The “Mudville Baseball Township” APBA league had its start in 1982, using the infamous 1981 strike-season card set. Twelve managers started the season… fewer finished. The original Commissioner absconded with the league funds part way through the season. Don Carbone took over and guided the league to a finish, though not all teams played all games. The next year, Don led Mudville to a full and complete season and in 1984 oversaw expansion to sixteen teams. The “Official Mudville Record Book” starts at that point.
From 1984 through 1987, hitters were restricted according to their “J-ratings”. J-0 and J-1 hitters had no restrictions on at-bats or games played. Others were restricted to games played but not at-bats. Starting pitchers had no limits on innings… only on games started. Relievers were restricted to innings pitched.
You’ll find a few unexpected names in the Mudville Record Book from those years… the loose restrictions led to surprising stats by some part-time players. A good deal of grumbling over unrealistic stats led to major changes in Mudville rules for 1988.
In 1988, Mudville adopted the CMBA pitching grade system on a one-year trial basis. Also voted in that year were tighter restrictions on player usage. The tighter restrictions remain, but CMBA is long gone. CMBA worked well but 1988 was based on the “rabbit-ball” year of ’87. Many managers were upset at the reduced offense brought about by CMBA, a few resigned, recruitment was difficult, and finally the CMBA was repealed… which brought another round of resignations from its supporters.
Computer play was introduced on a trial basis in 1991. Five managers used the electronic version. Unlike CMBA, this trial passed muster and, in 1992, seven managers were on the keyboard. In 1993, the number jumped to twelve managers playing the DOS computer game. By 1994, all but one of the twenty managers was using the computer version.
In 1994, another round of expansion brought Mudville to its current twenty teams. Another round of controversy (variously described as “Our Troubles”, “The Mudville War of Independence”, and “What the Hell is Going On Here?”) struck mid-season of 1994 in a dispute over league leadership. Mudville split into two camps. This one, the “Mudville Confederacy”, formed with thirteen of the original colonies while five others carried on as the “Mudville Baseball Township”. Truly the biggest crisis to hit the league, our hope was that two strong leagues would rise.
The above was written by Paul McEvoy at the start of the 1995 season, for the Mudville Record Book. From this point forward, Mudville’s history is documented by Bill Wagoner (1995-2000) & David Ziemann (2001-forward).
The Mudville Confederacy has flourished since “The Great Disruption” of the 1994 season, but not without challenge. Seven new managers were promptly recruited to fill out the league and schedules were pushed back to accommodate the changes… the post-season of 1994 (the first Mudville games to be played live via modem!) was finally wrapped up in late November.
The “Mudville Baseball Township”, however, did not fare so well… unable to recruit back to a full complement of managers, the league folded soon after.