There’s been quite a bit of excitement surrounding the latest release from Deep Drive Baseball and with good reason – it comes from the golden era of the average tabletop gamer.
1971 wasn’t a season full of thrilling divisional races, where Baltimore (12 games up) and Oakland (16 games up) ran away in the American League and Pittsburgh (7 games up) handily won the NL East, clinching the postseason early.
The NL West did finish closely, however, with Los Angeles (N) almost catching up with San Francisco down the stretch only to finish one game back when the season ended.
Pittsburgh ended up defeating a Baltimore powerhouse in a seven-game championship series.
But the card set is chock full of Hall of Famers and renowned players.
You can purchase the 1971 season in PDF format today at the Sellfy store.
Ron Cey, Darrell Porter and Cecil Cooper were September debuts in 1971.
Darrell Evans, Jose Cruz, Toby Harrah, George Foster, Steve Garvey, Mickey Rivers, Chris Chambliss had rookie seasons at the plate, while Doyle Alexander and Ken Forsch had theirs on the mound.
In their final seasons were future HOFers Ernie Banks and Jim Bunning, plus Curt Flood, Camilo Pascual, Dean Chance and Jim Maloney.
Let’s dive in to some highlights!
Batting: Hank Aaron has a set-best 10 Deep Drives and HR on 00-61, while Earl Williams goes yard on a 00-64 from his DD section.
Pitching: Jim Nash allows 21 on-base chances, 6 of which are Deep Drives. Pat Jarvis also allows 6 Deep Drives.
Defense: Mike Lum is a RF-5, but Earl Williams has a +1 Throw.
Batting: On-base machines with Merv Rettenmund (set-best 26 chances) and Don Buford (24). Boog Powell HR on 00-57.
Pitching: Pat Dobson and Dave McNally are two of the best with just 12 on-base chances against.
Defense: McNally shuts down the running game with a -2 Hold.
Batting: Reggie Smith has 7 Deep Drives.
Pitching: Gary Peters allows an AL-worst 6 Deep Drives. Reliever Ken Brett has 15 SO readings.
Defense: Rico Petrocelli is a 3B-5.
Batting: Sandy Alomar is a 3A base-stealer.
Pitching: Great staff, with stingy starters Andy Messersmith (2) and Clyde Wright (2) as well as closer Lloyd Allen (1) allowing very few DD. Wright also allows just 12 on-base chances and reliever Dave LaRoche gives up just 10 along with 15 SO readings.
Defense: Sandy Alomar is a 2B-5.
Chicago (A) (79-83)
Batting: Mike Andrews has 24 on-base chances. Bill Melton HR on 00-58 from his DD section.
Pitching: The ageless Wilbur Wood allows a low 10 on-base chances.
Defense: Bill Melton is a 3B-5, but across the diamond Carlos May gets a 1B-1. That’s not all… Rich McKinney and Mike Andrews are also each a 2B-1 and Jay Johnstone is a CF-1. Did this team have a worse fielding percentage than any AL team in 1971? You bet.
Chicago (N) (83-79)
Pitching: Fergie Jenkins and Juan Pizarro each allow just 12 on-base chances. Fergie also has 13 SO readings and is an SP-14.
Defense: Jim Hickman is a RF-1.
Batting: Lee May has 7 Deep Drives and a 00-62 HR after that. George Foster has 16 SO readings.
Pitching: Gary Nolan allows just 11 on-base chances.
Defense: Tommy Helms is a 2B-5. This Johnny Bench guy is a T-1. (Keep an eye on him.) Wayne Simpson (H-2) will need Bench to help him out.
Batting: Vada Pinson is a 3A base-stealer.
Pitching: Starter Rich Hand surrenders 6 DD and 26 on-base chances. Fellow starter Mike Paul gives up 21. Sam McDowell has 14 SO readings. Reliever Steve Mingori gives up just 1 DD and a set-best 7 OB chances.
Defense: Craig Nettles is a 3B-5. Can’t run on Paul with his H-10. McDowell is the only starting pitcher with just 2 DEF readings.
Batting: Willie Horton has 7 Deep Drives. Al Kaline has 25 on-base chances. Norm Cash has a 00-67 HR.
Pitching: Mickey Lolich and Joe Coleman each get 13 SO readings. Lolich is one of 5 cards with a set-best SP-14.
Defense: Mickey Stanley is a CF-5.
Batting: Cesar Cedeno has 7 Deep Drives. Joe Morgan is a 3A base-stealer. 2 regulars who are VF runners and another who is F.
Pitching: Jack Billingham and Ken Forsch each have a set-best 1 DD allowed. Oh, and Don Wilson allows only 2 along with 11 on-base chances. Closer Fred Gladding serves up only 1.
Kansas City (85-76)
Batting: Run run run! League-best 130 SB supported by Freddie Patek and Amos Otis who are each 4A base-stealers.
Pitching: Mike Hedlund and Ken Wright each allow just 2 DD, while closer Ted Abernathy has 0. Reliever Jim York ties for a set-best 19 strikeouts.
Defense: Amos Otis is a CF-5. York is the only relief pitcher with just 2 DEF readings.
Los Angeles (89-73)
Pitching: Don Sutton allows just 2 DD and 12 on-base chances. Fellow starter Al Downing also allows only 2 DD. Closer Jim Brewer serves up just 9 on-base chances.
Defense: Dick Allen is a 3B-1. Starter Doyle Alexander is the sole starting pitcher with a set-high 4 DEF readings.
Batting: John Briggs HR on 00-58. 3 Fast runners, not to mention Jose Cardenal, who is a 3A base-stealer.
Pitching: Starter Skip Lockwood allows just 2 DD and reliever Marcelino Lopez only 1.
Batting: Tony Oliva has an AL-best 8 Deep Drives. George Mitterwald has an AL-worst 18 strikeouts. 2 Very Slow and 1 Slow runner among regulars.
Pitching: Some good strikeout chances between starter Bert Blyleven (13) and closer Tom Hall (18). Jim Perry allows an AL-worst 6 Deep Drives. Steve Luebber’s 21 on-base chances against aren’t good.
Defense: Rod Carew (2B-1) and Steve Braun (3B-1) will cause some infield problems.
Batting: Ron Hunt has 24 on-base chances including, yes, 8 HBP chances.
Pitching: Bill Stoneman allows just 2 Deep Drives and has 13 strikeouts. Ernie McNally also allows only 2 DD.
New York (A) (81-80)
Batting: Bobby Murcer ties for a set-best 26 on-base chances and Roy White has 24.
Pitching: Mel Stottlemyre allows only 2 Deep Drives and 12 on-base chances. Steve Kline also gives up just 12 OB chances.
Defense: Thurman Munson is the only T-1 in the AL. Roy White is a LF-5, but Felipe Alou is a RF-1.
New York (N) (83-79)
Batting: Tommie Agee is a 3A base-stealer.
Pitching: Tom Seaver is, indeed, terrific – just 2 Deep Drives, an NL-best 10 on-base chances a set-best 19 strikeouts and a set-best SP-14. Nolan Ryan also allows just 2 DD and has 13 strikeouts, but also an NL-worst 21 on-base chances. Ray Sadecki has just 12 on-base chances and reliever Tug McGraw an NL-best 8. Closer Danny Frisella and Tug McGraw are each tied for set-best 19 strikeouts.
Defense: Ryan is a H-2.
Batting: Reggie Jackson has 7 Deep Drives as well as an AL-worst 18 strikeouts. Rick Monday isn’t far behind with 16. Bert Campaneris is a 3A base-stealer.
Pitching: Vida Blue had a season for the ages, supported by set-bests in Deep Drives (1), on-base chances (9), strikeouts (18) and endurance (SP-14). Blue Moon Odom allows just 2 Deep Drives. Closer Rollie Fingers gives up only 10 on-base chances!
Defense: Joe Rudi is a LF-5.
Batting: Willie Montanez and Deron Johnson each have 7 Deep Drives.
Pitching: Jim Bunning allows a set-worst 7 Deep Drives and Ken Reynolds serves up an NL-worst 21 on-base chances. Reliever Bill Wilson allows just 1 Deep Drive and 9 on-base chances.
Defense: Larry Bowa is a SS-5. Tim McCarver is a T+1 catcher and Willie Montanez is a CF-1. Ken Reynolds is a H-2.
Batting: Willie Stargell is one of two cards with 10 Deep Drives. He also has a HR on 00-61. (Ignore the set-worst 19 strikeouts.) Al Oliver, Roberto Clemente and Richie Hebner keep the offensive attack going, each with 7 DD.
Pitching: As much as the offense is stacked with DD, the starting rotation is almost completely bereft of them. Steve Blass and Bruce Kison each give up just a single Deep Drive and Dock Ellis only has 2.
Defense: Manny Sanguillen is a T-1 catcher.
San Diego (61-100)
Pitching: If only he pitched for another team – Dave Roberts allows just 2 Deep Drives and 11 on-base chances. Steve Arlin allows just 1 Deep Drive. Clay Kirby has 14 strikeouts.
Defense: Cito Gaston is a CF-1.
San Francisco (90-72)
Batting: Still getting it done, Willie Mays ties for set-best 26 on-base chances. (He also has a high-for-the-era 16 strikeouts.) Bobby Bonds has 7 Deep Drives.
Pitching: Juan Marichal has only 11 on-base chances. Closer Jerry Johnson has no DD readings and reliever Don McMahon has just 1.
Defense: Willie McCovey is a 1B-1.
St. Louis (90-72)
Batting: MVP Joe Torre has 7 Deep Drives and 25 on-base chances. Lou Brock is a 4A base-stealer. (Of course.)
Pitching: Starting pitcher Chris Zachary allows just 2 Deep Drives. Give the ‘pen the day off – Bob Gibson is a SP-14. Reliever Don Shaw has 0 Deep Drives and Frank Linzy has just 1.
Defense: Dal Maxvill is a SS-5. Jerry Reuss is a H-2.
Pitching: On the one hand, Mike Thompson allows just 2 Deep Drives. On the other hand, he allows 21 on-base chances. Denny McLain allows a whopping 6 DD. Relievers Joe Grzenda (9) and Paul Lindblad (10) are solid with their allowed on-base chances.
Defense: Up the middle defense is hit or miss with Tim Cullen a 2B-5 and Toby Harrah a SS-1. It’s not just that he puts a lot of men on base – Mike Thompson is also an H+2.