My Suggestions for Out Of The Park Developments Tagline

As you know, I’m a big fan of Out of the Park Baseball. In fact, I purposely have to keep myself from playing it unless I really, really want to, because otherwise I’ll end up getting lost in it and never emerging for about a week and a half. I’m currently two months OOTP-sober, for example, but I think I might have a relapse soon.

Oh, I got a bit off track there.

Anyway, the developers of Out Of The Park, OOTP Developments, are now running a contest for what their tagline should be for their games (they are increasingly diversifying their portfolio and are adding a football game to the baseball and hockey games they already have). Y’know, like “It’s In The Game”. The winner gets $100 gift card, free copies of all of their games next year, and, presumably, bragging rights for all eternity. I mean, if I win, I’m totally putting it on my resume.

I, of course, had some suggestions. After checking to make sure sharing them won’t disqualify me, here they are:

OOTP Developments: Imagination and Victory
OOTP Developments: Imagine Victory
OOTP Developments: Dream of Victory
OOTP Developments: Dream It. Win It.
OOTP Developments: Beyond Fantasy, Beyond Reality
OOTP Developments: For When Paradox Isn’t Addictive Enough
OOTP Developments: Just One More Season
OOTP Developments: On Grass, On Turf, On Ice, On Your Computing Device!
OOTP Developments: More Than Mere Games
OOTP Developments: The Games Go On
OOTP Developments: Your Team, Your League, Your World
OOTP Developments: Where The Game Never Ends
OOTP Developments: Make The Crowd Go Wild
OOTP Developments: Just Imagine…

Personally, “Imagination and Victory” is my favorite, as it sums up the two best things about OOTP games: coming up with big or neat worlds or scenarios to play in, and winning in them. I even googled a Latin translation of it (Imaginatio Atque Victoria) in case they want to make it sound all profound.  The “For When Paradox Isn’t Addictive Enough” is a joking reference to Paradox Interactive, a game company that makes grand strategy games like Crusader Kings and Hearts of Iron that, like OOTP, can perhaps best be described as addictive drugs in video game form.

Anyway, if you want to try and beat me (and everyone else) in this contest, you can check out the rules and get the e-mail address to apply to here. Good luck, and if you somehow grab one of the above suggestions and they pick you to win for some reason instead of me, I expect half of the winnings.

Famous For Something Else: Herman Wedemeyer (College Football HOFer and ‘Hawaii Five-O” Actor)

Herman Wedemeyer was a All-American football player at St. Mary’s College and would later go on to be elected to College Football’s Hall of Fame. He also played two years of professional football and was a politician in his native Hawaii- where he also dabbled in acting, appearing as “Duke” Lukela in 143 episodes of the original Hawaii Five-O.

However, he also had a brief baseball career, playing in 15 games in 1950 for Sal Lake City in the Pioneer League, where he played alongside future MLB player Mike Baxes and also Wally Yonamine, who would be the first American to play in Japan after WWII.

Here are his stats:

Year Age AgeDif Tm Lg Lev G AB H 2B 3B HR BA SLG TB
1950 26 2.8 Salt Lake City PION C 15 48 12 0 1 0 .250 .292 14
1 Season 15 48 12 0 1 0 .250 .292 14
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/6/2014.

Famous for Something Else: Ernie Nevers

Ernie Nevers is a Hall of Famer in both Pro Football and College Football, a star of the early days of the NFL, and a member of the league’s 50th anniversary and 75th anniversary teams.

But he also had a baseball career, pitching for three seasons for the St. Louis Browns:

Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP BK WP BF ERA+ FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
1926 24 SLB AL 2 4 .333 4.46 11 7 4 4 0 0 74.2 82 41 37 4 24 16 1 1 1 326 96 4.19 1.420 9.9 0.5 2.9 1.9 0.67
1927 25 SLB AL 3 8 .273 4.94 27 5 13 2 0 2 94.2 105 61 52 8 35 22 2 1 5 397 88 4.83 1.479 10.0 0.8 3.3 2.1 0.63
1928 26 SLB AL 1 0 1.000 3.00 6 0 2 0 0 0 9.0 9 4 3 1 2 1 0 0 0 36 146 4.79 1.222 9.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 0.50
3 Yrs 6 12 .333 4.64 44 12 19 6 0 2 178.1 196 106 92 13 61 39 3 2 6 759 93 4.56 1.441 9.9 0.7 3.1 2.0 0.64
162 Game Avg. 7 15 .333 4.64 53 15 23 7 0 2 217 238 129 112 16 74 47 4 2 7 922 93 4.56 1.441 9.9 0.7 3.1 2.0 0.64
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/20/2014.

He also pitched a bit in the Pacific Coast League:

Year Age AgeDif Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA G IP H R ER BB WHIP H9 BB9
1928 26 -3.4 Mission PCL 14 11 .560 4.37 29 206.0 202 108 100 69 1.316 8.8 3.0
1929 27 -1.6 Mission PCL 7 8 .467 4.56 36 148.0 194 92 75 60 1.716 11.8 3.6
2 Seasons 21 19 .525 4.45 65 354.0 396 200 175 129 1.483 10.1 3.3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/20/2014.

So, that’s the baseball career of Ernie Nevers, another player who is famous for something else.

Famous for Something Else: Urban Meyer

Did you know that Urban Meyer, head coach of Ohio State’s football team and former coach of the Florida Gators, had a brief minor league career? It’s true! He played two seasons in the low minors in the Braves organization.

Here are his stats:

Year Age AgeDif Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB HBP SH SF IBB
1982 17 -2.9 Braves GULF Rk ATL 20 61 53 6 9 0 2 0 5 1 2 6 9 .170 .267 .245 .512 13 1 1 0 0
1983 18 -2.0 2 Teams 2 Lgs Rk ATL 24 77 57 13 11 2 0 1 6 1 1 16 15 .193 .365 .281 .646 16 0 3 1 0
1983 18 -2.4 Pulaski APPY Rk ATL 15 41 32 8 8 2 0 1 4 0 0 8 9 .250 .400 .406 .806 13 0 1 0 0
1983 18 -1.5 Braves GULF Rk ATL 9 36 25 5 3 0 0 0 2 1 1 8 6 .120 .324 .120 .444 3 0 2 1 0
2 Seasons 44 138 110 19 20 2 2 1 11 2 3 22 24 .182 .321 .264 .585 29 1 4 1 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/20/2014.

Now, as you can see, he didn’t do very good, but, according to a recent episode of Real Sports, it was a defining moment for him. Frustrated by his struggles, he told his father he was going to quit and come home, enraging his father, who told him that he would have no losers in his family. This would fuel a long obsession with winning that would define his career for years and ended up forcing his family to have him sign a contract to make sure he didn’t essentially abandon them for coaching.

One interesting thing to note, by the way, is that Urban Meyer played alongside Ron Gant and Mark Lemke during his 1983 stint in the Gulf Coast League.

So, anyway… now you know!

Famous For Something Else: Russell Wilson

As amazing as it seems, I have never had Russell Wilson of the Seahawks as a “Famous For Something Else” entry. Oh, I had a post in which I put up his minor league numbers, but it wasn’t a “Famous for Something Else”. So, without further ado, Russell Wilson’s minor league statistics:

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB
2010 21 Tri-City NORW A- COL 32 143 122 18 28 4 4 2 11 4 6 16 36 .230 .336 .377 .713 46 4 4 0 1 0
2011 22 Asheville SALL A COL 61 236 193 40 44 5 4 3 15 15 2 35 82 .228 .366 .342 .708 66 2 7 1 0 0
2 Seasons 93 379 315 58 72 9 8 5 26 19 8 51 118 .229 .354 .356 .710 112 6 11 1 1 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/13/2013.

It should be noted that Wilson has not officially retired from baseball. Oh, sure, he probably won’t ever play again (although he has said he might be interested in hanging out with the Rangers next Spring Training to take BP, after they had picked him up in the Rule 5 draft as a publicity stunt), but he still appears on a Major League organization’s depth chart, if only as a “just-in-case” possibility.

Of course, even if he did want to be a two-sport athlete, it’s highly unlikely that he’d be able to pull it off, and not just because of his career .229 BA. The fact is, it’s more-or-less impossible to imagine an NFL quarterback also playing another sport, given both his importance to his team and how involved the QB is to football’s strategies and tactics. Bo Jackson was a running back- important, but not the type of person who needs to know every play in the book. Same goes for Deion Sanders (who, admittedly, always had the NFL as his higher priority except for when his MLB team was in the playoffs), who while an important part of every defense he was in, was hardly as indispensable as a quarterback is to a NFL team.

The only way I could maybe see it happen would be if the QB was a starting pitcher who only worked early in the week. But even that is a bit of a stretch.

Predictions for tomorrow’s AFC and NFC championship games

Well, here are my predictions for tomorrow’s NFL games. Who will go to the Super Bowl?

  • In the latest super-epic-deathmatch between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, I think Manning will win. However this isn’t a game between Manning and Brady, it’s a game between the Broncos and Patriots. And that, ultimately, leads to Manning’s problem and tragedy: He could do great, even spectacular, and it still might not be enough if the Patriots just play better. So if the Patriots use their momentum and suddenly-amazing running game to beat the Broncos, don’t be surprised. However, that said, I still like the Broncos in a close one, since the Broncos are a better defensive team than, say, the Colts.
  • Meanwhile, I think the Seahawks will beat the 49ers, because, well, i still don’t see anybody beating the Seahawks at home. I know, that’s a cop-out answer, but when you are this late in the playoffs, sometimes cop-out answers are necessary, since it can be so hard to predict who could win a single random sporting event.

So, there you go, the Seahawks and Broncos will meet in the Super Bowl.

Unless I’m wrong.

Which I probably am.

Football Continuum: Short Predictions for the NFL Wild Card Round (2014)

Okay, so, it’s time for the NFL playoffs. Some quick thoughts:

  • I like the Chiefs over the Colts today. I’m not 100% sure why. Maybe it’s just my gut.
  • I like the Eagles over the Saints. This time, though, I have reasons. For one, it’ll be really cold in Philly, and the Saints don’t do well on the road, so the Eagles definitely have the elements and the crowd on their side.
  • Bengals over the Chargers. I feel like Andy Dalton is going to come into his own as an elite QB during this postseason.
  • I have no idea what might happen in Green Bay on Sunday. It’ll be so cold that weird things could happen, and who knows if Aaron Rodgers is truly “back” yet. So, for lack of a better prediction, I’m just going to say that the 49ers are the better team but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Packers win.

Famous for Something Else: Vic Janowicz

Two Heisman Trophy winners have played in MLB: The most recent one was, of course, Bo Jackson. But before that, there was Vic Janowicz, the 1950 Heisman Trophy winner from Ohio State. After graduating, he pursued a baseball career, only returning to football when it was becoming clear he was doomed to be a benchwarmer on the mediocre Pirates teams of the era.

Sadly, his professional football career was also cut short when the halfback/kicker sustained injuries in a 1956 car crash that left him partially paralyzed. The year before, he had been second in the NFL in points and 10th in touchdowns, leaving his career a giant question of “What If?”

Here are Janowicz’s MLB stats:

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF Pos
1953 23 PIT NL 42 131 123 10 31 3 1 2 8 0 1 5 31 .252 .287 .341 .628 64 42 3 1 2 2
1954 24 PIT NL 41 84 73 10 11 3 0 0 2 0 0 7 23 .151 .235 .192 .426 14 14 0 1 3 0 5/7
2 Yrs 83 215 196 20 42 6 1 2 10 0 1 12 54 .214 .267 .286 .552 45 56 3 2 5 0
162 Game Avg. 162 420 383 39 82 12 2 4 20 0 2 23 105 .214 .267 .286 .552 45 109 6 4 10
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/2/2014.

Famous for something else: John Lynch

John Lynch made 9 Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl during his career as a strong safety in the NFL, and he now does some broadcasting on FOX. But he does hold a unique spot in baseball history as well: He threw the first pitch in the history of the Florida (now Miami) Marlins.

Well, sort of. You see, in order to let expansion teams get a farm system up and running, it’s not uncommon for them to have farm teams that play even before the parent club does. They also are able to draft players as well.

The Marlins’ first farm team was the 1992 Erie Sailors (remember, the Marlins started play in 1993). And the pitcher who threw out the first pitch for the Sailors in 1992 was… John Lynch. YouTube has video of the event here.

Like most individuals in “Famous for Something Else”, Lynch’s career was short on the diamond, and he probably made a good choice by going into football (although he did do pretty well in his short career).

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
1992 20 Erie NYPL A- 0 3 .000 2.15 7 7 0 0 0 0 29.1 24 15 7 1 17 0 16 2 3 0 128 1.398 7.4 0.3 5.2 4.9 0.94
1993 21 Kane County MIDW A FLA 1 0 1.000 3.00 2 2 0 0 0 0 9.0 4 4 3 1 12 0 3 0 0 0 43 1.778 4.0 1.0 12.0 3.0 0.25
2 Seasons 1 3 .250 2.35 9 9 0 0 0 0 38.1 28 19 10 2 29 0 19 2 3 0 171 1.487 6.6 0.5 6.8 4.5 0.66
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/31/2013.

Famous For Something Else: John Elway

Unlike some other failed two-sport athletes, John Elway’s stats in the minors were actually pretty good. That said, I’d say he probably made a good decision focusing on the NFL.

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB
1982 22 Oneonta NYPL A- NYY 42 185 151 26 48 6 2 4 25 13 3 28 25 .318 .432 .464 .896 70 4 0 2 0
1 Season 42 185 151 26 48 6 2 4 25 13 3 28 25 .318 .432 .464 .896 70 4 0 2 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/31/2013.