The Talk Show – February, 2011

                                            THE TALK SHOW

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.
Emcee Bill Daughtry: “I’ve been playing Strat-O-Matic so long, I can remember when Glenn Guzzo was skinny.”
Guzzo: “Bill has a better memory than I do.”
… And other mysteries revealed from Strat-O-Matic’s 50th Anniversary celebration in this special edition of The Talk Show.
This was awesome. Will you do it again next year?
Uh … no. 50th anniversaries usually come along once every, oh, 50 years or so. Seriously, this unprecedented Opening Day took an enormous amount of Strat-O-Matic’s time and energy.  And it would be tough to top this one. But every Strat-O-Matic fanatic should make at least one pilgrimage to the SOM offices on Long Island in Glen Head, NY. The annual Opening Day (when the new cards/computer rosters are released) is a great time to do it, because hundreds of other gamers show up. The camaraderie and the anticipation at the traditional Opening Days are next best to what we experienced this time.
The filmmakers were everywhere. When will the documentary be available to view?
Not till 2012. The 50th Anniversary celebration on Opening Day did not end the filming. The producers will be locating additional Strat-O-Matic celebrities and events, including Hal Richman’s inauguration into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on March 27.
I can hardly wait for the card sets available through the new Digital Printing Initiative. What is the first out-of-print season to be reprinted, and when?
Bob Winberry says there is no schedule yet, for seasons or dates. Though the live blog from the anniversary event said the reprints would debut in May, the timetable is not yet established. We do know that baseball is first, and that Strat-O-Matic intends to extend that to other sports.
Does Digital Printing mean downloads that we have to print out ourselves?
“We won’t be asking our customers to print anything out,” Winberry says. Strat-O-Matic will print the cards with high-quality, professional printing, very similar to the physical format of existing cards. The new cards will look different from the originals. This is not “on-demand” printing. SOM will choose the seasons available, announce them and take orders. Because digital printing permits SOM to print much small press runs, it ensures the viability of board game products in the computer world.
            In addition to re-printing older card sets, some possibility exists to convert computer-only seasons.  There are no current plans to use digital printing for baseball “Chevy” seasons, however. Computer-only basketball and football seasons would need further work to add basic sides before they could be printed. The computer-only hockey seasons are better candidates, because basic and advanced are represented in single-sided cards.
Questphere game developer Gary Brook’s explanation of 3-Minute Baseball was cut short due to time constraints. What was left out?
Mainly, that when you see the five Strat-O-Matic batters and five pitchers, you have strategy decisions to make: Which batters will you match up against which pitchers? Once each matchup is set, the batter will continue to get plate appearances until he makes three outs. He’ll register points for each base he achieves – one for a walk or single, two for a double, etc. The sum of the five batters’ points will be your score. Once a batter and a pitcher are used, they cannot be used again in the same game.
            Strat-O-Matic will change the batter-pitcher selection regularly on the various gaming platforms, so be sure to check back to see if you can achieve the top score. The game will be free to play.
What is the chance that Strat-O-Matic will produce baseball franchise teams based on the player’s best seasons?
So far, releases like the Hall of Fame and Baseball Heroes sets have been based on the aggregate of each player’s best seven seasons. It’s a massive effort to identify the top 25 or so players from each franchise and their best seasons. Then it’s more work if those players come from seasons not yet produced by SOM in deluxe form. But this would be destined to be a popular product and Strat-O-Matic would be very interested in producing such a set.
Why weren’t the Baseball Heroes cards and the updated Hall of Fame cards printed on the glossy stock that Strat-O-Matic used for the original Hall of Fame 2000 cards and the Negro League cards?
The original Hall of Fame set and the Negro League sets were produced as unique collectibles. So the new HOF set’s difference preserves that. In addition, the updated HOF set and the Heroes set were printed in smaller quantities than the original HOF set and Negro League set. According to SOM creator Hal Richman, glossy versions of the new sets would have been unreasonably expensive for gamers.
What is the lineup of Strat-O-Matic’s forthcoming historic baseball seasons?
Steve Barkan says that 1958 will be released this year, date to be determined. After that, the lineup is unknown. Barkan said he’s likely to continue the current rotation – a season from pre-World War II, a post-war season (five are left to be done from 1946-1953) and a Super-Advanced version of 1970 seasons (five remain to be updated) is likely. Among pre-war seasons, the gaming community so far has the most interest in 1938, Barkan said.
Glenn Guzzo mentioned his books – plural – but only Strat-O-Matic Fanatics was on sale. How can I get his other book(s)?
Guzzo’s second book, on baseball statistics also mentions Strat-O-Matic often. To purchase a signed copy of The New Ballgame, write to Glenn at Otherwise, you’ll find it at, and selected bookstores. Strat-O-Matic Fanatics remains available through Strat-O-Matic.