The Talk Show – July, 2011

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.
Putting Red in the Red Sox
            I have baseball version 14, so I don’t have the most updated computer version of the game, therefore this question may be moot. If you are replaying a season, will Strat-O-Matic have a function to allow you to make any trades/moves you want without having the computer approve it? I get very frustrated with the product when I go to for the starters and the starting lineup and guys who started in the game are not on the team. Case in point, the 1930 Boston Red Sox had Red Ruffing as their game 2 starter (he started 3 games for them before being traded), but he is not on the roster. Being able to freely make the moves/trades on the day they happened during the season would be a great enhancement.
I would love to see Strat come out with the 1929 and the 1931 seasons, which would capture the great Philadelphia A’s teams of that time period.
Henry Roman, New Egypt, NJ
            No worries, Henry. SOM has always allowed you to make your own trades without Swap-O-Matic. For years now, preceding Version 14, all the current seasons have every player, even those with a single at-bat or inning pitched. For older seasons, Strat-O-Matic’s Update Team has done a tremendous job of adding all those extra players, creating as-played lineups, automating dated roster moves, and creating individual pitcher-hitting cards. All of this is available for 1930 – and for the 1929 and 1931 “Chevy” seasons, too. Make sure to download the “Update” version when you are installing the rosters from the League menu.
Living the Dream
            I thought I read or heard or had a happy dream that Strat was going to offer past baseball years on a digital printing format. In other words, there would be little need to determine what past years would be marketable or poll potential buyers about what they might like to see. Are past years via digital printing coming? Or, if not, what’s coming in past baseball seasons? The ones I’ve played –11, 20, 24, 27, 34, 50, 55, 56, 59, 61 – have been great, and I’m looking for more. Hope so.
Jim Poole, Cobleskill NY
            Your dream will come true. SOM is working hard on this, but until it can be confident about the outcome, announcements will have to wait. We were told at the 50th Anniversary celebration – it wasn’t a dream – that baseball would be first.
            We know for sure that 1958 will be the next full classic season, and it will be released on Opening Day 2012. This will complete SOM’s library of seasons from 1954 to present. I agree these seasons are great fun. I’ve used all of them and have played a ton with 1930, 1951, 1959 and 1961. My 1930 NL (Cubs by one over St. Louis; Hack Wilson hit 59 HR), 1951 NL (mine had a Giants-Dodgers playoff, too!) and 1959 AL (a three-way tie for the pennant between Chicago, Detroit and New York) all had classic finishes. The 1930 draft league I was in also was amazing.
Fit for the 50th
            Is there any chance Strat-O-Matic will reprint (3 color advanced; one color basic) the 1961, and 1962 baseball seasons? I thought for sure the ‘61 season would be available this year, due to the 50th anniversary.   I hope Strat will consider doing this.
Phil, Passaic NJ
            Both seasons are candidates for the digital re-prints mentioned above.
Nostalgic for Single-Sided Cards
            Many of us love the old-timers, the memories of playing these from our earliest Strat-O-Matic lives, the history of great teams and historical players, the forgotten franchises (Brooklyn Dodgers, Washington Senators, St. Louis Browns, etc.) the simple, likeable warm and fuzzy 1-sided cards with the original classic card patterns, the memories of games played so long ago …
            I have voiced this before and will do it again, let’s update the old-timers (for the first time since 1976). The dead ball era is under represented and there are many other holes to fill. There are currently 42 teams, three of which were non-pennant winners and one is so bad there is no sense to play with them. [Here is] what I would like (and hopefully others have similar interests). Who knows, maybe some new old-timer teams would regenerate interest in these classic teams. If 64 teams (or more) could be reached, there would be a chance for a nice NCAA basketball-type tournament bracket, maybe even a play in series between the 1922 Browns and 1961 Tigers, the two strong non-first place old-timer teams. Here are my nominations:
1900-1910 SET B: This era is really under represented, especially the teens.
1903 Boston Pilgrams and 1903 Pittsburgh Pirates; 1914 Boston Braves, 1915 Philadelphia Phillies, 1916 Boston Red Sox, 1917 Chicago White Sox
            Adding these teams would bring the era up to 12 teams, 6 for each decade. The participants for the first World Series would be fun to play! And the Braves, Phillies and White Sox, so under represented with one team each, would add strong teams, including a White Sox World Champion. Plus the capper, a Boston Red Sox World Champion with a monster Babe Ruth pitching card.
            Honorable mention: 1906 White Sox, 1912 Red Sox, 1919 Reds
1920-1930 SET C: 1923 New York Yankees, 1926 St. Louis Cardinals, 1929 Philadelphia A’s, 1931 St. Louis Cardinals, 1933 Washington Senators, 1939 New York Yankees
            Honorable mention: 1920 Brooklyn, 1926 Yankees, 1936 Giants (Hubbell 26-6)
Lots of history here: the Yankees first World Champion and The Senators last pennant winner. Two teams many consider among the top five teams of all time, the 1929 A’s and 1939 Yankees. And two Cardinal teams who played in memorable World Series, Alexander striking out Lazzeri and Pepper Martin dashing the hopes of a three-peat from the mighty 1931 A’s.
1940 SET B: 1942 St. Louis Cardinals, 1944 St. Louis Browns, 1945 Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs, 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers, 1949 New York Yankees
            It was a toss-up for the sixth entry between the 1940 and 1945 Tigers. Newhouser and a chance to have another World Series combo gave the edge to 1945. Also included is the Browns’ only pennant winner, another monster Cardinals team, the Cubs’ last pennant winner and 1947: Jackie’s rookie year and Casey’s memorable first year with the Yankees.
            Honorable mention: 1940 Tigers, 1942 Dodgers, 1944 Cardinals, 1948 Braves, 1948 Red Sox, 1949 Red Sox
1950-60 Set B: 1951 New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers, 1953 New York Yankees, 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, 1959 Chicago White Sox, 1960 New York Yankees
            More history here, of course the 1951 Dodgers and Giants, Brooklyn’s only World Champion, the only White Sox pennant winner between 1919 and 2005 and Casey’s last team who were victimized by Mazeroski. Yankee fans can play the Pirates and see if they should have won, and those 1953 Brooklyn Dodger fans can now do the same vs. the Yankee team that beat them.
            Honorable mention: 1951 Yankees, 1959 Dodgers (well just about any Yankee or Dodger team).
            I am aware some of these teams have been released in recreated seasons, and others are available through the computer game, but a real dream would be to have these released as 1 sided teams in the old card patterns! 24 new teams would make 66, with a play-in series or two making a nice 64 team tourney.  I can dream right?
Cary A. Cardinale, Dublin, CA
            Good summary of baseball history, Cary. We’ve all got pet wish lists, but the chances that Strat-O-Matic would re-issue currently available cards just to offer them in new card patterns has got to be close to zero. And since the computer has all these teams in one format or another, the odds of basic-only cards can’t be a lot higher. The digital-printing initiative makes many niche ideas possible, but your dream involving so many seasons is extraordinarily ambitious.
Oh, Canada!
            Thank you for your reply a few months ago regarding the teams in the 1987 college football edition. I was hoping that Duke, North Carolina, Maryland, Cal-Berkeley, Kentucky and Vanderbilt would have been represented in one of the three years the game came out. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be so. Anyways, I was wondering if you had a guess why 1987 NC State was chosen for the 1987 edition over 1987 UNC? UNC was 5-6 while NC State was already carded in the previous 1986 set and finished 4-7 in 1987.
            Oh, what’s your opinion on Strat doing the CFL? I think it’d get a lot of interest (much more than the USFL) due to the limited number of teams required for a replay and the 3 downs, 110-yard field, etc. Do the CFL players have a union that Strat would have to pay off? The SAG- CFL game ruled. Thanks again.
            Also, is it possible that Strat-O-Matic could print team nicknames again on the cards? I thought I had read of some court ruling somewhere that allowed some company to do this for whatever product they offered. I believe the cards really lose flavor without the team names, especially for younger kids. Thank you.
Ted, Idaho Falls, ID
            As someone who grew up in Detroit watching Canadian sports televised on the station from nearby Windsor, Ontario, I loved the 1960s CFL and adopted Hamilton for my rooting interest. The Tiger Cats’ defense had all-time greats Garney Henley and John Barrow and a pretty good DT in Angelo Moska, aka “the Masked Marvel” in pro wrestling. A CFL season would be a fun novelty, for sure, and I would play a lot with a ‘60s Ti-Cats title winner with QB Bernie Faloney and WR Tommy Grant, as well as other team’s CFL greats of the era (George Reed, Ron Lancaster, Russ Jackson, et al). But what most of us think of as “a lot of interest” doesn’t translate into sales that would justify the time and expense to produce it. The USFL was seen in more American big cities than the CFL and had many more recognizable former and future NFL players, even if SOM rated the CFL teams with Warren Moon, Doug Flutie and Joe Theismann.
            Unless I missed something, I think the legal case you refer to involved only player statistics, not team nicknames, which would be protected as brand names. SOM’s position on nicknames is they don’t add enough to be worth royalties that would force gamers’ costs higher. My guess on 1987 college football: NC State was 4-3 in the conference and fourth overall – and SOM cut off ACC representation there. All other ACC teams were .500 or worse in conference. UNC was 3-4 and sixth.
Pitching Rotations and the PC
            Thanks for including my letter on assigning starting pitchers to the day-by-day rotation in your June 30 talk show. You list many complications that might occur if a manager has a function to assign a specified rotation to an entire season or section of a season, and I agree that all these complications are valid. You also ask if in light of these complications, will a function to assign a specified rotation would really save time…my answer is YES! If, for example, in a draft league, there are 36 games in the league’s first block of games, and I plan to have five starting pitchers active and plan to use them in a straight rotation for that period…then it is much quicker to have a function in the game so that I can put them in the order I desire and with the click of a mouse, assign them to those 36 games. Certainly, in most cases, I will not be satisfied to assign four or five pitchers to a season-long rotation and leave them as is, but it will greatly help, especially for draft leagues which – at least all those I have played in – complete a season in blocks of games, with active rosters allowed to be changed in each block.
Eric Johns, Orange County, CA
            Good point, Eric. Having played in a variety of draft leagues that play games in blocks, I should have thought of that. Certainly it would be convenient to set a block rotation that can be inserted for a PART of a season – one block at a time, especially.