From the Annals: Musing on Award Recipients from the Early Seasons

Recently, the Commissioner’s Office of Tapey Beercone has Announced New Procedures for conferring Awards for the soon to be concluded Season 5. This continues a tradition begun in Season 3 to end the season by highlighting some of the Sport’s most outstanding players and performances. No such tradition existed prior to that point in the Sport’s history. In fact, the concept of seasons within the Sport of Tapey Beercone was not fully formulated until Season 3, leading Season 1 and 2 to be lumped together as the “Early Seasons” Still, this begs the question: Had awards been handed out in those earliest of seasons, who would they have been given to and why?

Season 1

Jim Siemens Award of Excellence

Starting at the top, in Season 1 with the top award for excellence. There’s a solid case this award should go to the player that started the Beerpope tradition, or maybe simply as a combined award to all the players who figured out how to duct tape beer cans together to make a ball. There’s very little to go on as far as in game performance, yet if we look at what is recorded, the wins, loses, and participants, it’s clear we have some outstanding candidates.

Player
Wins
Losses
Win %
"The Master"520.714
"The Coach"520.714
"The Reverend"210.667
"The Dragon"220.500
"The Hammer"250.286
"The Rocket"250.286
"The Mechanic"010.000

Both Brian “The Master” and this author, “The Coach”, shared the season lead in both overall wins and win percentage. After sparing and splitting the first four Tapey Beercone games, we combined to blitz the northern territory of Alaska sweeping the three game series. Further, during that trip the exploits of “The Master” became the stuff of legend, as he pitched in all three games and was an unstoppable offensive force. During Season 1 “The Master” exemplified Tapey Beercone excellence in human form.

Your Season 1 Jim Siemens Award Recipient.

Form The Annals Choice: Brian “The Master”

The Mark Hendrix Improvement Award

If this author was a distant runner up to Brian for the Jim Siemens Award, than maybe the Mark Hendrix award would suit better. Prior to the existence of Tapey Beercone, in the Piney Pinecone days, this author was the implicit and undisputed “Stike Out King of Piney Pinecone”. Yet, once holding an axe handle instead of a crooked stick, and swinging at twirling duct tape strapped cans instead of fluttering pinecones something seemed to change. With the strike outs curtailed, winning ways followed.

Form The Annals Choice: This Author, “The Coach”

The Greg Thompson Rookie of the Year Award

What constitutes a rookie in the first season of a new Sport? A difficult question, yet in this case we have an out. Tapey Beercone being the final evolved form of Piney Pinecone, all of us founding Regents had at least tangential experience with the spiritual progenitor of the Sport of Kings, save one. That being Richard, who while venerable and wise, played that first game of Tapey Beercone having never seen or much heard of Piney Pinecone, a true rookie to the Sport.

Form The Annals Choice: Richard “The Reverend”

The Cold One Most Outstanding Drinking Player

Tough to name the season’s top drinking player without drinking stats, yet again the annals hold a clue. While all players assuredly drank plentifully in that first season, only one player pioneered the “Beer in Hand” batting stance which he utilized to drink even while batting and still employs to this day.

“Beer in Hand” from the beginning.

Form The Annals Choice: Boyd “The Rocket”

Season 2

Jim Siemens Award of Excellence

While still a season short of the Statistical Era of Tapey Beercone, with Season 2 came the recording of final game scores. Using these we can gain a clue as to who produced and prevented the most runs for their teams during the season. By making a number of haphazard assumptions, such as crediting offensive run production with twice the weight of run prevention, and estimating game inning length and starting pitcher, the following results are produced.

Player
Wins
Losses
Win %
Off Runs
Def Runs
Total Runs
"The Dragon"410.8006.00.06.0
"The Coach"410.8003.71.95.6
"The Master"301.0002.72.55.2
"The Mechanic"010.0001.9-1.50.4
"The Reverend"020.000-4.21.1-3.1
"The Rocket"030.000-3.1-0.9-4.0
"The Rookie"010.000-2.6-1.9-4.5
"The Hammer"140.200-4.0-1.3-5.3

This helter-skelter “Total Runs” metric estimates each player’s contribution to producing runs for their team and preventing runs from the opposing team during season 2. While simplistic in nature it leads us toward three potential candidates. This author, Chris “The Dragon”, and “defending recipient” Brian “The Master”. We three players all had dominant seasons and when teamed up we combined to sweep the 2011 Tapey Beercone World Series, held at The Ranch, in emphatic fashion.

Each player has a case. For this author, the case is reaching the second highest total in the Total Runs metric, while also winning the season’s two Icelandic Rules 3 Player Contests not included in the metric or in the table above. One time besting Chris at Hydrocline Beach, and one time Brian at The Thunder Dome. For Brian the case is founded on an undefeated record in two-team games coupled with producing the highest Total Runs on a per game basis.

Quite the MVP Battle in Season 2.

Chris takes the top mark by Total Runs, yet if we expand out from the simple runs scored and prevented, the wins and losses, and search for excellence across the season the answer becomes clearer. While not yet to be nicknamed “The Dragon” until Season 3, Chris put on a Dragon worthy performance throughout the season, highlighted by pitching to a win in the great comeback at the Miracle Near 79th Street, and most of all knocking in the season’s (and heretofore the Sport’s) only Grand Salami. What could be more excellent than that?

Form The Annals Choice: Chris “The Dragon”

The Mark Hendrix Improvement Award

This one is tricky, it’s hard to measure improvement with so little left to go on. Examining the game logs offers a hint. While all us founding players were still learning and growing with the Sport, Ryan “The Mechanic” may have advanced the furthest. While he holds the peculiar claim of being the only player to go winless in both Season 1 and 2, it’s the games for which he was given no outcome that hold weight. During the Original Series in Season 1, Ryan did not have the seasoning to sustain a full time position, so while he played, he did so not on either team but as an all-time offensive player for both squads. By Season 2, he had developed into a full-time player, and while his performance in New York came in a losing effort, he both pitched and batted with notable improvement upon his previous efforts.

“The Mechanic” swung a hefty bat during the conclusion of Season 2.

Form The Annals Choice: Ryan “The Mechanic”

The Greg Thompson Rookie of the Year Award

The easiest of all these award to speculate on. Season 2 had one rookie: Geoff “The Rookie”. While he has done plenty in subsequent seasons to establish himself as a solid Tapey Beercone player, his performance in season 2 left much to be desired. Still, someone has to win it…

Form The Annals Choice: Geoff “The Rookie”

The Cold One Most Outstanding Drinking Player

Again we come to the uneasy task of “quantifying” the beers drank but never counted. For season 2, games played may offer us our best clue. While eight players participated in the season only This Author, “The Dragon”, and Eric “The Hammer” played more than three games, with each of us logging five a piece. While we three all drink regularly during play, it is only “The Hammer” among us who can be counted on to regularly put back a significant total. Eric undoubtedly reached the highest mark in Total Beers Consumed for the season. Couple this circumstance with the fact that the other heavy weight drinking players, such as “The Rocket” and “The Reverend”, logged fewer games and likely didn’t out drink Eric enough to out pace him with regression applied to their BPI totals, and we have our presumptive winner.

Drink early, drink often.

Form The Annals Choice: Eric “The Hammer”

There you have it! A complete offhand list of deductively chosen award recipients for the Early Seasons had those awards existed at the time. Congratulations to all the retrospective recipients!

Author: The Coach

#8 The Coach, founding Regent of Tapey Beercone.

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