For years, â€œOpening Dayâ€ for many Strat-O-Matic fans has meant a pilgrimage to the game companyâ€™s Glen Head, N.Y., headquarters to be among the first to get ahold of the new baseball season cards. And while the pandemic didnâ€™t allow for the gatherings the last two years, Strat-O-Matic (@StratOMatic), the market leader in sports simulation, is pleased to announce a series of special events in the return of Opening Day on Friday, February 17, to celebrate its return.
Chief among the dayâ€™s festivities is the induction of the six inaugural members of the Hal Richman Strat-O-Matic Hall of Fame, recognizing six individuals whose contributions to the game have allowed it to grow and prosper for more than 60 years. Additionally, a limited number of Strat Black Sets, the limited-edition collectible set of the 2022 cards printed on heavy, glossy black stock with white lettering which sold out of its online order run, will be made available in a very small quantity on a first-come, first-served basis to attendees. And a live episode of the popular â€œStrat-Matâ€ humor videos will also be streamed to capture the excitement of the day.
Veteran broadcaster Bill Daughtry will emcee the induction ceremony.
The six inductees are:
Â· Pauline Feelings, the first recognized employee of Strat-O-Matic, who â€did it allâ€ beginning with the companyâ€™s founding in 1961
Â· James Williams, the first executive and longtime employee who played a crucial role in game development
Â· Steve Barkan, a 40-year employee and lead researcher into the classic baseball seasons
Â· Del Newell, an avid Strat-O-Matic player who created the Strat-O-Matic Review, the first significant publication dedicated to the game
Â· Bill Sindelar, acknowledged by Richman as the first customer with whom he interacted on a personal basis
Â· Warren Bannerman, whose behind the scenes programming enabled Strat-O-Matic baseball to evolve into advanced and super-advanced formats
â€œWe couldnâ€™t be more excited about the return of â€˜Opening Dayâ€™ and the addition of the Hall of Fame to make this day even more special,â€ said Hal Richman, Strat-O-Matic founder. â€œWe look forward to welcoming fans who have been waiting three years for this day, and honoring six people who are so important to the companyâ€™s history will be particularly gratifying.â€
Strat-O-Matic was invented by 11-year-old Hal Richman in his bedroom in Great Neck, N.Y. in 1948 as a result of his frustration with the statistical randomness of other baseball board games. He discovered that the statistical predictability of dice would give his game the realism he craved. Over the next decade, he perfected the game at summer camp and then as a student at Bucknell University. After producing All-Star sets in 1961 and â€˜62, he parlayed a $5,000 loan from his father (and made a deal that if it didnâ€™t work out he would work for his fatherâ€™s insurance company) into the original 1962 Strat-O-Matic Baseball season game. Needless to say, Hal never had to take a job with his father.
Strat-O-Matic, based in Glen Head, NY and on the Internet at www.strat-o-matic.com, manufactures the top selling sports board games and realism/stats sports digital games. The Company publishes baseball, football, basketball and hockey games to play both on and off your computer and mobile screens. â€œStrat-Oâ€ games are known throughout the sports community for their statistical realism and accuracy. The Company has the worldâ€™s greatest sports game stat libraries with top-of-the-line seasons dating back to the early 1900â€™s. At the start of the 2016 MLB season, Strat-O-Matic introduced Baseball Daily, its first product featuring digital player cards that update every day to reflect real life current player performance as the season progresses.
The Company has a loyal celebrity following including a bevy of sports broadcasters such as Bob Costas, Jon Miller and Dan Shulman, former MLBâ€™ers Keith Hernandez, Doug Glanville and Cal Ripken Jr., and sports super fans including Drew Carey, Ben Bernanke, Bryant Gumbel, Spike Lee and Tim Robbins. More information is available at: www.strat-o-matic.com.