superstar baseball [Updated October 2005]  

2005 WBC Report  

 2006 Status: pending December Membership Century Vote

Harry Flawd, PA

2005 Champion

Offsite links:

AREA Ratings


Event History
1991    Mike Ryan      21
1992    John Brandeberry        9
1993    Mike Ellsworth      16
1994    Randy Cox      16
1996    Jon Diminnie      11
1997    Henry Richardson        8
1998    Harry Flawd III        9
1999    Randy Cox     18
2000    Carl Coscia     20
2001    Mike Hazel     24
2002    Ken Samuel     20
2003    Gordon Elgart     18
2004    Chris Palermo     22
2005     Harry Flawd     19


Rank  Name               From  Last  Total
  1.  Chris Palermo       NY    04     47
  2.  Randy Cox           SC    05     28
  3.  Ken Samuel          VA    02     28
  4.  Harry Flawd         PA    05     24
  5.  Gordon Elgart       CA    03     20
  6.  Mike Hazel          SC    01     20
  7.  Carl Coscia         DC    00     20
  8.  Henry Richardson    VA    00     14
  9.  John Tighe          NJ    05     12
 10.  Ken Richards        SC    04     12
 11.  John Emery          SC    02     12
 12.  Jared Scarborough   IL    01     12
 13.  Dave Gantt          SC    05      8
 14.  Greg Schmittgens    KS    04      8
 15.  Bob Jamelli         PA    03      8
 16.  Ralph Gleaton       SC    01      8
 17.  Steve Vance         MI    05      6
 18.  Pete Putnam         PA    04      6
 19.  Michael Destro      NJ    02      6
 20.  Greg Berry          VA    01      6
 21.  Ben Goldstein       SC    99      6
 22.  Devin Flawd         PA    04      4
 23.  Bill Beckman        SC    03      4
 24.  Darren Velez        NY    00      4
 25.  Terry Coleman       BC    99      4
 26.  Greg Berry          VA    05      2
 27.  Dan Dolan Sr        NJ    04      2
 28.  Joe Haardt          VA    03      2
 29.  Bill Cleary         MD    99      1

2005 Laurelists

John Tighe, NJ

Dave Gantt, SC

Steve Vance, MI

Randy Cox, SC

Greg Berry, VA

Past Winners

1991: Mike Ryan, NS
1992: John Brandeberry, IL
1993: Mike Ellsworth, IL

Randy Cox, SC
1994, 1999

Jon Diminnie, TN

Henry Richardson, VA

Harry Flawd ,PA

Carl Coscia, DC

Mike Hazel, SC

Ken Samuel, VA

Gordon Elgart, CA

Chris Palermo, NY

The Nation's Pastime ...

19 field managers took part in the 2005 edition of the Sports Illustrated (a.k.a. Superstar) Baseball tournament at the WBC. All but two were familiar faces, which is about par for the course. Notably absent was last year's champion and long-time player Chris Palermo. In fact, none of the past three champions were available, which shows just how difficult it has become to fit in all one's favorite games in one short week.

But for the 19 present, none of that mattered. What mattered was that the infield was smooth, the grass was cut and rolled into a spiffy WBC logo pattern and the umpire was dusting off the plate, waiting to see which managers would field which teams for this edition of the SSB world championship.

The preliminary phase of this tournament is the Drawing of the Teams. Names are randomly selected and managers have a few seconds to select their favorite franchise (if it's still available) or be given the best team remaining (as all teams are handicapped). It didn't take uber-Sox fan Harry Flawd long to use his first draft position to snare his beloved Red Sox. From there, teams were taken pretty much in order of best team to worst. This is mostly due to the fact that handicaps, while used during the preliminary rounds, are discarded for the single-elimination playoff. So, while one can guide an underachieving team through the league portion of the schedule, the playoffs aren't kind to the likes of the Brewers, Mariners, or Royals.

When all was said and done, our divisions shook out like this...

At the newbie table (this is a coached event, after all) were the Braves, Astros, Expos, and Rangers (speaking of low-ranking teams--this was the team accidentally taken by the GM, who chooses last; he was thinking of the other old Washington franchise, the Twins). The Rangers surprised the division by winning on a tiebreaker, as all teams but the Astros ended preliminary play with 2-1 records. The +10 run differential for Texas was the deciding factor.

At Table 2, Harry's BoSox ran the table over the Cubs (2-1), Pirates (1-2), and Phillies (0-3). Something strange must have gotten into the water during the 10 o'clock hour at this table, as John Emery's Cubs thrashed the Phillies 17-9 while the Red Sox were destroying the Pirates 12-5.

Table 3 was dominated by Tom Paroauda's Indians, who went 3-0. Everyone else ended up 1-2, as they spread the misery nicely. Dan Dolan did finally win a game with his Yankees, though. The other teams were the Philadelphia/KC/Oakland A's and the St. Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles. It is possible that this table represented more cities than any other.

Over at Table 4, Scott Nerny's Reds did a fine impression of the current edition of that franchise, laying down while everyone else went 2-1. The Dodgers and Early Negro League stars didn't have nearly the firepower that Dave Gantt's Late Negro Leaguers did, and lost the crown based on the tiebreaker. In fact, given that Gantt's team scored 10 and 14 in two of their victories, it's hard to believe they were held to a single run when they played the other Negro League team.

And at our Short Table (we have one most years), each team was credited with a victory against "Bye" and played one game against the other teams. As so often happens, we then ended up with a three-way 2-1 logjam amongst the Cardinals, Giants, and Tigers. Per usual, Bruce Young's Tigers won the division, only to have him bow out to attend the Britannia semi-finals. How many years in a row has this happened? And, more importantly, when will he learn that he has a better chance at SSB than BRI?

So, the stage was set for five divisional winners and three wild cards to advance. With Bruce's departure, that meant we would draw four wild card teams. In the first draw, teams who lost their divisional title solely based on tiebreaker were thrown into the hat, and Bill Beckman's Montreal Expos were chosen (fitting that one Greenville Mafioso took the place of another). Then all remaining teams with two victories were added to the mix and John Tighe's Early Negro Leaguers came out. At that point, all teams with at least onevictory were added to the hat and Greg Berry's Giants emerged. For the final selection, all teams were in the hat and several draws passed (with absent managers who figured they had no chance to advance). Finally, Steve Vance's Orioles/Browns, with their 1-2 record got into the dance.

In the first playoff game, the lowly/lucky Texas Rangers sent Kevin Brown to the mound to face Jim Palmer and the Orioles/Browns. As neither team is exactly a powerhouse, the game was actually pretty good. The O's scored a run in each of the last three innings, with Ripken's run in the ninth being the deciding factor in a 4-3 game.

Roger Clemens wasn't spectacular for the Red Sox when they faced the Giants (Marquard), but the Fenway Gang was, as always, explosive offensively. The Giants went down 8-6.

Old-school Negro League star Rube Foster won a pitchers' duel against Indian Hall of Famer Bob Feller by a score of 3-1 to allow the Early Negro Leaguers to advance over the Indians.

And in the other quarterfinal, Pedro Martinez and Les Expos were no match for that juggernaut Late Negro League team, as Ray Brown pitched his team to victory, 4-1, setting the stage for a Negro League rematch in the semifinals...

...and in that game, manager Gantt may have out-thought himself. Hoping to secure the legendary Satchel Paige (with a killer pitching chart) for the championship game, he went with the less heralded Hilton Smith to take the mound against the Early Negro League. Not that Smith is any slouch, as either a pitcher or hitter, but when the Late Negro League bats cool off, there's trouble in Homestead. And that's just what happened, as the Early Negro Leaguers bested their laterday counterparts by a score of 5-2.

Over in the other semifinal game, Harry's beloved Red Sox were doing the unthinkable--bunting, running, manufacturing runs. You'd think that was Billy Martin managing the Splendid Splinter. But when you're down to the last few games in an elimination format, you do what's necessary to survive and advance. And that's just what Boston did to the pesky Orioles/Browns, edging out a victory 5-3.

And the stage was set for an epic championship game. Well, maybe epic isn't the right word. After all, the pitching match up for the game for all the marbles was Bullet Joe Rogan (Early Negro) against Luis Tiant (Red Sox). The Sox won the dice roll and were deemed the home team in this most important game of the afternoon.

The first inning was uneventful for Tiant, allowing a single but shutting down the Negro Leaguers. Then Bullet Joe struck out the side (Boggs, Yaz, Ted) in the bottom of the inning. Frame two saw the Negro Leaguers go three up and three down. And then the walls crashed in on Bullet. Pesky grounded out to start the bottom of the second, but the next five batters reached base (four singles and a walk) and the sixth batter (Wade Boggs) slammed a three-run homer, to give the Beaneaters six runs in the second inning. Two innings later, the Sox added three more runs, behind doubles by Fisk and Williams and Pesky's second triple of the game. Christobel Torriente tried to start something in the fifth, but all that resulted were two runs (one unearned) and those runs were matched by the Red Sox in the sixth. In the end, Tiant went 8 innings, scattering 8 hits, and was 2-for-4 at the plate while Eckersley finished it off. Pesky ended up 3-for-5 with a double and the triples.

And with those short 25 minutes (it's amazing how fast the games go once you've got five under your belt), Harry Flawd claimed wood and John Tighe can contemplate what might have been. After the dust had settled, it was a typical SSB event--some quick, fun dice rolling while we pretend that every great player in the history of baseball is in the room with us; we lament failed opportunities and praise heroic efforts; but, in the end, we watch a train wreck. What better way to spend a Saturday morning?

There is talk of modifying the format for 2006, allowing customized teams with a full-fledged draft to be held early in the week, granting managers the chance to play "pick up" games all week long at their convenience (much like Ace of Aces). Please direct any thoughts on this potential change to Chris Palermo or Randy Cox.

 GM      Randy Cox [13th Year]   P.O. Box 1144, Clemson, SC 29633-1144   NA

2005 Preview Page | View the Icon Key | Return to main BPA page