The Nostalgia League: September results
As an experiment, I have assembled 18 Cleveland baseball teams from all eras to compete in a 162 game schedule for the Best Team in Cleveland History using Out Of The Park Baseball 13 (OOTP), which is a baseball simulation game. Below are the results for August, and if you missed them, here are the other pieces in the nine-part series:
September opened with the 2005 Indians holding a three game lead over the 1920 Indians in the Speaker Division in a race that may go down to the wire. Over in the Boudreau Division the 1995 Indians hold a 12 game lead with only 22 games to go. Mike Hargrove's bunch have a magic number of 12.
September 1 – 4
September 1: CC Sabathia (13-6) strikes out 12 of the 1986 Indians in an 8-1 thumping. Catcher Victor Martinezhit his 30th home run and aged knuckleball pitcher Phil Niekro dropped to 6-16 for the '86 Indians. 1920 also got 8 strong innings from Guy Morton (12-11) in a 5-1 record to keep pace. The 1908 Naps used a 15th inning double by 3B Bill Bradley to edge the '68 Indians 2-1. 1995 closer Jose Mesa blew a save by giving up 4 runs in the bottom of the ninth and blew a 3 run lead thanks to a Boog Powell homer (23) of the 1976 Indians.
September 2: The 1913 Naps used a 3-4 night from future skipper SS Roger Peckinpaugh to down the 2005 Indians 6-4 at League Park. Bill Steen (14-6) picked up the win. 1986 righty Neal Heaton shutdown the 1995 Indians for a 5-1 win. SS Julio Franco went deep (8) and drove in 3 for Pat Corrales' team. The 1920 Indians failed to take advantage of the 2005 Indian loss as they gave up 3 in the 9th to lose to the 1976 Indians. 1940 RF Beau Bell hit his 6th home run in the 10th inning to down the '56 Indians.
September 3: Addie Joss (17-13) didn't surrender much in a 3-hit 3-0 win over 1954 starter Bob Feller (9-13). 1986 RF Joe Carter's 3-5 night (34th long ball) sunk the 1995 Tribe, who have lost 3 in a row. 1948 right-hander Bob Lemon reached the twenty win mark with a 3-hit shutout of the 1932 Indians. Lemon's '48ers got offense from 1BEddie Robinson who homered twice (31) in a 4-5 night. 2005 got back in the win column as Kevin Millwood (14-9) went all 9 to down Cy Falkenberg and the 1913 Naps by the score of 8-3. The 1920 Indians failed to keep pace as 1B Boog Powell homered (24) and drove in 4 in an 8-2 win.
September 4: 2007 1B Ryan Garko drove in 5 runs with 2 home runs (33) and DH Travis Hafner added his 56th home run in a 16-3 shellacking of the 1999 Indians. 1959 DH Gordy Coleman hit his first home run of the year and made it count in a 1-0 11 inning win over the '68 Tribe. 1913 starter Willie Mitchell (15-13) gave up 1 unearned run to beat the 2005 Indians 2-1. The deciding run was scored in the bottom of the 9th as 3B Terry Turner singled home 2B Nap Lajoie. 1995 got back in the win column by giving the rock to El Presidente (15-8) who went 8 innings in the 7-2 win. After hearing that the 2005 team lost, the 1920 Indians treated the crowd at Dunn Field (League Park) to a come from behind 5-4 win over the '76 Indians. CF Tris Speaker drove in the tying (SS Ray Chapman) and winning run (LF Charlie Jamieson) with a two out double. The '48 Indians used hits by the double play combination of SS Lou Boudreau and 2B Joe Gordon to put up 18 on the 1932 Indians.
Player of the Week Award: 2007 CF Grady Sizemore went 12-21 (.571) on the week with 7 long balls and 12 ribbies to take the player of the week.
September 5 – 11
The 1995 Indians' lead has been trimmed to 10 games but 1948 may just run out of time as the '95 Indians have a magic number of 10. In the Speaker Division things stayed status quo as both the 2005 Indians and the 1920 Indians are still battling it out for the lead. In the battle for the batting title 1959 DH Tito Francona holds an 8 point lead over 1948 SS Lou Boudreau.
September 6th: The 1920 Indians put it all together taking a 12-1 win over the '08 Naps. Stan Coveleski (16-7) went the distance and RF Elmer Smith went 4-4 with a game high 6 RBI. 1995 used the arm of Charles Nagy (14-8) and the power of 1B Eddie Murray (9) to take down the '13 Naps 4-1. 2005 1B Ben Broussard wouldn't let his team down as he hit a 9th inning walk off home run (27) and Bob Wickman (1-1) picked up the 4-3 win over the 2007 Indians in the Battle of the Wedgies.
September 7: 1908's Heinie Berger (9-14) put a dent in 1920's division hopes as he shutout Speaker's bunch 4-0. 3B Max Alvis singled home 2B Dave Nelson in the 9th inning as the '68 Indians edged the 1926 Indians 2-1. Sam McDowell (11-16) went all 9 for the win. 1995 lowered their magic number to 7 with a 3-2 win over the '13 Naps. 2BCarlos Baerga homered (23) and raised his RBI total to 86 in his quest for .300/20/100/200. 2005 took game 2 in the Battle of the Wedgies 9-4 as RF Casey Blake homered (16) and drove in 3 as the 2005 Indians increased their lead to 4. 1932 outslugged the 1999 Indians 15-13 featuring a 4-5 game by RF Dick Porter.
September 8: 1920 scored deuces in the third through sixth inning to take down the '08 Naps. 2B Bill Wambsganss went 3-4 with his 23rd double to drive in 2 and Elmer Myers (13-8) got the win. 1956 1B Vic Wertzpowered his way into the 60 home run club as the '56 Indians downed 1999 7-4. After blowing a 2-1 ninth inning lead 1995 showed the mark of a true champion by responding with a 2 run 9th capped by a 3B Jim Thome double. Jacobs Field fans brought out the brooms and the home team didn't disappoint as the 2005 beat the 2007 Indians 5-3 to complete the sweep. 1999 took out their frustration by banging out 20 hits and 16 runs as they drubbed the 1932 Indians 16-4. 15 of the hits belonged to 2B Robbie Alomar, SS Omar Vizquel, RF Manny Ramirez, LF David Justice and C Sandy Alomar (each with 3 hits). Beeg Boy Rico Carty hit a walk off home run (16) to beat the 1986 Indians 5-4.
September 9: CF Wilbur Good fought off 3 tough Fritz Peterson (1986) pitches before his ground ball squirted between first and second and SS George Perring rambled home for the game winner. Good went 3-7 in the 14 inning 4-3 affair. CF Earl Averill's 9th inning grand slam off of 2005's Bob Wickman drew the 1932 Indians to within 1. Wickman (2005) couldn't recover and could only get 1 out as he gave up singles to C Glenn Myatt, 3B Willie Kamm, and DH Bob Seeds to load the bases. PH Luke Sewell then put Wickman out of his misery when he shot a single up the middle to score 2 for the 10-9 win. 1995 PH Eddie Murray launched the tie breaking 10th inning home run (10) and Jose Mesa nailed down his 43rd save in a 5-4 win over 2007. 1920 scored 14 runs in the first six innings to crush the '59 Indians 14-7 and draw to within 3 games. 1B Doc Johnston hit two doubles and drove in 15 for the winners.
September 10: The 1999 Indians hit 5 homers but 1B Hal Trosky's wonderful day (3 home runs and 7 RBI) led the 1940 Tribe to a 17-13 win. 1932 shot down the 2005 Indians 6-2 when Oral Hildebrand (6-16) befuddled the Speaker Division leaders through 7 innings and Leo Moon went the rest of the way for his 2nd save. 1995 SS Omar Vizquel hit a 3 run home run to break a 1-1 tie in the top of the 9th inning as 1995 downed the 2007 Indians 4-1. The 9th inning drama overshadowed an entertaining pitcher's duel between 1995 Dennis Martinez (16-8) and 2007 Paul Byrd. 1920 cut their deficit to 2 games with a 7-5 win over the 1959 Indians. Catcher Steve O'Neill went 1-4 with 3 RBI to lead Speaker's crew. 1908's DH Bill Hinchman stroked a 1976 Pat Dobson (8-15) pitch into the bleachers for the only run of the game in a 1-0 win. Glenn Liebhardt (13-10) went 8.1 and Jack Ryan retired the final two hitters for his 34th save.
September 11: 2005 sent Cliff Lee (18-3) onto the bump to stop the bleeding and he did going 7 innings with only 2 unearned runs to beat the 1932 Indians 6-2. 1926 1B George Burns hit a ninth inning double over 1954 CF Larry Doby's head for a 2 run double to upend the '54 Wahoos 5-4. 1995 dropped a 5-4 game against the 2007 Indians as 2007 DH Travis Hafner joined the 60 home run club. SS Ray Chapman, 3B Larry Gardner, and C Steve O'Neill each went 3-5 as the 1920 Indians used a 10-4 win over the '59 Wahoo’s to keep pace with the 2005 Indians.
Player of the Week: 1948's Joe Gordon drove in 10 runs on 3 home runs while hitting at a .481 clip to win the POTW Award.
September 12 – 19
With 12 games to go the week starts with a tight race in the Speaker Division:
2005 Indians 94 56 .627 -
1920 Indians 92 58 .613 2
While the 1995 Indians have reached the century mark (100-50) and they can clinch the division title with just any combination of 4 wins or loses by 1948. The 1986 Indians look like they will have the dubious distinction of being the worst team in the league (50-100).
September 12: 1959 1B Vic Power goes 5-6 and CF Jimmy Piersall adds a 4-5 night as the '59ers downed the '08 Naps 12-7. 1986 3B Brook Jacoby (.259) homers twice (17) in a 14-3 drubbing of the 2007 Indians. The 1920 Indians scored 6 seventh inning runs to take game one of the TrisTeam Series against the '26 Indians 10-4. 1995 RF Manny Ramirez's second home run (45) of the day sends the 1932 Indians home losers 8-6. 1956 starter Early Wynn (7-15) out-dueled the younger version of himself (17-11) as the '56 Indians downed the 1954 Indians 3-1. 2005 maintained their divisional lead when 2B Ronnie Beliard homered (21) off of 1940 reliever Mike Naymick (3-6) for an 11 inning 5-4 win.
September 13: The 1926 Indians evened the TrisTeam Series with a 5-2 win over the 1920 Indians. 1995 kept on winning by posting a 7-4 win over the 1932 Indians. Chad Ogea (17-8) took the win and Jose Mesa picked up the save (45). Art Houtteman (15-13) shutout the '56 Indians 1-0 in the Lop-a-lympics over 1954. 2005 extended their division lead to 3 games with an 8-4 win over the '40 Indians. Catcher Victor Martinez was the hero smacking his 33rd home run in 6 run sixth inning.
September 14: 1999 SS Omar Vizquel homered and drove in 4 runs as the 1999 Indians took the Grover Games 2-1 over the 1997 Indians with a 14-6 win. The 1926 Indians were dusted away by the 1920 Indians starter Duster Mails (14-7) and 1920 celebrated taking the TrisTeam Series 2-1. Mails went 8 innings in the 3-2 win and Dick Niehaus saved game #41. 1995 needed 17 innings to put away the 1932 Indians 10-7 to reduce their magic number to 1. It was LF Albert Belle's 50th home run in the bottom of the 17th which sent '32 home. With the Lop-a-lympics tied at 1 game apiece, 1956 C Hal Naragon tied it up with a 2 run shot (9) in the top of the 9th only to watch 1B Al Rosen single home the winner for the 6-5 win. 2005 maintained their 3 game lead when PH Casey Blake homered (19) to turn a 5-4 deficit into a 6-5 walk off win.
September 15: 1999 CF Jacob Cruz singed home LF David Justice with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th to down 1968 3-2. 2005's six 11th inning runs featuring 1B Ben Broussard's grand slam (30) was too much even though 1997 scored four in a 10-8 win. 1948 LF Dale Michell's walk off home run shot down the 1954 Indians 5-4. 1995 Jose Mesa (4-2) gave up a SS Lou Boudreau RBI single in the 9th inning as 1995 failed to clinch in a 4-3 loss to 1940. 1956 put a dent in 1920's division title hopes with an 8-5 win. 1B Vic Wertz hit his 62nd home run in the win.
September 16: 1997's Chad Ogea (9-15) stopped the 2005 Indians with a 5-3 win despite SS Jhonny Peralta's 2 home run game (34). 1948 2B Joe Gordon hit a 3-run walk off home run (45) as the 1948 stunned the '54 Indians 13-11. It was Gordon's 2nd home run of the game. When you need a win, you send out your ace and that is what Tris Speaker did by throwing Stan Covelski (18-7) at the '56 Indians. The spitballer gave up only 1 run and RF Elmer Smith went -5 with 2 ribbies in the 9-1 win. The champagne was flowing in the 1995 Indians locker room as they outslugged the 1940 Indians 14-2. Starter Orel Hershiser (15-4) went the distance and RF Manny Ramirez went 3-5 with 4 RBI.
September 17: 1999 CF Jacob Cruz homered twice (21) and drove in 5 runs in a 19-0 bombardment of the 1968 Indians. Starter Jaret Wright (10-10) evened his record with 7 innings and '68 starter Steve Hargan lost his 20th game. 2005 Wahoo’s kept on winning with a 3 run 11th inning to beat the '97 Indians 7-4. 1926 hammered '08 starter Bob Rhoads for 10 runs in the first inning and sailed to a 12-1 win. Garland Buckeye (7-9) went 7 innings and LF Charlie Jamieson went 4-4. 1956 1B Vic Wertz's power show continued as the Nostalgia League home run leader went deep twice (64) much to the disappointment of the 1920 Indians, who lost 3-1.
Player of the Week: 1995 LF Albert Belle drove in 15 runs to pull into a tie in the Nostalgia League but that wasn't all Belle did as he smacked 5 home runs and hit .400 for the week.
With 1995 wrapping up the Boudreau Division, the 2005 Indians are looking to do the same. Holding a 4 game lead with 6 to go there it may only be a matter of time but 1920 needs help from 2005 opposition:
2005 Indians 99 57 -
1920 Indians 95 61
The Nostalgia League RBI race is the league’s most competitive as we enter the last week with a three way tie:
Albert Belle (1995) 154
Elmer Smith (1920) 154
Vic Wertz (1956) 154
Travis Hafner (2005) 148
September 19: 1932 3B Willie Kamm hit a line drive double that scored RF Dick Porter in the top of the 9th for a 4-3 win over the 1913 Naps. 1948 C Jim Hegan went 4-6 with 2 ribbies and 1948 put the 1920 Indians on life support by beating them 14-8. 1995 PH Herbert Perry singled home RF Manny Ramirez in the bottom of the 12th as the '95 Indians took game one of the Grover Games series against the '97 Indians. The 2005 Indians now have the champagne on ice because Kevin Millwood (15-9) hurled the 2005 Indians to within 1 game of clinching with a 7-1 win over the '68 Indians.
September 20: Bullet Bob Feller (19-9) stymied the 1986 Indians for a 3-1 win. SS Lou Boudreau drove in all 3 run and Feller whiffed 12. 1995 starter Mark Clark (13-7) went 7 innings and the '95 Indians beat the '99 Indians (5-3) to thwart '97's hopes of taking this episode of the Grover Games. The Nostalgia League championship is set as the 2005 Indians beat the '68 Indians 6-2. Jake Westbrook (10-7) went all 9 lowering his ERA to 3.31. 1959 SS Woody Held had a wonderful game homering (32) in the 6th and then doubling home 2B Vic Power in the bottom of the 10th to send the '26 Indians home 3-2 losers.
September 21: 1913 Naps DH Nemo Leibold captained the ship to submerge the '26 Indians with an 11th inning double that scored LF Jack Graney for a 5-4 win. 1999 fought their way to a 5-5 tie against the '95 Indians but the home fans and their brooms swept aside the '97 Wahoo’s when CF Kenny Lofton scored the winner in the bottom of the 9th. After leading off with a double down the left field line, the speedy center fielder broke for third but catcher Sandy Alomar's throw was off target and rolled into left field. Lofton jumped up and sprinted home for the winner.
September 22: 1999 Indians, smarting from being swept by the '95 Indians, regrouped for a daring 6-5 win over the 1920 Indians. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th, Dick Niehaus uncorked a wild pitch and SS Omar Vizquel trotted home with the winning run.
September 23: 1B Rico “Beeg Boy” Carty came up big for the '76 Indians by hitting a home run (20) and driving in 5 runs as they downed the '26 Indians 10-1.
September 24: With everything decided in the Nostalgia League (2011), the RBI race has widened with Elmer Smith (1920) taking a 161-157 lead over Albert Belle (1995). 1948 Bob Lemon celebrated his outstanding season by winning his league leading 23rd game with a 4-3 win over the '08 Naps. 1959 1B Tito Francona hit his 44th home run and claimed the batting title with a .375 batting average in a 6-2 over the '56 Indians. The '95 Indians are ready for the playoffs after taking down the '68 Indians 5-3. SS Omar Vizquel and Herbert Perry singled home 11th inning runs for the win. The 2005 Indians aren't going to let the '95 Indians win easily as they enter the playoffs with an 8-3 over the '54 Indians.