TCBA Yearbook




1921  1922  1923
1924  1925  1926 1927  1928  1929

1930  1931  1932
1933  1934  1935 1936  1937  1938

1940  1941  1942
1943  1944  1945 1946  1947  1948

1950  1951  1952
1953  1954  1955 1956  1957  1958

1960  1961  1962
1963  1964  1965 1966  1967  1968

1970  1971  1972
1973  1974  1975 1976  1977  1978

1980  1981  1982
1983  1984  1985 1986  1987  1988

1990  1991  1992
1993  1994  1995 1996  1997  1998

2000  2001  2002
2003  2004  2005 2006  2007  2008

2010  2011  2012
2013  2014  2015 2016  2017  2018

Foreword 1
Foreword II
The Ad
The Letter
The Test
First Newsletter
TCBA Almanac

Some are mathematicians,
Some are carpenter’s wives.
I don’t know how it all got started,
I don’t know what they do with their lives.
                         from “Tangled Up in Blue” by Bob Dylan

       I had my first introduction to APBA mail leagues in 1967, when Woody Studenmund's North East League was the only one around.  They wouldn't give me a franchise then, because I was only 15 years old, but I joined the long-forgotten NABA in 1968 and proceeded to win its first season's championship.  After a few years, that league folded and I joined Ernie Charette's ABA.  By 1974, I built a strong team but became disenchanted with the league because it was not run democratically, and the rules seemed to change arbitrarily in midseason.  I gave notice that I would resign at year's end, but won that year's championship on my way out the door.

     Seven years in draft mail leagues had caused me to reach some strong opinions about what I liked and didn't like in leagues, so I decided to form my own league by advertising in the APBA Journal.  My plan was to start an 18-team league with three divisions of six, since the major leagues had 24 teams then, and 18 teams seemed to allow for a good distribution of player strength.  The plan was to run a draft league with the current season's players, but to allow for replays of past seasons later if the interest was there.  Because I wanted to encompass the possibility of using the entire range of teams published by APBA (which then was 1906 to present), I chose the name Twentieth Century Baseball Association.

     This plan was soon modified for two reasons.  First, there was no strong interest in replaying past seasons until Stu McCorkindale brought that idea to life in 1994; second, the response to my APBA Journal ad for a present-day draft league was overwhelming.  Over 60 people inquired about the new organization, so I had to develop a screening process.  What I came up with was a questionnaire and test of sorts.  The questionnaires (which I still have) asked about APBA Baseball and league experience as well as general background, while the test was directed at ability to keep a boxscore, put together a team (out of two real-life rosters combined) and come up with some trade proposals.  About half of the 60 who inquired actually completed the application process, leaving me with a dilemma: 26 of the applicants were too good to exclude, but I only had 18 franchises.  I couldn't fit all 26 in one league, but there weren't enough for two, and I couldn't bring myself to reject any of the best 26.
     Looking back, I can't believe that my solution was to start two leagues at once, but that's what I did.  We drafted two 18-team leagues (all by mail, using preference lists) and left five franchises idle, with full rosters, in each league.  The recruiting and draft had taken from February to May of 1975, so I designed an "experimental" 126-game 13-team schedule for each league.  Based on the North East League constitution, adding democratic procedures for voting on rules and league administration, and using my newly-learned drafting ability as a law student, I put together a 6-page TCBA Constitution.  Our Constitution certainly had some flaws at first (for example, the player-use rules turned out to be too liberal), but it provided the mechanism for the changes we needed.  Both leagues continued to operate independently under identical rules, making contact only in the TCBA World Series, until there was a complete separation many years later.

     The charter managers were an interesting group, differing considerably from the present roster both in age and diversity.  The average age was about 25, ranging from 16 to over 40 (very unusual then!), and the geographic spread was impressive.  We soon had teams from coast to coast, in both French and English speaking parts of Canada, at a classified location on board a navy ship in the Pacific, and later in Saudi Arabia and Europe.  In the early years, we had a black manager and a female manager, both rarities in the APBA world for some reason.  Probably the most outstanding member in those early years was Dave Brown because of his superb and tireless efforts producing the TCBA newsletter, which became our trademark to the APBA community.

     Formation of the TCBA was a major development in the 1975 APBA world, as it instantly, with 26 members, became the largest APBA mail-league organization in history.  Nevertheless, even more surprising developments were to come that season.  We recruited the managers for the 10 idle teams, and adopted the newly-announced but still unseen APBA Baseball Master Game for exclusive league use. This sent us into the bicentennial year with 36 teams, using a new game product none of us had ever tried.  We succeeded, and the venture in friendship and competition which we have helped to build had been launched.

                                                                        - Jim Lafargue, July 1995


<< PreviousNext >>