You could say I was born into baseball. The earliest pictures of me show a bundled up toddler in a metal walker trying to throw a tennis ball to his teenage uncles. I had teen aunts and uncles that played town and high school ball that influenced me from the very beginning. The neighbors of my youth will tell you of a young boy that could throw a tennis ball at a brick wall for hours on end…announcing my own games with many players and outcomes. As I grew older I was obsessed with the numbers of it all. It helped with my math as I was always trying to figure out ways to improve my batting average or e.r.a.
I played on many teams from the time I was five until my early 20’s. Countless teammates and unlimited memories over the years as I never tired of this great game. I eventually married and have a couple of kids of my own. My son plays the game, both the real thing and Strat-O-Matic. He is pretty good(at the real thing) and could be dangerously good if he actually was passionate about the game. I try to not push the game on him. It isn’t easy.
I have coached on and off over the years and I am now involved with the youth league in our town and serve on it’s Board of Directors. I don’t do it of my son or for myself. I feel I owe it to the game that has given me so much over the years.
I was introduced to SOM by my best friend around the summer of 1983. I don’t remember the exact summer, but I can remember what those days were like. Riding our bikes to the local candy shop buying Tootsie Rolls and Topps baseball cards. Swimming in his pool a couple times a day and spending the time in between playing Strat at his kitchen table.
A couple of years later I purchased my first SOM box at Kay Bee Toys in the local mall for about $20. The 1985 set of cards that I still have to this day. As life progressed I only seemed to purchase sets when my Cubbies did well….which wasn’t often. It all changed when my son was born and I started watching for sets on Ebay. Over the years my collection has grown and I have just about every set that I have ever wanted.
Now, I fit games in when I can and enjoy introducing the game to new friends and kids on my son’s ball clubs. I love creating things and have started building custom made wooden Strat-O-Matic stadiums to play our games in. I am in no way a master wood worker but I always end up surprising myself.
I hope to attend my first opening day at SOM headquarters in the near future.
My Strat-o-Matic Baseball Collection
Cards – 36 Past Teams, 42 Past Teams, 1924, 1934, 1954, 1960, 1964, 1971, 1975AL, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988NL, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015.
1997 All Stars
2000 Hall of Fame Color
75th Anniv. Hall of Fame
Negro League All Star Set