GREAT MOMENTS IN STRAT
Biz Mackey, Willard Brown Are The Show (Dizzy Dean Gets the Showers)
Imagine the excitement of one player completing a cycle and another getting a grand slam in the same inning.
Using the excellent Satch, Dizzy & Rapid Robert, by Timothy M. Gay, as a guide, I recently created a mid-1930s barnstorming tour, pitting Dizzy Dean’s Major League All-Stars against the Satchel Paige Negro League All-Stars. The real challenge was putting together a touring group for ol’ Diz, as he usually went on the road with no more than a handful of big leaguers, and supplemented his ranks with local talent along the way. I had to put the Major League squad together using an assortment of players from about five or six different postseason tours in order to fill out a roster.
It was a fair group, but certainly not a contender. I had the Deans, pitcher Larry French, catcher Jimmie Wilson, third baseman Pepper Martin, infielders Bill Urbanski, Joe Stripp and Tommy Thevenow, and outfielders Paul Waner, Danny Taylor, and others, using their 1934 cards. I then got creative and added a few players – pitcher Sloppy Thurston, infielder Glenn Wright and pitcher/catcher Mike Ryba – using the Nameless Players set to approximate where they were in their careers at that point. Their ranks were bolstered by outfielder Moose Solters (Pittsburgh), pitcher Bill Swift and outfielder Hack Wilson (Philadelphia) and outfielder Ducky Medwick (New Jersey)
The group Satch assembled each year, however, was loaded for bear. Satch, Ted Trent, Chet Brewer, Webster McDonald and Andy Cooper highlighted the pitching staff, while the position players included infielders Newt Allen, Newt Joseph, Rev Cannady and Jud Wilson; outfielders Cool Papa Bell, Willard Brown, Jimmie Crutchfield and pitcher/outfielder Bullet Joe Rogan.
In addition, Pittsburgh Crawfords owner Gus Greenlee arranged to make catcher Josh Gibson, infielders Judy Johnson and Ray Dandridge, and outfielders Oscar Charleston and Rap Dixon available when the teams reached Greenlee Field. Catcher Biz Mackey and pitcher Slim Jones joined the Paige team when they stopped in Philly.
In a word, the Deans were flattened, losing 20 of 22 games. Paige was 8-0 against Dean, with a 2.37 ERA. He tossed two shutouts in his 11 starts. Dean finished 0-8, 5.09.
The highlight of the trip came at Shibe Park in Philadelphia, where legendary slugger Willard Brown capped his cycle with a ninth-inning double. Moments later, he was upstaged when Biz Mackey hit a grand slam against Thurston and the Paigemen won, 8-1. After a fly out in the first inning, Brown hit a home run off Swift in the second, tripled in the sixth and singled home a run in the seventh.
In the 22 games, Brown was a terror, batting .326, with eight homers and 19 RBI. Jud Wilson led all regulars on both clubs with a .373 mark. Waner batted .348 for Dean’s team. He was the only Major Leaguer to top .300 for the tour.
Jeff Woodhouse, Seattle, WA
Sometimes, the Numbers are Amazing
Strat-O-Matic can be very accurate.
This writing is to show readers how accurate Strat-O-Matic can be. In slowly replaying the 1969 season, I have reached a point where Mike Epstein of the Washington Senators has as many offical at bats as he did in 1969. Look how similar his statistics are compared to his actual final numbers:
At Bats: My season: 403 Actual 403.
Runs: My season: 56 Actual 73.
Hits: My season: 115 Actual 112.
Doubles: My season: 18 Actual 18.
Triples: My season: 2 Actual 1.
Homeruns: My season: 29 Actual 30.
RBI’s: My season: 77 Actual 85.
Average: My season: .285 Actual .278
Steals: My season: 2 Actual 2.
Kudos to Strat-O-Matic for making a game that is not only fun and addictive, but realistic.
Bob Crabill, Jetmore, Kansas
Big Red Machine Stars in This ‘70s Show
Here are the standings and top players for my Best of ‘70s league. Has anyone else done a best of the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s?
Kansas City 1977
San Francisco 1971
New York (A) 1977
Batting leader: Ken Griffey .368; MVP: Joe Morgan, 31 homers; Cy Young: Gaylord Perry
Orlando Leon, Live Oak, FL