Historical Baseball Classic (HBC) Preview

Sixteen of the top teams of all time will gather for the first ever Historical Baseball Classic (HBC) in late March/early April 2006.

The tournament format will be similar to the recently completed World Baseball Classic. The teams will be divided into four groups: Pre-Expansion American League, Post-Expansion American League, Pre-Expansion National League, and Post-Expansion National League.

Teams were selected based on winning percentage, with only one member of each franchise allowed in each group (otherwise the AL groups would be mostly Yankees).

Here are the participating teams:

AL Group 1
1. 1954 Cleveland Indians 111-43
2. 1927 New York Yankees 110-44
3. 1931 Philadelphia A's 107-45
4. 1912 Boston Red Sox 105-47

Key
players: Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig NYY; Tris Speaker and Smokey Joe Wood BOS; Lefty Grove, Al Simmons, and Jimmie Foxx PHI; Bobby Avila and Larry Doby CLE

AL Group 2
1. 2001 Seattle Mariners 116-46
2. 1998 New York Yankees 114-48
3. 1995 Cleveland Indians 100-44
4. 1969 Baltimore Orioles 109-53

Key
players: Frank Robinson, Boog Powell, and Mike Cuellar BAL; Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez CLE; Ichiro Suzuki SEA; Bernie Williams and Mariano Rivera NYY.

NL Group 1
1. 1906 Chicago Cubs 116-36
2. 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates 110-42
3. 1904 New York Giants 106-47
4. 1942 St. Louis Cardinals 106-48

Key
Players: Honus Wagner PIT; Christy Mathewson and Joe McGinnity NYG; Three Finger Brown and Frank Chance CHC; Enos Slaughter, Mort Cooper, and Stan Musial STL.

NL Group 2
1. 1975 Cincinnati Reds 108-54
2. 1986 New York Mets 108-54
3. 1998 Atlanta Braves 106-56
4. 2004 St. Louis Cardinals 105-57

Key
Players: Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and Johnny Bench CIN; Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Chipper Jones ATL; Daryl Strawberry and Gary Carter NYM; Albert Pujols STL.

Round robin games will be played on three consecutive days with a four day break between the first and second round. Each group will play at the home park of the team with the top winning percentage in the group.

One team will be designated as the home team for each game, with the home team determining the DH rule.

In the event of a tie between two teams during round robin play, the head to head matchup will break the tie. If more than two teams are tied after a round, the first tie breaker will be run differential within the round, the second will be run differential only in games between the tied teams.

All game will be simulated using Diamond Mind Baseball. Teams will play in a neutral era.

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