ECBA does Strat Opening Day

Strat-O-Matic Game Company, Opening Day, February 14, 2014
By Larry Fryer
February 13, 2014 brought over a foot of snow to the upper East Coast, saturating Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York. While this might have scared less enthusiastic “Strats” from attempting a trek across Long Island, the Beltz Brothers and Larry Fryer made the annual pilgrimage while comrade Mark Gratkowski toiled with work in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Awakening at 6:00 a.m. the following morning in Maryland, I discovered a fresh “dusting” of 3-4 inches of overnight snow, resulting in my almost not being able to navigate the “hinterlands” of backwoods, Baltimore County. However, once the highways were reached, the roads were clear as I headed north to Pennsylvania to meet Jim and Tom for “Christmas in February”. 
We left Hamburg, PA at 10 a.m., arriving with ease in Glen Head, NY at 12:45 p.m. We ate at a local Italian deli, ordering up some calzones, recalling how we had trouble even walking the streets during the previous year’s Opening Day snowstorm!
Arriving at hallowed ground at 1 p.m., we were welcomed into the inner sanctums of Strat headquarters, being warmly greeted by Adam and Hal Richman, and subsequently interviewed about the ECBA and our upcoming 40th consecutive season, by Adam Rosen, Director of Marketing. We learned that the truck carrying the cards had been stuck by the weather in the mid-west, and the only fortunate ones to get their cards on time would be the attendees of Opening Day. Hal had saved the day by orchestrating an over-night shipment at company expense to satisfy the attending masses.
Returning home that evening at 9 p.m. I had been in the car for over 12 hours. Tired, but elated by the day’s events and hospitality shown by the staff of the game company, I tore into the cards.
By the weekend, I had sorted the cards into their ECBA teams, sent out the “coded roster”, and hunkered down for the 2014 draft. When Mark finally returned from Utah the following week, he met me the following Wednesday to get his Manny Machado and Matt Harvey cards, products of the 2013 draft.
For those who have never attended Opening Day, put it on your “Bucket List”. It is a must for all dice rollers.