Baseball Analytics

dedicated to the enrichment of casual and serious enthusiasts in all aspects of professional baseball

Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – Pursue the Pennant – Diamond Mind Baseball

This is the eighteenth entry in a series focusing on computer baseball simulations to supplement the chapter “Play Retro Baseball Video Games In Your Browser” from my Hardball Retroactive book along with the corresponding post at Baseball Analytics. The series focuses on baseball simulations – games in which the primary emphasis is on managerial strategy and the ability to replay entire seasons with a degree of realism. Baseball video games that are strictly arcade representations of baseball (based solely on reflex and hand-eye coordination) are excluded.

Pursue the Pennant

Publisher – Pursue the Pennant (versions 1 through 5)

Release Year – 1987 – 1995

Platforms – IBM PC (DOS)

Credits

Programming & DesignTom Tippett
Additional ProgrammingLuke Kraemer
Baseball ResearchZack Scott

Diamond Mind Baseball

Publisher – Tippett Software (versions 6 through 7)

Release Year – 1996 – 1997

Platforms – IBM PC (DOS)

Credits

Programming & DesignTom Tippett
Additional ProgrammingLuke Kraemer
Baseball ResearchZack Scott

Diamond Mind Baseball

Publisher – Tippett Software (versions 8 through 9)

Release Year – 1998 – 2006

Platforms – IBM PC (Windows)

Credits

Programming & DesignTom Tippett
Additional ProgrammingLuke Kraemer
Baseball ResearchZack Scott

Diamond Mind Baseball

Publisher – Imagine Sports (versions 10 through 12)

Release Year – 2006 – 2022

Platforms – IBM PC (Windows)

Credits

Programming & Design??????
Programming ConsultantTom Tippett

Programmer Interview

Tom Tippett developed and programmed Pursue the Pennant / Diamond Mind Baseball through nine iterations. He responded to a series of questions about the product.

DB: How did you conceive the original design of Pursue the Pennant? Did you have any prior game development or programming experience?

TT: I started playing the Strat-O-Matic board game in the early 1970s, and I got into it in a big way.  My biggest SOM project was a 140-game season featuring 10 teams from the real-life 1972 season that took me three years to complete.  I kept a detailed scoresheet for every one of the 700 regular-season games and painstakingly maintained a ledger with season-to-date stats for every player.  One wall of my bedroom was devoted to a large piece of plywood that I painted Fenway green and fitted out with hooks and cardboard numbers so I could always look up and see the current standings.

A few years later, when I was studying math and computer science in college, I started to wish that someone would create a computer baseball game so I wouldn’t have to do all the work of looking up the play results on cards and charts and then compiling all the stats. After college I got a job as a mainframe programmer.  A year later, I decided to learn how to write apps for PCs.  Apple computers had been out for a few years and the IBM PC had been launched a few months earlier.

I wasn’t much interested in doing a little toy program like so many of the assignments one is given in a programming course, and the only thing more challenging that I could think of was a baseball game. I started by sketching out a user interface, a database design, and some ideas for using the power of the computer to achieve a higher degree of realism and statistical accuracy than could be achieved with a board game.  Lots of great board games have been created over the years, but a board game simply can’t capture all the complexity of real-life baseball and still be playable by ordinary people in a reasonable amount of time. 

For the next eight months, I spent my evenings and weekends working on the game before putting it on the back burner while I went to graduate school for two years.  After graduating, I got a day job with a software company and once again spent my evenings and weekends working on the game.  I managed to get it ready for its first public demo at the national SABR convention in 1986.

That’s where I first met some people from Pursue the Pennant.  The PTP board game was designed by Mike Cieslinski and had launched the year before.  I’d never heard of it, but when I got a chance to check it out a little later, I was impressed. It didn’t take long for us to realize that Mike’s board game and my computer game were similar at the surface level even though both were designed with absolutely no knowledge of the other.  For example, both games used a five-point scale for most player ratings, so we could rate the players once and use the same ratings in both games. We started talking about having PTP license my game and market it as their computer version.  In late October I flew to Milwaukee to finalize the terms.  After a long day of discussions that led to an agreement, I went back to my hotel room, flipped on game six of the World Series, promptly fell asleep, and woke up just in time to watch the Mets rally against the Red Sox. After I made a few cosmetic changes to make my game look a little more like the PTP board game – such as displaying player ratings as Ex/Vg/Av/Fr/Pr instead of 1/2/3/4/5 – the first version of the game now known as Diamond Mind Baseball was published in the spring of 1987 under the name Pursue the Pennant PC Baseball.

DB: Did you take any computer programming courses in high school or college?

TT: I graduated from high school in 1976.  At that time, there were no programming courses, but one of the math teachers started a programming club in my senior year.  The only computer in our school district was miles away at another school, and our club was only able to get an hour of processing time each week.  We would write our programs using punched cards after class one day, the teacher would take them to the other school and run them the next day, and a week later we would find out whether our code would even compile, let alone run.

College was much different.  I went to the University of Waterloo, which had one of the best data centers in Canada.  My class was the first that didn’t have to use punched cards.  We were lucky enough to have access to data entry terminals for writing our code. There were a lot more students than terminals, though, so terminal time was hard to come by.  And when we were ready to submit our code, it could take an hour or more for our jobs to get through the queue for compilation and execution.  If there was a syntax error in your code, the job wouldn’t run and you’d be looking at another long wait before you got to see the results of your next attempt. At Waterloo, I learned to code in COBOL, FORTRAN, PASCAL, and assembly, but the most valuable course I took there was data modeling.

DB: Did you consider porting the game to other popular computers such as Macintosh, Amiga, etc.?

TT: Not really.  The game was on the market for five years (through PTP) before I could afford to quit my day job and work on baseball full time.  I didn’t have time to think about porting it to other platforms when I was limited to evenings and weekends. In 1994, the relationship with PTP ended and I founded Diamond Mind.  Over the next few years, I thought about building a Mac version.  But that was a time when the market share of the Mac had dropped into single digits, so it was hard to make a business case for it. And I was sure it would be a bad idea to save money on the development work by simply porting the PC version to Mac.  Mac users would only be happy with a version that fully embraced the Mac UI and ecosystem, and I figured the cost of building a true Mac version would be too high. In the late 1990s, I started thinking about building an Internet version, but we were fully occupied with our first Windows versions at that time.  When Imagine Sports approached us in 2005 about collaborating on an Internet-based game, we were ready.

DB: Describe your role in the development of each product. Were you the sole developer / programmer throughout the entire DOS-based series of PTP/DMB? Did anyone else contribute to utilities, season disks, play-testing?

TT: We were a very small company.  It was me plus one full-time programmer, a part-time office manager, and for a few years, one baseball researcher. I was the lead architect and lead developer of every DMB version until I sold the company to Imagine Sports in 2006.  I was also the project manager and lead ratings analyst for the annual season disks. Luke Kraemer, the full-time programmer, did a lot of work on the DMB game and a bunch of utilities and testing tools.  Luke is still working on DMB at Imagine Sports and has been on the Retrosheet board throughout its history. The baseball researcher was Zack Scott, who worked on player ratings for both new and past seasons and did a bunch of baseball research projects related to improvements in the sim engine.  He left Diamond Mind in 2004 to join the Red Sox, where he was part of four World Series winners and rose quickly through the ranks to become Director of Baseball Operations and later Assistant GM and head of all their baseball research and development efforts.

DB: Were any features scaled back or omitted due to budgetary or time constraints? Were those features considered or implemented in later editions?

TT: We always wanted to do more than we really had time for, so each release would start out with a somewhat ambitious list of hoped-for features.  When you’re trying to invent something new, it’s hard to predict how long things will take, so we were always reevaluating what was possible.  Sometimes we would reassign a few of the less-important features to the next release.

DB: The DOS versions of PTP/DMB focused on the gameplay and the engine. Some of your competitors migrated their DOS products to Windows in the early to mid-1990’s and added stadium graphics, broadcasters to provide the play-to-play commentary, etc. Did you consider migrating the products to Windows during that timeframe? Did you consider adding any “eye” and “ear candy” to the product?

TT: We didn’t seriously consider building a Windows version until the mid-90s.  I think a lot of people would agree that the first really good Windows version was Windows95.  The only eye candy in our Windows version came from the colorful scale 2D drawings of the ballparks.  They were done by our friend Keith Conforti, a terrific graphic designer and avid baseball fan who loved scouring the internet for photos, architectural drawings, and anything else that would help him make highly-realistic diagrams for both current and historical parks. For a few reasons, I wasn’t too interested in adding more graphics, animation, and sound during those years.

First, we were busy making the sim engine more realistic by simulating every pitch. A lot of real-life baseball strategy involves decisions that are heavily influenced by the ball-strike count. For instance, if the batter gets into a good hitter’s count, you probably don’t want to squander that advantage by bunting or stealing on the next pitch. And in situations where a bunt or steal makes sense, opposing real-life managers often try to guess whether what the other will do from pitch to pitch. By going to a pitch-by-pitch model, we gave the offensive manager more freedom to choose when to use these tactics.  And we gave the defensive manager the tools to defend against these tactics with pitchouts and pickoff throws.  In games that only support batter-by-batter mode, the defensive manager is just a passive observer on these plays. In addition, when a real-life batter takes a strike on a steal play or fails to get a bunt down, he falls behind in the count and gives the pitcher an advantage.  That also became true in DMB when we went to the pitch-by-pitch model, but it doesn’t happen in games that only offer batter-by-batter mode. By the way, DMB lets you decide whether to play in pitch-by-pitch or batter-by-batter mode, but it simulates every pitch in both modes.  In pitch mode, it reports the result of every pitch and gives you a chance to change tactics for the next pitch.  In batter mode, it simulates pitches silently until the plate appearance is resolved or some other event, such as a wild pitch, changes the game situation.

Second, most of our customers were avid baseball fans, not casual gamers. Before they started playing DMB, they had seen loads of games on TV and listened to tons more on the radio.  DMB’s play results were displayed as a textual, radio-style play-by-play commentary that I believed would allow them to create a mental image of the play that would be far more realistic than anything we could provide with the graphics and animation tools that were available then.

Third, it was a business decision.  We didn’t have enough revenue to fund efforts like that, so we would have had to bring on investors to raise enough capital.  Some other small baseball game companies had done that and then gone out of business within a few years because they were not able to pay back the initial investment.  That was a risk I couldn’t take because I was married with a young child and a wife who had just quit her job to go to graduate school.

Finally, it was a matter of emphasis.  In those days, and probably today, too, every baseball game claimed to be the most realistic one you could buy.  But there’s more than one type of realism. It seemed to me that other companies viewed realism as making their games look and sound like baseball on TV.  That’s a perfectly good goal, and there are plenty of gamers who want that, but it wasn’t what interested me most and not what I thought our customers wanted most. I wanted DMB to feel and work in a realistic manner by being very accurate statistically and offering the same risk-reward profiles for different tactics that real-life managers faced.

DB: Your competition in that era included APBA, Full Count and Strat-o-Matic for text-based sims along with the Earl Weaver and Tony La Russa Baseball games which delivered both arcade and simulation options. What were your impressions of those products at the time and in what areas do you feel that the PTP/DMB series excelled in comparison?

TT: I was too busy with my own work to spend a lot of time playing other games, and I wasn’t too focused on trying to one-up the competition.  I felt that if we kept our eyes on what we were trying to build, we’d find enough customers who wanted the type of game we were building.

I was very familiar with Strat-O-Matic from my younger days and always thought it was a terrific board game, but my sense was that they wanted their computer version to be identical to the board game, while we were trying to take advantage of computing power to do things that board games weren’t ideally suited for.  With our pitch-by-pitch simulation, for instance, the probabilities of the different outcomes are quite different on a 2-0 count than on an 0-2 count.  I don’t know how you do that with a board game and still make it playable in a half hour.

I was very impressed when APBA’s Baseball for Windows added the Ernie Harwell commentary.  They did a great job with that.  At the same time, I was never tempted to follow suit because it took me much longer to play a game while listening to the commentary than when reading it, and I thought our customers would rather get the play result quickly and get on with the next tactical decision.

Every one of the products you mentioned were good games with some unique features that I liked.  But I strongly believed that it would be a mistake for DMB to try to be everything to everybody.  Different gamers like different things, and it was perfectly fine with me if the gamers who wanted more animation and sound passed us by and used other products.  We were trying to build a game that would be the first choice of customers who valued strategy and realism above all else, and I was just hoping there would be enough of them to keep us in business.

DB: The Red Sox hired you in 2003 and you spent more than a decade with the club as a Senior Baseball Analyst. How did your experiences with designing and programming PTP/DMB translate into your role with the Red Sox? Did you utilize DMB to run through various scenarios?

TT: When we first started consulting with the Red Sox in September 2003, they asked us to help them simulate the Division Series before it started to see if it might offer them any insights that would help them choose the 25-man roster and perhaps give some insight into in-game tactics. Later that winter, we simulated the 2004 season with different what-if scenarios around trades and free agent signings.  After that, we routinely ran simulations of the upcoming season each year. But that wasn’t the biggest part of the relationship.  In 2004 the Red Sox became aware that Diamond Mind had built a suite of databases and programs for analyzing player performance as a natural part of our data-driven process for coming up with player ratings for the game. Back then, when the Red Sox (and presumably other teams) were preparing for the amateur draft or the MLB trade deadline, they asked their interns to scour the public internet for stats they could cut and paste into spreadsheets that could be printed out, copied 20 times, and put into thick binders for the scouts and senior front office people.  Those printouts became more and more outdated as new games were played each night. There were questions we could answer with our systems in minutes or hours that would take them days or weeks, so they hired us to build a baseball information system that would give their senior decision makers immediate access to the data on their laptops through an app with a consistent user interface.  It started with tools we had already built at Diamond Mind and quickly expanded to include scouting reports, player contracts, and many other things. My role with the Red Sox was a blend of building that system, building new analytical tools that used data from that system, running simulations from time to time, and (when asked) offering my opinion on proposed trades and free agent signings.  Lots of people were involved in those decisions, so my opinion was just one of many, but it was amazing to be in the room after being a baseball outsider for a quarter century.

DB: In reviewing the documentation and playing PTP/DMB, I gained an appreciation towards the amount of time, effort and attention to detail which you poured into the development of the game. There are rare events that are omitted from other games, but it’s those strange and unusual plays that enhance the manager’s immersion in the simulation and help to distance this product from the competition. Were you utilizing scoresheets from Retrosheet or other sources to determine the frequency of these events?

TT: Yes, we were very data driven.  In 1984, Bill James announced the idea of creating a network of volunteers who would keep pitch-by-pitch scoresheets (using a common format) whenever they watched games and then send them to a central location where they would be copied and mailed to other volunteers who would enter them into a database.  That organization was called Project Scoresheet. I started keying in games for Project Scoresheet while I was still working on the first version of the game.  I wanted my player ratings to be based on as much objective data as I could find, and that was the only way to get it. A year or two later, the leadership of Project Scoresheet couldn’t agree on whether to stay as a volunteer organization with no hard deadlines or professionalize the effort and try to publish game accounts overnight.  The group that wanted to go pro ended up leaving the project and becoming the core leadership team at STATS, Inc., where they were extremely successful. The rest of us were left with the question of whether to keep Project Scoresheet alive.  Among other things, we would need a new data entry program because the previous one had been written by two of the people who left for STATS. We decided to give it a go, so I collaborated with my friend David Nichols on new tools.  Project Scoresheet came to an end a couple of years later, but the software was licensed to The Baseball Workshop, Retrosheet, a short-lived company called Total Sports, and finally to MLB, where it formed part of MLB’s scoring system for about 20 years. Years later, Diamond Mind was able to jumpstart the Red Sox information system project because we had already written more than 50 programs to compile stats, splits, game logs, park factors, and metrics for evaluating player performance from data in “Retrosheet” format and because MLB had adopted the same format for the data feed it provided to the teams.

DB: I was particularly intrigued by the weather modeling in relation to park effects and pitcher fatigue. How did you compile and correlate this data in order to factor it into the game?

TT: From the first days of Project Scoresheet, the play-by-play files contained weather information for each game – temperature, wind speed and direction, precipitation, cloud cover, and the condition of the field.  Extracting weather details from those files was easy, but we had to do some of our own work when retractable-roof stadiums came along.  When the roof was closed, the game account would just say the there was no wind and it was 70 degrees inside.  But we needed to know what the weather was outside the stadium for these games.  In DMB, we generate a set of weather conditions that are typical of that location and time of year.  Only then does the sim decide whether the roof should be closed for that game. That meant searching the internet for data from weather stations located near the parks with retractable roofs and building our own database of weather data for those roof-closed games.  We then merged those readings with the data from the play-by-play files to get the full-season weather picture. If instead we had relied only on the data in the play-by-play files for roof-open games, our system would have been seriously biased.  For games in Toronto and Milwaukee, we would have data only for the nicest summer days and not for the cold April nights.  And the outdoor-game readings in Arizona and Houston would have been limited to the cooler days of spring and fall and ignored the summer heat.

DB: Is your original code utilized in the Windows versions? Do you have any involvement with the current or previous Windows releases of DMB?

TT: I led the development of DMB through the first two Windows versions (8 and 9) before I sold the company to Imagine Sports in 2006.  After the sale, I did some work on DMB 10 on a consulting basis until I took a full-time job with the Red Sox in late 2008.

DB: Do you have any involvement with Diamond Mind Baseball now? Can you share any projects that you’re currently working on?

TT: I left the Red Sox after the 2016 season because my work in baseball didn’t leave me nearly enough time for my non-baseball interests.  I did a few small consulting projects in baseball in 2017 and 2018, but since then I’ve made no effort to get back into that world in a big way. But I never lost touch with the folks at Imagine Sports, including the Diamond Mind people who are still there.  In recent years, I’ve helped them out with a few things, such as updating the sim engine to accommodate MLB’s recent rule changes.  But it’s a limited part-time role that comes and goes, and these days I’m spending most of my time on pursuits that have nothing to do with sports.

Review

This entry will include a review of Diamond Mind Baseball (IBM PC – DOS, version 6.0) along with the current Windows version (12.0). I also have Pursue the Pennant (version 5.0) which is nearly identical to DMB 6.0 in terms of content and gameplay (minus a number of enhancements). I will chronicle the differences between the three games but focus solely on DMB versions 6.0 and 12.0 for the in-depth review.

Pursue the Pennant and Diamond Mind Baseball (DOS versions)

Running in DosBox emulation, DMB 6.0 completed a week’s worth of games in about two minutes and thirty seconds, or about three seconds per contest, using the following settings:

Display Mode:                               Show Standings

Speed of Play Results:                   Super Fast

Generate Boxscore:                       Yes

Boxscore Format:                           Expanded

Generate Scoresheet:                   Yes

Output to:                                      File

The Cleveland Indians triumphed in 92 contests to pace the American League in victories. Boston edged New York and Seattle to claim the Wild Card in the Junior Circuit. The Tribe battled the Red Sox while the division-leading Angels and Orioles clashed in the opening round of the playoffs. Over in the Senior Circuit, the Braves cruised to the N.L. East title and the Astros finished only two games out in the Central to secure the Wild Card entry. The remaining divisional crowns were claimed by the Reds and the Dodgers.

PTP/DMB did not automatically schedule the playoff rounds, so it was necessary to play the games using Exhibition mode. The user must refer to the injury and fatigue reports if they wish to utilize those data points from the end of the regular season. Injured players on playoff-bound teams included Javy Lopez (ATL), Mark Lewis (CIN), Dave Hansen (LAD) and Rudy Seanez (LAD). All with the exception of Hansen, who suffered an injury during a brawl on September 25, were expected to be available for the Championship Series if their clubs advanced to that round.

ATL – Lopez 10 games 9/30                          E. Perez

CIN – Lewis 10 games 9/29                           E. Owens

LAD – Hansen 25 games 9/22                      Treadway

LAD – Seanez 6 games 9/30                         Fe. Rodriguez

AL Division Series – Cleveland sweeps Boston, 3 games to none

CLE 13 @ BOS 1

CLE 6 @ BOS 3

BOS 7 @ CLE 8

AL Division Series – California defeats Baltimore, 3 games to 1

CAL 10 @ BAL 6

CAL 7 @ BAL 8

BAL 0 @ CAL 2

BAL 0 @ CAL 5

NL Division Series – Houston defeats Atlanta, 3 games to 1

ATL 1 @ HOU 2

ATL 2 @ HOU 3

HOU 4 @ ATL 6

HOU 2 @ ATL 1

NL Division Series – Cincinnati sweeps Los Angeles, 3 games to none

CIN 3 @ LAD 2   

CIN 10 @ LAD 5

LAD 4 @ CIN 9

AL Championship Series – California defeats Cleveland, 4 games to 1

CAL 2 @ CLE 3

CAL 7 @ CLE 6

CLE 4 @ CAL 5

CLE 2 @ CAL 5

CLE 4 @ CAL 8

NL Championship Series – Houston defeats Cincinnati, 4 games to 3

HOU 0 @ CIN 5

HOU 4 @ CIN 0

CIN 4 @ HOU 1

CIN 2 @ HOU 8

CIN 2 @ HOU 3

HOU 5 @ CIN 6

HOU 4 @ CIN 2

The Baltimore skipper twice pinch-hit Gregg Zaun for Cal Ripken Jr. in the late innings of close games during the Orioles – Angels playoff series. While I’m sure that the virtual Gregg Zaun was both shocked and thrilled to have this opportunity, it detracted from the “realism” of the game in process. In the fifth game of the American League Championship Series with the Tribe trailing 8-4 in the top of the ninth, the Cleveland manager elected to send Tony Pena up to the plate for leadoff hitter extraordinaire, Kenny Lofton. Granted, southpaw Bob Patterson just entered the contest but I’d rather take my chances with the table-setting All-Star to start a late-inning rally than my veteran backup catcher.

World Series

The Halos prepared to take on the ‘Stros at the Astrodome with the World Series trophy at stake. California’s ace left-hander Chuck Finley finished his warm-ups in the bullpen while Shane Reynolds strolled to the mound for the hometown team. Brian L. Hunter wreaked havoc on the base paths to register the first run for the Astros. He singled, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and slid under the tag at home plate following a hard grounder to short by Craig Biggio. Reynolds escaped a bases-loaded jam in the visitor’s sixth and the score remained 1-0. Reynolds helped his own cause with a 2-run single to right in the seventh, knocking Finley from the contest. Derek Bell delivered a base hit against Mike James to knock in the Astros’ fourth run of the inning. Todd Jones relieved Reynolds to commence the top of the eighth and pinch-hitter Spike Owen greeted him with a two-bagger off the wall in center field. Jones quickly rebounded by striking out Tony Phillips, Jim Edmonds and Tim Salmon in succession.  Rex Hudler rapped a single with two outs on the ninth. Tony Eusebio blocked a Jones’ offering in the dirt. It skipped a few feet away from him but he pounced on it and proceeded to gun down Hudler as he tried to advance to second for the final out of the game. Reynolds and Jones combined for the 4-0 shutout and the Houston faithful roared with approval as their ballclub assumed the 1-0 advantage in the Series.

Veteran hurlers Mark Langston and Doug Drabek received the starting nods in Game 2 for the Angels and the Astros, respectively. Garret Anderson slapped a base hit leading off the second inning and advanced ninety feet when Drabek drilled Rex Hudler with an inside fastball. A subsequent wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position. Greg Myers hit a fielder’s choice to Craig Biggio, plating Anderson with the Halos’ first tally of the Series. Tony Phillips tapped a little dribbler down the third base line which stopped on the infield grass in fair territory, scoring Hudler. In the home half of the same frame, Craig Shipley singled, stole second and scored easily on a double off the bat of James Mouton. Drabek blooped a base hit into right field to drive Mouton home with the tying run. Langston issued consecutive walks to Biggio and Jeff Bagwell later in the inning to force in a run. Derek Bell followed with a two-run base knock and Houston held a 5-2 advantage. Eusebio ripped a two-base hit to increase the lead to 6-2. Langston exited the contest in favor of right-hander Shawn Boskie. California’s offense came right back against Drabek in the third. Anderson singled and moved up to second base on a balk. Hudler delivered a base hit to cut the lead in half at 6-3. Gary DiSarcina slashed a single to right-center which sent Drabek to the showers. Houston skipper Terry Collins summoned Jim Dougherty from the bullpen.  Jorge Fabregas, batting for Boskie, laced a single down the right field line which knocked in Hudler and sent DiSarcina scurrying over to third. Phillips drilled a double up the gap in left-center to reduce the ‘Stros lead to 6-5. Collins signaled for Dougherty to issue an intentional walk to Jim Edmonds, loading the bases for Tim Salmon. “Kingfish” roped a line drive to center but Brian L. Hunter tracked it down. Portsider Brian J. Anderson entered the match as the Astros prepared to bat in the bottom of the third. “Antic” held Houston in check with a couple of scoreless frames. Doug Brocail relieved Dougherty in the fifth and promptly yielded a game-tying round-tripper to Myers. John Habyan allowed four singles in one-third of an inning as Houston reclaimed the lead in the home half of the fifth by a score of 8 to 6. Eusebio hammered a two-run single back through the box against Mike Butcher in the sixth to extend the lead to 10-6. Collins elected to bring in his closer, Todd Jones, to start the top of the eighth inning. He gave the fans a scare when J.T. Snow lofted a deep fly ball to center with two on and two outs, but Hunter flagged it down at the warning track. In the ninth, Anderson and Hudler opened with successive singles. Jones bounced one in the dirt which ricocheted off Eusebio’s chest protector and rolled towards the dugout as both baserunners advanced. Myers turned on a Jones’ heater and deposited it deep in the right field seats for a three-run blast, cutting the Angels’ deficit to one run. Jones recovered to strike out DiSarcina and retire pinch-hitter Chili Davis on a lazy fly ball to left. Bagwell booted Phillips’ grounder to keep the Halos’ hopes alive with two down in the ninth. Edmonds hit a high hopper back to the mound, which Jones gloved and fired to first to secure the victory. Both teams boarded flights bound for the Golden State with the Astros up two games to none.

The Angels were counting on Jim Abbott to put one in the win column after the club dropped consecutive games at the Astrodome. Houston countered with fellow left-hander Greg Swindell. California broke through in the bottom of the third when Gary DiSarcina crushed a three-run blast into the left field bleachers. Tim Salmon socked a two-run double into the left-center field gap, giving the Halos a 5-0 lead in the fifth. Jim Dougherty came on to replace Swindell and face the top of the Angels’ batting order in the home half of the seventh. He got into a bit of a jam but induced a 6-4-3 double-play grounder off the bat of Chili Davis. Abbott continued to put zeroes on the scoreboard until he yielded to Troy Percival in the ninth after allowing a leadoff two-bagger to pinch-hitter Tony Eusebio. Craig Shipley cracked a single to left and then Luis Gonzalez lofted an opposite-field, three-run circuit clout down the left field line! The Angels lead was trimmed to 5-3 so Lee Smith began to warm up in the bullpen just in case Percival got into any further trouble. Dave Magadan hit a harmless fly to left and Percival threw his blazing heater past John Cangelosi and Brian L. Hunter as California celebrated their triumph in Game 3.

Both teams elected to go with a three-man rotation, so Game 4 featured a rematch of Shane Reynolds and Chuck Finley. Tony Phillips ignited the Angels offense when he led off the bottom of the first with a wallop into the right-field seats. Reynolds held the Halos hitless through the next four frames but Finley kept Houston off the board as well. Gary DiSarcina started the sixth with a base knock and Jim Edmonds crushed a two-run shot into the second deck in right to provide Finley with a 3-0 cushion. Chili Davis contributed a solo swat in the seventh. Houston went quietly in the ninth as California knotted the Series at two games apiece. Finley was credited with a six-hit shutout as his teammates greeted him with handshakes and high-fives on the mound after he recorded the final out.

Houston had the Halos on the ropes immediately in Game 5. After retiring Brian L. Hunter on a grounder to Gary DiSarcina, Mark Langston allowed three consecutive singles to Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and Derek Bell to put the ‘Stros ahead, 1-0. An errant curveball plunked Tony Eusebio to load the bases. Mindful of Langston’s atrocious outing in Game 2, I made a call down to the bullpen and advised my coach to have Shawn Boskie begin to loosen up. I didn’t want the game to get out of hand before the Angels had a chance to bat. Craig Shipley lifted a medium fly ball to center which Jim Edmonds caught but it was deep enough to allow “Bagpipes” to tag up and score. Langston escaped further damage when James Mouton grounded out to shortstop. Doug Drabek issued a walk to Tony Phillips but the Angels failed to advance him in the bottom of the first. Langston yielded three more hits and a walk in the following frame including an RBI knock by Hunter. Boskie entered the contest with the sacks juiced, only one out and California trailing 3-0. Bell hit into a fielder’s choice, plating the fourth run for Houston. Tony Eusebio tapped a slow roller towards second. Rex Hudler gloved it and fired to first to retire the side. Biggio rapped a double into the left field corner, scoring John Cangelosi, who hit a two-bagger of his own leading off the fourth. Bagwell subsequently drilled another two-base hit down the left field line to drive in Biggio as the ‘Stros built a 6-0 lead. Bell clubbed a 2-run dinger over the fence in right-center and the rout was officially on. Mike Bielecki relieved Boskie with two down in the visitor’s fourth and the Halos behind 8-0. He immediately botched an easy grounder back to the box, allowing Mouton to reach base and keep the inning alive. Orlando Miller drew a walk to load the bases, but Cangelosi mercifully popped out to DiSarcina. Garret Anderson got the Angels on the scoreboard with a two-base knock into the right-center field gap, driving in Chili Davis and sending J.T. Snow to third. Hudler subsequently smacked a two-run single and the previously silenced crowd began to perk up. After Greg Myers whiffed, DiSarcina and Hudler perfectly executed a hit-and-run to place runners at first and third with two away. Phillips coaxed another free pass to put ducks on the pond. Edmonds singled up the middle to register a pair of tallies. The Angels had clawed their way back into the contest and Tim Salmon strolled to the plate representing the tying run! Drabek reached back for something extra and he induced a check-swing ground ball to Biggio. Houston had been in command moments earlier but now clung to a tenuous 8-5 advantage after four frames. Hunter led off the fifth with a single, stole second and came home on Bell’s single off John Habyan. Snow cut off the throw home and gunned down Bell trying to sneak into second. Anderson dropped a can of corn to left off the bat of Shipley which proved costly later in the inning. Miller greeted reliever Mike Butcher with base hit to left, scoring Shipley. Cangelosi walked to load the bases. Snow bailed the Angels out with a superb 3-2-3 double play! Eusebio launched a three-run shot over the wall in right-center off Butcher in the seventh to restore the previous 8-run lead for the Astros. Houston padded the score when Biggio commenced the ninth with a solo shot to left and Eusebio delivered an RBI single later in the inning. Doug Brocail hurled a pair of scoreless frames to close out the 15-5 blowout. The clubs travelled back to the Lone Star State with the Astros needing just one more victory to secure the title.

Portsiders Jim Abbott and Greg Swindell squared off in Game 6 and both pitchers put up goose eggs early. Abbott ran into some trouble in the fifth as the ‘Stros loaded the bases with two outs, prompting a call to the bullpen. Shawn Boskie came in to face Derek Bell, gaining the platoon advantage (Bell batted .410 versus left-handers in ’95). The move paid off as Jim Edmonds camped under Bell’s shallow fly ball to center to close out the frame. In the top of the seventh, successive two-baggers by Gary DiSarcina and pinch-hitter Damion Easley finally broke up the dual shutout. Terry Collins immediately responded with a double-switch, replacing Swindell on the bump with Dave Veres and inserting Derrick May in left field. Tony Phillips skied one a mile high and Orlando Miller settled under it for the first out. Collins summoned the lefty, Dean Hartgraves, to pitch to Edmonds. Another good move, as Edmonds grounded to short and Easley remained anchored to the bag at second. The Astros’ skipper ordered an intentional pass to Tim Salmon. Snow coaxed a base on balls, putting ducks on the pond. Garret Anderson hit a slow roller to Jeff Bagwell to end the threat. Luis Gonzalez, batting for May, crushed a one-out solo shot to right field to knot the score at 1-1 off Halos’ reliever Mike James. Doug Brocail pitched a scoreless eighth for Houston. James rebounded to strike out Bagwell, Bell and Rick Wilkins in succession during the home half of the inning. Spike Owen, batting for James, flared a base hit into left field to open the top of the ninth. Phillips drew a walk but Edmonds whiffed and Salmon popped up to short. Craig Shipley caught Snow’s foul fly and the contest drifted to the bottom of the ninth, tied at 1-1. Troy Percival drilled pinch-hitter John Cangelosi who promptly swiped second. That decision backfired for Houston as it allowed for an intentional walk to Gonzalez. Percival blew away Brian L. Hunter with a blazing heater as he struck out the side. Collins placed another call to the bullpen after Brocail worked a pair of scoreless frames. Todd Jones strolled to the mound to do battle with the lower half of the California batting order. He sandwiched a couple of strikeouts around a medium fly ball to center by Rex Hudler. Percival survived a scare in the bottom of the tenth. Bell took a walk with two outs and pilfered second base. Rick Wilkins drove one deep to center but Edmonds hauled it in at the warning track. In the eleventh, pinch-hitter Tony Eusebio sent Edmonds to the fence with two outs but again the ‘Stros came up just short. Veteran reliever Mike Henneman picked off Chili Davis with two down in the top of the twelfth. California countered with Lee Smith in the home half of the twelfth. The Astros committed their own base running blunder in the bottom of the frame when Hunter was caught stealing second with two down and Bagwell at the dish. Two innings later, the Angels nailed Ricky Gutierrez attempting to pilfer second with two outs. Henneman finally tapped out after putting up three zeroes as Jim Dougherty took the mound in the top of the fifteenth. Salmon legged out an infield hit when Bagwell fielded a grounder in the hole between first and second but Dougherty failed to cover the bag in time. California’s last reserve position player, Jose Lind, batted for John Habyan. He tried to sacrifice Salmon over to second base but popped up to the pitcher. Anderson ripped a single to center and “Kingfish” advanced to third with one away. Hudler lofted a fly ball to center which Hunter caught but he was unable to throw Salmon out as the Angels assumed the lead, 2-1. Mike Bielecki got the call in the bottom of the fifteenth to face Gonzalez followed by the top of the order. He fielded Gonzalez’ dribbler up the third base line and threw him out. DiSarcina made a diving stop of Hunter’s bounding ball up the middle and fired to first in time for the second out. Reviewing the platoon splits again, the Angels’ manager made one more call to the bullpen. Mike Butcher versus Craig Biggio – Butcher carved him up with an inside fastball for strike three! California survived 2-1 in 15 innings and the exhausted teams would lock horns again in less than 24 hours with the World Series trophy hanging in the balance.

Houston struck quickly in the first as staff aces Chuck Finley and Shane Reynolds dueled for the third time in the Series. Brian L. Hunter led off the contest with a clean single to center. He swiped second and advanced to third on Greg Myers’ errant throw. Craig Biggio collected an RBI on a ground out to shortstop. Myers redeemed himself with a two-base knock to start the visitor’s third and he scored on a ground-rule opposite-field double off the bat of Gary DiSarcina. Reynolds bobbled a comebacker by Finley, putting runners at the corners with no outs. Tony Phillips reached on an infield hit to shortstop, scoring DiSarcina. After Jim Edmonds went down on strikes, Tim Salmon’s bloop single down the left field line knocked in Finley and sent Phillips scurrying over to third. J.T. Snow ripped a base hit between first and second. Phillips trotted home but Salmon was cut down at third by a laser peg from Derek Bell. Back-to-back base knocks by Garret Anderson and Rex Hudler sent Reynolds to the showers with the Halos ahead, 5-1. Jim Dougherty was called upon to stop the bleeding as the Houston faithful voiced their displeasure. Myers, batting for the second time in the inning, laced a single over a leaping Biggio to keep the carousel turning. DiSarcina tapped a slow roller to Dougherty, who wheeled and fired to first for the final out of the inning. Snow swatted a solo shot to left field leading off the fifth as the Angels advantage increased to 7-1. Derek Bell doubled in a run and Tony Eusebio hammered a two-run single as the Astros chipped away at the deficit in the home half of the fifth. Craig Shipley drilled a two-bagger and Eusebio evaded the tag to make it 7-5. Mike James relieved Finley and promptly issued a walk to James Mouton. Orlando Miller knotted the score at 7-7 when he slapped a two-run double in the right field corner. The mood in the stadium did a complete 360 as the fans were on their feet and cheering for the ‘Stros again! Pinch-hitter Phil Plantier drew a base on balls but James got Hunter on a fly ball to Edmonds to end the onslaught. Dave Veres entered the contest for Houston and he retired the side in order. Eusebio plated the go-ahead run on a sinking liner to left, scoring Biggio as the Astros assumed the lead, 8-7. Dean Hartgraves twirled a scoreless seventh as the outs ticked away on the Angels’ campaign. Bob Patterson picked off Miller but yielded a two-out triple to Hunter in the bottom of the seventh. Troy Percival walked Biggio and Jeff Bagwell to load the bases but he recovered to induce a ground out to second by Bell to maintain the one-run deficit. Terry Collins called upon Todd Jones to record the final six outs of the season. He pitched a clean eighth inning and stomped off the mound to rile up the crowd. Percival held Houston at bay in the bottom of the eighth. Chili Davis, relegated to pinch-hitting duties in the National League ballpark, went down swinging against Jones to open the ninth. Phillips clubbed Jones’ 1-2 offering deep towards the gap in right-center field. Hunter raced back to the warning track but the ball reached the seats. The crowd sat in stunned disbelief as Phillips circled the bases and touched home plate to knot the score at 8-8! Edmonds laced a single between first and second, bringing “Mr. Angel” to the dish. Salmon stepped into the box and connected on a 1-0 fastball, sending it into orbit towards right-center. Hunter could only watch as the ball easily cleared the wall for a 2-run blast! The Angels dugout erupted in unison while Jones screamed into his glove. Damion Easley, batting for Percival, whacked a single to center. Anderson socked a double to left-center to drive in another run. Collins finally replaced Jones with Doug Brocail. Hudler hit a bounding ball to Bagwell and slid head-first to beat him to the bag. Myers delivered a single to right as Hudler scooted to third and Anderson jogged home for a 12-8 Angels’ advantage. DiSarcina mercifully ended the frame for Houston when he grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Lee Smith took the mound in an attempt to register the last three outs. Biggio flew out to Salmon at the warning track in right and the Angels stormed the field in celebration of their hard-fought victory! Garret Anderson hit safely in every game and registered 13 hits in 32 at-bats (.406 BA) to secure World Series MVP honors.

World Series Results:

CAL 0 @ HOU 4

CAL 9 @ HOU 10

HOU 3 @ CAL 5

HOU 0 @ CAL 4

HOU 15 @ CAL 5

CAL 2 @ HOU 1 (15)

CAL 12 @ HOU 8

Diamond Mind Baseball (Windows) – Version 12

I purchased Diamond Mind Baseball through the company’s website and downloaded the free DMB Encyclopedia as well. I searched the web for custom / homebrew user-created seasons and located several file repositories:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/fansofdmb/homebrew-season-repository-with-version-11-files-t5397.html

https://github.com/fishinnabarrel/dmb-homebrew/tree/master/Compilations

For the purposes of this review, I chose the All-Time Greats created by Keith Hemmelman. DMB v12 allows you to import databases from any of the prior Windows versions (v8 through v11) so I followed the instructions to convert the files from version 11 to 12. I selected View – Roster/Manager Profile and then chose the first team on the list (Anaheim Angels). The user is presented with the following tabs: Roster, Pitching, Saved Lineup, Depth Chart, Mgr Tendencies, Player Tendencies and MP Report.

I reviewed the lineups, rotations and relievers preferences for each team and made several adjustments. For the organizational settings I decided to utilize the designated hitter in both leagues but otherwise kept the default rules intact (using the pre-2020 rules for extra innings, for example). I made a backup of the organization and proceeded to play through the schedule one month at a time, modifying the active rosters, lineups and pitching depth charts along the way to account for injuries and ineffectiveness.

All-Star Break

standings (American League)

batting leaders (American League)

pitching leaders (American League)

standings (National League)

batting leaders (National League)

pitching leaders (National League)

Regular Season standings, leaders, etc.

standings (American League)

batting leaders (American League)

pitching leaders (American League)

American League index (Individual, Team Totals, etc.)

standings (National League)

batting leaders (National League)

pitching leaders (National League)

National League index (Individual, Team Totals, etc.)

When the regular season ended, I backed up my files again and prepared for post-season action. DMB permits multiple playoff scenarios and allows the user to configure the contestants for each round, generate the schedule, incorporate planned days off, etc.

The Orioles travelled to New York to battle the Yankees in the American League Wild Card game. Baltimore’s ace Jim Palmer was on the bump for the O’s while the Bronx Bombers countered with “Louisiana Lightning”, Ron Guidry. “Diamond” Jim Gentile put the visitors on the board with a big fly into the right-center field bleachers in the top of the second. Roger Maris laced a laser shot into the lower deck in right to knot the score at 1-1 leading off the home half of the second. The Orioles reclaimed the lead with two outs in the visitor’s third when George Sisler reached on a two-base error by Graig Nettles and scored on a Brady Anderson double. “Joltin’ Joe” DiMaggio clubbed a three-run jack into the stands in left field to stake the Pinstripers to a 4-2 advantage in the bottom of the fourth. Pat Dobson relieved Palmer after “Cakes” yielded back-to-back singles to open the fifth. Following a strikeout of Tony Lazerri, Nettles atoned for his fielding miscue when he crushed a three-run shot into the Yankees’ bullpen to extend the Bombers’ lead to 7-2. Derek Jeter sliced a triple into the right field corner and DiMaggio’s subsequent single registered another tally. Ken Williams got one run back for the O’s with a blast deep into the lower deck of the right field seats to start the top of the sixth. Jeter booted a hot grounder off the bat of Gentile and the Orioles’ capitalized when Cal Ripken Jr. lined a base hit down the left field line for a single. Guidry held an 8-4 advantage as he induced Chris Hoiles to pop up to the “Yankee Clipper” in shallow left-center for the final out of the sixth. Brad Brach was announced as the new pitcher for Baltimore. The right-hander retired nine of the ten Yankees that he faced to keep his team in the game but the O’s still trailed by four runs entering the ninth inning. Ripken Jr. ripped a one-out double up the gap in left-center. “Gator” retired Brooks Robinson on a slow roller to third to secure the victory for the New Yorkers.

The Cardinals and Giants squared off in the National League Wild Card match. Juan Marichal got the nod for the hometown squad while Bob Gibson earned the start for the Redbirds. Willie McCovey broke up the pitcher’s duel in the fourth with a solo blast into the right field seats. The “Dominican Dandy” held the Cards in check until the top of the eighth when pinch-hitter Jesse Burkett led off the frame with a screaming liner that just cleared the wall in right to knot the score at 1-1. Jason Isringhausen replaced “Hoot” on the hill and he retired the Giants in order in the home half of the eighth. Robb Nen entered the contest to commence the top of the ninth. He yielded a one-out single to Mark McGwire and issued a base on balls to Albert Pujols with two away. Joe Medwick tattooed a low, inside heater deep to left field for a three-run bomb! The Cardinals skipper summoned “The Mad Hungarian”, Al Hrabosky, to protect the lead. Buster Posey collected his third hit of the game with two outs, but Jeff Kent grounded out to Rogers Hornsby as the stunned crowd exited the Polo Grounds as the Giants were eliminated from the playoffs.

The Tigers claimed a 5-4 victory in Game 1 of their divisional series. The starting pitchers did not figure in the decision as Justin Verlander and Pedro J. Martinez both failed to make it through 5 innings. Detroit’s backstop Johnny Bassler led off the sixth inning with an opposite-field wallop that easily cleared the Green Monster. Ty Cobb snapped a 5-5 tie in the seventh frame as the Tigers prevailed and returned to Motown with a 2-0 advantage in the series. Boston rebounded with a 4-3 win at Navin Field in Game 3 on the strength of eight solid innings by Cy Young. A slugfest ensued in Game 4 with the score knotted at 11-11 at the end of nine innings. Fred Lynn capped a 5-run outburst by the Sox in the top of the tenth with a grand salami and the visitors sent the series back to Boston with the 16-12 triumph. Verlander bested Martinez 4-2 in the deciding game at Fenway Park.

The Athletics scored in every inning except the fifth as they pummeled the Yankees 14-6 to kick off the other A.L. divisional matchup. Five A’s registered three hits each including Jimmie Foxx. “Double X” contributed a pair of long balls and knocked in six runs. Roger Maris belted two round-trippers and Derek Jeter rapped four safeties in a losing effort. New York dug a deeper hole as the Athletics battered Jack Chesbro (6 IP, 15 ER), calling the Yankees’ decision to carry only nine hurlers in the short series into question.  Rickey Henderson and Reggie Jackson launched two homers each and five A’s recorded 3 RBI. Dave Stewart pitched into the ninth inning and Dennis Eckersley notched the save as Philadelphia swept New York to advance to the A.L. Championship Series with a convincing 7-4 win over Lefty Gomez.

Wrigley Field served as a launching pad for the Braves in their Game 1 triumph over the Cubbies as the squad clubbed seven circuit clouts including two apiece by Chipper Jones and Javy Lopez. Chicago evened their series with a 7-4 decision. Both teams swatted four big-flies apiece but John Clarkson went the distance for Chi-Town. Chipper Jones’ fourth inning single was the lone knock against Jake Arrieta as the Cubs assumed a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series with an 8-0 whitewashing. John Smoltz whiffed seven in 8 2/3 innings of work while Lopez produced 3 two-baggers, a tater and 4 RBI to keep the Braves’ hopes alive in a 9-2 drubbing of the Cubs. Greg Maddux twirled a complete game and racked up 8 strikeouts as Boston defeated Chicago 10-2 in the fifth and final contest in the divisional round.

Stan “The Man” Musial racked up three hits and Mark McGwire went yard in the opening tilt between the Cardinals and the Dodgers at Ebbets Field. Duke Snider connected on a two-run, walk-off shot to right field off Jason Isringhausen to knot the series at one game apiece. McGwire drilled a game-ending dinger off Hung-Chih Kuo, one of four circuit clouts for the Redbirds in Game 3 as St. Louis outlasted Brooklyn, 7-6. Bob “Hoot” Gibson outpitched Dazzy Vance and the Dodgers at Sportman’s Park to propel the Cardinals into the N.L. Championship round.

A’s southpaw Mark Mulder scattered 10 hits over 8 innings in the opening game of the American League Championship Series as Philadelphia cruised to a 10-2 victory over Detroit. “Bucketfoot” Al Simmons contributed a pair of long-distance dedications and drove in 4 runs. The second match was tied 4-4 going into the ninth when the Athletics cobbled together 3 hits and a couple of bases on balls against Tigers’ closer John Hiller. Dennis Eckersley allowed one tally in the bottom of the ninth but preserved the 6-5 triumph. Detroit handed Philadelphia their first playoff defeat in Game 3. Miguel Cabrera clubbed a game-tying two-run jack in the eighth. The Tigers scratched out a run in the eleventh and the trio of Frank Lary, Mark Fidrych and John Hiller flummoxed the A’s with 8 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. The word “slugfest” fails to adequately describe Game 4 at Shibe Park as the Motor City Kitties outlasted the Athletics by a final score of 27-24 in 14 innings! Hank Greenberg cranked three long balls in a 5-for-7 effort while plating 9 baserunners. Both teams emptied their respective bullpens and ended up using the projected Game 5 starters, forcing them to shuffle their rotations. Cecil Fielder mashed a 3-run tater as Denny McLain and Willie Hernandez bested Mark Mulder and the Athletics 4-3 as Detroit assumed a 3-2 advantage in the series. The action returned to Navin Field but the hometown crowd fell silent when “Double X” Jimmie Foxx annihilated a John Hiller offering with two outs in the eighth inning of Game 6. The two-run bomb propelled Philadelphia to a 4-3 triumph as Catfish Hunter earned the victory and Keith Foulke notched the save with two hitless frames. “Prince” Hal Newhouser twirled a four-hit shutout in Game 7 to send the Motown squad to the World Series. Cecil Fielder’s two-RBI base knock capped a three-run uprising against Philadelphia ace Lefty Grove and the Tigers never looked back on the road to a decisive 4-0 victory in the finale.

St. Louis trailed 9-6 heading into the top of the ninth in Game 1 of the NLCS, but the Braves bullpen imploded as Craig Kimbrel and John Rocker yielded 5 hits and a walk en route to a 10-9 defeat. Redbirds’ third-sacker Joe Torre plated the go-ahead run on a two-out infield single. Hugh Duffy rapped four extra-base hits including a solo homer as Boston prevailed 9-3 to even the series at one game apiece. St. Louis second-sacker Rogers Hornsby registered a 5-hit effort in Game 3 including a couple of four-base knocks as the Cards cruised to a 9-3 triumph. John Tudor contributed 8 innings of 6-hit ball. Greg Maddux and Bob Gibson locked horns in a pitcher’s duel in the fourth contest. Jim Edmonds coaxed a leadoff walk against “Mad Dog” in the ninth. Craig Kimbrel entered the game and yielded a base on balls followed by back-to-back singles to Joe Medwick and Yadier Molina as Boston suffered their third loss in the series. Kid Nichols hurled a 5-hit complete game and Wally Berger recorded 3 hits including a dinger and 5 RBI as the Braves routed the Cardinals, 15-1 to keep Boston’s hopes alive. In Game 6 the Braves were on the brink of elimination, trailing 4-1 entering the home half of the ninth. Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky served up a three-run clout to Javy Lopez and Jason Isringhausen surrendered a two-run walkoff wallop off the bat of Dale Murphy as Boston survived, 6-4. John Tudor and John Smoltz pitched seven innings of three-run ball but both skippers turned the game over to their respective bullpens in the eighth frame. Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff hammered the game-winner, a two-run opposite-field clout off Isringhausen in the bottom of the eighth. Craig Kimbrel retired Willie McGee on a liner to left fielder Rico Carty to seal the deal as the Braves prevailed 5-3 and advanced to the World Series. 

Boston and Detroit lined up their respective aces, Greg Maddux and Justin Verlander, to start the opener in the final round. After the pre-game festivities concluded, Detroit promptly registered the first run of the contest on back-to-back doubles by Sam Crawford and Hank Greenberg. Tommy Holmes rocked a two-bagger off the base of the right field wall, moved to third on a wild pitch by Verlander and scored easily on a slow roller off the bat of Henry Aaron to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first. Crawford cracked another two-bagger with one away in the visitor’s sixth and Greenberg slapped a single into right field to plate the go-ahead run. “JV” was in cruise control until two outs in the seventh when Bobby Lowe sent a curveball high and deep over the fence in right for a solo shot to even the score at 2-2. Hugh Duffy hammered a long fly to left-center that soared over the wall leading off the home half of the eighth as the Braves assumed the lead, 3-2. Craig Kimbrel fanned two of the three Tigers he faced in the ninth to secure the save.

Denny McLain got the nod in Game 2 for Detroit while Boston countered with Charles “Kid” Nichols. Hugh Duffy led off the bottom of the first with a single, swiped second and came around on a base hit by Chipper Jones. The Tigers battled back to tie the game in the top of the second when Norm Cash laced a double off Eddie Mathews’ glove and later scored on an Alan Trammell sacrifice fly. Jones drove in his second run of the contest with a two-out double in the home half of the frame as Herman Long sprinted around the base paths and dove in safely just under the tag by Bill Freehan. The Braves suffered a severe blow when Hank Aaron was injured running out a grounder to first. Fred McGriff replaced “Hammer” on defense in the top of the fourth. Trammell laced a two-out knock to plate Norm Cash as Detroit evened the score again. Wally Berger and Brian McCann belted back-to-back jacks to center off McLain with two gone in the sixth as Boston reclaimed the lead, 4-2. McLain served up a gopher ball to Long leading off the seventh. The Tigers’ skipper made the move to the bullpen, summoning Frank Lary to face the top of the order for the Bostonians. Duffy greeted the right-hander with a double and trotted home on a triple off the bat of Tommy Holmes. Jones hit a little dribbler up the first base line. Hank Greenberg hoped it would roll foul but the ball came to a stop in fair territory. Holmes crossed home plate effortlessly and the Braves extended their advantage to 7-2. Detroit had failed to record an out in the inning as the heart of the Boston order eagerly took their practice swings. Lary settled down and induced a pair of fly outs to right, but Berger blasted one out to deep left-center. Mark Fidrych, the third Tigers’ hurler to take the mound in the seventh, mercifully got McCann on a ground out to shortstop to end the frame with his club trailing 9-2. Buzz Capra entered after Nichols issued a free pass to Sam Crawford to begin the eighth inning. Greenberg grounded into a double play but Cash deposited one deep into the right-field seats. Cobb legged out a three-base hit in the visitor’s ninth to cut the Braves’ lead to 9-4 but Capra got Harry Heilmann on a two-hopper to third for the final out.

The series shifted to Motown and “The Georgia Peach” was determined to make his presence known. He led off the bottom of the first with a base knock, swiped second and third on consecutive pitches, and then dashed home on a Harry Heilmann grounder to the right side of the infield to give Detroit the 1-0 lead.  Cobb drove John Smoltz to distraction in the third to generate the Tigers’ second run of the ballgame. After reaching first on a fielder’s choice, he safely stole second despite a pitchout by the Braves. The home plate umpire called a balk on Smoltz, moving Cobb up ninety feet. Heilmann laced a single to left to complete the sequence. The Motor City Kitties proceeded to load the bases on a ground-rule double off the bat of “Wahoo” Sam Crawford and a free pass to Hank Greenberg. Smoltz dug in, reached back for a little extra, and whiffed Norm Cash for the final out to keep the Braves’ deficit at two. Johnny Bassler rapped a base hit to start the fifth frame for the Bengals and Cobb drove him in with a three-bagger up the right-center field gap. Heilmann plated Cobb with a sharp line drive past a diving Eddie Mathews. The Braves’ pen began to stir with their club trailing by four tallies but “Smoltzie” escaped the threat without any further damage. Detroit scratched across another run in the sixth on consecutive base hits by Miguel Cabrera and Charlie Gehringer followed by an error by Mathews and a a fielder’s choice. Phil Niekro replaced Smoltz as the menacing Cobb peered in from the on-deck circle. Boston’s skipper wisely elected to issue a free pass with first base open. “Knucksie” got Heilmann to fly out to left field. Meanwhile “Prince” Hal Newhouser was dominating the opposition, yielding only a pair of safeties through seven frames. The Tigers tacked on three runs in the seventh against Niekro, so Boston summoned right-hander Johnny Sain for a mop-up appearance. Jeff Blauser slashed an RBI double up the alley in right-center to end Newhouser’s bid for a shutout. Hugh Duffy and Rico Carty followed with successive infield hits, plating Blauser to make it an 8-2 game. Alan Trammell botched an easy grounder by Chipper Jones to load the bases for the Braves. Willie Hernandez relieved Newhouser and got Javy Lopez on a high chopper to the “Mechanical Man”, Gehringer, to retire the side. Boston began the top of the ninth with three straight hits off Hernandez including a two-bagger by Dale Murphy to cut the Tigers’ advantage to 8-3. John Hiller entered the contest as the hometown fans tried to spur their ball club to victory. Murphy raced home and Fred McGriff moved up to second on Davey Johnson’s worm-burner to shortstop. Pinch-hitter Bobby Lowe flew out to Cobb for out number two, but Duffy ripped a single up the middle to pick up McGriff for Boston’s fifth run. Hiller’s full count delivery to pinch-hitter Wally Berger caught too much of the plate and it sailed over the left field fence for a two-run dinger! Chipper Jones strolled to the plate with a chance to tie the score. He lofted a can of corn to center… Cobb settled under it and made the catch, and the Tigers’ fans breathed a collective sigh as the club barely held on for an 8-7 triumph.

Detroit was aggressive on the base paths early in Game 4. Ty Cobb cracked a single off Tom Glavine in the bottom of the first and Harry Heilmann walked. The Tigers executed the double steal to perfection against Glavine and his battery-mate Javy Lopez. Sam Crawford’s slow roller to short allowed Cobb to score easily from third. In the second frame, Cobb lined a two-out single to left and Charlie Gehringer barely evaded Lopez’ tag at home as Detroit added to their lead. Mickey Lolich grooved a four-seamer to Eddie Mathews who deposited the ball deep in the right-field seats to knot the score at 2-2 in the third. One inning later Wally Berger laced a single up the middle and Jeff Blauser just beat Cobb’s rifle throw from center as Boston assumed the 3-2 advantage. Gehringer commenced the home half of the fourth with a two-base knock to deep right-center and Alan Trammell followed with a shallow single to left, placing runners on first and third with no outs. Dale Murphy gloved Bill Freehan’s lazy fly ball to right but subsequently fell down, allowing the “Mechanical Man” to tag up and score without a play at the plate. Lopez crushed a long ball after Mathews walked leading off the fifth, putting the Braves back on top 5-3. That was the final straw for Lolich’s outing as the Tigers’ skipper summoned Frank Lary from the bullpen. Cecil Fielder smoked a hot grounder to Blauser in the bottom of the fifth for an infield hit, scoring Hank Greenberg and cutting the Boston lead to one run. Glavine hit the showers after issuing a free pass to Gehringer to load the bases. Gene Garber got the call in the perilous situation. Trammell sliced the ball towards the right field corner. Murphy made the catch but Miguel Cabrera tallied the tying run on the sacrifice fly and Fielder moved up to third. Freehan grounded out to second but the match was again even at 5-5. Ralph Garr, batting for Blauser, ripped a double down the right-field line to start the sixth. Lary buckled down and retired the top of the Boston order. Niekro ceded the mound to John Rocker after yielding a walk to Gehringer and a single to Trammell to begin the home eighth. Norm Cash, batting for Freehan, sent one to the warning track in left. Berger snagged it but Gehringer tagged up and advanced to third. Boston elected to issue an intentional walk to “The Georgia Peach”. The sacks were juiced for Heilmann with one out and the go-ahead run standing only ninety feet away from home plate. “Slug” hammered a two-base knock to the right-center field gap, plating all three Detroit baserunners as the hometown team took command of the ballgame, 8-5. “Wahoo Sam” lashed a liner over the mound and into center field to drive in another run. Willie Hernandez held the Braves in check for two innings and remained on the bump to start the visitor’s ninth. After a one-out base on balls to Chipper Jones, Detroit elected to bring Jim Bunning into the contest. He whiffed Mathews and got Lopez on a three-hopper to Gehringer for the final out as the Tigers picked up their second straight victory to even the series at 2-2.

Norm Cash clubbed a solo circuit clout in the bottom of the second off Greg Maddux to put Detroit on the scoreboard in Game 5. The Tigers loaded the bases with no outs in the third on a single, walk and a fielding error by Bobby Lowe. Harry Heilmann ripped a single to center to plate one run. “Mad Dog” buckled down and escaped further damage with an assist from Tommy Holmes, who gunned down Johnny Bassler when the Tigers’ backstop tried to tag up and score on Hank Greenberg’s fly ball to right. In the fourth inning, Charlie Gehringer lined a two-base hit up the gap in right-center, plating Cash with Detroit’s third run. Boston finally got to Verlander with four successive singles to open the seventh. Fred McGriff registered the first tally but Wally Berger was cut down at home when Bassler blocked the plate upon receiving the throw from Heilmann. Hugh Duffy stepped to the dish and promptly connected on a three-run shot with silenced the hometown crowd and put the Bostonians ahead, 4-3! That signaled the end of Verlander’s outing as Jim Bunning was summoned from the ‘pen. He retired Holmes on a ground out to Greenberg and then proceeded to load the bases on a Chipper Jones double followed by a throwing error by third baseman Miguel Cabrera and a hit by pitch. Luckily for the Tigers’ faithful, the right-hander froze Fred McGriff on an inside fastball to get out of the jam with Detroit only trailing by a lone run. Maddux left the contest in favor of John Rocker. The fire-balling left-hander whiffed a pair of Tigers in the seventh. Boston added to their lead on a two-out line drive single to center by Holmes. Ty Cobb pegged Herman Long attempting to advance from first to third, the second Braves’ baserunner to be snuffed out on the base paths in the last two frames. The Tigers came roaring back after Gene Garber relieved Rocker with one down in the eighth. Gehringer and Alan Trammell rapped back-to-back doubles to narrow Boston’s lead to 5-4. Bassler’s single to shallow center placed runners on the corners with two away. Detroit knotted the score at 5-5 when Garber uncorked a wild pitch while battling Cobb. Boston’s skipper elected to walk “The Georgia Peach” and then he called upon Buzz Capra to deal with Heilmann. Eddie Mathews backhanded a hot smash off Heilmann’s bat, whirled and threw to second base for the force out. John Hiller opened the visitor’s ninth and Jones greeted him with a blast to the left field warning track which was snared by “Wahoo” Sam Crawford. Hiller walked Mathews but got two more fly ball outs to retire the side. Crawford was injured trying to leg out an infield hit leading off the bottom of the ninth. Craig Kimbrel jogged in from the bullpen to relieve Capra. Greenberg reached on an error by Long and shocked everyone when he swiped second. However, this allowed Boston to walk the left-handed hitting Cash in favor of Cabrera. Kimbrel won the battle, striking out “Miggy” and getting the “Mechanical Man” on a pop-up to Mathews. Al Kaline replaced Crawford in right field and the game proceeded into extra innings. Berger strolled to the plate, dug up and walloped a deep fly into the left-field seats leading off the top of the tenth. Kimbrel remained on the hill in the bottom of the tenth as Detroit sent Al Wingo up as a pinch-hitter for Trammell. Wingo drilled a base knock past a diving stab by Bobby Lowe. Lou Whitaker batted for Bassler and hit into a fielder’s choice for the first out. Cobb’s liner to right sent “Sweet Lou” scurrying to third. Kimbrel appeared to be tiring so Johnny Sain came into the contest with runners on first and third, one out and a very tenuous 6-5 lead. Heilmann smacked a liner back to the box. It ricocheted off Sain and bounced over to Mathews, but he had no play. Whitaker scored and the game was tied 6-6! The potential winning run was perched at second base and Kaline sauntered from the on-deck circle to the batters’ box for his first at-bat of the day. He flared a little liner over second base and Duffy quickly raced in to grab it on one hop. Cobb tried to score but Duffy’s throw beat him to the plate and Lopez applied the tag! Sain still had to contend with Greenberg with runners on first and second, two out. “Hammerin’ Hank” worked the count full before whiffing on a breaking ball. Dale Murphy, batting for Holmes, lined a single between first and second to start the eleventh. Hitting from the right side against Hiller, Jones followed with an opposite-field hit to set the Braves up with first-and-third, nobody out. Mathews coaxed a base on balls to load ‘em up. Frank Lary got the call and struck out Javy Lopez with the sacks juiced. “Crime Dog” lofted a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Murphy and sending Jones to third. Berger grounded into a force play. Cash walked to commence the bottom of the eleventh. George Kell pinch-ran and dashed to third on Cabrera’s base knock to left-center. Gehringer reached on an infield hit as Kell scored. Detroit was in the driver’s seat with runners on first and second with nobody out. Phil Niekro, Boston’s last arm in the bullpen, was called upon to prevent his team from being swept at Navin Field. “Knucksie” froze Wingo with a floater for out # 1. Tigers’ backstop Bill Freehan hit a lazy fly ball to right fielder Murphy and then Niekro completed his Houdini act by inducing Cobb to pop up to Mathews. Ralph Garr, batting for Lowe, tapped a little dribbler in front of home plate and beat the throw from Freehan for an infield hit leading off the visitor’s half of the twelfth frame. Mark “The Bird” Fidrych relieved Lary. The “Roadrunner” was erased on a fielder’s choice as Long narrowly avoided rapping into a double play. Duffy split the gap in left for a two-bagger and the relay was just a tad late as Long slid into home with the go-ahead run. Murphy muscled a base hit into right but Kaline nailed Duffy at the dish, the third baserunner kill for Detroit in the game, to keep the score at 8-7. Cobb dropped Jones’ liner to center but Murphy inexplicably held up initially at second and failed to score on the play. Mathews made the play academic when he slashed a two-run triple to the wall in left-center, plating Murphy and Jones to give the Braves a 10-7 cushion. Detroit’s manager slowly walked to the mound to get Fidrych as Willie Hernandez jogged in from the bullpen. Lopez unloaded on Hernandez’s first offering. Cobb just turned and watched as the ball landed in the center field bleachers, over 464 feet away from home plate! Detroit fans sat in disbelief as their club imploded while the chance to take a commanding lead in the World Series disintegrated. McGriff mercifully flew out to Kaline. Niekro retired the side in order as the Braves prevailed by a final score of 12-7. The teams headed back to Beantown with the World Series outcome in the balance.

Detroit came out swinging in Game 6 as Ty Cobb and Harry Heilmann delivered consecutive singles of Kid Nichols before the crowd settled into their seats. Al Kaline, replacing the injured Sam Crawford in right field along with the coveted third slot in the batting order, slapped an infield hit to load the bases. “Hammerin’ Hank” Greenberg lifted a shallow pop fly to the shortstop Herman Long for the first out. Norm Cash coaxed a base on balls, forcing in the first run of the contest. Miguel Cabrera sliced a long fly to the warning track in right, just missing a grand slam. Heilmann tagged up and scored while Kaline advanced to third. Charlie Gehringer ripped a single through the hole in the right side of the infield and the Braves’ bullpen became a beehive of activity as a “3” went up on the scoreboard for the visiting club. Alan Trammell grounded out to second and Nichols remained in the game by a thread. Hugh Duffy lofted a high pop fly down the right field line. Gehringer raced back and nearly made a spectacular grab but the ball clinked off his glove at the last moment and Duffy was credited with a double. Chipper Jones laced a single through the left side to drive in Duffy. Greenberg walloped a four-bagger leading off the top of the third inning as Detroit extended their advantage to 4-1. Phil Niekro got the nod after Nichols issued a free pass to Cobb to start the fourth. “The Georgia Peach” tried to swipe second base but a strong throw by Brian McCann combined with a sweet scoop and tag by Bobby Lowe cut him down. Heilmann followed with a single and Kaline crushed a two-run shot over the left field wall as the Tigers took a 6-1 lead. “Knucksie” yielded a walk to Greenberg along with back-to-back safeties by Cabrera and Gehringer as the Tigers’ lumber crew continued to mash the Braves’ offerings. The Boston skipper reluctantly trudged to the mound, took the ball from Niekro and handed it over to Johnny Sain. Trammell’s high chopper to Lowe mercifully ended the inning. The home team capitalized on an error by the Tigers’ shortstop which allowed Eddie Mathews to safely reach base leading off the bottom of the seventh. McLain served up a two-run gopher ball to the red-hot Wally Berger as Boston crept within striking distance at 7-3. Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff made it back-to-back jacks with a long fly over the wall in center, ending McLain’s night earlier than he anticipated. Detroit made the call to the ‘pen and Jim Bunning trotted to the mound. He retired the next three Braves in order. The Motor City Kitties called upon Mark Fidrych to pitch in the eighth with a three-run lead. Jones dialed long-distance with a solo blast to right-center with two away in the inning to cut the Tigers’ lead to 7-5. Buzz Capra relieved Sain (4 1/3 scoreless innings of relief) after a leadoff walk to Cash to begin the visitor’s ninth. Cabrera was looking to add to his three knocks but the submarine-throwing Capra induced “Miggy” to rap into a 4-6-3 double play. “The Bird” returned to his perch atop the mound as the home ninth got underway. Berger grilled Fidrych’s 2-0 offering to left-center and Heilmann just turned and watch the ball soar over the fence. Boston now trailed by a lone run. McGriff rocked one to deep center but Cobb flagged it down for out #1. McCann hit a worm burner to Trammell for the second out and Fidrych caught pinch-hitter Dale Murphy looking on a 2-2 fastball on the inside corner. Detroit collectively exhaled as the squad held on for a 7-6 triumph. The Series would be decided in 24 hours.

The pesky Ty Cobb was up to his usual antics in Game 7. He worked a walk against John Smoltz leading off the contest and nabbed second. Taunting Smoltz on every pitch, Cobb zoomed around the bases on Hank Greenberg’s sharp single to right as Detroit struck first. “Smoltzie” appeared to be rattled as he hung a curveball to Norm Cash that was promptly deposited into the right-field seats for a two-run dinger. Boston wasted no time in responding as Tom Glavine and Buzz Capra began to loosen up in the bullpen. Miguel Cabrera hit a lazy fly ball to left for the third out but the Braves had their work cut out for them. “Prince Hal” Newhouser allowed a pair of baserunners but escaped the first frame with a zero on the scoreboard. Smoltz settled in and retired the bottom of the lineup in order. In the home half of the second with one away, Fred McGriff legged out a three-bagger that landed in the right-center field gap and rolled all the way to the wall. Davey Johnson drilled a hard grounder through the left side for an RBI base knock – his first hit of the Series. Smoltz plunked Cobb with an 0-2 fastball to commence the third inning. Al Kaline singled to left after Harry Heilmann whiffed and then Greenberg took a free pass to load the bases. Tom Glavine relieved Smoltz with the lefty Cash due up. Boston fans were up in arms when the umpire called “ball four” to Cash which forced in a run. The hometown team trailed 4-1 and the bags were full of Bengals. “Miggy” took care of that with a liner past a diving Eddie Mathews and into the left field corner, scoring a pair to give Detroit a 6-1 advantage. Charlie Gehringer belted the next offering from Glavine high and deep over the center field fence for a three-run blast, and the rout was on! The Braves’ faithful vehemently booed as the manager marched briskly to the mound to remove Glavine in favor of Capra. Alan Trammell rudely welcomed the right-hander with a loud triple up the gap in left-center. Cobb produced a two-out single to left. Trammell trotted home easily with the Tigers’ tenth run but “The Georgia Peach” hurt himself on the play and Detroit replaced him on the base paths with Al Wingo. Heilmann crushed a triple to the opposite field as Wingo scampered around the bags to register the eighth run in the inning as the Tigers took an 11-1 lead! Kaline finally ended the frame with a fly out to left but the Boston faithful were stunned by the outburst. Newhouser issued back-to-back walks with one out in the third and the “Mechanical Man” botched a routine grounder to put ducks on the pond. The southpaw buckled down and whiffed Javy Lopez and McGriff to escape the jam. Gehringer swatted a two-run big fly in the top of the fourth to extend the Tigers’ advantage to 13-1. Phil Niekro was summoned in the fifth for some mop-up work. “Hammerin’ Hank” Greenberg clouted a two-run job of his own off “Knucksie”. Three batters later, Gehringer blooped a single to center for his sixth RBI of the day. Trammell collected his third hit and drove in another run as Detroit now led 17-1. Bill Freehan joined the hit parade and Gehringer slid in under the tag for another tally. The Tigers batted around again and Niekro’s 37th pitch of the inning retired Wingo on a ground out to second. Gene Garber hurled a scoreless sixth for the Braves and the fans reacted with sarcastic applause. Detroit’s skipper removed Newhouser after five innings and nine strikeouts. Frank Lary walked McGriff and yielded a single that ticked off Kaline’s glove, allowing the “Crime Dog” to dash over to third. Pinch-hitter Herman Long rapped into a fielder’s choice as McGriff safely touched home plate to cut the deficit to 16. Hugh Duffy drew a base on balls which ended Lary’s stint on the hill in favor of Mark Fidrych. Cabrera made a nice play on Wally Berger’s high chopper to third and Rico Carty lifted a routine fly to left. Trammell whacked an RBI double in the seventh. John Rocker replaced Garber in the eighth and gave up a triple off the bat of Heilmann. Kaline drove in Detroit’s 20th run of the game with an RBI groundout to shortstop. Berger’s bloop single off John Hiller in the home half of the eighth plated a pair. The Tigers’ manager finally unloaded his bench in the ninth. Carlos Guillen coaxed a walk by John Rocker. Craig Kimbrel came on and surrendered a single to pinch-hitter “Sweet” Lou Whitaker and a sacrifice fly by Trammell. Hiller put the final nail in the coffin, setting Boston down quietly in the ninth to complete the absolutely crushing 21-4 defeat. Detroit reveled in the middle of the diamond. Charlie Gehringer (.467/2/11) accepted the World Series MVP trophy. In a losing effort Wally Berger batted .462 with 6 round-trippers and 12 RBI.

Playoff Results

AL Wild Card – BAL 4 @ NYA 8

NL Wild Card – SLN 4 @ NYN 1

AL Divisional Round – NYA(4th seed) @ PHA(1st seed)

1 – NYA 6 @ PHA 14

2 – NYA 8 @ PHA 18

3 – PHA 7 @ NYA 4

AL Divisional Round – DET(3rd seed) @ BSA(2nd seed)

1 – DET 5 @ BSA 4

2 – DET 6 @ BSA 5

3 – BSA 4 @ DET 3

4 – BSA 16 @ DET 12 (10)

5 – DET 4 @ BSA 2

NL Divisional Round – SLN(4th seed) @ BRK(1st seed)

1 – SLN 5 @ BRK 4

2 – SLN 2 @ BRK 4

3 – BRK 6 @ SLN 7

4 – BRK 2 @ SLN 3

NL Divisional Round – BSN(3rd seed) @ CHC(2nd seed)

1 – BSN 12 @ CHN 7

2 – BSN 4 @ CHN 7

3 – CHN 8 @ BSN 0

4 – CHN 2 @ BSN 9

5 – BSN 10 @ CHN 2

AL Divisional Round – DET(3rd seed) @ PHA(1st seed)

1 – PHA 10 @ DET 3

2 – PHA 6 @ DET 5

3 – DET 6 @ PHA 5 (11)

4 – DET 27 @ PHA 24 (14)

5 – DET 4 @ PHA 3

6 – PHA 4 @ DET 3

7 – PHA 0 @ DET 4

NL Divisional Round – SLN(4th seed) @ BSN(3rd seed)

1 – SLN 10 @ BSN 9

2 – SLN 3 @ BSN 9

3 – BSN 3 @ SLN 9

4 – BSN 2 @ SLN 3

5 – BSN 15 @ SLN 1

6 – SLN 4 @ BSN 6

7 – SLN 3 @ BSN 5

World Series – DET(3rd seed) vs. BSN(3rd seed)

1 – DET 2 @ BSN 3

2 – DET 4 @ BSN 9

3 – BSN 7 @ DET 8

4 – BSN 5 @ DET 9

5 – BSN 12 @ DET 7 (12)

6 – DET 7 @ BSN 6

7 – DET 21 @ BSN 4

Note – ratings below for Diamond Mind Baseball 12 – deduct 1 point for Pursue the Pennant 5 / Diamond Mind Baseball 6 (1 point for graphics)

Ratings

Graphics – [2]The DOS versions of Diamond Mind Baseball are strictly text-based while the Windows editions include the ability to import ballpark images. The DOS editions display the pertinent game information using white text on a blue background by default (you can change this in the setup options). The game screen is divided into eight sections. The batting team’s lineup and current batter’s statistics consume two boxes in the upper left corner. The mid-left square serves three different purposes: offensive and defensive play selection, followed by the play-by-play commentary. A small rectangle in the upper right notifies the manager(s) of any bullpen activity. A large box in the middle-right displays the defensive alignment and the corresponding fielding ratings for those individuals. The bottom slice of the screen shows the defensive and offensive strategy choices (during the play-by-play commentary), scoreboard, and balls/strikes/outs. The Windows editions are a slight variation on the same theme. The center of the screen contains (from top to bottom): the scoreboard, offense/defense/play-by-play results, and a field diagram with the defensive players and ratings. The user can toggle between visitor/home lineups and visitor/home reserves in the left column while the right side reveals batter and pitcher “stat cards”. At the top left corner of the screen below the menu bar, you can choose between the Main (game view), Boxscore, Scoresheet and Game Log. DMB 12 allows the user to customize the font size along with the text, highlight and background colors for the various game screen sections.

Sound – [1]There are no sound effects in Diamond Mind Baseball.

Strategy – [5] In addition to specifying a human or computer manager for a particular game, you have four granular options: starting lineups, substitutions, game tactics, running/throwing. For example, I can choose for both teams to have a human manager with regards to selecting the starting lineup, but the computer can handle the other tasks for one or both teams. Defensive options are comprised of normal, infield in, in at the corners, guard lines, hold runner and play behind runner. Defensive shifting is not implemented as of version 12. Offensive strategies encompass the typical options: swing away, bunt, hit and run, steal. However the bunt play contains several nuances. If you opt to bunt with no runners on base it automatically becomes a bunt for a hit attempt. If there is a runner on third (but a non-bases loaded situation) the manager is asked whether or not to send the runner from third home. A “yes” response increases the risk if the batter is unable to make contact with the ensuing pitch. DMB prompts the user to update their defensive lineup after substituting for a batter in the previous inning. You can also toggle the bullpen warm-up rule on or off depending on your preferences. If selected, the user must choose to warm up a pitcher and wait for two at-bats before that pitcher’s status changes to “Ready”, otherwise the reliever may be ineffective for the first batter or two that he faces. A pitcher that is warmed up more than four times in a game will become “Tired”. This forces the manager to prepare for the possibility of using a pitcher before visiting the mound and replacing the current hurler.

Artificial Intelligence – [5] – The computer manager conducted player substitution and strategic moves accurately. Diamond Mind Baseball provides a complex weather modeling system which you may wish to incorporate in your replays. If you choose to utilize this option, the weather can influence the offensive levels, pitcher fatigue and plays on the field (players slipping or mishandling a wet ball). Hurlers may not return after a long rain delay. The forecast will affect the opening/closing of the roof in ballparks with a retractable roof. The attention to detail is extremely evident once you’ve completed several series and peruse the game logs and scoresheets. Pitcher fatigue, injuries, percentage of events that occur based on the era and ballpark all play a major role in Diamond Mind’s ability to accurately simulate a baseball game or an entire season.  The latest version features recent MLB rule changes and regulations, allowing the user to implement no-pitch intentional walks, the extra-inning “ghost” runner, home plate collision rule and limit the ability to move position players into pitching roles. You may also specify the minimum number of days that injured batters and pitchers must remain out of action while spending time on the injured list. DMB 12 also includes a “Netplay” option which enables head-to-head play with another DMB user over the Internet. This requires both participants to be running the same version of DMB on their computers and a bit of local firewall configuration.

Box Score – [5] – PTP/DMB offered one of the best box score options in the 1990’s and the current version maintains this level of excellence. DMB 6 introduced the ability to view a newspaper-style box or an expanded box score. Scoresheets allow the user to view detailed play-by-play information. You can elect whether you wish to save box scores, game logs and scoresheets when you configure your league in version 12 (DMB 6 only permits storing of box scores).

Rosters – [5] Flexibility is the key to roster management in any game. DMB 6 introduced the Trade function and the capability of track combined and team-specific statistics for each player.  Every franchise can accommodate up to 60 players on their rosters. You can add free agents, release players, promote to the active roster or move a player to the farm (minor league) team. The current version of DMB adds the ability to place an individual on the Injured List and activate those players when they become healthy enough to contribute to the ball club. The Draft function in later editions grants the capacity to create entire leagues from scratch or a conduct a partial draft in which teams carry a number of players over from a previous season and the balance are selected from the draft pool. You can trade draft picks, add optional (supplemental) picks, undo an incorrect selection, save a draft in progress and generate reports.

Statistics – [5]Twenty different report types and nearly 100 standard reports are included in DMB 12. Additionally the user can customize the reports and save the configuration for future report generation. You can select from the actual (real-life) statistics or the results generated during a season replay. Depending on the report type, you can toggle through various tabs such as primary, secondary, analytical, vs RHP / vs LHP (for batters) and start / relief (for pitchers). Users can generate an entire website for their league reports with DMB 12. The DOS-based versions allow you to print the output or save reports to disk.

Usage/Injuries/Ejections – [5]The injury rule can be configured for one of three possible choices: None, Random and Injury Rating. “Random” does not take a player’s injury rating into account. Ejections can occur during games and you will be prompted to substitute for the player(s) who were tossed from the contest. Player usage can be managed in several ways. Manager profiles allow you to place limits on position player and pitchers to ensure that they don’t exceed their real-life at-bats or innings.

Ballparks / Park Factors – [5]A very detailed accounting of each ballpark is possible with DMB. Version 12 accommodates some additional aspects such as city name, time zone, universal ID, image file name (you can provide your own 600×600 JPEG ballpark images). DMB 6 and 12 both incorporate general and physical data such as the park name, stadium type (outdoor/dome/both), surface (grass/artificial turf), amount of foul territory, distance and fence height. Weather patterns encompassing rain frequency, average temperature and wind speed, and fluctuations during the season further enhance the realism as do the park factors based on right- and left-handed rates for singles, doubles, triples and home runs.  

Commentary – [3] I feel like the play-by-play is not as descriptive and imaginative as some of the competition in the text-based gaming genre. It gets the job done but doesn’t paint a picture in your mind’s eye. Here’s an example of the play-by-play in DMB 12: “here’s Hugh Duffy again.. one hit so far today.. the infield at double play depth.. 3-2, Verlander comes home.. Duffy hits one well to left and that ball is outta here.. a good fifteen feet over the wall! A home run for Duffy! Duffy is 2 for 4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI. SCORING: HR.3-H;1-H.”

Scale:  Ratings from 1 (worst) to 5 (best)

Pursue the Pennant / Diamond Mind Baseball (DOS) – Total Score: 40 out of 50

Diamond Mind Baseball (Windows) – Total Score: 41 out of 50

 

Observations

The Diamond Mind Baseball series excels in almost every phase of the game. The attention to detail and amount of research that Tom Tippett and company poured into this product over the years is clearly evident. My lone nitpick is that the commentary could use some more flavor. I highly recommend Diamond Mind Baseball if you are a fan of text-based simulations and are looking to squeeze out every extra ounce of realism in your replays.

Please add a comment below if you spent a significant amount of time and/or have any recollections of Pursue the Pennant and Diamond Mind Baseball.  

Screenshots

Pursue the Pennant 5

Diamond Mind Baseball 6

Diamond Mind Baseball 12

 

Articles in the Series

SSI Computer Baseball Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – SSI Computer Baseball
Computer Statis Pro Baseball Retro Computer Baseball Game Review –Computer Statis Pro Baseball
MicroLeague Baseball Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – MicroLeague Baseball
Avalon Hill Pro Manager / Major League Manager Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – Avalon Hill Pro Manager / Major League Manager
Pure-Stat Baseball Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – Pure-Stat Baseball
Monday Morning Manager Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – Monday Morning Manager
Radio Baseball Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – Radio Baseball
Earl Weaver Baseball Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – Earl Weaver Baseball
Full Count Baseball Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – Full Count Baseball
MicroLeague Baseball IV Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – MicroLeague Baseball II – III – IV
Tony La Russa’s Ultimate Baseball Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – Tony La Russa’s Ultimate Baseball
Earl Weaver Baseball II Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – Earl Weaver Baseball II
APBA Baseball Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – APBA Baseball
  Tony La Russa Baseball II Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – Tony La Russa Baseball II
  Front Page Sports Baseball '94 - '96 - '98 Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – Front Page Sports Baseball ’94 – ’96 – ’98
  ESPN Baseball Tonight Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – ESPN Baseball Tonight
  Hardball 6 Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – Hardball 3-4-5-6
  Pursue the Pennant - Diamond Mind Baseball Retro Computer Baseball Game Review – Pursue the Pennant – Diamond Mind Baseball

Additional Links

Play a demo of Pursue the Pennant v4.04 in your browser -> https://archive.org/details/PTPDEMO

Diamond Mind Baseball – Tapatalk Discussion Forum -> https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/dmbforum/

Diamond Mind Baseball newsletters (1999-2015) -> https://diamond-mind.com/blogs/newsletters/

Custom / Homebrew Seasons for Diamond Mind Baseball ->

https://github.com/fishinnabarrel/dmb-homebrew/tree/master/Compilations

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/fansofdmb/homebrew-season-repository-with-version-11-files-t5397.html

Pursue The Pennant

Teverbaugh, Rick. “Sports Scoreboard”. Computer Gaming World. Volume 38, June-July 1987. p40.

https://www.cgwmuseum.org/galleries/issues/cgw_38.pdf

Widner, Duane E. “Baseball is the Numbers”. Computer Gaming World. Volume 71, May 1990, p20-21. http://www.cgwmuseum.org/galleries/issues/cgw_71.pdf   

Gindin, Jim. “Baseball: Diamonds Are A Fan’s Best Friend”. Computer Gaming World. May 1995. p62. http://www.cgwmuseum.org/galleries/issues/cgw_130.pdf

Diamond Mind Baseball

Gindin, Jim. “By the Numbers: Diamond Mind Isn’t Pretty, But It Deserves a Turn At Bat”. Computer Gaming World. December 1997. p342. http://www.cgwmuseum.org/galleries/issues/cgw_161.pdf

McCauley, Dennis. “Atop the Mound: Baseball Slides Head-First Into Your PC”. Computer Gaming World. July 1996. p78. http://www.cgwmuseum.org/galleries/issues/cgw_144.pdf

PC Magazine Staff. “Diamond Mind Baseball 9”. PC Magazine. June 1, 2005. https://www.pcmag.com/archive/diamond-mind-baseball-9-152807

Simeone, Jonathan. “Reviewing Diamond Mind Baseball”. April 27, 2020.

https://www.jonathansimeone.com/2020/04/27/reviewing-diamond-mind-baseball/

Todd, Brett. “Diamond Mind Baseball 9 Review”. Gamespot. May 17, 2006.

https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/diamond-mind-baseball-9-review/1900-6099585/

Bill (no last name given). “Product Review: DMB”. What Is Baseball. “ June 12, 2019.

https://whatisbaseball.com/product-review-dmb/

https://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/diamond-mind-baseball-80

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPtuFFhIqZ4 Diamond Mind Baseball v11 video by idjester

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6qt9E7WddY Diamond Mind Baseball v11 video by Baseball Demos

Diamond Mind Baseball v12 Enhancements -> https://diamond-mind.com/pages/version-12-enhancments

About the Author

I am a New Jersey native with a passion for baseball, statistics, computers and video games who enjoys spending quality time with his family.

Hardball Architects – Volume 1 (American League)“, published in July 2020 and
Hardball Architects – Volume 2 (National League)”, published in April 2022, examine the trades, free agent acquisitions, draft picks and other transactions for the 30 Major League Baseball franchises, divided into a 2-volume set. Both books are available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at Amazon.com. All key moves are scrutinized for every team and Sabermetric principles are applied to the roster construction throughout the lifetime of the organization to encapsulate the hits and misses by front office executives. Team performances are analyzed based on transaction type with graphs depicting the WAR (Wins Above Replacement) in every decade. Individual results for each player-transaction is charted over the duration of their stint with the franchise. Every team chapter includes All-Time Rosters and Single-Season Leaders based on transaction type. The Team Trade Record chronicles the WAR and WS (Win Shares) accumulated by players acquired in comparison to those traded to opposing teams. The opening chapter is devoted to the Evolution of the General Manager and incorporates a discussion with former Dodgers GM Fred Claire (along with former Angels and Red Sox GM Mike Port and current Reds GM Nick Krall in Volume 2) on a variety of front office topics.

Hardball Retroactive”, published in June 2018, is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at Amazon.com.  Hardball Retroactive is a modest collection of selected articles that I have written for Seamheads.com along with my Baseball Analytics blog since 2010. Exclusive content includes the chapter on “Minors vs. Majors” which assesses every franchise’s minor league successes and failures in relation to their major league operations.

“Hardball Retrospective” is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at Amazon.com. Supplemental Statistics, Charts and Graphs along with a discussion forum are offered at TuataraSoftware.com. In Hardball Retrospective, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original teams. Using a variety of advanced statistics and methods, I generated revised standings for each season based entirely on the performance of each team’s “original” players. I discuss every team’s “original” players and seasons at length along with organizational performance with respect to the Amateur Draft (or First-Year Player Draft), amateur free agent signings and other methods of player acquisition. Season standings, WAR and Win Shares totals for the “original” teams are compared against the real-time or “actual” team results to assess each franchise’s scouting, development and general management skills.

Don Daglow (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, Earl Weaver Baseball, Tony LaRussa Baseball) contributed the foreword for Hardball Retrospective. The foreword and preview of my book are accessible here

“Hardball Retrospective – Addendum 2014 to 2016” supplements my research for Hardball Retrospective, providing retroactive standings based on Wins Above Replacement (WAR) and Win Shares (WS) for each “original” team over the past three seasons (2014-2016). Team totals from 2010 – 2013 are included for reference purposes. “Addendum” is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at Amazon.com. 

Tuatara Software, LLC | Website | + posts

I am a New Jersey native with a passion for baseball, statistics, computers and video games who enjoys spending quality time with his family. Visit my Amazon author page to check out my books, promotional videos, and post a review if you're a Hardball Retro fan!

https://www.amazon.com/author/derekbain

My Books:


Hardball Architects – Volume 1 (American League Teams)”, published in July 2020, is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at Amazon.com. 


Hardball Architects – Volume 2 (National League Teams)”, published in April 2022, is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at Amazon.com. 

“Hardball Architects” examines the trades, free agent acquisitions, draft picks and other transactions for the 30 Major League Baseball franchises, divided into a 2-volume set (American League and National League). All key moves are scrutinized for every team and Sabermetric principles are applied to the roster construction throughout the lifetime of the organization to encapsulate the hits and misses by front office executives.


Hardball Retroactive”, published in June 2018, is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at Amazon.com. A cross-section of essays that I penned for Seamheads.com along with my Baseball Analytics blog spanning nearly a decade touching on subjects including "Taking the Extra Base", "General Manager Scorecard", "Worst Trades", "BABIP By Location" and "Baseball Birthplaces and the Retro World Baseball Classic". Rediscover your favorite hardball arcade and simulations in "Play Retro Baseball Video Games In Your Browser" or take a deep dive into every franchise's minor league successes and failures in relation to their major league operations in "Minors vs. Majors".


“Hardball Retrospective” is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at Amazon.com. Supplemental Statistics, Charts and Graphs along with a discussion forum are offered at TuataraSoftware.com. In Hardball Retrospective, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original teams. Using a variety of advanced statistics and methods, I generated revised standings for each season based entirely on the performance of each team’s “original” players. I discuss every team’s “original” players and seasons at length along with organizational performance with respect to the Amateur Draft (or First-Year Player Draft), amateur free agent signings and other methods of player acquisition. Season standings, WAR and Win Shares totals for the “original” teams are compared against the real-time or “actual” team results to assess each franchise’s scouting, development and general management skills.


Don Daglow (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, Earl Weaver Baseball, Tony LaRussa Baseball) contributed the foreword for Hardball Retrospective. The foreword and preview of my book are accessible here


“Hardball Retrospective - Addendum 2014 to 2016” supplements my research for Hardball Retrospective, providing retroactive standings based on Wins Above Replacement (WAR) and Win Shares (WS) for each "original" team over the past three seasons (2014-2016). Team totals from 2010 - 2013 are included for reference purposes. “Addendum” is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at Amazon.com. 

Tagged:
I am a New Jersey native with a passion for baseball, statistics, computers and video games who enjoys spending quality time with his family. Visit my Amazon author page to check out my books, promotional videos, and post a review if you're a Hardball Retro fan! https://www.amazon.com/author/derekbain My Books: Hardball Architects – Volume 1 (American League Teams)”, published in July 2020, is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at Amazon.com.  Hardball Architects – Volume 2 (National League Teams)”, published in April 2022, is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at Amazon.com.  “Hardball Architects” examines the trades, free agent acquisitions, draft picks and other transactions for the 30 Major League Baseball franchises, divided into a 2-volume set (American League and National League). All key moves are scrutinized for every team and Sabermetric principles are applied to the roster construction throughout the lifetime of the organization to encapsulate the hits and misses by front office executives. Hardball Retroactive”, published in June 2018, is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at Amazon.com. A cross-section of essays that I penned for Seamheads.com along with my Baseball Analytics blog spanning nearly a decade touching on subjects including "Taking the Extra Base", "General Manager Scorecard", "Worst Trades", "BABIP By Location" and "Baseball Birthplaces and the Retro World Baseball Classic". Rediscover your favorite hardball arcade and simulations in "Play Retro Baseball Video Games In Your Browser" or take a deep dive into every franchise's minor league successes and failures in relation to their major league operations in "Minors vs. Majors". “Hardball Retrospective” is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at Amazon.com. Supplemental Statistics, Charts and Graphs along with a discussion forum are offered at TuataraSoftware.com. In Hardball Retrospective, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original teams. Using a variety of advanced statistics and methods, I generated revised standings for each season based entirely on the performance of each team’s “original” players. I discuss every team’s “original” players and seasons at length along with organizational performance with respect to the Amateur Draft (or First-Year Player Draft), amateur free agent signings and other methods of player acquisition. Season standings, WAR and Win Shares totals for the “original” teams are compared against the real-time or “actual” team results to assess each franchise’s scouting, development and general management skills. Don Daglow (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, Earl Weaver Baseball, Tony LaRussa Baseball) contributed the foreword for Hardball Retrospective. The foreword and preview of my book are accessible here “Hardball Retrospective - Addendum 2014 to 2016” supplements my research for Hardball Retrospective, providing retroactive standings based on Wins Above Replacement (WAR) and Win Shares (WS) for each "original" team over the past three seasons (2014-2016). Team totals from 2010 - 2013 are included for reference purposes. “Addendum” is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at Amazon.com. 

You Might Also Like