Great Moments in Strat – March, 2008



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            I played a computer season of the 1964 White Sox, using the As Played lineups, and had some great pitching seasons that fell short of history in September. The White Sox finished the season 109-53, seven games ahead of the Orioles (with Boog Powell finishing one RBI short of the Triple Crown).

            The Sox had six pitchers with double-figure wins, led by Gary Peters, who went from 9-8 on July 9th to finish the season at 21-10 with a 2.06 ERA.  Juan Pizarro was 9-0 with a 2.46 ERA on June 21, and finished at 18-5 and 3.03.  Hoyt Wilhelm on Aug. 1 was 7-3 with 22 saves and a 1.08 ERA – he finished at 12-6, 33 saves, and a 1.94.

            But the pitching story of the season was Joel Horlen. On June 12, he was 6-0 with a minuscule 0.15 ERA (1 earned run in 58 2/3 innings). As late as Aug. 26, he was 13-3 with an ERA of 0.94 through 172 2/3 innings.  Unfortunately, my visions of Bob Gibson went by the wayside, as Horlen finished 17-5 with a still-stellar 1.65 ERA.

Curt Blood, Fort Worth TX





            Playing a computer 1967 replay, I thought I was going to have my first no-hitter in my 43 years of playing Start. But alas, it was not to be. My weak-hitting Yanks against the Cleveland Indians. I managed to get Horace Clarke to steal second and move to third on Tom Tresh’s sac bunt. Mickey Mantle, gimp knees and all, then sent one to the fence for a sac-fly RBI. This is in the top of the ninth inning and I just noticed that Mel Stottlemyre has a no-hitter going. He gets the first two batters to ground out. The Tribe manager decides to bring in Moose Skowron as a pinch hitter. Lo and behold, he hits a shot to Rueben Amaro, my 3 shortstop. No! It goes through for a single! Agg! So close, no cigar! I think I am the only one playing Strat (for so long) not to have a no-hitter.

Alan L. Dehn, Schenectady, NY






            Several years ago, I decided to replay the 1997 Tigers season on the computer.

I can’t recall the opponent, but in one game, Bob Hamelin hit a game-tying home run in the 9th inning, followed by a walk-off homerun in the 10th. In the very next game, I brought in Bob Hamelin as a pinch-hitter and he hit a game-tying home run again. The game remained tied until the 15th inning, when Hamelin hit yet another walk-off homer. So, in back-to-back games, Bob Hamelin hit both game-tying and game-winning homeruns. And in the second game, he didn’t even appear until the 10th inning.






            Today, my son was something I have never been and may never be. He was perfect.


            While I was out doing the grocery shopping, he finished his school assignments, then got back to a 2001 short season four-team, 24-game, tournament/season he recently started. My son has always loved going to Mariners game with me over the years.  He’s not an athletic type.  And he’s never really been focused on the strategy side. He does, however, have a fair grasp (as much as many players, anyway) of the Infield Fly Rule, as well as a sharp mind for mathematics. I have been playing one game each night with him as his guest opponent and have been finding it astonishing that the Yankees could have ever been AL champs.  He’s beaten me with the Mariners (yay!!!), and with the Rangers (huh???).  I’m at a loss as to how the Yankees were so successful.


            Today, when I got home, he was waiting for me.


            “Wait’ll you see what Mike Mussina did today,” he said, teasingly.


            “Okay, he probably beat the Mariners," I was thinking.  When I skipper the Yanks, Mariano Rivera gives up three-run ninth-inning homers to John Olerud and loses.


            I glanced at the line score.


            “Moose threw a no-hitter, huh?” I responded.


            “He threw a perfect game!” my son exclaimed.  “Look.”


            I looked down again, scanning the neat columns, every one of them in groups of three.  Twenty-seven in a row.  Nine games into his first-ever real attempt to tackle Strat-O-Matic, my son had found perfection.


            “Aww-w-w-w-w, man!  I’ve never had a perfect game!”  I moaned, plaintively. 


            I’ve had two no-hitters, my celebrated Smokey Joe Wood one-hitter, but I’ve never been perfect.


Jeff Woodhouse, Seattle