Whats get off to fast second half start; three wins in four games over Otters

The Whatevers got their second half off to a positive start this past Sat., Aug 6, taking three of four from Jonathan Stillwell’s Otters (3-5).

The Whats batted .293 with 20 XBH & seven homers while the Otters struggled batting .150 with 8 XBH and two home runs. The Whats start the second half at 3-1 and the Otters drop to 4-8. The series win raised the Whats to 22-22, .500 cumulative for the 2022 season.

Game 1   Otters 4, Whatevers 3

Shane McClanahan (Whats) v Chris Flexen (Otters)

Shane McClanahan made his first OAPBA start for the Whats but the home Otters were looking to take advantage. An RBI double by Jorge Polanco started the scoring in the first. In the second, Yasmani Grandal took McClanahan deep with one on to take the lead. Shohei Ohtani tripled and scored on a base hit by Vlad Guerrero in the third to tie. In the fifth, Manny Machado singles and scores on Ketel Marte’s double. Luis Robert follows with a rbi base hit to make it 4-2. Keke Hernandez took it deep in the seventh to make it 4-3. The Otter bullpen then shut down the Whats with Jonathan Loaisiga picking up the save.

What’s    3 10 0  L-McClanahan 0-1. HR: KeKe Hernandez (2).

Otters     4 8 0    W-Flexen. Sv-Loaisiga. HR Grandal.

Game 2    Whatevers 5, Otters 1

Brandon Woodruff v Luis Garcia.

Shohei goes deep in the first and Mitch Haniger adds a two run shot in the second to pace the What’s to a 5-1 win. Yordan Alvarez would add a solo shot later in the game and a rbi double by Yuli Gurriel finishes the scoring. Brandon Woodruff would surrender a solo homer to Freddie Freeman and a single to Cedric Mullins and that was it. 

What    5-8-1   W-Woodruff 4-4. HR Ohtani (13), Haniger (6), Alvarez (7).

Otters   1-2-0   Luis Garcia. HR Freeman.

Game 3    Whatevers 4, Otters 2

Walker Buehler (Whats) v Jose Berrios (Otters)

Walker Buehler went seven allowing just one hit and What’s take this one 4-2. Ronald Acuna gets the scoring started with a base hit in the first for the Otters. The What’s would tie it on a rbi single by Yuli Gurriel in the third and another in the fourth on a triple by Keke Hernandez and a SF by Yadi Molina. What’s add two more in the seventh with a two run single by Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Jordan Romano would start the ninth with a walk to Acuna who then moves up on a groundout. Manny Machado singles to get to within 2 but settles down to get the final two outs for the save.

What     4-12-3    W-Buehler 3-3. Sv-Romano 2.

Otters    2-2- 0      L-Berrios.

Game 4    Whatevers 9, Otters 3

Alek Manoah (Whats) v Nathan Eovaldi (Otters)

The What’s score six in the first on a two run homer by Shohei Ohtani and a grand slam by Kiki Hernandez to cruise 9-3. Will Smith adds a solo shot later in the game and then allows two runs to score on a passed ball in the seventh. Cedric Mullins was 2-4 with a double and run scored for the Otters.

What’s    9-11-0   W-Manoah 1-0. HR Ohtani (14), Smith (6), Hernandez (3).

Otters      3-6-1     L-Eovaldi

OAPBA’s origins revealed; a look into the past provided by Joel Prinsell

OAPBA launched its 34th season in February, but the story of how the league started and grew has always been somewhat vague. Thanks to one of the league’s four Founding Fathers, Joel Prinsell, we now know precisely when the league began and how it moved forward during its inaugural campaign. Here’s Joel’s account of the league’s startup:

On Feb. 24, 1988, thirty-three years ago today, or, if any of us want to feel even older — a third of a century ago, the Orlando APBA league commenced its inaugural regular season schedule.  

Attached for posterity are the scoresheets from the first two 2-game series played by the four original franchises – the Tourists, managed by Steve Lorman; the Platoon, managed by Joe Passiatore; the Metropolitans, managed by Bryant Applegate, and the Highlanders, managed by me.  (Sorry, but a few of the attached PDF pages might be upside down, sideways, etc.)

A couple of weeks before the opening games, the teams had held a 25-round snake draft, where Kirby Puckett was selected by the Metros with the first overall pick.

The Tourists won Game #1, 5-0, over the visiting Highlanders. Nolan Ryan (who’s he?!) threw a one-hitter with 7 K’s, with Jeff (?) Reardon pitching the last 2 outs. Mike (?) Scott took the loss. Ryne Sandberg was the league’s first whiff victim. Tony Gwynn was the first player to reach base (how fitting), with a BB (but was caught stealing by “Spanky” LaValierre).  Ozzie Smith had the league’s first hit (a single), the first SB, and scored the first run.  Robin Yount had the first error.  But the star of the game was Benito Santiago, who went 3-3, had the league’s first RBI (plating Ozzie), first extra-base hit (a 2B), and first HR. 

The Highlanders came back to win Game #2, the nightcap of the doubleheader, 6-1.

The next day, the Platoon swept the Metropolitans in Games #3 and 4, 6-5 and 2-1.  Although the Metros got off to a rough 0-3 start, they ended the regular season with the best record. 

Two or three years later, the Beefers, managed by Rod, and the Taz Devils, managed by Dave, joined the league, and the rest is history — the longest running APBA league. 

2022 OAPBA Second Half standings (Aug 9)

CumulativeWLPctGB
Beefers93.750
Whatevers 31.5002
Taz Devils 35.3754
Otters48.3335
Tsunamis13.2504

The Beefers, at 9-3, have pulled out to a two-game lead over Walt Taylor’s Whatevers (3-1). Dave Larson’s Taz Devils (3-5) are off to a bit of a slow start in the second half and Jonathan Stilwell’s Otters dropped to 4-8 after losing three of four to the Whats. Craig Dolan’s Tsunamis are 1-3, losing three of their first four games to the Beefers..

CumulativeWLPctGB
Beefers3319.635
Taz Devils2717.6142
Whatevers 2222.5007
Tsunamis2123.4778
Otters1636.30817