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Old 05-07-2019, 11:40 AM   #1
abell1198
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My Life Rewritten: A Journey Back With OOTP

My story begins in 1970. To some, that makes me old. To others, I'm a young man. It's really all a matter of perspective. My parents had only been dating a short time in a small college in northern Arkansas when.....surprise!!! Hi! Yeah, I came along. Well, fast forward and the parents have gone their separate ways. I'm growing up in a number of small southwestern Missouri towns with my mom, sister, and brother. I always loved baseball. Played little league like many kids. Played about every position, but finally settled into the position of catcher. I threw a lot of would-be base stealers out. I even threw a guy out with a man on third one time. Of course, my teammate couldn't get the ball back to me in time and a run scored. Oh well.

Unfortunately, my baseball playing days came to an end when I moved to a small town with no baseball beyond elementary school. Heartbroken? You bet. Devastated? Absolutely. But, life went on, although my love of the sport remained. My hometown, which I moved to in 1984, would eventually get high school baseball in my senior year of 1989, but by that time, I just stuck with what I knew, which was running track. No regrets, though. I made it to the state finals and had a great time doing it.

Now, I grew up in the Top Gun era, where everyone wanted to be a pilot thanks to Tom Cruise. I even tried to get into the Air Force Academy. I passed the physical fitness test in Tulsa with flying colors and got sent to Whiteman Air Force Base to get a medical physical. If you're not familiar with the base, it's in north central Missouri and is home to the stealth bomber. Anyway, back then, you had to have uncorrected 20/20 vision in order to be a pilot. I'll never forget that eye exam. Guy tells me I am -0.25 nearsighted and I can't be a pilot. Now, I've always (fortunately or unfortunately) been a person who tends to speak his mind. So I said to him, "Well, I guess we're done here." The man said, "Well, you can still be a navigator." My response? "Who wants to be a navigator?" And I walked out. Probably not one of my better decisions.

So, in the fall of '89, I headed off to college at the University of Missouri, with not a clue as to what I wanted to do with my life. For a brief moment, though, I thought about being a coach. I had always respected my football coach, who also happened to be my track coach as well. And I didn't even mind the coach who ended up managing the baseball team. So, why didn't I go into coaching? Stupid reason, really. I didn't think my parents would approve of that profession choice, which I know now was a ridiculous reason. They would have supported me no matter what. Well, by the time I graduated college in December of 1993, I was no closer to a career, although I was leaning toward my eventual career in law enforcement. And no, they werenít crazy about that decision either.

But that career is now over. I have retired from it after 20 years and moved on. Now, an interesting thing happens to you with a career change. You start looking back and re-evaluating your life decisions. I think that's what a mid-life crisis is. Questioning all of your decisions which brought you on the path you're on. The great thing that Marcus and company have done with OOTP is giving you the ability to go back in time. Not only that, but you can input yourself into the replay and see what your life might have been like. So, that's where My Life Rewritten begins. I'm going to go back in time in OOTP and become a high school baseball coach.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:56 AM   #2
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The Trip Back

So, here is my alternate reality. The date is December 19th, 1993. It's my birthday and I'm 23 years old. I'm graduating from the University of Missouri with a degree in History and a minor in Physical Education, and I have no clue what I'm doing with my life. It's like the end of high school all over again. So, I get a job delivering pizzas and wait for an opportunity to come my way. Fortunately, it doesn't take long. The baseball coach from my high school alma mater has moved on, leaving the school in the middle of the year for greener pastures. The school is in a tight spot and my phone rings.

"Allan. How would you like to become the manager of the high school baseball team?"

Go back to my hometown? Eh. Not exactly what I had in mind. Little town of 1300 people that I "escaped" from when I went to college, never to return to, or so I thought. But, it's a job, and it's a hell of a lot better than delivering pizzas. So, I pack my bags and make the four hour drive back to my hometown of Sarcoxie, Missouri, with all of the hopes of a young man starting out on his own in his first career job. Where will it take me? Well, I don't know that yet. Maybe the Majors, or maybe unemployed. Who knows? Maybe I'll end up being a high school coach for life, although I really hope not. Let's find out together, as we go back in time and rewrite my life's story.

The state of Missouri, like many states, has high school teams broken up into various levels, 1A-4A. There are nearly 500 teams in all, with 16 districts at each level. Sarcoxie is 2A, and that's where I'll begin. This dynasty will have the entire 1994 MLB baseball world, the NCAA, and Missouri high school baseball. It's enormous, I know. What can I say? Either go big, or go home. Well, which is what I do. I move back home to live with my mom and brother. My sister is still in college, so the house will be a little quieter. But moving back home? Ugh. Not what I had planned, but it's free and my mom is more than happy to have me back in the house. As is my little brother, who is 11 years younger and looks up to me. He's getting ready to turn 12 soon. And he's a handful, but all in all, a good kid.

I always enjoyed my home. Older home, built in the 1930's, and it had style. Character is what you call it as you get older. Wonderful four bedroom, two and a half bath house. Dining room had a nice bay window. The den had a wood burning stove. My room was upstairs, first door on the right. I spent a lot of time in that room, playing Strat-O-Matic baseball or football, while listening to music. Whenever I got in trouble with mom, she'd always send me to my room. Little did she know, that's exactly where I wanted to be. The window looked out over the covered front porch and down the hill where the road s-curved around the church near the house. I learned how to replace the glass in that window as a teenager, when I threw a notebook across my room in a fit of anger. Just my luck, the notebook hit the window and crash....there went the glass. Got into even more trouble for that. I had to walk to the local hardware store, carry a new piece of glass back, and pin and caulk the thing into the window frame. A fine punishment, if you ask me, since it taught me a skill while also teaching me a lesson.

It's January of 1994, and my house is on the opposite side of town as the high school. Itís a mile away and it takes me about 15 minutes to walk. Although, it's winter, so I'll just drive my good old 1964 Ford Falcon. Modified wheels and sound system. Man, I loved that car. Should have never gotten rid of it in real life. I never had a car in high school, so it feels a little weird as I drive into the parking lot for my first day. The administrators and teachers are the only familiar faces I see. All of the students are strangers. I don't know if that makes this new job easier or not. For now though, there's not much to do. It doesn't feel much like work, hanging out with the other coaches and "teaching" study hall and P.E. But hell, at least it's a paycheck, and the work doesn't feel like work. Thatís about to change, because baseball season is right around the corner.

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Old 05-08-2019, 01:13 PM   #3
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Getting Started

I pour myself into all of the baseball strategy books I can get my hands on. To be considered a success, we need to make the playoffs. And to do that, we need to win our district. We play in District 10 and you have to win your district in order to advance to the 16 team, single elimination playoff tournament. The schedule is pretty straight forward. You play 30 games, and you have to play the teams in your district at least twice, one home and one away. The rest of the schedule is up the schools, but with one restriction. You can only play teams in your class. So, no picking on 1A teams, and no getting thumped by bigger 3A and 4A schools. It looks like our road schedule is pretty brutal early on, but if the team is good, they should be able to deal with the travel. We have 14 home games, and 16 games on the road.

Itís still basketball season, but itís a small school, so I already know who my players will be when the time comes for baseball practice to begin. For those guys who arenít playing basketball, Iíve started some drills to improve their skills. The season starts in just a couple of months, so I donít have much time to figure out my teamís abilities. Here are a few of the players I think could do well for me this season.


SS Samir Shivers

Heís only a freshman, but this kid is ranked as the top shortstop in 2A. How lucky am I? Well, Samir has pretty good range in the field, but his abilities at the plate might need some work before the season begins. He has power, so he'll hit the ball hard when he makes contact.

CL Darius Turner

Another outstanding freshman. Darius, a lefty, throws a fastball and a slider. He can throw in the low to mid 90's. His control and movement are definitely above average for his age!

SP Doug Parlier

This kidís a junior, and ranked 5th in the state at 2A. He throws four different pitches to keep hitters off balance; a fastball, a cutter, a changeup, and the forkball. His fastball can reach the low 90ís. Dougís nickname is ďThe BullĒ. Iím not sure if that should worry me or not.

The funny thing about going back in time and making different decisions is the ripple effect. Think about it. If I make a different decision, such as taking another job, then someone else didnít get that job. Then they do something different, as so forth and so on. Well, the ripple effect has some far reaching consequences, as I find out when reading the newspaper. Bo Jackson signed with the California Angels in the offseason after two years with the White Sox. But then, the Angels turn around and trade Bo to the Dodgers for a pair of minor leaguers. 1994 was Boís last season in the Majors. I wonder if he plays longer with this trade. As Spring Training starts in the Majors, it appears Cal Ripken has just signed a 5-year, $21.9 million extension with the Orioles. Good to know heíll stay with Baltimore to continue his consecutive games streak.
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My Life Rewritten: A Journey Back With OOTP

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Old 05-09-2019, 01:56 PM   #4
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Opening Day, Friday, March 18, 1994

Itís Friday, March 18th, and baseball has finally started. Weíre on the road for our first game against Kelly High School, located in Benton, Missouri. Itís a long 4 Ĺ hour drive from our side of the state in the southwest to southeast Missouri. The kids donít seem to mind much since theyíre missing half a day of school. Iím just hoping the trip doesnít tire them out before they even take the field.

Iím nervous. Iím a brand new coach, and the papers have picked us to narrowly win our district this year. I thought the team looked good, but I didnít realize they were that good compared to the competition. Itís just one more thing on my plateÖ.the pressure of winning the district in my first season at the helm. Kelly, on the other hand, is one of the basement teams in the preseason predictions in District 2.

First pitch is at 4 pm. The guys look good in warm-ups, and Iíve picked Doug Parlier as my opening day starter. Heís the ace of the team, and Iím hoping he lives up to the hype and doesnít let the pressure get to him. When the game starts, the guys look nervous but confident. Fortunately, thereís not a lot of pressure from the hometown fans, as only 33 people sit in the bleachers.

We start the game with two groundouts but then reel off three straight hits. We score a run and have an early 1-0 lead. Parlier gets his first strikeout of the season in the 1st. In the 2nd inning, Parlier gets out of a bases-loaded jam with no outs. The kids are looking good under pressure so far. We cling to our one-run lead until the bottom of the 4th, when Parlier gives up a two-run shot to right. Down 2-1 in the top of the 5th, the guys respond, getting runners on the corners with only one out. Itís enough for them to chase Kellyís starter from the mound. Samir Shivers comes up to the plate. Heís gone 2 for 2 so far, with a single and double. His hot bat continued, as he smashes the ball over the center fielderís head for another double to tie the game!! Two batters later, junior right fielder John Graham comes up. Heís 0 for 2, with a fly out and pop-up. But he connects on the first pitch he sees and sends the ball over the right-center field wall for a three-run homer!!! Now up 5-2, I let Parlier pitch the 5th, but that will be it for him. After five innings, heís sitting at 97 pitches, and Iíve got plenty of pitching in the bullpen I can use. The 6th is scoreless, but our bats come out blazing again in the 7th. We score three times to push the lead to 8-2. Freshman center fielder Jon Stevens highlights the inning with a two-run triple! Freshman righty Jeremy Williams pitched the 6th and 7th for us. He gave up a run in the 7th, but we still hold an 8-3 lead. The guys score three more runs in the 8th to make it 11-3, highlighted by Graham hitting a two-run double to left center. I bring in another freshman reliever, Mike Biggerstaff, to pitch the 8th. He gives up a couple of hits and a run but strikes out two as well. Going into the bottom of the 9th, we have an 11-4 lead. Biggerstaff stays in the game and gets two more Kís, but he also loads the bases. Freshman Darius Turner is called into the game. Heís my closer, and I want to see what he can do under pressure. He gives up a base hit and allows a run, but then strikes out the next batter to finish the game. We win 11-5 and are off to a good start. Sure, we have some things to work on, but Iím more confident now that the first game is under our belts. Our home opener is on Monday, so I tell the guys to enjoy their win and have fun during their weekend.

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Current Dynasty:
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My Life Rewritten: A Journey Back With OOTP

Completed Dynasties:
World Series League
March Madness 2015

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Old 05-11-2019, 03:05 PM   #5
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Monday, March 21, 1994

Itís time for our second game of the year, as well as our home opener. Itís the first of three games at home this week. Today, we face off against the Marionville Comets. Iím familiar with Marionville. Itís only about 30 minutes away, and we played them in football and basketball regularly because we were in the same conference. While we are in District 10, Marionville is playing in District 9. Theyíre a favorite to win their district, so Iím expecting this to be a tough game. Iím pleasantly surprised to see 63 people in the bleachers for the game. Honestly, most of them are students who stayed after school to attend, but I do see a few parents in the stands as well. Iíve tapped junior John Daves as todayís starter. He can throw four pitches, none of them particularly well, though. Letís just say his control needs some work. He tends to leave the ball up, and that can spell trouble depending on which way the wind is blowing.

The game starts and Daves surprises me a little. He gives up a leadoff single but then records two Kís. He allows another hit, but then gets his third strikeout of the inning to finish the 1st. My Bears donít do so well. Although we get a base hit, a 6-4-3 double play sends us back to the dugout. Daves doesnít fare so well in the 2nd, giving up three hits, as two runs score to put us in a 2-0 hole. The 3rd is better, but not for our bats. Itís not until the 4th that the guys put something together. John Graham delivers a 2-RBI double to deep center to help us tie the game. It stays tied until the 7th, as Marionville gets a double and single in the inning, which leads to a run. They add another run in the 8th, as our bats are silenced. Down 4-2 in the 9th, Graham leads off with a double, but heís stranded there, as two of our players go down swinging, as another flies out. We lose the game 4-2 for our first loss of the season.

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My Life Rewritten: A Journey Back With OOTP

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Old 05-13-2019, 12:39 PM   #6
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Tuesday, March 22, 1994

Weíre facing another Comet team, this one from Alton, for our third game of the year. Alton is one of the better teams in District 3, picked to finish third. Iíve got junior Brian Leonard on the mound. Heís got an arsenal of six pitches. Unfortunately, his control needs a lot of work. But, he can reach the low 90ís with his speed. Now, hopefully, he can reach the strike zone with that speed. We had a better turn out for this game, with 98 people in the stands. Leonard starts the game out by retiring the side in order and recording two Kís. We record two quick outs, but then the bats get hot. We pound out four straight hits, highlighted by John Graham hitting a two-run homer to right. We end the 1st inning up 3-0. Alton gets a sac fly in the 2nd to score a run, but we manage to crank out five more hits in the bottom half of the inning. Three more runs score and weíre up 6-1. Needless to say, my confidence in my team is pretty high. But then the Comets start to figure Leonard out. Three hits and three runs later, and Alton is right back in it, trailing 6-4. Our bats fall silent in the 3rd. Alton hits a triple and scores another run on a sac fly to make it 6-5 in the 4th. My boys answer with a run of their own, and itís 7-5 after four. Leonard implodes in the 5th. A hit by pitch, a wild pitch, and a walk is the sign his control is failing. I think about getting a reliever up, but I want to see if Leonard can turn things around. He canít, and I make the mistake of waiting too long. By the time my reliever is warmed up, Leonard has given up a double and two singles. Four runs score and weíre trailing 9-7. I bring in freshman Bill Sams to shut the door, but he too gives up a hit. A two-run double, in fact, and when the top of the 5th ends, weíre down 11-7. I think we can turn things around, as my bullpen is keeping their bats quiet now. Unfortunately, their Ďpen is doing the same to ours. We lose the game 11-7 and drop to 1-2 on the year.

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__________________
"Working on my OOTP obsession one day at a time."

Current Dynasty:
Collegiate Baseball Association
My Life Rewritten: A Journey Back With OOTP

Completed Dynasties:
World Series League
March Madness 2015

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Old 05-14-2019, 01:48 PM   #7
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Thursday, March 24, 1994

Apparently, two straight losses will kill attendance. Only 21 people come out to see our fourth game of the year. Weíre playing El Dorado Springs, who are 0-3 to start the season. The Bulldogs are a middle of the pack team in District 13, who are obviously having some early season struggles. Iíve got Doug Parlier back on the mound and Iím feeling pretty good about our chances today. Then again, El Dorado Springs has their ace on the hill as well. Doug gets a strikeout in the 1st, and two more in the 2nd, but itís apparent to me this is going to be a pitcherís duel. Parlier has five Kís through the 3rd and hasnít allowed a hit. He allows a leadoff double to start the 4th but shuts the Bulldogs down after that. Whenever my Bears get on base, it seems theyíre either stranded or doubled up. Finally, in the 6th, Melvin Campa singles, followed by a double from Chris Gause. Samir Shivers flies out to right, but itís deep enough for Campa to come home and give us a 1-0 lead. I keep Parlier in the game through the 7th and then turn it over to my bullpen. Parlier goes seven, striking out eight and giving up only two hits. Bill Mills holds our lead in the 8th. But in the bottom half of the inning, we lose our first player this season to injury. Third baseman Josh Quinn injured his back while breaking up a double play sliding into second base. Heís expected to miss three weeks. ďBucketĒ as heís called was hitting .294 this season. Quinn is one of the faster players on the team, and that speed will be missed on the basepaths. I bring in Darius Turner to close the game out, and he does the job. We win the game 1-0 and move to 2-2 on the young season.

After a week of play, I think the guys are doing well but could be doing much better. Weíre only four games in, with 26 more to go. First baseman Chris Gause is hitting .600 so far, good enough for second in 2A. Likewise, right fielder John Graham is second in 2A in RBI with 10.

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My Life Rewritten: A Journey Back With OOTP

Completed Dynasties:
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:04 PM   #8
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Friday, March 25, 1994

Weíre on the road for the second straight Friday. Again, itís a 4 Ĺ drive, this time to Louisiana, Missouri to play the Louisiana Bulldogs. I canít say Iíve ever been there before. Louisiana sits right along the Mississippi River, northwest of St. Louis, but closer to Hannibal. They were picked to finish second in District 6 and are 2-2 so far this year. Iíve got John Daves slated to start his second game of the year. We start out well in the 1st inning, getting four hits and two more runners on base with walks. Five runs score, highlighted by Chris Hadleyís 2-RBI triple. Daves, meanwhile, is on point, not allowing a hit until the 3rd. Louisiana finally gets on the board in the 4th with a solo shot, making the score 5-1. Our bats cool off, and the Bulldogs score again in the 6th to creep closer 5-2. Fortunately, we get a run on a sac fly in the 7th to make it 6-2, but Iím still nervous. I go to my bullpen in the bottom of the 7th, bringing in sophomore Justin Schmitt. Justin is my emergency starter and hasnít played yet this year, so Iím anxious to see what he can do. Iím happy with the result. He allows a hit but doesnít give up any runs. Mike Biggerstaff comes into the game for me to pitch the 8th. He gives up a hit, but we get out of the inning by turning a double play. We come out swinging in the top of the 9th and load the bases on three singles. With two outs, John Graham knocks the ball over the left field wall for a GRAND SLAM!!! Now up 10-2, I bring Danny Worley in to pitch the 9th. Worley promptly loads the bases with no outs on a walk and two singles. With an eight-run cushion, I decided to let him stay in and he is able to collect himself. A fly out, strikeout, and ground out later, weíre a happy team boarding the bus for our trip home. Weíre back to a winning record, standing now at 3-2 on the year.

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__________________
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Current Dynasty:
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My Life Rewritten: A Journey Back With OOTP

Completed Dynasties:
World Series League
March Madness 2015
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:57 AM   #9
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Monday, March 28, 1994

Weíre back on our home field for our sixth game of the season. Our opponent is the Southwest Trojans from Washburn, Missouri. Southwest is in our district, so weíll see them again two more times this season. Although I wasnít around to make this schedule, the rule is we have to play our district teams twice a year at the least, one home and one away. Any other games are scheduled with any opponent from any district, as long as itís a 2A school. So far this season, Southwest is 2-3, dropping their first three games, but winning their last two. They were predicted to finish near the bottom of the district, but theyíre gaining momentum from winning two in a row on the road, so Iím wary, to say the least. Brian Leonard gets the start today, and the turnout for the game is great, with 92 fans at the game. Leonard gives up a double on the first pitch but turns things around with a strikeout and two fly outs to escape the inning. From the looks of our bats early in the game, it looks like this may be another pitcherís duel. Leonard continues to pitch well, and the game is scoreless until the bottom of the 6th. We get two singles and an error to load the bases. Samir Shivers flies out, but itís deep enough to score the run. Unfortunately, John Graham follows up by grounding into a 5-4-3 double play. My Bears lead 1-0 after six. Leonard pitches in the 7th and gets two outs, but I replace him with Bill Sams after he gives up a base hit. Sams rings up the next batter and we cling to our one-run lead. We go into the 8th still leading by one, and things are looking good, with two outs and a man on second. But Sams gives up a base hit down the third base line, scoring a run and tying the game up. I bring in Jim Gillespie to stop the Trojan momentum, but things start to fall apart. Gillespie gives up three straight hits, and Southwest scores three runs to go up 4-1. We go down in order in the 8th and 9th to lose it by the same score. We drop this one and are 3-3 on the year.

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__________________
"Working on my OOTP obsession one day at a time."

Current Dynasty:
Collegiate Baseball Association
My Life Rewritten: A Journey Back With OOTP

Completed Dynasties:
World Series League
March Madness 2015
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Old 05-19-2019, 01:03 PM   #10
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Tuesday, March 29, 1994

Our seventh game of the season is at home, and the schedule appears brutal for us early on, as 5-1 Fayette comes into town after a four-hour drive from central Missouri. The Falcons are picked to finish second in District 7, but theyíve started out hot, winning five of their first six games. There are 99 people in attendance today, many of which Iím sure came out to see Doug Parlier pitch. Fayetteís ace is on the mound as well, so I donít expect much out of my offense again today. Things are going well for Doug through two innings, but I worry about him in the 3rd when he gives up a solo home run and a double to back-to-back batters. He recovers, though, and we get out of the inning only down a run. After recording two outs in the bottom of the 3rd, we catch some lucky breaks. Thanks to an error, we get a runner on second base. Two wild pitches later, and weíve tied up the game without recording a hit. Sometimes, I guess, you just have to take what you can get. The game stays tied until the 5th when Jon Stevens gets a base hit for us. An error and a walk later, and Fayette is going to their bullpen with the bases loaded with one out. Samir Shivers takes the 0-1 pitch deep to right for a sac fly, as Stevens tags up and comes home to give us the lead. I keep Doug in the game because heís continuing to pitch well. I decide to go to the Ďpen in the 8th, bringing in Bill Mills. He puts the Falcons down in order, and Danny Worley does the same for us in the 9th, as we hold on to win the game, 2-1. Weíre back on the winning side of things and are 4-3 on the year.

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Old 05-20-2019, 12:49 PM   #11
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Thursday, March 31, 1994

Our third and final game of this homestand pits us against the Lafayette County Huskers. The Huskers play in District 15 and are one of the better teams in their district. They werenít the preseason favorites in their district, but theyíre off to a hot start at 6-1. With our struggles at the plate over the past few games, Iím not too confident about todayís game. But the fans keep coming out to see us play, with 108 people at the park. Iíve got John Daves on the hill today, and he boosts my confidence early, striking out two in the 1st, as our opponent goes down in order. In the 2nd, Samir Shivers doubles and comes home two batters later thanks to a Lafayette County fielding error. My confidence just got a little higher now that weíre on the board. Daves is pitching well, but in the 4th, he allows two straight base hits to start the inning. With men on the corners and no outs, we trade a run for the double play. Our bats have gone flat, and at the end of four, the game is tied 1-1. In the 5th, Daves allows two more hits, putting men on the corners again. A ground out to short allows another run to score and we now trail 2-1. I pull the plug on Daves and go to the bullpen. That works for an inning and a third, but the Huskers blow the game open in the 7th. Jeremy Williams starts the inning for me, but with one out, the bases are loaded. So, I bring in Bill Mills to shut it down. But Mills ends up walking a run in, then gives up a 2-RBI double. There are two more RBI singles in the inning, and when the dust settles, weíre down 7-1. Lafayette County pretty much owns my hitters, and they go on to win the game by the same score. We drop to 4-4 on the year, and whatever confidence I had before the game is completely gone now.

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Old 05-21-2019, 03:54 PM   #12
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Friday, April 1, 1994

My lack of confidence remains, as we head about 15 minutes down the road to face off against our arch rivals, the Pierce City Eagles. The Eagles have started off well and sit atop our district at 7-1. Itís not time for district play yet, so I know weíll meet up again with these guys two more times this season. There are only 53 fans in the stands for this one, and roughly half are rooting for us. Brian Leonard is on the mound today. We reach on an error in the 1st, but otherwise, we accomplish nothing. Our hitting is still MIA. Leonard allows a leadoff single and walks two in the inning, but recovers nicely with a ground out and two Kís to keep Pierce City off the board. Center fielder Corey Downs finally breaks out of his 0 for 13 start to the season with a single in the 2nd. Chris Hadley followed that up with a double down the third base line. Downs has got some speed and was able to score to put us up 1-0. In the bottom of the 2nd, Leonard issues two more free passes, but the guys turn a double play to save us. Something about playing a hated rival must have brought the fire to our bats because they suddenly came alive in the 3rd. We belt out two singles and a double to go up 2-0. A walk loads the bases, then an E6 puts us up 3-0. After a strikeout, we score three more times compliments of another error at short and two walks. Now up 6-0, Pierce City pulls their starter after only 2 ⅓ innings. I think Leonardís confidence must have gotten a boost with a six-run lead, as he recorded two strikeouts in the bottom of the 3rd, putting the Eagles down in order. Not only that, he records two more Kís in the 4th. Another error on Pierce City in the 5th, combined with two singles and a 2-RBI double by Chris Gause push our lead to 8-0. Leonard gets another K in the bottom of the 5th, but heís running out of gas. After giving up a leadoff single to start the 6th, I turn it over to my bullpen and bring in Mike Biggerstaff. Mike doesnít impress me, however, as he walks the first batter he faces, then gives up a 2-RBI double. By the end of the 6th, our lead is down to 8-3. In the 8th, we are able to load the bases with one out, as Pierce City commits their 6th error of the game. We push two runs across and push our lead out to 10-3. We give up a run in the 9th, but go on to win the game 10-4. Weíre now 5-4 on the year with this big win!

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Old 05-22-2019, 05:04 PM   #13
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Monday, April 4, 1994

We hit the road again for our tenth game of the season. Itís another long road trip to southeast Missouri, nearly four hours to Neelyville. The Tigers are 5-4 this season and were picked to finish second in District 3. Iíve got Doug Parlier back on the mound, which gives me hope of winning this game. My guys do a good job to start the game, drawing two walks and capitalizing with Samir Shivers hitting a two-run double to give Doug an early cushion. Iím hoping itís all he needs. But he makes me nervous in the bottom half of the inning when he gives up back-to-back singles with two outs. He gets out of the inning, though, and we hold our two-run lead. Neelyville gets on the board in the 4th with a solo shot to cut the lead to 2-1. Doug gives up two more base hits in the 6th but again manages to escape the inning as we cling to our one-run advantage. I pull Parlier after six and Jim Gillespie pitches a scoreless 7th for us. With one out in the 8th, we draw three straight walks to load the bases. The Tigers bring in a new pitcher and Corey Downs hits the first pitch he sees for a 2-RBI double to right center. Chris Hadley is intentionally walked to load the bases again to bring up Blake McManus. Blake has struggled at the plate, but on this at-bat, he works the count full before delivering an RBI single to right. Two batters later, the inning is over, but we now lead 5-1. Gillespie remains in the game for us, giving up a run in the inning to make it 5-2. I get my closer, Darius Turner, to warm up in the top of the 9th to prepare for the save. Shivers gives us an insurance run with an RBI double in the 9th, and Turner sits the Tigers down in order to give us the win, 6-2. We move up to 6-4 on the year and are currently tied for second in our district.

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Old 05-23-2019, 06:07 PM   #14
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Season update

Well, weíre ten games into our season, ⅓ of the way through the regular season. We sit at 6-4, only 1 Ĺ games back of our rivals, Pierce City. My shortstop, Samir Shivers, leads the team with a .400 batting average, while first baseman Chris Gause is hitting .371. Right fielder John Graham is the only player who has hit home runs with three, but after his initial hot start, his batting average has plummeted to .209. Graham also leads the team in RBI with 14, which is good enough for third in 2A. Speed is not our strong suit. Three players have one stolen base each. On the pitching side, Doug Parlier is my best pitcher at 4-0, 1.44 ERA. Closer Darius Turner has two saves and a 2.70 ERA. Stopper Danny Worley has yet to allow an earned run, pitching five innings in five appearances. Parlier leads the team in strikeouts with 20. Starter Brian Leonard has 18 Kís.

Itís Opening Day in the Majors. Some highlights of the day included Jose Rijo of the Cincinnati Reds humiliating my favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals, with 10 strikeouts in a 4-0 win. Bret Saberhagen of the New York Mets shutout the Chicago Cubs 7-0 on a five-hit, eight strikeout performance. Lenny Dykstra of the Philadelphia Phillies went 6 for 6 against the Colorado Rockies in the Phils 12-5 win. Matt Williams of the San Francisco Giants hit three home runs in a 6-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Candlestick Park. Finally, and it should come as no surprise, Greg Maddux of the Atlanta Braves shutout the San Diego Padres 4-0. Maddux allowed only five hits and struck out 10 in the road game at Jack Murphy Stadium.

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Old 05-24-2019, 10:54 AM   #15
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Nice concept and storyline... well-written.

As you can see, I'm a Cardinal fan, too... used to listen to Harry Caray on KMOX at night in the early 50s... Stan "The Man" Musial is my all-time favorite athlete... he was class personified... he was the first $100,000 man, I think... once, after a poor season... he gave the team $25,000 back from his salary.

I don't think that would happen very often today... but it should... there are a lot of overpaid, poor-producing players today.

I wish they would put performance clauses in... over-produce, get more... under-produce, you would get less.... think that would be the fair way to do business.

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Old 05-24-2019, 12:02 PM   #16
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Thanks EC!! It means a lot coming from you! I have to admit, your Southern Association dynasty was my inspiration. As a student of history, I found it very interesting to hear about the past from your perspective.

I agree about player salaries and performance. It's why I think owners will shy away from long term contracts in the future, although some are already going that route. I've always wondered why there aren't more performance clauses used in MLB.

The Cardinals are the best, though! Went to the St. Louis chapter of the Baseball Writer's Association dinner in January and it was great to see the legends there (Lee Smith, Ozzie Smith, Bob Costas), as well as the up and coming players (Harrison Bader, Jack Flaherty, Jordan Hicks). Miles Mikolas, Matt Carpenter, and Mike Shildt were also there, which just made it that much better!
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Old 05-24-2019, 08:42 PM   #17
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Tuesday, April 5, 1994

Game 11 is on the road, which is where weíll be for five of the next six games. We travel north to Stockton, which is about an hour away. I remember Stockton well. They always seemed to kick our butts in football every year, as we were in the same conference. But I did win both our conference and district 100m races on Stocktonís track in 1989, so they're not all bad memories. I ran my personal best in the 100m in that district meet, an 11.2, which sent me to the state meet in Jefferson City. We also broke our school record in the 4x100 relay. I'll never forget it because it was the fastest I've ever run in my life. I was the anchor, and the third leg was a sophomore who just happened to also play linebacker for us. Well, I misjudged how fast he was coming and we nearly botched the exchange. But the adrenaline dump I got thinking "Dino" (pronounced Dee-no) was about ready to run me over pushed me into overdrive. We were in 5th when I got the baton and we finished in third. I was gaining on the other two but ran out of real estate before I could catch them. My split was clocked at 10.6 seconds, but my coach blew it off as not possibly being accurate. I assured him it was.

The Tigers are currently 5-5 and in fourth place in District 13. John Daves gets the start today. Heís 1-1 on the year, with a 3.45 ERA. Thereís a decent turnout for the game, with 106 people in the stands. In the top of the 1st, we record two quick outs, but then Chris Gause delivers a triple on a hard hit ball to deep left center. John Graham then breaks out of his hitting slump and brings Gause home on a base hit to left, giving us an early 1-0 lead. Daves had a bit of a rocky start, allowing a hit and throwing a wild pitch, but he gets out of the inning unscathed. Daves pitches well, though, shutting down the Tigerís bats. Itís the best Iíve seen him pitch all year. In the top of the 5th, Blake McManus hits a leadoff single. My catcher, Billy Hunt, is a terrible hitter. Weíre working on it, but Iím not sure how fast heíll improve. But he can bunt, so he drops down a great bunt on the first base line to advance McManus on the sacrifice. Jon Stevens then delivers a double to center to score McManus, giving us a 2-0 lead. Daves keeps pitching well to stay in the game, getting lots of ground outs. McManus leads off the 7th with a double to center. Two outs later, he comes around to score on Chris Gauseís double to right center. Leading 3-0, I keep Daves in the game but get the bullpen warming with my emergency starter, Justin Schmitt. Daves makes it through the 7th, giving up a single for only the second Stockton hit of the game. We load the bases in the 8th, but canít score. Schmitt comes in and allows a leadoff walk, but a 4-6-3 double play erases it. Schmitt faces three batters to get through the 8th. Amazingly enough, Schmitt is one of my less talented pitchers, but heís not allowed a run in three innings pitched over three appearances. I bring in Danny Worley to close out the game. He allows a single, but ends the game and earns the save. We win the game 3-0, and our record improves to 7-4.

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In Major League news, Chuck Finley of the California Angels pitched a shutout against the Minnesota Twins in the Metrodome, as the Angels win their opener 6-0. Finley allowed only five hits and struck out three, but he did walk four batters in the game.

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Old 05-26-2019, 01:44 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by abell1198 View Post
Game 11 is on the road, which is where weíll be for five of the next six games. We travel north to Stockton, which is about an hour away. I remember Stockton well. They always seemed to kick our butts in football every year, as we were in the same conference. But I did win both our conference and district 100m races on Stocktonís track in 1989, so they're not all bad memories. I ran my personal best in the 100m in that district meet, an 11.2, which sent me to the state meet in Jefferson City. We also broke our school record in the 4x100 relay. I'll never forget it because it was the fastest I've ever run in my life. I was the anchor, and the third leg was a sophomore who just happened to also play linebacker for us. Well, I misjudged how fast he was coming and we nearly botched the exchange. But the adrenaline dump I got thinking "Dino" (pronounced Dee-no) was about ready to run me over pushed me into overdrive. We were in 5th when I got the baton and we finished in third. I was gaining on the other two but ran out of real estate before I could catch them. My split was clocked at 10.6 seconds, but my coach blew it off as not possibly being accurate. I assured him it was.

The Tigers are currently 5-5 and in fourth place in District 13. John Daves gets the start today. Heís 1-1 on the year, with a 3.45 ERA. Thereís a decent turnout for the game, with 106 people in the stands. In the top of the 1st, we record two quick outs, but then Chris Gause delivers a triple on a hard hit ball to deep left center. John Graham then breaks out of his hitting slump and brings Gause home on a base hit to left, giving us an early 1-0 lead. Daves had a bit of a rocky start, allowing a hit and throwing a wild pitch, but he gets out of the inning unscathed. Daves pitches well, though, shutting down the Tigerís bats. Itís the best Iíve seen him pitch all year. In the top of the 5th, Blake McManus hits a leadoff single. My catcher, Billy Hunt, is a terrible hitter. Weíre working on it, but Iím not sure how fast heíll improve. But he can bunt, so he drops down a great bunt on the first base line to advance McManus on the sacrifice. Jon Stevens then delivers a double to center to score McManus, giving us a 2-0 lead. Daves keeps pitching well to stay in the game, getting lots of ground outs. McManus leads off the 7th with a double to center. Two outs later, he comes around to score on Chris Gauseís double to right center. Leading 3-0, I keep Daves in the game but get the bullpen warming with my emergency starter, Justin Schmitt. Daves makes it through the 7th, giving up a single for only the second Stockton hit of the game. We load the bases in the 8th, but canít score. Schmitt comes in and allows a leadoff walk, but a 4-6-3 double play erases it. Schmitt faces three batters to get through the 8th. Amazingly enough, Schmitt is one of my less talented pitchers, but heís not allowed a run in three innings pitched over three appearances. I bring in Danny Worley to close out the game. He allows a single, but ends the game and earns the save. We win the game 3-0, and our record improves to 7-4.


In Major League news, Chuck Finley of the California Angels pitched a shutout against the Minnesota Twins in the Metrodome, as the Angels win their opener 6-0. Finley allowed only five hits and struck out three, but he did walk four batters in the game.

My goodness, you were really a speedster... I never had any success in junior high and high school, but I was a good rec league player in baseball, softball and basketball... we often won the league title... but the junior high and high school never gave any of us the time of day... none of us ever made the school teams... except in junior high basketball... a couple of my teammates made it.... and several of us made the baseball team... I was a good fielding third basmanÖ and a so-so hitter with no power.

One of my fondest sports memories was the time the unbeaten high school freshman team entered the city recreation league tournament... my playground team has won the regular league title... we were also unbeaten... we met the high school frosh in the finals and whipped them 77-44... wow, was their coach surprised.

Despite this, none of my team made the varsity the next year when we tried out... but the players we destroyed did make the varsity.

I peaked early as an athlete... I was among the best players in all sports from age 11 until about 14... but I never got any better... after age 15, I dropped back to just a little better than average athlete.

Still I played rec and church league sports fairly well until I was 55... so I ended up a pretty good player.
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Old 05-26-2019, 03:44 PM   #19
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Thursday, April 7, 1994

Our next game is our final home game before a four-game road trip. Today weíre playing the Osceola Indians, who are currently 5-6 and tied with two other teams in the basement of District 14. However, theyíve won their last four games and are only two games back in their district. Iím a little concerned, especially facing a hot team. Given, weíre on a three-game winning streak of our own, so maybe thereís nothing to be concerned about. Only 65 fans come out for the game, which is a bit surprising to me. Brian Leonard is on the mound today. So far, heís 1-1 with a 6.06 ERA. He gets through the first couple of innings okay, but Iím not convinced heíll be able to hold it together if the game stays tight. My concerns are resolved in the bottom of the 2nd, however. Osceolaís defense isnít very good. They committed two errors in the inning, plus walk three of our guys. We add a couple of base hits and score four times. Leonard gives up a run in the 4th to cut our lead to 4-1, but we answer the call in the bottom half of the 4th. We score three runs on four hits and another Indians error to push the lead to 7-1. I pull Leonard after five innings and hand the game over to my bullpen. Bill Sams comes in to pitch for us, allowing a hit and striking out two in the 6th. My Bears plate two more runs on two hits and two errors to extend our lead to 9-1. Sams pitches the 7th, Jeremy Williams pitches the 8th, and Justin Schmitt takes care of the 9th, as we go on to win by the same score. We win our fourth straight game and move to 8-4 on the year.

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In Major League news, Kirby Puckett got his 2000th hit in a 7-4 loss to the California Angels (one day earlier than in real life).

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Old 05-27-2019, 02:29 PM   #20
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Friday, April 8, 1994

Itís another long four-hour road trip, this time south of St. Louis to the town of Crystal City. The Hornets are currently 6-6 and are in fourth place in District 2. Doug Parlier is back on the hill for us, so Iím pretty confident about todayís game. Weíre hitting well, and our best pitcher is starting. There are only 30 people in the stands. Pretty sad, if you ask me. The guys come out swinging, smacking three hits and scoring twice to give Parlier a 2-0 lead before he ever heads out to pitch. Doug looks good in the first inning. He gives up a hit, but no runs score and he gets a K. The 2nd inning, however, is another story. Parlier allows two base hits, then walks three straight batters!! With the score tied, he gives up another hit, which scores another run and puts us down 3-2. In the bottom of the 3rd, Dougís control problems continue, as he gives up a hit and walks two more batters to load the bases with only one out. I head out to the mound, concerned that Doug is injured. He says to me, ďIíve got plenty of juice left.Ē My response to him? ďWell Doug, your juice isnít going over the plate.Ē Against my better judgment, I leave Parlier in the game. He gives up a deep fly ball which scores the runner from third, then gets a ground out. Weíre now down 4-2 after three. We go down in order in the 4th and 5th, and Doug looks like his normal self, so I keep him in the game. I pull Parlier after five innings because his pitch count is getting too high and bring in Jim Gillespie for the 6th. He gives up a two-out triple, but heís able to get us out of the inning without further damage. We break the game open in the 7th behind two walks, two hits, and a Crystal City error. Four runs cross the plate and we take back the lead, now up 6-4. Gillespie pitches us through the 7th inning and maintains our two run advantage. Danny Worley holds the 8th for us. In the 9th inning, with two outs, Chris Gause and John Graham hit back-to-back jacks to make it 8-4. Gause is only the second player on the team to hit a homer. The other is Graham, who hopefully is breaking out of his hitting slump. Darius Turner pitches the 9th for us, as we go on to win our fifth straight game!! Our record is now 9-4, and I learn after we return home that our rival, Pierce City, lost their game, making us tied with them for the district lead!!

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In Major League news, Greg Maddux signed a seven-year, $52.8 million extension to stay with the Atlanta Braves through 2001, with an opt-out year in 1997. Based on what Maddux made in real life, which is over $11 million more over the same time span, I can only assume he'll opt out in 1997 and get a bigger contract.

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