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Old 04-11-2013, 05:14 AM   #1
Hendu Style
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SimNation: Fictional world, real baseball

April 1, 2023

My fellow Sims, I write this letter today with the heaviest of hearts, and highest of hopes. On the brink of war, I turn to our past, hoping for answers and inspiration. It is today, on the eve of Opening Day 2023, that we must remember what makes this country so great.

Baseball is our SimNational Pastime. A sport that bring fathers and sons together. A sport that binds us all. A sport older than SimNation itself. A sport like no other.

Other sports have captured this Nation's attention. All seemed poised to take the mantle as our Pastime. But those moments were fleeting, in and out of our conciousness as quick as a Sam "The Man" Crowley homerun over the rightfield wall at The Fritz. While those sports have come and gone, baseball has stood the test of time.

Through a Revolutionary War, a Civil War, two World Wars (and now a third), baseball was there.

Through an era of rampant drug use that nearly killed professional sports in all of SimNation, baseball survived.

Through player strikes and owner lockouts, through depressions and recessions, through raised mounds and the designated hitter, baseball has withstood a sea of change like a mountain against a raging flood. This sport is shaped by these events, and better because of it.

I have a close bond to this greatest of games. I grew up watching games in Emerald Bay, where my father plied his trade as a baseball executive. His father before him was a pitcher for Appaloosa. My great grandfather was a coach for several teams, including the Black Sox. And my great, great grandfather was the first-ever commissioner of the SimNation Baseball League.

Baseball is in my blood. I believe it's in all of our blood. I hope these stories of baseball's past will inspire you, and remind you how a simple game with a ball, a bat, and a few gloves can put a smile on a young boy's face. The history of the SimNation Baseball League is an important one, and one that we cannot afford to forget.

Signed,

John A. Kinsella
President of SimNation
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:43 AM   #2
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For a first post that's kind of a cliff hanger, haha! Good intro.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:53 PM   #3
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Excellent opening. Really looking forward to following this.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:41 AM   #4
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Part I, Chapter I: The Founding Four

The SBL's history reaches as far back as 1871, when the first professional baseball league was formed by teams in Freeport, Greenwich (now known as Sim City), Irontown, and Maxis City. Known as the Colonial League, the four teams played a 60-game season with many of the same rules that we still see today: Nine men in the field. Three bases and home plate. A bat and a ball. Who could've possibly known that the sport invented by Doc O'Day in a Dullsville cornfield in 1802 would one day turn into our National Pastime?

These were tumultuous times for our country. There was growing resentment of the British Empire, which had ruled the SimNation Colonies with an iron fist since it was first settled in the 1600's. The Colonial League was formed as a distraction from the very real world problems that faced these people. The first World War was looming. A Revolutionary War would shortly follow. And that would be followed by yet another war that would define who we are as Sims. Baseball wasn't just a distraction. It was our moral compass.

The four founding teams all played an essential role not only in the creation of the SimNation Baseball League, but also in the creation of the country as a whole. The Founding Four are:
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:48 AM   #5
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Freeport Foxes

Freeport Foxes:

The owner of the team, Samuel Fox, would later earn world renown as the "Father of the Revolution." It’s no wonder that Freeport is commonly called “SimNation’s Team.” The team was originally named after the owner himself, who relished in his reputation as a sly and cunning capitalist.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:51 AM   #6
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Greenwich Grays:

Before Greenwich became our nation's capital, it was home to the Grays. The franchise was founded by Aubrey Southon, a frugal businessman who made his fortune as a tobacco plantation owner.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:54 AM   #7
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Irontown Black Sox:

The only team among the Founding Four to maintain its original name throughout its history which now spans more than a century. Owner Henry Blair was seen as a visionary who recognized the importance of brand and marketing. He is believed to be the first proponent of the "designated hitter," though the DH did not come to the SBL until long after Blair's passing.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:57 AM   #8
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Maxis City Mules:

Maxis City was, and continues to be, the economic and cultural center of SimNation. Even back in the 1800's, the Maxis population stood at a robust 1.5 million Sims. It would take a savvy businessman with powerful connections to run a pro baseball team in Maxis City, and Klaus Muelheims was fit the bill. The German banker had no qualms about using his influence and power to leverage his rivals in both business and baseball negotiations.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:29 PM   #9
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The Inaugural Draft

Up until this point, the Founding Four had played separately in various leagues across the country. But the Colonial League provided the promise of financial stability and structure that was sorely lacking elsewhere.

The owners of the four teams, all fiery businessmen and bitter rivals, set aside their differences for the sake of this new league. Ingeniously, the owners decided to avoid a bidding war for players. The last thing these owners wanted to do was doom their league by hemorrhaging money right off the bat. Instead, an inaugural draft was held to select players.

J.W. Matthews, a 25 year-old star outfielder from the defunct Northeast League, was chosen by Irontown with the #1 overall pick. Not knowing how long (or if) the league would last, teams drafted established players in their mid-20's to mid-30's, passing up on younger players in a "win now" mindset. With all of the rosters filled out among the four teams, it was time to play ball.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:30 AM   #10
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Early Beginnings: Baseball in the 1st World War

The records will show the Freeport Foxes won the inaugural season in the Colonial League in 1871. Led be a 3-man rotation that posted the three lowest ERA's in baseball, the Foxes finished the 60-game campaign with a 38-22 mark, with Maxis City (31-29) finishing as runner-up.

#1 draft pick J.W. Matthews was crowned as the league's first-ever batting champ, hitting .342 for the season. But in a cost-cutting measure, the Black Sox infamously dealt Matthews to the Mules mid-season for four players, only one of which ever reached the big leagues. Matthews would go on to win the first of three straight batting titles that year, and claimed the league MVP award in 1877. He retired after the 1885 season as the game's all-time leader in games played (1445), doubles (245), and RBI (1017). His 1901 hits ranked 2nd on the career list. Perhaps most importantly, Matthews won 10 league titles in Maxis City from 1871 to 1885, while Irontown earned just one title in that span.

There was no championship series to decide the league champ during this era. Owners felt that any playoffs would diminish the importance of the regular season. Besides, the teams didn't actually own the stadiums they were playing in. The individual leases were up by July each year, so the baseball teams had to make room for football during the fall. This was baseball's first clash with any other sport, and baseball was losing.

Ticket prices for games in the 1870's fetched less than 20 cents. Player salaries for an entire season topped out at a mere 400 Simoleons. In short, baseball was not a good way to make a living in the 19th century. These underpaid athletes would end up paving the way for future generations of millionaires.

You must understand, though, that times were tough for not only the players, but also the fans. With a World War being waged overseas, trade was cut off to the Colonies. Irontown, for example, was forced to cease all commercial production of steel, instead laboring to feed the growing appetite of the England war machine. Those steel workers' only outlet was the occasional day off, and they would often spend that day off pouring into Exposition Stadium to watch the beloved Black Sox play.

Maxis City outfielder Doogie Rogers became a crowd favorite in the league's infancy. His hard-nosed approach on the baseball field earned him the nickname "Doogie Hustle," and he would go on to win the league MVP award in 1876 (.353 average, 114 runs scored in 113 games). His 28-game hitting streak that season was the second-longest in league history, but he was never the same after breaking his foot while sliding into third base the following season. He retired two years later.

Meanwhile, Freeport ace Jimmy Jordan had become the game's most dominant pitcher, armed with a blazing fastball and a devastating slider. At the time of his retirement in 1880, Jordan owned 10 career pitching records, including wins (139), strikeouts (1322), and complete games (173).

The Colonial League had its first superstars. Baseball was on the rise.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:25 PM   #11
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Stormy Boyd: A Star is Born... and Fades Away

With attendance slowly rising and overhead being held in check, teams started to turn a profit. In 1874, the league doubled its schedule from 60 games to 120. By the end of the first World War in '75, baseball had been woven into our nation's fabric.

Fans came out in droves to see the Freeport Foxes battle the rival Irontown Black Sox. Freeporters viewed Irontownians as a rough, sketchy crowd while Irontown saw Freeport as prim and proper. Fights erupted regularly, not just in the stands, but also on the diamond. The Fox and Sox brawls were the stuff of legends. Young boys would proudly show off their shiners to their moms, and fathers would come home with bloody noses, reeking of beer and cigars.

Meanwhile, the league was taken by storm by a young fireballer named Stormy Boyd. The young lefthander was without peer, setting single season records in wins (26), complete games (30), shutouts (4), and strikeouts (296); while holding career marks in shutouts (9) and strikeouts (1,200); and boasting the top two strikeout performances in league history (16 vs. Maxis City in 1876, and 15 vs. Maxis City in '75). He accomplished all of this by the age of 25.

But on April 9th, 1877, not even two weeks into his seventh big league season, Boyd went down with a freak arm injury. Up to that point, he had gone 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA in 3 starts, fanning 29 batters in 25 innings.

He would never throw again.

In seven Colonial League seasons, Boyd had posted mesmerizing numbers: 94 wins against 47 losses, a 2.52 ERA, and 1200 strikeouts in 1280 innings pitched. The league would later name its pitcher of the year award after Stormy Boyd.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:47 PM   #12
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Expanding Its Horizons: League Reaches South, Midwest

Just as the Colonial League was bidding farewell to its greatest players, it was preparing to expand its reach into the South and into the Midwest.

Thanks to bustling ticket sales and the end of World War I, the Colonial League enjoyed unprecedented financial success. It was becoming the sport of choice among Colonists, and it was time to expand its borders.

In 1878, the Colonial League doubled in size with the addition of four new franchises: the Bayouville Barons, Dixie Dukes, Atlantis Neptunes, and Dullsville Ducks.

The southern teams -- Bayouville, Dixie, and Atlantis -- had jumped ship from the Gulf League, which was on the verge of collapse after losing many of its top players to the Colonial League. Dullsville, though small, represented an obvious choice for expansion as the birthplace of baseball. It also marked the Colonial's first foray into the Midwest.

Holding the first overall pick in the expansion draft, the Dixie Dukes selected Maxis City pitching prospect Phillip Cannon. Not unexpectedly, the expansion teams finished at the bottom of the standings after their inaugural season, playing with second-hand players and leftovers from the Founding Four. With Cannon on the hill, Dixie also became the unwitting victim in baseball's first-ever no-hitter, thrown by Greenwich pitcher John "Dingo" Allison, who happened to be playing in just his 7th career big league game.

While the expansion teams struggled, Maxis City enjoyed unparalleled success during the '87 season, winning its seventh straight championship that year. Though there was optimism among the new teams, it was clear the odl guard would rule the Colonial League for quite some time.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:15 AM   #13
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The Birth of SimNation

If the growing resentment of British rule had reached a fever pitch during the World War, it only worsened in the days following the War. Any Colonists who were on the fence about independence were no doubt swayed by the events of May 18th, 1881.

The Foxes and Black Sox were playing another rough and tumble game in Freeport, with a tie ballgame set to go into extra innings. In an ill-advised attempt to squash rabble rousing, the British had imposed a sunset curfew. This was at the very least an inconvenience for some, but thousands were enraged when British soldiers showed up at Freeport Field, ordering fans to go home. This, mind you, came with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 14th inning of a 4-4 game. Beers were thrown onto soldiers. Unruly fans were threatened. Freeport owner Samuel Fox only hastened the proceedings by mixing it up with a British commander, ordering him to leave the ballpark. Fox and Sox fans alike stood arm-in-arm, chanting "Go Home. Redcoats." It was a thing of beauty.

That is, until the shots were fired.

Three fans were killed. Countless more injured. The powder keg had finally been lit. The Revolutionary War was upon us.

And as the war raged on, the game went on. Inspired by these events, Fox renamed his Freeport team the "Patriots," though the league wouldn't officially recognize the name change until after the War. That Freeport team would go on to win two championships during the Revolutionary War, and the franchise continues to use the Patriot moniker to this very day.

The War seemed to not only inspire owners like Fox, but also players. Jim "Candyman" Lintz set a league record with a .424 batting average during the first year of the Revolution for Freeport. He would go on to win the first of five straight MVP awards during wartime. Meanwhile, with battles being waged in Irontown, Black Sox shortstop Roy MacGruder assembled a league-record 43-game hitting streak in '84.

The war that was started in Freeport during the Fox and Sox Massacre ended in the Battle of Bayou Bay, with legendary Dixie General Mortimer Goth leading the charge. On July 15th, 1886, after more than five years of war, the Sims had won their independence. The nation's forefathers, Fox himself included, penned the Constitution and created the land we know today.

SimNation was born.
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:16 AM   #14
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The End of the 1880's: Maxis City's Decade of Dominance

Business was booming in SimNation in the late 1880's. No longer shackled by the oppressive British Empire, Sims were free to trade with other countries in an open marketplace. No taxes. No tariffs. No limits. And while the global landscape was shifting, so was baseball.

The Colonial League saw its first change in team ownership in 1887, when the Greenwich Grays were purchased by Fred Snell Jr. for a tidy sum of $125,000. Scoffed at for spending so many simoleons on a sports team, Snell knew he was sitting on a gold mine. The young business tycoon promptly revamped the foundering franchise, renaming the team as the "Sim City Capitols," reflecting the city's new title as capitol of SimNation.

"The Capitols will be a team worthy of their namesake," Snell Jr. proclaimed in an 1887 edition of the Freeport Herald. "This franchise is the only one among the original Colonial League teams not to have won a title, but I guarantee that will soon change."

Outfitted with a new logo and new uniforms, Snell Jr. set out to build a new ballpark in Sim City's suddenly burgeoning downtown. In 1888, financed out of his own personal coffers, Snell Jr. built a new ballpark. Considered a cathedral of baseball, Capitol Stadium boasted two decks and a capacity of 14,500 Sims, unheard of in those days. It was a reflection of the booming SimNation economy and baseball as a whole.

As the Capitols were shaking things up in the Northeast, change was coming in the South as well. Jim Lintz, a stalwart third baseman in Freeport, was traded to the Dixie Dukes before the '88 season. Baseball's best player was headed south, as was the league championship. The surprising Atlantis Neptunes ended the Founding Four's 17-year stranglehold on the title, finishing 4.0 games ahead of runner-up Maxis City with a mark of 79-41.

But the Mules would quickly re-establish themselves as the gold standard in 1889, closing out the decade with their sixth league championship in the 80's. Workhorse pitcher Henry Price (28-11, 2.18 ERA) led the way, setting new single-season records for innings (351.2) and complete games (36). He also tied a season record with 28 wins, his fourth straight year with 20 wins or more. Price teamed up with a young finesse pitcher, Evan Burke, who had won 92 games by the age of 26.

Price and Burke had taken the torch from the Colonial League's record-breaking pitcher, Dan "City" Stark, who hung up his spikes following the '88 season. He owned nine career records upon his retirement, including wins (267) and strikeouts (2,516).

With the 1880's in the books, pitching had ruled the game and so did Maxis City. But change wasn't just sweeping SimNation, but also the game of baseball...
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:34 AM   #15
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1890's: A Dark Chapter in SimNation's History

The 1890's had begun just how the 1880's had ended: with a Maxis City championship. But rival Sim City captivated SimNation in '91, finishing the season a blistering 18 games ahead of second-place Freeport at 81-39 for the franchise's first championship. Fans turned out in droves to watch the Caps play in their new ballpark. Their attendance of 228,000 fans in 1891 shattered the single-season record and was more than double that of any other team in history. Sim City's success on the field and on the financial ledger would be the blueprint for other teams throughout the decade.

Hoping to reach similar heights, new ballparks were constructed in Atlantis (McCray Field -- capacity 9,600), Dixie (Dixie Fields -- 8,800), and Bayouville (Bayou Bay Park -- 10,400). But the construction of those stadiums was tainted by the fact that they were built on the backs of slaves. A dark chapter in SimNation's history, the country used slavery to help rebuild the nation following the Revolutionary War.

There were no specific laws or rules that prohibited blacks or other minorities from the game, but the league was predominantly white in the 1800's Eng-Hee Chen is believed to be the first minority to have made it to the big leagues, compiling a 21-22 mark in five seasons with Dullsville and Maxis City.

Despite its deplorable stance on slavery and civil rights, the league was becoming increasingly profitable. The Sim City Capitols, bought in 1887 for a mere $150,000, had turned a profit of more than $155,000 in 1895. All teams, particularly those with new, larger ballparks, were making money. Attendance records were smashed on a yearly basis. Baseball had become the national pastime.
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:41 AM   #16
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The Candyman Can: Best Hitter of the 1800's

1897 marked the end of Jim "Candman" Lintz's incomparable career. He had collected his 3,000th career hit (April 10th, 1892) before any other hitter had even reached the 2,000 hit milestone. The man who had the distinction of being the first-ever player selected in the amateur draft was the first to 3,000 and, eventually, among the first into the Hall of Fame.

Lintz won an unprecedented 9 MVP awards, including five in a row from 1881 to 1885. His defense was without equal, winning the league's defensive player of the year at third base on fourteen occasions. "Candyman" had an incredible 12 career records to his name when he retired at age 45:

3,102 hits
2,295 games
8,721 at-bats
3,942 total bases
2,527 singles
351 doubles
1,354 RBI
948 stolen bases
662 caught stealing
1,322 walks
1,198 strikeouts

He also ranked second all-time in triples and lifetime batting average (.355). He batted .400 three times in his career, with his 1881 season considered by many to be the greatest in Colonial League history: .424 batting average, 27 doubles, 10 triples, 6 homeruns, 112 runs, 94 RBI, and 56 steals in 116 games.

Lintz was, without a doubt, the greatest hitter of the 1800's.

But the battle for greatest pitcher of the century? That was open for debate...
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:53 AM   #17
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Talented Trio Lead Pitchers Into 1900's

Regarded as the century of the pitcher, the 1800's had several capable suitors. Three stood above the rest.

Evan Burke won 20+ games for ten seasons in a row, highlighted by a Colonial record 31 wins in 1890. By the time the 1899 season rolled around, he was a lock to become the game's first 300 win and 3,000 strikeout pitcher. He would reach neither milestone. A torn triceps in the preseason ended his professional career at the age of 35. At the time of his retirement, Burke was still number one all-time in wins (283), shutouts (26), and strikeouts (2,680) in a career than spanned 14 seasons with Maxis City.

Longtime Irontown ace Dan "City" Stark ammassed an impressive record of 267-216 while posting a 2.85 ERA in his 15-year career. He struck out 2,516 batters and won the pitcher of the year award three times. Stark was a picture of health for the Black Sox, never missing more than a week of action due to injury despite logging more than 4,000 innings in his career.

And then there was Dave Baker. There's no question the right-hander left an indelible mark on the league, owning six career records at the turn of the century. He was the epitome of the term "workhorse," pitching more innings (4,803), tossing more complete games (397), and making more appearances (602) than any other pitcher in the game in the 1800's. But he also had the dubious honor of losing more games (283) and allowing more hits (5,164) than anyone else. He was never considered the best pitcher in the game while with Bayouville, Dullsville, and Freeport, but Baker was always in the conversation.

In an era when pitching reigned supreme, Burke, Stark, and Baker were the game's best. But no pitcher could ever hold a candle to the great Stormy Boyd. Even Stark himself was quoted as saying "Stormy's the best there is, the best there ever was, and the best there will ever be."
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:16 AM   #18
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1900's: Going Straight to the Source

To accurately tell any story, it's best to get straight to the source. As a former journalism major, I know that firsthand. So, as we embark of the stories of the early 1900's, who better to hear from than my great, great, great grandfather, Ray Kinsella?

Ray proudly served as the editor for Baseball News Network starting in the 1880's. Fortunately, our Kinsela family archives were able to precure hundreds of columns and letters written by Ray at the turn of the century. His first article, penned before the start of the 1900 season, tells the story of Maxis City's rebranding and effort to re-energize its fan base.

February 4th, 1900

A Hero was born today. Or at least, Maxis City would like you to believe so.

A once-proud baseball franchise is looking to restore its tradition and bring the fans back. But not by hiring a new coach. Not by making a trade. But by changing its name.

Today, the Maxis City Mules are no more. Meet the Maxis City Heroes.

Klaus Muelheims Jr., the son of the late Klaus Muelheims, unveiled the team's new logo and uniform today, hoping to jumpstart a flagging franchise.

Something, clearly, had to be done. The team hasn't posted a winning record since 1895. It hasn't won a championship since 1892. Its total attendance of 87,483 last season was its lowest in 26 years.

Muelheims Jr. is quick to point out that the Mules, er, the Heroes have won a league-record 15 championships. Maxis City has posted an all-time record of 1852-1448 for a .561 winning percentage. Maxis is been home to some of the game's greatest players, from Matt "Steely" McKee (career record holder in triples with 230) to Evan Burke (all-time leader in wins with 283).

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Colonial League's All-Time Leaders (Championships & Victories):
15 - Maxis City (1852 wins)
4 - Freeport (1725)
3 - Atlantis (1356)
2 - Sim City (1684)
2 - Dullsville (1231)
Good ol' Klaus, though, will conveniently neglect to mention that his team lost a record 88 games this past season. And when he invokes Maxis City's proud past (and it is proud), he fails to look at the current roster. One that is littered with overpaid and underperforming veterans way past their prime, and young players who will never have a prime.

Who is Klaus going to trot out there in the 1900 season to bring home a 16th pennant?

Ace pitcher Ken Jennings? As in, the guy who went 4-19 last season?

First baseman Dan Sexton? Mr. 88 strikeouts in 119 games in 1899?

Up and coming phenom pitcher "Smooth" Bobby Brown? You know, the 22 year old who lost 10 of 11 starts in his rookie season?

The league's landscape is changing, and Maxis City hasn't changed with the times. Remember those expansion teams that couldn't bat their way out of a wet paper sack? Those teams that Maxis City used to beat up on? Those new kids are now the bullies on the block.

Dullsville has won the last two league championships. Atlantis won the two titles before that. Factor in Dixie's title run in 1895 and Bayouville's championship season in 1893, and that's six titles by expansion teams in the seven years that have passed since Maxis City's last title in '92.

The next few years look to be just as bleak as the past few years. If Klaus wants to win over the fans (and win some games), he's got to start making change on the field. Otherwise, these so-called "Heroes" are going to be scapegoats in SimNation's largest city.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:36 AM   #19
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A Rookie Season for the Ages

Another gem from Ray Kinsella, circa 1900, talking about the phenomenal rookie season of Paul Gray...

September 4, 1900

Today, the Colonial League put its official seal on Paul Gray's historic rookie season. The 24 year-old second baseman was named league MVP, capping off a season that will go down as one of the greatest in league history.

Gray burst on the scene with a hitting streak that started on June 19th, just his second month as a big league hitter, and ended on July 25th. A 30-game hitting streak. And Gray was just getting warmed up.

He finished his first season with the Freeport Patriots at the top of the league in four major offensive categories:

.375 batting average
190 hits
37 doubles
101 RBI

He set Colonial League records in two more categories:
.577 slugging percentage*
292 total bases*

Perhaps, most importantly, he led the Patriots to the team's first championship in 17 years.

And this Sim still carries himself like the guy who was picked in the 6th round of the 1897 draft out of little Indian Hills CC.

"There are plenty of guys on this team that deserve this award every bit as much as me," Gray said at a small gathering at Freeport Field. "We wouldn't have had the season we had without Robby (Robert Bushe), Bake (Dave Baker), and 'Big Daddy' (Mike Garrett). I share this with all of them."

Gray can go on and on about his teammates, but without his season, the Patriots don't finish with 71 wins. They just don't. Not with '98 MVP shortstop Harpo Harrington going down with a late season broken elbow. Not with former 20-game winner Cary Cash missing all but seven starts with an elbow injury.

With Harrington and Cash expected to rejoin the team in the 1901 season, the table is set up nicely for a Freeport dynasty run in the Colonial League. And you can bet Gray will be leading the charge, and sharing the credit with his teammates.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:57 AM   #20
Hendu Style
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Baseball's First to 300

Great, great, great grandpa on the Freeport beat, covering Baker's milestone victory... May 3rd, 1901

Baker Cooks Up 300th Win

Others will surely follow, but for now Dave Baker is the only pitcher in the history of the game to win 300 games.

It happened in typical fashion, with the Freeport hurler holding the Sim City Capitols to 3 runs on 8 hits in 9 innings of work. The complete game, the 423rd of his career, is a league record. The 5052 innings he's thrown, also a league record. His 300 wins (and 292 losses), also the best of all-time.

"I guess this means I'm just really old," the 39 year-old told me after the game. "But I must be doing something right, because they keep letting me play."

The 1901 season has been a revelation for Baker. 7-2 with a 2.56 ERA through 9 starts, he's having his best season since 1897, his first with Freeport.

"I feel young again being around all these kids," Baker said. "Honest to God, these young whipper snappers have breathed some air in to these old sails."

And the way things are going, Freeport might just sail to another league championship. Their 19-9 record is the best in baseball. If they win a second straight title, it might just be the perfect end to an outstanding career for Baker, though he has no plans of retiring anytime soon.

"They'll have to pull me from that mound for me to stop playing. Baseball's the only thing I know."
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Last edited by Hendu Style; 04-29-2013 at 04:59 AM.
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