Franchise Structure

The IBC is a Strat-O-Matic league that will create an alternate reality in which the number of franchises is reduced. Franchises are paired up (best and worst in opposite league) based on points given for winning percentage from 1957-2018:

.650 to .749 = 2
.550 to .649 = 1
.450 to .549 = 0
.350 to .449 = -1
.250 to .349 = -2

Yanks (32) + Cubs (-11) > Des Moines Scarlets      
Dodgers (25) + Twins (-5) > Cedar Rapids Saints
Cards (16) + Tigers (-3) > Davenport Knights  
Reds (12) + Indians (0) > Sioux City Crusaders
Red Sox (16) + Phillies (-6) > Iowa City Regals  
White Sox (2) + Braves (7) > Waterloo Sailors
Giants (8) + A’s (1) > Council Bluffs Falcons          
Orioles (8) + Pirates (-1) > Ames Little Cyclones
Angels (-2) + Mets (-14) > West Metro Maroons    
Astros (-7) + Senators (-12) > Dubuque Golden Eagles

Matching teams by their winning percentages over the course of my life leads to one very powerful combination, the Davenport Knights, in the league’s inaugural year of 1968.  After all, the Cards and Tigers would go on to meet in that year’s World Series!  One never knows how the combined parts will mesh, and the team should take its lumps when I get around to other seasons, but suffice to say that the Knights begin the year as heavy favorites.

Naming of teams presented a bit of a challenge, but ultimately I decided to place them all in Iowa as an homage to both my home state and to one of my favorite books, The Iowa Baseball Confederacy by WP Kinsella.  The best combined team overall was the Yankees-Cubs club — even the lovable losers couldn’t bring down the Bronx Bombers — so they were placed in Des Moines (the state’s largest city).  At the other end of the scale, the 8th-best pairing of Orioles-Pirates was placed in Ames (the state’s #8). 

With the retirement of Sandy Koufax a few years previous, by opening day in 1968 my ten-year-old self was a solid fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  In general it was my way to being unique in a schoolyard of Cubs/Cards/Twins supporters, but more specifically I was drawn to the great Roberto Clemente.  The pairing with Baltimore is somewhat interesting, since the Orioles were my father’s favorite team (having been stationed in Baltimore during his hitch in the service).  It is also noteworthy that this club got placed in Ames, where my future wife grew up — and as with all teams in this fantasy league, they take their monicker (“Little Cyclones”) from a local high school team of my choosing.

© John Kisner 2019