GREAT MOMENTS IN STRAT
TRANSPLANT? OK, JUST DON’T INTERRUPT MY REPLAY
While laid up with serious medical issues, Rob Ratliff of Cleveland made the best of a difficult situation by starting a 1938 National League replay. The play lifted his spirits perhaps even more than expected:
“During the transplant itself – the most important day in my life medically speaking – guess what I’m doing? Playing Strat of course! I started a 1938 game between the Bucs and Dodgers while waiting, and noted to my wife as I packed up when they called me back that Bauers had a no-hitter going through three innings. Resumed the game during the transfusion itself and Bauers came through with my second no-hitter in my ’38 NL replay already on May 21 (Vander Meer had the first on May 8). Thanks again to all of you there for this wonderful game and to you for your hard work in creating these seasons.”
An Unlikely No-Hitter
No-hitters are rare and thrilling, especially when they’re nearly miraculous. One probably expects Koufax or Feller would eventually toss one, but how about Eddie Smith of the 1939 Chicago White Sox? That year, he compiled a 10-11 record over the course of 180 innings, allowing 168 hits, 92 walks, striking out 70, and posted a 3.79 ERA. The White Sox finished at 85-69.
My 1939 Metropolitan League season included the six best teams in the majors, that year (Yankees, Cardinals, Reds, White Sox, Red Sox, and Indians). Filling out the eight-team league were two teams made up of 1966 players, which I called the Indianapolis ABC’s (83-71) and the Columbus Bluebirds (82-72). These 1966 teams were comprised of solid ballplayers and emphasized defense and pitching depth. Ernie Banks was the only Hall-of-Famer on either team.
When the ABC’s faced Eddie Smith and the White Sox, the ABC starting lineup consisted of Ron Hunt, Don Wert, Fred Valentine, Johnny Callison, Ernie Banks, Charlie Smith, Jim Fregosi, Mike Hershberger, and Paul Casanova. Pinch-hitters in that game were Cookie Rojas, Vic Davalillo, Roger Repoz and Clay Dalrymple. In a dazzling display of pitching, Eddie Smith allowed no hits and no walks with a pitch count of 110. Only an error by Luke Appling cost him a perfect game. Eddie went on to a 9-13 record, 178 IP, 197 hits, 92 BB, 86 SO, and an ERA of 4.49. With those numbers, who’d expect a near-perfect game?
The White Sox (69-85) went on to finish in sixth place. The Yankees (101-53) won the pennant, finishing 18 games ahead of the Cardinals and the ABC’s. All games were played manually.
Chris Sember, Pensacola, FL
A Strat-O-Matic Gamer Since 1968
The Hammer Falls
I was pleased to see that I made a recent Talk Show. Well, just after I told you about Hank Aaron’s 60-game hitting streak, Hank went hitless against Art Mahaffey and Ray Culp to end his streak.