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Vol. IV, Issue #3 -
March 2016

** Strat Wise - Part V **
(by Marc Wasserman, Commissioner of the Cyber Baseball Association {CBA} )

(Note from the Wolfman: - For those of you who have been following our newsletter, you are already familiar with the column called "Commissioner's Corner written by Marc Wasserman, the commissioner of the CBA as he has discussed his experiences and insights about being a commissioner of a Strat-o-matic baseball league. Now continuing on with his new column, Wass returns sharing with us his unique and special perspective on a variety of topics that are linked and important to the Strat Baseball World. This month he discusses visiting the Game Company in Glen Head, NY, speaks about some video interviews he took {now on the USBN Youtube channel to view} and talks about his past experiences visiting the game company ....)

Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletterr, Marc Wasserman, CBA Commissioner, Head of Strat Alliance, partner with Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter
Baseball Daily Coming Soon - a visit to the Game Company and who I spoke with plus some stories from my past.

Major League Baseball’s “Opening Day” is now twice the fun.  We witness the actual major league baseball games, and soon after they finish, late that evening we get to play our 1st games of the new service by SOM called “Baseball Daily”.  “Man-o-Man”.  We can play the season as we go along now, how about this?  Who will be on my team’s (the MLB team I follow) roster?  What will the cards look like? How will the players and their cards evolve?  Holy moly – this is a lot to consider now!

I recently took some time to go visit Strat-o-matic in Glen Head, N.Y.  Not an easy jaunt fighting traffic to get there from New Jersey and going through numerous tolls. However, what was so special about this visit is I had a chance to speak with Hal Richman himself about Strat-o-matic and this radical innovation. 

As an old time gamer since about 1976, I still have the same passion for the game and the cards as I always have.  Each year, when I have a chance to meet Hal, as I have done since I was a young school kid; the deep respect I have for him and the positive feelings that come up, have always remained the same.  I’m still in awe of the man now as I was back then.  When I have shook Mr. Richman’s hands, I feel like I have experienced a national treasure.  To my humble eyes, he represents “baseball royalty”.  I believe Hal Richman is truly baseball royalty in the mindset of many folks as well. 

The creation of Strat-o-matic and all the innovations that have been added to the baseball game are well documented.  The impact of this sports table game upon the generations of sports writers, sport personalities and athletes is also well documented.  USBN has featured some of these athletes who played the game of baseball and either heard of SOM or played it. The Richman factor, in my mind, has definitely shaped what baseball knows about itself in the modern era.  This game with its realistic play and strategies speaks volumes as it has had an affect upon real-life baseball general mangers. These GMs who have built upon their own principals of strategy would say that Strat-o-matic was at the heart or root of their strategies and how to build their teams. With GM’s like Billy Beane being popularized via the film “Moneyball”, in a way the film acknowledged somewhat this influence from the SOM game.  One key strategy Mr. Beane uses that links up with SOM is on-base percentage (OBP) which no other GM considered before till Mr. Beane did it and showed that this view works. This method of OBP to be used for team building may have seeped its way into the professional management culture. If this is true, then we know today this impact has been tremendous as all the Major League teams take note.  No doubt, Hal Richman’s innovations are directly related to all of this.

I was introduced to Strat by my Junior High School Science teacher, Mr. Firestone, in Hudde JHS in Flatbush Brooklyn.  He was the “Coolest” teacher ever, with the coolest last name too.  He actually did a baseball draft in our classroom.  After he shared with us about SOM, I went and figured out my own baseball game that was based on the varying dice rolls.  When I showed it to Mr. Firestone, he laughed and said “it was pretty cool but there is no comparison Marc, you need try this game (SOM) and you will know why!”

I knew as a 12 year old kid who first braved the NY City subways on a “day off” from school that I should venture over to Brentano’s books in Manhattan to get that game my teacher recommended -- this was definitely something special for me and a memorable day.

What memories I have of these early days -- my amazing adventures on the subways and the diesel trains to go to Glen Head (NY) via the Long Island Railroad (L.I.R.R.) taking all the money I could muster together.  This money came from my allowance, shoe shine earnings, newspaper deliveries, and money earned delivering mattresses and furniture for my families’ Brooklyn store; all just to pay for my train to go to Glen Head, NY and to buy accessories for the game.  

It took forever it seemed to get there as we passed a lot of green land and trees of which this is something Brooklyn boys don’t see much of.   Then, Stepping off the L.I.R.R. diesel passenger train and walking across the street to enter the “place”.   Being welcomed by the staff and then ...to buy some new teams, seasons, dice, splits, additional players, roster sheets, and anything else I could afford.

It was a special opportunity to meet Hal and James Williams, who worked there at the time, and I even remember seeing Steve B. (Barkan) at the window or sometimes just inside the office.  These visits were the “Best Times” of my life.  And, the SOM family working there was so nice to me, always.   I shall never forget the time when my pal Larry and I took the L.I.R.R. over there and met with James Williams and then asked him if they had any old roster sheets?  James went through his whole desk and some other places and eventually found a couple of old ones (1974, 76, 77) that I could use.  I still have them.

But meeting Hal was always the highlight.  It was a pretty rough time for some of my pals in Midwood and Flatbush back in the 70’s, but luckily, I always had my athletics and Strat-o-matic to keep me going and to stay out of trouble.  I could have been easily swayed otherwise you know.  That inner nerd inside of me won out over less sensible things though, and Hal Richman, the founder of Strat-O-Matic, whom I interviewed this month, perhaps made that all possible. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with him during our chat. (Note – this is the video interview we shared with our members on Easter that is on the USBN Youtube Video Channel.)

Fast forward to 2016 and I still get chills when I get the chance to meet Hal or share some friendly conversation with him.  To interview him for others is truly a privilege that I am most happy to share.  I know many of you have not met him yet, but I hope that I can get you as close as possible through my conversation I had with him, to make it seem as if you were there too.  He really is as sincere, warm, friendly and engaging as he appears in the interview.   I did ask him about the most recent innovations done by Strat-O-Matic and what he sees in their future.  We talked about the influence and significance that Strat-O-Matic has had upon baseball strategy and statistical analysis.   We discussed the innovative research done for the Negro League Project, (which has produced the computer rosters of such) and a few other things.

In another video on our Youtube channel, you will meet some of the Strat-O-Matic key players at the game company headquarters.  With the talented young people working the company, it has helped them to become a vibrant energetic company which is keeping them on top right now.  We have met Adam Richman before during an earlier interview, one of this new breed of SOM employees (and Hal’s son). This time, we meet John Garcia.  John’s interview is quite interesting as he discusses his various duties at the game company.  The interview with Adam Rosen is also very cool.  Adam brings life to the company by utilizing all the special on-line tools we have and has really put SOM into the modern age.  His media and social media accessibility has definitely taken the game company to the next level.  His special skills with on-line information sharing have brought in many new fans, and he really keeps us quite well informed.  We love his Twitter previews of the new baseball card ratings.  We also love his videos along with his social media reach outs.  It is very easy to reach Adam and he is always open to talk with anyone if you have some new ideas, suggestions or feedback for the company.  Give Adam R. a shout if you want an ear at Strat-o-matic.  I might also mention, Adam is also a pretty good sportscaster! J

As Wolfman mentioned in our earlier bulletin, there are a number of new videos we have added to our Youtube Video channel.  Below you will a list of the new videos, with a direct link to watch them and a short description.  If you are truly enjoying our collection of video presentation, why not “LIKE” our channel. 


Strat-o-matic Game Company Interviews:

(this is the most recent interview I had with Mr. Richman as I discussed in this column, 8 minutes)

(an interview with John Garcia and Adam Rosen, key members of the SOM Staff, 2-1/2 minutes)

Strat-o-matic Strategy Videos by Earl Shamblin

(How to doing stealing using the Super Advance SOM Baseball Game 5+ minutes)

(A Pitcher's Point of weakness is discussed in this video from the Super Advance Game, 4 minutes)

(How to read the X-Fielding Charts Results in the Super Advance Game, 3 minutes)

(Special thanks to Earl Shamblin for sharing his strategy videos on the USBN Youtube Channel)

Interview with your editor, the Wolfman
(in case you missed this first video interview with the Wolfman, he talks about some of his past experiences playing Strat and where he sees our newsletter headed in 2016 ...)


(Note: -- if you wish to view the full range of special videos we are sharing on our very popular Youtube video channel for Ultimate Strat Baseball, the trailer for SOM Opening Day had over 1000 views, as an example, feel free to visit us at:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC93h4fGGI7ibBUuTxrwDrzw  )


As always, your feedback is very welcome, feel free to email your comments to: marc.wass@ultimatestratbaseball.com

Peace, and health to all.

-- Let them dice roll! 

Marc Wass


Support the Cause

If you are enjoying the content and information our newsletter shares with you, why not support us with your helpful donation for our minor expenses and time?

Contained inside this exciting issue of Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter:
(to view the various interviews, articles, columns and special sections click on the links {underlined} and this will take you to the appropriate webpage)


  INTERVIEW with ROGER ERICKSON, Ex-MLB Pitcher, Roger Erickson, for the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees, talks with the Wolfman about his insights on the game of baseball and what experiences he had during his major league career, as we continue to interview more ex-MLB players which we recognize their names from their Strat-o-matic cards in past seasons.

  INTERVIEW/ARTICLE with KEN WENGER, Ken is a volunteer for the support group that works with Len Durrant and Gary Simonds who have been producing cardsets that work with the SOM Baseball Game for over 20 years that include computer rosters/teams from the Negro Leagues, Japanese Leagues and the National Association. Ken talks about his experiences being a part of this team and what it takes to make these computer card set images.

  ARTICLE with MARC PELLETIER & WOLFMAN SHAPIRO, Wolfman Shapiro now becomes Marc's student as he is guided to work with Marc's system to build a playoff bound team for one of the new 2015 based leagues that are be offered in Baseball 365.  Marc explains his blue print how to build a team and shares with us key spreadsheets to show how he evaluates the players in the 2015 cardset. The Wolfman shares his feedback upon the Pelletier system and how it will guide him to draft his team for the on-line Baseball 365 league that he will join in April.

  ARTICLE with LARRY BRAUS -- Wolfman's old friend Larry, who he has known since the 1970's from Chicago and the early national conventions, as well as was an early contributor of our newletter in 2013, returns in this issues with some insights on former star players you shouldn't write off just yet ...

  ARTICLE with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO, Wolfman discusses a totally new Computer (CM) based league he joins which is based upon salaries for the players with a salary cap, plus has a big focus on building your minor league players. Through this league he participates in his first time ever an on-line auction to add players for his team.  He reports about his experiences joining this league and the strategies he used to build a team made for the playoffs plus ....

  SOM BASEBALL LEAGUE REPORT with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO -- the editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" and 2012 CBA Champion, talks to members members of various Strat-o-matic Baseball Leagues that he has discovered on the internet about the history of their league and their experiences. This is the first time we get to speak to a League Commissioner and their Champion in the same month as we find out about the World Baseball League (WBL).  To read their interviews, click on the appropriate link below:

INTERVIEW with Jeff Chaput, WBL Commissioner, P-VI (Computer)
INTERVIEW with Ted Wesley, WBL Champion, P-II (Computer)

  SOM/MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL WORLD NEWS with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO, editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" roams the world for interesting news linked to SOM or MLB. For this month he shares some gems he found on the Strat-o-matic website and SOM's facebook page, offers another "Stat of the Week" bulletin by John Dewan talking about current relievers and gives the first report of a Strat Tournament Player's Club tourney held in early March in New Jersey.

  RECOMMEND ON-LINE SOM RESOURCES -- On-line Strat-o-matic and Baseball related websites
that offer amazing information, special tools and products to improve your game play that we strongly recommend. In most cases, we have had personal contact with these sources who agree with the principle to work together and help promote each other.

  BOOKS TO DIE FOR and Become a BASEBALL GURU -- This page is specifically about special books we are finding that either will expand your insights about the game of Baseball, help you in the creation of your current league teams or with your replays and learn more about the Strat-o-matic Baseball Game and Game Company's history.  We have a special arrangement with Acta Sports, who is a publisher of a number of great baseball books (including Bill James Handbooks) to offer for our members a 10% discount. We will continue to add more books to this page in the future as we uncover other gems our members should know about.


Contact Us for Questions or Submissions

Wolfman Shapiro
co-Founder/Editor, the Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter

email: wolfman@ultimatestratbaseball.com
facebook: www.facebook.com/wolfman.shapiro
twitter: @StratBaseball4U

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