which would be the 40th anniversary of when the first historic SP78 game took place back in 1980.

So there it is: six to eight years left in this crazy, all-consuming game of mine. Maybe nigh then is not the right word to use here; perhaps foreseeable is a more accurate description of the situation. And would you still want to read my book if it was called The 40-Year Season instead?

12 responses to “The Final Game is Nigh!

  1. If you changed the name to The 40-Year-Old Season and slapped a picture of Steve Carell on the cover with an Oscar Gamble hairdo and labeled it “Written by Judd Apatow”, then I think it would be a best seller. On another note, I’d read it even if it were called Read This Damn Book and I’ll Kill You, so you’ve got that going for you . . .

    • Or, I could call it The 63-Year-Old Virgin, slap a picture of Oscar Gamble on the cover with a Steve Carell hairdo, and label it ‘Written by Bowie Kuhn’. Then watch it become a $28.95 doorstop.

      And though your alternate title has its merits, I think I’ll stick with my own. But I’m glad to hear at least one person will read it!

  2. I’d read it ! Of course you realize that now you’ll have to stick to that schedule. What if 5 years from now something distracts you from your course? I hope you don’t end up having to completely re-think the whole thing. 🙂 This was the best SP78 read yet!

    • I promise you, I’ll have absolutely no problem sticking to this schedule; if I can go 33 years without anything distracting me, I shouldn’t run into any difficulty five years from now, either! And I’m glad you liked the post!

  3. So glad to hear that it is “foreseeable”! I was thinking I would be in a nursing home reading about that last game! Do they still use iron lungs?

    And I would SO read that book!!!!

  4. If my calculations are correct, Arizona is currently 590 games (approx) behind California in SP78 Replay totals. At 104 games per year, you’d have to stay in AZ for at least 6 more years to pass CA. And while you may not be willing to commit to your blog readers (fans) where you’ll be in six years, I’d imagine that it’s a long shot that any 3rd state (or the Great Barrier Reef) will ever pass those 2 states for most games played. Is that a safe bet, or should we make room for site ND2 in Minot to take over the top spot eventually?

    • I may not be in Arizona for six more weeks, much less six more years, so no, I think California will be safe as the #1 game-hosting state, and Arizona will be locked into #2. If the Great Barrier Reef somehow becomes #3, then my life either took a fantastic turn for the better, or a horrible turn for the worst.

      And I’d love to add ‘ND2’ to the games-hosted list; I’ve been through Minot on a train, and it seems like it would be a neat little place to play an SP78 game. But I’d first have to play a game at ‘ND1’…maybe Grand Forks, or the library at Bismarck State College?

  5. I was figuring that ND1 might be the hotel that you stayed at while you were looking for ND2 . . .

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