Welcome to the APBA Hall of Fame. Like that other Hall of Fame, our “Hall” was built to recognize the contributions of great APBA players, inventors, innovators and administrators. Unlike that other Hall of Fame, you, the APBA fan, don’t go unrecognized. We know we couldn’t have made it without you, and the Hall of Fame will help us give you the credit you so richly deserve.
There are no busts in our hall. . .yet. However, you can learn about some of the celebrities who’ve enjoyed playing APBA and meet some of our most loyal long-time fans.
Most years APBA induct members into our Hall of Fame. The first inductee for our first year was our founder, J. Richard Seitz, honoring the man who founded APBA in 1951. The first round of inductions was announced at our 50th Anniversary convention in the Summer of 2001.
We welcome your suggestions for future inductees. All nominations will be reviewed by a panel at APBA headquarters.
J. Richard Seitz. Created the company, and made it possible for us to have the game in our lives.Frtiz Light (2001). Was the head of APBA for several years after Mr. Seitz death, and was the president of the division after the initial sale of APBA. Actually created the baseball sets for several years. Only Mr. Seitz had a bigger impact on the history of APBA than Fritz Light.Roy Langhans (2001). APBA Ambassador. He was a part of the “APBA Coaches” program, and as he has noted, he owns every APBA product ever made. Roy’s contributions to the APBA Between the Lines Delphi forum alone are legendary. Roy’s “Game of the Day” thread has surpassed 5000 posts and is still going. Roy ran the tournament for at least one of the APBA conventions.Roy does more for APBA behind-the-scenes than most of us realize, and he always downplays his contributions.
Scott Lehotsky (2001). APBA Historian. Created the APBA documentary, “Of Dice and Men”, and has recorded many interviews with APBA notables. Worked on several conventions, organizing the 1998 convention (and ran the tournament). No one has done more to capture the oral history of the company and game than Scott has done.
Howard Ahlskog (2001). Saved the APBA Journal from Bankruptcy in 1986. Owned and published the AJ, with the help of his lovely wife Sally, until 1993. The work he and his wife expended on the APBA Journal cannot be over emphasized. In addition, Howard may be the premier APBA Football guy in the history of APBA.
Ed Zack (2001). APBA Historian. Ed used his own resources to create and release the first two versions of the APBA Handbook. This was a complete labor of love, an endeavor that continues to live on longer after Ed’s participation ceased. The “Zack Book” will long be a testament to the tenacity and dedication of Ed Zack.
At one point Ed had every APBA Baseball product making his APBA Baseball card collection the biggest and most complete collection known, until he gave it away.
George W. Bush (2001). After narrowly missing in his bid to represent the 19th congressional district in 1978, Mr. Bush created a series of small, independent oil exploration companies, including Bush Exploration (originally Arbusto Energy). After merging with the larger Spectrum 7 in 1984, Mr. Bush became chairman.
Mr. Bush was the managing general partner of the Texas Rangers for five years. Mr. Bush then went on to become the Governor of Texas (1995-2000), and eventually was a two term President of the United States of America (2000 through 2008).
Mr. Bush’s father played APBA, and APBA has been a family tradition for the Bush family since at least the 1960s.
Skeet Carr (2002) and Veryl Lincoln (2002). Skeet and Veryl are APBA and they will forever be APBA to the current generation of APBAites. Skeet Carr started working at APBA in 1964, while Veryl Lincoln started at APBA in 1965. With the exception of an extended stay in luxurious Viet Nam for Veryl in the late 60s, both Skeet and Veryl never left APBA, just as they will never leave the hearts of all true APBA devotees. If you called APBA in the last 10 years you probably spoke to one of them. If you purchased an APBA product between 1964 and 2011 they both had a hand in producing it and getting it delivered to you.
Joe Sweeney (2005). While there are more than a few dedicated and talented programmers who have created helpful, even needful, add on products for APBA in general and Baseball for Windows in particular, no one has done more, produced more or done it better than Joe Sweeney. No one has done more to make playing “APBA presents Baseball for Windows” enjoyable and satisfying than Joe Sweeney, save the Miller brothers themselves.
Joe Sweeney also created football utilities which made fan-produced football season disks possible.
Pete Simonelli (2005). APBA Historian. Pete goes way back with APBA. Pete ran all the convention tournaments in the 1970s (’73, ’75 and ’76). Pete became good friends with the late Clifford Van Beek, inventor of National Pastime, and he’s still a liaison to Van Beek’s heirs. He was lead author (with Ben Weiser) of the famed “Definitive History of [Sports] Table Games” in the September-October 1975 APBA Journal.
Eric Naftaly (2006). APBA Historian. Noted APBA writer spent years writing for the APBA journal before taking over the editing and publishing duties as the owner, succeeding Howard Ahlskog. Eric is a wealth of information on everything APBA, and he is one of the most giving and helpful people in the community. The sacrifices he made for his love of APBA and the APBA Journal are and were tremendous, and we are all the richer as a result. Eric has probably touched more APBA lives personally than anyone outside of the game company. While owner and publisher of the APBA Journal he was always available to help and give advice via e-mail, letter or phone. Eric never turned away a fellow APBA player in need.
Don Adams (2007). APBA Historian. Don Adams has one of the two or three largest APBA Baseball card collections in existence. (John Cochrane is the “competition”, I believe; depending on the condition of the old Ed Zack collection). It has been stated that Don has every variant of each of the Great Teams of the Past ever issued (which is to say that if he doesn’t have it, it doesn’t exist). Adams was the first (and possibly the only) person to compile a list of all eBay sales of APBA Baseball card sets and their prices, which ran in the AJ in 2001-02 and the APBA News in ’03. He maintained it for some years after that, selling it quarterly. Don was one of the small group who proposed a new edition of the Ed Zack Handbook, and he hosted the first meeting of the expanded research committee at Rutgers in 2004. He was the original editor of the new Handbook before ill health forced him to give it up.
Bob Levy (2008). APBA Ambassador. Bob worked for the Houston Astros in 1976, was the Director of Broadcast Operations at KHOU in Houston for many years, and Bob was on the board of directors of the American Heart Association.
Bob wrote the book, “Major League Baseball Transactions, 1946. ” This book was a labor of love for Bob, and it shows us almost as much about Bob as it does about the players of 1946. Bob Levy loved APBA, the history of Baseball, and he loved to learn about and discuss the people behind the stats and the APBA card numbers.
Bob Levy passed away in Portland, Oregon on May 4th, 2008. Bob had many friends, some famous, most not so famous, but he had a way of making each and every one of them feel like they were special to him.
Jim Sce (2008). APBA Ambassador. Jim was a part of the “APBA Coaches” program in California. Jim owns virtually every APBA product ever made. Jim’s contributions to the APBA Between the Lines Delphi forum are significant, as he has contributed more than 6,000 posts. He was also one of the testers for APBA Baseball 5.75.
Dom Provisiero (2009). APBA Ambassador. Dom was a part of the “APBA Coaches” program. Longtime Commissioner of a Face-To-Face APBA league on Long Island, New York. Dom was an APBA Journal contributor and columnist, heading up the “Commissioner’s Box” column in the AJ in the mid-1990s.
John Cochrane (2009). APBA Historian. John Cochrane has one of the two or three largest APBA Baseball card collections in existence. John was one of the small group who proposed a new edition of the Handbook. The work he has done on this project is monumental in scope and breadth. When ill health forced Don Adams to step down as the editor of the new Handbook it was John Cochrane who took over the editor duties and kept the project alive. John has also been the voice of the project to the APBA community, providing updates at each convention.
Robert Henry (2010). APBA Historian. SOM Historian. In fact, Bob was the Hobby Historian. Robert Henry knew where all the bodies were buried and he shared his knowledge willingly to all who would listen to him. Bob’s Q&A column in the APBA Journal was a fan favorite for years.
Robert passed away in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on September 22, 2006.
Robert was as prominent in the SOM community as the APBA community, but it was the APBA community that gathered the money for his headstone, and I would dare say it was the APBA community that never forgot and always loved Robert Henry.
Rod McLeod (2011). APBA Historian. Handbook Committee. Expert on APBA’s advertising through the years. Rod has researched and collected and impressive amount of information chronicling the life and fortunes of APBA founder J. Richard Seitz (enough for a book-length biography).
At the 2005 APBA Convention, Rod presented many interesting items from his own research and showed some of Seitz’s home movies.
Charlie Sorce (2011). APBA Ambassador. As a high school teacher, Charlie used APBA in his classroom and as a result was responsible for introducing the APBA Baseball game to hundreds of students through the years. Charlie also introduced the game to his whole family and has enjoyed unrivaled success in cultivating lifelong APBA games among them.
Frank “Dusty” Welsh (2012). APBA Historian. Handbook Committee. Dusty is the expert on APBA’s Basic Baseball GAme Boards. His research on, and compilation of, the changes to the Basic Game boards (including the Sacrifice and Hit and Run results) is included in the on-line version of the Zack Handbook.
Dusty’s 1954, 1955 and 1956 (currently ongoing) replays using the “original cards and boards, supplemented with XBs and XCs from reprinted seasons” are chronicled in the APBA Delphi Forum.
William D. Blair (2012). APBA Historian. Handbook Committee. Professor William D. Blair, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Northern Illinois University, has been playing APBA Baseball since 1956, and has correspondence with APBA and Mr. Seitz from those early years. Professor Blair has an extensive APBA collection perhaps no as large as the Cochrane, Adams or Langhans collections, but one of the few people to have everything baseball-related that APBA and the APBA Journal ever produced.
Kevin J. Cluff (2012). APBA Historian. An APBA Journal staffer from December 1996 through the end of the APBA Journal run, Kevin contributed as the “Computer Corner” columnist for two calendar years (from issue 6 (10-15) of 1999 to issue 4 (10/31) of 2001). Kevin wrote the APA Journal article “BJE Produces as New Breed of APBA Card” that showed and explained how the WinDraft and WinWizard encyclopedia imported “cards” were created (October (11/13) 1995 – which, incidentally, led to a change in how the imported “cards” were eventually created).
At the 2012 convention, during the Hall of Fame presentation, Skeet Carr credited Kevin with assisting APBA on various tasks (since 2001) including technical support for BBW, providing statistics for APBA baseball projects and the computer game data disk creation.
Brian Wells (2013). APBA Ambassador. Brian has been attending APBA conventions since 2002, and he usually found his team going deep in the playoffs of the associated tournament. In fact, Brian is a two-time APBA tournament winner. Briant was the first two-time winner, and he still holds the record for the youngest tournament winner.
His article of selecting APBA teams for the tournaments has been published on the APBA company website.
Brian was featured in the 2009 New York Times article about the APBA 2009 convention and tournament.
Greg Wells (2013). APBA Historian. Greg was an APBA Journal staffer and the Lead Football Writer between 1989 and 1993. Greg is an expert on the history and workings of the APBA Football game, as well as the APBA Baseball game. Greg was in the legendary CMBA (Baseball) draft league for many years.
Greg is the father of Brian Wells, and so has succeeded in the greatest APBA goal of all: raising a fine young man who also happens to love and play APBA games!
Cliff Van Beek (2014). APBA Pioneer. Cliff developed National Pastime, the predecessor game and basis for the APBA Baseball Game.
Cliff’s National Pastime was patented in 1925, while the first (and only) commercial release was in 1931, based on the 1930 MLB season. It was a tough time to launch a business, as the great depression was enveloping the nation. Numbered among Mr. Van Beek’s small customer list was one J. Richard Seitz of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Eventually it became clear to the young Mr. Seitz that there were to be no more products coming from Green Bay, Wisconsin. It was then that Mr. Seitz began to explore changes to Mr. Van Beek’s produced design.
All of us who play table top simulations in general and APBA in particular, owe Clifford Van Beek our gratitude for pioneering our hobby.
Steve Skoff (2015). APBA Ambassador. Steve has been and continues to be a consultant on the APBA hockey game engine. Steve tested and proofed the new (2015) hockey game. Steve presented a seminar on 2015 version of APBA Hockey at 2015 Convention and is the organizer and developer of the inaugural APBA Hockey Tournament which is scheduled for the APBA 2016 convention.
Steve is an editor on the Zack Handbook committee.
Steve is active in bringing APBA to the community through efforts such as the annual Baseball Tournament with the Boys and Girls Club of Bridesburg, PA. Steve sponsors multiple club attendees at each event.
Steve is a two-time champion of the APBA Convention Baseball Tournament, and was the first (and so far, only) back-to-back champion, winning it all in 2012 and 2013. Steve won the second annual APBA Convention Baseball Home Run Derby championship (2015).
John Duke (2015). APBA Ambassador. John attended the APBA Conventions in 1975 (New York) and 1976 (Philadelphia) and has been a regular convention attendee since 2005. John is a two time APBA Convention Baseball Tournament Champion, winning it all in both 2007 and 2009.
John is the Commissioner of the North American Baseball Conference (NABC) Draft League. The League started in 1977 as a Basic Game, combination Face-To-Face and Mail league. John joined the league in 1979 and took over the reins as commissioner in mid-season. John has deftly guided the league ever since, over-seeing the shifts to the computer (originally DOS and now BBW 5.75) with 18 franchises.
John is a replayer also, completing season replays with BBW, playing every game for all teams manually. He has completed 1956 and 1964, currently playing 2004. John is no stranger to the APBA Golf and Football games (previously a member of the Super Football League for 17 seasons).
Paul has been an APBA Baseball player since 1982. When he retired in 2011 he planned to spend his retirement replaying seasons in BBW. However, BBW 5.5 was in need of an overhaul to become 64 bit friendly (to run on the new versions of Windows). Paul initiated discussions with APBA and both parties agreed that Paul was the right man to work on the old BBW 5.5 code, and make the necessary changes and upgrades. The result was the much heralded Baseball for Windows 5.75. This project has been and continues to be an unmitigated success, allowing legions of APBA Baseball fans to continue to enjoy APBA baseball on their computer!
Paul continued working on updates and adding features since the original release of BBW 5.75.
Greg Barath (2016): APBA Ambassador. It is impossible to meet Greg and not be impressed with his presence and his personal magnetism. Born in Gary, Indiana, it should be noted that Greg didn’t survive Gary, he transcended it.
The strength that a place like Gary requires is evident in the personal demeanor and personality of Greg Barath. Greg has an analytical Football mind and is well-known throughout the APBA community for his football replays. To date, he has completed his 7th published full-season replay and numerous smaller efforts.
Greg uses his APBA Football blog to share his “method of play” alternatives, innovations and informational tips to enhance the solitaire playing experience. His blog has been visited by individuals from 85 different countries. Greg had replica APBA Football fields created from existing artwork of every professional field from the past fifty years.
Greg has used his personal Football acumen to enhance the APBA Football gaming experience for all APBA Football fans. At past APBA Conventions, Greg created several APBA Football instructional videos which provide formal briefings and demonstrations.
Ray Dunlap (2016): APBA Ambassador. Ray is active in APBA and on the field. Ray currently plays right field on a “45 and older” hardball team in Atlanta. Ray was the quarterback for St. John Fisher College, a Division 3 program, in the early 70’s.
Ray is well known as an APBA Game Innovator. He presented some of his ideas on solitaire baseball at the 1975 APBA Convention in New York City. Ray also presented some of his ideas on solitaire football at the 2015 APBA Convention in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Mike Haley, the APBA Journal football editor at the time, let Ray know about an opening in the OFL (“Our Football League) and got Ray into the league. Ray would forever be hooked on the APBA Football game as he took his team to the Championship game that first year (a battle for the “Cooley Cup!). Ray was so hooked on the Football game that, after moving to Tampa a year later (1979), Ray and Ernie Charette formed the Suncoast Football League, a 16-team face-to-face organization (Ray was the commissioner). Remarkably, the SFL is still going strong!
Ray eventually was asked by Howard Ahlskog to contribute football articles to the Journal, a job he held for about three years.Since relocating to Atlanta, Ray has spent generous amounts of his time refining his systems to play a
Ray can coach, as well as he can play, having coached three kids in baseball that were ultimately drafted by major league teams. Like many of his fellow APBA brethren, Ray is a numbers guy. He is the President of Dunlap and Associates, a wealth management firm, and Ray was the head statistician for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for six years in the 1980’s.