GREAT MOMENTS IN STRAT
Match This, Albert Pujols
Albert Pujols had a game for the ages in International Baseball Association action (2009 cards). Pujols, a member of the Arizona Coyotes playing on the road against the Milwaukee Mad Dogs hit three homers in a game. However, the score was tied at 8 after the regulation 9 innings, so as the late Skip Carey used to say, it was time for free baseball.
Still tied in the 11th, Chipper Jones led off for Arizona with a single. Pujols followed and deposited the first pitch he saw in the left field seats for a two-run homer, his fourth of the game, giving the Coyotes a 10-8 lead. At this point, the wheels came off Milwaukee’s bullpen and the Coyotes batted around. With one out and two men on, Pujols came up again and hit another homer. Unbelievable! Two homers in an inning, five homers in the game! Arizona won 18-8. Pujols’ line was: 7 5 5 11
Bob Routier, Johns Creek, GA
The Greatest Season
I just finished the regular season of my custom league and two amazing records were set. 1998 Denver’s Terrell Davis rushed for 2171 yards, 21 TDs, with a 6.0 YPC. 2006 Indy’s Peyton Manning shared the league MVP award with Davis by passing for 5503 yards with 44 TDs and a passing rating of 97.9. Both yardage records are remarkable considering each week they were playing against excellent teams.
One game featured a record-setting classic between the 2005 Seahawks at the 2006 Colts. I always play as the home team. It was a crucial game for both teams as they both came into the game with 9-5 records and fighting for playoff spots. With 7:04 remaining Seattle held a 38-24 lead. Peyton Manning performed his MVP-leading season magic and Indy tied it with 22 seconds left to send the game into OT. On the Colts’ second possession Reggie Wayne caught a bomb down to Seattle’s 11 and Adam Vinatieri kicked the winning 28-yard FG on the next play to win it 41-38. When I looked at the box score after the game my eyes just about popped out of my head. Peyton Manning was 37-62 for 690 yards and 5 TDs. That yardage is the highest I’ve seen in SOM history (beating Matt Cavanaugh’s 627 when I replayed the 1981season). Wayne ended up with 241 yards and Marvin Harrison had 212. What a game!
In another crucial late-season game, the ’68 Chiefs visited the ’84 Dolphins in a huge, Week 15 match-up with both teams battling for a playoff spot. KC took them apart 48-37 (not as close as it sounds). Dan Marino was hounded from the beginning and threw for 461 yards and 5 TDs, but was intercepted 9 (nine!) times (and that was in Marino’s record-setting season in yards and TDs). Emmitt Thomas had four of the picks, one of which was a 73 yard pick six. Buck Buchanan overpowered LG Roy Foster at his leisure and had 6 sacks.
With one week left in my custom-league regular season, there were 10 teams still alive for the two wild-card playoff spots. I figured out that there were 128 different ways the games could go (i.e., Baltimore loses, Kansas City wins, Buffalo loses, Jacksonville wins, etc.) and who the two wild-cards would be based on each scenario, using the current NFL tiebreakers. There was one scenario where eight of the 10 teams were all tied at 7-9 for the second wild-card spot (parity lives!). Needless to say, this all took a few hours, but it was worth it. I guess I’m a true Strat-O-Matic fanatic.
Mark D. Harrington, Everett, WA