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Vol. V, Issue #2 -
March 2017

** Strat Wise - Part IX **
(by Marc Wasserman, Commissioner of the Cyber Baseball Association {CBA} )

(Note from the Wolfman: - For those of you who have been following our newsletter over the years, you will already be familiar with the column called "Commissioner's Corner written by Marc Wasserman, the commissioner of the CBA -- where he has discussed with us his experiences and insights about being a commissioner of a Strat-o-matic baseball league. Marc is also in charge of our Ultimate Strat Baseball Youtube video channel, so he has posted to this column, at times, the latest videos we have added recently to our very own Youtube video channel.  In this column, Marc talks about Vintage Strat-o-matic Cards, a hot topic these days and how to find them. So, stay tuned to this channel in future issues as Marc will return with more of his latest ideas and perspectives on the game we all love.)

Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletterr, Marc Wasserman, CBA Commissioner, Head of Strat Alliance, partner with Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter
Strat Wise - Part XI
(Vintage Strat-o-matic Baseball Cards)

In my column this month I wanted to address a very hot topic among veteran SOM gamers, that is "Vintage Strat-o-matic Cards". I love these old Strat-o-matic cards. The "Character" and "Identity" of these old cards is just so unique. Vintage cards have much more value for me than any old baseball cards. A strat-o-matic card tells us so much more about a professional baseball player in my opinion than the old Topps, Fleer, Donruss, Bowman cards ever could. The reasons for this are obvious.

First, there are so many variable linked to the MLB player statistics that are not shown on the back of the regular baseball cards which we take for granted shown on their respective SOM card. What I am talking about is things like their ability to "Hit and Run", "Bunting Ability", "Speed", their "Throwing Arm" (OFers and Catchers), to name just a few. The old baseball cards could give you a general idea of a player's speed when you look at the number of SB's they had but that really doesn't tell us everything we would want to know.

But with SOM, we can easily see their stealing rating, running rating, and even to an extent the avoidance of hitting into a double play by these speedy players. It is said for those who ground into fewer DP's, it could be argued that such players may be able to get down the line quicker on groundballs they hit. Thus, the SOM card provides for all of us a quick snapshot containing much more relevant information than the old vintage baseball cards could ever give us. Dare I even say, a more accurate player profile than any Topps card you will ever see, yes?

Now, turning our attention to the vintage Strat-o-matic card market, I see an alarming pattern happening here. The so-called "collector sharks" who have killed off baseball card, coin, and stamp collecting, have even made attempts to 'collectorize' the SOM Baseball cards and teams on EBay now. EBay has quite a few vintage SOM Baseball cards that are listed, were you aware of this? Teams, sets of teams and individual cards are listed as well. The EBay sharks are looking to capitalize on the understated market values of these strat cards, and over the last two years are starting to drive the values of the vintage SOM market upwards and upwards. Perhaps its time for serious SOM gamers to take a good look, right now, and perhaps buy such cards as soon as possible before their prices continue to sky rocket to a level that is outrageous and unaffordable.

For myself, that these vintage SOM Baseball cards have now taken on a value that has been associated with collectibles, leaves me and many others cold. There are those who see the collectorization of SOM cards to be a great loss of innocence. Many cards are getting priced out of the range for the common collector. This can greatly disaffect many gamers and thus, would limit the hobby for collecting these vintage cards and seasons by granting access only to those strat gamers who can shell out the dough to get their hands on them. Of course, the solution and the preferred choice should be for gamers to buy the past seasons through the game company but these cards will be the updated modern versions of them. The 'Cadillac' seasons, in my opinion are works of art and worth every penny. But for those of us who recall our youth and the like, and we want to hold them ole' cards again. Well then....

Regarding these vintage cards, what should or could you pay for them? Certainly only what you can afford. But what's the accepted values of these cards? Well, no one can say for sure. I would say that Chris Rosen of http://moonlightgrahamsmarketplace.com/ would be whom I consider the foremost expert about what the proper pricing should be. He is without question the long time "go to guy" to get old cards and sets. We at USBN reached out to Chris when we set up our vintage based challenge game against MLB broadcaster/player Billy Sample. Chris came through with exactly what we needed and we are so grateful to him.

EBay, as I mentioned before is another card source, however it is not as good as it once was. In fact its over run with Card Sharks, in my opinion with a "Buyer Beware" sign now up. They are dealing and over inflating the prices of the cards intentionally, to profiteer on our hobby. I see many card sets sold off as individual teams. It's nice to be able to buy just 1 or 2 teams. EBay's price range on the strat cards depends basically on the year the cards were issued. Older cards are steeper priced of course.

Now, I haven't seen too much where the physical condition controls the SOM Baseball cards' value like it does with normal baseball cards. If we see a trend where the condition affects the price, we are in trouble my friends because this then would signal the collectors have come into the hobby and are driving up prices based on condition. This issue is what killed off the Coin and Stamp hobbies, as well as it killed off the baseball and sports cards, and it now threatens to raise the price bar on our hobby.

Nonetheless, expect that the condition of the strat card will factor, to some extent, into the final pricing. No need to buy from the collector sharks my friends though. They have definitely over inflated the trading and selling of affordable SOM cards online for sure. Of course, you do have the option to ignore such blatant overcharged prices. You can spot the overpriced sharks quite easily by seeing how they advertise the cards at MINT or Near Mint condition as a basis for their way too high costs to buy them.

You can still find a few good options on EBay to get the cards and teams at a fair price however, you just have to look past the Strat EBay dealers who are the sharks that are hawking out single cards, and teams. I can't help it but all I see there is a broken full season set. One less set that can be had and enjoyed in total. "Hey man, why don't you put that old set back together so that someone who love those cards can get it whole?" "Well, I can make more money by breaking it up", is their reply, which is too bad as making lots of money is not what getting these vintage cards is all about, right?. Oh boy, oh boy then, with one less set in the world. Not only this but the cost of these sets are completely rising, and should continue to rise even more especially once they are appearing on EBay all the time now.

Some sports card dealers can be helpful in obtaining SOM Baseball sets or cards for you. They generally do know people who may have SOM cards in their collections and can arrange a special deal. There is nothing like a reliable sports card dealer who has earned your trust. You may also want to go through Craigslist or talk with your strat friends to get these cards, but please, don't throw away your money to the EBay sharks.

However, I think the best way to proceed is to buy from the game company itself. It's the cheapest, and the best for your game play. But if you must, you can go to EBay but as I shared before, it is way over inflated for the asking price of these cards right now. So I caution you not to fall in line with this.

I generally have obtained my collection, which I personally use and cherish as gifts, through private sales. I have found the best deals on Craigslist and through word of mouth -- friends of friends. You may get better prices there. Craigslist may still be the best resource I believe though. You just have to be persistent in searching all these various sources as there are sales that do pop up from time to time. Local classifieds are a good resource as well. For now, beware of EBay for SOM cards and stick to legit persons or a broker like Moonlight Graham.

"So Wass, what's the prices I should pay for SOM cards?" Wass says, "as little as possible, and collect them to play with them not stare at them."

Let them dice roll! 

Marc Wass

The Wass
was just interviewed at the new Strat-o-matic Video Studio. You might enjoy what he had to say with the SOM Marketing Director Dan during this interview. To view it, go to:


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 RON SHANDLER, Baseball Fantasy Expert, Throughout the fantasy baseball world, in all the various forms of Fantasy Baseball, there is no one more well known and respected as Ron Shandler. He started the website Baseball HQ, the very successful baseball guide called Baseball Forecaster and now he offers the new BABS Project for winning in your fantasy league.   We had the chance to speak to Ron and to get to know him a bit better as well as find out what the BABS project is all about in Part I, of a two part interview series we will be doing with him.

  ARTICLE with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO - Wolfman Challenges STPC Worlds Champion Pete Nelson, The Strat Tournament Players Club, is known as the most expansive and challenging series of Strat-o-matic Baseball Draft tournaments world wide. Pete Nelson has been one of the main organizers and supporters of these tournaments for many years as well as one of their repeat champions in their classic Worlds Tournaments.  Pete lives close by to our editor Wolfman in the Seattle area, so at the end of January, these two giants played a best of seven game series following the tournament rules of this club. Find out how this epic battle of SOM Baseball heavies went ....

  SOM Baseball and MLB World News - March 2017, This is our periodic column where we share any exciting news and updates linked to either the SOM World or MLB. In this issue, we share a story about "Opening Day" at the Strat-o-matic Game Company you have never heard, along with another report from another newsletter member of their experience at this year's "Opening Day".  We also share another analysis from Baseball Info Solutions done by strat gamer and the owner, John Dewan about how to evaluate Up-the-Middle Performances of various MLB teams ....

  INTERVIEW with CHRIS WILLIAMS, Strat Baseball Author, Chris is a fellow strat baseball gamer and new member to our newsletter who has just recently become the author of a new book through Acta Sports by the title of, "Coulda Woulda Shoulda", a very entertaining book about "What If" scenarios that might have changed the history of baseball. In this interview, meet Chris and find out more about his new book.

  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 commissioner speaks about the history of their league and their experiences. To read the interview for this month, click on the link below:

INTERVIEW with HARRIS JESSOP, Winter Need a Life League Commissioner (Netplay)

  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 continues his article he calls "Old Guys Rule" with Part III. This article deals with the value of a 1st round draft pick and more - Chuck always entertains our readers with his insightful and colorful stories and experiences - check out this latest edition now!

  ARTICLE with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO - How to Setup Your Draft League Team, the Final Part of this article, Wolfman, finish the last segment of this three part article to share with our members the meat and potatoes of his various strategies how to build his 2017 Skokie Wolfmen in the CBA, a Keepers computer league. In this segment, he discusses the results of the CBA draft held in early March with both this written article and some supplemental entertaining videos.  By using his team as an example, you may receive from this article some suggestions and new strategies you can use to help build your own team and bring to your fans a league's championship.

  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 idea and key principle about working together to 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
facebook: www.facebook.com/wolfman.shapiro
twitter: @StratBaseball4U

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