Sunday, December 14, 2014

Welcome to the 40 Years Tourney

After several years of dormancy, my Strat-O-Matic obsession was awakened last week by the news that the 1969 season will be re-released in Super-Advanced form.

I've been waiting a long time for that. 1969 is a significant baseball year for me.

  • It was the season I discovered the joys of baseball
  • The original 1969 set (released, of course, in 1970) was my introduction to the wonders of Strat.
  • 1969 was the backdrop to "Ball Four," the legendary diary book by Jim Bouton, which played no small role in my fascination with baseball.

1969 was also the year of the Miracle Mets, and the reason I've hankered for a Super-Advanced version of the season is that the Mets platooned all over the field -- first base (Donn Clendenon and Ed Kranepool); right field (Ron Swoboda and Art Shamsky); third base (Ed Charles and Wayne Garrett); second base (Ken Boswell with a number of right-handed or switch hitters). The '69 Mets without the platoon factor was like the Metrodome without the roof. What's the use?

So now it's coming, and here, in a nutshell, is the plan: A 64-team bracketed tournament, along the lines of the NCAA basketball tournament, only instead of single games the teams will play best of seven series.

Three of the four "regionals" will pair the 24 teams from 1969 with their successor teams from 2009. Why 2009? Because I brought that set back in the day and haven't done anything with it. This is my chance to get some use out of that investment.

The other bracket will be filled with teams from 1987. Why '87? Again, I have the set. Besides that, it's kinda sorta halfway between the two bookended seasons, and my favorite team (the Twins) won the World Series without having a real powerhouse team.

As I did a few years ago with the Presidential League, I will chronicle my progress with the 40 years Tourney here. And I will begin with the organization of it.

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