Tag Archives: SP78 Replay

Ask Statistor

aStatistor, Baseball Robot
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Developed by Sperry Rand in 1963, Statistor is a robotic information-gathering and data storage system, later modified by Texas Instruments specifically for use by Statis Pro 1978 Replay. Statistor will answer any and all SP78-related questions, either once a year or whenever the mood strikes him.

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Hey Statistor!

How many times has the Joe Walsh album But Seriously, Folks… been listened to while a Statis Pro 1978 Replay game was being played?

Steve G.
Phoenix, AZ

Hey Steve!

Since 1988, when music played during a game was first documented, the 1978 platinum-selling album has been listened to a total of 63 times during SP78 play, by far the most of any recording over the past 33 years. Of those 63 times, 17 were heard via digital files, 12 were compact discs, 11 were vinyl LPs, nine were cassette tapes, and one was heard on the Spotify music streaming service, with 13 formats not known or ever specified.

Dear Strat-O-Matic,

Could you please send me the current 2020 edition of your Strat-O-Matic baseball board game at $55.00, plus the Additional Players Set at $19.00. I’ve enclosed $76.09 to pay for the game and extra cards, which includes $16.89 for FedEx Ground shipping and a 20% Black Friday discount. Thank you.

John A.
Poway, CA

Dear John,

Statistor does not understand your question, but will gladly accept your generous donation.

Jim Rice and the First BD-2 HR

There are two things to know about the home run Red Sox slugger Jim Rice hit against the Mariners on August 22nd, in the fourth inning of their game at the Kingdome in Seattle. First, it was his 19th home run of the season, a 2-run shot that gave the Sox a temporary 2-1 lead in a game they’d eventually lose to the lowly M’s. But second, and more importantly, it was the first-ever BD-2 home run hit during my SP78 Replay season…a streak that lasted forty years and over 1,600 games played.

Hard to believe perhaps, considering the number of BD cards that are turned during an average SP78 game, but it’s true; I can’t say for certain whether one was hit in the first few years of my season (after some research, it appears unlikely), but once I began paying attention to the possibility of such an occurrence—probably in 1988, when my statkeeping efforts improved—I’d never had one take place until now. But what makes a BD-2 in particular so special is that Rice is one of just two players in the game to possess such a rating, the other being a slugger from the National League who’s also well known for his home run hitting prowess:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But what exactly is a BD home run? For those uninitiated with the ‘clutch batting’ aspect of the game, each player in the league possesses a BD rating of either 0, 1, or 2 (don’t ask me why Avalon Hill chose to use ‘BD’ instead of the more logical ‘CB’ designation), signifying how well a particular batter does in clutch situations, when one or more runners are on base. These ratings allow the player, when a certain Fast-Action card and number are drawn, to connect for a double, triple, or home run, with any of these options succeeding in clearing the bases of  all runners.

What’s also amazing about Rice’s recent home run is the simple fact that he hit one at all; during the actual 1978 season, he led both the AL and NL in homers (46), games played (163), hits (213), triples (15), runs batted in (139), and slugging percentage (.600), all helping him to earn AL MVP honors. But in my SP78 season, he’s nowhere near those lofty totals, even with that devastating Statis Pro player card at his disposal: currently his 19 home runs are well behind the 34 he’d hit at this juncture in 1978, while more than a dozen other players already have more triples, and his current batting average (.249) will never catch up to the one he finished the ’78 campaign with (.315).

And here’s another odd aspect to the situation: I understand why Rice was awarded BD-2 status, since he led the AL in home runs, total bases, and slugging percentage in 1978, but why Luzinski? If those three categories are to be considered the deciding criteria for BD-2 status, then Luzinski is definitely a no-go: he was second in the NL in home runs behind Reds outfielder George Foster, and just sixth in total bases and slugging percentage, well behind Dave Parker of the Pirates. Either one of those players should’ve been bestowed with a BD-2 classification instead, especially since both are having far better seasons offensively right now than Luzinski.

Anyway, there you have it…a BD-2 home run has finally been struck after all these years, leaving only a triple play, a perfect game, and a postponement due to insect infestation left to accomplish on my SP78 ‘to-do’ list. As Rice told reporters after the historic game, “I don’t know why you’re talking to me…you should be asking Greg what’s taking him so long.”

NL League Leaders Updated

If you scroll down the main page of this site, and check out the left-hand column, you’ll find that the League Leaders and Team League Leaders have been updated for the National League, for games played through August 23rd. And though the numbers have obviously changed, many of the players and teams have not; for the most part, the leaders have stayed the same, save for a few swaps in their order among the Top 5.

Triple Crown candidate Reggie Smith of the Dodgers still has a comfortable lead in the HR and RBI departments, but Reds third sacker Pete Rose has overtaken him in the batting average race, albeit by just a few percentage points, .375 to .372. Larry Bowa of the Phillies finds himself just eight hits away from the first 200-hit season of his career (and if he makes it, it’ll be the only 200-hit season during his 16 years in the majors), but Rose is not far behind at 185, and LA iron man Steve Garvey has a decent chance—if he doesn’t suddenly slump—at 171.

Somehow, Mets starter Craig Swan leads the NL—and possibly the majors—in earned run average, at 1.69, but as I just discovered, he actually won the NL ERA title in 1978! Way to go, Swannie! Bucs reliever Kent Tekulve still leads both leagues with 26 saves, and if he reaches 31, it’ll be a career high (he reached that total in both 1978 and 1979). And Houston fireballer J.R. Richard could very well be the only SP78 pitcher to reach 200 strikeouts this season; he’s nine shy at 191, and the next closest NL hurler is Steve Carlton of the Phillies, who’s well back of Richard at 143.

The Dodgers and Phillies still occupy most of the team leader categories, with the occasional aberration—the Cubs leading in batting, the Cardinals leading in doubles—standing out. I’m working on the AL leaders now, and will hopefully have those updates posted in a few weeks. The next league-wide update will take place in an SP78 calendar week, on August 31st.

The Forster Anomoly

After I’d recently posted a recap for a game where LA closer Terry Forster had pitched seven long innings, and was allowed to bat late in the game in a critical situation, a discussion began among SP78 fans on whether or not it was a smart managerial move to allow even a good-hitting pitcher to bat under those conditions. Or if it’s reasonable to have a pitcher pinch-hit instead of a regular bench player, especially when that pitcher holds the highest all-time batting average for any player with 50 or more at-bats, or 15 seasons in the major leagues.

With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to let Forster pinch-hit in the next Dodgers game—if a situation logically allows for it—and see what happens…is he really as good a hitter as people think he is? Will it finally prove that my brother, who managed that long-ago game and allowed Forster to hit, was right all along? Tell me what you think by voting below; results will not be final until the first FAC card of the next Dodgers game is turned, which could be anytime between next week and next September.