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GREAT MOMENTS IN STRAT
 
Have you experienced a game of Strat-O-Matic so thrilling, unique or bizarre that you just HAVE to share it with someone? That would be us. Send your Great Moments in Strat to SOMTalkShow@aol.com. Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.
 
 
STATION WAGON STRAT
 
            My best friend growing up introduced me to Strat-O-Matic Baseball.  We were 11 or 12-ish when our moms took us to Cooperstown and Niagara Falls for the weekend.  While our moms took turns driving, my friend and I were sprawled out in the back of a monster Pontiac station wagon playing Strat-O-Matic baseball.  I remember playing the Orioles with John Lowenstein, Al Bumbry and Eddie Murray.  However, I know we had a great time and whenever the weather didn't allow us to be outside, we were inside playing Strat-O-Matic Baseball.  
 
            I still play Strat Baseball.  Once a week face-to-face with someone I introduced to Strat.  I'm also in several online leagues.  My first season replay project is going to be 1985.  Why?  I was a ball boy for the Indians so I'll be reliving my memories of meeting all those great players in the summer of ‘85!  Go Tribe!
 
Patrick Whelan, Cleveland
 
 
PIAZZA POWER
 
            Several years ago my friend Stan and I started a 200-team baseball tournament featuring teams and players from 1959 thru 2003.  Each series consists of a best 5 out of 9 games, with the losing team knocked out of the tournament.  All games are cards and dice. So far we've completed about 300 of the approximately 1,550 games this tournament will require.
 
            We just finished a 9-game series between the 1978-80 Detroit Tigers and the 1995-97
Los Angeles Dodgers in which Mike Piazza was unbelievably hot.  Using his 1997 card (40 HR, .362 BA) he had 23 hits in the 9 games, including 6 HRs.  His slugging average was 1.100. He had 3 or more hits in 6 of the 9 games, finishing with a .575 BA.  Despite all his heroics, however, the Dodgers lost to the Tigers who won despite losing the first 3 games of the 9 game series.  I seriously doubt that I'll see another player in this tournament match Piazza's 23 hits or 44 total bases, especially considering that most of the pitchers in this tournament are above average.  Remarkable!
 
Bill Bell, North Bend, OR
 
 
 
BEWARE OF THOSE PINCH-HITTERS
 
            In my Baseball Heroes season of 40 games something funny happened. The AL Modern was visiting NL Older team. By the 6th the NL was winning 4-1 when Rafael Palmeiro hit a 3-run homerun as a pinch-hitter to tie at 4. The AL starter was Randy Johnson, who had 16 strikeouts by that time. It was 7- 4 for the AL in the bottom of the 9th. The NL scored once, then Steve Garvey hit a pinch-hit, walkoff three-run homer.  I wonder if this has happened to anybody:  A pinch-hit HR to tie it for one side and a pinch-hit homer to win it for the other side.

Orlando Leon, Live Oak, Florida