Mariners Insider

Strat-O-Matic baseball rolls on, dice and all

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on Oct. 20, 2011 at 9:12 am with 4 Comments »
October 20, 2011 9:14 am
Me in my Strat-O-Matic prime

Found an article online this morning by Jonathon Salant in Bloomberg Businessweek on Strat-O-Matic, the card and dice baseball game that turns 50 this year and the kicker was this: The average age of a Strat-O-Matic player today is 35.

Now I have to admit, I haven’t played the game since the dawn of time, but there’s a certain joy that came with knowing people still do.

Given the times we live in, the company producing it has a computer version, but the original – with its cards for every player in the majors and those three dice that determine what happens – remains on sale and popular enough to survive.

In some ways, it was the first baseball sabermetrics game. There were no moving pieces, just a sense of realism because the players you put in your lineup, the pitcher you started, performed in this game much like they did on the field. There were cards on most big-leaguers, with numbers that broke down their speed, power, contact ability at the plate and their strikeout ratios, endurance and tendencies on the mound.

Today, apparently, the nine full-time employess of Strat-O-Matic now have 1,026 players rated based on the 2010 season. Salant writes that Strat-O-Matic has played the 2011 World Series and the Texas Rangers won, in six games.

That means absolutely nothing, of course, but it brings back memories of a time when, for many of us, it meant an afternoon of sublime pleasure. Happy Birthday, Strat-O – may new generations discover and enjoy.

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. Don Ruiz says:

    The last Strat-o-Matic set I got was 1982 (at least, based on the 1982 season). I still have it. The Mariners in that set were Gaylord Perry, Todd Cruz, Richie Zisk, Floyd Bannister, Mike Moore, Bill Claudill, Bryan Clark, Ed Vande Berg, Jim Beattie, Terry Bulling, Bobby Brown, Joe Simpson, Julieo Cruz,Bruce Bochte, Al Cowens, Dave Henderson, Gary Gra, Rick Sweet, Manny Castillo and Paul Serna.

  2. I have not touched Strat-O-Matic in years. Moved on to Out of the Park Baseball and have not looked back.

  3. tkballer22 says:

    As a 32 year old, I definitely fit into the demographic. I can remember the day I got my game. I waited like 2 weeks straight for the UPS truck to come. On that fateful day, I called my friend to come over and we played it for two straight days. I was lucky enough to get the 1989 season, which included the World Champion A’s who were my favorite team. The season also included Griffey’s rookie year. I also purchased some of the greatest teams cards and a Hall of Fame set. Plus, with a home copy machine, I bought blank cards and would create cards for players as the seasons went on. Each season, like the baseball nerd I am, I would trade players and update teams to be complete, creating new players as they were called up.

    I played the game non-stop, even took it to college and introduced it to several others. Now married, I even introduced it to my wife and allowed her to beat me a few times to make sure she would continue to play the game with me.

    Happy Birthday Strat-O-Matic, thank you for all the childhood and adult memories!

  4. TheBaseballCube says:

    Loved Strat-o-Matic when I was young. Spent hours of my teenage years and twenties replaying seasons. Most memorable game was a Ron Darling no-hitter. Played thousands of games but only one no-hitter ever!

    In my late 30s now with wife and kids and sometimes with I could just start playing again.

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