Strat-O-Matic Baseball

Strat-O-Matic is a game company based in Glen Head, New York, that develops and publishes sports simulation games. … Strat-O-Matic began as a company in 1961, when Hal Richman, a Bucknell University mathematics student, began selling an early version of his baseball tabletop game out of his basement, buying advertising space in Sports Illustrated to aid sales. Richman lost money until 1963, when his decision to release a game containing one card for each player in Major League Baseball resulted in greatly increased sales. … Strat-O-Matic’s statistical research and game development methods are implemented with the intent of replicating athletes’ abilities as accurately as possible, giving the gamer the feel of making managerial decisions. … In a Strat-O-Matic game, each athlete is represented by a player card, on which are printed various ratings and result tables for dice rolls. A player, who may play solitaire or against another player, is in charge of making strategic and personnel decisions for his/her team, while determining the results of his/her decisions by cross-referencing dice rolls with a system of printed charts and tables. (The basic scheme may be understood in connection with the adjoining images, representing the baseball game. One die selects which column is used on either the batter or the pitcher card, while the other two dice specify the outcome within the column.) The results on the player cards are determined by a combination of the respective athlete’s real-life statistics for the previous year and (mostly in the case of the baseball game) independent research of news articles and scouting reports. All Strat-O-Matic games offer a ‘basic’, ‘advanced’, and ‘super-advanced’ version; the more advanced versions give more strategic options to players while taking into account additional nuances of an athlete’s abilities (e.g., in baseball, differences in hitting vs. left-handed or right-handed pitchers). The computer adaptations essentially rely on the same algorithms as the tabletop games, but they have the additional advantages of faster play and statistics compilation. … Additionally, there also is an Internet version of the Strat-O-Matic Baseball game. This was formerly hosted by The Sporting News, and is now hosted by the Strat-O-Matic Company. … Broadcaster Bob Costas often played Strat-O-Matic in his youth, and credits the game with teaching him about baseball, for instance the importance of on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Author Buzz Bissinger says that ‘Strat-O-Matic changed my life.’ Games of Strat-O-Matic were shown being played in the Spike Lee film Crooklyn. …”
NY Times: Strat-O-Matic, the Throwback, Endures the Era of the X-Boxes
How Strat-O-Matic Baseball Changed My Life Forever
Stuck in the ‘60s
YouTube: Evolution of Strat-o-matic Baseball Cards: 1962-present, How-To Strat: Baseball Basic Version Board Game, Strat-O-Matic Computer Version Instructional

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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