The Talk Show – August 2012

Host: Glenn Guzzo
You can submit your question or insight on any Strat-O-Matic game to When you do, kindly include your name and town. Other gamers like to see that. And the display format below works better that way.
Reminder: Send us your “Great Moments in Strat” – your playing experiences that you just have to share.
            I read a while back that someone said 1973 was the new baseball season reprint coming out next year but if there was an official announcement I missed it. Can you confirm if ‘73 is the next season?
Mark Bender
            We await official announcement about which seasons and in what order. However, after gamer polls showed preference for 1973 among the 1970s seasons not yet produced in Super Advanced form, Strat-O-Matic informally indicated that 1973 was one of the seasons in the works.
            There are several football seasons I will purchase when they all become available. I want to play a “Best of” league. I am finishing an old manual one (now using the Utility) of best of each franchise teams through 1989. I started the league actually in 1989 and have six games to play in the last week before I get to the playoffs. I finally broke down and started using the computer games for other leagues because it saves so much time without losing the ambiance of Strat (for lack of a better term). I want to play all the un-played games of the 1982 football season just like I am currently doing with the 1981 baseball season and 1999 basketball season. Hockey is a best-of from 1993 to 2011. I just started after purchasing all the seasons and hockey CD game.
Roger Ford
            Congratulations on completing your 1989 project and a tip of the cap for your persistence! I think that’s one of the wonderful things about retro projects. They can take as long as we need to complete them enjoyably. The way you are doing it, you also get to enjoy many champions at a time, when it would be very unlikely that you could find the time to replay all those seasons individually. Your hockey best-of must be especially cool – so many different franchises have had a Stanley Cup finalist in that 19-year period.
            I enjoy your “Talk Show” column and read with interest your last entry concerning extreme performances.  I believe there is a very easy method to capture these performances: a split using the 20 sided die.  Let me explain.  You mentioned 1990 Dennis Eckersley and his 4 walks.  I expect that Eck will walk around 12 in a C&D replay.  What could be done is give him a rating on the roster sheet that says if a walk comes off the hitter card, check the d20 and on a 1-14 the walk becomes a pop out, 15-20 the walk stands.  This would be easy to apply and would result in his walk total being replicated.  Furthermore, it doesn’t make a Barry Bonds have the same walk rate against Eck as Mario Mendoza. 
            This same ‘control’ rating could be applied to hitters who don’t strike out often, pitchers who don’t give up a lot of homers, etc, and would not affect gameplay since the d20 is rolled anyway.
Josh Nelson
            That’s clever and it would be one way to do it. If we are going to go beyond such historically extreme performances as Eckersley, Greg Maddux, Bob Tewksbury and Cliff Lee (low pitcher walks); Joe Sewell and Nellie Fox (low batter strikeouts), and the Kenley Jansens (high pitcher strikeouts), keep in mind that Hal Richman has said that about 5 percent of the players are statistical outliers in one stat or another. That’s 50 per year in current sets.
            It gets a bit more complicated. If it’s greater statistical precision we’re after, once we adjust those 50 players, we would at least have to consider adjusting their opponents who no longer would get those walks, strikeouts, home runs, double plays, etc.
            Ultimately, Hal Richman has emphasized many times, he has chosen to limit supplemental dice rolls in favor of play value. For some gamers, ease of play and game time are secondary considerations. But for many more, these are every bit as important as statistical accuracy and the realistic feel of the simulation.
            I am playing 128-team tournament games picked randomly, but I do not have Super Bowl teams from 2002-2008. Can I still get them? I am a long-time Strat basketball and football player and I am still in a 16-team baseball league my 20th year. KEEP ROLLING STRAT!
David Gallucci. Johnston, RI 
            Yes, but … To get the carded Super Bowl teams only, you’ll have to try the secondary market. However, according to the products list at on Aug. 1, all the full-season card sets were available except 2005. If you are not yet registered online, do it now to get the first word when older seasons are offered at deep discounts. If you play the Windows game, then you can get all the seasons, but not individual teams.
            We all know SOM offers cards for World Series champs and pennant winners (and others) in their 42 Old Timers set from 1905-1967 and the 36 Past Season teams set from 1962-1976. Why doesn’t SOM offer similar sets of the best teams from 1977 to as close to the present as possible, perhaps by decade or something? I suppose you could do this on the computer (?), but I am interested only in playing with cards and dice. What a great way to have leagues or playoffs of only the greatest teams in all of history, not just to 1976.
Bob Siefken, Pinedale, WY
            Strat-O-Matic creator Hal Richman answers that this is a possibility, but uncertain. “It’s something for us to discuss further, but we can’t give a final answer now,” he said.