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Vol. V, Issue #2 - March 2017

** Books to Die For and Become a Baseball Guru **
(on this page are special books linked to the game of baseball or Strat-o-matic)

{ Wolfman: This webpage contains various books we have uncovered that provide a greater knowledge of the game of Baseball or Baseball Statistics. So far there has only been one book published specifically about Strat-o-matic by Glenn Guzzo but there are other books written by other individuals who are involved with the game of baseball who have played Strat-o-matic. To assist our members, we have a special agreement with Acta Sports, a sports book publisher in Chicago that any books they sell or distribute, our members receive a 10% discount.  We intend to add more books to this page in future Issues.}

Books that we Recommend

Acta Sports

This publisher specializes in publishing books about all type of sports and has been around since 2003.  They are the publisher for example for two books by Glenn Guzzo (including "Strat-o-matic Fanatics"), the amazing books by Bill James and John Dewan - "Fielding Bible". They have been involved with Baseball Statistics since 2006 and have a connection with the organization called STATS which also features the most indepth statistics related to Baseball.  We have negotiated with Acta Sports to give our members a 10% discount on all of your purchases with them. To find the specific book you want, just click on the link below and it will take you to the webpage of that e-book, of course you can look around for the other books too.

How does this discount work? We are told if you go to the page link we provide below our discount code of "SOMB" will automatically be entered for you but when you go to your shopping cart, underneath the last book to order is an area titled "Promo Code", if "SOMB" is not shown in that area, type it in and hit submit, the price of all your books will be updated to include the discount. This special discount is only for our members. And if you visit the ACTA Sports website (www.actasports.com) and see other baseball books you like, again use this Promo Code to continue to receive a discount on any books you order. 

Below are eight important baseball or SOM related books (two by Glenn Guzzo) that we recommend for you to take a special look at:

Strat-o-matic Fanatics - Glenn Guzzo
(Normal Price: $14.95 with Newsletter Discount $13.45)


(The History of Strat-o-matic as told through its creator Hal Richman and the baseball board game became the icon of the industry opening the company up to create other sports games plus stories from various gamers)

-- Wolfman Note: A Review copy is coming and we will review this book in a future issue of our newsletter to give you our perspective - but this is the only book we know that has ever been written exclusively about Strat-o-matic!


The New Ball Game - Glenn Guzzo
(Normal Price: $14.95 with Newsletter Discount $13.45)


(Understanding Baseball Statistics of the Causal Fan - as the use of statistics becomes more popular as well as complex, Mr. Guzzo takes the reader in hand providing a friendly explanation of such.)


How Bill James Changed Our View of Baseball - Bill James
-- Subtitle: The Inspiration Behind Moneyball
(Normal Price: $19.95 with Newsletter Discount $17.95)


(Stories by various Baseball Authors and Sports Writers, General Managers and more how their view on baseball and life was changed by the legendary theories of Bill James)

-- Wolfman Note: A Review copy is coming and we will review this book in a future issue of our newsletter - many people have told us that Bill James is a master about discussing baseball and looking at it in a unique and different way - this is one of his new books!  Also in our November 2015 issue, John Dewan shared with us a chapter he wrote for this book (click here)


The Bill James Handbook 2017 - Bill James
(Normal Price: 29.95 with Newsletter Discount $26.95)


(type in when you order, the promotion code: SOMB for your 10% discount)

(The first, best, most complete annual baseball reference guide available. Full of exclusive stats, this book is the most comprehensive resource on every hit, pitch, and catch in Major League Baseball's 2016 season--and includes player projections for 2017. There also exists a spiral bound version for $5 more.)

-- Wolfman Note: We hope in the future to get a copy of this book to review for our members.  For any of our members who are in a draft league with the new 2017 cards coming out next year, this is and will be a key key book to help you prepare for building your team as his handbooks have been every year before and each year, they add new information and insights.  I personally look forward to pour through its amazing contents and especially look at the projections for 2017!! 


Coulda Woulda Shoulda - Chris Williams
(Normal Price: $10.95 with Newsletter Discount $9.85)


(type in when you order, the promotion code: SOMB for your 10% discount)

(12 stories from special baseball events from the early 1900's to the finish of the 2016 World Series that if circumstances could have been different, what outcome might we have seen.  Chris Williams is a strat gamer himself and in our March 2017 issue we interview Chris to meet him and find out how he came to write this book.  A great read and very entertaining!!)


The Fielding Bible Volume III - John Dewan & Ben Jedlovoc
(Normal Price: $24.95 with Newsletter Discount $22.45)


(The Fielding Bible -- Volume III is a thorough compilation of the latest breakthroughs in defensive analytics from Baseball Info Solutions. With information previously exclusive to major league teams, Volume III is 100% new material that builds on the well received Volumes I and II. Included are comprehensive defensive evaluations, a study on the effectiveness of the "Ted Williams shift", the new Timer Plus/Minus system, and updated Defensive Runs Saved numbers that estimate the value of each fielder in Major League Baseball.)


Other Key Books by Other Publishers/Authors

Special E-book from Wolfman Shapiro
"Secrets of the Wolfman"
(Offered by donation, to read more go to:)

(This is the first e-book written by Ultimate Strat Baseball editor Wolfman Shapiro which provides a very comprehensive telling of how he built his championship team, the Skokie Wolfmen, to become the CBA (Cyber Baseball Association) champion in 2012, also feature on the SOM website where they show pictures of other SOM gamers who were champions with trophies. He holds nothing back and reveals all of his strategies which have led his team in the CBA to 6 out of 7 playoff appearances (missing out once in an extra death match by one game) and three World Series appearances. In honor of the first SOM On-line Baseball Convention in September of 2013, he is offering this book to anyone just for whatever donation you wish to give. The e-book is in a PDF format.)


The BABS Project by Ron Shandler
(E-book: A part of being a member at Mr. Shandler website, PDF format)

(Mr. Shandler is considered to be the #1 authority on how to win in Fantasy Baseball. This newbook released in the early part of 2017, offers a new perspective on how to draft the best players for your Fantasy Baseball team as he states all other systems of making predictions are not reliable. To be able to get this e-book, and have access to the BABS database and other extra resources, one must be a member of his services offered at his website at: http://ronshandler.com - Mr. Shander was interviewed and discussed this new system in our March 2017 edition, the first part of a two part interview.)


Signed Book by Willie Mays Aikens to the USBN Members
"Safe at Home: Willie Mays Aikens by Gregory Jordan"

(This is the first book we, at the USBN, have received as a gift from an ex-baseball player. In our November issue, 2014, Wolfman will give a review of this book.  We have received signed copy #24.  The note from Mr. Aikens to USBN: 

"To Wolfman Shapiro and the members of the Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter. Best of luck to the team at the Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter. I pray God will continue to bless the whole group. Willie Mays Aikens 09-23-2014." 

Now let's share a bit about the book from its book jacket:

In 1980, Willie Mays Aikens became the first major league baseball player to hit two home runs in two separate games in the same World Series.  But ignoring the advice of his savvier teammates, Aikens drove himself out of baseball and into one of the longest prison sentences ever given a professional athlete -- 20 years and eight months. ... Safe at Home is one of the most intimate and culturally relevant biographies of an athlete ever written. Using extensive interviews with Aikens himself, his family, friends, teammates, cellmates and dealers.  We found this book available on Amazon.  Also the book is available directly through Mr. Aikens via his website at: www.willieaikens24.com. or you can contact him by email at: aikenswillie24@yahoo.com , he is also on facebook and twitter as well. )


Baseball America: Prospect Handbook 2017
(Normal Price: $32.95/printed edition)
(The 2017 Prospect Handbook, a handbook done each year by Baseball America, gives you all the information you need to know about the top 30 prospect of each major league baseball team.  There is a full analysis of each player with the last three years of their performance in the minor and major league.  This book is a key to help you build your league teams which use the latest card set offered by SOM.  We thank Matt Eddy for providing our editorial staff with a review copy. Mr. Eddy is now a contributor for the newsletter. This version is available in early February, 2017)


Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella

(This is the book written by W. P. Kinsella that the movie "Field of Dreams" is based upon. The webpage given is how to order the book via Amazon.com although you might also want to find it via the library.  We interview Mr. Kinsella in our July 2016 edition.  Other baseball books written by W. P. Kinsella include "The Iowa Baseball Confederacy", "The Thrill of the Grass", "Further Adventures of Slugger McBatt", "Japanese Baseball", "The Dixon Cornbelt Leauge" and "Shoeless Joe comes to Iowa Stories".)



Support the Cause

If you are enjoying the content and information our newsletter shares with you, why not support us with your helpful donation for our minor expenses and time?

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 ....

  STRAT WISE with MARC WASSERMAN commissioner of the Cyber Baseball Association (CBA) continues his new column sharing various perspectives on SOM Baseball. For his article this month he discusses about vintage strat-o-matic cards and how to find the best deals and prices to get them.

  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.


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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