Every World Series, Every All-Star Game
By Glenn Guzzo
The many new features in the forthcoming Version 15 of Strat-O-Matic’s Computer Baseball game include the equivalent of everybody’s highlight film: The ability to play any World Series or All-Star game with the exact rosters, lineups and more, already set up to play.
That’s every World Series since 1903, when the Boston Americans surprised Honus Wagner’s Pittsburgh Pirates, five games to three. That’s every All-Star game since 1933, when Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Al Simmons, Joe Cronin and Lefty Gomez led the American League to a 4-2 triumph in Chicago.
There’s only one condition: You must own the season roster for the games you want to play. To play the dramatic seven-game World Series between the Yankees and Giants in 1962 and/or the two all-star games that year, you will need to have purchased a 1962 season roster authorization code.
Prior to Version 15, gamers had to play unscheduled games or create a separate league to replay a World Series or an All-Star game. Gamers had to do their own research for post-season rosters or All-Star rosters, not to mention actual starting lineups. Just clicking and dragging all the All-Stars from each of the stock teams was time consuming.
Strat-O-Matic Director of Development Bob Winberry said the game company enthusiastically accepted when gamers Rob Ratliff and Ken Wenger offered to provide that research and the ready-to-use files.
“Rob and Ken are long-time Strat-O-Matic players who have been testing our games for years. I had no doubt that they would do a great job on these projects,” Winberry said.
Wenger described the time-consuming “labor of love” as he and Ratliff not only located rosters and lineups, but then supplied the bells and whistles for the graphics and season-specific play-by-play.
“People probably won’t believe how long this took,” Wenger explained, saying that for the All-Star games alone, “I’d estimate that it took about 1 1/2 hour to get each year completed. The task included dragging the players from the rosters, demoting the non-participants, setting up the lineups, choosing the stadium, and filling in the information about umpires, managers, etc. Rob compiled automatic lineups for the teams. I also tried to find a logo or, in some cases, the cover of the program/scorecard, to use as the league logo for each game.”
Ratliff, responding to a suggestion at the online the Strat Fan Forum, undertook the World Series research, then Wenger joined in. As Ratliff worked out all the schedules and lineup files, Wenger researched the post-season eligibility lists for every World Series team.
Long-time Strat gamer Jack Kelly sent Ratliff a book that contained the lists of eligible players.
“It was interesting to see that there were some players – Chet Trail of the 1964 Yankees comes to mind – who were eligible to play in the Series, but had no appearances during the season,” Wenger said. “Unfortunately, there was no way to give Trail his rightful place on a World Series roster.
“Rob probably did over half of the work in assembling the rosters. I did all of the work researching the umpires, compiling the average and maximum attendance at each ballpark, and researching the announcers.
“The announcers referenced in the i-files are the actual announcers used in the broadcasts. This gives us an opportunity to “hear” the work of pioneer broadcasters, such as Graham McNamee, who weren’t associated with a team, but were used by a network for their most prestigious events. Until about 1960, the radio broadcasters are used; after that, the broadcasters are the television teams.”
Creative gamers quickly will think of the possibilities this feature presents. One is a tournament of champions – play the World Series, then advance the winners in playoff rounds.
Wenger offers another “What-If?” game involving the All-Stars:
“The 1945 All-Star Game which was to have been played in Boston’s Fenway Park. Because of traveling restrictions imposed by World War II, the game was cancelled. The sports writers from the Associated Press polled the managers and selected the All-Star roster for each league. In the universe of Strat-O-Matic it is possible to play this game that never was.”