GREAT MOMENTS IN STRAT
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
(And Navy Appears to be The Team to Beat)
I am playing a tournament in Strat College Football and an early first-round matchup pitted Navy at
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 –
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
Early in the 3rd quarter, Navy’s back-up halfback rolled off a 78-yard TD run for a 17-3 lead.
With the momentum,
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
I’ve played thousands of games since, none have matched that one.
WITH BONDS OUT, PAVANO SAVES THE SERIES
Strato is so AMAZING! The
GREAT MOMENTS IN STRAT
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.
WHERE’S THE FAT LADY WHEN YOU NEED HER?
In this year’s mail league IBL World Series, my
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.
The other game was actually the first Strat-O-Matic Baseball game I played in 2006. It featured the San Diego Padres against the
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!
P.S. After the game, ESPN Classic called, requesting my score sheets for these 2 games.
(no name provided)
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
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.
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
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 (
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
GREAT MOMENTS IN STRAT
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.
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.
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.
“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
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
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.
GREAT MOMENTS IN STRAT
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
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
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
Dr. Edward (Ed) Bubnys, Ph.D.,
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.
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,
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.
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
I’m now working on the 1920 season, and have found many new things going on. The
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
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.
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
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
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!
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
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.
[Note from Glenn Guzzo: For most of the era that has produced Hall of Fame players, the Blackhawks were lousy. Their last
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
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:
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
Koskie 3B 1 0 0 0
Hill 3B 6 1 1 2
Totals 58 14 23 14
ab r h rbi
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
E-Adams (3), Ellis (1). DP-Toronto 1,
ip h r er bb so
Lilly 3 8 7 7 1 1
McGowan 2 4 3 2 0 1
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
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
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
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!
GREAT MOMENTS IN STRAT
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
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.
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
Ron Van Berkum, North English,
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!
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
rowing, saluting, and bowing in unison as they watched Padilla’s gem of an outing. Pretty awesome stuff.
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
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.
Rochester – Randy Ready, Chili Davis, Eric Davis, Don Mattingly, Carlton Fisk, Danny Tartabull, Lee Lacy, Ozzie Smith, Jim Gantner
GREAT MOMENTS IN STRAT
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
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
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!
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
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!
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
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.
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