View Poll Results: Vote for best game in 40 years of playing Strat-O-Matic

27. You may not vote on this poll
  • 1965 Koufax sets all time record with 17 K's vs 27 Yanks

    2 7.41%
  • 1931 Al Simmons goes 6 x 6 with 10 RBI in 14-7 victory over 1935 Cubs

    0 0%
  • 1969 Koosman no-hits 1964 White Sox

    4 14.81%
  • 1965 Reds have 7 of first 17 batters homer in 19-3 demolition of 1969 Mets

    0 0%
  • Boog Powell hits home run cycle in 17-7 triumph over 1969 Braves

    1 3.70%
  • The 1971 A's rally comes up just short in 14-13 loss to 1974 Dodgers

    0 0%
  • 1971 Vida Blue no-hits 1965 Dodgers

    2 7.41%
  • 1963 Koufax outduels 1965 McDowell 1-0 and barely misses no-hitter

    0 0%
  • The 1972 A's set all time record with 9 home runs in 13-1 victory over 1972 Astros

    1 3.70%
  • 1931 Lefty Grove (31-4) out lasts 1934 Dizzy Dean (30-7) to win 1-0 15 inning thriller

    17 62.96%
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Thread: My All time best games - vote

  1. #1

    My All time best games - vote

    I have been an avid Strat-O-Matic Tabletop Baseball Game Player, Collector and Hobbyist for exactly 40 years (started May 1969). These are my all time favorite games .... (I only play "basic" cards and dice as opposed to advanced C&D, Super Advanced C&D or computer, which are all options with Strat-O-Matic).

    Please peruse the games and if motivated, vote for my all time best game.

    1. (Summer 1972, while vacationing in Santa Cruz, CA). The 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers oldtimer team defeat the 1927 New York Yankees oldtimer team, 2-0. Sandy Koufax records an all time record 17 K's for me, including a rare strikeout result obtained from the Catcher's card defensive chart.

    2. The 1931 Philadelphia A's defeat the 1935 Chicago Cubs 14-7. Al Simmons of the 1931 A's goes 6 x 6 with 10 RBI. He gets a bases loaded triple in the first, an RBI single in the second, a 3 run Home Run in the 4th, a single in the sixth, a single in the 8th, and adds a 3 run Home Run in the 9th.

    3. The 1969 Mets defeat the 1964 White Sox 1-0, Jerry Koosman outdueling Joel Horlen. After 8 innings, both teams have combined for just one hit, a triple by the Mets Ken Boswell, who was stranded in the second inning. Donn Clendenon breaks the scoreless duel with a 1 out 9th inning homer, Art Shamsky follows with a single but is quickly erased on a double play. In the bottom of the 9th, Al Weis is sent up to pinch hit for Horlen and flies out. Don Buford also flies out, leaving the White Sox Mike Hershberger as the last hope. Koosman winds and deals, STRIKE THREE, a NO HITTER! Mets win 1-0.

    4. The 1965 Reds (who scored more runs than the 1961 Yankees) defeat the 1969 Mets 19-3. Seven of the first 17 Red batters homer, which is (then) an all time record for me. Gary Gentry is the culprit for most of these.

    5 The 1969 Braves face the 1970 Orioles. The Braves score 7 runs but lose by 10! Boog Powell hits the home run cycle (a solo HR, 2 run home run, 3 run home run and grand slam) as the Orioles pound out 7 home runs and win 17-7. Powell ends up with 10 RBI. Trailing 17-1 after 7 innings, the Braves score a solo run in the 8th and 5 in the 9th. The Orioles miss a chance to break my all time home run record in one game (7) when Don Buford does not get the 1-14 (out of 20) on his split chance early in the game. All 4 of Powell's home runs were rolled off his own card, 3 of them being identical 1-10 rolls.

    6. The 1974 Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the 1971 Oakland A's 14-13. The A's are trailing 14-6 heading into the bottom of the 9th and score 7 times and with 2 out and 2 on Rick Monday just misses a three run HR on a roll off his card by one number. This is the most runs ever scored for me by a losing team.

    7. Another 1971 A's game, this time a little more low scoring. The 1971 A's send MVP Vida Blue to face the 1965 Dodgers and CY Young Winner Sandy Koufax. The A's get an unearned run in the second on a double, an error and a sac fly. Meanwhile Blue retires the last 22 Dodgers for a no-hit gem. Vida allows just 2 walks in a 1-0 victory.

    8. Yes a third Koufax/Dodgers game, but this time it is the 1963 Dodgers facing Sam McDowell (17-11, 2.18 ERA, 325 K) and the 1965 Indians. McDowell is on fire and after 5 innings has 11 strikeouts. Oh by the way, Koufax has a no-hitter. The Dodgers get a Tommie Davs double and Ron Fairly single to plate a run in the 6th. After 8 it is 1-0 Dodgers with McDowell cooling off and having 13 K's. Meanwhile. the Dodgers have made some errors but Koufax has allowed no runs, no walks, no hits. Pinch-hitter Chuck Hinton get a favorable roll to lead off the Indian 9th and gets a split chance single. An out later, Koufax walks a batter the Indians have the go ahead runners on base. Leon Wagner stirkes out and Rocky Colavito is the last hope for the Tribe. He drills a Koufax pitch way back in LF and it is going, it is going, it is CAUGHT by Johnson preserving the Dodger victory. Koufax settles for a 1 hitter and a 1-0 victory.

    9. (Played 2009) The 1972 A's face the 1972 Astros in the third game of a 3 game series, Oakland easily winning the first two games and hitting three homers in each of the first two games. This time the A's set an all time record for me in 40 years by blasting 9 home runs in a 13-1 shellacking. Sal Bando and Mike Esptein homer in the first. Joe Rudi and Reggie Jackson homer in the 5th and the A's are fortunate to see both light hitting middle infielders, Bert Campaneris and Tim Cullen homer in the 6th with rolls off the opposing pitcher's card. In the 8th, Sal Bando, Joe Rudi and Mike Esptein all hit their second home runs of the game, giving the A's 9 for the game.

    10. The 1934 Cardinals send Dizzy Dean (30-7) out to the mound to face the 1931 Philadelphia A's and Lefty Grove (31-4). I will cut to the end where a 14 inning scoreless duel is finally won in the bottom of the 15th by the A's 1-0. Both Dean and Grove pitched the entire game.
    Last edited by 9RoyHobbsRF; 01-09-2010 at 12:07 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    I voted for the no-no because from what I know in the game the pitcher doesn't have a confidence factor so that fact that he pitched a no hitter from sheer luck is just mind boggling.
    Rest in Peace Jose Fernandez (1992-2016)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Williamsport PA
    Considering both teams could really hit, the Dean-Grove game got my vote.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    I voted for the no-hitter as well.

    I have to get into Strat-O-Matic. Sounds like a blast.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    New York City
    Blog Entries
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinWI View Post
    I have to get into Strat-O-Matic. Sounds like a blast.
    It's quite fun.

    I voted for the Grove/Dean game.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    "Read at your own risk. Baseball Fever shall not be responsible if you become clinically insane trying to make sense of this post. People under 18 must read in the presence of a parent, guardian, licensed professional, or Dr. Phil."

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinWI View Post
    I voted for the no-hitter as well.

    I have to get into Strat-O-Matic. Sounds like a blast.
    the hours months and years of enjoyment for pennies is a great investment

  7. #7
    there is a negro league set to be released by Strat in a few weeks...

    STRAT-O-MATIC NEGRO LEAGUE ALL-STARS (103 Players, 108 cards)
    Last edited by 9RoyHobbsRF; 10-21-2009 at 11:39 PM.

  8. #8
    strat's new and improved web sit is up and running

    and you are allowed to order the negro league set (finally!)

    should have mine in a few days

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by 9RoyHobbsRF View Post
    there is a negro league set to be released by Strat in a few weeks...

    STRAT-O-MATIC NEGRO LEAGUE ALL-STARS (103 Players, 108 cards)
    Wow really?? Where do they get the data?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Joltin' Joe View Post
    Wow really?? Where do they get the data?
    recevied my negro leagues today

    103 players
    108 cards (5 players were both pitchers and position players)

    a nice booklet came with the set describing the data/stats/and other info

    Negro League specialists Scott Simkus helped (or was the major person) put together the set, based on his research

    there are 6-7 type written pages explaining a lot things related to th enegro leagues and cards

    the format is the same as the 2000 Hall of Fame 40th anniversary set

    I will post some pictures


    oops scanner not working, waiting for HP driver upgrades for windows 7 - will be a few days or weeks
    Last edited by 9RoyHobbsRF; 10-26-2009 at 05:19 PM.

  11. #11
    from the new SOM website




    Strat-O-Matic’s Exclusive Lefty-Righty Splits, Defensive Rating, Ballpark Tendencies and More Help Create the Most Accurate Negro League Simulation Game Ever

    GLEN HEAD, NY, OCT. 15, 2009 – For baseball fans who never had the chance to see Josh Gibson take his cuts against Satchel Paige or wondered if Bill Dickey could throw out the speedy Cool Papa Bell, Strat-O-Matic (Strato) is giving them the chance. The company that invented the baseball simulation game has created Strat-O-Matic Negro League All-Stars -- the first true baseball simulation game ever dedicated to the greats of the Negro Leagues.

    “This game is 10 years in the making,” admitted Hal Richman, who invented Strat-O-Matic in his Long Island, NY bedroom as an 11 year-old in 1948 and then shared his invention with the world in 1961. “I knew this was an important game to produce, but because the data we needed was not available, I could not put out a product under the Strato name. When I met Scott Simkus and found out he had access to more than 3,000 Negro League boxscores, I knew we could unlock the mysteries of translating Negro League performance into a Major League context and create a game that was realistic enough to carry the Strat-O-Matic name.”

    Strat-O-Matic Negro League All-Stars will be available on Nov. 1, 2009 on both CD and as a traditional Strato dice game. It includes 103 of the greatest players in Negro League baseball history including Gibson, Paige, Bell, Chino Smith, Ray Dandridge, Martin Dihigo, Rube Foster, John Beckwith, Buck O’Neil and many more. The set brings to life every Negro League player inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, well known players who were candidates for the Hall during the special election of 2006, plus a few special players recognized by the Cuban and Mexican Halls of Fame.

    Strat-O-Matic Card Construction

    Unlike traditional SOM player cards, which represent a single MLB season, the Negro League player cards are modeled after the popular Strato Hall of Fame set whereby each player card is actually a compilation of the prime 5-7 years of their career. The statistics used to create the player cards are a combination of original Strato research (information gleaned from more than 3,000 Negro League boxscores) and the most recently published Negro League statistics. All of the lefty/right splits and defensive numbers are original and exclusive to Strato.

    “Creating the player cards as an average season during each player’s prime of their career allows fans to experience every Negro League player at their best,” explained Richman. “In addition, by compiling statistics from numerous seasons we were able to build a large enough statistical database to create credible lefty/right splits and defensive numbers – two areas that were not previously available but vital details players expect from Strato.”

    The proprietary Strato formula for translating statistics into player cards has always gone beyond the numbers and interpreted data in a different way. The Negro League cards just required a bit more research and interpretation. For example, because Negro League batter strikeouts were not recorded, Strato created estimates based upon league context, reputation as well as actual player strikeout tendencies in Latin America and the Mexican League where some of this data is available. In addition, for a player like Cool Papa Bell – “who was so fast he could turn the lights out in his hotel and be in bed before it got dark” – Strato surmised that he may not have stolen as many bases as expected for many reasons, including the fact he spent most of his career hitting in front of sluggers such as Buck Leonard, Josh Gibson and Willie Wells.

    Major League Context

    In order to unlock the mysteries of translating Negro League performance into MLB context, Strato researchers took into account many of the differences between the Negro League game and the MLB game. The following key elements were also examined and adjustments were made for every player to better reflect every player’s actual abilities and grade them in MLB context.

    League Format – the competition in the Negro League East was considered far superior to that of the West.

    Schedule Length – Negro League teams played just 70-80 games per season and then supplemented their income with barnstorming tours and exhibitions. Strato player cards only reflect performance in official Negro League games.

    Ballparks – Ballparks play a huge role in player performance. Strato did extensive research into ballpark tendencies and cards were adjusted accordingly.

    Playing Style – With the arrival of Babe Ruth, the MLB game transformed itself into a power game. Although a few players like Beckwith and Gibson wielded powerful bats, Negro League games had more emphasis on the stolen base, hit-and-run and bunting.

    About Strat-O-Matic

    Strat-O-Matic ( was invented by 11-year-old Hal Richman in his bedroom in Great Neck, NY in 1948 because he became frustrated by the statistical randomness of other baseball board games like All-Star Baseball. He discovered the statistical predictability of dice would give his game the realism he craved. Over the next decade he perfected the game at summer camp and then as a student at Bucknell University. After producing unsuccessful All-Star sets in 1961 and ‘62, he parlayed a $5,000 loan from his father and a deal that if it didn’t work out he would work for his father’s insurance company into the original 1962 Strat-O-Matic baseball season game. Needless to say Hal never had to take a job with his father.

    The company has a loyal celebrity following including a bevy of sportscaster and sports journalists like Bob Costas, Buzz Bissinger, Jon Miller, former MLB’ers Keith Hernandez, Doug Glanville, Cal Ripken; and sports superfans like Bryant Gumbel, Tim Robbins, Drew Carey and Spike Lee (who featured Strato in his film Crooklyn).

    Strat-O-Matic produces the top selling sports board games and is the leading producer of realism/stats sports computer games. The company publishes baseball, football, basketball and hockey games to play both on and off your computer screen. Strato games are known throughout the sports community for their statistical realism and accuracy. The company has the world's greatest sports game stat libraries with top of the line seasons dating back to the early 1900's. On the internet, the company has partnered with both Sports Illustrated Kids and The Sporting News to product fantasy/simulation games. More information is available at: (

  12. #12
    nice article in the chicago sun times


    Bringing the Negro Leagues to life
    Only the dice aren't black in suburban man's faithful re-creation of games

    October 28, 2009


    Baseball historians often read between the lines to grasp the essence of the Negro Leagues. They were formed out of necessity in 1920 in Chicago when black players were excluded from the Major Leagues because of racial discrimination. After Jackie Robinson broke the color line in 1947, the leagues continued until 1955.

    The Negro Leagues have been characterized by folklore, mystery and intrigue.

    Scott Simkus is surrounded in his Carol Stream home Monday by materials he used in researching the Strat-O-Matic Negro League All-Stars game.
    (Jean Lachat/Sun-Times)

    "Strat-O-Matic Negro League All-Stars" is available by online order only at ($39.99 player cards only, $48.95 with the board). The game is also available in computer format ($27 players only, plus $52 for the game program).
    But the players come to life with uncanny detail in "Strat-O-Matic Negro League All-Stars," which debuts this week through the Strat-O-Matic game company in Glen Head, N.Y. The Strat-O-Matic board game debuted in 1962.

    Just like life, inventor Hal Richman based his game on the roll of the dice: 5,000 times in his first effort. Players roll one red die and two white ones. Statistical player cards describe what happens. Charts and advanced rules are available depending on the sophistication of the participants. Baseball fans from 9 to 90 years old have played "Strat-O," as they call it.

    A generation of Strat-O players includes comic Drew Carey, musician Geddy Lee of Rush, actor Tim Robbins, sportscaster Bob Costas and filmmaker Spike Lee, who used the game in "Crooklyn."

    None is as important as Scott Simkus of Carol Stream. Simkus, 39, has spent the last 10 years of his life reviewing more than 100 baseball books and 3,000 Negro League box scores. Simkus' research informs the 103 players that make up "Strat-O-Matic Negro League All-Stars." The players are all young again.

    They have a wink in their eye and swagger in their soul.

    I played Simkus in a five-inning affair in the kitchen of the home he shares with his wife, Joyce, a very understanding elementary school art teacher in St. Charles, and their children Joe, 13, and Libby, 11.

    Negro League legend Cool Papa Bell was my leadoff hitter, and he went 3-for-3 with a double and a stolen base. Satchel Paige was my starting pitcher, striking out five and giving up just one run in four innings. He was poetry in motion. Chicago great Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe closed the game for me, surrendering one run in one inning.

    I learned stuff I never knew: Chicago American Giant Dave "Lefty" Brown was hiding in my bullpen. He played blackball from 1918 to 1925, according to a fascinating 30-page booklet written by Simkus that accompanies the game. Each player has a scouting report. Simkus writes of Brown, "Murdered a guy in NYC, then spent 13 years on the run."

    The game incorporates league formats, its schedule lengths (Negro League teams rarely played more than 80 games in a season), its aggressive play and even its funky equipment. In his game notes, Simkus points out most Negro Leaguers bought their products at the neighborhood hardware store. Simkus even took Negro League ballparks into account, calculating home runs by left-handed and right-handed hitters to size up stadium dimensions.

    There's a Damon Runyon quality to Simkus' muse. He is a writer and works the night shift as a limousine dispatcher. He gets home about 2 a.m. "During the day I do Strat-O research, and I'm writing a book about outsider baseball pre-1947," he says.

    Simkus became interested in the Negro Leagues when he discovered his grandfather played against Cuban stars. Cuban legend Martin Dihigo is included in the set. A member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Dihigo appeared in two Negro League all-star games.

    "The challenge was tracking down box scores for the blackball leagues," Simkus says in a pre-game interview. "I looked at more than 100 newspapers. I started 15 years ago at the Chicago Public Library. I was looking for my grandfather's, who played semipro ball in the 1930s. One was from Pilsen, which was all Czech back then. Lawndale. Then I'd come across the Negro League stuff. The box scores are why Hal at Strat-O-Matic has held off for so long."

    Richman had talked with acclaimed Negro League author John Holway. "Scott had more box scores than Holway," says Richman, 73. "More importantly, Scott was willing to extract the information we needed, which is essential for the advanced game. No one wanted to do such a difficult job. This is Scott's passion in life. I've had this idea for many years, but the information was never available."

    Richman says Negro League players such as Ernie Banks and Jackie Robinson who succeeded in the Major Leagues are not included because they are in the Strat-O Hall of Fame set.

    "Satchel Paige played in the majors at the end of his career," he adds. "We wanted to get the men at their best," during their five to seven prime years in the Negro Leagues.

    Simkus will get royalties on game sales, similar to a book deal.

    He is a fourth-generation Cubs fan.

    "When you're a Cubs fan, all the exciting stuff has happened in the past," he says, glancing at the Strat-O game board with a Wrigley Field backdrop. "I was intrigued and frustrated by the Negro Leagues. You couldn't figure out how good these guys were. It was all sort of myth."

    Simkus got his first Strat-O-Matic game in 1981 as a Christmas gift. "So my first season was 1980," he says. "George Brett hitting .390. Mike Schmidt hitting 48 home runs. That stuff is stuck in my brain. I recruited all my buddies. They're going to come over and play this game. We haven't played head to head in a long time."

    But why Strat-O? Just in the baseball board-game lexicon, there's also All-Star Baseball and APBA (American Professional Baseball Association), for starters.

    "Strat-O will never have as big an audience as video games," Simkus answers. "But video is all about atmosphere. The graphics are fantastic, but the game is about how well you can manipulate your controller. Strat-O has been a breeding ground for baseball executives. In 2002, Alan Schwartz wrote [in his book The Numbers Game: Baseball's Lifelong Fascination With Statistics] about a poll of 50 Major League executives that found half of them played Strat-O-Matic growing up. Strat-O-Matic is geared toward intelligent people."

    Simkus' parents are retired. His father, Bob, was a system analyst at Western Electric. "It's probably where I get my analytical thing," Simkus says. His mother, Barb, was a business administrator for the same Winfield limousine company where Simkus works.

    "There's a lot of Negro League information out there," Simkus says, rolling the dice for his designated hitter Oscar "Heavy" Johnson. "Just reading African-American newspapers, I have a new appreciation for how segregated this country was. In those papers, there were poets, cartoonists, excellent writers and photographers.

    "It was an entire different America."

  13. #13
    This weeks Sports Illustrated features an article on Strat-o-Matic and the negro league set

  14. #14
    self explanatory (imported from another site)

    81 year old Mom is down for an extended Thanksgiving stay. She is a lifelong basbeall fan (heck she married a ballplayer) and she knows about my 40 year love affair with SOM baseball so 2 days ago I showed her some cards and we did a basic batter 1-2-3 column pitcher 4-5-6 column walk through with a few rolls so she could get the hang of it.

    Today I talked her into a game and asked her what team she wanted and she said Giants. I said well pick a team AND a year and she said 1938 Cubs. I said I don't have that team, pick another team. She said Red Sox 1941 because Ted Williams hit .406, while I have that team I don't like the card "format" so I talked her into taking the 1935 Cubs (closest I had to 38 Cubs). I took the 1924 Senators and pitched Zachary (not Walter Johnson) to hopefully make it an equal match. She pitched Bill Lee.

    I let her roll all the split chances and let her find all the results for all rolls in the game. She did great with no mistakes. She managed well.

    The game was scoreless for 2 innings, then she broke through with a leadoff triple by Stan Hack in the third and a groundball B fielder's choice RBI a few batters later for a 1-0 lead. Meanwhile I could not get a runner on, having the first 12 go in order.

    In the 5th, Goose Goslin got a walk to give me my first runner but he was quickly erased on a 5-4-3 double play. But Ossie Bluege got a Flyball RF (X) chance and Chuck Klein got a 9 playing the chance into a triple. Roger Peckinpaugh then drove home Bluege with a clutch 2 out single.

    The Cubs had their first two runners get hits to lead off the 5th (one a single off a sacrifice roll) but a flyout and 2 popouts ended the threat.

    Game tied 1-1 after 5.

    Zachary lined a single off his pitcher's hitting card to start the 6th and McNeely singled him to second. I had Bucky Harris bunt the runners to second and third, but Sam Rice grounged out - mom had the infield in. She then walked Goose Goslin intentionally and got Joe Judge to ground out leaving the bases filled. She managed that inning like a pro.

    Zachary had a 1-2-3 6th.

    In the 7th, Bluege led off with a double and Phil Cavaretta botched a ground ball chance giving the Nats runners on first and third with one out. Muddy Ruel lined out, but Zachary coaxed a walk off Lee loading the bases. McNeely then drilled a sac fly to give the Nats a 2-1 lead.

    In the Cubs 7th a 2 out single by DeMaree was all the Cubs could muster.

    Joe Judge tripled with one out in the 8th but a strikeout of Bluege by Charlie Root and a groundout by Peckinpaugh ended the threat.

    Mom got to the point (in her first game) of saying, "this is exciting," and "I can't look at the rolls" as the tension mounted.

    In the Cubs 8th, with 1 out Phil Cavaretta rolled a 2-10 for a HR 1-9, 2B 10-20 chance. Opportunity #1 for mom (I was hoping she would get the roll). The roll was a 13 for a double. With 2 outs Bill Jurges got his third hit of the game and mom faced a big decision to send Cavaretta ir not. Cavaretta was a 1-13 and with 2 outs his chances of scoring and tieing the game were 1-15 (75%), ... opportunity #2 ...finally mom decided to send him and rolled a 17 (darn!) to nail Cavaretta at the plate.

    After a 1-2-3 top of the 9th, the Cubs come up for their last chance.

    2 quick popouts and the Cubs are down to their last out. Stan Hack walks, and the winning run comes to the plate. DeMaree rolls a 6-6 Single 1-19 and lineout 20. Opportunity #3. A single would have the winning runs on base, two outs and the Cubs best hitter up. Can you believe she rolls a 20!!!!!??? Game over.


    Mom had three big opportunities in the last 2 innings, a 45% chance for a game tieing HR, a 75% chance for a safe attempt to score on a single, and a 95% chance to have the winning runs on base with the Cubs best hitter in the 9th. The 20 sided die rolls went against her.

    But she really enjoyed and said the game is super realistic!

    1924 Senators 000 010 100 - 2 8 0
    1935 Cubs 001 000 000 - 1 10 1
    WP Zachary
    LP Lee
    (Mom's first game 11/27/2009)

  15. #15
    Interesting notes on SOM's computer seasons available from the 19th century:

    Big League Baseball at the Beginning:

    Strat-O-Matic’s 19th Century Seasons

    By Glenn Guzzo

    With the annual excitement over Strat-O-Matic’s new baseball ratings, and its historic re-creations of such seasons as 1977, 1951 and 1924, some gamers may have not noticed that Strat-O-Matic also has been reviving 19th Century baseball.

    Over the past several computer versions, Strat-O-Matic has presented three or four new computer-only seasons per year covering the 25-year period from the birth of the National League in 1876 through 1900, the year before the debut of the American League and “modern baseball.”

    Four more compatible with forthcoming Version 15: 1879, 1882, 1886 and 1899.

    That will make 17 seasons available, with only eight left to complete (1876, 1880, 1881, 1884, 1885, 1891-93).

    The 19th Century seasons have received less attention because they are in the game company’s computer-generated, or “Chevy,” style rather than the more heavily researched Deluxe seasons. But don’t be deceived by that. Many have as-played features and transaction files. The players are authentic.

    This is a superb way to learn about big-league baseball in an era of shorter seasons in the competing National League and American Association, with remarkably different rules than we know today. Not to mention all the spectacular team and individual nicknames.

    It’s also a chance to see how this era could produce a whole team of Hall-of-Fame players represented in Strat-O-Matic’s Hall of Fame 2000 set. This is the era that made legends of clutch-hitting Cap Anson, superstars Mike “King” Kelly and Ed Delahanty, slugging Dan Brouthers and big-time winners Tim Keefe, Pud Galvin and Old Hoss Radbourn.

    It doesn’t hurt that computer-generated rosters sell for $11, half the price of Deluxe season rosters.

    Here’s a short rundown on all the 19th Century seasons available from Strat-O-Matic:

    1877: In the second year of the National League, catcher’s masks, fielder gloves and a home plate in fair territory were tried for the first time. The Chicago White Stockings were the only big-league team ever to hit no home runs (in 60 games). Deacon White (.387) and Tommy Bond (40 wins) led Boston to the championship when Louisville went into a sudden late-season slump. Later, four Louisville stars were banned for life for throwing games.

    1878: Baseball before 1900 had its curiosities. Repeat champ Boston’s 41 wins were enough to dominate the 60-game schedule. Its pitcher, Tommy Bond, won 40 of them. Boston also set a team fielding record, though its defenders did not wear gloves. Indianapolis and Milwaukee finished 6th and 7th in the 7-team National League, then dropped out after their first season. One new franchise, Providence, survived, thanks in part to big-league baseball’s first Triple Crown winner, Paul Hines (.358-4-50).

    1879: A foul ball now had to be caught on the fly (rather than on a bounce) to be an out. Batters hit by pitches still were not awarded first base, but if the target practice was judged intentional, pitchers were now fined. More rigid rules governed batting orders … New franchises in Cleveland, Buffalo, Syracuse and Troy produced lopsided standings in the new 84-game schedule. Second-year Providence won the pennant by playing .700 ball (59-25), with P John Montgomery Ward winning 47, but was only five games better than Boston, whose rookie John O’Rourke was fifth in batting, second in homers and first in RBI (.341-6-62) … Cincinnati P Will White completed all 75 of his starts, with 680 IP, records unmatched then and likely forever.

    1882: The 10-year life of the American Association began with six teams, two in ex-National League cities Baltimore and Louisville. The other four are NL franchises today: Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. Cincinnati won the pennant and 55 of its 80 games. Its prize: A two-game series with NL champion Chicago, a post-season attraction not yet called the World Series. In the NL, Buffalo’s Dan Brouthers was first in batting (.373), second in homers (6) and second in RBI (63). In the AA, batting champ Pete Browning (.378) and future Hall of Famers Charlie Comiskey and Bid McPhee made their major-league debuts. P Will White won 40 games for the champion Red Stockings.

    1883: The American Association expanded toeight teams and attracted much higher attendance for its 98-game season than the National League. Pitching overhand was still a year away. The AA flaunted stars OF Pete Browning (.338), 1B Harry Stovey (14 HR) and P Tim Keefe (41 wins, 2.41 ERA). The NL countered with new teams in New York and Philadelphia, plus Hoss Radbourn (48 wins, 2.05), Pud Galvin (46 wins), Dan Brouthers (.374, 97 RBI) and Roger Connor (.357).

    1886: Stolen bases became an official stat and seven players (three in the National League, four in the American Association) were credited with at least 50. The NL reduced the requirement for a walk to seven balls. The AA went further, reducing it to six – and saw walks double. Pitchers benefited, however, from a rule permitting them to lift one foot before throwing. With running starts, the hard throwers had huge strikeout totals – in the AA, Baltimore’s Matt Kilroy had 513 and Louisville’s Lou Ramsey had 499. AA champion St. Louis won the post-season “World Series” with the NL champion Chicago White Stockings.

    1887: Walks counted as hits, though it took five balls to get one, and four strikes to whiff. Pitchers could no long hide the ball or get a running start, though batters could no longer call for high/low pitches. Seasons were 125+ games in the National League, 130+ in the American Association. The days of the one-man pitching staff were over. Batters were the beneficiaries. None more than AA Triple Crown winner Tip O’Neil (.435-14-123) nd the NL’s Sam Thompson (.372, 166 RBI). AA winner St. Louis scored 1,131 runs.

    1888: Back to three-strikes-you’re-out (after a year requiring four) dropped scoring, batting averages and ERAs dramatically. Pitchers dominated, but none like Tim Keefe, who won the NL pitching Triple Crown (35-12, 1.74, 335 Ks) and led New York to the championship with substantial help from fellow future Hall of Famers Mickey Welch (1.93 ERA, 47 complete games), Roger Connor (14 HR, 869 OPS) and Buck Ewing (.306). Cap Anson led second-place Chicago with his second batting title (.344) and the RBI crown (84). In the American Association, Cincinnati 1B John Reilly nearly won a batting Triple Crown (.321-13-103).

    1889: Though baseball gradually was taking shape into what we know now (in 1889 it was four balls for a walk, not five), stats like those of future Hall-of-Fame P John Clarkson tell us more evolution was inevitable. Clarkson pitched 620 innings, with 68 complete games and 49 wins. Unmatched since, those numbers also towered over his 1889 contemporaries. Boston teammate Dan Brouthers hit .373 to lead the NL. Still, the Beaneaters finished 1 game behind New York stars Roger Connor (130 RBI), Tim Keefe and Mickey Welch (55 wins combined).

    1890: Offering freedom and fair wages, the player-owned Players League lured Hugh Duffy, Pete Browning, Roger Connor, Buck Ewing, John Montgomery Ward, Hoss Radbourn and so many other stars that it instantly drew more fans than the established National League and American Association. The NL recognized the challenge and bought out the new league. The AA did not – a year later, it would die, too.

    1894: To many fans of baseball history, this marks the beginning of modern baseball. It launched with a spectacular show of offensive fireworks. With a single 12-team National League, rule-makers moved the pitching mound to its current 60 feet, 6 inches in 1893. By 1894, runs were up 37 percent. Hugh Duffy hit .440-18-145, two RBI short of a Triple Crown. All three Phillies outfielders – Sam Thompson, Ed Delahanty and Billy Hamilton – hit .400. The Baltimore Orioles literally fought their way to the championship with such stars as Willie Keeler, Hughie Jennings, Joe Kelley and John McGraw.

    1895: Still violent, the National League also was talented. Cleveland’s Jesse Burkett (.405) and Philadelphia’s Ed Delahanty (.404) staged a spectacular batting race. Delehanty’s OF mate, Sam Thompson, blistered to a .392-18-165 season. Baltimore’s Joe Kelley (134), Steve Brodie (134) and Hughie Jennings (125) were 2-3-4 in RBI rankings. Cleveland’s Cy Young led the NL in wins (35) for the second time. Almost any extra base achieved by a base-runner was scored as a stolen base – Billy Hamilton had 97 of them.

    1896: With SS Bid McPhee’s capitulation, every fielder now sported a glove. With rules scoring stolen bases for almost every time a base-runner achieved two bases on a hit or advancing on a fly, Baltimore set a record with 441 SB and won its third straight championship. Jesse Burkett (.410) won his second straight batting title and scored 160 runs. Baltimore’s Hughie Jennings hit .401 with 121 RBI. Their batting averages denied Ed Delehanty (.397-13-126) the Triple Crown.

    1897: A momentous season, as the Boston Beaneaters ended the Baltimore Orioles’ three-year reign of terror and Honus Wagner entered the big leagues. The leader boards look like a Hall of Fame roster. Wee Willie Keeler hit in a record 44 straight games, finishing with a .424 average. He was followed by Fred Clarke, Jesse Burkett, Ed Delahanty and Joe Kelley. Nap Lajoie hit 40 doubles and 23 triples with 127 RBI. Boston sported Hugh Duffy (1st with 11 HR), Jimmy Collins (132 RBI) and Kid Nichols (1st with 31 wins). Amos Rusie’s 2.54 ERA was lowest.

    1898: Inspired by Baltimore’s ability to win championships with shenanigans behind the umpires backs, baseball put two umpires on the field instead of one … The repeat champs in Boston had hitting and pitching and were the first to win 100 (as teams played 150-plus games for the first time). Billy Hamilton hit .369. Jimmy Collins led the NL with 15 HR and 286 total bases. Hugh Duffy had 108 RBI. On the mound, Kid Nichols was 31-12, 2.13. Ted Lewis was 26-8, 2.90. And rookie Vic Willis won 25 games … Also-ran Louisville had an emerging star: Honus Wagner led his team in HR and RBI …

    1899: The National League’s last 12-team season (until 1969) was the first to require catchers to stay in their boxes when pitches were delivered. All players on the same team were required to wear conforming uniforms. And Baseball signed off on the century in scandalous style: The same owners ran both the St. Louis Browns and Cleveland Spiders, stashing all the best players in St. Louis. The Spiders were the worst in baseball history, at 20-134, a mere 83 ½ games behind 100-win Brooklyn. With an average attendance of 145, Cleveland was forced to play all but 42 games on the road and was jettisoned from the National League after the season, along with Washington, Baltimore and Louisville … The champs in Brooklyn were stocked with former Baltimore Orioles stars, including Wee Willie Keeler (.379). But Baltimore’s John McGraw remained and posted a .547 on-base percentage that was the highest in the majors until 1941 ... Ed Delehanty’s 55 doubles were the most till 1923 … Future Hall of Famers Jack Chesbro, Sam Crawford and Joe McGinnity were rookies.

    1900: Now eight teams instead of 12, the National League was in the format it would keep until 1962. For the first time, home plate took today’s five-sided shape and size, no longer a square. The wider plate helped the pitchers and a shorter schedule of about 140 games further deflated statistics. Still, batting champ Honus Wagner (.381) and such familiar stars as Elmer Flick, Jesse Burkett, Willie Keeler, John McGraw and Ed Delahanty dominated the batting leader boards, while Iron Joe McGinnity’s 28 wins guided Brooklyn to the championship in the year before the American League’s debut.

  16. #16
    moved to 2000-2009 thread
    Last edited by 9RoyHobbsRF; 01-11-2010 at 11:10 AM.

  17. #17
    moved to 2000-2009 thread
    Last edited by 9RoyHobbsRF; 01-11-2010 at 11:09 AM.

  18. #18
    Oh how I miss the days of having time to play the SOM board game. My brother taught me how to play the game when I was 8 years old and I played fanatically until I got married 16 years later. Now days I play the computer version, as I can play on my business trips, but it's just not the same as rolling the dice and flipping the cards. I'm hoping that my sons will take some interest and we can set up some good old games at the basement table. I still have mounds of paper as I have kept the box scores for nearly every game I have played as part of a season. I moved four times carting those things around with me! I still recall my most interesting statistic...Marty Barrett had 23 HRs in one season without having a single one on his card!

    By the way, I voted for the Koosman no-hitter.

  19. #19
    Now days I play the computer version, as I can play on my business trips, but it's just not the same as rolling the dice and flipping the cards

    thanks for the comments

    I agree 100%

    nothing like making the lineup. holding the cards and rolling the dice

  20. #20
    Marty Barrett had 23 HRs in one season without having a single one on his card!


    Pat Burrell had 3 triples all season but twice so far in the first three games, I have rolled his triple chance..column 2 (16.7% chance), result 9 (11.1% chance) = triple 1-3 (15% chance), double 4-20... and have rolled the triple both times

    whatever the odds of 15% of 11% of 16% is, for it to happen twice in three games is pretty amazing
    Last edited by 9RoyHobbsRF; 01-09-2010 at 10:07 AM.

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