Baseball Trade Deadline Promotion Winners

Last week Strat-O-Matic launched a promotion around baseball’s July 31st trade deadline. SOM Fanatics were encouraged to send in their stories (300 words or less) of the best or worst Strat-O-Baseball trades they have ever made in their leagues. The top five stories, as decided by Strat, will be rewarded with 50% off any single baseball product.
Here are the five winners of the July 31st Trade Deadline Promotion (in alphabetical order):
Bob Baurkot

I figured I would bring up my best trade since it led to a championship!
I was brought into a draft league in the 80s (I believe it was called the Penn-Jersey SOM Leagues). I was given a new ‘expansion’ team based on the 1987 season — with many strikes against me, such as I got the last pick in the first round (so as not to punish the existing franchises) — plus they were allowed to protect their top 15 players, so that means my best player was going to be at best the 16th best player from any other team.
As expected, I got hammered that first season — I think I had a similar record as the ’62 Mets, possibly slightly better, I think I was around 50-112.  The next season, I had the #1 pick — and in an attempt to fill in many holes, I decided to trade it for the best offer. I got Nick Esasky, Gary Gaetti, Robin Yount, and Dennis Martinez — all in exchange for my #1 pick. I faired much better that 2nd season (1988), with over 70 wins — but each of these players ended up having huge 1989 seasons, and in our next season, based on 1989, my team ended up winning an amazing 108 games (I also had other players with huge years, HoJo, Lonnie Smith, Dwight Smith), and won the championship that year! To cap it off, Dennis Martinez pitched a no-hitter in the World Series finale. I still have my scoresheets saved!
Alvin Gilbert Block
This trade occurred in July of the 1954 season of a retro league – the Post War Baseball League (PWBL). As GM of the Cleveland Indians, I traded CF Willie Mays and a 3rd round pick in the 1955 rookie draft to the New York Mets for CF Mickey Mantle and the Mets’ #1 pick in the 1956 rookie draft. Mantle never appeared in a game for the Indians, however. Immediately after completing the Mays-for-Mantle trade, I flipped Mantle and the 1st round pick to the St. Louis Cardinals for RF Hank Aaron.
So, in this three-team deal, Mays, Mantle and Aaron changed hands. The PWBL is not a super-star league. Nearly every player on every ML roster is drafted and used. Yet these three HOFers were traded in the same transaction. None of the three was ever traded again.
Patrick Neal
I began playing Strat-O-Matic Baseball in the summer of 1966 as a ten year old in rural West Virginia, where I spent the summer with my grandparents. I still have the 1965 season cards I used, one of my most treasured personal possessions. My mother allowed me to order the game and six teams after I’d seen the iconic advertisement in a sports magazine.  All summer we played, my seven year-old brother, four friends and myself. Managing the Minnesota Twins, I talked my brother, who managed the Yankees (and who also had, shall we say, a rudimentary understanding of the game) into trading me Mickey Mantle for Frank Quilici, on the principle that Quilici was the only player whose name began with "Q." (Quilici was a utility infielder who hit .208) As I hoped, my brother thought this an excellent reason to make the trade. Everything was fine until the four friends found out, and explained to my brother what I had done to him. He went crying to my grandmother, who knew nothing about baseball but a great deal about human nature, and who therefore not only made me give Mickey Mantle back, but also miss dinner that evening for having taken advantage of my brother. Still, to this day, I enjoy reminding my brother of the best trade I ever made in Strat-O-Matic.
Paul Ragas
I found my way back to Strat after an extended absence when I noticed my son playing a table-top-type baseball game on the floor of his bedroom one day soon after we came back from Cooperstown sometime in 2004. Long story short, I told him about a great game I used to play as a kid and we went about finding it at a local hobby shop. Fast forward a few months and we’re both very much into Strat, even replaying 1964 on the computer, so we decided to try our luck in a league. I never was involved in a league before, always played my Strat FTF with my brothers or on solo projects. We joined a computer CM league and found ourselves owning a team with Barry Bonds. We finished out that first season and played into the next season and thought we’d do much better if we shopped Bonds to garner some more talent, as we didn’t fully appreciate his Strat abilities, among other things. Well one owner came to us with an offer of up-and-comer Lew Ford or Hideki Matsui, reliever Guillermo Mota and a 3rd round pick. After some discussion we decided that we liked Ford’s upside and made the deal.
There was an uproar in the league but it was approved. Of course we proceeded to flounder at the bottom of the standings.
Not sure who we took in that draft in round 3 but I’m sure it wasn’t anyone noteworthy because if I’m not mistaken, in the first round when our pick came up, our automated pick selected Ryan Howard but we had actually wanted catching prospect JD Closser. We emailed the commish about this error and he made the change. Ahh the joys of Strat. Lol.
Barry Zabell
On May 27th of this year, I traded away:
Justin Morneau
Vernon Wells
Hisashi Iwakuma
Ryan Braun!
Since Braun joined my team, he had a thumb injury so he could not hit, and then got SUSPENDED FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON!
There were so many great submissions to choose from as part of this promotion… thanks again to everyone who participated!