TCBA Yearbook

TCBA Yesterday


1902  1903 
1905  1906  1907 1908  1909  1910

1911  1912  1913
1914  1915  1916 1917  1918  1919


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

 2020  2021  2022
2023  2024  2025 2026  2027  2028

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

TCBA Almanac

“It will be just like starting over!” - John Lennon


Stu McCorkindale -      After 20 years of being a modern perpetual ownership draft organization, the Twentieth Century Baseball Association’s American League embarked on a unique course this December. While the twenty team organization fully expected to begin its 21st season in March of 1995, (with equal doses of adjustments and complaints about the strike-based season that will provide the players for the season), sixteen of the league members returned to the league’s origins and began a new venture along the lines of a retro league.

     A sense of history, combined with real concern over the future of the national pastime, provided a fertile climate to turn a flippant remark into a concept that has taken on a life of its own. Faced with the unlikely (hopefully) event that the warring factions in Major League baseball’s labor dispute would cause the cancellation of the 1995 season, TCBA AL prez Bob Braun started to solicit ideas on how to deal with a setback of that magnitude. When he reached this writer it was suggested that if Fehr and Ravitch were a roadblock to going forward, then perhaps we should look at moving in the opposite direction. That conversation launched a month long series of brain storming sessions that provided an outline for a new venture to be presented to league members.  Braun opened the league directory and began calling members in inverse order of seniority. Fifteen calls later he had the 14 managers we needed to proceed with what has become (in deference to newsletter editor Larry Smith’s TCBA TODAY)  TCBA Yesterday.

     The league began play using the 1973 data disk, and proceeded backwards from there using 1972, ’71, ‘70, etc. in successive seasons. The sixteen managers were all assigned the original 1974 drafted roster that is the forerunner of their current franchise in TCBA Today. Since there are six charter members (Braun, Lafargue, Bob Wood, Gerry Hobbs, Dan Warren and Marty Fiehl) and the average TCBA experience is 12.3 years among the 16 league participants, there is a lot of identity with the players found on those rosters. Teams that drafted for the future in 1974 were faced with a rebuilding challenge as their young prospects start to disappear from the card set (disk set?) as we regress. Conversely, the teams that were “stuck” with some of the older veterans will now be able to count on those same players for years of reliable service.

      One of the challenges to realism any APBA league faces is the “20-20 hindsight” advantage we APBA managers enjoy over our real life counterparts. Invariably the best pitchers and most potent hitters see the most action and, best intentions aside, APBAball decisions tend to overly influence personnel decisions. To try and deal with these issues most leagues have various forms of player usage restrictions. Those restrictions are generally geared to “tactical” situations such as how many times your monster card aberration can be used in a series or how many innings your A&C relievers can throw against an opponent. The current TCBA has a well tested set of tactical usage rules that are most applicable to our new venture and will be adopted almost verbatim.

      However, those same rules do not address the unique problems that a retro league has to deal with in regard to “strategic” personnel decisions. Given the total clarity of what the “future” brings in any player transaction, there is the problem of a manager(s) going into the tank in any given season so that he may be better prepared with personnel and draft position for a future season. This can quickly lead to “gentlemen’s agreements” on who will win the pennant each season well in advance of that season’s actual starting date. TCBA members feel that league balance does more for the long term health of the league and that concern rightly supersedes the need for individual personal achievement. To help with controls needed to ensure competitive longevity, we called on two equally enlightened sources - Total Baseball and fellow APBA league, the Southern Baseball Confederacy.

     Total Baseball’s SABERmetric measurements of Total Player Runs and Total Pitching Index are being used to place a value on each player. On a seasonal basis each team will be facing a league wide “cap” (bad connotation associated with that word these days!) of combined total TPR and TPI points for an individual team. This is an attempt to ensure that a team cannot stock pile a majority of the best players for any given season and destroy league balance in the process. If you want to view this “cap” as a “salary cap” it can be expressed as a limit a team may “pay” its players with Total Baseball’s ratings acting as a “salary arbitrator”. Each team will have to keep a minimum of 30 “paid” players on its seasonal roster to avoid a 20 man team of stars sneaking under the cap.

     The Southern Baseball Confederacy of Dick Lawrence and Phil Crowther (with lots of help from Jon Pine and others) is probably the most experienced retro organization in the APBA community. One of their gems is the minimum usage rule that requires you to actually play your players and not stash them “on the farm”. A player that doesn’t meet minimum usage requirements is declared a free agent at the end of the season. This means you must suffer with a player’s ups and downs to keep him on your roster from year to year. It also discourages teams from monopolizing sparse talent at a key position such as catcher since you will not easily get all players enough action to hang on to them.

     This combination of a “cap” and a minimum usage rule doesn’t exactly cloud your vision of the “future” it just makes it more difficult to predict it with certainty. When combined with some upper limit usage restrictions such as limiting position players to actual games played and pitchers to actual starts and/or 125% of actual innings pitched, we feel it will go a long way towards flattening the advantages “retro hindsight” can provide.

     By making TCBA Yesterday a joint venture with the TCBA Today, we are able to minimize expense and communication challenges along with providing a test ground for new ideas for the modern league. Since we will be working backwards into the expansion decade of the 1960’s we do not anticipate any expansion of TCBA Yesterday. In fact, that was one of the organizational logics we employed in deciding on just sixteen teams to draw from a base of 24 major league clubs. As we proceed (recede?) the player pool will shrink from 24 to 20 to 18 and then finally 16 teams as we conclude (start?) the 1960’s.

        It’s time for us to start preparing for the “young blood” the 1973 rookie draft will add to our rosters. Word is that a gardener named Mays looks better than the .211 average he posted in 1973. There’s also a gentle giant named Frank Howard that might be counted on for some power and a kid named Looey from Venezuela who can play some shortstop and looks like he might steal a base or two once he learns the ropes. Pitching is thin except for a starter named Pappas who might be used down the road to send over to Jim McEneaney’s team for that well worn Frank Robinson fellow! I think I’ll lie low this year and wait until the ‘72 draft and take a shot at this Clemente kid I keep hearing so many good things about. Maybe I can get him to talk to my catcher Munson about the dangers of flying that little plane of his.


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