BRETT CAROW OF RIVER FALLS, WI. CROWNED
ULTIMATE STRAT-O-MATIC FANATIC
Finalists Honored by 600+ Strat-O-Matic Fanatics at
Strat-O 50th Anniversary/Opening Day Celebration in New York City on February 12
GLEN HEAD, NY – FEB 12, 2011 — Strat-O-Matic Game Company, the leading producer of sports board and text-based games, has named Brett Carow of River Falls, WI. as the Ultimate Strat-O-Matic Fanatic in the company’s search for its most passionate player. Carow receives a trophy and a free set of Strat-O game cards and computer games of his favorite sport for the rest of his life. He was personally selected by Strat-O inventor Hal Richman and honored in front of more than 600 Strat-O-Matic Fanatics from across America including the likes of Doug Glanville, Bill Daughtry and John Dewan at the company’s 50th Anniversary/Opening Day Celebration in New York City on February 12.
Brett’s Strat-O resume is quite impressive: over 10,700 baseball games played in 20+ years. In addition to sleeping through prom to participate in an overnight Strat-O-Fest, Brett played Strat-O throughout the course of his honeymoon and regularly skipped college classes to come to Opening Day. The ‘icing on the cake:’ his wife scanned a 1941 Ted Williams Strat-O card onto a cake to honor his 10,000th game played.
“The success of Strat-O-Matic is due in large part to the loyal following of Strat-O-Matic Fanatics that have made the game an important part of their lives for the past 50 years,” said Mr. Richman. “This was a really hard decision because there were so many worthy candidates but we felt Brett’s passion for the game and great anecdotes were truly symbolic of the millions of people who have played Strat-O-Matic.”
“Being named the Ultimate Strat-O-Matic Fanatic is really a dream come true,” said Carow. “I think back to the countless hours playing a simple cards and dice game and how it has really shaped my life from middle and high school to college and beyond. Winning the award hopefully justifies to my family, friends and league members all those loud days and sleepless nights. Having a plaque for my Strat-O room is pretty cool too!”
In addition to awarding Carow with a lifetime of free games, Strat-O also honored four runners-up with $100 Strat-O Gift Certificates. The list of finalists included: Larry Fryer (second place), Jeff Fleishman (third place), Bob Zuhlke (fourth place) and Marty Bender (fifth place). Here’s a look at the brief bios of the seven Ultimate Strat-O-Matic Fanatic Finalists/Semi-Finalists who fell short of Carow in the contest. Each of the fanatics attended the event and was introduced on stage by Hal Richman.
Marty Bender (Queens, NY) — Marty, who has been playing Strat-O-Matic since 1975, has attended the past 20 Opening Days in Glen Head. Always one of the first in line on Opening Day, he once won the opportunity to play Hal Richman in a two-inning game of Strat-O-Matic Baseball on the company’s 40th Anniversary (Marty was winning 2-1). In 2002, the Baseball Hall of Fame had a traveling exhibition that stopped in NYC at the Museum of Natural History, and Marty was one of four players chosen to represent the company by playing Strat in the African Wing of the museum. Marty loves Strat stats so much that he keeps track of all of his offensive players’ dice roll columns just to see if each column is actually rolled 1/6th of the time, and has also been calculating his own RISP stats for the past 22 years.
Jim Colquhoun (N. Massapequa, NY) – Jim first started playing Strat-O-Matic back in 1974 as a senior in high school. In 1978, he formed a face-to-face league that started with just four teams, but quickly grew to 16 teams and lasted 27 years- 24 of which he served as the commissioner. Jim has put together a remarkable streak of 36 straight Strat-O-Matic Opening Days attended. Jim also used to create his own supplementary stealing, e-ratings and other information missing from ‘advanced’ seasons, which would be published in Strat Fan magazine, and also worked as a beta tester for the Strat-O-Matic Baseball Computer games for five seasons.
Jeff Fleischman (Centennial, CO) – Jeff has been playing Strat-O-Matic for over 45 years. He runs the oldest, continuous baseball league (Greater United States Strat-O-Matic Organization, also known as G.U.S.S.O.M.O.) in the United States. G.U.S.S.O.M.O. is currently in its 40th year of existence. While Jeff says the league is like his “baby,” he says that the Strat-O-Matic game “is like a best friend.” He takes great pride in the fact that he has been able to make so many close friends directly through playing Strat-O-Matic, which has included invitations to weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, and other events.
Larry Fryer (Woodstock, MD) – Larry has been playing Strat-O-Matic since 1967. As a high school junior, Larry and a few friends would “commandeer” an unused classroom, and during their 30-minute lunch break, managed to play a full half of Strat-O-Matic Football every school day (and eat!). They were able to complete a five-manager, 14 game schedule in six weeks. Nowadays, Larry and his wife host a convention at their home every June where up to ten of his league’s manager will attend for a week of mass Strat-O playing. Larry’s Strat-O-Matic collection is so extensive that the company has actually borrowed games from him to include in the historical archives of the Strat-O website.
Tom Nahigian (Pasadena, CA) – Tom has been playing Strat-O since he was 10 years old back in 1972. He used to read the Strat-O-Matic Review from cover to cover beginning with the May 1977 issue until the last issue published in July 1991. Tom has met Hal at two separate conventions – one in 1998 at a SOM Convention in Akron, Ohio, and the other at the 2002 SOM Convention at St. John’s Univ. He is an active member of the Strat Fan Forum and will often try to be a resource for other players and answer questions that gamers have. Tom has continually tried to pass the Strat-O torch to the next generation of gamers, having purchased games for his nephews as well as his cousin’s son.
Larry Salay (Hamden, CT) – Larry has every advanced baseball card set created since 1971, every hockey card set, every basketball card set, every baseball computer season, and most of the computer seasons in hockey, football and basketball. Larry loves his cards so much that when he moved, he took the boxes of cards himself, rather than letting the movers do it for him. Lastly, whenever Larry goes away, he has at least one of his Strat computer games loaded onto his laptop to have with him for the trip.
Bob Zuhlke (Gaithersburg, MD) – Bob calls receiving his Strat-O-Matic cards every year his “adult years Christmas.” He owns over 60 seasons of baseball cards. Almost every year, Bob will produce a “Preview Issue” for one of his leagues. He compiles the Preview Issue through a few simulations of seasons to see where every team will finish, while also taking his knowledge of the other GMs and their managing styles into consideration. Bob recently started a blog where he posts game summaries and box scores of Strat-O-Matic games he will play (using the player cards for the board game) with assorted teams throughout baseball history.
Strat-O-Matic was invented by 11-year-old Hal Richman in his bedroom in Great Neck, NY in 1948 because he became frustrated by the statistical randomness of other baseball board games. He discovered the statistical predictability of dice would give his game the realism he craved. Over the next decade he perfected the game at summer camp and then as a student at Bucknell University. After producing All-Star sets in 1961 and ‘62, he parlayed a $5,000 loan from his father (and made a deal that if it didn’t work out he would work for his father’s insurance company) into the original 1962 Strat-O-Matic Baseball season game. Needless to say Hal never had to take a job with his father.
Strat-O-Matic, based in Glen Head, NY and on the Internet at www.strat-o-matic.com, produces the top selling sports board games and is the leading producer of realism/stats sports computer games. The company publishes baseball, football, basketball and hockey games to play both on and off your computer screen. “Strat-O” games are known throughout the sports community for their statistical realism and accuracy. The company has the world’s greatest sports game stat libraries with top-of-the-line seasons dating back to the early 1900’s. On the Internet, the company has partnered with The Sporting News to create innovative fantasy/simulation games and previously with Sports Illustrated Kids to produce a line of new fantasy sports games for a younger demographic. Recently the company released Strat-O-Matic Negro Leagues, the first sports simulation game to accurately reflect more than 100 Negro League players who never had the chance to show their skills in the major leagues. All Strat-O products are available in both board and computer game formats.
The company has a loyal celebrity following including a bevy of sportscaster and sports journalists like Bob Costas, Buzz Bissinger, Jon Miller, former MLB’ers Keith Hernandez, Doug Glanville, Cal Ripken; and sports super fans including Bryant Gumbel, Tim Robbins, Drew Carey and Spike Lee. More information is available at: www.strat-o-matic.com.
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Media Contact: Doug Drotman (email@example.com or 631-462-1198)