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.
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?