Landmark Baseball Simulation Determines Greatest Teams Tournament Winner: 1957 Milwaukee Braves

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Dynasty League Baseball from the designer of Pursue the Pennant is a baseball simulation game that uses real-life statistics, including actual lefty-righty breakdowns, normalized to league average and adjusted for the era.

ESPN Classic wants you to vote for the greatest World Series team ever from their list of 32 World Series champions.

Trouble is, we didn't like their list. We wanted to simulate a tournament of the greatest teams ever, but we thought it was missing too many teams that were better than some World Series champs.

Like the 2001 Mariners, who won an all-time record 116 games. Or the 1988 A's, who didn't win the World Series but were a better team than the '89 squad, which did. Or the 2004 Cardinals, who rolled to 104 wins before losing to the Red Sox (oh, yeah, we wanted them in our tournament as well).

So we picked 32 all-time great teams, dropped some of the early 20th century squads for more modern teams and enlisted Michael Cieslinski of Dynasty League Baseball to simulate our Page 2 tournament.

Dynasty League is a baseball simulation game that uses real-life statistics, including actual lefty-righty breakdowns, normalized to league average and adjusted for the era. (More information and screen grabs are available at

The tourney rules:

(1) We split the bracket into 16 AL and 16 NL teams (well, we moved the '82 Brewers over to the NL). The team with the better regular-season record is the home squad.

(2) One and done. Just like the NCAA tournament.

(3) You must use a real rotation. In other words, Sandy Koufax can't start every game for the '65 Dodgers if they keep advancing.

The complete Page 2 bracket including game results and box scores can be found at:

Does this settle the debate on the all-time greatest team? Of course not. But it sure was fun to imagine such a tournament being played out.

This year marks the 21st Anniversary of Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball. The landmark Baseball simulation available in both board and computer versions started with the help of Milwaukee Brewers Bob McClure, Jim Gantner and Paul Molitor.

The first edition of the game has been on a rotating display in the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown.

Upon its debut in 1985, Pursue the Pennant became the leader in realism in Baseball simulations by incorporating innovative features like detailed Ball Park effects, ratings for pitchers who were tough in pitching out of a jam, and many other subtle nuances of the game.

DYNASTY League Baseball and its predecessor Pursue the Pennant revolutionized Baseball simulation games by providing realistic aspects of Baseball being brought to the public consciousness by books like Bill James Baseball Abstract and Pete Palmer’s The Hidden Game. DYNASTY League Baseball followed Pursue the Pennant, and has refined and even surpassed the original simulation in realism, playability and attractiveness.


(Cieslinski) previously developed the board game Pursue the Pennant, which was an amazingly lifelike representation of baseball. Dynasty League Baseball, which is available as both a board game and computer game, is even better. “Win or Lose this is a terrific game. Cieslinski has done what he sets out to do, which was to develop a game that somehow incorporates the multitude of nuances that baseball contains.”


"DYNASTY League Baseball is, without contest, the most realistic baseball simulation on the market today."

Chuck Johnson — USA TODAY

“If you are playing in Fenway Park, you can hit a ball into the screen above the Green Monster in left field for a home run. In Yankee Stadium, you can hit a ball into the monuments and document how many feet the ball traveled.”


“From the designer of Pursue the Pennant comes the perhaps the ultimate baseball simulation. You expect real life statistics to drive the game, and you certainly get them, but it appears that this game has thought of everything. There are statistics for each stadium (balls generally carry better in Wrigley Field than in Busch Stadium), player fatigue factors to consider — even the weather is part of the game.”

Andrew Lockett — ESPN Outside the lines Producer

"I have received the 3rd edition charts and played my first game which I enjoyed greatly. I find your layout very easy to grasp and realistic. Your web page nailed it on the head with the quote from your friend Dave about not wanting magic and the need for transparency. I will be playing a greatest team tournament while I am on the road covering stories for ESPN. Congratulations on a great game and even finer service."

Dave Holland — CFCY Radio, PEI CANADA

“I must say the game is truly the epitomy of all board baseball games. I find the game as realistic as you can get.”


“...skillfully walks the line between realistic recreation and bogging things down with so many variables you would think Gene Mauch designed it.”


“Everything that can happen in baseball can happen in DYNASTY”


"Is the most lifelike, most intriguing, most enjoyable baseball game yet devised... (it's) the baseball equivalent of Monopoly."

Michael Cieslinski worked with the Baltimore Orioles and Miami Marlins PR department before designing the Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball simulations.

For more information for your column or feature story or to have Michael Cieslinski as a guest on your radio or television show contact: 561.752.3323

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