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Vol. III, Issue #3 - November 2015

** Another Article from the SOM Review, 1973,
Battle of the Sexes, Part I
Chevrette vs. The Wolfman

      (A very old article from the Strat-o-matic Review which
began the legend of "The Wolfman" )


(Wolfman's Comments: The year is 1973, leagues are being played by sending your instructions via the regular mail (called Play-by-Mail).  Out of the blue, the Strat-o-matic Review shares that there is a very devoted and knowledgeable female baseball strat player in Connecticut - so what is an 18 year male strat player suppose to do?? Why challenge Ms. Chevrette to a best of 17 game series using the AL and NL allstars of course.  I apologize upfront for my younger self and his attitudes at this time and prideful ways however, at age 60 now, I know better.  In any case, this is the first part of a two part series, as I played two different series against Ms. Chevrette, with the second series saw us switch teams. The second part of this report will appear in our December issue.  Ah, 1973 was the good old days when face-to-face leagues were the rage and the National Conventions meant something. Dig in members and enjoy ................


Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter, Battle of the Sexes Article Title

Chevrette vs Wolfman Shapiro
( Play-by-mail, early 1973 )

Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter, image of Pitcher, Strat-o-matic Review

Devoted exclusively to the
game fans, with
the consent of the
Strat-o-matic Game Co.


Vol.. III-2 April 1973  40

Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter, image of football player, Strat-o-matic Review

Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter, Photo of Donna Chevrette, Battle of the Sexes

Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter, Photo of Wolfman Shapiro 1973, Battle of the Sexes

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST? Hmmm... Male, female play-by-mail competition between Donna Chevrette (top) and Rick "Wolfman" Shapiro (bottom) showed both teams very strong at home. Story on page 2 --  (continued below ....)

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following story was written by Rick "Wolfman" Shapiro of Skokie, IL. commissioner of the International League (IL), a play-by-mail SOM baseball organization. who has pioneered his table-gaming by playing in the mail, an all-star series with a member of the female sex, Donna Chevrette, Plainfield. CT.

Rick has been a frequent contributor to the Review, in addition to his work with the Internal League (IL), he was in attendance at last summer's S0M Convention in Kalamazoo, MI. In the picture here, Rick is dressed in his "Wolfman Jersey" with his famous Skokie cap with his fist extended in a sign of victory. The "'Wolfman" title incidentally was bestowed upon his for his beard and not his antics in pursuit of the opposite sex.

How did the series between Rick and Donna originate, and how did it come out? We'll let Rick tell it in his own words.



One day I was reading the November Issue of the (SOM) Review and I saw an article about a girl who plays the (baseball SOM) game, Donna Chevrette. At first I didn't believe a girl would be so interested (in SOM), so I wrote a letter to her to discover what was the truth to this story. Also, another thought was swimming through my mind - publicity! Here was an opportunity for me to do something which no one else had done (before, as far as I knew) -CHALLENGE A GIRL TO PLAY AGAINST A GUY IN STRATO. Naturally, this would have to be done by the mail since Donna lived in Plainfield. CT (and I was in Skokie, IL), but with all the mail experience (I had been doing recently to play the game) there should be no (real) problems for setting up such a series if I had Donna's consent.

Also this series answer two questions: what does a girl (lady) look like that plays the game and can a girl beat a (so-called) experienced pro in Strato? (Wolfman's Note 2005: I was a bit carried away in my early days -- NO?).

Besides worrying about publicity (Wolfman's Note 2005: Not sure where my head was at this time -- but I have calmed down a bit in my later years), I also was interested (curious) how this series would turn out. Well, I did get an answer and Donna agreed to play (against) me.

We decided to use the All Stars (the best players) from 1971 and I let Donna have her choice between the NL and AL. To my delight she picked the Americans. As far as I was concerned, the National League was the (far) better of the two leagues (and I'm sure I'll get letters to this article, from other players disagreeing); and with players like Aaron, Stargell, Clemente and Torre on the same team, (I thought to myself), how could I lose? We each picked thirty players and any starting pitchers (were allowed to) go with a three-day rest. We used shortened injury charts and had the IL rainout rule. The series would be four game sets, alternating between Skokie and Plainfield, and if there should be a tie at the end of the 16th game, the playoff game would be in Skokie.

On a grim day in December the contest began in Skokie. Little did I dream the series would be as bitterly fought as it was. One thing I must mention is what my reaction was to Donna's instruction sheets. They were typed very neatly and even though I disagreed with some of her player selections, I could follow her instructions perfectly. If a stranger looked at these papers, he/she wouldn't have been able to see that a girl (lady) was responsible for them. Getting back to the series, the NL was favored to win (disregarding the manager) because of their superior hitting, speed, power and relievers. The AL held an advantage in defense, better starters and hit-by-pitch.

The first game was a shock to my male pride as I realized it wasn't going to be as easy as I thought. In the 4th inning, Chevrette scored eight runs and won the game, 9-2. I was baffled but determined. I won the next three games to take a three-game to one lead however. In Plainfield, the AL tied the series up at 3 games apiece but lost the last two games (there) to make the series stand at 5-3 in the NL's favor. Back in Skokie, after a first game (game #9) bloodbath won by the NL, the pitchers took over and the NL again took charge as they won three out of the four games and led the series 8-4. One win would bring me victory.

At this point my team was almost assured of victory unless a disaster struck; was one win asking for too much? The picture (you see) of me with this article was taken at this time, so I kind of cheated. But I was so confident of victory. Anyone would have done the same. Well, my men must have been over confident because when I received Donna's results did I see just one scoresheet? No, four and when I looked at the 16th game I saw an American League win. I couldn't believe it, but leave it up to a girl (a woman) to do the impossible.

Now I was going out of my mind. The playoff game was at hand and if I lost, I would never hear the end of it. I had promised the "Review" editors that I would send them a report of this series so I couldn't break a promise, or could I? Also, I had told all my friends in the IL about the series and they would begin asking questions about the series if I didn't say anything. Donna would also be on my back because here she had won and nobody would know about it. Well, with all these thoughts running through my mind, anyone could see why I was so nervous. A line I shall never forget (that was) in one of Donna's letters said, "If you lose, you'll have a lot of explaining to do." The big question now was would I be humiliated in front of all my friends in the SOM world? The only way to find out was to play the game (YES?).

(So) I sat down to play the final game and tried to stay calm. I just sat there saying things like: its only a game -- I've been under pressure like this before -- just play it cool. Do you think any of the stuff helped me? Nope, right from the start Chevrette was out for my blood. The AL picked up two runs in the first inning and five more in the second. So my friends, if your addition is correct that makes it 7-0 in Donna's favor. Wood was pitching for the AL and through the whole series he had been almost unhittable. I managed to cut the lead to 7-2 in the bottom of the second and in the fifth to 7-4 on Cepeda's two-run homer. At this point I still didn't think I could win so I just threw the dice, not really caring.

Then, in the bottom of the seventh with two outs,, I couldn't stop throwing hits on my hitter's cards and with the help of Wood's error, I managed to tie up the score. Just as I was getting ready to concentrate on winning, Freehan hit a homer to put Donna back ahead 8-7. In the bottom of the 8th, my hitters continued a massive hit barrage and we were able to score three runs to take a 10-8 lead. Immediately I made defensive changes, but even though I had a two-run bulge, I still didn't feel secure.

The first man up in the 9th was Kaline, pinch-hitting for the pitcher. He grounded out. That's "ONE"! The next man, Belanger, lined out. That's "TWO"!! Rettenmund, who always found ways to get on base, hit a long drive to center field. Willie Davis went back (to the wall) and pulled it in. The fans at Skokie Park went wild. The players were mobbed, but most importantly MY TEAM HAD WON!! so, male players around the world, our female counterpart can be tough cookies and I wouldn't be surprised if more girls (ladies/women) will become interested in "our" game.

The MVP of the series was Joe Torre. He hit an amazing .469 in 17 games. Donna couldn't stop him and in many of her letters asked if Torre ever gets sick physically, or of playing the game. Donna and I decided to switch teams to see if the series was determined because one team was better then the other or because of the managers (I think both reason could be true, but only our next series will tell. Besides, if a guy can't do a little bragging in his own article, then where can he do it?)

(Wolfman's Note:  Well since our series ended up so close, we really couldn't tell who was the so-called better manager.  So later in this year, we decided to switch teams and play again.  Please return next month, to our December edition to read about Part II of this epic contest to see if Chevrette could even the score ....)

Battle of the Sexes, Part II
Chevrette vs Shapiro, again, later in 1973

(come back to our December issue to read Part II)



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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.

  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) 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.


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