Great article about Strat-O-Matic and Cleveland, @Adam_B. For some reason that article brought back a flood of memories about me playing SOM when I was a kid.
I spent hundreds of hours playing Strat-O-Matic baseball when I was a kid. I spent probably every night in my room for 2 or 3 hours playing the game. It’s how I spent a lot of my adolescence.
I would play 162 game seasons for 12 team leagues. By making lineups and rolling the dice for each game. I’d score the game on a scoresheet. Compile the statistics by hand after each week of play. Write up complete stat sheets for each team, with all the stats you would see in a “real” compilation (including BA, OBP, and SLG for batters). Compile league leaders in 20 or so categories on a separate sheet. Staple all those sheets together. And do it again after the next 10 games of play. I had a poster in my bedroom that I cut a flap into - I could lift the flap to show a standings board for my baseball teams. The teams and records were on cardboard strips so I could move them up or down as the standings changed.
I played the MLB teams. I re-drafted and made my own teams. I played season after season. Always scoring games, always compiling the stats. I spent so much time compiling the stats that I memorized fractions like 5/16’s or 3/13ths, so I wouldn’t have to do long division to figure out this guy’s batting average.
When I first played Strat-O-Matic they only had composite stats for each batter. After a couple of years they switched to lefty/righty stats. I can tell from the photo in the article that the guys in Cleveland were using the lefty/righty version (the composite cards were vertically oriented, and the lefty/righty were horizontal!). For years I had Frank Howard’s 1969 Washington Senators card in my desk drawer (I just looked for it but couldn’t find it… sad). I bought the game via mail-order from an ad in some magazine - I’ll never forget the day the big flat red box arrived full of baseball players (actually when you got the game, it came with 2 or 3 or 4 teams and you had to pony up more cash to get the entire league… of course I did that!). What a great game.