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Old 07-05-2018, 11:20 AM   #1
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The History of the TABL

The Tornado Alley Baseball League is a 16 team fictional major league divided into two sub leagues(East/West). Each of the sixteen represented states supports an entire ML organization including all three minor league teams. Each state also boast at least one feeder college and a feeder baseball academy for high school age prospects.

The TABL plays a 140 game schedule where only the league champions move on to the postseason. The TABL has just concluded its 25th season with the league starting in 1966.

Each state also sponsors a team in the Battle of the States Tournament that takes place every five seasons where each state is represented only by TABL players that were born in that state.

TABL Minor Leagues

TABL Feeder Leagues
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Old 07-06-2018, 12:00 AM   #2
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The Crush Dynasty

It's no coincidence that the Chattanooga Crush dynasty
coincided with the prime years of the best player in the
TABL's short history. Dan Seelbinder won 11 consecutive
East Pitcher of the Year Awards from 1970 to 1980. The
Crush won seven of their eight East Pennants and four of
their five TABL Championships during that same period.
During this amazing 11 season run the Crush led the East
in runs allowed per game each season with a low of 3.2
runs per game in 1976 to a high of 4.4 runs per game in
1981, Seelbinder's first as the Crush closer.

During his remarkable career Seelbinder, affectionately
known as Fuzzy to his teammates, won four Pitching Triple
Crowns, threw three No-Hitters, and was named to 14 All-Star
games. After winning the Triple Crown in 1979 (17-4, 1.50, 271)
Seelbinder had a rough game five in the TABL Championship
Series gibing up five runs in six innings to Topeka. The game
scared Crush management into thinking the 35 year old was
losing his stuff even though he had given up four runs in a fame
just once during the season. Immediately following the seven
game victory it was announced that he would take his 10 Pitcher
of the Year Awards to the Chattanooga bullpen. Seelbinder didn't
like the move but he took it like a pro and won the closer job out
of spring training. He would add his eleventh Pitcher of the Year
Award and his first Reliver of the Year Award the following season
sporting a 0.54 ERA and 38 saves as the Crush lost to Fargo in
the Series. The next season Seelbinder would set the single
season record for saves at 43 despite and inflated(for him) 3.53
ERA as the Crush lost to the Frenzy in the Series for the second
consecutive season. He would spend two more seasons in the
Chattanooga pen in a set up role before leaving via free agency
for one ugly year in Shreveport before he ultimately retired in 1984.

While Seelbinder did dominate the TABL for a decade he could not have won four championships by himself. Matt Ward was overshadowed
by the Ace most of his career. Ward won the East Pitcher of the Year in 1982, the year following Seelbinder's run.
During the three consecutive championship seasons Seelbinder went 49-15 while Ward was 43-16. Ward posted a 5-0 playoff
record during that span while Fuzzy was 4-1. Ward was also named to six all star teams.

Kevin Bates was the one constant force on offense during the dynasty. A rookie on the first championship team in '74 he won the first of his five
East Batting Titles as well as the East Rookie of the Year. Bates capped the season off by being named the MVP of the Championship Series. He
was named to seven all star teams and led the East in steals his first seven seasons in the TABL.
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:39 PM   #3
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The Fergerson Effect

Mike Fergerson and Dan Seelbinder had a lot in common but their careers were completely different. Fergerson spent
his entire TABL career in the West and was ALMOST as dominant as Seelbinder was but he was always chasing
something, either the ring or the dollar. He spent one year at Western Kentucky before entering the draft and being
selected by Sioux Falls with the seventh pick in the first round. After a great spring he made the big club as the
closer. He started his big league career with 16 consecutive saves and a dominant 1.21 ERA before the Noise decided
to move him into the rotation. He took off from there finishing the season 16-4 with 16 for 16 in save chances. The Noise
finished just two games out of the top spot in the West and Fergerson was named the league's top rookie and finished
third in the Pitcher of the Year voting. He would stay with the Noise from 1967 to 1972 leading them to the 1971 TABL Championship.
He would take home the 1971 Pitching Triple Crown leading the West with 18 wins, 238 K, and a 2.45 ERA. In 1972
he would pitch the first No Hitter in TABL history.

87-44, 2.74 ERA, 1967 Rookie of the Year, 69 & 71 Pitcher of the Year, five All-Stars with SF

In the fall of 1972 Fergerson signed a free agent contract with the Amarillo Arrows. In six seasons with the Arrows
he won 93 games and won another TABL Championship in 1975. He would win four more Pitcher of the Year awards
but he still wasn't satisfied and opted out of the final year of his contract to hit the free agent market once again at the age
of 34.

93-68, 2.60 ERA, four Pitcher of the Year Awards, six all-stars, 1975 TABL Championship with Amarillo

The winter of 1978 saw Fergerson sign a three year deal with the Fargo Frenzy. He would win 15 games in 1979 but the
the Frenzy would finish in fourth place and 11 games out of first. The next two seasons would be magical as Fergerson
would lead Fargo to the promise land and two consecutive TABL Championships in 1979 and 1980. He would also
take home the West Pitcher of the Year Award in each of those two seasons giving him nine in his fifteen year career.
He would also earn the second Pitching Triple Crown of his career, exactly 10 years after earning his first.

51-15, 2.89 ERA, 79 and 80 Pitcher of the Year, three all-stars, 79 and 80 TABL Championships with Fargo

After his fourth championship and ninth Pitcher of the Year Award Fergerson still felt he had something to
prove as he again filed for free agency and this time moved to Topeka to pitch for the Thunder. None of the first
three franchises he had pitched for had won a TABL Championship before he had arrived and he was hoping
he could do the same for the long suffering Thunder fans. He was 38 entering the 1981 season and was coming
off a triple crown so age was never a factor for the Topeka front office. It should have been. Fergerson didn't pitch
like a typical 38 year old finishing second and third in ERA for the 82 and 83 seasons. The Thunder finished second
to the Noise in 83, just one game out of the playoffs. He started to show his age in 1984 posting 4.52 ERA.

45-26, 3.74 ERA, two all-stars with Topeka

Not ready to hang up his spikes just yet Fergerson again took to free agency where his name alone would
bring fans to the park. He wanted a team that would guarantee him a rotation spot despite his age and ballooning ERA.
Hello Lincoln! The Killers had one their only TABL Championship back in 1976 and had failed to finish higher than third
since 1977. The Killers had hoped that Fergerson would be energized by another move and the fan base was buzzing
with excitement when the signing was announced. The fanfare was short lived as the Killers and Fergerson would suffer
through an unbearable season. The Lincoln front office lived up to their end leaving Fergerson in the rotation for the
duration of the season. Their reward was a 6-20 record and a seven plus ERA. Finally Fergerson had seen enough and
he retired as soon as the 1985 season was over.

6-20, 7.37 ERA with Lincoln

For his career Fergerson set several TABL career records including 282 wins and almost 4100 strikeouts. He was
5-1 with a 2.51 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 46.2 innings pitched in seven postseason starts winning four championships.
He led the West in strikeouts for sixteen consecutive seasons from 1968 to 1983 while leading the West in ERA ten
times. He was named to 16 West All-Star teams and just for good measure after the press criticized his
fielding in the winter of 1973 he went out and won the 1974 Best Fielder Award.

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Old 07-08-2018, 04:35 PM   #4
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Early Domination

After 25 TABL seasons the Norman Ninjas find themselves with seven pennants and four TABL Championships,
both second to and just one behind the Crush Dynasty. When the TABL made it's official debut in 1966 it was the
Ninjas who came storming out of the gate winning four of the first five Championship Series in league history.
Obviously Norman had to have good players to win four championships but they made their run with a lack of dominant
players and an entire team of good players. During the four championship seasons the Ninjas boasted just 19 All-Stars,
one Top Hitter Award winner, one Top Pitcher Award winner, and two Top Reliever Award winners. They were
also largely ignored when it came time to hand out the secondary awards having just two Top-Fielders and five Top Sluggers.
That comes to just 19% of the possible All-Star spots and 15% of all awards to a team that dominated it's league and the
postseason for five seasons.

Just eight players were on the Ninjas' roster for all four championships but only six of them would be considered full
for all four squads. 1B Manny McCrea appeared in 557 of the team's 560 games over those four seasons while
second sacker Eric Davis appeared in 549 games over the same span. They would be the only two position players
to play fulltime. McCrea would go on to hit
.281 in 93 post season plate appearances for Norman with six homers and 17 RBI taking home the 1968 TABL
Championship Series MVP. Davis racked up a .333 batting average in 92 post season plate appearances with
homers, 11 RBI, and 14 runs scored. 3B Jason Butti was a part of all four teams but managed to appear in more
than 88 games just once.

On the mound Brian Nelson was the only starter to pitch full time in the rotation in each of the championship seasons.
Nelson started at least 27 games and threw at least 209 innings in each campaign. Despite winning the 1970 Pitcher
of the Year Award, Nelson always seemed to struggle in the playoffs posting a meager 2-1 record in six starts with
a 5.09 ERA. He has trouble finding the plate which is evident in his 18/15 K/BB ratio during those games.
Matt Quirk(190 appearances and 168.2 innings pitched) and Aaron Bradley(118, 229.2) each played vital roles
in the bullpen to help the Ninjas make the postseason each year but neither played a huge roll in the post season.

And then there was Chase Eiser. Imagine your team is in the middle of a pennant race and your third baseman
who is hitting .320 with an OPS of .876 gets traded for a relief pitcher that is five years older and has an ERA over six!
The fans were up in arms, the players were pissed, and the ownership was in shock. It was a move that likely cost
Norman GM Chris Johnson his job in the offseason in the end it would be considered one of the best trades in the
history of the TABL. The thirdbaseman, Matthew Martin, would go on to have a very good career in Little Rock
winning six Top Fielder Awards and being named to seven all-star teams. Eiser would go 3-0 with 13 saves and
a 1.16 ERA in 24 games down the stretch for Norman. He would turn out to be the best closer in the TABL winning the
Reliever of the Year Award in both 1969 and 1970. He didn't wilt in the post season either going 3-1 with seven
saves and 29 strikeouts in 26.2 innings pitched over 12 games. He would eventually be named to the TABL
Hall of Fame in 1981.

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Old 09-11-2018, 11:15 PM   #5
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