Winding Down

I envision jumping forward a decade at a time, looping back to the 1960s when the spirit moves me.  So my vague plan will be to cover 1973 as my next replay year.  I already own several other seasons in this era — 1961, 1964, 1969, and 1971 — so I will likely bounce back and forth quite a bit.  It was tempting to start the league in 1961 and then plow through my history of baseball in chronological order, but due to the tug to revisit various periods of my life I think jumping around will be better.

It will also make the end of a season a little less sad, because I won’t be permanently saying goodbye to any retiring players — sure, this is Elston Howard's final year, but at some point I’ll jump back in time and it will be fun to visit with him once again.  That said, I found a list of players who took their last swings in 1968, and thought I’d make a list of the ones on current rosters to better savor their swan songs.  There are obviously others who will never make another IBC roster, but these are the ones who officially retired:

Elston Howard, C, Iowa City.  .210/6/20 over 167 ABs.
Larry Jackson, RHP, Iowa City.  11-8 and 3.19 over 215 IP.
Bill Kelso, RHP, Sioux City.  2.91 over 22 IP.
Mickey Mantle, 1B, Des Moines.  .214/16/38 and 96 BBs over 379 ABs.
Roger Maris, RF, Davenport.  .277/3/17 over 112 ABs.
Minnie Rojas, RP, West Metro.  3.25 over 28 IP.

The significant departures are going to be Mickey Mantle and Larry Jackson, who are good players playing regularly.  Mantle's 96 walks boost his crummy batting average to a fine .372 on-base.  One of his quotations sums up why he hung up his cleats while still productive: “I always loved the game, but when my legs weren’t hurting it was a lot easier to love.”  It must have also hurt for him to be left unprotected by the Yanks in the 1969 expansion draft.  Larry Jackson wasn’t protected either, and retired after being taken by the Expos.

Here is a link to the Strat-O-Matic league file after 23 weeks of play, and the current standings. With two weeks to go, the Falcons are back in sole possession of first place and the Little Cyclones have unhorsed the slumping Knights and are now just 1 game back.  Ames has been the hottest in the league at 8-2, while Cedar Rapids (3-7) has been reeling since being no-hit last week.   


9/15/68 Iowa Baseball Confederacy        Won   Lost    Pct     GB
Council Bluffs Falcons (A’s-Giants)      88     63    .583     —
Ames Little Cyclones (Orioles-Pirates)   87     64    .576    1.0
Davenport Knights (Tigers-Cards)         87     65    .572    1.5 
Iowa City Regals (Red Sox-Phillies)      82     68    .547    5.5 
Sioux City Crusaders (Indians-Reds)      78     76    .506   11.5 
Cedar Rapids Saints (Twins-Dodgers)      75     76    .497   13.0

Des Moines Scarlets (Yankees-Cubs)       72     80    .474   16.5
West Metro Maroons (Angels-Mets)         68     83    .450   20.0
Waterloo Sailors (White Sox-Braves)      66     87    .431   23.0
Dubuque Golden Eagles (Senators-Astros)  55     96    .364   33.0

That’s all for this week. 

© John Kisner 2019