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Vol. II, Issue #4 - December 2015

** Diamond Vision: Tales of a Strat Master - Chuck Tinkler **

(In this article, our boy Chuck Tinkler continues part II of his tale and experiences with a special
individual he has met that is very knowledgable about the game ... a true Strat Master he says? )

(Bio on Chuck:  Chuck is returning to USBN with his second article, this is Part II with more parts to come. His one article for us was in September of last year (see the link below).  Also if you forgot what he wrote in Part I of this article, is a link for that below as well.

He is from the Long Beach area of California and has been playing Strat-O-Matic off-and on for about 25 years. He currently plays in two leagues, Polo Grounds Baseball and the Bigs Winter League. His Strat interests include finding slick ways to cause a team to outperform expectations and irritating his league mates by talking lots of smack about it.  Chuck is always likes to chat about Strat, Hal settings and ballpark dimensions in particular, so feel free to email him with questions or comments related to this article -- his email is listed at the end of this amazin' article = thank you Chuck!! 

(his first article for our newsletter about Ballparks - quite insightful, check it out)


(This is the link to Part I of this article about the Strat Masters with Sections I & II) )

Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter, member Chuck Tinkler writes an article about SOM Baseball Ball Parks  
Diamond Vision:
Tales of a Strat Master (Part II)

Who is this Master Chuck
is Speaking about?


         To me, in all my averageness, this was like magic. I had never been witness to anything like it. I certainly hadn't ever accomplished anything like this myself, and all in all, the whole thing just left me in awe. I just kept asking myself, how could this be happening??? After his third consecutive World Series win, thinking it was just "luck" was out the door. People do not win three consecutive World Series by luck. And he wasn't cheating. He could barely send an email without help; he certainly hadn't rigged the game somehow. So what was it?

        It was a number of things. More than anything else though, at least, the one thing that all the others fall under is this: he wanted it worse than everyone else. By far. He wanted to win in a way that was borderline pathological. 

        Strat guys… guys in my league, your league, we think we want to win, we play as though winning is our #1 object - but it isn't necessarily. We all "want to win", but "wanting to win" is measured in degrees and varies from guy to guy. For most guys, sure, they "want to win", but not more than they want to have fun. Strat is a hobby, an enjoyable break from more stressful things, a way to enjoy baseball and the company of friends, etc. Other guys are more willing to sacrifice some of the fun in the name of winning and tend to do a little better. And other guys of course are really, really competitive, and really determined to win and usually have the best results. This guy though was just a freak. His approach seriously bordered on mental illness. But it had to, right? I mean, how else would such a thing happen? People like to think whatever they do, and in this case they'd have liked to pass him off as this, that, or whatever, but the truth to me as it became revealed was simple - he just wanted it in the worst way possible. He wanted it in ways that guys could not even conceive of. He was willing to go to depths that other guys simply would not go. He would stop at nothing to win. And the Strat Gods simply did their part and rewarded him, time and time again.

        A few months back, a video came out of a friendly shooting contest between Michael Jordan (his Airness) and Jimmy Butler (current Chicago Bull). It was "friendly" in that each was paired with a youngster and the whole thing was in front of a large group of youngsters, all attendees of Jordan's "Flight School". (Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cnyrSoiqqk) The idea was for each duo to make as many combined jump shots as they could before the clock ran out. What happens of course can be described as nothing other than pure Jordan. Clock ticking down…quick feed to Jordan…can he get the shot off? YES! AND IT COUNTS!!! Michael Jordan does it again! He didn't of course get the shot off before the buzzer, but why would that matter? I'd like to meet the man that would have waved that shot off. We could write an article about him instead. This though was classic Jordan. The guy is pacing up and down the court, staring down his 11-year old opponent, fist pumping when the kid misses a shot. This was classic Jordan, playing this shoot around like he plays golf, like it's Game 7 of the NBA Finals. like he plays a card game against an old lady (that's a funny story) - he competes as though his life depended on it. He just knows no other way to be.

        MJ had an incredible jump shot. That fade-away jumper was truly a thing of beauty. He had huge ups. He could fly around the court in ways that could be only dreamed of. Michael Jordan hit his free throws, he played defense, he shot three pointers…he was just incredible. I don't think anyone can really argue that. But dude is not nice. If you have ever heard him speak, or heard any of the people around him speak of him, you'd know that the guy is not nice, at all. He may smile in those Hanes commercials, act friendly or whatever, but he is pretty much as unfriendly as a nonincarcerated human being can be. He's a cold blooded assassin. He walks around like everyone else, smiling, etc., but on the inside, he's a killer. But isn't that just how he'd have to be to be to do what he did? People don't just roll out of bed and decide they are going to three-peat, retire for a few years, then three-peat again. There were plenty of players with great jump shots and dunks, but dominating a generation in the NBA took something else entirely.      

        And so it was with Phil. While he had the Strat-O-Matic equivalent of an incredible fade-away jumper, great 3-point shot, etc., the "magic" to be found on him was in actuality just a ruthless determination to win. He just wanted it worse than everyone else. He wanted it worse and from this place was he able to push his teams where others were not able to go. That, and he had a sick jumper and could dunk from the free throw line. Those things though would make a great topic for next time. Until then…

Chuck Tinker 

(NOTES from the Wolfman: We want to thank Chuck again for continuing with this fascinating article about a real Strat Master, with Part II, although he still has more to write. Chuck is the type of member we hoped would join our newsletter and occassionly be a contributor as the lifeblood of our newsletter is through a co-creation of your editing team in conjunction with all of you, our members.  Chuck has been a great example of the type of stories and information that is possible, so we hope that this has inspired some of our other members to share in the future. We are always open to consider to share good and thoughtful articles from you and each of us has our own special stories to share. So thanks again Chuck for your next contribution and of course you have all of our interest to hear even more about this "Strat Master"!!  Chuck is always waiting to chat with you at: chucktinkler@gmail.com  )


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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)


  INTERVIEW with MARC PELLETIER, another well known and successful strat baseball gamer in the on-line version of the baseball game offers us insights from his genius.

  STRAT WISE with MARC WASSERMAN -- commissioner of the Cyber Baseball Association (CBA) continues his new column sharing various perspectives on SOM Baseball. In this issue he discusses about the Miscellaneous Rules in the computer game (to use or not to use), some special new videos on our Video Channel on Youtube, the fielding ratings given out by the game company and more.

  ARTICLE with DOUG BRUNET, another member of our newsletter shares his thoughts about the game of baseball and its connections with Strat-o-matic as well as his philosophies of how to succeed in your game play. Doug is a member of the CBA Council, a computer baseball league.

  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 discovers on the internet and shares two more replies he received from these leagues to be interviewed and tell their stories! This is the second part of this report.  To read the individual interview, click on the links below or start with Part III and follow the in-page link to read the second interview as well:

INTERVIEW with Glenn Wheeler, NASOMA, P-III (F2F/Netplay/Computer)


  SOM/MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL WORLD NEWS with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO , editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" shares about the 2015 Baseball Fielding Rating File released by the Game Company, revisits the status of what 2016 MLB projections are already available to obtain and study and shares about some of the new videos that are available on the Ultimate Strat Baseball Channel on Youtube - more good stuff is on this page - head over there NOW!

  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 from the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

  ARTICLE about WOLFMAN SHAPIRO written by DONNA CHEVRETTE -- 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.  Two series were played with All Star players from 1971, one report is written by Wolfman and the other by Miss Chevrette, it was called "The Battle of the Sexes", this month we hear Ms. Chevrette report of Series II.

  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.


Contact Us for Questions or Submissions:

Wolfman Shapiro
Founder/Editor, the Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter

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