The Talk Show – May, 2010





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.

Fair Play

            My pitching staff has several hurlers who are in the powerful AL East, a division filled with big bats.  Anyone pitching in the AL East likely faces a much, much stronger lineup than folks in the NL.  How does Strat account for this?  James Shields, for example, is on a team that faces the Sox and Yankees over and over.  That’s a far cry from pitchers in, say, the NL Central, who must face (gasp!) the Pirates, Reds, and other squads whose offenses are far weaker.

Mike SanClemente,

            Every team has its own set of statistical norms, based on its competition. Though the league average always has been a barometer of the competition, Strat-O-Matic’s process is not that basic. Without revealing too much, SOM creator Hal Richman long ago pointed out that, for instance, no team faces its own pitching (or its own hitting), so it’s norms will be different from all other teams.

Baseball Card Corrections

            A question about Tubby Scales card from the Negro League set.  On the advanced side against left handed pitching he gets injured at 1-2 and 3-12, but against right handed pitching does not get injured at all.  Is this a mistake?  I think that it is, can you let me (and all the readers) know the correction? 

Bill Donnelly, Indio, CA

            Should be at roll 3-12 only vs. LHP and 1-12 vs. RHP. The injury at 1-2 vs. LHP is incorrect.

            Glad to see you’re still helping us gamers with all of the Strat questions!  I did find myself wondering about one thing: In the 1977 set (a wonderful re-release, by the way), Dennis Martinez with 4 saves gets a closer rating of “3”, while Tippy Martinez with 9 saves gets a closer rating of “2”.  The company didn’t mix up the two Martinez pitchers, did it?  Goodness knows it happened enough when they both pitched for Baltimore.


This definitely seems to be an error: Freddie Patek has a “W” power rating vs. LHP, but he also has one BP diamond.  Shouldn’t it be an “N”? Has anyone in the SOM community ever seen a player with a power rating of “W” AND a ballpark diamond on the same side of the card? Not that I’m obsessive about the cards or anything, but after you play for a while you start to recognize patterns (or at least I have learned to, which is why one of my friends asked me to sit on his playoff games with another guy he suspected of cheating. Turned out the other guy was “misreading” the cards without his glasses.) Anyway, if it’s correct that Patek has “W” power vs. LHP and a ballpark homer on 1-12, it certainly breaks the mold as far as I know.

P. Sean Bramble, Dazaifu, Japan

            Strat-O-Matic’s Steve Barkan reports that Patek is correct, but the Martinez’ closer ratings were inadvertently switched. Thanks for the sharp eye, Sean.

Heroes at Their Best

            My understanding is that each player in the Baseball Heroes set will be researched on their seven best past seasons. So at the bottom of the card, will Strat put the player’s best all-around season? (Example, on the old HOF sets, SOM has Willie Mays’s 1955 season)

Phil, Passaic NJ

            Strat-O-Matic used career stats, not best season, on its Hall of Fame 2000 cards. I’d expect that again with the Baseball Heroes set, which is likely to be released in early 2011.

Merging Dice and Keyboards

            Would it ever be possible that the Strat Computer Basketball game have an option to input manual dice rolls, which you are able to do for Computer Baseball and Football?  I enjoy rolling the dice and having the actual cards in front of me but I know Strat will not be printing the cards for the old basketball seasons.  I like being able to roll the dice on my own – it really makes me feel like I’m part of the game.  Thanks.

Ralph C., Middletown, N.Y.


            Ordinarily I’d say, “Why not?” But the history of Computer Basketball suggests we have to, as the 21st Century saying goes, manage our expectations. We’ve been told repeatedly that sales are so modest that Strat-O-Matic can’t justify spending much of its small-business operations on major feature changes for this game. Fortunately, the game reached a mature a level of computer development before the new features became scarce.