The Talk Show- July 2016


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.




            First, loved your book! Older seasons are being offered in six-packs only.  Will we ever see full seasons re-released in card format? The ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s are my main interest in football and while I’ve tried other games, SOM is the best for my solitaire football gaming needs.  I don’t want to have to switch games or go PC to play football.

            Thanks – keep up the good work.

Bob Stoner, Ligonier, PA

            Ever? Sure – that gives me a long time to be right! Seriously, the six-packs have been popular – but doubling, tripling, quadrupling the teams in the set will raise the price dramatically, to more than what Strat-O-Matic expects its fans to be willing to pay. At least, that is, to sell enough sets to make printing the sets reasonable.  Though an alternative – print on demand – hasn’t happened on the schedule that anyone, SOM included, had hoped, I remain optimistic that the company will be able to employ the technology that will make more specialty card sets come to life.

            Personally, I am using the six-packs two ways: As a six-team set for a short, five-game season (15 games total). Or by combining teams from different six-packs to form an era league (‘50s, early ‘60s, late ‘60s, etc.).




            First the positives: I believe adding Advanced-game features in 1972 (1971 season) was one of the best innovations I have ever seen. Putting the advanced side of the game on the previously unused back part of the cards was a great idea.

            Now, the curmudgeon in me.

            When Strat added the super-advanced features to the advanced game, the new symbols gave me a headache and I didn’t like the new card patterns. So I don’t play Super Advanced or Advanced because of the symbols. They also changed the basic card patterns where most hitters had an out on a 9 roll in their hit column and most batter home runs were on 6 and 10 rolls and most pitchers home runs were on 5 and 9 rolls. It seems gamers who started playing Strat with SA are OK, but I know several like me who started with basic and just never adopted SA.

            If I was SOM commissioner for a day, these are the changes I would make:

            1) Add more old-timer teams, in the original basic-only, original card pattern style. Huge holes in the 1900-1919 range. Many historic and great teams could be implemented: 1903 Boston and Pittsburgh – who would not want to replay the first World Series? 1908 Cubs (last Cubs World Champion) and Giants, and 1908 top AL teams also. 1919 Reds, 1923 Yankees (first Yankees World Champion), 1929 A’s (top 5 all-time team?), 1933 Senators (last Senators pennant winner), 1939 Yankees (top 5 all time?), 1940 Tigers, 1942 Cards and Dodgers (what a pennant race), 1944 Browns (only pennant winner), 1945 Cubs (last Cubs pennant winner), etc.

            2) Create “team cards” for each team in a season. Include the team’s record and standing, manager, runs scored and runs allowed, a picture of their ballpark and the ballpark and weather effects.

            3) Go back to full team names — New York Yankees is much more enticing than New York (AL).

            4) Find a better way to do the Super Advanced effects, perhaps with shading.

            5) Eliminate the “9” out roll in the basic hitters’ best column and the 6, 10 home run pattern for hitters’ basic cards. The original card patterns were much better to look at.

            6) Eliminate the repetitive 5, 9 home run results for basic pitchers. Scatter them around – each card should be more unique.

            7) Create a walk / out (strikeout) split chance, especially for pitchers (Nolan Ryan comes to mind). Roll a 5-8 and get a BB 1-10, K 11-20 for a Ryan type, and /or a BB 1-2, groundout 3-20 for a Greg Maddux type.

            8) Eliminate the red/blue shading on advanced sides. I am color blind but others have difficulty reading through these colors, too.

            9) Create “special cards,” such as Arietta second half 2015, Vida Blue first half 1971, Willie Mays career at Ebbetts Field, Madison Bumgarner 2014 World Series card (or career World Series card) etc.

            I will stop for now but invariably will come up or be reminded of more suggestions.

Cary A. Cardinale


            This is why Strat-O-Matic keeps upgrading its computer game features and its board-game product line – gamers haven’t come close to exhausting their wish lists. The game company’s list of gamer desires keeps growing. Generally, I say, “Keep those ideas coming!”

            When you become commissioner, Cary, you will find that some of these are easier to accomplish than others. And some, while easy enough to do – such as the “special cards” – may not be worth the effort if it means having to avoid doing something else, though I think it would be fun to see a dozen unique cards in each set that help tell the story of that season. Team cards would be cool, and perhaps they could become replay aids as well, showing how often a team bunted, attempted steals, etc.

            Since adding the Advanced game, SOM has not demonstrated interest in developing Basic-only card sets, but I wouldn’t rule out such specialty sets for that reason only. The desired stats for pre-1913 seasons are elusive. And SOM’s 1911 set did not sell as well as any later seasons, so the fan enthusiasm hasn’t justified more investment there.

            Least likely, I think, is adding the nicknames. Neither Strat-O-Matic nor its competitors seem to think the nicknames are worth what Major League Baseball demands in royalties to use them.

            The batters’ Basic card patterns have more variety than you are reporting. Using the 2015 Cubs as example, we see the highest EBH chance (usually a home run) beginning at:

2: Herrera (roll 1-2), Ross (2-2), LaStella (3-2)

4: Baez (1-4), Rizzo (2-4), Bryant (3-4)

6: Fowler (1-6), Coghlan (2-6) Montero (3-6)

8: Denorifia (1-8), Castro (2-8), Soler (3-8)

9: Schwarber (1-9), Russell (2-9), Jackson (3-9)


            I suspect the fewer pitcher patterns have to do with the fewer pitchers on each team. A 27-man team typically has 12 pitchers. So SOM has settled on six patterns – two guys with HR chances at 4-5, two at 4-9, two at 5-5, two at 5-9, two at 6-5 and two at 6-9. I wouldn’t object if it was one each at those spots, allowing for three more at the 10 roll and three more somewhere else.


            As far as the outs on 9 rolls, I know other gamers who prefer the original-style patterns with uninterrupted success chances from rolls 4 through 10, and I know others who love the drama when the best column has been rolled, but the success is not guaranteed.