Earlier this year, I purchased Out of the Park Baseball 2015, commonly known as OOTP15 among baseball nerds such as myself. I didn't really want to wait and shell out $40 USD for the 2016 edition, even if it is MLB licensed with all the pretty logos and such. While I was never a huge fan of OOTP 13, I decided to give the franchise another chance. Besides having to manually put in all of the correct team names, the rosters are all quite accurate and the simulation quality is excellent. But for whatever reason, despite the fact I really like managing the games in play by play mode, I've never felt comfortable building a franchise in this game.
So I decided to do something that I used to do in Baseball Mogul, but that many baseball fans agree is something that's better done in Out of the Park Baseball: historical replays. Back in Baseball Mogul, I used to take over all sorts of teams, especially Red Sox historical teams. I was always very good at not only winning World Series, but making perpetual winners. Of course, that can be done with OOTP, but they offer something interesting in this version that I don't recall being a part of Baseball Mogul. They let you use historical transactions and historical lineups. While this obviously hamstrings me from making any moves, I guess that's sort of what I want to do anyway. If I become the manager of the 1967 "Impossible Dream" Boston Red Sox, will they still make it to the World Series like they did in real life. And this time, will it be against the Cardinals? Or someone else? Because the transactions will still be historical, we need not worry about the computer making some really strange and wacky moves as AI tends to do in sports simulation games. That means we get to see the seasons unfold in a pure simulation setting based on the actual stats of the players that played. Through this series, we'll get to actually know the 1967 Red Sox and who they actually put out on that field, and who they played against.
Their ace was a man named Jim Lonborg, a pitcher well known to Red Sox fans. Entering his third season with the Sox, he was coming off back to back stellar campaigns, including a 4 WAR effort in 1966 in which he started 23 games while appearing in 22 others. He compiled 181 2/3 innings and a 3.86 ERA. While that ERA is not bad, offense was booming during this era, so that mark was good for about 11% than league average.
These Red Sox had a pretty solid lineup, too. Of course, they had Carl Yastrzemski, who was already among the best players in baseball at age 27. Young slugger Tony Conigliaro was tearing the league up, and 1967 would be the year that he would famously be hit by a pitch, and never be the same again. This simulation brings up an interesting twist - he will 99 percent most likely not be hit by a pitch in the head that will cause the same injury. That will make young Tony a player to watch during this series.
I'll get more into individual players as I play the games and share with you the box scores. This will be a lot of fun to do and I hope you enjoy reading about this experience as much as I will playing it!