Bob Braun - As most of you know, our gentle friend, Gary Sibley, relinquished his TCBA duties prior to the current season, providing Ed Hebscher an opportunity to rejoin us after an 18-year absence. While Gary initially chose to carry on with TCBA under the Wilderness Wraiths banner, he has concluded that it is simply time to lay aside his cards and dice completely.
Gary recently wrote to Bob Wood the following:
“Reaching age 80 and facing daily coping with life issues, I have concluded that it is time for me to retire from TCBA Origins, which is my last TCBA league…It has been a wonderful addition to my life. But I am no longer able to focus the needed attention to justify continuing.”
Soft-spoken even in the most intense of moments, Gary has conducted his TCBA affairs with a class and dignity to be admired. He has been a treasured asset to our organization that will be sorely missed. One time, back in the days of the HoJo’s in Lancaster, Gary flew in from his duty station in the Philippines and presented us with a well-remembered graphic poster from The Firehouse, a well-remembered adult club in Manila. The poster disappeared at some point, no one claiming to have captured it to this day.
Mrs. Sibley often accompanied Gary to our meetings, and we even met a Sibley son at one HoJo’s gathering.
It has been said that Joe Dimaggio grew old with grace and dignity. Gary Sibley reached his 80th birthday with such grace that we didn’t even notice he had aged.
While saying goodbye is difficult, saying goodbye to a dear friend is impossible. We will always have you in our memory and in our hearts, Gary. We WILL see you later.
Here’s a couple of links that will help us keep Gary close:
With Ed Hebscher having already been assigned Gary’s Franchise #1 in Today, it seemed wholly appropriate that he should also be given the opportunity for Franchise #1 in Origins. Ed spent 15 seasons with Gold and Yesterday with his Newmarket team, so he is no stranger to our Retro world. He has accepted our Origins offer and will begin participation at the conclusion of this final Wilderness season.
Ed’s new team will play in London, Ontario as the Tecumsehs, an original Canadian baseball team.
For those who are not aware, Tecumseh was a legendary orator and fearsome Native American chief. Tecumseh attempted to create a broad-based Native American alliance to fight against the American push west. At one point, his brother Tenskwatawa, also known as The Prophet, disregarded Tecumseh’s advice and led an ill-advised attack on an American force. This Battle of Tippecanoe, as it was later dubbed, lasted all of about 20 minutes, the Native Americans quickly retreating into the forest after Tenskwatawa was killed. The American military force was led by William Henry Harrison, who used this overblown battle to enhance his reputation, sending him to the White House. Tippecanoe and Tyler, too!
Tecumseh was devastated, headed west, and was killed fighting for the British in the Great Lakes region during the War of 1812. William Henry Harrison delivered the longest Inauguration speech in history, 2 ½ hours in a March freezing rainstorm. He died of pneumonia just 30 days after becoming President, the shortest tenure in history. Tecumseh, it is said, had his revenge.
Jim McEneaney - All the best, Gary! Many wonderful memories from so many drafts, meals, and just wonderful conversations in so many varied restaurants and meeting rooms over the years. Central Pennsylvania is still a lovely place in mid-March (with the possible exception of a few annoying blizzards)... please stop by if you're ever in the neighborhood. But most of all, thank you for your friendship through all these years. Stay well, my friend!
Jim McEneaney - …and the Islander franchise unequivocally denies any knowledge of the Firehouse's whereabouts.
Bob Braun (2021) – It’s still there, Mac!
Jeff Hobbs - I'll echo Jim's comments. Gary had long been in the league when I joined back in 2005. Best of luck going forward.
Jim Lafargue – Gary, let me add my thanks for your participation over the years. We are more than grateful that we were able to able to bring you into TCBA as a member.
Tom Meade - It was a pleasure to meet you, Gary. The league will certainly miss you. Best wishes and may God bless you richly!
Al Keefer - Wish you all the best, Gary. It was a joy to have you in the leagues.
Mike Kane - Gary, it has been an absolute honor to have known you and call you friend over the last 20 odd years! Best wishes for you and the family.
Scott Brown - I am so sorry to hear you are leaving the TCBA Gary. If my memory serves me, we joined the league in the same year, 1981. I was all of 17 at the time and therefore have lived all of my adult life with you guys and the TCBA. I wish you all the best and will miss your involvement in the TCBA.
Gary Sibley - Thank you all for your kind words. TCBA has been a wonderful hobby which was enhanced significantly by the people in it. 40 years of participation shows clearly how much I valued it and that it certainly enhanced my life experience.
As I near 80, my baseball experience must come down to rooting for the Nationals and the FredNats, if and when I can get to their games.
I'll always treasure the friendships of TCBA and wish you all well.
Gerry Hobbs - The Islanders traveled to Cleveland to open the 1906 TCBA World Series. They were looking for their 4th straight championship. The Naps had won one back in 1902 so they were looking for # 2. Both teams won 99 games in the regular season, so the series looked to be dead-even. The games lived up to expectations and the series turned out to be a real crackerjack. All the games were nail-biters, and the final was a classic.
Game 1 – In a low scoring era the teams surprisingly combined for 5 runs in their 1st at bats. LI opened with 2 on an SF and a two out single. Tenney opened the bottom of the inning reaching on an error but was thrown out at the plate trying to score when the next batter singled. Cleveland kept on swinging the bat and scored once on an infield single and two more when Schlei blooped a double into right. LI tied the game in the 6th when Thomas tripled and stole home. CL got the run back in their half inning when Jack Hayden tripled Congalton home. Thomas’ sac fly tiued the game in the 8th but the Naps matched it in the bottom of the inning when Admiral Schlei got a 2-out triple and Hayden singled him home. With 2 down in the 9th Pfiester drilled Schafly to load the bases with 2 out (Schafly was out for the series). Jack was tossed out of the game and Bill Bernhard came in to pitch to Whitey Alpern who flew out to right. Final 5-4 Cleveland. Pfiester got the win and Bernhard got the 1-out save.
Game 2 – Doc White toed the rubber for the Isles looking to even the series. He was highly successful in that effort, tossing a dominating 3-hit shutout. Casey’s bases loaded fly ball opened the scoring in the 5th. The Isles added an insurance run in the 7th when White, himself, hit a sac fly scoring Courtney. In the complete game White walked two and pitched around 2 errors in the series evening win. It was a costly game for both teams as Whitey Alpern got hit with a pitch and had to miss the rest of the series. Bill Congalton was hit twice in the game and the second time it put him out until game 6 of the series.
Game 3 – The series moved to the Island. Just off the DL, Jack Taylor started for the Naps. Cleveland jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 3rd when Johnny Evers doubled in the game’s first run, and he scored on a Steinfeldt single. LI roared back with four 4th inning runs. Browne knocked in the 1st run. Courtney ground to Steinfeldt whose bad throw put the Isles up 3-2 and Kid Gleason singled up the middle for the 4th run. The teams traded runs in the 5th to make the score 5-3. Grimshaw’s single in the 7th scored another run for LI and a squeeze play in the same inning made it 7-3, LI. In the top of the 8th Lundgren got wild after two were out loading bases. Edmonston entered the game and Roy Hobbs was called op to hit. Ol’ Roy delivered a 2 run single to make the score 7-5. Bob Ewing finished the inning and hurled a scoreless 9th for the save. Lundgren got the win in relief.
Game 4 – Down 2 games to 1 the Naps came back with Jack Pfiester. He responded with a gem. Allowing 5 hits and no walks he faced just 32 batters in a 2-1 win for Cleveland. The Naps broke out of the gate with a run in the 1st. Evers doubled and scored on a Steinfeldt single. Recalling Doc White’s run scoring single, Priester chipped in with a single into center in the 4th to make the score, 2-0 CL. The Isles responded with a run in their next trip to the plate when Browne’s single knocked Grimshaw in. Long Island put runners in scoring position in both the 8th & 9th but Pfiester sucked it up to preserve the win and even the series.
Game 5 – The Naps looked to take the series lead and piled up a 5-1 lead through 6 innings. The 5th run came when Tenney stole home. They did all that despite a base running blunder that saw Hinchman pass Schlei between home and 3rd. That resulted in a double play for the Isles and just one run for the Naps. In the 7th it all fell apart for Cleveland. An error a walk and an error loaded the bases with nobody out. Bernhard relieved. One run scored on a force out. Casey’s single made it 5-3 and a fly ball cut the lead to one before Flick flew out to end the inning. Grimshaw opened the 8th with a double and the Islanders loaded the bases with nobody out for the 2nd straight inning. A fly ball tied the game and Graham’s 2-run single gave LI a 7-5 lead. Frank Owen relieved for LI and recorded the save facing just four batters.
Game 6 – Back to Cleveland where the Naps got Bill Congalton’s bat back in the lineup. LI scored in the 2nd when Courtney doubled home Moose Grimshaw. Schlei opened the Naps 2nd with a triple and Evers followed with a bloop single to tie the game. Evers stole 2nd and held there when Casey booted a grounder. Taylor bunted and Sparks tried to get the lead runner but threw the ball into left field go give the Naps a 2-1 lead. Another error by Casey plus a double by Harry Steinfeldt added 2 runs to the Nap’s side of the scoreboard. Jack Taylor avenged his game 3 loss shutting the Isles out over the last 7 innings to even the series at 3 games each in a 4-1 win for Cleveland.
Game 7 – A couple 18Z lefties came back on short rest in one for all the marbles. The game was scoreless through 4 innings thanks to a great throw by Browne that cut down a Nap runner at home in the 3rd inning. In the 5th LI manufactured a run on an error a bunt and a single by Thomas. An inning later the Naps tied it on a leadoff double by Evers who moved to 3rd on a grounder and scored on a “dying quail” by Charlie Hemphill. Hemphill then stole 2nd but White got Congalton and Schlei to escape further damage. In the 7th Hayden belted one to right the ball hooked foul at the last minute. In the 8th the LI put a runner on 2nd with one out, but Grimshaw and Bowerman failed to get him home. In the bottom of that inning Power nailed Steinfeldt trying to steal 2nd to end the inning. In the 9th Gleason got a 2-out double. Doc White was left into bat for himself, but he grounded out. Hemphill led off the bottom of the 9th with a single. One out later he stole 2nd. Schlei popped up and Hayden K’d. In the 10th, a grade-reduced Pfiester got the Isles, 3 up, 3 down. Bridwell walked to open the Nap’s 10th. Oldring hit for Pfiester and his sacrifice moved the runner into scoring position. Eddie Collins ran for Oldring. Fred Tenney came up and looped one into right-center. Collins beat Flick’s throw to the plate to give CL a 2-1 win and the 1906 TCBA World’s Championship. Pfiester pitched 27 2/3 inning and got 3 wins. I’d say he earned the MVP award.
Congratulations to Mac and Islanders on a great season. The series could not have been much closer or more fun to play.
Jim McEneaney – Congratulations, Gerry on an exciting series and an outstanding recap. For a bit, I thought my Long islanders might be able to duplicate the feat of my beloved New York Islanders of the late '70's-early 80's with four consecutive Cups. Alas though, not to be. I was really proud of how we hung in there after losing our starting 2Baseman and Shortstop for virtually the entire series, but what I'll remember most was the closeness of all the games and good time that sharing those few hours with a good old friend wrapped in "mortal combat" over the virtual diamond of a Century gone past.
The Cleveland Naps and the Long Islanders finished the regular season and first round of the playoffs with identical records, so it was probably quite appropriate that this series would not only go the full seven games but would actually take extra innings to determine a winner. And how appropriate too that both squads would finish with an identical 23 runs scored in the series. While LI held a slight advantage in both the bottom pitching and hitting lines it may well have been the Long Islanders' porous defense that did us in. As in the old Western, one might say, "We died with our boots....."
Again, Congratulations to the now defending Champ, and thanks to all of you for making this the enjoyable hobby that it is.