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Monday, April 04, 2011

"Strat-O-Matic Baseball Turns 50"

I just realized something... I missed an important anniversary. Not my wedding anniversary, that one comes around later this summer. No, I'm referring to the 50th anniversary of my favorite childhood baseball "board game" -- Strat-O-Matic.

Strat-O-Matic, for those who don't know, is a dice and card-based statistical baseball game (now with a computer version as well) that accurately represents the skills and abilities of thousands of Major League Baseball players. Players going all the way back to 1901. In my youth, I spent hours rolling the dice with my dad, consulting the player cards, and simulating hundreds of realistic baseball games. We even kept track of the statistics -- by hand -- with pencil and paper. Eventually, we moved to the computer version, replaying entire seasons with greater ease. Yet, to this day, my dad still has our vast collection of thousands of player cards in storage, waiting for their chance to shine in play once again.

Ah, yes. Fond memories. Lots of fond memories.

In February -- earlier this year, Strat-O-Matic celebrated fifty years of success. There was even a convention, in New York City, that attracted hundreds of loyal players and fans. I wasn't among them. But it was the kind of convention I might have gone to had I had the chance.

These days -- at my home here in Brillion, I've spent my baseball-simulating hours playing the equally popular Baseball Mogul. For me, it's proven to be a more compact gaming experience, and one I can more easily play solitaire. But that doesn't mean I've forgotten my Strat-O-Matic roots. No. My entire passion for baseball comes from two things: Attending Milwaukee Brewer baseball games at the old County Stadium with my dad, and playing Strat-O-Matic baseball -- also with my dad.

Without them -- without Strat-O-Matic -- my life would contain a lot less baseball. And a lot less baseball would make the Jon you know a very different person. So here's to Strat-O-Matic. Happy 50th Birthday! May your influence and success last through yet another generation of baseball fans. And may your dice-driven contests drive many more weekends of father-son gaming!

"Strat-O-Matic Turns 50"

LINK: Strat-O-Matic Website

-Jon

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