This is just silly fun in my spare time when I need to let down with something less stressful on the brain than chess or studying Spanish.
The idea is that Eli Schumpert and some colleagues from far in the future are using time travel to jump to favorite seasons and join chosen teams to help them to be contendors. Each post will come from Eli discussing the league as it passes, and his experiences in it, as well as those of his crew.
Eli’s chosen team usually includes a big home run hitter, whether or not he can hit for average. This first year is 1949, and he picked the Pirates with Ralph Kiner, who hit 54 home runs that year. The whole crew is with him because the the Pirates were pitiful that year. He basically had to replace their pitching staff.
Eli is a player I dreamed up with qualities I like: .320+ avg., 30+ home runs, 30+ stolen bases, and lots of extra base hits–basically a Stan Musial with speed. I threw in Juan Oquendo fielding abilities. He can play every position, most of them with “fielding one” capabilities. I created him with APBA’s Advanced Draft player edit from some obscure part-timer. I don’t even remember what year I pulled him from, much less which player.
Eli also has card numbers I wanted to make. I gave him a 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6, and then I built the rest of his numbers around the .320+ batting average, plenty of walks, not so many strikeouts, and otherwise a typical card.
With him is Cletus Fanger. “Fanger” means catcher in German. It’s also the way locals pronounce Finger, Tn. Since he has such a southern sounding name (to me), I went ahead and gave him a southern first name as well. Really, he is Sammy White of the 1954 Boston Red Sox. I played a 1954 replay, and Sammy drove in 100 runs from the #7 spot in the lineup. He throws pretty well, too, which is important for me in a catcher.
Jedidiah “Jed” Craig
Jedidiah Craig is 1971 Graig Nettles. Since I have a Cletus, I figured I’d have a Jedidiah, too. I like having a slick fielding third baseman. The first world series I even watched, when I was 9 years old, was in 1970 when Brooks Robinson dazzled the baseball world with his acrobatic fielding. Nettles repeated the feat, I believe in 1977, turning in every bit as fabulous a performance as Brooks did in 1970.
The third every day player is Connor Frederick, named after Chuck Connors, a former LA Dodger player who became the star of the 60’s TV show, The Rifleman. His last name is my middle name, which has been passed down three generations now (from my dad to me to my oldest son). He’s 1958 Jackie Jensen, who was also a reliable clutch hitter in my 1954 replay. Somewhere along the line in transferring computers, though, I lost my 1954 season disk, so I don’t have his 1954 player card. (I have Sammy White’s 1954 card because I transferred him to an all-star disk I created before I lost the 1954 disk.)
As a funny note, I didn’t spell my middle name correctly until I joined the military and saw my birth certificate for the first time. I always thought it was Fredrick!
As an APBA note, in my 1954 replay the Milwaukee Brewers won 30 straight games in July and August and beat out the San Francisco Giants for the National League championship. The Cleveland Indians won the American League pennant, but they tied the Red Sox, who had Eli Schumpert’s help. That was a few years ago, when I hadn’t made Eli as good as he is now. He batted .327 with 23 home runs, and he scored and drove in over 100 runs. Cleveland won a 2 out of 3 playoff against my Red Sox.
Because I want to make sure I’m turning teams into contenders or even runaway victors, Eli is bringing along a couple pitchers too.
Franklin Destry is 1975 Tom Seaver. I just made that name up right now with no rhyme nor reason. Ken Ferguson is 1970 Ferguson Jenkins.
Nolan Ryan is 1977 Nolan Ryan. Change of pace, I guess. I left him with the same name. We’ll assume he’s ageless and is still around to time travel in the distant future. I’ll have to leave him out if Eli’s crew goes to a 1970’s season, which they will.
Collins Rainey is 1974 Rollie Fingers. I chose that year because Fingers pitched a lot of innings, as usual. I based his new name on my family doctor. Archie Ringer is 1991 Dennis Eckersley. I didn’t want to use his fabulous 1990 season, as he was just too good that year.
That’s the crew from the future. Traveling the 1900’s and enjoying individual seasons. They generally only play in seasons before 1980 because they would be too easily discovered as non-existent Americans in the more modern age.
- OPINION: Don’t Forget Jimmie Foxx’s Baseball Accomplishments (outsidepitchmlb.com)