Welcome to a most unusual Web site. It is for lovers of pure baseball, meaning baseball without steroids, without contract news and without wet, freezing World Series games past midnight. It is also for lovers of story and character, and of the daily fun of not knowing how either will turn out. In short, you are about to plunge into a living baseball novel.
Hal Richman invented a fun, realistic baseball board game called Strat-O-Matic Baseball in the early 1960s, and has developed it into a huge success. Bob Costas, Jon Miller, Spike Lee and Lenny Dykstra have played it. Yet I don't even think Hal realizes what a wondrous creation he spawned. With its uniquely crafted cards for every player, we have the ability to enter a baseball world from the past or present with the mere drop of three dice.
My recent "2007 Like It's 1937" replay on the popular Strat Fan Forum had a great regular following, but now I'm compelled to expand things. The goal of this blog site is to broaden the appeal, to draw new baseball fans and readers who may or may not have ever heard of Strat-O-Matic baseball, and just want a brief, everyday escape from the sad realities of our Tough Times.
I will revisit 1924 in cards-and-dice, super advance format, using the actual 1924 schedule and report the events through the eyes and words of two fictional characters:
1. VINNY SPANELLI, a 17-year-old hardcore Phillies fan who spends his every waking hour following his beloved and usually awful Phils by sneaking out of school to sneak into mid-afternoon games at Baker Bowl. Vinny will supply his daily diary of the National league season.
2. CAL BUTTERWORTH, star baseball beat writer for the Detroit Free Enterprise, who will file game stories on Ty Cobb's Tigers from Navin Field and wherever they travel. Cal's a bit flowery with his prose, but is tough enough to get the best quotes from the Georgia Peach and other players, and will report on the daily events in the American League as objectively as he's capable of.
I have no idea how this season and format will play out, but I can guarantee it will be amusing, entertaining, and different.
Opening Day will find Vinny taking in a cold April afternoon against the Boston Braves, while Cal will be in the Navin press box watching the Tigers take on Tris Speaker's Indians. First off, though, look for Cal early next week with his pre-season picks. Enjoy the season!