Great Moments in Strat – 2005



Have you experienced a game of Strat-O-Matic so thrilling, unique or bizarre that you just HAVE to share it with someone? That would be us. Send your Great Moments in Strat to Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.






SEAVER vs. STARGELL (not a lawsuit)


Certainly one of my most memorable games:  I was replaying the 1970 season in the summer of 1971.  We were on a family vacation in Cape Cod and the Pirates were playing the Mets.  This was a must-win game for the Pirates who were 1/2 game behind the Giants for first place in my league (with 2 games left to play).  My sister’s boyfriend was managing the Mets and I managed the Pirates.  He started Tom Seaver and the Mets scored a run in the middle innings.  The game went to the bottom of the ninth with the Pirates trailing 1-0.  First batter up made an out and then Bob Robertson singled to right and Art Shamsky bobbled the ball allowing Robertson to go to second.  Then Willie Stargell uncorked a homer over the center field wall on a 1-1 pitch to win the game as the players mobbed Stargell at the plate.  And my sister’s boyfriend says:  “No! No way!”


H. Dearborn





A great moment occurred for me this week. No hitters on consecutive days. I am doing a replay, on computer, of the 1927 season by guiding the New York Giants. The rest of the games are being auto-played. Joe Dawson of the Pirates threw a 7-0 no hitter against the Giants at the Polo Grounds. He struck out one and missed a perfect game by walking George Harper in the fifth inning. The next day in Cleveland, the Yankees’ Waite Hoyt kept the Indians without a hit, winning 14-0. He walked 1, struck out 3 and the Yankees committed 4 errors. On the same day Hoyt threw his gem, the Giants did rebound from being no hit by getting 19 hits in beating Pittsburgh, 9-6.




Have you experienced a game of Strat-O-Matic so thrilling, unique or bizarre that you just HAVE to share it with someone? That would be us. Send you Great Moments in Strat to Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.






I don’t know if this is a record, but for me, who has been playing SOM baseball since 1967, it was unreal!


       I was playing the 2001 Hall of Fame “Leftouts” vs. the “Post-War Nationals” on the computer and the amazing matchup combined for 11 home runs! I don’t know if anybody has had more home runs in a game but it was a blast. The Post -War Nationals defeated the Leftouts, 14-7. Here are the homers:


Jimmy Foxx- 2, Ralph Kiner-1, Hack Wilson-2, Joe Morgan- 2, Stan Musial-2, Eddie Mathews-1, Ernie Banks-1. Sandy Koufax was the winner after pitching 7 innings, although he was hit hard. allowing 15 hits and 7 earned runs. Bob Gibson pitched the last 2 innings in zeroes. Early Wynn lost for the Leftouts, throwing 3 innings and allowing 7 hits and 8 runs. Don Sutton also pitched 3 innings, allowing 5 hits and 4 runs. Robin Roberts finished for 2 innings and allowed 2 hits and 2 runs.


Is this a record or this has happened before to anybody ?


Long live SOM!!!


Orlando Leon


Amazingly enough, Orlando, it is not a record – for Strat or the Major Leagues. On May 28, 1995 the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox combined for 12 homers, seven by Detroit. Fascinatingly, the same teams combined for 12 again (six each) on July 2, 2002. Eleven is the National League record, achieved four times from 1966-79. Although 11 homers in a Strat game is rare, it has been eclipsed. By the way, the Major-League record for most HR in one game by one team is 10 – the Toronto Blue Jays humiliated the Baltimore Orioles on Sept. 14, 1987.





I have a story to share.  First, some background:


Three of my brothers and I have been playing Strat together every Sunday during Fall and Winter for over 10 years.  We pick five real teams, then draft from that pool to make each of our four teams.  It has been an excellent way to keep in touch with one another, but mostly it’s been a lot of fun. This year we drafted from the 2003 White Sox, Phillies, Royals, Mets and Dodgers.  During our fifth week of play, my brother Joe, pitched Esteban Loaiza against my crew and threw a no-hitter.  This was our league’s first no-hitter in about 10 years and was Joe’s first.  My team had Piazza and Thome in the lineup.  That was bad enough, but in the next game, I realized that Darrel May was now throwing a no-hitter against me.  You can imagine my humiliation when the game ended and I had been no-hit again, this time by Darrel May.  My brother had played hundreds, if not thousands of Strat games without a no-hitter, then he turns the trick in consecutive games against me.  I almost hate writing this, but the story is too good not to share it.


Greg Zeis, Elizabeth, PA





Eerie – Remember the card Mark Eichhorn had when the only thing vs. righties was a 5-11 walk? I was pitching him one game and mentioned to my opponent that just the day before he had issued a costly walk on the 5-11 roll to force in the winning run. We both agreed: What a bum break, that won’t happen again. Naturally, his immediate roll was a 5-11 walk. We basically fell on the floor.


Robert Conroy, Mohegan Lake, NY





I had two recent games that are definitely great moments in Strat.


First, in a 1965 Dodgers vs. 1971 A’s tournament game (I only play basic cards and dice), Vida Blue pitched a no-hitter in Game 1 of a best-of-seven series. This is only my third or fourth no-hitter in 36 years of SOM baseball.  (The Dodgers roared back to win the series 4 games to 1 with Koufax getting revenge in a Game 4 laugher, winning 9-1 with 13 strikeouts.)


A few days later (same tournament) 1970 Boog Powell hit four home runs in Game 2 of a series against the 1969 Braves (the Braves won the series 4-3). In the bottom of the first, Powell rolled a 1-9 for a grand slam and in the 3rd rolled an identical 1-9 for a three-run homer. After striking out in the 5th, Powell rolled a 1-10 for a solo home run and an inning later rolled a third 1-9 for his fourth home run, this time a two-run HR.  Powell’s totals were 4 hits in 5 AB, 4 HR and 10 RBI. This was my first ever 4-HR game!  Odd that all 4 HR came off Powell’s card and 3 of the 4 rolls were 1-9’s.


By the way, the Orioles hit 7 HR in the game, tieing the 1965 Reds and 1977 Red Sox for my all time one-game HR record by a team and missed an eighth HR when a  Don Buford HR 1-14 roll came up a 15.  The 10 RBI by Powell equals my all time record for RBI in a game with 1931 Al Simmons.  The Orioles led 17-2 after 8 innings, but the Braves scored 6 times in the 9th to make the final 17-8.


Cary, age 47, California




Don Vojta, Floral Park, NY




The very first Strat game I ever played: A friend brought over his 1972 Pirates and Reds cards. Two outstanding teams that played a memorable five-game playoff that year (which turned on) Bob Moose’s wild pitch in the bottom of the 9th.  I played the hated Reds and my friend had our hometown Pirates.  I started Gary Nolan.  Nolan retired the first 26 batters before Vic Davalillo hit a two-out single breaking up the perfect game.  Nolan retired leadoff batter Gene Clines, giving Nolan a one-hit shutout and I have been hooked on Strat baseball ever since.

Chris Valle, Fairfax, VA (hometown Pittsburgh, PA)





I’m in the midst of a mammoth 100-team tournament using what I believe
are the 100 best baseball teams ever issued by Strat in either Advanced or Super Advanced format. This one time, the 1934 Tigers were playing the 1954 Giants at the Polo Grounds. If the Giants won, they won the group outright and would advance to the single elimination round. If the Tigers won, they’d force a one-game rematch playoff with the Giants at Briggs Stadium for the group title. The Tigers led 4-1 entering the bottom of the 9th.
Detroit‘s Eldon Auker was fatigued but still pitching well. Leadoff man pinch- hitter Dusty Rhodes singled to center. Whitey Lockman was retired on a popout. Alvin Dark singled to center, moving Rhodes to third. Lefty Carl Fischer was brought in to pitch to Don Mueller, but promptly walked Mueller, loading the bases. Up stepped Willie Mays, who was 0-for-3 for the day, including two punch-outs. In came veteran fireman Firpo Marberry to pitch to Mays. Mays homered to left field, leaving the Tigers on the field, and winning the group title, 5 to 4, with one swing!


Carlos; San Juan, P.R.






I finally finished my first season of Strat-O-Matic computer football. I played a stock replay of the 1968 season where I led the NY Jets to a 12-2 record and it was time to start the playoffs. My first opponent was going to be the 13-1 KC Chiefs, who I lost to in my season opener, 19-17. I disappeared from my family to start the ultimate showdown.


The Chiefs jumped out to an early 10-0 lead but a deep pass to Don Maynard and a Jim Turner field goal tied the score. But the Chiefs lead 17-10 at the half. My son and wife entered the room and my son sat down to watch the second half. The score was 27-20 in favor of the Chiefs as the Jets were playing catch-up for the entire second half. With five minutes remaining after rushing the ball with Matt Snell for a first down at the KC 45-yard line, I ran a deep route to George Sauer which resulted in a touchdown tying the score. My son and I nervously watched as KC marched down the field and burned the clock down to the final minute and a half when a KC pass play to the end zone resulted in an interception and touchback.


My wife was talking off and on as the final minutes of the game clock ticked down. I had the Jets on the KC 30 yard line with one time out left and 50 seconds remaining. My wife was starting to ask a question as I ran a deep pass to Maynard, which was completed down to the 10-yard line with 1 sec left if I take my final time out. At that time my wife demanded an answer to a question which I did not hear. Since I was running out-of-bounds plays prior to this one, I was in the habit of unchecking the timeout box following the play. As my wife said, “Jim, you’re ignoring me,”  I unchecked the timeout box, as I looked at my son’s terrified face and pressed the continue button and came up with a response to my wife’s question. To my shock and dismay a coin toss and kick off resulted as my son Christopher explained what I had done in un-checking the timeout box.


After a few changes of possession my Jets’ Super Bowl chances came to an end on a 15-yard game-winning field goal. Final score: KC Chiefs 30, NY Jets 27.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  James Micek, Staten Island, NY 




Have you experienced a game of Strat-O-Matic so thrilling, unique or bizarre that you just HAVE to share it with someone? That would be us. Send you Great Moments in Strat to Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.






A game I played over 30 years ago stands out. I had the 1965 Dodgers against the 1927 Yankees, the old basic versions without N/W power. Maury Wills was about to hit against Waite Hoyt when I said to my opponent "what are the odds of Wills hitting a home run –his only chance is off Hoyt’s card a 5-5 with a HR 1  Flyout 2-20?  Sure enough, I roll a 5-5 and draw a "1" on the split deck!

Jim Overmeyer,  Islip NY



Like a lot of SOM fans, I have been a big fan of Bill James ever since Ballantine first published his Baseball Abstract in 1982.  What was most entertaining about James was that here was a baseball writer who coupled mastery of the essay form with both clever metaphors and devastating player evaluations that were analytically based.  Among the players (Willie Aikens, Duane Kuiper) Bill ripped in those early years was Rich Gale (career record of 55-56, 4.54).  Gale,  James said, was the guy who cost the Royals the title in 1979 (he went 9-10 with a 5.65 ERA), was the then-equivalent to Gene Conley (91-96, 3.82), and was the last guy in the world one would expect to turn things around and become a staff ace.


In the summer of 1998 I was recreating the 1978 season, playing the Baltimore Orioles’ games in full and setting the lineups and starting pitchers for the other games before launching autoplay.  While checking the box scores one day, I noticed a staggering event.  On 2 September 1978, the Tigers played the Royals at night in Kansas CityJim Slaton opposed Rich Gale, and the Royals won, 2-0.  As for Gale, he didn’t just get the win.  He didn’t just pitch a shutout.  He didn’t even just pitch a no-hitter.


He tossed a perfect game.


Granted, the Tigers had some injuries at the time.  The starting lineup was Leflore, CF; Whitaker, 2B; Corcoran, LF; Staub, DH; Wockenfuss, RF; May, C; Rodriguez, 3B; Stanley, 1B; and Wagner, SS.  All went 0-3 except Wagner, who was pinch-hit for with Lance Parrish with two out in the ninth.  Gale threw 96 pitches and struck out five (Leflore twice, Whitaker, Corcoran, and Wagner) in improving his record to (only!) 9-8, 4.28.


I have seen a few SOM no-hitters in my time, but never once had I had a perfect game while playing out a SOM season.  And to have it done by a pitcher who seemed the epitome of a marginal major-league pitcher made it all the more astounding. I just wonder what Bill James might say if he heard about this.

P. Sean Bramble, Dazaifu, Japan








Since I have been in the Marine Corps for the past seven-plus years it is difficult to play the board game of Strat baseball. I usually play some condensed series against my brothers or dad whenever I am home on leave, which is where my story takes place. For the current games with my brother and a couple of friends, we each took two teams and made one roster out it. In the first game of the season I had Johan Santana pitching (a surprise since lefties fare worse then normal for me), and my friend had the Cubs and Red Sox as his team. Very quietly Santana was racking up K’s and outs, and it wasn’t until like the 7th inning that I noticed that Santana had a perfect game going. Well, not wanting to jinx myself I kept quiet and kept going.

 When we got to the 9th inning after one out occurred my friend looks at me and goes, “Sure would be nice to get a hit in the game.” I am like, Noooooo. Why did you have to say something?  

My other friend who was playing my brother across the table is like, “Did I just hear something about a no-hitter happening?” All this time I am just trying to keep calm and not worry about. The next guy rolls Santana’s card and K’s.

 Then my friend from across the way is like, “Is it a perfect game going?” I didn’t want to say anything but reluctantly said yes it is.  Up comes Jason Varitek and what happens but a roll of his sweet spot and gets a Single after not converting on a Double/Single Split. (Quick note: the next game we played I intentionally plunked him, just because).

That was the closest I have ever come to a no-hitter, much less a perfect game, and I have been playing the game for about 10 years now.  That is why people hate it when sportscasters talk about happenings like that. Just sets it up to be a disappointment when they JINX ‘em

Sgt Robert Jures (USMC) , Deployed Somewhere in the Middle East


Just a couple of days ago, my wife (the Strato-Babe) and I played a game on our league’s schedule. I run a face to face league, using the latest set of cards.


It was Al Leiter‘s (2004 card) turn to pitch for me and he was doing awesome, no-hitting my wife into the 9th inning. With two outs, Jorge Posada comes to the plate and my wife rolls 5:6, which is a DOUBLE 1-11, flyout 12-20, on the right side. TWO OUTS! The excitement was too much! She rolled that 20-sided die and to my horror, it landed on a 7! Goodbye, no-hitter. Leiter recorded the next out, but it was a big let down!   

My wife’s lineup was: Brian Roberts / Eli Marrero / Jorge Posada / Adrian Beltre / Troy Glaus / Andruw Jones / Jermaine Dye / Darin Erstad / Cesar Izturis.


Steve Janowski, Baltimore






Steve Napoli passes along this classic involving the 1969 Mets at the 1975 Reds. The game was scoreless for 17 long innings until, with two-out in the top of the 18th, Art Shamsky and Cleon Jones hit back-to-back late-night homers off Pedro “Dracula” Borbon to give the Mets a 2-0 victory.


The starters, left-handers Jamie McAndrew (8 innings) and Don Gullet (11) gave up just seven hits (six singles) between them. For the Mets, John DiLauro (4 innings) and Tug McGraw (6 innings) threw another complete-game’s worth of scoreless relief. Clay Carroll (5 innings) and Borbon (1.2 innings) had been nearly as good until the sudden turn of events.


Jones (6-for-8 with a double and homer) was the hitting star. He had more hits (six) than the rest of the Mets (five) and just as many as the entire Reds team. The Reds went 18 innings without an extra-base hit.


Some major collars in this game: SS Bud Harrelson and RF Ron Swoboda were each 0-for-8 for the Mets. 1B Dan Driessen was 0-for-7 for the Reds. Three other players were 0-for-6.





A couple of months ago, I got home from a long night at work and I felt

that the best way to unwind was to play a little 1970s Football.  Run, play defense, smother something.  The game selected was myself as the 1977 Oakland Raiders versus the computer manager as the 1977 Buffalo Bills, which was a deliberate mismatch.  Evil of me … Buffalo was very weak against the run that year. 


Oakland won 45-0, without attempting a single forward pass.  In over 35 years

of playing Strat Football, I’ve never had that happen before. By half, the score was 24-0, and I checked the stats and saw that Ken Stabler had no passing attempts.  I resolved to keep it that way just to see if I could, as Buffalo had not even come close to scoring.  Oakland ran 78 plays (all runs) for 392 yards, paced by Mark van Eeghen‘s 224 yards on 37 carries.  Buffalo managed 153 yards on 40 plays with two turnovers on offense.  Oakland did not turn the ball over and commited no penalties.  For a Raider team, how weird is that?  This was a crazy game from all angles.  I never selected "Delete Last Play" at all. Really. 


I’m still a Raider fan because of my experiences with the 1967 Strat team

long ago.  Thanks for everything!

Mark Finzel, Haslett, MI





By Glenn Guzzo


            This time of year – the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl, All-Star games – recalls that one of the most fun features of the old STRAT FAN magazine was “Great Moments in Strat” – the experiences of gamers that thrilled them so much they just had to share them with other Strat-O-Matic fanatics.


            I had one last night and thought it would be as good a time as any to revive this feature by inviting your great moments. When we get a nice selection, we’ll post them to Strat-O-Sphere.


            Here’s my latest:


            I’m playing Strat computer basketball in my Great Teams league, the ’86 Celtics at the ’71 Bucks. So Larry Bird scores 24 points with 4-for-4 three-pointers (one of which turned out to be a 4-point play) and adds 4 dazzlers.


            Then the second quarter began.


            I’ve never seen anything like it – one man scores 24 and accounts for 32 in a single quarter. And does it against the 66-win Bucks! Dick Hunt, who has played more Strat basketball than can reasonably be justified, said he’s never seen anything close to such an individual performance.


            In the end, Bird scores 48 and adds 9 dazzlers in a triple-double performance. The Celtics, up 44-38 after one quarter and 101-98 after three, win 129-127 when, on the game’s last play, Danny Ainge blocked Oscar Robertson’s penetration shot and Bill Walton grabbed the rebound.


            “I don’t know what’s scarier,” Hunt commented. “That Bird did that against a really great team or that it still took a great buzzer play by Danny Ainge for Bird’s team to pull out a win!”


            The Bucks stayed close thanks to Lew Alcindor (38 points, fouling out Robert Parrish) and nine put-back baskets following offensive rebounds.


            Have a dandy to share? Send it to       Please include your name and hometown.




Have you experienced a game of Strat-O-Matic so thrilling, unique or bizarre that you just HAVE to share it with someone? That would be us. Send you Great Moments in Strat to Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.





The first game I ever played using the newly released 2005 football cards yielded a classic. This was also the first game I ever played with teams from different years and card sets.


It pitted the 2004 San Diego Chargers at the 1967 Baltimore Colts. The Colts took a 17-3 lead at halftime. Tom Matte scored from 2 yards out after Baltimore had recovered a fumble by Eric Parker on a punt return. Tony Lorick had the second TD on a 2-yard run. In the second half, as if being down two TDs wasn’t bad enough, San Diego lost both Ladainian Tomlinson and Keenan McCardell to injury. Never fear, because Anthony Gates started impersonating Kellen Winslow. The Chargers’ tight end caught 3 TDs in the second half – one from 7 yards out and two bombs of 55 and 53 yards – from Drew Brees to tie the game at 24 with 3 minutes to go.


But just as he had done in the 1958 Championship Game, Johnny Unitas, the 2-minute master, moved the Colts down the field to set up a game-winning FG. The key play of the drive was a clutch 12-yard completion on 4th and 1. Lou Michaels kicked a 25-yard FG to win the game for Baltimore.


Final score: 1967 Baltimore 27, 2004 San Diego 24


David Solomon, East Brunswick, NJ



I decided to pit the Colorado Avalanche against the Atlanta Thrashers at the Phillips Arena using the 1999-00 teams. I expected a dull game. How can the expansion Thrashers match the firepower of the Avalanche with Joe Sakic and Ray Bourque? How would Atlanta ever get a puck past Patrick Roy?

Here’s what happened:

The Thrashers immediately scored twice. Donald Audette beat Roy to open the scoring, and Yannick Tremblay made it 2-0 on a power play goal.

The Avalanche came right back. Sakic and Adam Deadmarsh both notched power play goals, and Jon Klemm beat Norm Maracle to make it 3-2, Colorado.

Now, it was the Thrashers turn to come back. Ray Ferraro scored a power play goal, and Dan Sylvester got a goal to make it 4-3, Atlanta, after the 1st period.

Milan Hejduk scored on a power play to tie the game at 4. Sandis Ozolinsh beat Maracle to give the Avalanche a one-goal lead.

Audette gets his second to send the teams into the locker room tied at 5.

Ferraro gets the game-winner for Atlanta as the Thrashers get a shocking and thrilling upset of Colorado, 6-5. The final sequence of play in the game had Maracle stopping 5 rebound shots.

David Solomon, East Brunwick, NJ




My own recent great moment came last month.  I was home on vacation, the wife was away visiting her mom, it was just me, the swimming pool, my Strat cards and my dice for a week.  So, of course, I started a tournament.  As usual, with the old basic cards.  It would be all the basic Giants against all the basic Dodgers, day games, outside on the pool deck, the way baseball was meant to be played, starting with 1970, best of seven series.


Games 1 through 3 were good entertaining games, but nothing spectacular or unusual.  The hated Dodgers led my beloved Giants, two games to one.  Perry would face Osteen in game 4.  I expected a pitcher’s duel, despite the offensive ’70 cards, and I got one.  It was 1-1 through 11 innings, McMahon and Brewer battling into the 12th, when Bobby Bonds nails a walk-off homer.  The Candlestick faithful go home happy.  Great game, but, still nothing real unusual. Yet.


Game 5, again in Candlestick, Marichal in his dreadful ’70 season, vs. Don Sutton.  This time I didn’t expect a pitcher’s duel, but I got one anyway.  Again it was 1-1 through 11 innings, again the bullpens took over.  With two outs in the Giants 12th, Jerry Johnson on 1st after a failed sacrifice, up comes Bonds again.  Triple.  Ballgame, 2-1 Giants, lead the series 3 games to 2.


Dodgers win a blowout in game 6, so we go to game 7 at Dodger Stadium, Perry and Osteen again.  AGAIN the teams battle into extra innings.  Into the 11th we go, tied at 2.  Two outs, runners on 2nd and 3rd, and I guess you know who’s coming up.  Bonds nails a single**, his THIRD game-winning, extra-inning hit of the series. 


Bonds didn’t have a particularly good series overall, 8-for-34 (.235) with 15 strikeouts.  But if you’re a Dodger fan, you didn’t want him up there in extra innings!  I play a lot of these tournament-type series, and as you aptly put it after the Bird game. I’ve never seen anything like it!


Jim Beauchemin, Altamont NY





It really isn’t a great moment as much as it is a good memory. My brother and I were playing the ’86 College Football game.  I had Michigan, he had Ohio St.  My brother was 14 years old at the time and I was 20.


He had just scored a TD late in the game to put his squad up 35-27.  On the ensuing KO, I fumble the ball, cementing my loss.  My brother needs to take a knee a couple of times and the game is over. My brother runs Linebuck twice with his QB, gaining one yard.  Last play of the game, I disgustingly call out run, knowing my fate is sealed.  Then, as he is laughing, he shouts out "Short Pass, SE.   He rolls the dice, TD!  Karsatos to Chris Carter.  OSU 42 and MICH 27.  I wanted to wring his neck.


After all these years, I still keep the notebook we kept the score in just for the memory, and also because I came back to beat him with Oklahoma on a 61-yard INT return over Texas A&M, 23-21.


I’m really looking forward to the computer college football game.


Henry Roman, New Jersey





Have you experienced a game of Strat-O-Matic so thrilling, unique or bizarre that you just HAVE to share it with someone? That would be us. Send you Great Moments in Strat to Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.





I just finished an exact reply of the Minnesota Twins 1965 World Series season.  I figured it would be an easy season for Harmon Killebrew and the Twins.  As the season wound down the Twins were barely holding on to the American League lead.  The last day of the season found the Twins tied for first with the Cleveland Indians.  After a coin flip the Twins traveled to Cleveland for a one-game playoff.  Twins win 6-4 in 12.


Then it was on to the World Series.  Because of the playoff game the pitcher rotation changed for the Twins and with the new matchups the Twins won the series 4-3 in a hard-fought series. 


 Don Mincher had a four-homer game vs. Washington and a 3 homer game  vs. Detroit as he lead the AL with 33.  Earl Battey took the Batting title hitting .345 on the season.  Great fun and a nail biting finish. 


Stats at


Joe Midgett, Satellite Beach, FL





A fun moment from the Richmond Strat League:


Imitation Babes, while joking around with a pitcher, accidentally point their bats in the general direction of the outfield and, after they hit a home run, proudly bask in the glory created by some beat writer with a hyperactive imagination.

The real Babe comes up to bat with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, with the Jabberwocky down by two runs.  A runner was on first – a natural time to pinch-hit, but the manager had one of those feelings.  Babe Ausmus then stepped up to the plate against Danny Graves, pointed to the outfield, and yelled "ONE – EIGHT" at the top of his lungs.  Sure enough, a one and two fours appeared on the roll and, after successfully hitting the split, the game was tied.  The Babe then doubled and scored on an error in the 11th for the home team win.

Okay, so I started to pinch-hit and said "No, Lawton only has to rest one game the rest of the year, so I’ll just let Ausmus bat since he’s going to roll the 1-8." 


Hmm. I wonder if Ausmus plans to stop by the hospital to visit any sick kids before that series.

John Jimison,
Richmond, VA





Rick Zaborsky of Dublin, OH sent a several e-mails chronicling the no-hitters of his 21-season Gentleman’s Baseball League, which uses the best players from the four most recent card sets (the 2001-2004 sets currently in Season 21). It turns out that after only seven no-hitters in the first 20 seasons, and none since Season 12, the GBBL has had three this year – two by the 2002 Pedro Martinez card (far from his best).


I made the mistake of telling my son yesterday morning that Sid Fernandez’s record of two no-hitters would stand forever in GBBL annals.  I said that someday someone might tie the record, but it was doubtful.


Specifically, here are the no-hit pitchers by season:


                 1 – Sid Fernandez

                 2 – Frank Viola

                 6 – Sid Fernandez, Mike Moore

                 8 – Ramon Martinez

                11 – Roger Clemens

                12 – David Cone

                21 – Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez (2)


The majority of no-hitters took place in the pre-steroid, "Dead Ball" era, and many no-hitters were against the communally managed fourth team (a gypsy team that was known as the Montreal Olympics, Houston Have-Naughts, New Jork Junkees, New York Mess, Chicago Cruds, etc.) that three of us took turns managing, until my son entered the league six years ago.  As an aside, our inaugural draft took place nearly four months before my son was born.


The great Pedro Martinez recently “aged” into his 2002 in-“card”-nation.  He lacks the power and stamina that he once had and lasted just four innings in his most recent start prior to (his first no-hitter).  Mr. Martinez was 2-2, 4.57, prior to the game.  He pitched for my son’s Dublin Dingers against my Zurich Zephyrs and Roy Oswalt.  The game was played in my home park, 2004 Houston.


Ironically, Martinez’ second no-hitter also was vs. the Zephyrs and Oswalt. This time the home field was the 2001 Toronto ballpark.


            In the first Martinez no-hitter, Dublin jumped to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning.  I commented to my son that Martinez‘s perfect game was intact going to the bottom of the first inning.  The joke was on me as my troops only mustered a one-out walk to Jason Giambi in the fourth inning and a leadoff hit-by-pitch for Giambi in the seventh. Martinez pitched a no-hitter and won 6-0, using his guile and savvy to accumulate eight strikeouts.  There were no amazing defensive plays to speak of.  My Zephyrs and I were simply humbled by one of the all-time greats.


            Martinez’ second no-hitter was a 3-walk, 10-strikeout affair that lifted his record to 5-2. All three walks were followed immediately by ground ball double plays – Martinez faced the minimum 27 batters. All of Dublin’s runs in the 5-0 victory were scored in the first four innings, on homers by Luis Gonzalez and Miguel Tejada.


In this season’s other no-hitter, Curt Schilling (2002 card) fanned the first six batters and seven of the first eight.  After nine consecutive outs, Mr. Schilling walked Marcus Giles (a rarity under the Maximize rules for a pitcher who walked only 33 in 259 real-life innings).  Schilling then retired the final eighteen men.  He also stroked a double, for good measure. Lance Berkman not only crushed the winning three-run homer in the first inning, but he also turned in the game’s sole Web Gem to close out the fourth inning.


Rick Zaborsky  Dublin, OH



Have you experienced a game of Strat-O-Matic so thrilling, unique or bizarre that you just HAVE to share it with someone? That would be us. Send you Great Moments in Strat to Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.



The 97-TD GAME (Manning vs. Marino)

I thought I’d put Peyton Manning’s 49-TD 2004 season against Dan Marino’s 48-TD 1984 season in one game by pitting the 2004 Indianapolis Colts against the 1984 Miami Dolphins. It ended up being the most thrilling and unbelievable football board game I’ve ever played, resembling the 1972 real-life passing showdown between Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas, which I remember watching.

Marino started out on fire, completing his first nine passes in a row. His Dolphins scored two first-quarter TDs on a Pete Johnson one-yard run and a 12-yard TD pass from Marino to Mark Clayton.

Manning finally got on track in the second quarter, as the Colts tied the game at 14 at halftime. Dominic Rhodes scored from one yard out, and Manning hit Marvin Harrison on a 21-yard strike.

Marino threw two TD passes in the third quarter to put Miami up, 28-14. First, he hit Mark Duper from nine yards out. Then, he found Nat Moore in the end zone from the 12-yard line.

The 28-14 lead held up all the way until there were two minutes to go. The Dolphins had eaten up most of the clock, driving 67 yards to the Colts’ 18. Uwe Von Schamann tried what at that time appeared to be a meaningless field goal and missed, giving Indianapolis the ball on the 20.

Manning first play was a 80-yard bomb to Harrison to bring the Colts to within a touchdown. Miraculously, Indianapolis recovered the onside kick and had two plays to go 48 yards. Manning went right back to Harrison for 27 of them, then hit Reggie Wayne for the tying TD. The Colts had scored 14 points in two minutes, on just four plays!

The Dolphins won the coin toss before the overtime period and drove down to the Colts’ 9-yard line. This time, Von Schamann didn’t miss to give the Dolphins a 31-28 victory.

The Manning-vs.-Marino duel ended this way:

Manning: 20 out of 29, 396 yards, 3 TDs
Marino: 25 out of 30, 350 yards, 3 TDs.

The leading receivers were Harrison (10 catches, 267 yards, 2 TDs) and Wayne (6 catches, 98 yards, 1 TD) for Indianapolis and Duper (7 catches, 103 yards, 1 TD), Tony Nathan (6 catches, 43 yards), and Clayton (5 catches, 102 yards, 1 TD) for Miami.

David Solomon, East Brunswick, NJ



It was a 1974 season draft league … I was playing my best friend Steve Slabaugh. Going into the bottom of the 9th inning I trailed 4-1 and he had Nolan Ryan on the mound – the game was surely over!


Four walks and two split-card singles later, the game was tied and I sent Wayne Garrett to the plate as a pinch hitter. (Ryan was leading off the top of the 10th so Steve was adamant that Nolan would finish the inning.) Garrett ended the game by getting HIT BY A PITCH!  Slabaugh flung the card across the room and traded Ryan to me straight up for Bert Blyleven – on the spot!


The most amazing thing about this story?  It happened 30 years ago when we were 15.and I still remember it today … LOL


Mel Williams, Mishawaka, IN





I’ve been playing for 23 years and just had one of the greatest comebacks. I changed to all-time teams with a mix of great teams. In the AL, the all-time A’s are unbeatable – almost. They had the 1919 White Sox down by six going into the top of the 8th. Two unlikely homers by Swede Risberg and Ray Schalk gave some hope. Then, incredibly, Dickie Kerr the pitcher, Eddie Collins and Nemo Liebold each had dink singles to load ‘em up. A walk to Joe Jackson increased the anxiety as the A’s top pitchers were helpless. Grove, Fingers and Coombs couldn’t do anything to stop the bleeding. Then one roll of the dice and Buck Weaver sent one waaaayyy back and GOOOOONE, Grand slam!


Chief Bender, a man I’m related to, gave it up and the game suddenly was over!


George Freeberg, Dover, TN





For my most recent birthday, my friend gave me the set of 42 Old-timer teams. As it had not come at the time of the party, he simply gave me a note telling me what the present was and that he claimed the ’53 Brooklyn Dodgers in our first match. He had never beaten me. Ever. The day of arrival finally came and I decided to go with the most prolific offense of all time – the 1927 New York Yankees.


I started Wilcy Moore, my friend started Milliken. I was home, he was away. The Dodgers took a 6-0 lead by the end of the 3rd on a 2-run home run by Roy Campanella, a passed ball, and RBI doubles by Jim Gilliam and Pee Wee Reese. My offense had been limited to a walk and a single. I pulled Moore in favor of Waite Hoyt. In the bottom of the fourth, I scored a run on a double by Mark Koenig. He scored in the 7th, and I retaliated with a 3-run homer by Lou Gehrig. My friend scored once again, making the score 8-4.


By this time, Carl Erskine was pitching. I pulled Hoyt in favor of a pinch-hitter to lead off the inning. That pinch hitter, Bob Paschal, tripled. Next up, lead-off man Earl Combs: triple (yes, back-to-back triples) – the score was 8-5. Bob Meusel followed with an RBI groundout to the 1st baseman. With one out and a 2-run lead, my friend seemed on his way to his first victory over me. Lou Gehrig then doubled to cut the lead to one run. With first base open and a man on, Babe Ruth was intentionally walked. Tony Lazzeri, 0-3 in the game to that point was next up. The result: a walk to load the bases. Up next was Mark Koenig, already with one RBI in the game. The roll of the dice… and a split chance between a home run and a triple! I rolled the triple (my 3rd of the inning) and won!

5 runs in the bottom of the ninth! My friend, seeing his only chance at victory slip away, went crazy.


Lucas, Los Angeles





I was playing a replay of the 2004 Chicago Cubs season, and one Saturday
night I was playing a seemingly meaningless game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Around the fourth or fifth inning, I noticed that Greg Maddux was pitching a no-hitter.  An inning later, I realized he was also pitching a perfect game.  As anyone who has gone through this experience will tell you, I began getting very excited with every Pirates batter.  The ninth inning was as I hoped, Maddux getting through the lineup three up, and three down. The perfect game was complete.  My first after years of playing the board
game and more recently, playing the computer version.  I have attached a Zip
file of the box score that I hope you can take a look at.

Mark Benavides,
Georgetown, TX


Randy Johnson struck out eleven consecutive batters in a Gentlemen’s Base Ball League game last week!  He had fourteen strikeouts and no walks through six innings, with ho hits allowed.  He eventually lost the game, 4-3.


Richard Zaborsky