Strat-O-Matic Celebrity Q & A with Dan Shulman
In this edition of the Strat-O-Matic Celebrity Q & A series, Strat-O-Matic interviewed Dan Shulman, play-by-play voice for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball and NCAA men’s college basketball telecasts. Shulman also calls Major League Baseball postseason games for ESPN Radio, including the World Series.
Question: When did you first start playing Strat-O-Matic? Who introduced you to the game?
Dan Shulman: I think it was in 1977, when I was 10 years old. That was the year the Blue Jays were born, and when I really got into baseball. I’m not sure how I found out about it, but I remember how excited I was when the order form, and then eventually the game itself would show up each year.
Question: Who was your favorite person to play with and how often did you play?
Dan Shulman: I would play with my Dad when I was young, as much as he was able to. One issue I had is I lived far away from the school I attended and from most of my friends, so I would often have to play solitaire.
Question: All-time favorite Strat-O-Matic card?
Dan Shulman: I don’t have a favorite card, but there were certain types I liked better than others. I liked the cards where the power was in 1-5, or 1-6, more than the players with lower batting averages, where it was harder to get to, like 1-4, or 2-2.
Question: What specifically have you been able to learn about baseball strictly from playing Strat-O-Matic? Do you think it helped prepare you for your eventual career in broadcasting?
Dan Shulman: I think it helped me understand some of the math behind baseball. It gave me an early understanding of higher and lower probabilities of certain outcomes taking place.
Question: Billy Beane was a big Strat player growing up and it has been said that many of the founding principles of “Moneyball” came from his rolling games of Strat-O-Matic Baseball as a kid. Do you think Strat-O-Matic has had any kind of influence on the way baseball is played today?
Dan Shulman: That’s hard for me to say, although if Billy Beane says so, then I think we have our answer. I enjoyed things like changing batting orders, and managing in different ways to see how things played out.
Question: Doug Glanville, Buster Olney and Curt Schilling are colleagues of yours who are also Strat-O-Matic fans. Who would win a round robin tournament amongst the four of you?
Dan Shulman: It would be me and Glanville in the final.
Question: What current MLB manager would make the best Strat-O-Matic player and why?
Dan Shulman: I’ll go with Joe Maddon. He often talks about how much he loves the numbers. He has a great feel both for people, and for the numbers. I think Buck Showalter would be great as well.
Question: Whose Strat-O-Matic card from this past season would you most want to see?
Dan Shulman: I think Bryce Harper. Paul Goldschmidt too.
Question: If you could play anyone in a single game of Strat today, who would you choose and why?
Dan Shulman: Buster [Olney]. He’d be really into it, which would be as entertaining as the game itself.
Published: November 9, 2015
Published: November 9, 2015