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TwinkieTown attempts to change history, replays the 1965 World Series in OOTP 21: Introduction

In which I shall attempt to overwrite a painful blot in TwinkieTown simulation memory.

(left to right) Minnesota Twins baseball stars Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat, and Bob Allison are all smiles after a World Series game, October 7, 1965. Minneapolis Tribune (now Star Tribune) photo by John Croft.
They’re smiling because I haven’t pulled the Strat box out.
John Croft/Minneapolis Tribune (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Over this past holiday season, my father and I replayed the 1965 World Series in Strat-o-Matic, he as the Dodgers while I took the Twins. He crushed me.

So let’s try undoing that mess by simulating the same Series again, this time in Out of the Park 21’s Historical Exhibition mode.

Before beginning, this post will serve as an introduction, setting up the way teams are simulated to play out decisions.

As this idea was suggested to me by TJ (thanks TJ!), the intent will be to use modern strategy to see if the Series might come out differently, so there’ll be a lot more ideas fitting with today’s sabermetrics. On the other hand, why would one want to apply a strict pitch count with Sandy Koufax on the mound.

  • Right off the bat (heh), I’ve noticed that OOTP isn’t generating period-accurate lineups. While Zoilo Versalles (.319) served as the Twins’ leadoff hitter throughout the series, the game slots him seventh against right-handed hitters and second against lefties.
  • Additionally, the game removes Sandy Valdespino and Frank Quilici from the starting lineup. For that, I’m grateful.
  • Sheesh, I’d forgotten how many switch-hitters the Dodgers had in their lineup.
  • The Twins’ clear weakness is at second base, where the top options at the position are Jerry Kindall (.196/.274/.289, minus-0.2 WAR) and Quilici (.208/.280/.255, minus-0.1 WAR). I’ll let Kindall start, but Rich Rollins (.249/.309/.333), normally a third baseman, is now my primary backup. Otherwise I’m not messing around with the lineups very much right away.
  • Obviously the game automatically slots Sandy Koufax atop the Dodgers’ rotation, but as he pitched Game 2 instead due to Yom Kippur, I’ve made the same swap in the rotation here, and Don Drysdale will pitch first.
  • This Dodgers team had only two starters (catcher John Roseboro and center fielder Willie Davis) who finished the season with a sub-1.0 WAR. This is gon’ be difficult.
  • While the stat box does retroactively count saves, the bullpen defaults neither Minnesota’s Al Worthington nor Los Angeles’ Ron Perranoski to the “closer” role, rather listing each as their team’s “stopper.” Hadn’t even known that was in the game.
  • I’m leaving the game’s default four-man rotation in for the Series as opposed to the three-man seen that actual October.

I think that’s all for the setup. Over the next week or so, I’ll try and get in a game a day (though I may have to skip one day before Game 1).

Here’s to better results than Strat.