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Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter - Pitcher in Logo

Vol. IV, Issue #8 - December 2016

** Welcome to USBN as the 2016 SOM Baseball Year
comes to a close but contained in this edition, boy oh boy,
do we have special announcements and goodies for you -
just our way to say to thank you all for your membership!!**

Comments from the Wolfman about
this current issue as we continue and complete our fourth year (2016) of operation and publication. This issue is full of new exciting stories and happenings. As we continue to provide 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 - 2016 has been a most interesting year with all the new products and services that Strat-o-matic is offering - stay tuned - from your staff at the USBN, over & out ....

Wolfman Shapiro, editor of the Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter

Well dear members, its time to reflect upon what has taken place in this last exciting full year of game play which has seen all types of different way to play Strat-o-matic Baseball. Why I can't even think of any new way we could play the game we love right now.  But not only do we take this time at the end of the year to reflect upon our strat experiences, to review our successes and our greatest challenges but to also look at ourselves and our personal (and so-called professional) lives to see what we went through as a human being.  Most of our members are from the U.S. and Canada, so we will have to see how the American election for President, a man which no one expected to win the election, a person who never has held a public office, just what type of job Mr. Trump will do.  Will he truly be a savior and solve some of the challenges we face or will he make it worse, only time will tell.

Maybe if any of us are headed for Washington, D.C. or New York City and we meet Mr. Trump we could get him to take a look at SOM Baseball, become a fanatic and join our family - I don't know - what do you think? Perhaps taking on the role of a Baseball GM will make him see the light of day!

Anyway, I told myself for this issue I won't be talking any more about the Cubs (I did a bit in my recent video greeting to you all though - sorry about it - still have that darn song going in my head Go Cubs Go or is it Go Wolfmen Go...) but what I do really love about this so-called down time is to watch the hot stove in MLB and read about all the great young players who may finally make their way to the majors and help their teams see a greater success. Of course studying all this information, which one can easily do on-line these days, helps me to prepare for the draft of my keeper's league for next year and the new card set.

As a matter of fact, parts of our newsletter for this month and next month will be about preparing your team for the next year of your league's play. What I mean by this is that I have decided to give our readers an inside look as I preparing our own Skokie Wolfmen in the CBA for their next season. A chance to be in the mind of the Wolfman as I begin to plan my the strategies to build our team into a contender. Now, I don't know who will be reading this article as some of our members are great players and GMs, who need no outside help, but then again, it couldn't hurt to read my article and compare notes. So Part I of this article series is here in this edition. 

Then on our periodic news page we share called "SOM Baseball and MLB News", you will find a very special announcement for anyone who is in a Keeper's League waiting on the new cards (the 2017 set) to come out, about a special draft guide that we will be releasing soon. I highly recommend you definitely check out this announcement on this page, but for the moment I can say no more.  I do know in our January issue, Matt Eddy told me he will be writing about the best prospects to watch for in 2017 and I will come backing next month with Part II of my new article on strategies to build your team.  Plus we already shared about the game company releasing their spreadsheet with the field ratings.

We are also happy to announce for this month the return of Chuck Tinkler, one of our contributing writers for his column he calls the "Chuck Stop" as he has a new article, that will be written in parts entitled "Old Guys Rule" which you should find quite entertaining, as normally happens with his stories.  For those of you who play real-life baseball in some form, Sean Plouffe, a professional hitting consultant discusses his keys to perfect your batting swing and his website at Hitterish has a lot of great articles and video.  Something different for our newsletter you might say.

For this month and going forward, I have decided to interview various League Commissioners or Officers who are part of some amazing Face-to-Face leagues. To our veteran players, remember when we were younger and there was no internet and computer game, it was all done face-to-face with cards and dice.  So I decided it would be interesting to speak to such leagues following the roots of game play for Strat-o-matic Baseball. 

Getting back to the "SOM Baseball and MLB News" page - again we discuss how to read more about the new "Infield Shift" rule coming out soon from the game company's website and some of the other new card sets SOM will offer next year.  Two reports from Baseball Info Solutions that they sent out via email called "Stat of the Week" are on this page as well discussing a ranking of the best bunters (statistically from 2016) and Bill James' projection for the best home run and average hitters in 2017.  He believes the Cubs (I love it, Mr. MVP), Kris Bryant will be the HR King next year ... and finally, finally on this page from a past contributor is an offer of some gifts to our members, I won't say what it is exactly but suggest you check this page out for yourself.

Finally on this News Page is a list of six new videos added to the Ultimate Strat Baseball Youtube Video Channel by our video team, that's six new great videos.  Four of these videos are done by Marc Wass, the creator of the Commissioner's Corner series of articles and Strat Wise. In these videos he discusses a variety of interesting topics including that we will be back to film the goings on at Opening Day at the game company next year.  Two other videos are from our new Youtube friends and associates, Baseball Demos and Strat-o-matic Delaware that we know you will also enjoy.  We wanted to get these new videos in before the year ended to keep our members entertained over the New Year. And don't forget Marc Wass and myself, made earlier videos this month that we announced via our last bulletin, that you may enjoy to watch as well that you will find on our video channel. All the details how to find and watch the new videos just released are on the news page, just head over and take a peek.

And finally, one of our member's favorite sections that we share periodically is back, a contribution by my good friend Tom Nahigian, the collector as Glenn Guzzo called him in his strat book. Here we share some more hitter and pitcher images of their cards, the original ones from 1960 with links to all the previous issues we showed these early cards before.  So me thinks, you should have plenty of cool stuff to read over the next few days ....

I am leaving the links below (in case you missed it from last month's issue, as a few members wrote to us how grateful they were that we offered these spreadsheets below, the lefty-righty stats for every player (hitters and pitchers) who played in MLB in 2016, so they will see a strat card. One sheet is just for the hitters, the other sheet for the pitchers, sorted by the team{s} they played on. Click on the links below to download these files:

Click Here for the Spreadsheet for Hitters vs LHP/RHP

Click Here for the Spreadsheet for Pitchers vs LHH/RHH

Additionally, we wish to encourage any member to possibly consider to become a contributor to this newsletter (you don't have to contribute for each issue) at some future time. Truly, the success of our newsletter is through its co-creation by all of us which adds to the value of the newsletter. As after all, we all have our special Strat Baseball story to tell.  Please, think about it, we can help to edit your materials too if needed.

Note (our monthly 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 dear members enjoy this new issue of our newsletter. We send our best wishes to all of our members that  you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season and have a great New Years.  Here is to the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, our next and eagerly awaited season of strat play! We again share our heartfelt thanks to each of you for your interest and support for the newsletter. If there are no readers, there is no newsletter.

To your success in 2017 with your current leagues, replays and future tournaments,
always yours .....

Wolfman Shapiro
on behalf of the team at USBN



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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 SEAN PLOUFFE, HITTING A BASEBALL, Sean is a pro hitting consultant who works with various minor league and major league players to help them with their swing to be able to be more efficient in hitting a baseball.  In this interview we discussed how Sean was able to become this hitting consultant.  Perhaps Sean can help some of our members hit a baseball better in your physical baseball leagues?

  SOM/MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL WORLD NEWS with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO, editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" roams the world for interesting news linked to SOM or MLB. For this month he shares some gems he found on the Strat-o-matic website, offers two more "Stat of the Week" bulletins through Baseball Info Solutions (John Dewan and Bill James), a special announce of a new draft guide coming out in January through our team in conjunction with Strat-o-gists, new videos on our Youtube channel and a gift shared with our members by a former contributor.

  ARTICLE with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO - How to Setup Your Draft League Team, as we all wait for the new 2017 cards (based upon the 2016 MLB Season) to come out, to our members who are in a Keeper's Draft League, during our off-season we always ponder how to make our teams better.  This article is probably more for GMs wanting to win their first championship, as the Wolfman let's you in on his strategies for building his Skokie Wolfmen in the CBA .... if you are in the CBA don't read this article please ...

  EARLY SOM BASEBALL CARDS with TOM NAHIGIAN, Wolfman's old Strat Friend, Tom Nahigian, known as the "Collector" in Guzzo's book, returns to us as we share images of some of the early SOM baseball cards made for the 1960 season, before Strat-o-matic created the advanced cards that we all know today.  This is one of our favorite periodic columns by our members, also check the links on this page to view the previous release of the early card image from 1960 and 1961.

  SOM BASEBALL LEAGUE REPORT with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO -- the editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" and 2012 CBA Champion, turns his attention to talk to members of various face-to-face Strat-o-matic Baseball Leagues that he has discovered through the league registry service offered on the Strat-o-matric website. Each commission speaks about the history of their league and their experiences. To read these interviews, click on the links below:

INTERVIEW with ARNIE POLLINGER, Commissioner of SOMBILLA (Face-to-Face)
INTERVIEW with BLAIR CONRAD, Commissioner of Halifax Strato (Face-to-Face)

  ARTICLE with Chuck Tinkler, Chuck is one of our most popular contributors and is back with a new article for his column, "The Chuck Stop", as he shares with us part one of what he calls "Old Guys Rule". This article deals with the value of a 1st round draft and more - Chuck always entertains our readers with his insightful and colorful stories and experiences - check his new article out now!

  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
co-Founder/Editor, the Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter

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

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