Tag Archives: board game

July AL Award Winners Announced!

And now it’s time for the American League award winners for July, coming on the heels of current AL stats recently being finalized through the end of that month. Check out the complete list below; for a more detailed look at prior recipients, a description of each award, and photos of the trophies and plaques awarded, check the ‘SP78 Awards’ section of the Statistics dropdown link on the main menu above.

AL Player of the Month
Graig Nettles, New York Yankees
.333 BA, 39 hits, 10 home runs, 23 RBI, 2-HR game, Diamond Glove

AL Pitcher of the Month
Mike Caldwell, Milwaukee Brewers
4-0, 0.68 ERA, 4 CG, 3 shutouts, pitched the second SP78 no-hitter

Fire Chief Trophy
Don Stanhouse, Baltimore Orioles
4-0, 5 saves

Crystal Slugger Award
Reggie Jackson, New York Yankees
.712 slugging percentage

Barnes Memorial Trophy
Buddy Bell, Cleveland Indians
.364 batting average

Bradley Memorial Trophy
Mike Caldwell, Milwaukee Brewers
0.68 earned run average

Diamond Glove Award
C – Jim Sundberg, Texas Rangers
1B – Andre Thornton, Cleveland Indians
2B – Bobby Grich, California Angels
SS – Luis Gomez, Toronto Blue Jays
3B – Graig Nettles, New York Yankees
OF – Steve Kemp, Detroit Tigers
OF – Rick Manning, Cleveland Indians
OF – Dwight Evans, Boston Red Sox

Iron Glove Award
Robin Yount, Milwaukee Brewers
10 errors – SS

Hothead of the Month Award
Ross Baumgarten, Chicago White Sox
1 ejection and 1 suspension

As mentioned before, two additional awards that were presented during the SP78 All-Star Game were discovered while I was researching historical notes from the game, and have now been included on the All-Star Game awards page.

Plus-.500 July Gives Jays Something to Celebrate

It’s been a long season for the second-year Toronto Blue Jays, who’ve struggled for wins after opening the SP78 campaign with a promising 4-1 won-lost record. Currently, however, they’re a woeful 43-60, the second-worst record in the American League, and good for last place in the AL East. And with no hope of capturing a division crown, the Jays of ’78 can only play out the string, acting as possible spoilers to the Tigers, Brewers, and Yankees and looking ahead to 1979. With nothing to boast overall but Bob Bailor’s current .308 average and John Mayberry’s 16 home runs, the Blue Jays can at least be proud of their hard work in July, which netted them not only their first winning month of the season, at 15-13, but the first of their short existence as well.

Leading the way in July was third baseman Roy Howell, who batted .355 with 38 hits, outfielder Bailor, who went 36-for-107 and hit .336, and utility player Doug Ault, who banged four home runs in just 13 games, good for 11 RBI. And though starting pitchers Tom Underwood and Jim Clancy both went 1-4 for the month, Jesse Jefferson surprised everyone with a 4-1 mark and a 2.87 earned run average, while spot starter Jerry Garvin finished the month with three wins, three complete games, and a 2.48 ERA. In the bullpen, closer Victor Cruz continues to impress, saving four games and leading the team with a 1.13 ERA; middle reliever Joe Coleman was also a surprise, going 2-0 with an ERA of 1.59 in seven games. And kudos should also go to Rick Bosetti, who with a base stealing rating of D stole Toronto’s only base of the month, and just the fifth for the team this season.

To take a look at the Blue Jays team page for results and statistics through July, click here. The boxes for league leaders, team rankings, and award totals have been left blank; these numbers will now be added to each AL team throughout the coming weeks, and award winners for July will be posted soon.

The First SP78 Photograph

As surprising as this may sound, I played nearly 12 years of my SP78 Replay baseball season before finally deciding to take a photograph of the game itself. The very first in-game photo was taken on June 23rd, 1992, during a trip my friend Steve P and I took to San Luis Obispo, a small college town located on the central coast of California; the self-portrait below took place that night in the room of the Motel 6 where we were staying.


It was the only SP78 game played during our trip, and this was the only photo taken of the game. What’s strange is, Steve didn’t take part in the festivities, either as an opposing manager or as a spectator; you can’t tell from the photo, but he’s fast asleep in the other bed, to the right of the camera frame, where he’s missing out on a May 26, 1978 match-up between the Reds and Padres, won by the Reds 5-3 in 11 innings.

And if you’re wondering what that large, white something is that’s blocking a good portion of the photo, it’s the top edge of the television where my camera was perched, high up on the adjacent wall. In the days before digital cameras and their small viewscreens, I had to trust what I saw through the viewfinder; thus, I ended up with a photo that wasn’t quite as unobstructed as I’d hoped. And since I was shooting with film, I didn’t have the option to take thousands of photos on a media card, so I only took this one shot, and hoped the image would come out okay.

Now, I have a digital camera and a cell phone for my SP78 picture-taking needs, and within the coming months I’ll be adding the dozens upon dozens of game-related photos I’ve taken over the years to the site, which you’ll be able to find by clicking the Photo Gallery dropdown at the top of the main page. Until then, enjoy this shot of me in my 29-year-old prime, leading my favorite team to victory while wearing a Cubs cap and enjoying an ice-cold can of vending machine Pepsi.

Current AL Leaders Have Been Updated!

Now it’s time for the current American League leaders to be posted, under the AL logo in the right-hand column of this main page. It features the same batting, pitching, and team categories as the National League column, and like the updated NL numbers, the players listed in the AL haven’t changed all that much, either. Surprisingly, there were quite a bit of ties, which forced me to extend some categories from a five count to a six.

If Angels designated hitter Don Baylor could boost his batting average a bit, he could join LA slugger Reggie Smith in a dual quest for the Triple Crown; Baylor leads the AL in home runs (35) and RBI (98), but his .291 average is sadly nowhere near the Top 5 in that department. Carney Lansford, also of the Angels, is still the front-runner for the AL Rookie of the Year award, batting .327 while leading the league in hits; he’s also third in runs scored, with 78. Seattle Mariners speedster Julio Cruz is still tops in the stolen base department, as he’s been all season, and by the end of July was just seven steals away from tying the AL season record, held by Ty Cobb with 96.

Though Ron Guidry still holds the American League lead in ERA, at 1.34, his 16 wins is now third behind Mike Caldwell and Jon Matlack, both with 18, and Scott McGregor, with 17. Angels strikeout king Nolan Ryan is no surprise as the AL leader in K’s, with 152, but he’s a far cry from the 260 he finished the actual 1978 season with, and which led the AL that year. As for team leaders, check out the Indians, mired in sixth place in the AL East, who lead the league in batting at .291; I guess that gives you a hint as to how their pitching is doing (excluding Rick Waits, of course, whose W-L stands at 16-5 and ERA at 2.53).

With current league leaders now caught up, I’ll now get back to wrapping up the July stats for the remainder of the American League; just four more teams to go, with the A’s due up next.

Current NL Leaders Have Been Updated!

I’ve now reached the middle of August of my SP78 season, so I thought it might be a good idea to update the current league leaders in all the major batting and pitching categories, for both players and teams. The most recent leaders were posted for July 31st, so only two SP78 weeks have passed to reach this latest update; not many names have changed for the each category’s top five spots, but the numbers definitely have. The updated leader boards can be found on this main page, in the left-hand column under the National League logo.

Dodgers outfielder Reggie Smith is still the leader in several batting categories, and if it weren’t for a pair of injuries in May and July that cost him 21 games, he could be leading in a handful of other categories as well. As it stands, he has a solid chance of winning the National League’s first Triple Crown since Joe Medwick of the Cardinals did it in 1937. And what the hell’s going on with Pepe Frias? He had just one triple during the actual 1978 season, but already has 14 in SP78! Maybe that 32-42 triple range on his player card has something to do with it (thanks again, Avalon Hill!); if so, maybe I should start playing him more, so he can be the first batter since Willie Mays in 1957 to hit twenty in a season.

And you’d think Mets pitcher Craig Swan’s current league-leading ERA of 1.58 is some sort of board game anomaly, but no, he actually was the NL’s earned run average leader in 1978! And could Gaylord Perry be this season’s only 20-game winner in the National League? (Wait, Steve Carlton has now cracked the top five in wins, so he has a chance as well). And look at Bucs reliever Kent Tekulve, about to break his own career record for saves in a season, with 31.

I’m still working on the American League leaders; those players and teams should be posted in a few weeks.