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upset at the reduced offense brought about by CMBA, a few resigned, recruitment was difficult, and finally the CMBA was repealed… which brought another round of resignations from its supporters.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.
2014 Before the 33rd season of Mudville Baseball got underway, the league saw the departures of two long time managers. After 15 years at the helm of the Cardiff Bay Tigers, Allan Hounsel announced his departure right after the season ended. Just before the draft started, 10-year vet and four time Mudville champion Jason Ewing informed the league that he too would be stepping away. Both owners will be missed throughout the league. Evin Giglio was tabbed to take the helm of the Tigers, rebranding his squad the Lob City Dromedaries, while Bob Donahue’s Southhampton Senators took over Jason’s Olathe Oriole franchise. With the new managers settled, the league dove into another competitive year of baseball. Gary Rommelfanger’s Dark Side Mooners won the AL East with an American League best 92-70 mark. In the West, Rick Adams’ Bay State Bombers (90-72) and Nick Roppo’s Windy City Silencers (87-75) locked horns in a division race that wasn’t settled until the final weeks of the regular season. In the NL, Mike Pope and his Hollywood Stars looked like the class of the league from the get-go, piling up an impressive 124-38 mark en route to the NL East title. After a 26-28 start, John Botelho rebuilt and renamed his Botown Baseknocks in midseason, making 10 in-season trades. The upstart Los Angeles Baseknocks of Botown surged ahead, capturing the NL West crown with a 102-60 campaign. Southhampton took home the NL Wildcard in its first season, racking up a 93-69 mark in the regular season. In the AL Divisional playoffs, the season long battle between Windy City and Bay State waged on, with the Bombers being Silenced in seven games. The Baseknocks bested Southhampton in six games in the NL, sending Botown to a third match-up with Hollywood since 2006. Rommelfanger’s Mooners dispatched Windy in five games en route to the team’s first AL Pennant! As Mudville’s two 100 game winners, the NLCS did not disappoint. Facing elimination in game six, Hollywood overcame a ninth inning deficit to force a game seven. The Stars prevailed once again, capturing his second NL pennant. The Stars finished the season the same way they started, as the class of Mudville, cruising to a 4-1 World Series victory over Dark Side. Congrats Mike! The league pressed forward into the offseason without losing any managers, pushing the total of owners with at least 10 years under the belt to a whopping 12! Perhaps more impressive is that 16 of the 20 owners in the league finished 2014 with at least 7.5 years experience! No new faces were inducted into the Hall of Fame this season. After a couple years without it, the offseason after 2014 also featured a return to Mudville’s draft lottery, with a new weighted system to determine the top pick in the 2015 draft. Larry Botelho and Erik Nelson both decided to step aside after a successful run as Co-Commissioners, with Brendan Doyle and Rick Roeth stepping up to fill their impressive shoes. Ken Martin became AL President, while John Botelho became the NL President for 2015. Eric Nelson has stayed on to help with Mudville’s files for 2015.