OPENING DAY 2004
Gamers Pursuing 2003 Baseball Cards and Disks
Share Timeless Stories of Their Common Bond
By Glenn Guzzo
This year’s Opening Day crowd of about 200 Strat-O-Matic fanatics came from near and far, braving windy, 20-degree weather to fulfill various pledges to themselves and to others.
Paul Crane drove six hours from
Jim Nancarrow said his pilgrimage to “
Distance did not stop Steven Dufresne, either. He made the eight-hour drive from
Ed Griffin of the 24-man Fly-By-Night Baseball Association, awoke at but still wasn’t first in line. He’d had to drive from
Weather was a factor – league members Jim Sarrantonio of
But those freezing in line saw things that took their frosty breath away and other things that warmed their hearts. For instance, 20 degrees in late January apparently was just a breath of fresh air for Greater Philadelphia Beer League champion James Warrington, who decided that a T-shirt was the proper attire.
In 180-degree contrast to the huddled masses who typically show up in hooded sweatshirts and jeans, four league members from New Jersey showed up in Glen Head an hour after leaving the funeral for long-time Strat gamer Tom Swank (see separate article on Strat-O-Sphere). “We were the ones in suits,” Alan Rowland said of Kevin Gibson, Erik Johansson, Chris Potter and himself. This also was the first Opening Day for Gibson and Johansson.
Given the off-season defections of Yankees pitchers Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte to
In another spot, 8-year-old Brendan Mallon of
Old and new came together last week in other ways.
Alan Horowitz, a 30-year-gamer, was in Glen Head to buy a game for his 8-year-old son. And Cole Doty, a board gamer since 1967, trekked from
But for Jim Colquhoun of
Whether they come to get their Strat-O-Matic cards on Day One for a competitive edge or for the pure joy of it, for the novelty or out of habit, gamers invariably say they love sharing the personal stories of others who share their passion. It makes the time pass quickly, the weather bearable and the expense worthwhile. It’s the second best part of their trip – right after the moment they tear open their new set of cards.