Questions and Answers about the TCBA

What is the TCBA?
TCBA consists of three APBA baseball leagues with continuous player ownership and manager-drafted teams: TCBA Yesterday, which has 16 teams currently replaying the 1967 season and proceeding backwards in time; TCBA Today, which has 24 teams replaying 1998 and going forward, and TCBA/NL [now called 21st Century Baseball Assn.], which has 22 drafted teams replaying 1998 and going forward. We originally used the APBA basic board game, became the first Master Game League in 1976, and now use Baseball for Windows).
Is this like a fantasy or rotisserie league?
Only superficially. Both rotisserie leagues and fantasy league have teams made up of drafted major league players, but the similarity ends there. While fantasy league teams compete passively by watching and comparing real-life player performances, managers in simulation leagues like TCBA not only put together their own rosters but actually manage their teams one batter at a time. When we started in 1975, long before personal computers were on desktops or the "Rotisserie ball" idea was developed, the schedule was played through the vehicle of APBA baseball, a dice/board game much like the one described in the excerpt from Thomas Boswell's book, Why Time Begins on Opening Day. In the 1990's, however, the TCBA and some of the other leagues have used a computer simulation game such as Baseball for Windows. We think simulation managing is infinitely more interesting than fantasy baseball because of the added dimensions of field managing and continuous player ownership. In addition, APBA and most of the competing baseball simulations incorporate many more details of player performance, such as fielding, ability to reach base, and many others, compared to the typical eight categories in fantasy baseball. TCBA rules attempt to maximize realism in player usage without unduly restricting managerial freedom. The details are in our constitution starting at Rule 300.
Where is the TCBA located?
Our managers can be found everywhere and anywhere. Although the majority right now live near the Boston-Washington corridor along the east coast, TCBA has had managers participate from all over the U.S., as well as from Canada, Europe, Saudi Arabia and onboard a Navy ship in the Pacific.
How does it work?
There is a 162-game schedule distributed before the season. Each manager is responsible for playing 81 home games on his computer, in series of 4 to 6 games, against his team's opponents at designated times during the year. For the other 81 games, he sends out lineups and pitching rotations to the road opponent listed on the schedule, who plays the game against a computer manager designated for the visiting team. The results come back by E-mail in the form of a binary computer file which can be used to view the box scores and automatically update year-to-date standings and player statistics. Division winners and playoff participants are determined by standings after the 162 games are completed. The details are in our constitution starting at Rule 200.
Is there prize money at stake?
No. This hobby is so much fun and the games are exciting enough that there is no need for cash prizes to maintain interest. Because of continuous player ownership, a manager whose team which is not playing well one year may still enjoy following his players perform in real life as he builds next year's contender. Because no money is involved, we are able to play our games on the honor system, with the visiting manager not usually present (occasionally the visiting manager participates in person or by electronically connecting the two computers).
How are players drafted and allocated?
In 1975, there was an initial draft to stock all the teams. Since then, rosters have been maintained by individual managers through an annual rookie and free agent draft, trading, and releasing of unwanted players. The details are in our constitution starting at Rule 400. Most drafts are held at our annual weekend meeting in February in Lancaster, Pa., at which attendance is not mandatory but eagerly anticipated by most managers.

Why are there two current-season TCBA Leagues? Why doesn't this site cover the TCBA/NL [now called 21st Century Baseball Assn.]?
As explained on our league history page, two complete current-season TCBA draft leagues were started in 1975. They were run jointly until the late 1980's, when diverging philosophies caused the leagues to adopt separate management and slightly different rules and procedures. The process was amicable, somewhat like the successful separation of siamese twins. We are still in contact, and sometimes hold our winter meetings together. You can read about TCBA Today and Yesterday here; TCBA/NL has its own web site.
How much does it cost to be a member?
In recent years, dues have been $25.00 per year. In addition, members need a computer, the APBA Baseball for Windows game, a modem and an E-mail address, and must purchase the APBA baseball data disk annually ($25.00).
Are there other simulation leagues for APBA Baseball?
Yes, in fact, there are dozens of such leagues of various types. See Ageless APBA for a listing.
What distinguishes the TCBA from other APBA leagues?
Continuity of operation, stability (we're playing our 25th season), and quality of managers. We still have over a third of the original managers who started in 1975, and actually had to pass an entrance test to join TCBA. Our managers now are primarily professionals and businessmen who have followed baseball daily since childhood.
How do I apply to join TCBA?
Franchises in TCBA are not awarded lightly. There has always been, however, a normal turnover of about 10% per year. Criteria for accepting new managers include baseball (and APBA game) knowledge and the reliability to complete a home schedule on time. If you think you qualify, or would like more information, contact us.

Not eligible for membership: (Sorry, Cincinnati!)

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