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Season 13

Chips End on High Note

Tue, 15 Feb 2000
Chips 7, Titans 3:
Jimmie Foxx went 3-4 with two RBIs and Steve Carlton pitched 7.2 strong innings as the Silicon Valley Chips (7-13) ended their season as they started it--with a win. Today, it was over the Tri-City Titans (8-12). The Chips victimzed their ex-teammate Sandy Koufax, touching him up for five runs in as many innings. However, three of them were unearned on an error by Joe Cronin. The result's only real significance was on order of finish. The loss puts the Titans in a tie with the defending champion Powers, who have tiebreaker advantage. Thus the Powers regain 4th place. But the result also capped a season of dramatic improvement for the Titans, in which they doubled their win total from last year. And the Chips, while in last place, finish only one game out of 4th place with the win.

Hits: Chips 17, Titans 14

Winning pitcher: Carlton
Losing pitcher: Koufax

Homeruns: Hank Aaron, Charlie Gehringer
Doubles: Stan Musial, Jimmie Foxx
Error: Cronin

Gehrig Homers Twice as Dawgs get Wrong Kind of Shuout

Tue, 8 Feb 2000
Reps 5, Red Dawgs 0:
Lou Gehrig had only the 4th multi-homer game in HBWRL history and Ed Walsh and Red Faber combined on an eight hit shutout, as the Minneapolis Reps (12-8) defeated the regular season champion Myers Red Dawgs (14-6). The game was a World Series preview, as the Reps clinched a playoff berth with a win. The Dawgs had needed a shutout to break the all-time ERA record of 2.04, and a win to become the winningest team (in percentage terms) in HBWRL history. But it was the Reps--perhaps remojoized by GM Kevin C.'s boxing lessons--perhaps wanting to make a statement for the World Series--who got the shutout.

The Dawgs started the year an impressive 13-3, but dropped three of their last four games to finish at 14-6. Still, they broke two records--most wins in a season (14; old record was 13), and lowest H/IP by a team in a season (1.05; old record was 1.21). They also finished with a league low ERA of 2.23. Thus the World Series will once again feature the league's best offense against its best pitching. In 12 prior games so-billed, the hitting and pitching leaders split, 6-6. Both GMs--Kevin C. from the boxing ring and Jak Myers from the Citgo in Manassas--promise a competitive series.

Hits: Reps 11, Red Dawgs 8

Winning pitcher: Walsh
Losing pitcher: Eddie Plank

Homeruns: Gehrig 2
Stolen bases: Richie Allen, Barry Bonds, Tris Speaker, Nap Lajoie
Caught stealing: Bonds, Speaker

Streaks Continue as Burke Stays Alive--Mathematically

Thu, 3 Feb 2000
Upper-Deckers 1, Powers 0:
The Burke Upper-Deckers (11-9) finished their season with a six game winning streak, beating the outgoing HBWRL champion Karas Powers (8-12), 1-0. It was Burke's 3rd shutout in four games. However, barring a 17 run loss by the Reps in their next game, Burke will not go to the playoffs. The results does put an exclamation point on Burke's season, however. As an expansion franchise, the team has put together back to back 11-9 seasons. If the Red Dawgs beat the Reps (by less than 17 runs), then Burke will have tied the Reps at 11-9 (but lost by tiebreaker) in both years. But this year's tie is more significant, as a playoff berth is at stake.

The Commissioner is also pleased to note that, barring a Reps loss of at least 17 runs, ("that's a lot of runs to lose by!" said one advertiser) each of the league's four non-expansion teams will have been represented in the World Series during the last two seasons. In this game, Joe McGinnity pitched the shutout, outdueling Carl Hubbell. Former Power Yogi Berra drove in the game's only run; and dealt the Powers their third straight loss. The Powers will finish in 4th or 5th place, depending on the Titans/Chips game.

Four things are on the line in the next game. As noted, the Dawgs must win by 17 runs for Burke to make the playoffs. The Dawgs must win by shutout (or more precisely, allow no earned runs, assuming they pitch nine innings) to break the ERA record. The Dawgs will break the H/IP record, barring a "hit parade" by the Reps. And the Dawgs must win--outright--to become the winningest team (in percentage) terms in HBWRL history.

Hits: Upper-Deckers 14, Powers 6

Winning pitcher: McGinnity
Losing pitcher: Hubell

Doubles: Joe Jackson, Jim Rice
Stolen base: Jackson
Error: Eddie Mathews

Greenberg's Blast Gives Dawgs a Record Season

Wed, 2 Feb 2000
Red Dawgs 5, Chips 3 (12 innnings):
In a memorable game with many subplots, the Myers Red Dawgs (14-5) became the first HBWRL team ever to win 14 regular season games, beating the Silicon Valley Chips (6-13), 5-3 in 12 innings. It was the Chips' 13th loss in their last 16 games. It was also the Chips' 2nd 12 inning loss in their last three games. While the game was tightly contested throughout, the Dawgs had an excellent chance to win in the 9th. George Sisler's RBI single broke a 2-2 tie, and gave the Dawgs a 3-2 lead heading to the bottom of the 9th. In addition, the Dawgs--having allowed two earned runs already--could not allow another earned run, and keep their hopes of breaking the team ERA record alive. Dazzy Vance came on to try to save the game for Dawgs starter Hippo Vaughn, who allowed just four hits in eight strong innings. Vance retired two of the first three batters he faced, leaving the Chips down to their last out, with Lefty O'Doul at first base, and Jimmie Foxx representing the winning run at the plate.

Foxx's routine liner to short was dropped by Ray Chapman. Foxx reached as O'Doul took second base on the error. The error proved costly, because the next batter, Joe DiMaggio, doubled to rightcenter field, scoring O'Doul. While the run was unearned, the game now hung in the balance. With the winning run and third base and two out, Vance intentionally walked George Brett, who had already homered, to load the bases for Johnny Bench. Bench batted in the situation we all dream of--two out, bases loaded, bottom of the 9th, tie game. And it just happens, you can shatter the other team's hopes for breaking records in the process. Now it was the Chips who had an excellent chance to win in the 9th. But Vance struck out Bench, sending the game to extra innings.

The extra innings were largely uneventful, as they were characterized by good pitching from Vance and Chips reliever Freddie Fitzsimmons. But with one out in the top of the 12th, Barry Bonds singled. On the next pitch, a "hit and run" play, Greenberg took Fitzsimmons deep into "death valley," hitting a two run homer into centerfield of his old stomping ground. In the bottom of the inning, Vance retired two more batters, before Ron Guidry recorded the final out.

Ironically, Chapman's error, which nearly cost the Red Dawgs the game, also nearly gave their pitching staff the help they need to break the ERA record. Because the run was unearned, it didn't inflate the Dawgs' ERA. But because the error prolonged the game for three innings, it helped the Dawgs' ERA. Had the game gone nine innings, the Dawgs would have been required to pitch a shutout in their final game to get the ERA record. They still must (assuming that they pitch nine innings in that game), but barely. Allowing one earned run in that game would give the Dawgs a final ERA of 2.0359. The Powers' record mark is 2.0357.

Up next, the defending HBWRL champion Powers try to end their season on a high note, by eliminating one of the teams that they blame for their demise--the Burke Upper-Deckers.

Hits: Red Dawgs 15, Chips 7

Winning pitcher: Vance
Losing pitcher: Fitzsimmons
Save: Guidry

Homeruns: Brett, Greenberg
Doubles: Sisler, Chapman, DiMaggio
Error: Chapman
Intentional Base on Balls: By Vance (Brett)

Burke Wins Again to Stay Alive;
But Devil May be in the Details

Tue, 1 Feb 2000
Upper-Deckers 4, Reps 3:
The Burke Upper-Deckers (10-9) won their 5th straight game to keep their dramatic playoff run alive, this time in a 4-3 nailbiter over the 2nd place Minneapolis Reps (11-8). But a fact that would normally be a footnote to the game--the margin of victory--may have done in Burke. Starters Chief Bender (Upper-Deckers) and Mordecai Brown (Reps) dueled to a 2-2 draw, although Brown went just 5.1 innings. But then Burke took control, thanks to the M&M's (not Mantle). Paul Molitor and Mark McGwire combined to drive in all three of Burke's earned runs, and scored two of them. Each of them had three hits. For good measure, Molitor also doubled, walked, and stole two bases. Trailing 3-2 in the top of the 8th, Reps CF Edd Roush dropped a fly ball that allowed a 4th run to score, and that proved important. In the bottom of the inning, Rickey Henderson's RBI single made it 4-3 Burke. But Rollie Fingers came on and successfully saved the game for Bender.

The Upper-Deckers now trail the Reps for the final playoff spot by one game, with one remaining. HBWRL rules stipulate that if two teams are tied at the end of the regular season, the first tiebreaker is head-to-head series. The teams split four games. The second tiebreaker is runs scored minus runs against. And therein lies the detail. As Burke won by just one run, they enter the final "week" of play at -2. The Reps are at +16. Thus ironically, the Reps may have locked up a playoff berth by losing. But that wasn't what either team wanted. Burke wanted the big win; though they are happy to point out that they are now an expansion team with never a losing season. The Reps also wanted a win, to lock up a playoff berth. The result was a mixed blessing at best, for both teams.

Next week, the Upper-Deckers close out the regular season against the Powers, who would like nothing better than to eliminate them, given the Powers' views of how expansion may have hurt their dynasty. Up next however, the Red Dawgs--who today clinched first place outright--have a date with history. They must beat the Chips, and allow no more than two earned runs in the process, to have a shot at breaking several HBWRL records.

Hits: Upper-Deckers 16, Reps 11

Winning pitcher: Bender
Losing pitcher: Brown
Save: Fingers

Doubles: Molitor, Ted Williams, Eddie Collins
Stolen bases: Molitor 2
Error: Roush

Fri, 28 Jan 2000
Titans 6, Powers 2:
The Tri-City Titans (8-11) completed a sweep of the league's top two pitching teams with a 6-2 win over the Karas Powers (8-11), sending Powers GM J.Karas to his first ever losing season. The Titans led 3-2 in the top of the 9th inning when Willie ("Haze") Mays sent a three run homer over the rightfield wall against Jim "Catfish" Hunter. Asked to comment on the game--specifcally, the homerun pitch--Hunter said, "MaysuK is beautiful, oops, wrong pitch." We aren't sure what that means, but we are sure that the Titans have doubled their win total from last year--a big feat considering that they started 0-5. The Powers retain 4th place by tiebreaker. Up next, easily the most signifcant game of the week, as the streaking Upper-Deckers face elimination against the team they are chasing, the Reps.

Hits: Titans 13, Powers 13

Winning pitcher: Eddie Cicotte
Losing pitcher: Stan Coveleski

Homerun: Mays
Doubles: Gabby Hartnett 2, Honus Wagner, Johnny Mize, Charlie Gehringer
Error: Joe Jackson

Titans Bite Dawgs Again

Thu, 27 Jan 2000
Titans 5, Red Dawgs 4:
Grover Cleveland "Pete" Alexander had a three-hit shutout through seven innings for the Myers Red Dawgs (13-5) before, much like another game this year, the Tri-City Titans (7-11) struck. Harry Heilmann atoned for an earlier error with a two run single, tying the game at 2-2 in the 8th. On the next pitch, Hank Aaron's three run homer gave the Titans a 5-2 lead. In the 9th inning, Titans starter Lefty Gomez survived a two run double by Hank Greenberg and the Titans hung on to win, 5-4. It was the second time this year that the Titans rallied from 2-0 down in the late innings to defeat the Red Dawgs, who are 11-3 against all other teams. The result put the Dawgs' runs at two records in serious jeopardy. To have the best team ERA in history, and the highest winning percentage, the Dawgs must now win each of their final two games, while allowing no more than two earned runs (combined) to get both records. The Dawgs could become the first team ever to win 14 games, however, with a split in those games.

Hits: Red Dawgs 13, Titans 7

Winning pitcher: Gomez
Losing pitcher: Alexander

Homeruns: Aaron, Greenberg
Stolen base: Ray Chapman
Error: Heilmann

Mantle is Hero as Burke Stays Alive

Thu, 27 Jan 2000
Upper-Deckers 2, Chips 0:
Right after being promised a 12-pack by GM Mark H., Mickey Mantle hit at two-run homer in the bottom of the 9th for the Burke Upper-Deckers (9-9) to keep their playoff hopes alive, with a dramatic 2-0 win over the Silicon Valley Chips (6-12). Jim Palmer pitched a shutout, giving Burke its 4th straight win and bringing them back to the .500 mark for the first time since Week 8. Mantle practically tackled Mark H. going to the beer as he circled the bases to end Burke's second straight shutout win. The Chips are 3-12 since a 3-0 start. Palmer and Chips starter Christy Mathewson dueled for eight scoreless innings, but Tom Seaver replaced Mathewson in the bottom of the 9th, with Mark McGwire at first base. He retired a batter, then served up the homer. However, Mathewson was tagged with the loss because the decisive run was his responsibility--a certain injustice (someone call J.Karas!) The Upper-Deckers play the Reps next week in a critical game that could decide 2nd place.

1 out when winning runs scored
Game Winning RBI: Mantle

Hits: Chips 10, Upper-Deckers 8

Winning pitcher: Palmer
Losing pitcher: Mathewson

Homerun: Mantle
Doubles: Robin Yount, Johnny Bench
Stolen base: Jackie Robinson
Caught stealing: Paul Molitor

Reps Eliminate Powers

Wed, 26 Jan 2000
Reps 6, Powers 1:
An era in HBWRL baseball came to an end today. The Minneapolis Reps (11-7) routed the defending champion Karas Powers (8-10), 6-1, to eliminate the Powers from the playoffs. That breaks a five year streak of World Series berths for Powers GM J.Karas. The Powers had never missed the playoffs under Karas--the last time they failed to make it was in Season 7, when they had a different GM and a different name. The five year streak stands as the longest in HBWRL history, and the Powers Dynasty of Seasons 8-12 would certainly be fit for television in any ESPN Matchup of the Millenium.

But today did not belong to the Powers. The Reps lit up Powers starter Urban Shocker for two runs in the 1st inning, then watched Rube Waddell pitch a masterpiece. Waddell, who did not allow a hit until the 4th inning, still had a 2-0 lead in the 7th. But in the bottom of the inning, the Reps scored an insurance run; then three more in the 8th. Robin Roberts, in relief of Waddell, allowed an inherited runner to score in the 8th on an RBI single by Chuck Klein, accounting for the Powers' sole run. For the Reps, Babe Ruth and Richie Allen each went 4-5 to lead the attack. The two combined for as many hits (8) as the Powers team.

The Reps and Burke Upper-Deckers--who just three weeks ago seemed out of contention at 5-9--will now battle for the final playoff spot. The Reps are 11-5 since an 0-2 start; Burke has won three straight. Burke's upcoming game with the Chips is now an elimination game; while the next HBWRL game has no real significance other than the Red Dawgs' attempt(s) to secure a place in history.

Winning pitcher: Waddell
Losing pitcher: Shocker

Doubles: Ruth 2, Allen
Error: Ruth

Powers Stay Alive With 12th Inning Double

Fri, 21 Jan 2000
Powers 4, Chips 3 (12 innings):
In a game that lived up to all the hype, the Karas Powers (8-9) got a 12th inning double from Rogers Hornsby to complete a four game sweep of the Silicon Valley Chips (6-11) this season; as well as keep their playoff hopes alive. The Powers, who also swept the Chips in last year's World Series, have beaten the Chips in the teams' last eight meetings. But you would have never known that today--or this season. Three of the teams' four games this season were decided by one run.

This classic pitted the league's all-time winningest pitcher, Ed Reulbach of the Powers, against the man who is #2 on that list, the Chips' Juan Marichal. Perhaps fittingly, both pitched well; neither won the game. The Chips rallied from 2-0 down and an 11-1 deficit in hits to tie the game at 2-2 in the 5th inning. But it appeared to be over in the top of the 9th when Chuck Klein's RBI single off of Marichal gave the Powers a 3-2 lead. However, Rod Carew doubled in the bottom of the 9th, then moved to third base on a single by Lefty O'Doul. At that point, Reulbach was pulled for Catfish Hunter. Hunter allowed an RBI sacrafice fly to Stan Musial that tied the game at 3-3, but then retired the Chips to send the game to extra innings.

The Chips had an excellent chance to win the game--and end the Powers' season--in the 10th. Ty Cobb batted with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 10th, and the score tied at 3-3. When Hunter struck him out, Carew came up. It was a chance for Carew to twice be a hero--having scored the tying run in the 9th, and now with a chance to drive in the winning run in the 10th. But his routine grounder was handled by Hornsby, and the game continued.

Hornsby made his presence felt in a bigger way in the 12th. His RBI double off of Chips reliever Phil Niekro put the Powers ahead for good. Hunter retired the side in order in the bottom of the 12th, to keep the Powers' season--and championship defense--alive. Up next, the Powers immediately play another elimination game, against the Reps.

Hits: Powers 21, Chips 17

Winning pitcher: Hunter
Losing pitcher: Niekro

Doubles: Hornsby 2, Musial, Carew
Stolen base, Caught stealing: Honus Wagner
Error: O'Doul

Maddux, Roush Sink Titans; Chips Eliminated as Well

Thu, 20 Jan 2000
Reps 1, Titans 0:
Edd Roush's game winning single with two out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th lifted the Minneapolis Reps (10-7) to a 1-0 win over the Tri-City Titans (6-11). The win eliminated the Titans, as well as the Chips. It also means that the Powers' upcoming game against the Chips is an elimination game for the Powers. Reps starter Greg Maddux allowed nine hits (all singles) and struck out five, in pitching a shutout against a team that led the league in batting average and slugging percentage, entering the week. Maddux and Titans starter Warren Spahn dueled for six innings; Spahn was pulled for Vida Blue in the 7th. But Blue was also effective in shutting down the Reps' offense, until the 9th. After Blue retired Richie Allen, Roy Campanella and Ernie Banks got back to back singles. The outfield came after Rickey Henderson singled to load the bases, but Eddie Collins' ground ball led to a force of Campanella at the plate. That set the stage for Roush, who lined Blue's 0-1 pitch to centerfield, just beneath a diving Willie Mays. Banks scored on a single that ended the season for the Titans and Chips.

2 out when winning run scored
Game Winning RBI: Roush

Hits: Reps 11, Titans 9

Winning pitcher: Maddux
Losing pitcher: Spahn

Click here to view results of Season 13 Games:
October 26 - November 27,1999 (~) November 29 - December 28,1999
December 28 - January 19,2000 (~) January 20 - February 15, 2000

Click here to view results of Season 12 Games:
July 13 - August 2,1999 (~) August 6 - August 27,1999
August 30 - September 21,1999 (~) September 23,1999 - October 6, 1999

Click here to view results of Season 11 Games:
February 5 - March 19,1999 (~) March 20 - April 13,1999 (~) April 13 - May 25,1999