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Viper

MLB All-Time Champions' Leagues, Second Edition

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As some of you may recall, a few years ago I put together a simulated league of past World Series champions, to try and settle the argument of which was the best MLB team of the World Series era. And I was as surprised as everyone else when the all-time champions of Major League Baseball turned out to be... the 1997 Florida Marlins.

 

Well, with the real sports world mostly shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a few more teams having laid claim to inclusion in such an event in the years since that first ATCL, I've decided now is the perfect time to revisit, and try to improve upon, the concept. So, today, I hereby announce the Second Edition of the MLB All-Time Champions' Leagues.

 

I am using Out Of The Park 21 to create and run the ATCL. Here are the basics:

  • 36 teams overall (18 each representing the American and National Leagues, in three six-team divisions each)
  • Designated hitter in American League only
  • Regular season: 162 games per team, schedules weighted toward divisional play, with no interleague play
  • Postseason: Eight teams (all division winners + one wild-card team per league) qualify; all rounds best-of-seven series

 

I have also revamped the eligibility rules. To be considered for the ATCL, a team must have met one of the following criteria (listed in priority order for purposes of determining qualifying priority):

  1. Won a World Series as (a) the only World Series championship team, or (b) the team with the best record among two or more World Series championship teams, in its franchise's history. (For ATCL purposes, relocated franchises count separately; e.g. the Brooklyn Dodgers and Los Angeles Dodgers count as two separate franchises. Franchises operating in the same market under more than one name, e.g. the New York Highlanders/Yankees, count as a single franchise.)
  2. Won a World Series following a regular season with a win percentage of 0.617 (the equivalent of winning 100 games in a 162-game season) or higher. (Applies only to franchises that already have another ATCL-eligible team under criterion 1 above. Such teams representing the same franchise must be at least eight seasons apart. For franchises with clusters of two or more teams qualifying under this criterion within an eight-year span, only the team with the best regular-season record within that span shall be eligible for invitation.)
  3. Finished a regular season with a win percentage of 0.617 or higher without winning that season's World Series, in a franchise that has never had a World Series champion.

 

Special cases:

  • 1919 Cincinnati Reds: Given that (1) the Reds organization and players themselves were not implicated in the "Black Sox" scandal beyond being its unwitting beneficiaries, and (2) the 1919 team is otherwise ATCL-eligible under criterion 1 above, the 1919 Reds are deemed eligible for the ATCL.
  • 1940s St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals won three World Series between 1942 and 1946, with the 1942 team having the best regular-season win percentage of the three. However, the 1942 and 1944 championships were won while MLB rosters consisted largely of replacement players (due to many regular players having been drafted for military service during World War II). The 1946 championship was won after the regular players returned to MLB; although their regular-season record was slightly worse than the 1942 and 1944 teams (but still ATCL-eligible), given the aforementioned circumstances the 1946 Cardinals have been chosen to represent this cluster of ATCL-eligible Cardinals teams instead.
  • 2017 Houston Astros, 2018 Boston Red Sox: In 2019, both of these teams were implicated in an electronic sign-stealing scandal; as a result, their respective World Series championship seasons have been thrown into disrepute. Although the 2017 Astros otherwise meet criterion 1 and the 2018 Red Sox criterion 2, both teams are deemed ineligible for the ATCL.

 

In the World Series era (i.e. since the 1903 season), nineteen AL teams and twenty-five NL teams have met the above criteria. The top seventeen from each league were placed directly into the ATCL. For the AL, the two remaining teams were matched up in a best-of-seven play-in series, with the 1948 Cleveland Indians defeating the 2001 Seattle Mariners, 4 games to 2. (The 2001 Mariners were the only non-World-Series-winning AL team to qualify under criterion 3.)


For the NL, the eight remaining teams were placed into a play-in tournament of three best-of-seven rounds. (*criterion 3 qualifier)

  • Quarterfinal: 1998 Houston Astros* def. 2016 Chicago Cubs, 4 games to 3
  • Quarterfinal: 1967 St. Louis Cardinals def. 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates, 4 games to 3
  • Quarterfinal: 1946 St. Louis Cardinals def. 1969 New York Mets, 4 games to 3
  • Quarterfinal: 1954 New York Giants def. 1994 Montreal Expos*, 4 games to 1
  • Semifinal: 1998 Astros* def. 1967 Cardinals, 4 games to 1
  • Semifinal: 1946 Cardinals def. 1954 Giants, 4 games to 3
  • Final: 1946 Cardinals def. 1998 Astros*, 4 games to 2

 

So, without further ado, here are the 36 ATCL teams and their divisional alignment (and OOTP's auto-generated preseason predictions):

 

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I plan on running the ATCL 2nd Edition at a more leisurely pace than the first. Since the league technically runs in calendar year 2020, first I will sim it in chunks of multiple days or weeks until I get caught up with the actual date. Then I'll sim each day at a time, so that the virtual pennant races play out over the entire summer followed by the playoffs in October, just like a normal MLB season in a normal year. I'll also be selecting Games of the Day, Week, and Month for each league, and sharing their replay files, so that anyone with OOTP can watch them. (I'm also considering doing video recordings of each Game of the Week, and eventually all playoff games, and posting them to YouTube.)

 

They're all World Series champions, but which team is the greatest of all time? One of the three teams each representing the Yankees, A's or Braves? One of two each from the Tigers, Indians, Giants, Cards, Dodgers or Reds? Last year's champs, the Washington Nationals? Or could the '97 Marlins even make another improbable run? We're about to find out...

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Posted (edited)

I have run the ATCL through today's date. Here are the standings and stat leaders, as of the end of play tonight:

 

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Here are the top player performances through the end of May:

 

March/April

  • Mar 30: Randy Johnson (2001 D’backs), Juan Guzman (1992 Blue Jays) hurl 3-hit shutouts in Opening Day wins
  • Mar 31: Luis Gonzales (2001 D’backs) hits 5-for-5 vs. 1919 Reds
  • Apr 1: Buck O’Brien (1912 Red Sox) dominates 2015 Royals in 5-hit shutout
  • Apr 6: No-hitter! Bill Hallahan (1931 Cards) keeps 2019 Nats off bases with 16 Ks
  • Apr 7: Luis Gonzales (2001 D’backs) hits for cycle including 2-run HR off Dwight Gooden in win over 1986 Mets
  • Apr 8: Buck Weaver (1917 White Sox) 5-for-6 with grand slam in epic 21-1 thrashing of 1968 Tigers
  • Apr 14: In Giants vs. Giants matchup, George Browne (1905 NY) 6-for-6 vs. 2012 SF
  • Apr 15: Danny Murphy (1910 A’s) 5-for-6 w/ cycle vs. 1998 Yanks
  • Apr 20: Lefty Grove (1929 A’s) 1-hits 1998 Yanks
  • Apr 21: Melky Cabrera (2012 Giants) 5-for-5 in win over 1931 Cards
  • Apr 25: Joe Gordon (1939 Yanks) 5-for-5 in 11-1 beatdown of 1912 Red Sox
  • Apr 26: Jarrod Washburn (2002 Angels) posts 2-hit shutout of 1970 Orioles
  • Apr 28: Fred Clarke (1909 Pirates) 23-game hit streak ended by 1919 Reds
  • Apr 30: Buster Posey (2012 Giants) 22-game hit streak ended by 1975 Reds

 

May

  • May 1: Hod Eller (1919 Reds) 1-hit 1-0 win over 1931 Cards
  • May 2: Sammy Hale (1929 A’s) 6-for-7 with game-winning RBI in 12th vs. 1912 Red Sox
  • May 6: 2012 Giants walk off 1955 Dodgers in 12th despite big performances by Carl Furillo (5-for-5), Jim Gilliam (4-for-6, cycle)
  • May 8: Harry Davis (1910 A’s) 24-game hit streak ended by 1984 Tigers
  • May 11: Jayson Werth (2008 Phils) hits for cycle vs. 1919 Reds
  • May 12: Every 1939 Yanks batter drives in at least two runs in unprecedented 40-6 thrashing of 1924 Senators
  • May 13: 3-HR game for Chili Davis (1991 Twins) in 11-6 win over 2015 Royals
  • May 15: Randy Johnson (2001 D’backs) 3-hits 1907 Cubs, continuing dominant start to ATCL season
  • May 21: Another Johnson 3-hit shutout win, this time over 1946 Cards
  • May 22: Walter Johnson (1924 Sens) strikes out 16 1991 Twins in win at Metrodome
  • May 29: Joe DiMaggio (1939 Yanks) 26-game hit streak ended by 1948 Indians

 

Edited by Viper
Removed game replay information (will update and repost later); also added list of top player performances

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I've run the league through August 1, so I'm actually ahead of real time for a little while. Here are the latest standings:

 

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Here are the top player performances for June and July:

 

June

  • Jun 2: Sam Rice (1924 Sens) 5-for-6 in 16-2 blowout of 2002 Angels

  • Jun 3: Another Buster Posey (2012 Giants) 22-game hit streak ended, this time by 1931 Cardinals

  • Jun 4: Dutch Reuther (1919 Reds) 2-hits 1914 Braves in 1-0 win

  • Jun 5: Smoky Joe Wood (1912 Red Sox) 3-hits 1910 A’s

  • Jun 8: George Browne (1905 Giants) 21-game hit streak ended by 1931 Cards

  • Jun 9: Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada lead charge in 1998 Yanks’ 21-7 blowout of 2002 Angels

  • Jun 10: 1991 Twins survive Max Bishop 5-for-5 performance, beat 1929 A’s

  • Jun 11: Jim Bottomley (1931 Cards) torches 1955 Dodgers with 4 HRs in 11-1 win

  • Jun 12: Dutch Reuther (1927 Yanks) scatters 6 hits in 4-0 win over 1910 A’s

  • Jun 17: Mike Donlin (1905 Giants) 5-for-5 in 8-4 win over 1914 Braves

  • Jun 20: Mule Haas (1929 A’s) 5-for-5 in 14-0 beatdown of 1920 Indians

  • Jun 24: Paul O’Neill (1998 Yanks) takes 2015 Royals yard three times

  • Jun 26: Cy Morgan (1910 A’s) strikes out 15 2015 Royals in 9-1 win

  • Jun 28: Charles Bender (1910 A’s) 2-hits 2015 Royals in 8-0 win

  • Jun 30: Willie Horton (1968 Tigers) 5-for-5 with 3 RBIs in 12-1 win over 1992 Jays

 

July

  • Jul 1: No-hitter! Paul Derringer (1931 Cards) silences 1955 Dodgers’ bats in 3-0 win

  • Jul 5: Ron Darling (1986 Mets) strikes out 15 1975 Reds for 1-0 win

  • Jul 9: Two 20-game hit streaks ended: Rube Oldring (1910 A’s) by 1984 Tigers, and Maury Wills (1963 Dodgers) by 1986 Mets

  • Jul 12: Carney Lansford (1989 A’s) hits 5 singles in 10-6 win over 1917 White Sox

  • Jul 14: Max Scherzer (2019 Nats) strikes out 15 in 7-2 win over 1997 Marlins

  • Jul 15: Jack Pfiester (1907 Cubs) strikes out 15 in 2-hit win over 1975 Reds

  • Jul 19: Tim Salmon (2002 Angels) 21-game hit streak ended by 1920 Indians

  • Jul 21: No-hitter! Lefty Grove (1929 A’s) dominates 2015 Royals with 19 Ks, 1 walk

  • Jul 22: Stan Musial (1946 Cards) hits for cycle in 13-10 win over 2001 D’backs

  • Jul 25: Nemo Leibold (1924 Sens) 5-for-6 with 7 RBIs - but Sens still lose to 1917 White Sox, 19-14

  • Jul 27: Carney Lansford (1989 A’s) 21-game hit streak ended by 1998 Yanks

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