Great Moments in Strat – May 2015

Have you experienced a game of Strat-O-Matic so thrilling, unique or bizarre that you just HAVE to share it with someone? That would be us. Send your Great Moments in Strat to Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.
We devote this edition of Great Moments to gamers’ long-awaited no-hitters …
            About two years ago, another company released the 1969 season, which I bought. I played a game between the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets, with Tom Seaver starting. In that game, Seaver pitched a no-hitter, and the Mets won, 4-0.
            This past weekend, I played a game between the San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets with Strat-O-Matic’s recently released 1969 computer rosters. Tom Seaver also started that game—and also pitched a no-hitter. Not only that, but the final score was 4-0!
            Two different games between the same teams from the same year with the same Mets starting pitcher produce the same result: a 4-0 no-hitter. This was my first no-hitter with Strat-O-Matic Baseball in about 40 years of playing.
David Solomon, East Brunswick, NJ
            Well, I’m not Irish and didn’t enjoy green beverage on St. Patrick’s Day, but I was lucky enough to roll up my first NO-HITTER in my 30+ years of Strat play. I’ve had one no-hitter using the computer game. I have for years replayed the SFN Giants and CHA White Sox – first using the computer game and for the past five or six years now, switched back to C&D using SADV and all the optional rules. I play the Giants because they are my favorite team and the White Sox because I needed an American League team to play for fun and, living close to Chicago, the White Sox are a fun team to replay. I’ve come close a few times reaching two outs in the 9th, only to have the no-no ruined by a hit. But, on St. Patrick’s Day 2015, I finally rolled a NO HITTER!
            So, the date in my 2014 C&D CHA replay is April 4. CHA is in KC. CHA starts Scott Carroll and KCA starts Danny Duffy. KC scores two runs in the 2nd and one in the 3rd. After six innings I notice Duffy has a perfect game going. That is the "kiss of death" when you notice a no-no is going on, because that usually means you roll a hit with the leadoff hitter in the next inning. Well, Eaton leads off the top of the 7th with a walk, Ramirez hits into a FC and then Abreu walks. Abreu was the last man to reach base that game for the Sox, a Danny Duffy doesn’t allow another runner and finishes off the game with 8 Ks, 2 Ws and a NO-HITTER.
            Hard-luck loser Scott Carroll gave up a single to lead off the 5th, then retired the next 12 Royals. But the Royals win 3-0 on my first ever C&D NO-HITTER pitched by 2014 KCA Danny Duffy! Gotta love STRAT!
John Barkoviak, Normal, IL
            I have been playing Strat-O-Matic Baseball (C&D only) for almost 30 years. It has been a significant part of my life and has fueled my interests in sports in general and also has allowed me to understand more of the sports analytics that has become all the rage the last few years.
            I always promised myself that I would never write to Strat-O-Matic until I had a no-hitter. Well, I finally got one. I was playing the 1986 Angels at 1986 Oakland. Kirk McCaskill and Jose Rijo were the starting pitchers. Rijo threw the no-hitter (with five walks and 14 strikeouts) in a 2-1 final. Yes, the Angels got a run without getting a hit. In the second inning, Rob Wilfong walked. Wally Joyner grounded to first, enabling Wilfong to get to second. Reggie Jackson, the next hitter, reached on a two-base error by leftfielder Jose Canseco which forced Wilfong home.
            Due to the Angels getting a run, I was not aware of the no-hitter until the sixth inning, at which point each dice roll felt like an event unto itself. I honestly cannot recall a game where I was close to a no-hitter so I was focused to say the least.
            In the Angels’ ninth, Wilfong and Joyner were retired quickly, but Jackson drew a walk. Brian Downing, the next hitter, came to bat being the go-ahead run. He struck out to end the game. A’s shortstop Alfredo Griffin (SS-1, e25) made some great plays to keep the no-hitter going, but Rijo’s strikeouts were really the difference. McCaskill pitched really well, too, giving up only four hits and getting eight strikeouts in the loss.
            Thank you so much for this game. I have always felt that this game’s existence means that spring always exists. I cannot foresee me ever giving up this hobby even though I am no longer the 10-year-old boy who got this game second-hand but am now married with four sons of my own, the oldest of whom has already taken an interest in Strat-O-Matic.
Zak Browne, Katy, TX
            My Uncle Bobby introduced me to this great game when I was 13. I now own all four board games and have gained lots of enjoyment while rolling the dice. His amazing story about his 1969 AL replay (published in February’s “Great Moments”) has finally inspired me to write about my two greatest Strat moments. Like most people’s stories, they involve a no-hitter, and an almost no-no.
            I replayed the 1954 baseball season by choosing an AL team and an NL team and replaying their entire seasons. The World Series participants were unchanged as Cleveland took on the New York Giants. The Indians held a 3-1 series lead heading into Game 5 in Cleveland, and they sent Mike Garcia to the hill. The game was scoreless through seven and a half innings, and the Giants had been unable to even muster a hit against Garcia. In the bottom of the eighth Giants starter Ruben Gomez walked the bases loaded and was pulled. However, reliever Don Liddle walked the first two batters he faced, and when the smoke had cleared, five Indians had crossed the plate, giving the ball back to Garcia, up five, and one inning from immortality. Other than a ninth-inning error by defensive replacement George Strickland, New York didn’t threaten, and when Bobby Thomson flied out to right-field to end the game, Garcia had pitched the first no-hitter in World Series history!
            Every year in October I pick out two past World Series participants and replay the series from that season. In 2011 I chose the 1966 series, of which history tells us that Game 2 was the last time that Sandy Koufax ever pitched. I have a different story to tell. The series went the distance, with Baltimore finally taking Game 7, but Game 5 was incredible. Orioles starter Jim Palmer pitched 12 innings, gave up two hits, three walks, struck out seven, and allowed zero runs. The Orioles eventually allowed a Dodger runner to cross the plate in the top of the 15th after committing back-to-back errors, and L.A. held on the for the 1-0 victory. The Dodger starter for this game was, of course, Koufax. In this final game, Koufax delivered quite possibly the greatest individual pitching performance in baseball history. Over the course of 11 innings, Koufax did not allow a single Baltimore runner to reach base; he retired the first 33 Orioles he faced. He finally allowed a hit and a walk in the 12th, but made it through the inning and was relieved by Bob Miller who pitched three innings for the win. Koufax’s final line ever: 12 IP, H, BB, 17 K, 0 ER. Unbelievable.
            A big thank-you to all of the people at Strat-O-Matic for what you do. I look forward to creating many more memories in the years to come.
Tyler Dansel, Wichita, KS