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Vol. III, Issue #3 - November 2015

** Welcome to USBN Vol. III - Issue #3 **

Comments from the Wolfman about
this current issue as we continue on our third
year (2015) of providing for our readers the most unique and interesting aspects of Strat-o-matic Baseball with links to Major League Baseball.  Time to meet some of the most interesting people who are connected to the game we love - are ya ready?????


Wolfman Shapiro, editor of the Ultimate Strat Baseball NewsletterHello again dear Strat Baseball Family. Welcome to our next issue for 2015.  It might seem we are taking a bit longer to get our issues out, but we want to make sure when we do, our next release is going to the very best information we can share at the time.  Our newsletter is completely a labor of love as you all know so we feel quality is better than quantity.  Plus, the most difficult job any editor has in the world is to find really good information so that each issue has great value for its members.  But a good sign we are doing well and our work is warmly regarded is that our membership continues to grow each month as we are over 1500 members at the release of this issue.  But  again, as we have shared before, one special key to a successful publication is the idea of making this a co-creation by all of us.  For I know it as a fact that every single member we have, has had their moments and special experiences in their strat-o-matic lifetime.  May we encourage you to consider to be a featured guest in one of our future issues!! What do you say? Wouldn't it be nice to see your name in print?  :--)

Even as I shared in our last issue, about turning 60 this year, my love and enthusiasm for this game hasn't died and I still feel like I am in my 30's with lots of good energy to keep going with our newsletter. Always thinking about new areas to explore, different ways to play and view the game we love.  Anyway even if it does take us a few months to put together another special issue - we ain't going anywhere and we will continue to share the most amazing articles, reports, stories and tips linked to SOM that we can find.  You just never know out there in the world, who is a SOM Fanatic - and how SOM Baseball has affected the life of the people who have played it.

At the time of the release of this issue, we now know the Kansas City Royals are the 2015 Major League Baseball Champion.  I think this team represents an example of the type of team one could build in one of the many ongoing strat baseball leagues that exist.  That a team which doesn't have the best starting pitchers or the most power ladden team, but plays as a team can win any league.  As it is a rule of thumb that at the end of a baseball season, the team which wins is the one that never gives up and has the momentum and fire. 

I believe I heard one of the sports commentators during the World Series say that the Royals were behind by two runs or more in the playoffs late in many of their games (six or was it seven times?) and they had the uncanny ability to come back to win those games. This is the characteristic of a true champion with this stance of never quitting and believing in yourself which also relates to the people I know in our strat community who are champions in their leagues or in tournaments.  At the start of the 2014 MLB season no one would have expected the Kansas City Royals to have been in two straight world series. And what about those Cubs - although the Mets shut them down, no one would have imagine they would be in National League Championship series with all the young players they have. But if, they can get just one more good free agent starting pitcher, watch out what might happen in 2016 as well as watch out for the Astros too, who were only a few outs away of being in the American Championship series themselves. We have George Springer from the Astros on our team for the CBA (our personal computer baseball league, I wish I had more of these young Astros and Cubs) and we see a great future for him and his young teammates - young superstars are becoming the norm now - if you can get some of those on your league team you will go far. 

So lets talk about what we have for you in this issue.  Let's first talk about what we have brought back from our last issue - our commish Marc Wasserman comes back and decides to change the name of his column to "Strat Wise", and take on a broader look at the SOM Community.  Marc focuses on the special videos we have offered in our Youtube channel and much more.  Again, we take a peek (via our good friend Tom Nahigian) and look at some more of the early cards (the original ones) released in 1961.  We have our usual pages updated with the on-line Strat / MLB resources and books we recommend.

Your humble editor brings back another early article he shared in 1973 from the Strat-o-matic Review, probably it is this article which brought his nickname of "Wolfman" to some prominence, when he challenged one of the few female gamers at the time, Donna Chevrette to a play-by-mail series.  Next, its time to begin to meet some of the special members of our community who guide their individual and special strat baseball leagues; for which some of  these leagues have been going on for years.  So in this issue we introduce our members to two different type of leagues which answered our call to open up a new avenue of reporting and sharing some of the most interesting stories linked to those amazing strat baseball adventures we all have during our league play with some more of these type of interviews to come in our December issue. You know, when you think about, the foundation of what Strat is built upon are the thousands of leagues that exist, which give us a chance to play with any major league ball player from the late 1800's till modern times.  It is via our experiences we have in our leagues which help us to build ourselves as strong and knowledge SOM baseball managers and gamers. 

Next, we are happy to announce that several contributors from our earlier issues return with some new articles and stories to relate.  One of the most famous strat players in the world who has changed the world of baseball due to the new statistical analytics that he helped to pave the way forward which has also greatly affected how we play SOM Baseball; as well as working along side with his good friend Bill James; so I am speaking about none other John Dewan, who still is a strat-o-matic fanatic in his own right. John shares with us an article he wrote about Bill James for a chapter of a book that is deals with Mr. James as well as John's story how he started the two big statistic companies (STATS, Inc. and his current company Baseball Info Solution). In addition, we share in our page called "SOM Baseball World News" what are called the "2015 Fielding Bible Awards", that is done each year by Mr. Dewan's company, Baseball Info Solutions which is sent out for free as a special on-line newsletter called "Baseball Stats of the Week".  The Fielding Bible Awards are given out (based on using special analytics) to the best fielders in the game of baseball by position.

Also we discuss a very very special announcement by our own Bruce Bundy, on the World News page, related to an update and an unbelievable price he is offering the Second Edition of his powerful and unique, 2015 SOM Baseball Projection Sheets.  Mr. Bundy has greatly lower the price and now has all of the sheets virtually completed. If you want to know what the new cards will be like released by the game company (based on the 2015 MLB season) you need to take a look at the Bundy projection sheets. To read more about his offer and his special announcement click here or just go to the link below, where all the pages for the newsletter are shown and select SOM/Major League Baseball World News.

Once again, our most favorite ex-major leaguer, Billy Sample returns with another of his many stories from his playing days linked with "Bat Flipping". And then our member, Chuck Tinkler who gave us a great article last year about ball parks comes back with another great article for our members about a "Strat Master".

So dear readers you now have at your fingertips the next issue of the newsletter you love.  We again apologize for the delay, we are not dead and have no intention to stop the newsletter as we know your patience with us  will be well rewarded as you read the new articles and interviews for this month's issue -- another jam packed edition of your "Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter" - So dear members dig in - roam around - take your time to digest all we have to offer for you in this issue. But of course we are constantly looking at new and exciting stories to share, new ways to look at the game and to keep sharing strategies and tips to improve your game play. Please, tell your all strat buddies about us and as always, always, this newsletter is and will forever be FREE.

Note (reminder)
Once again, if you have just joined us recently or haven't had a chance to read all of our bulletins and prior newsletters (since January of 2013), you can find everything you desire by visiting our archive webpages at:


So here we are go again, as our leagues are crowning their champions, as we are beginning to think about what the new 2015 based MLB cards will be like and what other new teams of the past (and foreign ones as well) will the game company bring us next February? We still have plenty of good tournaments going on, and soon the MLB free agents will be deciding what teams they are going to play for in real life. We thank you all for your kindness and support and don't be shy to contact us if you have some suggestions how to improve the newsletter or a contribution to offer. Its all good!!

All the best and enjoy your game play via your leagues, replays,
face-to-face and tournaments,
(watch those CUBS in 2016!!)

Wolfman Shapiro
on behalf of the team at USBN

PS -- if you didn't receive the special file (excel spreadsheet) we attached to our invitation to get your copy of this issue of USBN (for whatever reason), this now yearly gift we receive from Bryan Kernal, which has the final 2015 MLB Stats of every player who was active during the past season including their lefty/righty splits and game positions, if you just click on the link below, this spreadsheet will come up in your browser to be downloaded to your computer:




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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 with JOHN DEWAN, owner of Baseball Info Solution, chapter for a book about Bill James.

  MLB STORY with BILLY SAMPLE, Talks about "Bat Flipping" and Willie Montanez while a Ranger.

  ARTICLE with CHUCK TINKLER, another special article by Chuck, one of our members about a real Strat Master he met in his early days of playing Strat-o-matic

  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 finds on the internet and three leagues respond to be interviewed and tell their stories! 
To view any individual interview, click on the links below or start with Part I and finish with an in-page link to Part II for the two interviews, more interviews given in the December issue coming:

INTERVIEW with Kurt Meunier, FVSL, P-I (F2F League in Wisconsin)

INTERVIEW with Robert Latorre, 60's Decade Keepers League, P-II, (CDROM-email)

  SOM/MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL WORLD NEWS with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO, editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" shares the Special Fielding Ratings given by John Dewan's Group with Baseball Info Solutions and an update on the SOM Baseball Projection Sheets shared by the legendary Bruce Bundy, author of the periodic column called "Strat Thoughts".

  REPORT with TOM NAHIGIAN (1961 cards), Personal friend of the Wolfman, known in Guzzo's book as "The Collector", returns and we take a peak at some of the early strat cards printed from 1961.

  STRAT WISE with MARC WASSERMAN -- commissioner of the Cyber Baseball Association (CBA) renames his column to "Strat Wise" as he expands his sharing and reporting of our Strat-o-matic Baseball Community.  In this first part of his new column he talks about the recent MLB World Series and discusses the content of some of the special videos we have on our Ultimate Strat Baseball Video Channel on Youtube.

  ARTICLE with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO -- the editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" and 2012 CBA Champion, the "Wolfman" goes back into the far past and pulls out one of his first articles to the Strat-o-matic Review from 1973, when he really was becoming known as the "Wolfman" (the Skokie Wolfman) as he challenged one of the first female strat gamers, Donna Chevrette to a play against him via play-by-mail.  This is series used the MLB All Star players from 1971, with the Wolfman taking the National All Stars and Chevrette taking the American.  The series became known in the Review as "The Battle of the Sexes".  After this series was played, and a victor uncovered, the combats switched teams and played a second series (which is an article by Donna Chevrette) that will be reported in our December issue.

  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.

  BOOKS TO DIE FOR and Become a BASEBALL GURU -- This page is specifically about special books we are finding that either will expand your insights about the game of Baseball, help you in the creation of your current league teams or with your replays and learn more about the Strat-o-matic Baseball Game and Game Company's history.  We have a special arrangement with Acta Sports, who is a publisher of a number of great baseball books (including Bill James Handbooks which the 2016 version is now released) to offer for our members a 10% discount. We will continue to add more books to this page in the future as we uncover other gems our members should know about.


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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