The Talk Show – June,2009

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.
What’s the Catch (and Throw)?
            Wish I could understand the thinking behind this. The stolen base percentage in
the AL in 2008 was 73 percent (27 percent thrown out). I would think that for every 5 percent below this (since there are 20 split #s), a catcher would receive an additional -1 on his throwing arm (and average out the pitchers’ hold rating around this). So
for example, if a catcher threw out 37 percent of the runners, I would think he would
get a -2 arm. Jose Molina threw out 44 percent of the runners while Joe Mauer threw out 36 percent. Yet, Molina got a -1 arm and Mauer received a -3 arm. Are you simply trying to indicate that the Yankee pitchers held runners on better?
            While Strat-O-Matic doesn’t divulge its formulas, Hal Richman has described the hold system in the Advanced game by explaining that accomplished base stealers say perhaps two-thirds of steals are stolen off the pitcher rather than the catcher. Sure enough, the range of most catcher arms is -4 to +3, or 8 grades. The range of pitcher hold ratings is -6 to +9, or 16 grades. Two-thirds of the influence is from pitchers. Absolutely, there is an interconnected relationship between the catchers’ arm and their teammate pitchers’ hold ratings. Further, percentage isn’t everything. We’ve got to look how often base runners attempted to steal against a certain pitcher or catcher. Like outfielder throwing, a great arm (or pickoff move) will freeze runners more often than throwing them out.
Seeing is Believing
            I have been playing SOM since 1968 and just love the game, especially now with the computer game and stat package. I also like the feature that allows the player photos to be added to the game. I have only added a picture of C.C. Sabathia but would really like to add pictures for all of the players, the problem is that not only being time consuming, it would be difficult finding decent pictures. I would be willing to pay a reasonable fee for this feature, is there any possibility that the game company, or someone offering a picture package?
            I really enjoyed your book on Mr. Richman and the development of the game.
Bob Carter                                                                                                                
            The royalties the players likely would demand argue against the game company providing the pictures. However, you can find many files of pictures past and present in the gaming community. The Resources Section of the Strat Fan Forum is a great place to start.
All-Timers All the Time
            Any chance that Strat-O-Matic would consider issuing some of the great basketball teams in a six-team set much like what they are doing for the football reissue seasons? It would be interesting to see such teams as the 1967 76ers, 1972 Lakers, 1971 Bucks or some of the early ‘60s Celtics and Lakers teams etc. Also, has Strat-O-Matic ever considered an all-time great card set for each major league baseball team much like what they did this year for each NFL football franchise? I think it would be very interesting to see who gets on a Yankees all-time team, St. Louis Cardinals, L.A./Brooklyn Dodgers team, etc.
Greg  Seville, OH
            Strat-O-Matic has considered many possibilities, most of them suggested by gamers. With the football all-time franchise teams, SOM has shown its willingness to go in that direction, so we can hope for more in all sports. Do keep in mind that the “six-packs” for football and hockey are part of complete-season efforts, not specifically as great-teams packages, though the several carded teams come close to being that. If you are willing to play the computer game, you can have the ’67 Sixers and ’71 Bucks now.
The eBay Equation
            Why doesn’t Strat-O-Matic reissue baseball seasons from the 1980s? These seasons regularly sell on eBay for $100 – $150, so the demand is there to make a killing. What am I missing here?
Ryan Morris, Utica
            A host of issues make auction sales different from commercial sales. First, an eBay product needs one interested buyer, or perhaps a few to keep the bidding higher. For SOM to print a set, it needs thousands of buyers. Second, the “demand” you cite is a price based on its scarcity, and its originality as a collectible. A reprinted set would have neither attraction. Consider this: An original 1911 Honus Wagner baseball card has sold for millions at auction. I have a 1990s reprint that isn’t even listed in the better price guides.