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1941 Red Sox and 1999 Red Sox APBA Auction

When selecting teams for Sim Auctions you want to incorporate great teams or great individuals seasons. For this auction we’ve chosen the 1941 Red Sox and the 1999 Red Sox. The teams themselves were not dominant, although they were good teams (the 1941 team won 84 games and the 1999 team won 94 games), the allure of selecting these two teams was the dominant seasons from Hall Of Famers Ted Williams and Pedro Martinez.

In 1941 Ted Williams fashioned the best season of his career! We all know about the incredible .406 batting average, the last time any hitter has eclipsed the .400 mark, but equally impressive was his .553 On Base Percentage (4th highest single season OBP in history) and the 1.287 OPS!


Look at those numbers, a CAREER OPS of 1.116 – second only to Babe Ruth, and the highest CAREER On Base Percentage in history!

1950 Bowman Baseball Card

Amazingly, Ted Williams did not win the MVP award in 1941, the voters instead were wowed by Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak! As impressive as DiMaggio’s streak was, not to mention his overall numbers, I would have given the award to Ted Williams. DiMaggio’s stats were fantastic: .357 AVG, .440 OBP, .643 SLG%, 1.083 OPS, but that OPS is still 204 points below Williams, to put that in perspective, that’s the difference between a hitter with a .900 OPS and one with a .696 OPS!

Pedro Martinez had several outstanding years, but 1997, 1999 and 2000 were his best. Of those three years, 1999 might have been his best year (although you can certainly make a case for 2000)- in 1999 Martinez led major league baseball in ERA, Strikeouts, WHIP, HR/9, SO/9 and SO/BB ratio. His SO/9 (13.2) is 5th highest in MLB history (he would rank 3rd in you exclude the strike shortened 2020 season) – he trails only 2019 Gerrit Cole (13.8) and 2000 Randy Johnson (13.4). For those of you less sabermetricaly inclined, Pedro did also go 23-4, having the highest win total of his career.


All the stats I mentioned above are impressive, but to truly grasp Pedro’s dominance, keep this in mind – in 1999 (.778) & 2000 (.782) MLB teams compiled the 2nd and 3rd highest OPS in history, trailing only the 1930 season (.790)! So basically what this means is that Pedro Martinez was dominating hitters at a time when the hitters were demolishing most other pitchers. In 1999 Pedro Martinez didn’t just have a great season, he had one of the greatest pitching seasons of all time.

THE AUCTION: In most Sim Auctions there is an even distribution of talent (stars, average players, bench players, etc.). This particular auction was different because it contained two all time seasons, so I was eager to see what impact that would have on the pricing.

The two SIM General Managers were reluctant to start the auction with the top players, instead we kicked off the auction with Hall Of Fame 2B Bobby Doerr who was sold for $12. Next up was 1B Mike Stanley for $14, both players were excellent purchases by my opponent (Steve). After that warm up, we headed straight to the bidding for the mega stars. With lot #3, I nominated Pedro Martinez with an opening bid of $15, Steve countered with a bid of $25 and the bidding quickly escalated to $40.

The Sim Auction record for a pitcher was $46 for Dazzy Vance of the 1924 Brooklyn Robins, that record was now in jeopardy! The bidding continued in dollar increments, eventually shattering the old record…Pedro Martinez going once…going twice…sold for $53!

After Martinez was of the board, my opponent wasted no time in nominating Ted Williams for $20, I countered with $21, Steve then went straight to $30. The bidding then followed a similar cadence as the Pedro Martinez lot ($1 or $2 increments), eventually ending with a winning bid for my team of of $45! (This was the 2nd highest amount paid in SIM Auction history for a hitter, the record is $50 for the 2014 version of Mike Trout).

Below are the first 10 players purchased, you can click HERE for the complete sequence of the auction and the prices paid, you’ll also be able to see the composition of both teams.

AUCTION ANALYSIS: There are two key elements to a successful SIM Auction, proper player valuation, and a good auction strategy. In most auctions I don’t have a specific strategy, other than buying players at a lower price than what I have them valued, but in this auction I was intrigued with the idea of finding out what would happen if I purchased the top two players. In this particular auction, that strategy worked, but it’s always risky to allocate too many of your resources to just two or three players.

Although I did not purchase any other star hitters after Ted Williams, I was able to purchase solid complimentary players (Trot Nixon, Brian Daubach, Jose Offerman and Dom DiMaggio). On the pitching side, I could not purchase any other good starting pitchers, but I was able to acquire all the good relief pitchers at favorable prices.

The one significant mistake I made was not spending $20 of my $260 budget. This is obviously not good since the goal should be to spend all your money, but if you buy players at profitable prices during the auction you can negate some of the downside of not spending all your auction capital.

Once I purchased Williams and Martinez, my opponent could afford to became aggressive with his bidding and consequently purchased the next 6 players. Since I had already spent quite a bit of my auction money, I could not prevent those purchases, all I could do was try to make him pay reasonable prices for the players. Steve purchased the 2nd, 3rd and 4th best SPs and purchased the 2nd best hitter (Nomar Garciaparra) along with Joe Cronin and Troy O’Leary. My opponent made some excellent acquisitions, but might have made one too many purchases for hitters, this hurt his cash flow and allowed me to purchase all the quality relief pitchers during the middle part of the auction (Derek Lowe – $23, Rich Garces – $4, Rheal Cormier – $4).

Immediately after the auction I wasn’t sure I had purchased the best team, I was also concerned about the money I left unspent. But after further analysis I determined that I had purchased enough complimentary hitters to surround Ted Williams and the fact that my opponent essentially had ZERO quality relief pitchers could tip the balance in my favor.

SIM AUCTION WORLD SERIES: As we do with all SIM Auctions, we determine the winner by simulating entire seasons using the APBA Computer Game, each season counts as a game, the team that wins 4 seasons wins the World Series. The assumptions about my team proved correct, the combination of stellar performances by Ted Williams and Pedro Martinez, good complimentary hitters, acceptable but not great back end SPs and excellent relief pitching proved to be the difference as my team swept the World Series 4-0.


Below are the the top hitting and pitching performances, click HERE if you would like to see the entire statistical file:


I hope you enjoyed this summary of the SIM Auction involving players from the 1941 & 1999 Boston Red Sox. Visit my website Baseball Sim Auctions to view recaps from other auctions and please consider signing up for my newsletter to be alerted when future Sim Auctions are planned!

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