Charlie Sacheli is a sports game enthusiast who also happens to run his own sports collectible business. As such, he has a broader-than-most knowledge of and interest in the "far reaches" of vintage sports. A number of PLAAY Games unique card set offerings started out as suggestions by Charlie, including the 1960-61 American Hockey League cards for HOCKEY BLAST and the "All-Time Greatest Losers" cards for HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL. Charlie recently completed a full-season play-through of the Amazin' 1962 New York Mets with HMB, and we're pleased to present Charlie's recap of the project, in his own words...
To start with, I did this project over a two-year period. Life has interruptions and other things and it took me longer to finish than I had intended. I chose to do this play-through for two reasons: 1) because the game is fun to play, and 2) I wanted to see if I could replicate some stats for a very bad baseball team!
Before I started playing, I knew in my own mind from playing HMB with other teams that the game engine was darn good, so I expected it to produce some very realistic stats. Indeed it did, in my opinion.
I printed all of the Mets 1962 box scores with starting line-ups pre-printed so the box score for each game had the original/actual starting line-ups for both teams, as well as the starting pitchers. I had to create a few "cup of coffee" players on my own, players like Larry Foss, Sammy Drake, and so on.
I tried to use subs and relievers as close to the real life games as possible. In some cases, it wasn't possible, though, due to poor starting pitching and the need to pinch-hit when in real-life a pinch hitter wasn't used. Roger Craig and Al Jackson especially did not reach their real-life innings-pitched totals because I had to remove them earlier in some games since they were pitching so badly!
For the season, my version of the '62 Mets finished with the same 40-120 record as the real-life Mets did. They were 24-56 at home and 16-64 on the road; real-life totals were 22-58 and 18-62, respectively.
In my replay, the Mets were shut out 22 times—10 times at home, 12 on the road. Bob Friend of the Pirates proved to be the "Mets Killer," winning four games and getting a no-decision in an eleven-inning 1-0 Pirates win. Friend blanked the Mets for nine innings in that game. Jack Lamabe came on in the bottom of the 10th. Smokey Burgess homered off Bob Moorhead in the top of the 11th and Roy Face came on to save it. Friend also came closest to pitching a no hitter, allowing a lead-off single to Richie Ashburn and then blanking the Mets the rest of the way, allowing only a walk (to Chacon) the rest of the way. Larry Jackson and Don Drysdale each blanked the Mets twice during the season.
(Here's an overview of team totals in various statistical categories, with real-life totals in parentheses and a bit of commentary from Charlie on some.)
RBIs: 582 (573) Pretty darn good.
Walks: 493 (616)
Strikeouts: 1051 (991) Only 58 off.
Batting Average: .224 (.240)
Doubles: 208 (166)
Triples: 41 (40)
Home Runs: 134 (139)
Total XB Hits: 383 (345)
Total Hits: 1,324 (1,318)
Runs: 612 (617)
Errors: 149 (210)
Complete Games: 8 (43) No surprise here, Stengel left starters in much too long due to horrendous relief pitching; I did not choose to do so!
Saves: 22 (10)
Innings Pitched: 1,358.2 (1,430) Fewer extra-inning games for my project.
Runs Allowed: 1,089 (948)
Earned Runs: 970 (801)
Walks Allowed: 552 (571)
Strikeouts: 1,062 (772)
ERA: 6.43 (5.04) (fewer errors=more earned runs)
CHIC 7(9); CIN 4(5); HOU 7(3); LAD 2(2); MLN 4(6); PHIL 5(4); PIT 3(2); SFG 5(4); STL 3(5).
No (board game version of a real-life) season will ever produce EXACT stats for all players, it's just impossible. (But) I believe the results from my project bear out that the game engine for HMB is pretty darn good, bar none.