APBA (pronounced "APP-bah") is a game company founded in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was created in 1951 by trucking firm purchaser J. Richard Seitz (1915-1992). The acronym stands for "American Professional Baseball Association", the name of a board game league Seitz devised in 1931 with eight high school classmates. After World War II, he formed APBA Game Co., working out of his living room. In 2011, after 60 years in Pennsylvania, the company headquarters was moved to Alpharetta, Georgia. The company's first offering was a baseball simulation table game using cards to represent each major league player, boards to represent different on-base scenarios (e.g. "Bases Empty", "Runners on First and Third," "Bases Loaded"), and dice to generate random numbers. Seitz's mail-order product derived from the game National Pastime, invented and patented by Clifford Van Beek in 1925, a game that Seitz played in his youth. The game can be played against another person or solitaire. Devoted fans keep track of the results and assess how players' performances compare to their real-life statistics. The game company later produced football, golf, basketball, hockey, bowling, boxing, soccer, and saddle racing games modeled after the baseball game (cards, boards, and dice). In the 1980s and 1990s computer adaptations of some of these games were produced. APBA enthusiasts have included Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush; presidential son-in-law David Eisenhower; New York mayor Ed Koch; actor Jeff Daniels; ballplayers Bump Wills and Jim Sundberg; sports agent and Detroit Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem; and journalist and memoirist Franz Lidz. For much of its history APBA's main competitor has been Strat-O-Matic. Other rivals include, or have included, Replay Publishing, Statis Pro Baseball, MLB Showdown and, in APBA's early years, Big League Manager. In 2000 APBA redesigned the packaging of its baseball game and for a brief time expanded its marketing approach to include hobby shops and sport card dealers, with limited success.
1 Computer versions of the baseball game
2 Conventions and tournaments 3 Convention tournament results 4 References 5 External links
Computer versions of the baseball game In 1984, the game company authorized a computer version of an advanced "master" version of their baseball game. It was published by Random House in 1985, first for PC computers and later for Apple. McGraw-Hill became the publisher after the company acquired Random House's software division in 1989, and the original game developers, Miller Associates, took over publishing and sales in 1990. In 1993, Miller and APBA announced a version of the game for the Windows platform, and it came out that summer. Titled APBA Presents Baseball for Windows (with the first two words in small print), Miller continued to update and publish the game software; their final version, 5.5, came out in the summer of 1999. Late in 2000, APBA announced that it had agreed to take over sales and service for the game; Miller Associates disbanded. In February, 2007 the APBA Game Company announced that they had acquired the rights to the Baseball for Windows code, and planned an upgrade to be released in the fall of 2008, featuring the voice of Pete Van Wieren, replacing the earlier editions' Ernie Harwell. Complications in game development, as well as errors in the code that had gone long unrepaired, delayed the release. As of November, 2011, the current release schedule has not been announced. The current version of the game runs on Windows 7 in 32 bit mode. For 64 bit versions of Windows 7 it requires Virtual Mode software. Some APBA players maintain computers with older versions of Windows solely for running the APBA software. In August 2012, APBA released an updated version of Baseball for Windows 5.5, called APBA Computer Baseball version 5.75. The game came with 3 complete major league seasons(1921, 1961, and 2011). This release was updated again in 2015 with the seasons included changed to 1957, 1976, and 2014. Game players can order additional disks individually for all major league seasons from 1901 through the present, with other special disks also available. Reception Computer Gaming World in 1992 criticized aspects of version 1.5's interface, but praised the sophistication of the MicroManager module's BaseballTalk language for creating custom managers for simulated games. The magazine called APBA "a work in progress, an impressive baseball park under construction ... but for what it delivers today, at the price asked, APBA Baseball would not be my first choice". Computer Gaming World in 1993 approved of the "gorgeous" ballparks, sophisticated drafting and statistical options, and "easy-to-use interface" of APBA Presents: Baseball for Windows. The magazine concluded that the developers should "be congratulated for making a true Windows product", with "realistic representation of baseball". APBA Baseball for Windows was a finalist for Computer Gaming World's Sports Game of the Year award, losing to Front Page Sports Football Pro. The editors wrote that despite new graphics "it is still the statistical model and replay accuracy of this new game, like its venerable ancestor, that command's everyone's attention". Conventions and tournaments APBA continues to have a devoted following, with conventions now held every year under the game company's sponsorship. The highlight of the convention is a tournament played by the attendees. APBA conventions go back as far as June 1973, when more than 300 fans got together in Philadelphia for a convention sponsored by the game's independent publication, the APBA Journal. The convention tournament was won by Robert Weeks. A record 650 got together in New York City in June 1975, with Joseph Krakowski the tournament winner. The third and final APBA Journal convention was held in June 1976 in Philadelphia, with Richard Beggs winning the tournament. The tournament structure for those conventions allowed participants to construct a team from all the cards they owned. (The Journal continued to be published under different management until 2002, but never held another convention.) Conventions resumed in Lancaster in July 1995 under game company sponsorship. The tournament was limited to stock teams that finished with percentages between .480 and .515. Chris Dineen's 1982 Expos prevailed. The June 1998 tournament, held in nearby Millersville, was limited to teams with percentages below .550. Ten-year-old Devin Flawd won, using the 1995 Mariners. Conventions have been held annually beginning in 2001. All except 2003 were sponsored by the game company. The limits on team winning percentages were dropped after 2002. The 2013 convention was held near the new corporate offices in Georgia; it was unique in that it produced the first back-to-back tournament winner. In addition, Brian Wells, a two-time winner himself, was inducted into the APBA Hall of Fame along with his father, Greg Wells. Convention tournament results Year - Location - Winner - Team
1999 - Mini Camp Lancaster, PA - Karl Hasselbarth - 1975 Giants 2001 - Lancaster, PA - Paul Cunningham - 1976 Athletics 2002 - Lancaster, PA - Brian Wells#* - 2000 Diamondbacks 2003 - Lancaster, PA - Todd Davis - 1977 Royals** def. Devin Flawd - 1982 Phillies 2004 - Las Vegas, NV - Eric Naftaly - 1957 Braves def. Joe Krakowski - 1969 Orioles 2005 - Lancaster, PA - John Hunt - 1975 Reds def. Frank Welsh - 1957 Braves 2006 - Las Vegas, NV - Bob King - 1977 Phillies def. Jackson Chapman - 1930 Athletics 2007 - Frazer, PA - John Duke* - 1927 Yankees def. Dan Trout - 1970 Orioles 2008 - Las Vegas, NV - Brian Wells* - 2001 Mariners def. Mike Harlowe - 1956 Dodgers 2009 - Lancaster, PA - John Duke* - 1909 Pirates def. Walt Husted - 1930 Cardinals 2010 - Lancaster, PA - Ron Seamans - 1969 Orioles def. Brian Wells - 2004 Cardinals 2011 - Lancaster, PA - Chris Sorce - 1930 Cardinals def. Ray Ouellette 1911 Giants 2012 - Lancaster, PA - Steve Skoff - 1912 Giants def. Charlie Sorce - 1910 A's 2013 - Alpharetta, GA - Steve Skoff§ - 1911 Giants def. Pat McGregor - 1995 Indians 2013 - Canton, OH - (Football) - Greg Wells 1984 Forty Niners def. Greg Barath - 1999 St. Louis Rams 2014 - Alpharetta, GA - Paul Trinkle - 1916 Dodgers def. Leroy "Skeet" Carr - 2011 Rangers 2015 - Alpharetta, GA - Kevin Cluff - 1998 Yankees def. Billy Bell - 2013 Tigers 2016 - Alpharetta, GA - Roy Langhans - 1985 Cardinals def. Steve Ryan - 1998 Braves 2017 - Alpharetta, GA - Dave Sweeley - 1972 Pirates def. Bill Lilly - 1968 Tigers
*Two-time champions #Youngest champion (Age 9 in 2002) §First Back-to-Back Champion **The 2003 Tournament was held in Lancaster, PA, but was not officially sponsored by the APBA Game Company. Todd Davis was the champion.
^ Franz Lidz, "Apba Is The Name, Baseball Is The Game, And Obsession Is The Result", Sports Illustrated, Dec. 8, 1980 ^ "Deaths", Washington Post, Sept. 28, 1992 ^ "Apba Game Founder Dies", The Morning Call, Sept. 27, 1992 ^ Van Beek, Clifford. "Game". US Patent 1536639. US Patent Office. Retrieved 18 February 2012. ^ APBA Game Company. "Company History". APBA Game Company Website. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2012. ^ Soren Narnia, "roll! they cried" ^ Franz Lidz, "Scorecard", Sports Illustrated, April 9, 2001 ^ Rogers, Win (August 1992). "Miller Associates' APBA Major League Players Baseball 1.5". Computer Gaming World. pp. 72–74. Retrieved 3 July 2014. ^ Poulter, Wallace (November 1993). "A 3.1-Run Homer". Computer Gaming World. pp. 134, 136. Retrieved 28 March 2016. ^ "Announcing The New Premier Awards". Computer Gaming World. June 1994. pp. 51–58.
Official website Newsday story about effect of APBA and Strat-O-Matic Game company press release about new version of Baseball for APBA Between the Lines Delphi Discussion Forum APBA Baseball Game APBA, A Yahoo discussion group on APBA baseball 2009 New York Times