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Vol. IV, Issue #1 - January 2016

** Books to Die For and Become a Baseball Guru **
(on this page are special books linked to the game of baseball or Strat-o-matic)

{ Wolfman: This webpage contains various books we have uncovered that provide a greater knowledge of the game of Baseball or Baseball Statistics. So far there has only been one book published specifically about Strat-o-matic by Glenn Guzzo but there are other books written by other individuals who are involved with the game of baseball who have played Strat-o-matic. To assist our members, we have a special agreement with Acta Sports, a sports book publisher in Chicago that any books they sell or distribute, our members receive a 10% discount.  We intend to add more books to this page in future Issues.}

Books that we Recommend

Acta Sports

This publisher specializes in publishing books about all type of sports and has been around since 2003.  They are the publisher for example for two books by Glenn Guzzo (including "Strat-o-matic Fanatics"), the amazing books by Bill James and John Dewan - "Fielding Bible". They have been involved with Baseball Statistics since 2006 and have a connection with the organization called STATS which also features the most indepth statistics related to Baseball.  We have negotiated with Acta Sports to give our members a 10% discount on all of your purchases with them. To find the specific book you want, just click on the link below and it will take you to the webpage of that e-book, of course you can look around for the other books too.

How does this discount work? We are told if you go to the page link we provide below our discount code of "SOMB" will automatically be entered for you but when you go to your shopping cart, underneath the last book to order is an area titled "Promo Code", if "SOMB" is not shown in that area, type it in and hit submit, the price of all your books will be updated to include the discount. This special discount is only for our members. And if you visit the ACTA Sports website (www.actasports.com) and see other baseball books you like, again use this Promo Code to continue to receive a discount on any books you order. 

Below are eight important baseball or SOM related books (two by Glenn Guzzo) that we recommend for you to take a special look at:

Strat-o-matic Fanatics - Glenn Guzzo
(Normal Price: $14.95 with Newsletter Discount $13.45)


(The History of Strat-o-matic as told through its creator Hal Richman and the baseball board game became the icon of the industry opening the company up to create other sports games plus stories from various gamers)

-- Wolfman Note: A Review copy is coming and we will review this book in a future issue of our newsletter to give you our perspective - but this is the only book we know that has ever been written exclusively about Strat-o-matic!


The New Ball Game - Glenn Guzzo
(Normal Price: $14.95 with Newsletter Discount $13.45)


(Understanding Baseball Statistics of the Causal Fan - as the use of statistics becomes more popular as well as complex, Mr. Guzzo takes the reader in hand providing a friendly explanation of such.)


How Bill James Changed Our View of Baseball - Bill James
-- Subtitle: The Inspiration Behind Moneyball
(Normal Price: $19.95 with Newsletter Discount $17.95)


(Stories by various Baseball Authors and Sports Writers, General Managers and more how their view on baseball and life was changed by the legendary theories of Bill James)

-- Wolfman Note: A Review copy is coming and we will review this book in a future issue of our newsletter - many people have told us that Bill James is a master about discussing baseball and looking at it in a unique and different way - this is one of his new books!  Also in our November 2015 issue, John Dewan shared with us a chapter he wrote for this book (click here)


The Bill James Handbook 2016 - Bill James
(Normal Price: 28.95 with Newsletter Discount $26.06)


(type in when you order, the promotion code: SOMB for your 10% discount)

(The first, best, most complete annual baseball reference guide available. Full of exclusive stats, this book is the most comprehensive resource on every hit, pitch, and catch in Major League Baseball's 2015 season--and includes player projections for 2016. There also exists a spiral bound version for $5 more.)

-- Wolfman Note: We hope in the future to get a copy of this book to review for our members.  For any of our members who are in a draft league with the new 2016 cards coming out next year, this is and will be a key key book to help you prepare for building your team as his handbooks have been every year before and each year, they add new information and insights.  I personally look forward to pour through its amazing contents and especially look at the projections for 2016!! 

The Bill James Handbook 2015 - Bill James
(Normal Price: 28.95 with Newsletter Discount $26.06)


(type in when you order, the promotion code: SOMB for your 10% discount)

(The first, best, most complete annual baseball reference guide available. Full of exclusive stats, this book is the most comprehensive resource on every hit, pitch, and catch in Major League Baseball's 2014 season--and includes player projections for 2015. There also exists a spiral bound version for $5 more.)

-- Wolfman Note: In the March 2015 issue of our newsletter we will have a complete review of the new edition of this stellar book.  For any of our members who are in a draft league with the new 2015 cards coming out next year, this is a key key book to help you prepare for building your team.  I personally look forward to pour through its amazing contents and especially look at the projections for 2015!!  See our review of this edition of Mr. James handbook at:

http://www.ultimatestratbaseball.com/USBN-3-2015/BillJamesHandbook-BaseForecaster-Rookie Review-March2015.htm


The Fielding Bible Volume III - John Dewan & Ben Jedlovoc
(Normal Price: $24.95 with Newsletter Discount $22.45)


(The Fielding Bible -- Volume III is a thorough compilation of the latest breakthroughs in defensive analytics from Baseball Info Solutions. With information previously exclusive to major league teams, Volume III is 100% new material that builds on the well received Volumes I and II. Included are comprehensive defensive evaluations, a study on the effectiveness of the "Ted Williams shift", the new Timer Plus/Minus system, and updated Defensive Runs Saved numbers that estimate the value of each fielder in Major League Baseball.)


Other Key Books by Other Publishers/Authors

Baseball Prospectus 2014 - The Baseball Prospectus Team of Experts
Wiley General Trade, release January of 2014
(Price: 24.95)


(Featuring the Industry Leading Projections and Comments for more then 2100 players for the 2014 Major League Season with over 20 contributors. See our review in our March 2014 issue.)


Special E-book from Wolfman Shapiro
"Secrets of the Wolfman"
(Offered by donation, to read more go to:)

(This is the first e-book written by Ultimate Strat Baseball editor Wolfman Shapiro which provides a very comprehensive telling of how he built his championship team, the Skokie Wolfmen, to become the CBA (Cyber Baseball Association) champion in 2012, also feature on the SOM website where they show pictures of other SOM gamers who were champions with trophies. He holds nothing back and reveals all of his strategies which have led his team in the CBA to 6 out of 7 playoff appearances (missing out once in an extra death match by one game) and three World Series appearances. In honor of the first SOM On-line Baseball Convention in September of 2013, he is offering this book to anyone just for whatever donation you wish to give. The e-book is in a PDF format.)


Ron Shandler's 2015 Baseball Forecaster - Ron Shandler
(Normal Price: $25.95)

(The 2015 Baseball Forecaster, published annually since 1986, is the first book to approach prognostication by breaking performance down into its component parts. Rather than predicting batting average, for instance, this resource looks at the elements of skill that make up any given batter’s ability to distinguish between balls and strikes, his propensity to make contact with the ball, and what happens when he makes contact -- reverse engineering those skills back into batting average. The result is an unparalleled forecast of baseball abilities and trends for the upcoming season and beyond.)


Signed Book by Willie Mays Aikens to the USBN Members
"Safe at Home: Willie Mays Aikens by Gregory Jordan"

(This is the first book we, at the USBN, have received as a gift from an ex-baseball player. In our November issue, 2014, Wolfman will give a review of this book.  We have received signed copy #24.  The note from Mr. Aikens to USBN: 

"To Wolfman Shapiro and the members of the Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter. Best of luck to the team at the Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter. I pray God will continue to bless the whole group. Willie Mays Aikens 09-23-2014." 

Now let's share a bit about the book from its book jacket:

In 1980, Willie Mays Aikens became the first major league baseball player to hit two home runs in two separate games in the same World Series.  But ignoring the advice of his savvier teammates, Aikens drove himself out of baseball and into one of the longest prison sentences ever given a professional athlete -- 20 years and eight months. ... Safe at Home is one of the most intimate and culturally relevant biographies of an athlete ever written. Using extensive interviews with Aikens himself, his family, friends, teammates, cellmates and dealers.  We found this book available on Amazon.  Also the book is available directly through Mr. Aikens via his website at: www.willieaikens24.com. or you can contact him by email at: aikenswillie24@yahoo.com , he is also on facebook and twitter as well. )



Support the Cause

If you are enjoying the content and information our newsletter shares with you, why not support us with your helpful donation for our minor expenses and time?

Contained inside this exciting issue of Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter:
(to view the various interviews, articles, columns and special sections click on the links {underlined} and this will take you to the appropriate webpage)


  ARTICLE by MARC PELLETIER, another well known and successful strat baseball gamer in the on-line version of the baseball game shares with us his system to evaluate positional players for the 20XX leagues on the newly renamed Baseball 365.

  STRAT WISE with MARC WASSERMAN -- commissioner of the Cyber Baseball Association (CBA) continues his column sharing various perspectives on the new and exciting new service SOM has announced called Baseball Daily (fully described in the SOM Baseball World News Page). Also speaks about the draft feature within the windows computer game version and about the USBN Youtube video channel.

  SOM/MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL NEWS with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO , editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" shares with the complete details of all the new announcement Strat-o-matic made in January about the new products and services they are releasing ranging from the new Baseball Ratings Book (printed or digital) to the renaming and updating of the on-line game now called Baseball 365 to the new service called Baseball Daily to play the 2016 MLB Season to the new features in the 2016 version of the Windows Computer Game.

  ARTICLE by CHRIS McMURRY, What if you would like to change the ballpark images shown on
the three panels of the main screen of the windows game -- well Chris gives you exact procedure how
to do it.

  RECOMMEND ON-LINE SOM RESOURCES -- On-line Strat-o-matic and Baseball related websites
that offer amazing information, special tools and products to improve your game play that we strongly recommend. In most cases, we have had personal contact with these sources who agree with the principle to work together and help promote each other.

  INTERVIEW with MATT EDDY, writer and editor at Baseball America, specializing in MLB Prospects plus discusses the league he plays in as well.

  INTERVIEW with PETE NELSON, our good friend and supporter, the advisor to the Council for the Strat Tournament Players Club returns and discuss his 4th champion at their supreme tournament known as the "Worlds" held in Pittsburgh the middle of January.

  SOM BASEBALL LEAGUE REPORT with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO -- the editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" and 2012 CBA Champion, the "Wolfman" puts out a call to commissioners of various Strat-o-matic Baseball Leagues that he has discovered on the internet and shares the stories and experiences from another baseball league (one he was investigating to possibly join). This is a continuation of a new section of our newsletter that will continue for the rest of this year, so if you would like to share about your baseball league in our newsletter, send Wolfman a private email.

INTERVIEW with ROB STRICKER, BIGS, P-V (Two Leagues, one is Netplay, one is Computer)




Contact Us for Questions or Submissions

Wolfman Shapiro
co-Founder/Editor, the Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter

email: wolfman@ultimatestratbaseball.com
: www.facebook.com/wolfman.shapiro
twitter: @StratBaseball4U

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