This past Friday, March 3, 2017, my wife, sister-in-law, HoneyBee and I drove to Jackson Michigan so I could participate in the GMABT III. We intended to leave around 8 am but ended up not leaving town until closer to 9:15 am. We drove at a steady pace with a few stops for gas, food and to stretch our legs. We checked into the hotel around 7 pm.
We got settled in then went across the street to Red Lobster to use some of the gift cards we had received for Christmas and our anniversary. The food was good, but it wasn’t the same as our favorite local Red Lobster in Hixson.
When we arrived back at the hotel, I texted a friend, Greg – also in town for the tournament, and we met in the lobby to catch up and play a practice game with our teams. Greg was using the 1909 Chicago Cubs and I had selected the 1915 Chicago White Sox. If I recall correctly, Greg won our practice game. Greg had also brought me a gift, a wood engraving with the twitter tag for our favorite podcast. I hung it on the wall in the man-cave when I got home.
The following morning I met Greg in the lobby for some breakfast. Then we set out for Gene’s Steak and Eatery. Pastor Rich Zawadzki is the host for the tourney and does a great job. The format is eight games in division play with six division winners and two Wild Cards advancing to a one-and-done championship bracket. Each division has six to eight teams with each team from the Deadball Era, 1901-1919.
I had a tough division with my team, the 1915 Chicago White Sox, the 1907 Chicago Cubs, 1912 Cleveland Naps (Indians), 1912 New York Giants, 1919 Cleveland Indians and the 1919 Cincinnati Reds. I was fortunate to get a lot of good dice rolls and win my division with a 6-2 record.
In the quarter-finals, I played Randy Egan and his 1913 Philadelphia Athletics. Randy hit and pitched his way to a 5-0 victory and my team was out.
Randy played Greg in the semi-finals and lost a close game only to see Greg lose a close game, 2-1 in the championship final.For the day, my team performed very well. I was the 38th or so person to sign up for the tournament and team selection was first-come-first-serve. I picked a team with three grade A starters and after that, it is just lucky dice.
Thanks to Pastor Rich, I was able to get all of the participating teams from the tournament Facebook page and import them to iScore on my iPad. With my handwriting challenges, this works much better than me scoring by hand. I also like the postgame records that are available.
While I was having a blast playing APBA, my wife and her sister were out sightseeing. They drove all over Michigan and one of their goals was to see a Great Lake.
Mission accomplished! Did I mention it was cold? Earlier in the week, the temperature was in the seventies a couple of days in Tennessee. Michigan hasn’t seen those temperatures yet, or at least while we were there. But it was a windy and dry cold if that helps to make sense of how cold it really seemed to a couple of Georgia girls.
We left Sunday morning around 8 am to return to Tennessee and got out of town by around 9:15 am or so due to some GPS complications. We arrived home around 7 pm. I am already looking forward to the next tournament.
Overall it was a good trip with very few inconveniences. The vehicle performed well and we weren’t charged for the used toothpicks or chewed up straw the rental company provided. The also were kind enough to leave a dirty jacket wadded up in the back floorboard, but again, we weren’t charged for that.
I am very fortunate to be married to a loving wife who enjoys my hobby and says that the dice rolling is a welcome and relaxing sound. She has even played a few APBA games with me and one of these days, I hope she joins me for a tournament.