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The Story of a Major League Baseball Franchise
Bakersfield Bullets, 1963
The bad news first. Due to my own stupidity and a computer disaster, I think I've lost most of the 1963 season.

The good news: the franchise -- and this thread -- will go on.

I'm going to try to recreate the 1963 season of the Bakersfield Bullets, the minor league affiliate of the Dusters. Same format. It will take me a day or two to set up the league, but I think it might be interesting.
Here's how it works. I've taken the minor league players in the Nevada Dusters organization and created the Bakersfield Bullets. With every other NL club I have changed the name to its AAA affiliate, moved its minor leaguers to the top and the major leaguers to the bottom. Then I allowed the AI to re-sort the minor leaguers only

I've decided -- and have already begun -- to replay the Dusters' 1963 season simultaneously with the Bullets campaign, recreating the team exactly -- fortunately, all trades, releases, salaries, etc., are recorded in this thread -- and the other NL teams, too, as well as I can with the information at hand. I will make sure the Dusters are 40-8 as of May 27. Then I'll synchronize the Dusters and Bullets play through the remainder of the season -- games on a certain date played by me in the same sitting. If its necessary for the Dusters to call someone up, or send someone down, or someone goes on the DL for a long period of time, then any move made will be reflected in the Bullets game. All the while, Bullets skipper Jay Ferguson will keep us appraised of what's going on with the Dusters, because I won't be doing game recaps for the major league club until 1964 rolls around. He has to know what's happening with the Dusters, player-by-player, position-by-position, because at any moment he might get a call from upstairs: "We need your best third baseman, Jay. Send him right away. Sorry!" The challenge for the minor league manager is to win with a team that might be critically weakened at any moment.

When 1964 rolls around, we'll leave the Bullets and return to the Dusters for their next campaign.

Why not just continue posting the '63 Dusters, even in their reincarnated state? Because there will be inevitable inconsistencies -- for one thing, the schedule will be entirely different, and the other teams, no matter how hard I try, will be different, too. But most importantly, because it will take me some time to completely reconstruct the Dusters and get them to the 49th game of the 1963 campaign. By the time that happens the Bullets will be a third of the way through their season, at least. (And I still want to PLAY and not just rebuild, y'know.)

Also, by following the Bullets for a season, we'll all be introduced to some future Dusters. But before leaving Bakersfield I'd like to offer readers a vote, something along the lines of "pick the top three Bullets prospects you think should see action with the Dusters next year (1964)," and I'll post the results in the thread, and make sure the winners move up. So it'll be your call, not just mine. That gives your reading the game recaps and looking at the player stats I'll post some purpose apart from entertainment, right?

I'll also make sure the Dusters players stats are consistent with what they were when my technical disaster occurred. That won't be difficult, just time-consuming -- I just note the player stats after 48 games in the recreated '63 season, and at the end deduct those stats from the total, then add the stats up to the 48th game from the original '63 season.

This way, the history of the Dusters in April and May 1963 (and preseason) as recorded in this thread will stand, and I will get through the Bullets season as quickly as I can so as to return to Conn Hudson, Ben Naylor, Billy Williams, Dave McNally and the rest of the crew ASAP. (Not to mention Ann-Margret and Cat Hudson -- and Howard Hughes will soon enter the picture...)

Oh, and if the Dusters DO end up in the World Series in '63, I WILL post all that here, as was done for the '62 Fall Classic.

Since I don't want to create new players or fill the roster with artificial players from the game, I have had to use the minor leaguers from all of the Duster affiliates to fill the Bullets roster.

Don Pavletich (C), 24
Donn Clendenon (1B), 27
Denis Menke (2B), 22
Bob Bailey (3B), 20
Gene Alley (SS), 22
Jesus Alou (RF), 21
Jose Cardenal (CF), 19
Mack Jones (RF), 24
Tony Perez (1B), 20
Roger Repoz (CF), 22
Paul Blair (CF), 19
Jerry Grote (C), 20
Wes Parker (1B), 23
Felix Millan (2B), 19

Ray Culp (SP), 21
Marcelino Lopez (SP), 19
Bruce Howard (SP), 20
Wade Blasingame (SP), 19
Steve Hargan (SP), 20
Ron Reed (RP), 20
Hank Fischer (RP), 23
Dick Kelley (RP), 23
Clay Carroll (RP), 21
Ron Herbel (RP), 25
Jim Roland (RP), 20

These players will be available for call-up if any of the abovementioned players are sent up to the majors or don't perform as expected...

Tommie Aaron (1B)
George Banks (3B)
Sandy Alomar (IF)
Felix Millan (2B)
Tito Fuentes (IF)
Ollie Brown (RF)
Randy Hundley (C)

Dwight Siebler (SP)
Larry Maxie (RP)
Herb Hippauf (RP)
Wayne Granger (RP)
Larry Jaster (SP)
Rob Gardner (RP)
Tug McGraw (RP)

I've paid a lot of attention to improving the minor league rosters in the Dusters organization through trades and acquisitions, so I expect this group to do well.

The season will be 141 games long. During the season I will monitor the major league players (now at the bottom of my Lineup. As in real life, a few of the Bakersfield players may be "called up" to the majors, in the event of a long-term injury to one of the major leaguers or if a major leaguer is not performing satisfactorily. A major leaguer may rehab with the Bullets, and in September several of the Bakersfield players may join the major club's expanded roster.

When this season is over and the Dusters resume, I will alter the minor league players' stats to reflect the results.

The minor league affiliates of the other NL clubs are those of 1963...

Chicago Cubs: Salt Lake City Bees
Cincinnati Reds: San Diego Padres
Houston Colt 45's: Oklahoma City 89ers
Los Angeles Dodgers: Spokane Indians
New York Mets: Buffalo Bisons
Philadelphia Phillies: Arkansas Travelers
Pittsburgh Pirates: Columbus Jets
San Francisco Giants: Tacoma Giants
St. Louis Cardinals: Atlanta Crackers

The season will be told from the perspective of the Bakersfield skipper, Ray Ferguson. (Ferguson will keep us updated on what's happening with the Dusters as '63 progresses if it turns out I don't replay their '63 season and skip forward to 1964 with them.)