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1978 New York Yankees & 1985 New York Mets APBA Auction

One of the reasons I started playing Fantasy/Rotisserie Baseball back in 1989 was to try to extricate myself from the dysfunctional relationship that is being a fan of a professional sports team.

Most kids become fans of a team because someone in their family was a fan (father, uncle, brother, etc.) – that didn’t happen with me, I started playing baseball with friends and that sparked my interest in the game, but how I decided what team to root for was completely arbitrary.

Back in 1972/1973 American League umpires were still using the large outside chest protectors, their National League counterparts were using the now standard inside the shirt protectors, I thought the American League outside protector looked silly, and because of that trivial reason I became a Mets fan instead of a Yankees fan, little did I know at the time that this decision would lead to countless years of torture!!

I know many of you will disagree with me, but even at an early age I realized the idea of having your emotions controlled by a group of strangers that you didn’t personally know was at best strange and at worst psychologically harmful. This one sided relationship, even as a 12 year old made no sense to me – the lack of control, the horrible feeling after a loss, the caring and rooting for people that would never reciprocate your affection, the feeling of being manipulated by 25 puppet masters dressed in blue pinstripes.

I could go on and on, but the most vivid example I can remember is when Tom Seaver was traded to the Reds in 1977, I was heartbroken, did anyone from the Mets organization ask me for my opinion? Did anyone call to console me? NOPE – and that’s my point, as a fan of any professional team, you have ZERO control or input over the decisions that are made, yes, you can say you will stop watching the team, you can say you’ll stop buying tickets, but really, how many fans actually carry out those threats, few do, once hooked, many are hooked for life.

Fast forward to 1988. The Mets loose in the NLCS to a clearly inferior LA Dodgers team, this was the tipping point for me, I was desperately looking for a way out of being a Mets fan.

Around this time I was introduced to a game called Rotisserie Baseball (now more commonly referred to as Fantasy Baseball) – I quickly saw the appeal of the game and its potential to allow me to walk away from the dependency of being a Mets fan. I started two Rottiserie baseball leagues in 1989 and have never looked back. Fantasy baseball allowed me to root for MY guys, the players I purchased on auction day, it gave me control, if my players had lousy seasons, that was OK since I chose them instead of having them chosen for me. Furthermore, Fantasy Baseball broadened my knowledge and appreciation for all the players, it allowed me to become a BASEBALL fan, not just a fan of one team.

My exorcism from the Mets didn’t happen overnight, but by 1991, I really couldn’t care less what the Mets did.

I understand the difficulty in severing relationships and I respect anyone who has retained the traditional fan/team symbiosis that probably started as a young boy/girl, but for me that fanaticism never felt quite right and I was thankful to find a way out.

That back story allows me to segue into my next auction/simulation project – back when I was still a Mets fan, I would say my favorite two seasons were 1985 and 1986. In that 1980’s era, Dwight Gooden was my favorite player and in 1985 he crafted one of the best seasons in MLB history going 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA and 268 Ks. That great performance brought joy but was negated by the fact that the Mets, despite winning 98 games would not make the playoffs, thanks to the St.Louis Cardinals winning 101 games.

I wanted to see how Doc Gooden would perform in one of my simulations, now I just needed another team. I wanted the team to be from a similar era and preferably for it to have an ace pitcher of Gooden’s ilk, fortunately I did not have to look far to find Ron Guidry and the 1978 Yankees. In this particular auction we also added a 3rd team, for two reasons:

  1. APBA did not grade every player for the 1985 season
  2. We were using the DH for both teams

So to have sufficient pitchers and bench players, we added the 1978 Mariners, they were chosen because they were the worst team in the American League that year, we wanted to ensure we were not creating all star teams, hence the selection of the Mariners as the third team (the 3rd team could have also been the Pittsburgh Pirates – the worst team in the National League in 1985).

I never approach any of my auctions with a “gotta have that player” mentality, be it Fantasy Baseball or these Sim Auctions, but there are plenty of players I target if the price is right. I was fortunate to acquire Gooden early on in the auction, similar to the the 1968 Tigers/Cardinals auction, I contemplated the idea of having two aces on my team, but again my opponent thwarted my plans by overbidding me for Guidry ($34) a few rounds later.

With Gooden secured I switched to targeting hitting and was able to acquire the best 1st Baseman and Catcher (Keith Hernandez & Gary Carter) and also acquired a very underrated Leon Roberts (.879 OPS) as one of my outfielders for $13.

My opponent secured a nice foundation for his team by acquiring Reggie Jackson at $25 and Darryl Strawberry at $23, he also fortified his bullpen by adding Jesse Orosco and Rich Gossage. Additionally, three solid SPs were added in Dick Tidrow, Sid Fernandez, and Catfish Hunter, but a weak link was also added in Rick Honeycutt.

On my team I was able to add Ed Figueroa and Ed Lynch, in addition, although I was forced to overpay for him ($25), I was fortunate to add Ron Darling at a point in the auction when the pitching talent was evaporating.

I was able to round out my hitting with Greg Nettles at $18 and Willie Randolph at $13, my opponent made two good acquisitions in Chris Chambliss at $10 and Thurman Munson at $12.

My team had a slight edge in hitting (my purchased players had a .718 OPS compared to my opponents .679) – but the real difference maker between the two teams was the pitching, the Bronx Mets tallied a 2.98 ERA compared to the 4.74 ERA delivered by pitchers from the Queens Yankees.

MVP- The award goes to Gary Carter – he led the league in Home Runs, RBIs and OPS. Keith Hernandez was a very close second, but Carter’s impressive 48 Home Runs put him over the top!

CY YOUNG – The undisputed star of the show was Dwight Gooden going an incredible 33-4 coupled with a 1.37 ERA, even better than his real life 1.53 mark. Due to his dominance, Doc was able to pitch 316 innings and narrowly missed 300 K’s ending his remarkable season with 298 Ks.

Below are the final standings and statistics:

1978-1985Bronx Mets108540.6754-2754-27
1978-1985Queens Yankees541080.335427-5427-54
Final Standings
CARTER, G.Bronx Mets0.29959210318048339136695
HERNANDEZ, K.Bronx Mets0.34766611831326346131652
FOSTER, G.Bronx Mets0.247477612222521967380
ROBERTS, L.Bronx Mets0.299492662252525488491
JACKSON, R.Queens Yankees0.193539711122519467541
STRAWBERRY, D.Queens Yankees0.262404632242119961628
NETTLES, G.Bronx Mets0.234624772921823376511
RIVERS, M.Queens Yankees0.2395195619615200562133
BOCHTE, B.Bronx Mets0.248282411221212234371
CHAMBLISS, C.Queens Yankees0.259580552831222051351
HEEP, D.Bronx Mets0.2592663360910241252
WILSON, M.Queens Yankees0.22236551238814433348
PINIELLA, L.Bronx Mets0.25650053321818648300
PACIOREK, T.Bronx Mets0.23929737271611835200
STINSON, B.Bronx Mets0.315541110533981
JOHNSON, H.Queens Yankees0.21140334191512141380
MUNSON, T.Queens Yankees0.24158041281518553210
REYNOLDS, C.Bronx Mets0.29657576187421460377
DENT, B.Queens Yankees0.1703932211038725241
PLUMMER, B.Queens Yankees0.17423300210220
WHITE, R.Bronx Mets0.289901812237863
CRUZ, J.Bronx Mets0.2621071810235171110
SPENCER, J.Queens Yankees0.19646210113450
BLAIR, P.Bronx Mets0.05654151017381
BACKMAN, W.Queens Yankees0.206554382191156492213
BURKE, S.Bronx Mets000000000
LINDBLAD, P.Bronx Mets000000000
LYNCH, E.Bronx Mets000000000
MILBOURNE, L.Bronx Mets0.333921004200
KNIGHT, R.Bronx Mets0.4001531007100
SANTANA, R.Bronx Mets0.2002030004220
MEYER, D.Bronx Mets0.2732220006420
ROBERTSON, B.Queens Yankees0.20040301010250
BOWA, L.Queens Yankees0.22948910012434
HURDLE, C.Queens Yankees0.12556450012060
STAUB, R.Queens Yankees0.327498400202120
STANLEY, F.Queens Yankees0.223130106003517200
DYKSTRA, L.Queens Yankees0.128141204102441913
STEIN, B.Queens Yankees0.1972031811305717140
JONES, R.Queens Yankees0.21426625131072182611
RANDOLPH, W.Bronx Mets0.2364919215501413510636
Total 0.2471097213624657028941781303987163
Hitters sorted by Home Runs
STINSON, B.Bronx Mets0.3150.3910.6111.0020.31.1414.19.864
CARTER, G.Bronx Mets0.2990.3700.5730.9430.270.96124.67.7671
HERNANDEZ, K.Bronx Mets0.3470.4020.5200.9220.170.93142.48.5741
ROBERTS, L.Bronx Mets0.2990.3650.5160.8810.220.8691.26.7555
STAUB, R.Queens Yankees0.3270.4680.4080.8760.080.9710.68.462
KNIGHT, R.Bronx Mets0.4000.4000.4670.8670.070.782.88.415
STRAWBERRY, D.Queens Yankees0.2620.3580.4930.8510.230.86716.1469
MILBOURNE, L.Bronx Mets0.3330.3330.4440.7780.110.671.369
BOCHTE, B.Bronx Mets0.2480.3380.4330.7700.180.7441.75.1321
FOSTER, G.Bronx Mets0.2470.3050.4590.7640.210.765.24.7518
WHITE, R.Bronx Mets0.2890.3470.4110.7580.120.7212.95.298
HEEP, D.Bronx Mets0.2590.3240.3830.7080.120.6230.53.8296
REYNOLDS, C.Bronx Mets0.2960.3350.3720.7070.080.6273.64.6625
PACIOREK, T.Bronx Mets0.2390.2890.3970.6870.160.633.83.9318
WILSON, M.Queens Yankees0.2220.2880.3950.6830.170.6442.13.9399
CHAMBLISS, C.Queens Yankees0.2590.3030.3790.6820.120.5967.44.1622
PLUMMER, B.Queens Yankees0.1740.2400.4350.6750.
PINIELLA, L.Bronx Mets0.2560.2970.3720.6690.120.5652.23.6532
NETTLES, G.Bronx Mets0.2340.2930.3730.6660.140.5866.13.6679
RANDOLPH, W.Bronx Mets0.2360.3700.2870.6580.050.7366.54.6604
CRUZ, J.Bronx Mets0.2620.3280.3270.6550.070.6511.73.6119
RIVERS, M.Queens Yankees0.2390.2680.3850.6530.150.6254.63.5556
JACKSON, R.Queens Yankees0.1930.2750.3600.6350.170.5957.13.5604
MEYER, D.Bronx Mets0.2730.3200.2730.59300.441.72.425
STANLEY, F.Queens Yankees0.2230.3220.2690.5920.050.5212.13152
MUNSON, T.Queens Yankees0.2410.2680.3190.5870.080.4647.62.8614
JOHNSON, H.Queens Yankees0.2110.2730.3000.5740.090.4934.42.8450
SPENCER, J.Queens Yankees0.1960.2750.2830.5570.090.493.62.751
JONES, R.Queens Yankees0.2140.2840.2710.5550.060.4919.82.4295
ROBERTSON, B.Queens Yankees0.2000.3040.2500.5540.050.493.32.746
STEIN, B.Queens Yankees0.1970.2470.2810.5270.080.4213.92.2222
BOWA, L.Queens Yankees0.2290.2750.2500.5250.020.462.91.951
BACKMAN, W.Queens Yankees0.2060.2330.2820.5140.080.42352595
SANTANA, R.Bronx Mets0.2000.2610.2000.46100.320.70.923
DENT, B.Queens Yankees0.1700.2210.2210.4430.050.3418.81.4431
HURDLE, C.Queens Yankees0.1250.2100.2140.4240.090.362.61.462
DYKSTRA, L.Queens Yankees0.1280.2360.1700.4060.040.457.41.6161
BLAIR, P.Bronx Mets0.0560.1880.1300.3170.070.321.50.764
BURKE, S.Bronx Mets0
LINDBLAD, P.Bronx Mets0
LYNCH, E.Bronx Mets0
Total 0.2470.3090.3810.6900.130.631301412144
Hitters rated by OPS
GOODEN, D.Bronx Mets33401.3738382583161627298
GUIDRY, R.Queens Yankees211142.31433018626917920222
FIGUEROA, E.Bronx Mets25702.67343413426619525101
DARLING, R.Bronx Mets181203.29343410425120423154
LYNCH, E.Bronx Mets111703.823333732162141688
TIDROW, D.Queens Yankees31804.855626201952422164
FERNANDEZ, S.Queens Yankees81605.3443231016820019145
HONEYCUTT, R.Queens Yankees41305.833520001451801758
HUNTER, J.Queens Yankees6904.793615001291272562
AGUILERA, R.Queens Yankees71105.443021001291661851
BEATTIE, J.Bronx Mets9604.86202031124135677
GOSSAGE, R.Queens Yankees39154.2851531109891577
McLAUGHLIN, B.Queens Yankees11007.673814001081593482
LYLE, S.Bronx Mets33122.975800010089857
McDOWELL, R.Bronx Mets42164.19552107367933
OROSCO, J.Queens Yankees0354.614911070.1671153
ROMO, E.Queens Yankees0205.812910057.171925
GULLETT, D.Queens Yankees1603.88186105156229
LINDBLAD, P.Bronx Mets2011.26330004335226
BURKE, S.Bronx Mets1224.422300036.236116
TODD, J.Bronx Mets2103.782110033.133120
Total 162162553.857773248527289327062891738
Pitchers Sorted By ERA

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