Glenn Guzzo

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.

 

NO-HITTERS, SPORTSMANSHIP AND UPSETS

The year was 2004 and the first round of our playoffs was beginning.  I, unfortunately, had to play “the king” as we call him.  He is known as “the king” because it doesn't matter what players he has on his team.   Somehow he always manages to have a winning record and/or win a championship.  I won the first 3 games in a best of 7 series, but still did not feel comfortable. You guessed it: he won the next 3 and had Pedro Martinez on the mound for game 7.  After 8 innings I was losing 3-0 and Pedro was throwing a no-hitter.  “The king” then proceeds to tell me he is yanking Martinez to bring in Rod Beck.  I was stunned.  Our league rules say to use players as realistically as possible and since Pedro had not pitched a full season, he didn't feel right keeping him in for the full 9 innings.  I argued with him and told him I didn't care, thinking the series was over anyway.  Beck came in and I proceeded to score 4 runs in the bottom of the ninth to win the series.  I went on and lost in the next round, but somehow it didn't matter.   I had beaten “the king” in a very memorable and unlikely way.

Joel Rosenberger, Quakertown, PA

 

COMPUTER COLLEGE FOOTBALL GREAT MOMENTS

(And Navy Appears to be The Team to Beat)

NAVY-GEORGIA

 I am playing a tournament in Strat College Football and an early first-round matchup pitted Navy at Georgia.  I coached Navy, and figured a ball control offense was the key to staying in the game, obviously.  I ran the ball down Georgia's throat, leading 14-3 at half.  Georgia didn't score a TD until 1:42 to go in the third quarter. Georgia scored again with 7:34 to go in the fourth to take the lead on a 67-yard pass play.  I drove Navy down to the Georgia 4, and with 8 seconds to go, I decided to go for the glory and pass to the TE, whose number I didn't call all game.  I thought it was the coaching move of the game, until I saw the 9 was rolled and Georgia intercepted in the end zone, ending the game.  I second guessed myself about the call, thinking I should have opted for the FG, but I wanted the upset.  I ended up running the ball 59 times and keeping the ball for 33 and one half minutes.

Henry Roman, Plumsted, NJ

 

NAVY-MARYLAND

I just received the new computer college football game as a Christmas present. I toyed with a few games with my alma mater (William & Mary) and then decided to play a rivalry game that should happen every year, but hadn't for a long time until this year – Maryland vs. Navy. I played solitaire, easy mode. I called the offensive plays and let the computer handle defense for both teams.

 

Other than games I played with the 2004 baseball cards with my sons (I'll send that next time) this game ended up being one of my most thrilling Strat experiences.

 

Navy threatened to make the game a blowout in the first half – they intercepted a pass, recovered a fumble, and blocked a punt – all in Maryland territory and four times got inside the Terps 10 yard line – but, since their kicker missed three field goals of 30 yards or less, Navy only led 10-3 at halftime.

 

Early in the 3rd quarter, Navy's back-up halfback rolled off a 78-yard TD run for a 17-3 lead. Maryland started to move the ball a little, but kept stalling and needed two 40+ yard field goals from Nick Novak to close to 17-9 at the end of the 3rd quarter. Navy's QB Polanco rolled off a 31 yard TD run on the option early in the 4th for a seemingly comfortable 24-9 lead. But, then Maryland's offense – mixing flat passes and runs – started to click. A long 14 play drive yielded a TD with just under 6 minutes left. Maryland now trailed 24-16 and needed to stop Navy's grinding wishbone attack from running out the clock. The Terps stuffed the Mids and scored with just under 2 minutes to play to close to 24-22. They decided to run for the 2-point conversion and Josh Allen got exactly 3 yards. Miraculously, the game was tied 24-24.

 

Maryland stuffed Navy again and drove to the Mids’ 30 yard line with 30 seconds to go. Foolishly, I tried a short pass to get closer and Navy intercepted it (on a 2-4, 11 & 12 chance) – overtime. (The game engine handles the college OT rules extremely well!).

 

With the momentum, Maryland rolled for an easy score to start the OT. Navy, now trailing 31-24 in what should have been a cake walk, was in trouble. On 3rd and 8, Navy tried an end run and fumbled. But, a Navy lineman recovered – and got the magic split roll – rumbling 24 yards for the score. The poor kicker made the extra point to tie it at 31, but missed a 35 yard FG in the next round. Maryland cooly moved to Navy's 10 and, after a QB sneak to get the ball to the middle of the field, lined up for a chip shot 27-yard FG to win it. Except, Novak rolled a “9” and missed!

 

Maryland got the ball first for the next round and Novak made a 34 yard FG for a 34-31 lead. Navy sputtered and, on 4th and 8 from the 14, I had no hope that the kicker (1-5 on FG attempts) could make a 32 yarder. So, I decided to go for it. Being a wishbone team, I called for the end run. The computer guessed right – but, Navy got the “Gain” reading on a lucky dice roll and rumbled in for the game winning TD – 37-34 – simply amazing!



Steve, Ellicott City, MD

 

ADD TODD ZEILE’S NAME TO THE LEGENDS

This happened quite a few years ago, I would guess about 1991.

 

Todd Zeile was on the opposite team versus my Pittsburgh Pirates.  He single-handedly destroyed my club by hitting four homeruns. Four homeruns is special, but what made this feat even more spectacular is that Zeile hit for the homerun cycle – solo shot, two-run shot, three-run shot, grand slam. Additionally, Darryl Boston hit a homerun off a lefty in that game.  For those who remember the left-handed hitting Boston, that in itself was quite a feat.

 

I've played thousands of games since, none have matched that one.

 

Tim Rock, Brookfield, WI

 

 

WITH BONDS OUT, PAVANO SAVES THE SERIES

 

Strato is so AMAZING! The Enfield, CT Strat league is forever. Division playoffs down 2 games to none to a power team. Carl Pavano my game 3 starter, CG 2 hitter. I fight back to game 7 which Pavano happens to start and pitches another gem: 8ip, 3 hits, 1er, the Sharks win the series and Pavano gets the MVP! I also had B. Bonds on my team and unbelievably he hit 66 HR, scored 156 runs and batted .330. He was injured in game 1 of the series and did not return. Nothing tops Strat-O-Matic board baseball. Keep the dice rollin’.

James Grigaitis

 

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 you Great Moments in Strat to SOMTalkShow@aol.com. Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.

 

 

FERNANDO AND PEDRO USED TO BE FRIENDS

 

This baseball game I played on my computer version of Strat had to be shared.  I put my two favorite teams of all time, the '81 Dodgers against the '88 Dodgers, against each other for the fun of it. And it turned out to be a classic.

 

With Fernando Valenzuela starting for the '81 Blue Crew and Orel Hershiser on the mound for the '88 Bums, it was bound to be a pitchers duel.  Hershiser scattered 8 hits over 8 innings and left trailing 2-0.  Valenzuela was magnificent. Through 8, he had struck out seven, walked four, and (most importantly) not given up a hit.

 

The first batter in the bottom of the ninth drew walk number five against Fernando, but the next two hitters both struck out.  That left the Stunt Man, Mickey Hatcher, as the last hope for the '88 team.  The dice roll was nothing but dramatic ... flyball RF-X.  Manning the right side of the outfield was none other than one of the worst defensive players in Dodgers history, Pedro Guerrero (pure opinion – not necessarily statistically factual).  If my memory serves me correctly, he was an RF4e16.  The split card was a single and an error ... gone was the no hitter, gone was the shutout.  Steve Howe came in to record the final out and preserve the win, but the damage was done.

 

In relating the story to my close Strat friends from years gone by, the feedback was unanimous ... how would you leave Guerrero in the game?  Where was the defensive replacement?  Saddened that I wasn't on top of my game, I went back to research my options and found the irony ... Guerrero's defensive rating (both range and error) was as good and / or better than all other options.  So, once again, the Dodgers’ horrible defense did them in, even if it was years later.

 

Tom Holland, Encino, CA

 

 

WHERE’S THE FAT LADY WHEN YOU NEED HER?

 

In this year’s mail league IBL World Series, my Cancun team had a 3-2 lead in the series at home against Boston.  I had an 8-0 lead going into the 9th inning.  Starter Jaret Wright allowed three runs and was pulled for top closer Eric Gagne.  The Bozos rallied for 5 more behind David "Poppy" Ortiz’ Grand Salami off Gagne. They won it in the 12th on an error by "1" rated 2B Pokey Reese. Pedro Martinez was victorious over Roger Clemens in game 7 for a Boston Bozo World Championship win over the Cancun Coronas.  Even with an 8 run lead and only 3 outs away from a title, this just shows ... “IT AIN'T OVER, TIL IT'S OVER!”

John Lawrence, Thompsonville, IL

 

WE MAY GET TO SEE THESE TWO ON TV

I’ve played two memorable baseball games recently.

The first pitted New York Mets against the Montreal Expos in a game featuring the 1982 card set. The Expos built up a 5-1 lead after 7 innings, thanks a 2-run homer by Al “Scoops” Oliver, a 2-run double by starting pitcher Scott Sanderson, and a solo shot by Gary Carter. George Foster hit a home run in the 8th with the bases empty to bring the Mets to within 3 and set the stage for the dramatic 9th inning.

Hubie Brooks and John Stearns led off the inning with singles. After pinch hitter Rusty Staub struck out, Mike Jorgensen walked to load the bases and end the day for Sanderson. Relief ace Jeff Reardon came in. Mookie Wilson greeted him with a single to score Brooks and make it a 5-3 game. Reardon walked Wally Backman to score Stearns and got Foster to line out to Doug Flynn. Dave Kingman now walked to the plate with the bases loaded, and the Mets down by a run. Kingman hit long drive, way back, and gone! A grand slam home run! The Mets won 8-5.

The other game was actually the first Strat-O-Matic Baseball game I played in 2006. It featured the San Diego Padres against the Houston in 1985 action. The game was scoreless until the 6th, when San Diego’s Kevin McReynolds singled home Steve Garvey and Graig Nettles to give the Padres a 2-0 lead. The Astros got one run back on a solo home run by Jose Cruz in the bottom of the inning. Garvey hit a solo shot in the 8th to restore San Diego’s 2-run lead.

So Lamar Hoyt tried to protect a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of 9th. He struck out Cruz, but Jerry Mumphrey doubled. Out went Hoyt, in came Goose Gossage. He struck out Glenn Davis, then gave up a base-hit to Phil Garner to put runners on 1st and 3rd with two outs, and Mark Bailey the hitter. Bailey hit a shot that carried back, back, and over the wall! A three-run homer! Houston won 4-3!

P.S. After the game, ESPN Classic called, requesting my score sheets for these 2 games.

(no name provided)

 

BACK-TO-BACK-TO-BACK-TO-BACK

To the loyal Strat fans: I have seen no-hitters lost on a Double 1 flyball (RF) 2-20, a 4-homer game from Scott Hemond, triple plays by the multitudes, errors made by Omar Vizquel  and Matt Williams to decide playoff games. But I have never seen anything comparable to the love that Strat-O-Matic fans have towards their cards, their dice, their games. I tip my cap to all the fans, but I do believe that for each of us to be the TRUE sportsmen that we claim to be, we should send folks like Hal, Will, Glenn, and the rest of the Strat family a thank you, for if it wasn't for their ceaseless work and efforts towards giving us the best baseball board game possible … to make it short, I think each and every Strat player should send a “thank you” this year.

In a GBBL game played last night, my son's first-place Dublin Dingers tied a league record with two outs in the top of the first inning against Roy Oswalt by mashing four consecutive home runs (Luis Gonzalez, Sammy Sosa, Todd Helton, and Eric Chavez.)  The last time that this happened was many years ago, and the victim was John Smoltz.  You ran the story in STRAT FAN and pointed out how Strat parallels real life, because the Reds tattooed Smoltz for four homers (albeit not consecutive) in a game that same year.

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 you Great Moments in Strat to SOMTalkShow@aol.com. Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.

 

 

 

SLEEPING THROUGH YANKEE THUNDER

 

What can I say, this is truly a great moment in Strat that almost wasn't!  I just received my 1957 computer disk with the cards (of course).  I have been looking at the cards for about two weeks, trying to figure out what teams I like and whether I should create a draft, or maybe put Ted Williams on the Yankees to see if that would turn the tide against Milwaukee. I pretty much got fed up tonight and decided to just play a couple of games.  I did know I wanted to pit Herb Score against anybody, so why not the Yankees (Human manager Yankees vs. Computer manager Indians). Maybe lightening will strike twice and Herb Score will get slammed again, or based on his card maybe threaten a no-hitter; I was looking for the unusual. No such luck.  Cleveland wins the first game 3-2 behind Score, and than Don Larsen wins game two 5-1 on a four hitter, (certainly aware that Larsen pitched a perfect game in the 1956 World Series, and he does not give up many hits on his 1957 card).  Maybe another No-No?  Not this time, only a well pitched game. In game three Johnny Kucks faces Ray Narleski. Narleski's card is intriguing because he could wreak havoc on any opponent's lineup (several small percentage chances on his card), but not today, Narleski wins easily as Kucks gets hammered, but nothing memorable.

 

So I played another game.  Game four matched two future Hall of Famers, Whitey Ford versus Bob Lemon.  The Yankees are on fire as they light up Lemon for 12 runs on sixteen hits in the first six innings.  Cal McLish finally relieves Lemon after 152 pitches (Computer Hal appears to have a dark side). Meanwhile, I'm focused on the Yankees’ opportunity for 20 hits as Ford deals a shutout.  I get to the top of the eighth needing two more hits for the magic 20!  The second batter for the Yankees is Whitey, and I consider, albeit briefly, about pinch-hitting, and than dismiss it because Ford’s got a shutout going.  Whitey did not come through with a hit, but Enos Slaughter delivers in the clutch (not the two-out thing) by putting up the 20th hit in the top of the ninth (by the way each of the nine Yankee starters had at least one safety).  Now for the jugular, the shutout!  Ford gets the first batter in the ninth, and I'm thinking cake. Colavito and than Maris, but what's this, I set my eyes to the hit column of the “Large Scoreboard” and Ford's got a no-hitter going.  Where the heck have I been?  The Yankees have 13 runs and 20 hits and Whitey's got a no-hitter going.  WAKE UP!!!  I have been playing Strat-O-Matic since 1970, thirty-seven years, possibly 10,000 games.  And I have been involved in only one no-hitter (I figure sometime in 1972 against my Cousin David, with Mike Cuellar's elementary card from 1969) until today.  Can I do it?  How hard can it be?  Whitey completes the gem easily by retiring the last two Indians.  Can you imagine if I hit for him in the eighth?  Let's not go there.  I immediately thought of you.

 

Larry Grogan. Boca Raton, FL

           

 

SOM MAKES D.C. BALL TWICE AS GOOD

 

One of the best things about Strat-O-Matic is reliving baseball memories. At the absolute top of my list was being at RFK Stadium last April for Opening Night when baseball returned to Washington, D.C. I was one heart-broken 9-year-old when the Senators left for Texas after the 1971 season. Over the years, my hopes baseball would return waned, but never disappeared. Then, I somehow got tickets to Opening Night and watched the Nationals win, cheering loud and often, in childlike joy. It still seems like a dream.


So, after returning from Opening Day 2006 at Strat-O-Matic, it was no contest what game I would play first with the 2005 cards. My 3-year-old son and I put the Opening Night line-ups together (Washington vs. Arizona) and played basic style, with the dice and cards. The Nationals won 3-1, in the 8th with 2-out, 1-1 game, none on, Jose Guillen singled, then Ryan Church hit a “6” split on a Triple 1-6, scoring the go-ahead run – I could imagine the sell-out crowd making RFK shake and sway – then Vinny Castilla singled in Church for a 2-run lead with three outs to go.

 

Livan Hernandez had pitched well the whole game (as did Arizona's Javier Vasquez – he had 8 K's), yet I thought of bringing in Chad Cordero to close out the 9th (but, oh, those HR's allowed - ruins an otherwise devastating closer card) - so I stayed with Livan and my son, Christian, rolled 3 K's off Hernandez's card (turns out they're all K's on Cordero's basic card too) and the Nationals had a win on my table-top “Opening Night” as well as real life. Playing Strat as my little son jumped up and down over the board was not nearly the same as being at RFK that glorious night, but it's still a neat memory for me on a lot of levels – so much so that it's my greatest Strat moment in 34 years of playing the game!


Steve Walker,
Ellicott City, MD

 

 

SLUGGERS HAD TO PLAY SMALL BALL

After reading all of the interesting and unusual moments in fellow gamers Strat experiences, I finally decided to submit the game that was for me, the wildest finish ever. We were playing with the ’86 season set with six gamers in a draft league. My team ran away with the league by winning 100 games in a 154-game season behind Mike Scott and Roger Clemens and a powerful offense. This allowed my team a “bye” into the World Series with the second and third place teams squaring off to see who got to play me.

My friend Jim managed to advance to the Series. I had dominated the season, never having been swept in any three game series and holding a winning record over each opponent, including Jim. I figured I’d win it in five and looked like I’d be right as I soared to a 3-1 lead behind Scott’s two wins and had Clemens going in game five. As all of us know, Strat can be fickle. I lost that game and the next to force a game seven. Still, with Scott on the mound (He had an almost un-hittable card that year) I felt good. However, the game was tied 1-1 in the 13th inning and relievers had long taken over when Jim pushed a run in on a hit by a lefty on his own card, whose name I don’t remember, off Bruce Ruffin of the Phillies, who gave up no hits to lefties on his card.

I had one last chance to save a great season being ruined by getting upset in the Series. Mitch Webster led off the bottom of the inning with a single to give me hope. I then pinch hit with Vince Coleman (first time all year he pinch hit) and tried a hit and run. Coleman missed the pitch but Webster stole second by rolling an 11 on the 20-sided dice. Coleman then walked. Up comes Chris Brown, a third baseman for the Giants who had a really weird card. Even though he hit right, he had no hits vs. lefties on his card but killed righties. Jim naturally leaves in his lefty reliever and my bench was empty, so Brown had to hit. I considered bunting (he was a C) but decided to try another hit and run (he was a B). I rolled a 5 for a single to tie the game and put runners at first and third. Ozzie Smith then was up and, with the infield in, I rolled a 2 on a squeeze play to plate the winning run! After my team led the league in homers, I had to resort to this to win the championship! Even almost 20 years later, I can still remember that inning as if it happened yesterday. Jim still won’t talk about it!

Al Van Vreede, Green Bay, Wi.

 

PITCHING GEMS WORTH REMEMBERING

 

Three recent great moments for me:

 

1)1911 Rube Marquard shatters my nine-inning strikeout record (15 – held by many pitchers) by fanning 18 of the 1911 Philadelphia Phillies ... he strikes out at least one Phil every inning;

 

2) Tommy John loses a perfect game in the ninth inning and winds up with a one-hitter;

 

3) '98 David Cone pitches a one-hitter against the '99 Yankees – the only hit was a lead off double by Chuck Knoblauch.


R.E. Boaz, South Carolina

 

 

 

 

HOW TO LOSE A NO-HITTER – THE HARD WAY

 

Our FTF draft league has endured many a dramatic moment in its 25-year history, but one of the most memorable took place a few years ago, in the 162nd game of the season. Then-ace Greg Maddux took a perfect game into the 9th inning, and after easily recording the first two outs, the opposing manager rolled a GB-X to the pitcher. I confidently picked up the 20-sider ... and flipped a “1” onto the table. And yes, this occurred in the season immediately BEFORE pitchers were given individual defensive range ratings, so Gold Glover Maddux – like every other pitcher in the set – was a 2.

 

A.G. Block, Sacramento, CA

 

 

HOW TO COMPLETE A NO-HITTER – THE HARD WAY

 

This was one of my all-time classic games. The biggest decision was whether or not to leave Wakefield in for the 10th inning since he had already thrown 125 pitches. Luckily, Kevin Millar saved him with a homer in the bottom of the 10th.

 

Kevin Freund, Clarksville, IN

 

The box score Kevin sent shows that the 2005 Red Sox beat the 2005 A’s, 1-0 on Kevin Millar’s two-out home run in the bottom of the 10th against reliever Jose Cruz. Wakefield threw a 10-inning no-hitter, walking five and striking out five. The Red Sox had stranded 11 against starter Dan Haren and reliever Justin Duchscherer.

 

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 you Great Moments in Strat to SOMTalkShow@aol.com. Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.

 

 

THE DARRELL EVANS FAN CLUB STARTS HERE

 

I’ve been playing Strat-O-Matic since 1965 and have had a lot of great moments, but while replaying the 1984 A.L. Season I just had one of those special games that was worth mentioning. The Detroit Tigers were squaring off against the Indians in Detroit and after the Tribe jumped off to a 6-0 lead in the first Darrell Evans came up to lead off the second inning with a solo home run. With the score 6-2 in the third, Evans came up again, this time with two men on and delivered his second round-tripper of the day. The Tigers were now down 6-5. And in the fifth they loaded the bases. With Darrell Evans strolling to the plate the Indians manager brought in ace Ernie Camacho. Evans hit his first pitch, a fly ball that just caught the overhang in short right field at Tiger Stadium. A Grand Slam! Evans was up again in the seventh. With the crowd on their feet, he took mighty cut after cut but could not make contact. The Indians, meanwhile, battled back. They trailed by a run as the game entered the final two innings. The Bengals load the bases again in the bottom of the eighth and this brought, you guessed it, Darrell Evans to the plate again for his final appearance. Tribe manager countered by bringing in big Lee Smith. Some 47,000 were pounding their seats at the old ball park as Evans took his stance. The roll of the dice. 6-4. Fly ball deep right field. Might be. Could be. It is!  Second grand slam of the day. A four homerun game with 12 RBIs. 41 years of Strat and I’ve never witnessed a better day then that. Thanks for the memories and great moments.

                                         Matt Bevak, Apache Jct.Az.

 

           

REMEMBER THAT SOX-REDS WORLD SERIES IN ’64?

 

I am playing my 40th year of Strat-O-Matic and have played some seasons with the cards over the years, but I finally joined the 21st Century as I just completed my first season with the computer game. The 1964 season has been a season that I have wanted to play, because of the great pennant races in both leagues. Even though, I had to exchange a floppy disk as I had trouble with one of the teams in the replay and had to get a new disk and start all over.

 

There ended up being some crazy pennant races in both leagues. In the American League the White Sox (103 wins) held off the Twins (99 wins), who played way over their heads. Chicago's pitching was incredible as Joel Horlen (17 wins) and Eddie Fisher (15 wins and a few saves) had great seasons as did Al Weis in the field hitting .290 and Pete Ward had a big year as well. Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison had big years to keep the Twins close as did Camilo Pascual on the mound.

The National League ended up in a tie as, ironically, the Phillies, who fell behind took a five-game on the Reds with two-plus weeks to go and lost the lead. Cincinnati, led by Frank Robinson's .335 avg. with 120 RBI, and Philadelphia, led by Cy Young award winner Chris Short (19-5), tied for the league title. The Reds won the one-game playoff game, 2-1 as Bob Purkey out-dueled Short. The great stat from the National League is that Barney Schultz the Cardinals closer had 21 saves and 0.00 ERA in pitching 48 innings.

 

Chicago won the World Series in five games by out-slugging Cincinnati. The
White Sox hit over .330 in the World Series as MVP pitcher Gary Peters won
two games and drove in three runs in the two games.
Cincinnati's only win was game three at Chicago with a come-from-behind 7-5 win in 20 innings. The Reds trailed 5-1 in the game and tied it with a two-run homer by Steve Boros in the ninth.


Mark Ducharme, East Weymouth, MA

 

 

“IT WAS SO CRAZY, YOU HAVE NO IDEA”

 

A 6-team league, face to face that is very competitive. My team, the Sharks, had struggled through a long season to finish in 5th place, barely making the playoffs. But as we all know, Strat is about the ROLLS, we have all had those games where the other guy is getting all the rolls, the whole season I got nothing. What I did have was a young Pujols, Beltran and Giambi in his prime. My team clawed and fought to win my first playoff series against 2nd place Copperhead, which finished 15 games ahead of my squad. The World Series was here and I was facing the goliath of the league who had flat out dominated me in the regular season by winning 25 out of 33 games. I somehow, still don't know how, made it to Game 7 of that series and in the bottom of the 8th down 4-0 made some huge moves that will go down in Strat history.

 

I pinch hit Jimmy Rollins with two outs and he walked. Beltran stepped up and hit a bomb to cut the lead to 4-2. The Big Unit was on the mound and had begun to tire. The inning ended as the Bandits went with Mariano Rivera. I was saying to myself, “How can I touch this guy, 1 maybe 2 hits on his card? How could I come so far to let the juggernaut take it away?” The ninth inning will forever be remembered as the shot heard around Enfield, CT. With 2 outs in the 9th and Rivera dominating, K’ing 5 out of 6 hitters, 3-12 hbp and 2-12 walk put the go-ahead run at the plate in Giambi. The other guy was quick to go to his lefty Billy Wagner and I had a choice to make: Stick with Giambi who hit lefties decent or go with one of the bigger World Series clutch hitters of all time? Giambi led my team during the regular season with a .293 avg, 23HR and 85 RBIs and also ripped 33 doubles. I did pinch-hit for Giambi and good old Mr. MVP of the 1998 World Series hit a 3-run home run on a straight up 3-5 roll vs. lefty, SCOTTY BROSIUS was the hero and always will be in our Strat league as the Sharks won the World Series 4 games to 3. It was so crazy, you have no idea. Keep the dice rolling forever!                                    

James Grigaitis, Enfield, CT

 

 

IT HAPPENS EVERY 20 YEARS

 

I think every SOM player dreams of a no-hitter.  I have come close on two occasions, though separated by about 20 years. Phillies super-sub Darrell Thomas broke up a Dwight Gooden no-hitter with two outs in the 9th back in the mid-1980's.  So I have waited a long time for opportunity number two.

 

I have just started replaying last season (2005) and have the Pirates taking on the Brewers at Miller ParkKip Wells vs. Doug Davis.  The previous night, Prince Fielder came through with a two-out pinch-hit home run to rally the Brewers to a 5-4 victory.  A day game followed and I decided to reward Fielder with a start at first even though Lyle Overbay was out hitting him to a .385 to .182 clip.

 

Go figure.  Kip Wells, while not perfect (4 walks) takes the no-no into the 9th. After JJ Hardy and Carlos Lee make outs, all that stands between a no-hitter hanging on my wall is one Prince Fielder.  Forget a hit.  Fielder blasts a bomb – and I mean BOMB to dead straightway centerfield.  It was one of those as-soon-as-you-see-the-ball-take-flight you know its gone.  A Chris Duffy never-moved-from-his-spot-in-center type gone.

 

Wells lost the shutout but won the game, while I hope not to wait another 20 years for the opportunity to complete the no-hit drought.  

 

Matt Gallagher, Phoenix 

 

 

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 you Great Moments in Strat to SOMTalkShow@aol.com. Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.

 

 

ED STROUD’S DAY AT THE RACES

 

            Gamer Steve Napoli is replaying the 1969 American League and Senators outfielder Ed Stroud is grateful. In an early-season game at Yankee Stadium, Stroud went 5-for-5 and laced three consecutive triples sandwiched between a pair of singles. Each of Stroud’s triples drove in runs. He had four RBIs and scored two runs in the Senators’ 7-3 victory.

 

 

TWINS’ MURDERER’S ROW: Zimmerman, Mincher, Quilici and Kaat

 

I'm replaying the 1965 AL season on the computer with the Minnesota Twins.  A GREAT MOMENT occured at Metropolitan Stadium against the New York Yankees. 

 

With the Yankees leading 3-2 and one out in the bottom of the 9th, PH Jerry Zimmerman triples (2/5 1-6) against Stottlemyre.  Versalles strikes out for the 2nd out.  Jimmie Hall then grounds one to SS Phil Linz who makes a bad throw for an error, Zimmerman scoring to tie it 3-3.  Bottom of the 10th 3-3, Don Mincher with a lead-off single, and with two out PH Frank Quilici draws a walk (3/2).  I have no more PH's on the bench to hit for the pitcher so I call on pitcher Jim Kaat (#4NL) to hit …

 

“2 on 2 out....Stottlemyre sets.....and the pitch.....LINE DRIVE RIGHT-CENTER FIELD (3-9 SI**).....HERE COMES MINCHER AND JIM KAAT WINS IT 4-3!!!!”

 

Frank Dyer, Beaver Dam, WI

 

 

SONNY JACKSON NEVER GOT OVER IT

 

My most compelling memory is the underhanded way I stopped a long hitting streak. In the 1966 or 1967 season (I forget which) my friend had the Houston Astros. Despite low probability, shortstop Sonny Jackson had a 31-game hitting streak. I was determined to stop it at any cost. So I intentionally walked Jackson three times. I let him hit the last time in the ninth inning. He made an out, going 0 for 1 in the game and having the hitting streak end. My friend won the game, but he didn't talk to me for a month

Dr. Edward (Ed) Bubnys, Ph.D., Cumberland, RI

WHAT A WAY TO LOSE A …

 

It's 1911. There are seven games left in the season after today. The Boston Red Sox are two games behind the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Athletics. Joe Wood is on the hill at Huntington Grounds facing the New York Highlanders. It's the top of the ninth, the Sox are up, 3-0...and Wood is three outs away from a -- sh-h-h! -- don't...say...it.

 

Pinch-hitting for New York pitcher Jack Warhop and leading off in the top of the ninth is ol' Eagle-Eye, Charlie Hemphill. He puts those good eyes to work and draws a walk, the third of the day for Wood.

 

The next batter steps in. Bert Daniels is 0-1, with a walk, and was also hit by a pitch in the fourth inning. He strikes out. Nine K's now for Wood. One out.

 

The dangerous Birdie Cree is next. He's been on a tear, hitting .376 coming into today's contest, 8-16 in the just-completed four-game series against the Tigers. Cree lofts a routine flyball to left. Caught by Duffy Lewis for out number two.

 

That brings Harry Wolter to the plate, New York's last chance. Hasn't hit the ball out of the infield in three tries. Runner on first, two outs. Here we go.


And just as I let the dice go, my wife comes in and says something to me. As I'm momentarily distracted, the dice tumble and roll, finally coming to a rest.


STRIKEOUT! GAME OVER!! NO-HITTER!!!


No. Wait. The 20-sided die came up “1.” Gotta check for a wild pitch. I roll it again. A “4” (Wood's WP number is “8”). Oh, no! Hemphill goes to second. Wolter steps back into the box. Here's the pitch:


LINE DRIVE INTO THE LEFT-CENTER FIELD GAP! THAT'S GOING TO FALL IN FOR EXTRA BASES! HEMPHILL ROUNDS THIRD. HE'LL SCORE EASILY, AS THE BALL IS CUT OFF AND WOLTER PULLS INTO SECOND WITH A DOUBLE! JOE WOOD'S NO-HITTER HAS FALLEN BY THE WAYSIDE IN WHAT APPEARS TO BE A MOMENTARY LOSS OF CONCENTRATION. WHATEVER RUFFLED HIS FEATHERS HAS COST HIM SHOT AT BASEBALL IMMORTALITY. NOW, HE HAS TO PULL HIMSELF BACK TOGETHER, BECAUSE THIS IS STILL A CRUCIAL GAME FOR THE RED SOX.

Hal Chase strikes out swinging to end the game.

The first thing that flashed through my mind is something I would have thought of years ago, playing Strat as a youngster: “I was distracted. I should re-roll that.”


It's amazing how realistic the game can get when you embrace the era and take the extra time to learn about the players. Then, toss in an unexpected dose of “real reality,” and it gets downright bizarre.

 

Jeff Woodhouse, Seattle, WA

 

            Gamer Jeff Woodhouse adds …

 

The 1911 replay was great fun, the most I've had in all my years of playing Strat (since 1971, off and on).


I was a Journalist during a 20-year Navy career, splitting my time pretty much equally between the print and broadcast mediums.  As my 1911 replay came to its stretch run, I had started sending updates to several people I with whom I correspond via e-mail.  These became full-blown summaries, newspaper-style, with a write-up for every game down the stretch and through the World Series.


I did extensive reading on the era and its players, and used these sources to inform my writing.  I even tried my hand at a few brief “personality pieces” and between-game filler stories during my World Series, in which the Giants turned the tables and beat the A's in seven games.  What great fun putting words in these former player’s mouths and trying to match their different personalities to my ongoing storyline.


Despite the different end result, an interesting fact came into play.  The 1911 Series was noted for its six-day rain delay between games three and four.  I didn't have that happen exactly, but through a weather effects extension I had rainouts postpone each of the first three games by a day.  And Frank “Home Run” Baker did hit two homers in my Series, as he actually did in 1911.

 

What made my Series particularly memorable was the number of “bean-ball” incidents.  John McGraw’s Giants’ teams were adept at crowding the plate and taking their licks on inside pitches, a skilled mastered by the Giants’ skipper in his own playing days.  In my Series, no less than four New York hitters were sidelined for various lengths, including both primary shortstops, Art Devlin and Art Fletcher.  In fact, pitcher-utility man Doc Crandall played the final three innings at short in Game Six, hitting a ninth-inning home run to ice the win.  Then, with order restored in the infield for Game Seven, Rube Marquard was shelled early and driven from the game.  The long man of choice?  Doc Crandall, who pitched five innings as the Giants rallied and won.  So, yes, Crandall played shortstop and hit a home run in Game Six, then pitched relief and won Game Seven!  The Babe Ruth of the Giants, in his own way.


I'm now working on the 1920 season, and have found many new things going on.  The Chicago “Black” Sox cards seem to be haunted by the sins of their ancestors and have started 0-8.  The Philadelphia A's are also 0-8, but that’s another matter entirely!  Strangely, in eight games, I've already rolled the 2-2 HBP plus injury twice on Ray Chapman, while in the Yankees first meeting with Chapman's Indians, it was Carl Mays who was sidelined by an injury.

 

It's fascinating to see the extensive player movement in the nine years between 1911 and 1920.  I had hoped for more of the Deadball Era in cards and dice format (one or two seasons between 1915 and 1919, so we could have Babe Ruth pitching and playing some outfield, as well as more continuity between the previously-issued sets.  While modern fans lament the rapid player movement from team-to-team in the free agent era, I'm looking forward (with some sadness) to seeing how the dismantling of Connie Mack's next A’s dynasty takes place after 1930.  To think the A’s, with a little more money, could have ended up being regarded as baseball's greatest dynasty in the first half of the century.  In an alternate timeline, they might still be in Philly!


I’m also looking forward to all those Giants-Dodgers and Dodger-Yankees wars down the road.  But since it takes me nearly a year to finish each 56-game season I play (448 games total, plus World Series, all solo C&D, stats lovingly tallied by hand, with pencil and paper), it’s going to take some time.


It’s a wonderful learning experience, not to mention great fun.  I’ll be glad to send more write-ups for your columns, if you wish.  However, I'm also mindful that there are many other fans out there to be heard from.

 

            We welcome more of your well-written tales anytime, Jeff. We won’t leave anyone else’s out.

 

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 you Great Moments in Strat to SOMTalkShow@aol.com. Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.

 

 

ANOTHER REASON NOT TO LEAVE THE BALLPARK EARLY

 

            I had been reading some of the “Great Moments in Strat” and finally had one of my own that I feel compelled to share.  My dad and I recently got the 2005 season and have been replaying through the Orioles campaign.  As the Orioles are his favorite team, he plays as them, and I play as the opponents.  (We use Glenn Guzzo's Baseball Replay Guide which I highly recommend btw).  Anyway, we had just finished a 5-4 Yankee victory to drop the Orioles to 1-4 and I remarked that we should play another quick

game before bed because we seemed to be able to avoid those 18-1 blowouts and our games are always close and exciting.  So we decided to play the final game of the

3-game set at Yankee Stadium: Rodrigo Lopez vs. Carl Pavano.  What started off as a weird game became the best game of Strat I have ever been a part of.

  

The game started badly for the Yankees as Pavano gave up 6 earned runs without recording an out.  I took him out and replaced him with Felix Rodriguez, and

the total 1st inning damage was 8-0.  He added a pair of runs in both the 2nd and 3rd innings to go up 12-0, before I finally managed to score a seemingly meaningless run

thanks to a Tino Martinez HR. He responded by scoring 3 more times, giving him a 15-1 lead after 3.5 innings, and almost surely starting to send some of the fans home

early.  I remarked that even Rodrigo Lopez could hold a 15-1 lead.  But 3 HR's in the bottom of the 4th made it 15-7, and suddenly I found myself plugging slowly away.

15-10 after 5, 15-11 after 6, 15-12 after 7.  Paul Quantrill was desperately holding down the fort.

           

Suddenly, it was the bottom of the 8th, no outs, 2 men on-base.  Back to back K’s only delayed the seemingly inevitable.  Tino Martinez's second HR of the night tied the game at 15-15!!  I had somehow scored 14-straight runs to climb out of a 15-1 hole and tie the score!  My dad remarked, “Well, the 8 people still left at the stadium would be going nuts!”  I could just imagine people trying to convince security personnel to allow them re-entry, to no avail.  I thought it would be ironic though if the O’s scored in the top of the 9th to win 16-15.  Sure enough, my dad rolled a 2 on a HR 1-3, fly (CF)B 4-20 split for Luis Matos to take a 16-15 lead, and B.J. Ryan closed the door for the save.

  

Nevertheless, it was an absolutely phenomenal game that took well over an hour to play.  There were 34 combined hits (NYY-19  BAL-15), 31 combined runs, 77

combined at-bats, and 12 combined homers.  Ironically enough, Felix Rodriguez threw 2 wild pitches that both plated runs and that ended up possibly being the difference in the game.  Not to mention that Mr. Old-Timer himself, Bernie Williams, was 5-for-5 with 3 RBIs, reminiscent of his glory days.  I just never imagined going from down 15-1 to losing in the 9th inning.  I know it is a game I will remember for a long time to come.

 

Box Score:

BAL 8 2 2  3 0 0  0 0 1   16 15 0

NYY 0 0 1 6 3 1  1 3 0   15 19 2

 

Scott D, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

 

 

Ever Ended A Game On An Inside-the-Park Homer?

 

I was playing a game via Netplay in a 1954 retro league (Golden Age Baseball League). It was the last game of a 4-game series – my team had won only one of the previous three games.

 

It was the bottom of the 11th inning and my team was down 4-3. Two outs and the immortal Milt Bolling at the plate. The ball was hit to deep right center. The opportunity for an inside-the-park home run popped up on the screen. The chance for success was 50%. An “end of the career” Ralph Kiner was on deck so I figured I'd take my chances with stretching the triple. The dice were rolled …

.

.

.

14 --------- awwwwwwwww maaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

 

Matt Runyon, Snowflake, AZ

 

KICKOFFS AND BOX CARS: Two and Out

 

Strato football league AFC divisional playoff game 2005:  Down by 14 midway in fourth quarter and I make a comeback to score my second straight touchdown with four ticks remaining on the clock.  I bench Corey Dillon and bring in Lamont Jordan.  To heck with the extra point for OT, all my players are at their limits.  Defense jams the line, I take Jordan around the end for a successful 2 point conversion. I’m up by one with three ticks left on the clock.  Can’t do onside kick for fear of short kick off recovery then completed pass with long field goal from opponent.  I kick away only to have my opponent roll box cars and return the kick for a TD.  I lose!  Extra kick in the rear happens with my NFC team (I was lucky enough to have both my AFC and NFC teams in the playoffs).  Same day, I play my NFC playoff game only to be down by 21 at the start of 4th quarter.  I score two straight touchdowns to get within 7 with 5 minutes left in the game.  I just need a three and out then drive it down his throat.  I kick off to my opponent who then rolls box cars and returns the kick off for another touchdown.  I lose!  My season ends for both teams with box-car kick off returns!

 

Mark from Dayton, Ohio

 

 

AN OFFENSE THAT WON’T QUIT, EVEN AFTER 20 RUNS

 

I play in a 20-team computer league where we carry over 20 players each year and design our own ballparks. Mine is the only extreme hitter’s park in the league: 16-1b, 16-HR for RH; 20-1b, 20-HR for LH; 160-2b, 160-3b; so I try to draft hitters with lots of BPHR while making sure I have a deep bullpen that does not give up homers.

 

Last year, for our 2004 season replay, my team started out with the likes of Eric Chavez, Carlos Beltran, and Todd Helton, and I drafted some good part-time cards like Miguel Ojeda, Vance Wilson, and Mike Lamb. Then along the way I traded away all of my great young talent (Crawford, Adam LaRoche, Chris Young, Blanton, just to name a few) to pick up Melvin Mora (to play SS) and Barry Bonds and several more nice role-players (Mohr, Mabry, etc.).

 

The result was a team that scored 1,314 runs over a 162-game season, including back-to-back games of 30 and 36 runs at one point (against an opponent with a very tired staff). I finished with a league-best 105 wins, thus securing home-field advantage for our playoffs.

 

I managed to advance to our World Series where I faced the team with the best pitching: Clemens, Santana, Burnett, Penny, Wagner, and Foulke. Game 1 is the Great Moment that I will never forget. Bottom of the first, Barry Bonds hits a 3-run HR, then Vance Wilson follows with a 2-run HR, and the other manager decides to pull Clemens after only 1 out. I score 2 more in the second and 6 in the third off of Penny, so Harikkala came in the fourth to mop up the rest of the way.

 

            I ended up scoring in every inning en route to a 24-1 victory. What was probably more amazing than my scoring 24 runs was that Escobar only gave up 4 hits in 8 1/3 IP. The next 3 games were tight, 1-run nail biters with me prevailing in games 2 and 4 while Jason Isringhausen blew the save and took the loss in game 3. But then I beat up on Santana early in game 5 and cruised to an 11-1 win behind Curt Schilling to take the series 4 games to 1.

 

Putting together such a great offense would be an accomplishment in an 8 or 12 team league, so I think doing it in a 20-team league was quite a feat. I am paying for the loss of young talent this year, though, with a 37-62 record to this point, which is why I wanted to take this opportunity to relive my Great Moment in Strat.

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 you Great Moments in Strat to SOMTalkShow@aol.com. Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.

 

 

A Legendary Battle for the Stratly Cup

 

I just replayed, in solitaire fashion, a 39-game season with the Hockey Hall of Fame set.  There were 10 teams: the Rangers, Bruins, Blackhawks, Maple Leafs, and Red Wings, two Montreal teams (one pre-WW11, once post war), a team of great pre-NHL players, and two expansion teams.

 

It actually is possible to divide the players in such a way so that each team has three forward lines and two defensive lines, and get two separate expansion teams out of the mix, but some creative tweaking has to be done (e.g., Lanny Macdonald as a Calgary Flame, not a Maple Leaf; Harry Howell as an LA King, not a Ranger, etc.)

 

The 10 teams were divided into two 5-team divisions, and each team played the other 4 teams in its division six times (24 games), and the 5 teams in the other division three times each (15 games), making the season 39 games long.

 

The top two teams in each division made the playoffs.

 

Bobby Orr won the scoring title and Denis Potvin came in second (with

only 2 defensive lines per team, defensemen saw much more playing time), and Wayne Gretzky came in third.

 

In the playoffs, the Rangers met the Bruins, and defeated them 4 games to 2.  The Maple Leafs met one of the two expansion teams, the one filled by Edmonton Oilers, and the Leafs triumphed, also 4 games to 2.

 

In the finals, the Rangers won games 1, 2, and 5.  The Leafs took games 3, 4, and 6.  I would've been very happy no matter how game seven played out; in my first league, there was a game seven in the finals.  But what a game it turned out to be!

 

Played in Toronto, the Rangers jumped out to a 3-0 lead after just one period.  It seemed like a lock for the Rangers.  But Toronto scored one goal in the second period, and one goal early in the third.  The Rangers, meanwhile, couldn't score again.  Down 3-2 with just minutes remaining, Toronto pulled its goalie, and, with less than a minute to play, Frank Mahovilch put the tying goal into the net, and the seventh game of the Stratly Cup Finals was going into OT!

 

After one OT period went by without score, the second OT period began.  A few minutes into it, Ranger defenseman Neil Colville got a breakaway, took the shot, and Toronto goalie Johnny Bower made an amazing save, but couldn't hold onto the puck.  It rebounded, was picked up by Andy Bathgate, and, a few seconds later, the Rangers were Stratly Cup champs, with a 4-3 Double OT win in Game Seven!

 

Two observations on the set as a whole:  All the teams and games were

competitive, even the team with the pre-NHL players.  But the Blackhawks really stunk!  They were by far and away the worst team. Maybe that's just luck, an anomaly in a small schedule; maybe, historically, they haven't had as many dominant Hall of Famers.  My

other, and main, objection regards how poorly Gordie Howe performed. About halfway through, I noted that he was nowhere near the league leaders in scoring, nor, for that matter, even near the Red Wings leaders.  I took his card out and studied it, and it isn't really all that good.  Granted, he never put up single season numbers like Gretzky (or even Espo), but, to my mind, his card really undervalues him.  Even the stats his card ascribes for him, during the hypothetical season upon which the cards are based, are not that impressive.

 

Oh well, other than that, the set made for a really enjoyable league. I look forward to replaying it during this coming (real life) hockey season, and seeing if the results are the same.

 

Jimmy G, Lewisburg, PA

 

[Note from Glenn Guzzo: For most of the era that has produced Hall of Fame players, the Blackhawks were lousy. Their last Stanley Cup was in 1960-61, the longest drought of any team. It took 41 years of NHL play for Chicago to lead the regular-season standings, in 1966-67. From 1946-47 through 1957-58, the Hawks made the playoffs just once, and finished last all but three times. They were so bad that the other NHL teams agreed to help restock the Hawks with talent. That’s how the Hawks got their future captain, Ed Litzenberger (from Montreal) and Eric Nesterenko (from Toronto), for example. The Hawks had a potentially dominant team from 1960 into the early 1970s – the period that produced the Hall of Fame cards for Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Pierre Pilote, Glenn Hall and Tony Esposito. Future Hall of Famers Chris Chelios and Ed Belfour played substantial parts of their careers as Blackhawks, but since NHL expansion Chicago’s best players mostly have been very good – Steve Larmer, Al Secord, Doug Wilson, etc. – not all-time greats. ]

 

 

He’s 16, Playing SOM for About as Long as He Can Remember

 

Eric Krentz from Eugene, OR reports that he is 16 years old and has been playing Strat-O-Matic Baseball for 7 or 8 years (about half his life). Some of his great moments go back to 1977 – the ’77 SOM baseball set, that is …

 

 

I've had some memorable moments in my couple of years, including 2 no-hitters and a perfect game. My first no-hitter was by Jim “Catfish” Hunter during my first ever SOM season. It was a short, 14-game, 10-team season with a 1977 league and a 1966 league. Hunter (1977 Yankees) threw his no-no against the 1977 Braves. I don't remember much about it.

 

The second no-hitter came in my 3rd season. It was a 6-team, 28-game season with a Fantasy Draft. I had 3 teams (Reno Air Racers, North Dakota Bluffs, Utah Raptors), my dad had 2 teams (Chico Heat, Idaho Spuds), and my sister had 1 (North Carolina Wright Flyers). We drafted one position at a time, alternating who picked first, except for the Utah Raptors. They got everyone left over (to have a really bad team). They were bad. 2-26 bad. The funny part was, Mike Maroth (from the 2003 Tigers where he lost 21) went 2-3, having all of the Raptors wins. I was playing my dad's team, the Chico Heat, which featured Manny Ramirez (2003), Ken Griffey Jr. (1997), Miguel Tejada (2002), Mark McGwire (2001), and Jay Buhner (1997). And that's just the offense. He also had the pitching of Russ Ortiz (2001, 17-9), Matt Morris (1998, 2.53 ERA in 112 IP), and Cory Lidle (2002, 3.89 ERA in 192 IP). The rotation wasn't overpowering and the offense ended up underachieving, resulting in the team missing the playoffs after losing a playoff with my Reno Air Racers. In this game, it was Matt Morris vs. Bob Wolcott (1997 SEA, 5-6, 6.03 ERA). This game wasn't even close. Behind a dominating Morris, the Heat slugged out 16 hits and scored 12 runs on an overwhelmed Raptors team. On several occasions, it looked like Morris would lose his no-hitter. Sometimes when I rolled, it would be a single, 1-15 or 1-16, with everything else being out. I always seemed to roll big numbers. Also, the Heat defense wasn't very good. The no-no always seemed to be looming and we were quiet every time the Raptors would hit. Of course, the Raptors were a terrible team. They hit .191 as a team and had a 6.53 team ERA. It was a fun idea.

 

The third no-hitter was a perfect game in my 4th season. This was a 10-team, 28-game season. It consisted of the 1927 Yankees, 2004 Angels, 2002 A’s, 2004 Astros, All-Star Mariners team (1997, 2003, 2004), All-Star Cardinals team (1998, 2003, 2004), 1931 A's, 2001 Giants, 1962 Mets, and 2004 Dodgers. This was a fun season where I had 5 teams, my dad had 3, and my sister had 2. The perfect game was by the 2002 A's against the 2004 Dodgers with sluggers like Adrian Beltre and Steve Finley. This shouldn't be a surprise since it consisted of Barry Zito (23-5, 2.75), Tim Hudson (15-9, 2.98), and Mark Mulder (19-7, 3.47). However, none of the pitchers threw the perfect one. It was none other than Cory Lidle, who was 8-10 with a 3.89 ERA. It was a scary rotation the A's had that year. The cool thing about this game was that it was one of a couple I played during a vacation to Vancouver, BC for a family reunion. Also, it took place only two days before my birthday.

 

That season, though, no pitcher came close to the consistency of the 31 A's Lefty Grove. Grove went 6-1 with a 0.86 ERA in 7 starts. He had 7 CG, 4 Shutouts, and only gave up 21 hits and 6 runs in 63 IP. He threw one 1-hitter, five 3-hitters, and his only loss came against 2004 Angels, where he gave up 3 runs on 6 hits. He got our Cy Young award hands down. There was zero debate.

 

One major feat from these short seasons is from Barry Bonds. In 28 games, Bonds (from the 2003 Giants), hit .382 with 31 R, 22 HR, and 50 RBI. Think of this as one month. I thought this was incredible. On opening day for his team (a team of nameless players called the Texas Hobbits, who actually ended up at 16-12 all because of Bonds), Bonds hit 4 HR including a Grand Slam, driving in 10, leading the Hobbits to a 13-5 win over the 2003 Twins.

 

Currently, I'm doing a 2005 full replay season. I haven't gotten really far (I've only played about 150 games of the 2430), mostly because I'm 16 and school is more important that SOM right now. However, I had one crazy game between the Blue Jays and the Athletics. Here is the Box Score:

 

TORONTO

                        ab   r   h   rbi

Menechino DH    5   2   3   0

Rios ph-DH         1   1   1   0

Catalanotto LF    5   3   3   0

Gross ph-LF       1   0   0   0

Wells CF            7   1   4   4

Hillenbrand 1B     7   1   2   3

Hinske C*           6   1   2   1

Johnson RF        7   1   3   0

Hudson 2B         6   2   2   0

Koskie 3B          1   0   0   0

Hill 3B                6   1   1   2

Adams SS          6   1   2   2

 

Totals                 58  14 23 14

 

OAKLAND

                          ab   r   h   rbi

Kendall C             8   1   2   1

Johnson 1B          6   1   3   1

Ellis 2B                6   0   1   1

Chavez 3B            7   3   4   2

Payton RF^           7   3   4   2

Swisher RF           0   0   0   0

Kotsay CF            6   2   2   2

Scutaro SS           7   2   4   3

Hatteberg DH       7   0   3   0

Thomas LF           3   0   0   0

Durazo ph             1   1   1   0

Kielty LF               1   0   0   0

 

Totals                   59 13 24 13

 

Toronto..................................603   030   000   011   -14

Oakland.................................502   120   200   010   -13

 

E-Adams (3), Ellis (1). DP-Toronto 1, Oakland 1. LOB-Toronto 13, Oakland 17. 2B-Hillenbran (3), Wells 2(3), Hatteberg (1), Payton (4). 3B-Johnson (TOR)(2). HR-Hill (1), Kendall (1), Scutaro (1), Chavez 2(4), Kotsay (1), Johnson (OAK)(1), Payton 2(4). SB-Adams (1), Rios (1). SF-Ellis.

 

TORONTO

                           ip   h   r   er   bb  so

Lilly                      3   8   7   7   1   1

McGowan             2   4   3   2   0   1

Walker, bsv      1 1-3   2   2   2   0   0

Schoenweis        2-3   0  0   0   0   0

Chulk              1 1-3   3   0   0   1   1

Frasor             1 2-3   2   0   0   2   0

Batista, bsv, W, 1-0 1 2-3 5 1 1  0   1

Speier, sv, 1       1-3   0   0   0   0   1

 

OAKLAND

Blanton                 3  10  9   9   3   3

Witasick               1   1   0   0   1   0

Rincon                  1   4   3   2   0   0

Calero                   2   3   0   0   0   3

Duchscherer          2   0   0   0   0   1

Street                    2   3   1   1   0   2

Harden, L, 0-1        1   2   1   1   0   2

 

*-All other catchers were injured or needing rest (Gregg Zaun was injured, Huckaby needed rest, so I moved Hinske to catcher as a 5).

^-injured in the 12th inning for 5 games

 

There was a total 27 runs and 47 hits. I was wondering what the major league record is for most combined runs and hits. [Note from Glenn Guzzo: In 1922, the Chicago Cubs beat the Philadelphia Phillies 26-23. In 1933, Cleveland (a post-1900 record 33 hits) and the Philadelphia A’s combined for 58 hits in an 18-inning game. The A’s won, 18-17.]

 

 Also, the A's had 8 HR compared to the Blue Jays' 1. You also probably noticed that the score after 1 inning was 6-5 Jays. The Blue Jays are currently leading the AL East with a 10-4 record after 2 weeks of play. Another note is that Eric Hinske has 11 doubles in those first 14 games. I've enjoyed attempting a replay season and I'm only playing the AL part until I get to interleague play. I realize that this will take me at least five years, but I figure it will be worth it.

 

 One thing I may write about at a later date would be the “Krentz Classic II.” The original Krentz Classic was a 78 team tournament that my dad and my uncle did when they were kids back in the early 70s. If I remember right, the 1927 Yankees beat out the 1965 Dodgers. However, the Krentz Classic II is a monster tournament consisting of all 215 of our teams (except for my 2005 teams). Every game is played one-on-one with my dad. The first round is single elimination to narrow down the number of teams. Then, I will rank all the teams based on their win/loss records. I will match up the teams in opposing fashion (much like the NCAA Basketball tournament) and put them in a bracket. The first two rounds of that will be one-match playoffs and then the rounds after that will be best two out of three. The semis will be best of five and the final will be best of seven.

 

Thank you, SOM!

 

Eric Krentz, Eugene, OR

 

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 you Great Moments in Strat to SOMTalkShow@aol.com. Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.

 

 

WHEN SCORES – AND EMOTIONS – RUN HIGH

 

This game was played with so much intensity that the loser of the game, ripped up the SOM Board and walked out of the house! The year was 1978, my STRAT buddies all agreed to coach a team for one year. There was a 16-game schedule, we were re-playing the 1977 schedule of the team that we chose to coach. At the end of the season we held a playoff and Super Bowl for the champions.

My buddy and I were coaching the hapless New Orleans Saints against my other friend's team, the Dallas Cowboys. The Dallas Cowboys were the Super Bowl Champs of 1977, and they were a powerful team. We built up a 35-7 lead at halftime with the ‘Aints.  Archie Manning was picking apart the mighty Dallas defense. We taunted, yelled, screamed obscenities, and made fun of the opposing coach. It was so loud in the room that my sister asked us to hold it down because she couldn't concentrate on her studies.

He was speechless. At halftime, he couldn’t take it anymore. He grabbed the SOM board, ripped it right down the middle, told me that he wasn't paying for it and walked out of the house. We were stunned! We couldn’t believe that we had gotten to him that bad!

Needless to say, he came back after lunch and we made up and finished the game. The ‘Aints won, 42-17.  The Cowboys went on to finish 11-3 that year, and they wound up winning the Super Bowl for the neighborhood STRAT league. It is a memory that we will never forget.

 

Kelly Hibbs, Rivesville WV

 

SEEING DOUBLE, Part I

 

I have finished replaying the 1967 baseball season of my favorite team, the Braves.  I used exact lineups as provided by the Retrosheet website.  On June 18 of that year, Don Wilson of the Houston Astros tossed a no-hitter at the Braves in the Astrodome.  The score was 2 to 0.  I replayed that game and the outcome was the same.  A no-hitter by Wilson with the same 2 to 0 score.  Uncanny, but fantastic.  I love Strat-O-Matic’s realism!

Ron Van Berkum, North English, Iowa

 

 

SEEING DOUBLE, Part II

 

I introduced my girlfriend to Strat-O-Matic this month (October 2006).  In our first game, she was playing the ‘27 Yankees versus my ‘61 Tigers.  Both teams battered the opposing starters (Waite Hoyt for the Yanks, Jim Bunning for the Tigers).  In a see-saw game that saw several lead changes, the Tigers finally went on top in the 12th inning, taking a 7-5 lead, thanks mainly to a two-out fielding chart reading off Yankee SS Mike Gazella’s card that lead to a two-out SINGLE*, starting a rally.  This is the same Gazella my girlfriend substitued for Mark Koenig earlier (and about which I remarked at the time, “You might not want to take him out”).

 

So, it was up to Terry Fox, who I had brought in in the 10th inning, to close things out.  Fox managed to allow a run, then put men on 2nd and third, with Ben Paschal due up, and two outs.  Paschal had already homered twice, so the intentional walk seemed to make sense.  Who did that bring to the plate?  Mike Gazella.

 

Needless to say, Gazella doubled, plating two runs and leading my girlfriend to chant his name over and over again.  What a great introduction to a great game!

 

Charles Eichman, Kyle, TX

 

 

PADILLA DOESN'T DISAPPOINT THE FLOTILLA

 

My dad and I are playing through the Orioles 2005 season and I play as the opponents.  A few games ago we had the Phillies at the Orioles, Vicente Padilla vs. Erik

Bedard.  The Phillies won 6-0 behind Padilla’s 1-hit complete game shutout.  Not only was that the closest we had come to seeing a no-hitter during our replay, it was ironic because I am good friends with and graduated from high school with the guys who started the Padilla Flotilla fan club (which was on ESPN by the way).  Also, the only

away games they could travel to were those at Baltimore, and, if I recall, they were actually at the same game that we were replaying.  I could just envision them cheering,

rowing, saluting, and bowing in unison as they watched Padilla’s gem of an outing.  Pretty awesome stuff.

 

Scott D., Florida

 

 

25 YEARS, AND GUESS WHICH TEAM GETS NO-HIT

 

I will always remember Columbus Day 2006. After 25 years of playing SOM baseball, I had my first no-hitter. I sent the lowly 1978 Mets up to Fenway to face the hard-hitting 1978 Red Sox. Jerry Koosman, with 3 wins all of 1978, no-hit the Red Sox. Besides Fred Lynn being out with injury (Gary Hancock replaced him in CF), all other regulars were in the lineup. I don't know what was more bizarre: the no-hitter or Bruce Boisclair getting 2 SBs in the game.

 

                                                Mark Simpson, Colonia, N.J 

 

AN 8-YEAR-OLD’S JOY

 

My oldest son (8 years) finally started to show a real interest in baseball this summer (much to my relief), so I figured it was time to introduce him to Strat-O-Matic, which I haven't played in 15 years or so.  I dug my old game and all of my cards (many sets) out and we put together an 8 team league using players mixed from all generations in one league and a mixture of stars and more pedestrian players ... like real baseball.  We are playing the basic game with a mixture of advanced rules we’ve mixed in, a very fun way to play.

 

    Our first battle featured Rochester (my club) versus Oklahoma City (his).  The game was a classic pitching duel as Dave Boswell and Sid Fernandez baffled the hitters on both teams.  Fernandez went 6 1/3 innings scattering 7 hits with 5 strikeouts, only to be losing 2-1.  Rochester scored their 2 runs in the third when Ozzie Smith opened the inning with a triple.  Two batters later Randy Ready singled him in and after a Chili Davis single, Don Mattingly singled in Ready for the second run.

 

     My son’s lone run also came in the 3rd on a Kelly Gruber solo blast.

 

     Dave Boswell went 6 2/3 and Mark Littell did a nice job in 1 1/3 innings of relief, bringing my son’s team up in the bottom of the ninth. Dick Hall attempted to finish the game for the save.

 

     Imagine my son's excitement as Phil Bradley doubled to open the bottom half of the inning and Mickey Mantle followed with a walk.  Gruber again came through, following with an RBI-single scoring Bradley and sending Mantle to 3rd.

 

     Lonnie Frey popped out and Dwight Smith ended the game heroically with an RBI-single, scoring Mantle to win the game with Mike Marshall picking up a nice win in relief.

 

     As Joel ran around the house yelling and screaming in victorious joy, I knew at that moment that Strat-O-Matic Baseball had just added another lifelong fan to the ranks.

 

    Thanks, Strat-O-Matic ... the game simply rules.

 

Oklahoma City - Maury Wills, Phil Bradley, Mickey Mantle, Kelly Gruber, Lonnie Frey, Dwight Smith, Mike LaValliere, Joe Orsulak, Frank Torre

 

Rochester - Randy Ready, Chili Davis, Eric Davis, Don Mattingly, Carlton Fisk, Danny Tartabull, Lee Lacy, Ozzie Smith, Jim Gantner

 

 

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 you Great Moments in Strat to SOMTalkShow@aol.com. Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.

 

 

Three-In-One

 

Moment #1 - Playing the college football game, my alma mater William & Mary is playing my wife's alma mater Duquesne. It should be an easy win for the Tribe (2004 version) as they have the "competition" advantage over the smaller school built into the game. Early on, it's all W&M as they jump out to a 17-6 lead. Then, the turnovers and penalties mount and Duquesne begins to pound the flat passes and get back into the game. With time running out, Duquesne trailing 28-23, converts a key 4th and 11 - then scores a TD with :08 left! They get the 2-point conversion to go up 31-28. My wife stops by to see how the game's going (she's predicted a Duquesne upset). She see the score and howls with triumphant laughter. An upset is all but certain. W&M returns the ball to their own 40. :01 left, nothing to do but throw the bomb and hope. Duquesne goes into its 2-deep zone. W&M's QB heaves the ball...complete...TOUCHDOWN! The Tribe wins it 35-31!

 

Moment #2 - With my 4-year-old son at the controls, Notre Dame trails Michigan 24-20, with the ball at their own 15 and 1:15 to play. He calls the plays, I work the clock management. With the skills of an all-american offensive coordinator, he leads the Irish to the Michigan 40 with :15 left. He calls the bomb, complete! 39 yards and out of
bounds at the 1 with :08 left. I advise a pass, as ND is out of time outs. He ignores me and calls an end run to the halfback. It works! He scores the TD and Notre Dame leads 27-24 with :01 left. ND kicks off and
Michigan can only advance 30 yards as time runs out!

 

I love the college football game. Great games galore! And my son and I love how you can save the fight songs to play when a TD is scored. A great job by SOM!

 

Moment #3 - At the end of my 1969 NL baseball replay (which took nine years to finish!) - The NL West has five teams within three games of each other with two weeks to play. The Dodgers take first, then fade. The season ends with the Giants beating the Padres 7-6 as Nate Colbert strikes out with the bases loaded and two outs in the 9th and the Braves beat the Reds 3-2 as Hoyt Wilhelm fans Tony Perez with the tying run on base and two out in the 9th. So, the season ends with the Braves and Giants tied at 90-72! A one-game play-off pits Ron Reed vs. Juan Marichal. Amazingly, Aaron, Carty and Cepeda hit back-to-back-to-back homers off Marichal in the first inning, the Braves go up 5-0, then San Fran scraps back to 5-3 and loads the bases in the 9th with Willie Mays up! Wilhelm manages to get him and the Braves win the Division, 5-3!


1969 NL is a great season to play. The teams are all pretty good, except the Phillies, Expos, and Padres and you can have super-close races in both divisions. The Mets won the East in my replay with a hot second-half, passing the Pirates. The playoffs await – Mets vs. Braves!

Steve Walker, Ellicott City, MD

 

A Game Made for a Pitcher’s Duel

 

Well, Strat fans, I just played a gem of a game with my new 1965 season set.  I quickly opened the 1965 set as it hit my front porch and set up a classic battle.  The Dodgers went to Candlestick to battle the Giants.  The pitching matchup was Sandy Koufax vs. Juan Marichal.  What a game it was!

 

After Maury Wills flied out to start the game, Jim Gilliam promptly deposited Marichal's first pitch into the left field seats to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.  It looked like that one run would be all that Koufax would need.  Koufax was perfect through five innings.

 

Tom Haller led off the bottom of the sixth with a home run to even the score at 1-1.  The pitching duel was on.  Marichal gave up a few hits along the way, yet kept the Dodgers off the scoreboard.  Meanwhile, Koufax retired the next 12 hitters to force extra innings.

 

I figured I’d let each pitcher go another inning and then send in the bullpen to decide the game.  The bullpen never got a phone call.  Marichal got the Dodgers out 1-2-3 in the top of the 10th.  Matty Alou started the bottom of the inning by lining out to Wes Parker at 1st base.  Then up came Willie Mays.  Mays was 0-for-3 on the day and I rolled the dice. The result was 1-2-2.  So I looked up 1-4 on Mays' card vs. a lefty and almost fell out of my chair.  Willie hit it out!  The Giants mobbed him at home plate after watching his walk-off shot clear the fences.  What a finish!

 

Here are the pitching lines:

 

Marichal: 10 IP 7H 1R 1ER 0BB 4K-WIN

Koufax:   9 1/3 IP 2H 2R 2ER 0BB 4K- LOSS

 

Yeah, folks, Koufax pitched a 2-hitter and LOST!

 

Lee Ursich, San Pedro, CA

 

 

The Legend of Andruw Jones

 

Playing head-to-head in a six-team, 162-game schedule can be emotional, especially on a hot summer night in late August. We often get “fired up” on lucky rolls, but on this night luck was not involved. His team Copperhead was coming into my huge park, HRs and singles on a 1, with identical records. Game 1 bottom of the ninth, 3-2 lead for him, one on and Andruw Jones smashes a 1-5 straight up to win it for me. Game 2 with him leading 5-3 in the 8th and 2 outs again, 2 on and Jones to the plate: BOOM 1-9 straight up, he flips the pitcher card, who happens to be Huston Street, at me. It’s not my fault it landed in the cat’s water. He is steaming! That’s what makes head to head so great. Game 3: Jones again blasts his third straight game-winning homer in, yes, you guessed it, the bottom of the ninth with 2 outs – only this time it was a grand salami down 3-1 and he was thinking about walking him in that situation to force in a run.

 

 Unbelievable as usual; nothing amazes me anymore with the dice. He stormed out of the house (with a wet Street) and didn’t call me for two weeks. We have now since finished the regular season with him finishing in second and me fifth. But for that hot August night the Strat world stood still and Andruw Jones smacked copperhead in three straight.

 

Some final stats: Jones .233, 51 HR,105 RBI. For a huge park he did well, not to mention his 1(-4) defense. Pedro was lights out: 20-6, 2.27, 235Ks – Cy Young of the league. I think the park really helped.

 

PS: A really fun day is when we drive up to Glen Head, about two hours away, and wait in line with many other Strat-crazed fans in late Feburary. Last year about 100 or so. Great fun forever. I loved the wife and kids waiting with one guy last year.

 

 

Loading the Deck of Cards

 

My final record was 141 wins and 21 losses!  How did the 1980 St. Louis Cardinals accomplish that feat?  Well, I used some of the Hall Of Fame players along with the regular Cardinals.  I had Charley Gehringer and Arky Vaughn on the infield, along with Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron in the outfield.  Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Pete Alexander were in the starting rotation, and 1979 Bruce Sutter was the relief ace.

 

At one point we rolled through the competition with 33 consecutive wins! Aaron out-homered Mantle 52-51 and Koufax led in wins with 28.  Oddly enough, the World Series against the Royals was all too close!  George Brett went crazy, was something like 16-27 during the Series, and it went the full seven games.  On top of that, we trailed 3-2 in the bottom of the 8th in Game 7, and had first and second with nobody out.  Aaron popped out, Mantle struck out, but then George Hendrick nailed a 3-run homer to give us the 5-3 lead.  Sutter finished off the 9th, and I celebrated another world championship. 

 

Obviously, it was a fantastic job of managing that propelled us to the 141 wins and the world championship.  I mean, it certainly couldn’t have been talent, there really wasn’t any.

Mike Craney, Loogootee, IN

 

 

39 Years Without a No-Hitter, So Call On Glen Hobbie

 

I started playing Strat-O-Matic baseball in 1967 so I have been playing for 39 years. Never had the pleasure of seeing a no-hitter, neither with the cards or now with the computer version.

 

Well, after 39 years I am playing a short 20 games each season with the 1958 teams. On Nov. 13 I played the Chicago Cubs against the St. Louis Cardinals. The starting pitchers were Glenn Hobie for the Cubs and Sam Jones for the Cardinals. The game started by exchanging 0s until the top of the 3rd, when Walt Moryn blasted a 2-run shot to left center making it Cubs 2, St Louis 0. The Cubs got 2 runs in the top of their 6th and 4 more in the top of the 7th.

 

In the bottom of the 7th, Hobbie gave up five consecutive base on balls so the Cards, still without a hit, got three runs. I relieved Hobbie with Bill Henry, who closed the inning still with no hits. Then he proceeded to throw two more scoreless innings without allowing a hit. There I had it! I could not believe I had my first no hitter! If it wasn’t for the seven bases on balls that Hobbie allowed I would not have relieved him and maybe – who knows? – I wouldn’t had the no-hitter.

 

 I was ecstatic and dumbfounded. I printed the box score for the posterity. The funny thing is I had just purchased the 1958 season a few weeks ago. The Cards were a team with various stars – Curt Flood, Stan Musial, Ken Boyer – so it’s amazing.

 

The day before I was playing the White Sox against the Indians and Billy Pierce  threw 8 2/3 inning before he surrendered a hit, so I was disappointed, but I was rewarded the next day. SOM is the best game that I have ever played in my 55 years.

Orlando Leon, Polk City, FL