Strat-O-Matic turning 50
APBA’s rival tabletop sports gaming company, Strat-O-Matic will be celebrating its 50th birthday this year. Tom Van Riper of Forbes has a nice article on SOM. His first paragraph pretty much sums up why many of us tabletop sports fans play the game.
Why do all we sports fans think we can be general managers? Because we’ve done it in fantasy land, the analytical world of sports that’s proven to be more realistic and influential on real GMs than anyone might have imagined in its early days.
For those wondering, the APBA game as we know it, was created and marketed in 1951 by Dick Seitz. If you are really interested in a good history on APBA, check out the APBA Game Company’s memorial to Seitz on their web site.
10/28/09: Strat-O-Matic in the Chicago Sun Times
I have been playing APBA baseball since 1970, players cards were based on the 1969 baseball season, but before I ever picked up a pair of APBA dice, I was rolling three dice, playing Strat-O-Matic. I was first introduced to dice baseball by my cousins, who lived in Johnsburg, Illinois. They had the Strat-O-Matic cards based on the 1967 baseball season. My first purchase was the Strat-O-Matic cards based on the 1969 baseball season. Following my cousins lead I purchased my first APBA cards based on the 1970 baseball season.
Even though I switched from Strat-O-Matic to APBA, I’ve always remained Strat-curious, perhaps because it was my first experience into dice baseball. But while APBA remained pretty much the same over the years (with the exceptions of the Master Game and APBA for Windows, the computer version), Strat-O-Matic has been more innovative. The best part of playing APBA is ease of playability and a good roll is a good roll is a good roll, a drawback is that better pitchers only prevent basehits & walks, but have no impact on power. The good things about Strat-O-Matic is how each card (player & pitcher) is truly unique, also there is a far superior lefty/righty breakdown.
Also Strat-O-Matic seems to be much more mainstream, they seem to be more out there, and have, as a result, taken over the dice baseball world, more so than APBA. Although both games seem to have their niche, but it seems as though kids today are more into video games than rolling dice.
Whether it’s APBA or Strat-O-Matic, it’s always cool to see dice baseball in the news. It’s kind of like, even if it’s not my kid, hey at least I know that kid. So it was cool to read a story about Strat-O-Matic in today’s Chicago Sun Times regarding, Bringing the Negro Leagues to Life.