GREAT MOMENTS IN STRAT
FOND FAREWALL, ROBIN
My love of Strat-O-Matic began back in 1964 or 1965 when I saw an ad in The Sporting News for a dice baseball game. Playing with pals or solo this game gave me so much happiness. As I got older, music, girls, cars, seem to be occupying more of my time. Who would have guessed that 42 years later my passion for Strat would be rekindled, thanks in part to my son and his love of Major League Baseball. Michael loves the game too, especially when he plays his favorites, the New York Yankees from any era! Not only does he better understand baseball strategy from playing Strat-O-Matic, but his knowledge of baseball history, thru the Old Timers has me smiling.
After playing a 60-games schedule with 6 teams featuring the new Negro League set, I decided to use the same format for the 1950’s Old Timers. Which leads us to the late, great pitching ace, Robin Roberts, who died last month. The 1950 Whizz Kids, the Philadelphia Phillies, destroyed the 1954 Cleveland Indians, 16-2! This was the most lopsided game of the season for any team. The Phillies, although they had excellent home run hitters in right fielder Del Ennis, catcher Andy Seminick, and third baseman Willie Jones, clobbered the Indians and hurler Bob Lemon before a home crowd at Municipal Stadium with 25 hits! No home runs, all incredible small ball. Richie Ashburn, star centerfielder, led the attack going 5 for 5, 4 runs, 4 RBIs. Gran Hamner, shortstop, went 4 for 6 with 3 RBIs. Dick Sisler went 3 for 6 with 2 doubles and 4 RBIs. Bob Lemon lasted 5 innings and the onslaught continued against reliever Art Houtteman who finished this rout.
Robin Roberts, arguably the best pitcher throughout the 1950s (Warren Spahn? Whitey Ford? Bob Feller?) pitched a complete game, striking out 8, walking 2, giving up 10 hits to the mighty ‘54 Indians. Besides pitching a strong game, Robin was involved in a triple play in the 5th inning! He hit a line drive to the Cleveland third basemen who got 2 outs and then threw to second base to complete the 3 bagger. That was all the good news this day for the Indians.
Scott Acton, Hackettstown, NJ
1912 GIANTS OF ERROR CRITICAL (not by Snodgrass)
A critical error in Game 7 allowed the Boston Red Sox to win the 1912 World Series after the underdog New York Giants had come back from 3 games to 1 down to force a dramatic Game 7 finish.
Both starting pitchers, Christy Mathewson of the Giants and Hugh Bedient of the Red Sox, were the pitchers of record until the last pitch of the game.
With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning at Fenway Park, Red Sox right fielder Duffy Lewis laced a single that was mishandled by Giants LF Josh Devore, allowing Lewis to reach second base with nobody out. Red Sox 3B Larry Gardner came next and laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt, placing the championship run on third base with only one out. The Giants’ manager ordered his outfield and infield to play in to no avail, as Red Sox first baseman Jake Stahl lined a single over the head of Giants 3B Buck Herzog allowing Lewis to score the winning run to the jubilation of the hometown Red Sox fans.
The Red Sox won the Series despite the inconsistency of staff ace Smoky Joe Wood, who pitched average in a Game 1 loss, brilliantly in a Game 3 victory, and horrendously in a Game 6 loss. Overall for the Series, Wood was 1-2 with an ERA of 3.27, walking 8, striking out 13 and allowing 22 hits in 22 IP.
Bedient was by far the best pitcher of the series going 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA, and allowing only 10 hits and two walks against eight strikeouts in back to back complete game victories. Red Sox No. 3 starter Buck O’Brien, went 1-1 with a 0.77 ERA, O’Brien pitched eight shutout innings in Game 2, but only lasted three and two thirds innings in game 5, allowing 5 runs, 4 of which were unearned.
Giants aces Mathewson and Rube Marquard were victims of extremely poor run support as Marquard was 1-2 with a 1.76 ERA, and Mathewson 0-2 with a 1.65 ERA. Marquard was also the victim of poor defense, as only three of his seven runs allowed in Game 2 were earned. Giants’ No. 3 starter Jeff Tesreau baffled the Red Sox for most of the series, going 2-1. Tesreau faced Wood in games 1, 3, and 6, pitching brilliantly in games one and six, but seriously faltering in game three.
Red Sox star centerfield Tris Speaker was named Series MVP. Speaker finished the series with a .320 (8 for 25) batting avg, 1 homerun, and 6 RBI. Speaker batted at 7 for 18 (.389) in games 3 through 7 after starting out cold in games 1 and 2, batting only one for seven. (.143) Speaker played brilliantly in centerfield throughout the Series, recording 22 putouts and not committing an error. Speaker was 4 for 6 in stolen base attempts for the Series.
Giants’ catcher Chief Meyers was set to be named Series MVP had the Giants been able to rally. Meyers finished with a .348 (8 for 23) batting average for the Series, and was the only player on either team to hit two homeruns, hitting both HR in game 3, although he only drove in 3 runs for the Series.
Dan Champagne, Springfield, MA
I just finished a game in my new custom league with the ‘69 Chiefs at the ‘83 Raiders. I always play as the home team. Marcus Allen was bottled up the whole game (7 carries for 6 yards), so I had to pass the ball. Just what the Chiefs were waiting for. They sacked Jim Plunkett 14 times (including 6 for Buck Buchanon and 4 for Jerry Mays) in a 27-6 win. That’s the most sacks I can remember for one team in my extensive SOM history.
Mark D. Harrington, Everett, WA