Category Archives: The Wacky World of Statis Pro

Plunked!

A few days ago, my friend Steve P and I were having a discussion about former Expos second baseman Ron Hunt, who set a modern major league record when he was hit-by-pitch fifty times during the 1971 season. No, that’s not a typo…fifty times, in one season!

So then we wondered: Who were the current HBP leaders in my SP78 season? I didn’t know off-hand—either the player or the number—but my educated guess for the number was somewhere between 10 and 15. So today I went through every team’s current stats, and came up with the Top 5 for each league…and as it turned out, my estimate was correct, for both leagues:

National League

1) Dave Cash, Expos – 14
2) Willie Stargell, Pirates – 11
3) Gene Tenace, Padres – 9
4) Andre Dawson, Expos – 8
5) Tim Foli, Mets – 8

American League

1) Don Baylor, Angels – 12
2) Chet Lemon, White Sox – 9
3) Butch Wynegar, Twins – 8
4) ReJackson, Yankees – 8
5) Six tied with – 7

A long way to go, in a month’s time, to catch up with Hunt and his record…unless I start purposely plunking Cash and Baylor in every remaining game. And in case you’re wondering: pitcher David Clyde of the Indians leads the AL in hit-by-pitches delivered, with nine, while Mark Lemongello of the Astros leads the NL, with seven.

The Grease Game

For those of you visiting this post because you happened to see the heading above, thinking this was an article about a charity softball game with teams managed by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, I apologize…this is definitely not that article. Instead, this is a story about a Statis Pro baseball game played nearly forty years ago, outside of the confines of my SP78 Replay season, between two teams managed by my brother and his friend, and played while they snacked on a decidedly non SP78-sanctioned snack item.

The date was July 8, 1981. My brother Scott was at our house on Palacio Place in Rancho Bernardo, California, hanging out with his friend Matt, while I was at a screening of Superman II at our local multiplex with my friend Brent. At some point during the evening, the two decided to play my Statis Pro Baseball board game, with Scott taking the reins of his favorite team, the Dodgers, against Matt and the hometown Padres. Continue reading

The SP78 Table of Mystery

So what the heck is going on here? Take a look at the photo below, taken in late December of 2016, and tell me why I played an SP78 game under these strange but necessary conditions:

Yes, I played the entire Padres-Mets match-up for August 15th with three of the four chairs pulled away from the table. But the question is, why? Did I leave the game for a bathroom break before the first pitch, only to find poltergeist activity had taken place while I was away? Did the table shrink during the first inning? Did three impolite friends I’d invited over to watch the game suddenly stand up and leave, without bothering to push in their chairs?

Before clicking on the ‘continue reading’ link, see if you can come up with a plausible (or perhaps even not-so-plausible) answer to this puzzler, then tell me in the comment section below what you’ve guessed. Continue reading

Carbonic Spray: The Sad Case of Ken Holtzman

CHI-N - Ken Holtzman poseFor pitcher Ken Holtzman, it’s a moment from his past he’s not likely to forget: standing in the Cubs’ bullpen between innings, staring up at the scoreboard looming high over the center field seats, and suddenly feeling a misty coolness settle softly on his face, neck, and arms. Above him, leaning over a railing surrounding the bleacher section, was a fan holding a large cup of soda, its bubbly carbonation splattering down onto Holtzman like a drizzly, sticky rain. And before he could do anything about it—before he knew it was even happening, actually—Holtzman had become permanently marked, like a man whose adult case of chicken pox had left his body riddled with scars.

sp78-carbonic-drink-80And so it was with my pristine Statis Pro player card of Holtzman, who during an SP78 match-up that was played sometime in the early-1990s, had been situated a little too close to the rocks glass of cola I’d been drinking during the game, and whose white cardstock had thus become stained with dozens upon dozens of tiny caramel-colored pinprick dots. And like so many other player cards damaged during my season—from creases to rubber band marks to potato chip stains—his was now stricken with this unique blemish for the remainder of his career, a constant and ugly reminder that taking part in a baseball board game is not always as safe as it looks.

Since that fateful day, whenever I’d play a game and would have a glass of Pepsi or Coke Classic with me at the desk or table, I would always make sure to place it at a reasonably safe distance from the board and cards. Thankfully, after 2008, when I stopped drinking soda altogether, the game and its players were never again in danger of accidental carbonation damage. Of course, that’s of little consolation to our tainted friend Mr. Holtzman:

ken-holtzman-spray-1-45-60-fix