My New Year’s Strat-O-Lutions (Replay Zone – January 2014)

By Jeff Polman
January ruminations from your trusty Strat-O-Matic replay addict. Check out ongoing replay news, notes and other Strat projects at my new site.
After doing five historical fiction replay blogs in the last five years, I’ll be taking the year off from that format to work on some other projects. Before I detail them, here’s this:
BALL NUTS, my second Strat-fueled replay novel based on the 1977 blog I did a few years back called “Play That Funky Baseball”, has just been published in paperback (with Kindle version coming soon) and is available on Amazon. It’s a wacky tale of six baseball-mad patients rooting for various teams who escape from their hospital through a Strat-induced time warp to re-live the ’77 season. Check it out if you can! I’ll be doing a virtual book launch party on my replay site Saturday, Feb 1st at 3 p.m. eastern time, with readings, a live ’77 All-Star game “diceast”, giveaways, and more. Here’s a sample video reading from the book.
And yes, my home Strat table will be as busy as ever. Here’s what I’ve got lined up for the near future:
1. The ’73 Freaks League. I’ve been wanting to try something fun and different with the new 1973 cards that are coming out in February and have settled on this…
A few years back I replayed the best 2007 teams using a 1937 schedule and recruited "absentee managers" from the Strat Fan Forum to take the teams. (Braves swept the Red Sox in the World Series, to my chagrin). This time I’ve dipped into the 450+ members of a private Facebook baseball group I’m in to find managers to draft 12 original teams from the pool of ’73 players. I’ll be taking about a year to roll the 162-game season and will post updates here and on my Strat replay site. All I know is that Hank Aaron, Willie Stargell, and Tom Seaver should get picked 1-2-3 in the draft! Next month I’ll be sure to announce the participants…
2. ECBA. I’ll be playing in my sixth full season of the East Coast Baseball Association, a great nationwide draft league that has been going for over 40 years. My Culver City Skanks will take the field against eleven other managers, among them Strat collector supreme and Ultimate Strat Fan runner-up Larry Fryer. I have Yu Darvish, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Beltre on my roster, so hopefully this is the year I get further than the first round of the playoffs!
3. After having my friend Paul Dylan play the 1938 season for my recently-completed Dear Hank blog, I’ve thirsted to get back into solo game-playing in a big way. In the past few weeks I’ve started rolling a "1997 Like It’s 1947" season using a classic 154-game schedule of yesteryear. It’s the same format I used for the 2007 replay mentioned above, and gosh is it ever a blast so far! I’ve been clamoring for a super-advanced version of 1930 for a while, forgetting that an incredible amount of offense (especially power) was sitting around in my plastic archive tub the whole time. Here are the ’97 teams that made the cut:
AL: Yankees, Indians, Orioles, Tigers. Angels, Mariners, White Sox, Brewers
NL: Braves, Marlins, Pirates, Mets, Giants, Astros, Rockies, Dodgers
Look for results of this ’97 endeavor on the Strat Fan Forum soon.
Okay, that should leave me enough time to do virtually nothing else this year. As always, it’s one of my favorite problems to have.