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Monday 18th Dec 2017

Well, I got knocked out of the playoffs in the first round of the Strat-O-Matic 50th Anniversary League, curated by Seamheads Mike Lynch and Brian Thompson.

Mike assembled a bunch of well-known Strat-heads, including Eric Karabell, Matt Beagle, John Hart, Roy Firestone, and Bob Costas to name a few, and put together a 30-team league with each of us selecting a squad "close to home." Those quotes suggest associations for different reasons, but in my case the founders identified me with Strat and the Giants, so I got to select a preferred San Francisco roster to compete against faves from other major league cities.

The year I selected was 1962, when the Giants were full of sluggers with Mays, McCovey, Cepada, Kuenn, Alou--Matty and Felipe--Davenport, and Haller. Pitching was decent, with Jack Sanford leading the way and Juan Marichal establishing himself sophomore year, as the Giants won the NL title with 102 wins.

My Giants were matching up in the NL West with Joe Sheehan's 1996 Padres, Charles Tripp's '53 Dodgers, Curt Schilling's 2001 D-Backs, and Derrick Goold's 2007 Rockies, and my team not only won the division with a 93-69 mark, but notched the second best record in the National League, advancing to the post-season.

However, I ran into Jim Callis' 1994 Expos, and in a six game simulation executed by Monsieur Thompson, Montreal bested us four games to two. And, though the computer did the play, we supplied the lineups and rotations.

However, these Giants were one red-hot team going into the playoffs, for after the first quarter of the season had run, we were seven games under .500, at 17-23, on May 20th, meaning we were 76-46--over 30 games over--from that point on.

As interesting, was how well my guys did in tight games.  Over the month of August, we went 20-8, including 11-2 in one-run games. Better, we did that with run differential of one. That is, we scored 111 runs for the month, and allowed 110. Which means we were getting the perfect rolls pretty much every time we needed it.

Next Saturday Strat-O-Matic celebrates their actual 50th birthday with a huge soiree in Manhattan, and I wish I could get back there to join the festivities (we will have a report or two from the scene, mind you).

In the mean time, I am sorry my squad got knocked out, but, hey, it was fun being included. And, there is always next year. Right?


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