GREAT MOMENTS IN STRAT
THE ASTROS TOOK OFF
It’s almost a year later, but I wanted to write to give my appreciation for the 50th year anniversary celebration in NYC. I grew up in North Carolina and played my first Strat-O-Matic game in 1974. I was hooked! Since I was living just outside Manhattan last year I could not pass up the opportunity to meet the creator of the game that given me so much joy. I have played in Strat leagues in the past, but now mainly play solitaire. I was away from the game for many years because my ex-wife did not like me playing the games at all. But since I now have the love of my life I have renewed my playing as she is all for me doing the things I love. I have started collecting all the games since 2000 and have been replaying every season with my Yankees. Of course I also long for the old days and have my 1971, 1977 seasons and several old-time card sets. As you told me Glenn, I am a Strat-O-Matic Fanatic!
I think my favorite memory came from when I played in a Strat lunch league where I used to work. I had just finished a season where I won the World Series with the 1990 A’s (but that was not the favorite memory!) and was due to pick last for the next season of play. We were using the 1987 season and I had to pick the team that had my favorite player of all time, Nolan Ryan, the Houston Astros. Everyone gave me a hard time for picking a team with a losing season, and especially favoring a pitcher who lost 16 games (but he did have the league best ERA). But I didn’t care. I had just won a World Series and wanted to just play with a team I thought would be fun. Sure, the offense didn’t look good, but how could I pass up Nolan, Mike Scott and Dave Smith pitching? Anyway, the season started off about as I would expect. Game 1, Nolan went a complete game, struck out 10, but lost, 3-2. Game 2, Mike Scott won. Game 3, Bob Knepper lost. And so it went until I was 3 – 4. Not much different than anyone would expect, but then I won two in row, then three, then four … We played a 16-game season, and after going 3 – 4 I won nine straight games ending up 12 – 4 and in the playoffs again! I won my first round of playoffs but lost the World Series to the Mets. Although I beat them twice during the season, they held my offense down for the big games. But it was still great for me. No one else in our league had ever had a 9-game winning streak, plus Nolan Ryan went 4 – 1 with 45 strikeouts in 39 innings!
Hal, thanks for all the great memories created from playing the best baseball board game ever created!
Tony Dove, Nashville, TN
MAYBE SHE ROOTED FOR THE TIGERS
This is a picture of my cat Margo "helping" me play a game of Strat. Margo passed away this past Monday, the 16th of January. She was 12. I’ve had her since she was an 8-week old kitten.
She and I played many a game of Strat together. Whenever I would break out the table and game box, she was there ready to jump up and take her place. Her normal spot was in the "Little K", the field just behind her head, name taken from the "Little K" kid’s area at Kauffman Stadium. Only the "K" here stands for "Kat". She would want to help roll the dice by knocking them across the room, or help move the red game pieces by chewing on them. Or lay right on top of the cards. Or, as in this picture, stand directly on top of the game board.
Mostly though, she was content to lay just off the board, watching and listening to me play. Maybe throwing out some helpful strategy. I haven’t played a game since she passed, but I will soon. I know that first game will be hard, without her there.
By the way, I believe this photo is of a "what if" World Series between the ’77 Royals and ’77 Phillies. I haven’t finished the series yet. My Royals are down 2 games to none. Margo was right. I should have pinch hit for Patek.
Thank you for a great game and allowing me to share my story with you,
David Gross, Roeland Park, KS
SOME ALL-TIMERS ARE NOT GREAT
I am playing a season of the All-Time Greats for the AFC. It’s a 16-game schedule that will have a wild card playoff similar to what the NFL had before it expanded to four divisions. I have just started to read a biography about Joe Namath (which is very good so far) and the Jets vs. Chiefs was on the schedule. One of the rules for the season is that a QB has to start at least 4 games during the season. This was the Jets 5th game and Namath had started three of the first four. Since I was reading the book, I figured I would start Namath again.
The Chiefs defense through the first four games had been porous against the run, allowing 654 yards. The pass defense was decent, allowing 213 ypg, but allowed 8 TDs. The Jets first possession saw Namath throw an INT on the first play, and it went downhill from there. The Chiefs defense dominated and won the game, 31-0. Namath’s numbers were the worst I have ever seen in a Strat football game. He finished the day 7-29, 78 yards passing, no TDs and 2 INT. He was also sacked three times for 22 yards in losses. His final rating was 10.8. The Jets ground game sputtered to 85 yards on 24 carries. The game before the Jets-Chiefs was SD vs. NE and Fouts threw 5 TDs and had 367 yards passing. What a difference.
Henry Roman, New Egypt, NJ