All of Baseball’s Greatest in 2 New Sets
Hall of Fame 2010 and Baseball Heroes Showcase 300+ Players
By Glenn Guzzo
With Strat-O-Matic’s 50th birthday near, the game company is celebrating by offering more than 300 of baseball’s greatest retired players in two exciting new sets.
First, due this summer or fall, is the Hall of Fame 2010 set of more than 230 players (visit www.strat-o-matic.com for ordering information).
Then, at Opening Day 2011 – the comencement of the 50th anniversary of the company – Strat-O-Matic will unveil a 108-card Baseball Heroes set of players not (yet) in the Hall of Fame.
Both sets will be in card form and for the computer. The two-sided cards will be printed on perforated card stock in color, characteristic of SOM’s current-season card sets.
Both sets will be based on the players’ best seven seasons, like the glossy Hall of Fame 2000 collectible set.
The new Hall of Fame set will be more than an update, though it will include the 18 Major Leaguers elected to the Hall since the Hall of Fame 2000 set was published. It will be a colossal new set combining the HOF 2000 players, the newly elected players, the 28 Hall of Famers included in SOM’s recent Negro League special edition and a very special bonus: Strat-O-Matic’s first-ever pitching card for Babe Ruth.
Strat-O-Matic creator and President Hal Richman said the company would undertake ground-breaking research into lefty-righty statistics and other data to produce the Ruth pitching card, since he pitched exclusively in an era before such stats are available, even in modern databases.
The Ruth pitching card was inspired, in part, by the three Negro League Hall of Fame players who have two cards each in the NL set. Pitcher/outfielder Bullet Joe Rogan, pitcher/infielder Jose Mendez and pitcher/infielder/outfielder Martin DiHigo each will have two cards in the Hall of Fame 2010 set.
For the first time, Strat-O-Matic gamers will get to play all of the best Major Leaguers and Negro Leaguers in the same set. Compare Johnny Bench and Josh Gibson, Ty Cobb and Oscar Charleston, Lou Gehrig and Buck Leonard, Honus Wagner and Willie Wells, Rickey Henderson and Cool Papa Bell, Walter Johnson and Satchel Paige.
Richman said this would be a “pure Hall of Fame” set, without the three non-Hall players added to the HOF 2000 set — Pete Rose, Joe Jackson and Carl Mays. But it will have all the players elected since then: C Gary Carter, 1B Eddie Murray, 2B Ryne Sandberg, Joe Gordon and Bill Mazeroski, 3B Wade Boggs, SS Cal Ripken and Ozzie Smith, IF Paul Molitor, OF Andre Dawson, Tony Gwynn, Rickey Henderson, Kirby Puckett, Jim Rice and Dave Winfield, and P Dennis Eckersley, Goose Gossage and Bruce Sutter.
The first of what is expected to be several special announcements to commemorate Strat-O-Matic’s 50th anniversary is the Baseball Heroes set.
While the complete roster is still in development, Strat-O-Matic will showcase retired players who are not – or at least not yet – in the Hall of Fame.
This will ease the angst of gamers who believe that such players as Bert Blyleven, Roberto Alomar and Tim Raines already should have been elected to the Hall. This will cure the wait for such sure-thing Hall of Famers not yet eligible for induction as Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson and Frank Thomas. This will overcome the debate about whether record-setting players implicated in the use of performance-enhancing drugs should be elected to the Hall.
In an online poll of gamers, more than 70 percent said they favored including such retired stars as Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa in the Baseball Heroes set. They’re in.
The set is expected to include players from all Major League eras, with statistics normalized for their era.