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Nerd Seed
2006-01-13 05:11
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

There is a piece in the Times today about the continuing popularity of the Strat-O-Matic baseball board game. I never played it as a kid. I have a vague memory of maybe having it once, or possibly I saw it at a friends house, but it never interested me. Too many numbers, too much abstraction. I was a much more tactile kid. Dungeons and Dragons never appealed to me either--it required a leap of faith, of imagination that was too remote for me to identify with.

I was usually playing baseball instead--hard ball with a team or whiffle ball in the back yard. If I played any baseball games they were usually on the computer. My brother and I used to go at it on the Commodore 64, and I remember buying Intellivision from a classmate when I was in junior high just so we could play the sports games. I used to keep boxscores of these games--not long ago I was leafing through an old Roger Angell book and found a boxscore I had kept around 1984-85, the Mets (my brother) vs. the Angels (me, cause of Reggie)--but that was about as far into the numbers as I went. Still, I now know a lot of baseball heads who were ardent Strat-O-Matic fans. Were you one of them?

Comments (53)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-01-13 05:38:42
1.   sabernar
I wasn't a Strat-O-Matic kid, in fact I didn't know about it until I was older or I would have played it I'm sure, but I DID play Earl Weaver's Baseball in the late 80's on my Amiga with several friends. We typed in all the players stats (split stats, too), then drafted leagues and played. Man, we played that game a LOT. I still remember one game where I lost in the 23rd inning on a Chet Lemon home run. My catch phrase for weeks after that was "Damn that Lemon!" Ah, good memories.
2006-01-13 05:57:10
2.   Murray
Strat-O-Matic, absolutely. You had to love that 1981 Mike Schmidt card.

I learned a lot about in-game tactics, platooning and lineup selection from playing Strat. It's a great teaching tool.

2006-01-13 06:05:34
3.   DXMachina
I didn't get my first Strat set until I was an adult (in the late seventies). I still pull it out once in awhile. My best friend and I played All-Star Baseball (the game with the player disks and spinners) constantly when we were kids in NJ (in the early sixties). I've also played Earl Weaver Baseball for the Amiga, and a bunch of other computer baseball games. The one I play now is High Heat Baseball 2002.
2006-01-13 06:18:43
4.   Sliced Bread
Never got into Strat-o or any computer version of baseball. For some reason, I found that football and basketball translated better into basement/gameroom formats.
I played a ton of wiffle ball and stickball during my 'wonder years' on Long Island (even indoor wiffleball in a friend's unfinished basement).
Funny thing about those variations of the game is that even if you couldn't pitch a baseball very well, with a wiffle or tennis ball in your hand you were suddenly a cross between Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson.
Before that, when I was growing up in Queens, I played punchball on the asphalt playground of Public School #21 in Flushing.
For those of you not familiar with game, you punch the ball with the heel of your fist. There was no pitcher. You hit the ball either tennis-serve style, or off a bounce. There was a dodgeball element to the game as well, which allowed the fielders to hurl the ball at a baserunner. If you got 'pegged' you were out.
It was always fun until somebody got a face-welt.
2006-01-13 06:45:45
5.   Dan M
I got Strat late in life, and never played it that much (unlike two of my friends who were Strat fiends). And I knew the son of the guy who invented Strat! I did have a similar game that SI put out in the early 80s. There was a picture of Gene Tenace on the box. It was a pretty good game, but I never was able to get other seasons like you could in Strat. It did, however, teach you how make cards from historical teams, so, using my dad's Baseball Encyclopedia, I made lots of great (or famous) teams - '51 Giants, '27 Yanks, etc.
2006-01-13 06:51:07
6.   Dimelo
Oh my God, Alex. What a great topic...my brother and I spent many nights giving my mom a ton of grief because we'd break out into fist fights playing the intellivision baseball game. Thinking back to that game, damn that game feels ancient. The natural progression was then MLB on Nintendo, Tecmo Bowl, the Madden Games, etc, etc.

Growing up in the inner city (Washington Heights) I never did hear about the Strat-O-Matic game. I first heard of it when I started playing fantasy baseball and getting together with the other team owners for our annual draft day. I was a little out of the cultural loop there, but I bet I can school them on cracking a Phillie or a Dutch and filling it with some good "ism". :-) I do remember intellivision had a Dungeons and Dragon game that I played, but I don't remember getting into it that much. I also remember intellivision had that funky controller that kind of looked like a telephone key pad. Those were the days....

2006-01-13 06:51:23
7.   Jen
Hell, I never even heard of Strat-o until a few years ago. We played Commodore 64 too. In fact, I still have the damn thing.
2006-01-13 07:02:29
8.   pistolpete
OMG - even reading the title of the game on screen brings me right back to my friend Gary's basement when I was 10 years old.

We would play that game for HOURS on end, only stopping to watch the old Yankee tape, "The Greatest Comeback Ever", or for some reason an old Charlie Lau hitting tape.

We eventually graduated to 'Micro League Baseball' on his Commodore 64 - and I had it on my IBM PCjr at home. You'd get a bunch of old-time 'classic' teams with the game disk, and each year you could order a new season's worth of teams & stats - or you could enter them yourself with the "General Manger's disk" - I specifically remember entering (manually) all the stats for the '86 Yankees - and every other team in the league - so I could simulate an ENTIRE season on my computer.

Then I'd keep score in a scorebook from the results on the computer. Baseball junkie? Me?

Nah.

2006-01-13 07:06:54
9.   Felix Heredia
We played MicroLeague Baseball on the Apple //E computer. It was different in that you could only manage the game - you decide what pitch, whether to steal, etc. and then you sit and watch as the computer carries out the play. It also allowed you to use historical teams - I often made myself feel smart by playing with the 1927 Yankees.
2006-01-13 07:10:49
10.   Nick from Washington Heights
Yeah, I wasn't playing much stratomatic baseball in Washington Heights. Instead, I was playing a lot of tennis baseball at the Jacob Javitz playground. We used whiffle bats heavily wrapped in black electric tape. Good times.

Actually, my friend's father, fifty-something years young, regularly plays a solitary version of stratomatic baseball. He's something of an obsessive: an IT guy whose favorite writer is Pynchon. He's also a Cardinals fan, and last I checked he was in the middle of a season playing as the 1984 Cardinals.

2006-01-13 07:11:52
11.   Nick from Washington Heights
Felix, Microleague baseball! Those '27 Yankees were a juggernaut.
2006-01-13 07:18:57
12.   tommyl
I played Earl Weaver on my home Apple IIgs and microleague on my friends PC. Man I used to love microleague, anyone else remember the "announcer" typing: "He's on his horse!" ?

In my apartment complex there was this handball wall and my friends and I used to play either baseball or stickball with rules for how many bases you got based on which tree in the yard behind you could hit it past. Too fun, but I probably played too much, hence the messed up shoulder these days.

2006-01-13 07:25:54
13.   Fred Vincy
I played an enormous amount of Strat from about age 12 until I had kids. To anyone who played Strat, all the Moneyball stuff has been well known for years, and we all used to wonder why real GMs didn't get it....

And yes, Murray, that Schmidt '81 card was something. Goose that year was something special too, wasn't he?

2006-01-13 07:31:04
14.   pistolpete
"anyone else remember the "announcer" typing: "He's on his horse!" ?"

ROFL- YES!!

Or how about when the ball was carrying to the fence, and of course you had to wait to hear the little 'blippity-blip' noise, and then read the screen to find out if it was a home run or not..

Ah, memories. Is there an emulator out there somewhere for Mac or Windows XP?

2006-01-13 07:36:05
15.   gattling
Alex,

The Commodore 64 was the best! I used to take on my brother in the game "Hardball". We got pretty into it. One game, I had a perfect game going into the ninth, and he broke it up with a bunt single. Didn't speak to him for a month....and....nope, I'm still not over it...

I recently downloaded a C64 emulator for WinXP, and played Hardball all over again. Brought a tear to my eye.

And don't even get me started on the whiffle ball games we played...

2006-01-13 08:00:09
16.   Ben
Gattling- you're killing me. Those old beefs die hard.

As the requisite counterpart to Alex's computer days, let me give you the inside scoop. He was a good winner but an awful loser, which luckily for him didn't happen to often when we faced off.

The thing I remember most clearly about the intellovision was that awful disc controll pad. You'd have a mean blister on the side of your thumb from zealously directing the guys around the bases, FASTER Hernandez you slow shit!!! That and you could cheat. there was a button to push on the key pad that let you control the other guys players. Just like real seball cheating was an element and the art was getting away with it...

And Hardball, aw man. Those screwballs really moved.

2006-01-13 08:25:35
17.   standuptriple
Ah...Hardball. Many hours spent on that game. I was more of the Nintendo gen. Baseball Stars was the best on that (you could actually dive and rob HR's).
Wiffle Ball? All the time. When there was no wiffle/tennis ball an old sock and duct tape would suffice. I used to rip CC Sabathia back in the days.
2006-01-13 08:39:30
18.   tommyl
I have memories of RBI baseball on the nintendo and Saberhagen being this awesome, really young guy in the game. Anyone else remember this?
2006-01-13 08:54:13
19.   Dimelo
I remember RBI Baseball on NES. All the players had this pudgy look to them. I loved that game.
2006-01-13 08:57:59
20.   Dimelo
BTW, I still think Double Dribble on the NES was the best sports video game of the 80's. Baseball video games always lagged when compared to basketball, football and even hockey - a sport I know very little about. Though, I do remember playing 'Blades of Steel' and loving it because I could get into fist fights. And there's always the ever popular Mike Tyson's Punch Out.
2006-01-13 09:02:16
21.   Alex Belth
My brother Ben tells the bonafide truth. I was a horrendous loser. Real spaz. I used to start in with the verbal abuse followed by throwing bolos usually. (Awwww, Crazy.)

It's funny that Ben remembers me winning most of the time. My memory was that he was much better at video games than me, and he was also a better athlete than me. But I had the leverage of being older and stronger which accounted for a significant edge. I was also more into winning and being competitive too. I mean, my brother and I must have fought every day for four years back in the middle school-high school era.

The beauty part is that we ended up being mad close in spite of all the adolescent angst.

And how do kids from different parts of the world pick up on the same tips. Man, we used to wrap our whiffle ball bats in black electrical tape too. Used to wrap half of the ball in it too so you could throw it a bit harder but still get the good whiffle for the breaking pitches.

And when we tore up the balls completely, we'd make balls out of tin foil. You had to reform the ball after each hit, cause you'd dent it so much, but hey, anything to keep playing. Man, kids are resourceful, huh?

2006-01-13 09:15:17
22.   Rich Lederer
No Strat here. APBA for me. I had the 1962, 1964, and 1966 sets, then played in a league during the second half of the '70s through the early '80s.

Owned Intellivision, too. The best graphics at that time. I shudder to think how much I spent on the hardware and cartridges. Way too much considering how many years ago it was.

2006-01-13 09:16:26
23.   Matt B
Oh man, did I play Strat. I got it for Christmas when I was probably 9 or 10 and got hooked pretty quickly. Played it incesseantly through adolescence with the other guys on my block and my friend Pete. Then years later, when Pete and I were roommates, we would kill any open evening with marathons of strat with some sporting event on the TV or rock album on the stereo in the background. We always had our favorite matchups too...Pete and I used to always replay the 1969 WS, because he dug the Orioles and I always loved managing the '69 Mets - they had great pitching and you had to platoon like crazy and hope that Al Weis would hit .455. With my friend Will, for whatever reason, we would play the '72 A's against the '76 Royals all the time. It actually made for a great matchup.
I had Earl Weaver for the PC later on, and loved that too, but I never lost the love for Strat. I dug it out a few months ago and Pete and I played the 1971 WS. Good stuff. Damn, now I want to play a series.
2006-01-13 09:42:55
24.   JL25and3
I didn't play Strat until I was in college, in the 70's, but I got hooked pretty quickly. I had that 1981 set - yes, Gossage and Schmidt both had striking cards, and Larry Milbourne had a great card for a scrubeenie.

There was definitely an esthetic to how the cards were designed. A Rob Deer card might have a lot of homers on it, but they'd be on 2s and 3s and 10s. The truly fearsome hitters would have their home run rolls piled together on 5s, 6s and 7s - that was the Strat version of shock and awe.

When I was a kid, in the mid 60s, I had a simpler dice game called Challenge the Yankees. It didn't have much in the way of realism - two dice, 12 rolls - but it had player pictures on the cards. My cousin and I played that one whenever we were together.

2006-01-13 09:45:03
25.   Dimelo
I'm like you Alex, my brother and I till this day anytime we start playing a game we get so ultra competitive that we swear so much at each other and sometimes (still) come to blows. It's like that in anything we do: skiing, softball, mtn. biking, football, debates about certain players, etc. We are kind of Neanderthals like that, but we have so much love for each other that it's hard for the common person to comprehend. We can argue over some ole bullshit then be mad cool two minutes later. My mother doesn't get it, my father sure does. I think it all started with the good ole days of the WWF with Super Fly Snuka, George the Animal Steel, King Kong Bundy, Rowdy Piper, etc, etc. It then morphed its way into video games and any other team sport we might've played together.
2006-01-13 09:50:23
26.   Alex Belth
Piper's Pit was the bomb. Who was the throwback dude before Hulk Hogan? Bob Backlan? With the figure-four leg-lock.
2006-01-13 09:57:37
27.   vockins
http://dee-nee.com/rbi/

Very extensive RBI Baseball website. I'd guess there are already many on this forum that know about it, but it's worth a five minute visit even if you've never played RBI Baseball.

2006-01-13 10:02:26
28.   Shawn Clap
STARTING LINEUP TALKING BASEBALL

It was an electronic game from the late 80s. It was shaped like Yankee Stadium and if you played it, you'll never forget it!

2006-01-13 10:05:46
29.   Sliced Bread
No punchballers out there? It couldn't have been just a Queens thing.
Man, you haven't lived until you literally punch an RBI double with a pinky spongeball.
2006-01-13 10:07:27
30.   Alex Belth
I like stickball myself. The modern kind. With a tennis ball and a strike zone drawn against a wall.
2006-01-13 10:15:20
31.   Sliced Bread
Gotta play stickball against a wall, never tried the old school street version.
We preferred the pink 'hairless' tennis balls made by Spalding to a real tennis ball. But those tended to split in half, especially if you really smacked one. If we busted or lost a ball down a sewer drain, a balding tennis ball would do.
2006-01-13 10:40:59
32.   Freddy Toliver
Rex Hudler had AAA speed in 1987.

Ken Phelps card was awesome too - 3 true outcomes for sure.

2006-01-13 10:47:54
33.   rbj
I had Strat, must've been late 70s. Growing up in the country there weren't too many kids around, so I wound up playing with, er, by myself. I didn't have Starting Lineup, but there was another handheld baseball game, it was a brown rectangle, with lots of LED lights. That game was fun. I also had a plastic pitching machine, used it so much I broke it from hitting the machine with batted plastic balls (a la Jaret Wright). Wound up having to get a second machine.
2006-01-13 11:05:42
34.   walein
Tennis baseball in Jacob Javits...microleague baseball! The memories. I had a couple friends who were stratomatic players but since i was a novice and they were a year older (at that age when a year older is like the difference between being in college and having grandchildren) they used to take advantage of me and the best players on my team would be Lou Whitaker and Rick Rhoden. I didn't get into the game as a result.
I do remember a really affluent kid that we used to see in the summer (spending time at my grandmother's place). He had all the gadgets and toys that you wanted as a kid and he had one of the first Atari 2600 sets.
There was a baseball game that I played like a meth addict (i can't remember the game now...probably Atari Baseball or something).
You had to push the joy stick left twice to use the third baseman, three times for left field...etc...It was Awesome!
2006-01-13 11:05:54
35.   deadteddy8
Never played Stratomatic, but I did play Earl Weaver on my dad's PC when I was 8 or 9. Good God, that game was/is amazing. The one thing I miss from that game that no other baseball video game has done, and that for the life of me I can't understand why it hasn't been replicated, was the ability to design your own ballpark. I mean, the EA Sports title gives a little bit of choice in the matter, but in Earl Weaver, you chose the dimensions, wall heights, surface, number of outfield decks and how far around they went, and whether you wanted a roof over the decks. If you can design a detailed skate park in the Tony Hawk games, why shouldn't you be able to design a baseball park in a baseball game?

#28 - Starting Lineup Talking Baseball!!! From Parker Brothers!!! I had the cartridges for every team and the cards that came with them. Sadly, my family's now long gone dog, Mr. B, chewed up the Yankees (especially Rickey Henderson), so the set is incomplete, but I still have it around somewhere. I lost months of my life to that thing. I always thought the stadium resembled Dodger Stadium more. So did my dad, who broke out a model-painting kit and painted the seats to match the Dodger Stadium color pattern. To further confuse things, I was responsible for the city name stickers on the outer ring of the stadium, and for some reason I decided to put Montreal front and center. "High drive... deep to left... off the top of the wall! Hen-der-son... is going for home!"

2006-01-13 11:12:21
36.   Nick from Washington Heights
To walein: "Hey brother" (in the voice of Buster from Arrested Development)
2006-01-13 11:18:47
37.   Dimelo
I'm a stickball player of the "modern kind" as Alex wrote. I've only played stickball on the handball courts furnished by the wonderful NYC Parks Dept, or if you can find a nice flat wall somewhere on one of the many 5 floor apartment buildings across NYC. I've gotten chased out of the block many a times from supers (short for superintendent) looking to protect their wall, passerby's not noticing the kid swinging a long and thin wooded bat and/or to prevent us from loitering.

I've played punchball, too. We would use the $1 blue ball you'd get at the local stationary store. I remember some cats used to punch that ball far....I was better with a bat than punching at a ball. I found that the one kid on the block where his mom and his mom's first cousin decided to breed were much better at punch ball than the other kids on the block. They tended to have bigger, fatter and stronger hands and that made them a more lethal punchball player. Eventually sports that required a bit more brain power weeded those types out, but they'll always have punchball. I'm just sayin'…

2006-01-13 11:18:51
38.   Knuckles
Never did play any of those baseball board games. I guess I'm more of the Nintendo generation. I had Hardball 3 thru 5 for the computer but they were nowhere near as fun as plain old Nintendo. Bases Loaded 3 and the Tecmo Bowl games were the king sh1t. The timing of this post is funny because despite my HDTV and Xbox, in the past week I've been playing lots of Tecmo on my computer via an Emulator. There's even versions of it with current rosters. Just got a new phone too that purports to be able to use a Nintendo emulator but it shuts down after one play- I think it needs a memory card.

Tons of Wiffle Ball in the backyard and touch football on the street. I perfected the art of dragging both feet while making a catch over the curb. It'd always be the 3 Reynolds (next door) on a team, me and my bro on the other, with the other kids filling out the rosters. Games ended in one of 4 ways- bloody noses, one of the younger ones running home crying about something, dinner, or darkness.

2006-01-13 11:27:34
39.   Levy2020
Re: "3 True Outcomes"

What about Groundrule doubles?

2006-01-13 11:28:52
40.   wsporter
Stickball against a wall with a strike zone drawn on it with half a broom handle for a bat and a tennis ball is the best game when you only have two people. We have a pretty good little wiffle ball game going in the neighborhood most evenings during the summer. The best game in the winter may still be a rolled up sock and half a yard stick in the basement. Over the couch is a double, hit the back wall it's a homer, pass the pitcher in the air it's a single. If you break anything the side is retired and just hope mom didn't hear.
2006-01-13 11:42:28
41.   Sliced Bread
Dimelo,
Sorry if my punchball references stirred up any unpleasant memories for you.
I was most certainly not one of those ham-fisted brutes on the block. I was an average-sized, skinny dude. I loved the simplicity of the game, and that it didn't require anything more than a ball, and that a bunch of us could play it in the schoolyard before the opening bell. I also remember how the game sometimes ended when one of the bigger, stronger kids 'pegged' a runner hard, and sent them to the nurse. I don't recall that I ever required medical assistance after punchball, but I remember getting a nasty welt on my back from being thrown at, and also ripping more than several pairs of Levi's corduroys (the public school uniform at the time) playing on the asphalt.
2006-01-13 12:05:05
42.   Bob Timmermann
I played Strat-O-Matic extensively during high school (and I still had a 4.0 GPA, so it's a valuable learning tool).

Playing with 1982 stats, I traded Ozzie Smith straight up for Luis Salazar because I didn't have anyone on my team who could hit lefties.

2006-01-13 12:07:33
43.   pistolpete
"I like stickball myself. The modern kind. With a tennis ball and a strike zone drawn against a wall."

Look at Alex, making us feel all bad about staying inside and playing video games...

;-)

In all seriousness, my outdoor game was wiffleball - limited space in the backyard, so it meant we needed to play with a ball that wouldn't travel as far - or break a window for that matter..

2006-01-13 12:09:06
44.   Dimelo
Nah...no unpleasant memories stirred up here.
2006-01-13 12:15:48
45.   gattling
My brother and I would play whiffleball in the back yard, with a "real" whiffle-ball (the kind with openings only on one hemisphere, so you could make the ball CURVE a lot and think you had an Uncle Charlie on par with Bert Blyleven.) We stacked all these patio benches as a backstop so we wouldn't destroy the screen door on the backdoor of the house. Needless to say, we had so little control over our pitches, we would still destroy at least 2 screens a year. Dad loved that.

I liked pretending I was Jimmy Key. (even though I was righthanded) I liked Key even when he was with Toronto, and was like 11-1 as a visitor at Yankee Stadium. The day the Yanks signed him was the first indication I had that the Yankees' Dark Times were nearing a close.

Ah, the days of whiffleball...

2006-01-13 14:36:21
46.   debris
Never played Strat. Started on Cadaco's All Star Baseball in the late 1950's. I bought my son the last release of this game in 1989. It can still be had for silly money on eBay. I first learned of Pie Traynor, Hack Wilson, Charlie Gehringer, Mickey Cochrane, and many more thanks to this game.

Moved over to APBA by '61 or '62.

2006-01-13 15:06:10
47.   claybeez
Punchball. I don't think I would have ever remembered that. Still, I've only got this fleeting memory of that pink ball and that straightforward name.

I do remember going to visit my great-aunt in Harlem and watching the older kids playing stickball in the street. How, I admired my older cousin who I just knew to be the next Mickey Rivers. I think every once in a while they let us little guys get in a game or two.

Later I was whisked off to Maryland where there was more grass than asphalt - lots more. Stickball and punchball got replaced by the real thing. There was a backstop right behind my house; we used to play almost every day in the summer. As there were almost never more than 6 or 8 of us you could only hit to one side of the field. We also used "pitcher's poison."

On rainy days I'd play a baseball game on my Atari. I don't remember playing that with my friends though. Actually, I think they stopped wanting to play it, because I'd usually win. So we moved on to "Frogger," "Dig Dug" and "Joust." I skipped Nintendo, later getting a Sega, and spent countless hours on whichever baseball game it was - maybe Hardball. And, now, it's all about refining my hitting on MVP.

Lots of good times.

2006-01-13 19:53:41
48.   fansince77
Dimelo-

Intellivision baseball. 'YEEEER OUT. Thinking back now - how clunky and mechanical but actually pretty realistic - games were like 3-2. The only problem was that if you were "too quick with the controller you couldn't throw the ball." And how about that ambigous homerun in the gap?

2006-01-13 22:49:35
49.   tommyl
Re: Tyson's punchout

My greatest accomplishment as a kid was TKOing Tyson in the second round. I'll never be that good at anything ever again most likely.

2006-01-14 11:33:29
50.   Saburo
Invested in Strat after the '77 season. Continued to '80 and then moved on the computer games around '82. I purchased Computer Baseball from SSI for the Apple II and damn, many a sleepless night playing that game. I also got Micro League Baseball and Earl Weaver Baseball but I still have fond memories of the SSI game (I still play it from time to time via an Apple II emulator).

Other dice games I got were Extra Innings and Sherco.

I'd love to take a glimpse at a Bonds Strat card, circa 2001-04.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-01-14 12:59:45
51.   brockdc
I think "nerd" is too kind a term for what me and my college buddies were doing in our dorm, circa '91.

While everyone was out pledging frats or getting shit-faced on Friday nights, we actually had Strat-O-Matic tourneys, complete with box scores and a continually updated spreadsheet that included up-to-the-day batting and pitching statistics.

We all got to draft one hall-of-famer to have on our contemporary team roster (which, I think, were from sometime in the mid-80's). I had chosen the Angels, yes, because of Reggie - and because everyone else in the dorm was either a Mets, Yanks, or Sox fan.

Long story short, a buddy, Bill, who had the Phillies defeated my buddy, Pete's, Yankees squad, which included The Babe, in the championship round. The Babe had a rough series, going 0-fer in the final game against none other than Shane Rawley. After Rawley K'd Babe for the final out of the game, Pete flipped the board over and stormed out of the room.

Bill - who knew relatively little about baseball - said, apologetically, "I didn't know Babe was supposed to be that good."

"Of course, you didn't!" Pete screamed.

Sorry for the long post.

2006-01-15 17:20:22
52.   BigBugMan
APBA was great. It doesn't get enough recognition.
2006-01-17 07:39:49
53.   Murray
We played punchball in the schoolyard at PS 206 in Brooklyn, which still has a pretty big schoolyard. And that $1 ball discussed earlier cost us $0.50. When it rained, we found other productive ways to spend our time:

http://www.bradmeltzer.com/other/crazykid.html

We also played stickball on the handball courts--which I understand was called "Pitching In" when people played stickball in the streets. The demise of classic stickball in New York is related to the proliferation of automobile traffic in the post-WWII era.

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