March 25, 2019
• The August 18th game between the Astros and Pirates, which was called due to thunderstorms at Three Rivers Stadium with the Bucs leading 15-1, was just the third time in SP78 history that a game had been first delayed by rain, then later called. The last time this occurred was in 1988, during a May 7th match-up between the White Sox and Red Sox at Fenway Park.
• Two new sites were added to the SP78 host locations list, when I ventured to New Mexico with my friend Steve P in February and played a trio of games there, all in Las Cruces. The first was played solo at the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, which was labeled NM3, between the Red Sox and A’s; that night Steve joined me as we played the second game of the trip at site NM4, the Comfort Suites on Telshor Boulevard, between the Steve-led Royals and the Rangers. One more game was played the next morning, at the already-established site NM2, his former home in Las Cruces that was now empty and waiting to be sold.
• The two games played at NM3 and NM4 that Friday equaled the SP78 mark for number of sites hosting games in one day, a feat which had also been accomplished in 1983, 1985, and twice in 1994.
• In the Minnesota-Toronto contest at Metropolitan Stadium on August 18th, first baseman Rod Carew went 5-for-5 with four singles and a double, boosting his season average to .313, as the Twins topped the Jays 8-4. It was Carew’s first 5-hit game of the season, and lifted his current hits total to 161.
• The August 16th game between the Yankees and A’s played at site AZ18—my current apartment in Peoria, Arizona—was the 78th game hosted by the site, bumping it into 4th place on the all-time games-hosted list, past site SNB in San Bernardino and behind AZ8 (218), ESC11 (183), and ESC7 (145). The site is currently four games shy of the coveted 100 games-hosted mark.
• Cleveland relief pitcher Jim Kern became the Tribe’s all-time saves leader on August 10th, when he recorded his 43rd save with the team in a 2-1 win over the Bosox at Fenway. The total moved him past former Indians reliever Dave LaRoche, who’d established the mark in 1977.
• SP78 landmark game #1600 took place on February 23, 2019, when the Yankees traveled to the Kingdome in Seattle to take on the host Mariners. NY starter Ron Guidry returned to his early season form, firing his second 1-hitter of the year in a 6-0 Yanks win.
• And two weeks later, Game #1601 was played between the Tigers and Brewers at County Stadium, which marked the point in the SP78 campaign where there were exactly 500 games left to be played before the regular season came to an end. To put that remaining time frame into perspective, it took me 11 years to play the first 500 games, and nearly 19 years to play the previous 500!
• Slugging Atlanta starter Phil Niekro punched his second home run of the season on August 18th, a solo shot in the sixth inning off Cardinals reliever Buddy Schultz, in a 9-7 Braves win at Busch Memorial Stadium. The blast was the last of four HRs hit by Atlanta in the game, and was the eighth of Niekro’s career, which began in 1964.
• My current stats project involves going through every standings/linescores page I’ve typed up over the years, and making sure W-L, percentage, and games behind numbers of each day of standings are correct, as well as all runs scored per inning, pitcher W-L and save numbers, and player HR totals in each linescore. So far, in April alone, I’ve found and corrected 43 errors on the NL pages and 53 errors on the AL; however, most of these were typos, or transposed runs in linescore innings, or miscalculations of W-L percentage (.666 to .667), and didn’t affect overall stats or player numbers. After completing the remaining months, I’ll begin work on making sure every game on the official 1978 MLB schedule has actually been played through August 18th.
Fans! August 2oth is Coca-Cola Gym Bag Day at Milwaukee!