Mailbag

CIN - mailing envelope crop

The list below contains a collection of SP78-related correspondence that was sent and received by me over the years; click the dated link at the end of each synopsis to access reproductions of that particular letter, fax, program insert, or e-mail.

LETTERS

I invite fans to attend ‘Steve Ontiveros Day’ in San Bernardino, California, and enclose two tickets in the mailing – 5/2/88
I type a note to SP78 fans with info on the SP78 All-Star Game, and mail the note with a ballot enclosed – 11/14/88
An invitation to SP78 fans to attend the 10th Anniversary game in Rancho Penasquitos, California – 7/10/90
I receive a handwritten note from my friend Gary telling me stop playing God; he then offers a lineup of All-Star players from 1978 – 10/1/92
An invitation to SP78 fans to attend the 15th Anniversary game in Rancho Bernardo, California – 8/1/95
I type a letter to former Yankees pitcher Dick Tidrow (that does not get forwarded to him as promised), asking him to fill out an All-Star ballot – 6/16/99
A letter from Paul L telling me about his conversation with Dick Tidrow concerning my All-Star ballot – 7/28/99
I type a generic letter inviting fans to attend the SP78 20th Anniversary Game in Escondido, California – 8/17/00
My brother Scott receives a note from me about the SP78 All-Star Game, along with three ballots to fill out – 4/13/01
I send a letter to former Cubs third baseman Steve Ontiveros, asking him to fill out a ballot for the SP78 All-Star Game – 6/23/01

FAXES

I type up and send a fax to Steve P, asking him about his SOC stat input from the night before – 10/27/96
I type up and send another fax to Steve P, answering two questions he had about my SP78 season – 11/18/96
I write-up a quick note about a KC-Chi game and send it to Steve P on Christmas Eve – 12/24/96
After playing a New Year’s Eve game, I send a fax to Steve P detailing the exciting outcome – 12/31/96
I fax Steve P three pages of SP78 stats to read during his flight to Las Vegas – 1/10/97
I send a fax to Steve P detailing an A’s-Orioles game I played, and the plans for the rest of my evening – 4/13/97
After Steve P had asked me for help tracking down boxscores from his SOC, I faxed him with info of games I’d played against him – 5/20/97

SP78 PROGRAM INTROS AND INSERTS

A ‘Steve Ontiveros Day’ program intro to fans attending the game in San Bernardino, California – 5/7/88
The program intro welcoming fans to the 15th Anniversary Game in Rancho Bernardo, California – 8/22/95
The program intro greeting for the 20th Anniversary Game, held at Steve P’s condo in Escondido, California – 8/22/00

E-MAILS

SP78 ‘guest columnist’ Steve N sends me his account of a Sparky Anderson post-game tirade, which I’d alluded to in a previous e-mail – 3/10/00
I e-mail Steve P with a question about who should be awarded a Diamond Glove at catcher in the American League – 3/27/01
I give Dick Ruthven’s no-hitter the newswire treatment and e-mail it to six SP78 fans – 2/11/02
I ask Steve P if I should award a save to Don Stanhouse – 11/25/03
I send Steve P updated AL and NL standings, and remind him of a prophecy I’d made back in 1993 – 1/13/04
I ask Steve P if I should award a save to Dave Geisel – 1/24/04
Steve N asks me a question relating to his 1986 replay season – 9/7/04
Steve P and I discuss the 20th Anniversary of ‘Steve Ontiveros Day’ – 5/7/08
I have a discussion with Scott and Steve N about a new HR chart I’d recently found on-line – 4/29/12
Brent and I have a discussion about SP78 and his game of backgammon in-progress – 10/20/12
Brent and I have a short discussion about the SP78 game we played in Prescott Valley, Arizona – 4/11/13
A quick exchange between Steve P and I concerning the recent dearth of baseball passings – 6/11/13
Steve P offers a suggestion as to how he can be a part of today’s Twins-Jays game – 10/6/13
I tell Steve P about a newly-discovered scheduling blunder involving the Expos and Phillies that I’d made thirty years prior – 11/4/14
Steve P discovers a little-known fact related to his SP78 managerial career – 11/30/14
I ask a very important question: should the Cardinals’ rookie shortstop play every game? Steve P has the answer, and more – 12/17/14
Brent and I discuss an SP78 game played at his house over a recent weekend, where as the Brewers manager he lost in extra innings – 5/15/16
I ask Steve P to help me choose between three pitchers for the AL Pitcher of the Month award for June – 11/20/16

22 responses to “Mailbag

  1. I had a vision of something like this for SP78 in the early 90’s. I’m enjoying a very nice 32nd anniversary perusing all of the content. It is awesome to see this come to fruition. Hats off to the Commissioner on a job well done!

  2. And thank YOU, former Season of Champions commissioner, for the nice words! I’ve wanted to make something like this for a long time, too, and only recently discovered the concept of blog sites, and the fact that they’re free. Did you recognize the main page header photo?

  3. I’d like to recommend a future poll . . . perhaps “Who is the most unlikely of the League Leaders?” I’d go with Bob Randall, who only had 89 hits in 1978 (the first time), followed by Steve Garvey, who actually had 9 triples in 1978 on some kind of a fluke.

  4. Consider your wish granted! As soon as I get my League Leaders board updated to July 15th, I’ll make ‘The Most Unlikely’ the poll that immediately follows. Wait, maybe I’d better do it now, while I still have some freaks like Bob Randall leading the league in something…

  5. Just an update, you’re now #2 on Google when you search “Statis Pro 1978” (in that order). I think you’re behind a 34 year old hooker named “Statis”, but it might not be the first time that’s happened, either.

  6. Well, I guess I should say thanks for not making her a 74-year-old hooker! Wait, ‘Statis’ is a woman’s name, right?

  7. Yes, Statis is a woman’s name. And you’re welcome for your brand new “Oregon” flag . . .Fly it with pride!

  8. Oregon! Much appreciated! Any chance you’re flying to Denmark anytime soon?

  9. Suggestions:
    I’d like a page that listed all of the venues where SP78 has been played, and perhaps a poll of possible future locations where fans would like to see a game played. Then a trip could be scheduled for fans to travel to attend that location for a future game.

  10. You’re in luck: a page of venues is already in the works, and should be arriving soon under the ‘Statistics’ menu heading! Your poll idea, though fascinating, could prove costly if fans vote for either ‘Neighborhood Bar Near Wrigley Field’ or ‘Great Barrier Reef’…

  11. Man, I was thinking more like “C-Span headquarters in Washington, DC”, but the Great Barrier Reef would make a cool venue. Thanks for the suggestion!

  12. Hope to see you there! Bring Cheez-Its and shark repellent!

  13. Header Photo…. Is Scott ever “really” awake!?!

  14. I refuse to answer that on the grounds that he’s my brother, and both federal case law and this blog site dictate that I’m not required to badmouth a relative.

  15. This is a great site! I used SP in two of my 5Y League seasons. I’m in the final season now, and I’m using Strat, only because I have had the game for nearly thirty years and never played it, and also I managed to get the 2002 card set I needed for ten bucks from the SOM web site. I’ll be doing retro-5Y after this project is done. I think it’s great how you honor your friend. I also noticed the old Licorice Pizza logo — my best friend used to work there (Cerritos, CA), and he and I were in a couple of face to face SP leagues in the 80s. Keep up the good work. If you get a chance, check out my web site:
    http://5ybaseball.magix.net/public/

    • Hi Louie! Thanks for the visit, and I’ll definitely stop by your site! I can’t believe you’ve played so many seasons…maybe I just assume that everyone takes 30+ years to play an entire campaign! Cool that your friend worked at a Licorice Pizza…my most-frequented store was in Escondido, California. I’m constantly adding new pages, photos, and stats to this site, hoping to eventually get it current, so keep checking back!

  16. Holy Jesus !!!!! I have been a Statis Pro fanatic ever since I stumbled upon my first game at a Brentano’s in Atlanta during college. Over the years I have managed to get about 15 different seasons, but my all-time favorite is 1978 (I’m a huge Phillies fan). I discovered Pursue the Pennant around 1985, and played it a lot. It’s extremely realistic, but despite a lot of play, the charts and the dice slow it down and stop the action in your head for way too long. I came back Statis Pro the end of last year and it is just so f@^%*$%ing great. I started a replay of the ’78 season last week and now I stumble on this site !!!!! This is incredible – man, thank you so much !!!!!!!

    • Hey Chris, thanks for the enthusiastic comment, and I’m glad you discovered the site! That’s very cool that you’re replaying the ’78 season…any idea how long it’ll take you to finish? As you probably already know, the Phillies are running away with the NL East in my SP78 Replay season, and unless they suddenly become decimated by injuries (and the Cubs go on a few long winning streaks), they should take the East flag.

      I remember Pursue the Pennant, but never played it; in fact, I’ve never played any other baseball board game except for Avalon Hill’s Superstar Baseball, but all I ever played were individual games…never a season. So Statis Pro has been it for me, and as you can tell, I love playing it. At my current rate of game playing, I should be finished with the regular season in 6-7 years, and I’ll probably take an entire year to complete the playoffs and World Series.

      Thanks again for visiting, Chris, and come back whenever you can. I’ll be starting a consistent schedule of posts sometime in August, and I hope to have other statistics and pages finished by the end of the year. And if you can, please keep me posted on how your ’78 season unfolds!

  17. chris scherer

    I don’t know how long it will take. I read about another Statis Pro fanatic who replayed the 1982 season, and it took him 30 years. It’s hard for me to stay focused on one season since I have so many. I have played Strat-O-Matic, ABPA, Pursue the Pennant, and Statis Pro and have about 20 seasons of Pursue the Pennant – it’s the most realistic table top baseball game ever made. Literally anything that can happen in a real MLB game can happen in this game. However, it’s one flaw is that it uses 3 ten-sided dice, and there are a bunch of charts to access. You can play it a lot – I have – and it can still be like passing legislation at times instead of playing ball. The FAC is the beauty of Statis Pro; and I discovered that you don’t need all the detail slowing you down looking at charts if your imagination is rich. I mean, to steal a base in Pursue the Pennant, you have to find the pitcher’s hold rating, the runner’s jump rating, roll the dice to see if the guy can even get a jump, access the steal chart and the catcher’s throwing rating and yada, yada, yada.

    Sorry, I can go on all day when talking about table top baseball games. What I would like to know is, are you doing this yourself? And if so, how many games do you play a day? Do you use a computer or are you actually using the cards, etc. I mean, what you’ve done is awesome – especially the statistics. My hat is off to you sir !!!

    • And my hat is off to you, Chris, for having so many cool tabletop baseball games, and so many seasons! I’ve never played any of those other games – although I always saw their ads in issues of Baseball Digest – but I’m surprised to hear that Pursue the Pennant is the most realistic, for no other reason than I’d never heard much discussion about it. I think I’d feel the same way as you do, though, about the detail slowing gameplay down; I like how Statis Pro is fairly basic, with a lot left open to my own decision-making, interpretation, and of course, imagination.

      Yes, I’m am playing this season myself, except when a friend or family member joins me in a game; otherwise, it’s all me, managing both teams. My consistency of play has been sporadic over the years, but right now I play about two games a week: one during the week, and one on weekends. And I’m still using the original board and cards I bought in 1979, but I do use a computer to keep track of all my stats and standings and such. Even though the board is scuffed and the cards are getting worn, it was my plan from the start to use them from Opening Day ’til the last game of the World Series. Which, at my current pace, will take place about seven years from now. And remember, keep me updated on your season if you can!

  18. Back again and glad to see the replay advances! As a Statis Pro nut, I tip my cap to you sir! Do you find that now that you have gotten this far that the game is more exciting to play? I check in on the site every so often, and I see that the standings are different than actual ’78 which surprises me slightly. As for myself, I have decided to play a play-off type format involving 12 teams in each league for both ’78 + 2013. It gives me a chance to enjoy a lot of players and teams without having to wait as long for the races to finish. Interestingly enough, my first game in the ’78 playoff involve the Yankees and the Tigers with, of course, Guidry starting for New York. I actually didn’t realize until the ninth with N.Y. ahead 4-0, that Guidry was pitching a perfect game. It was spoiled with a 2-out scratch single by Lou Whitaker. In all the games I have played the last 45 years, I have only had 1 no-hitter, which was also a perfect game pitched by the Expo’s Ross Grimsley against Pete Vuckovich and the St. Louis Cardinals using a 1983 set. Good luck and good health this season to you and yours!!!

    • Hi Chris, and welcome back! In answer to your question, yes, I get more and more excited about playing with each passing month, and especially now, with the end of the season now in sight, and division races heating up, and players battling for leads in statistical categories. I remember when I reached May, eight years after I’d started, and thinking that I’d finally officially ‘made it’ into the season.

      I’ve thought about what I might want to do once my SP78 season ends, and one idea I had was similar to yours, a playoff format with select teams involved. I’ve also considered playing the ’78 spring training schedule (and adding those results to the blog site), and maybe trying a Reds-only season again.

      And like you, I also had a perfect game spoiled with two out in the ninth: Ed Halicki of the Giants had one out to go against the Pirates when I pinch-hit John Milner for the pitcher, and he singled with a lefty-vs-righty factor. I’ve also had Ron Guidry fire a one-hitter, and that baserunner was retired on a double play, which allowed Guidry to face the minimum 27 batters; KC’s Dennis Leonard accomplished the same feat recently, when he allowed just two hits and a walk, and all three baserunners were cut down trying to steal. And I’ve had two no-hitters during my season, one from each league: Dick Ruthven of the Phillies and Mike Caldwell of the Brewers.

      Thanks again for the visit, Chris, and hope to hear from you again soon. And good luck with your playoffs…let me know how the ’78 version turns out!

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