Upon entering a Strat-o-Matic League for the first time in 1989, the first team I had set the trend for many years to come. The players I was dealt in that year set down traditions of what I felt I needed in position players for future teams. In leftfield the corner stone of the team was Kevin Mitchell. In center was the spectacular, and often hurt, Eric Davis. In rightfield was Dwight Evans. Or know as the human cannon with his arm !!!! At first was the declining Keith Hernandez. Secondbase held the ever-speedy Harold Reynolds. Shortstop was defending for years by Alan Trammell. Thirdbase was kept by the steady Tim Wallach. Leading the team behind the plate was Tony Pena.

The pitching staff was led by Roger Clemens, Frank Viola, Mike Boddicker, And Mike Flanagan. The bullpen had many former famous players led by THE Rob Dibble. Bryan Harvey, Rob Murphy,Dave Smith, and the “new “ rookie…John Wetteland….

As the years, and updates to teams pass, this team will always hold a special place of remembrance for me. I have never really replaced Dwight Evans in RF since then nor had the talent of an Eric Davis in CF. At least not all at one time. Later this team added Kirby Puckett to CF and Fred McGriff to first, but the pitching got worse…. As we all know, it is very hard to get all things together in one year!

I think the reason this team sticks out the most is mostly being the first and a friend and I came in together into the league. There was one opening in the League, they flipped a coin, I lost, and my friend was in. Well I lost and won. The team he was given, the former owner loved the Indians. If we all remember that far back, that was not the best team to lead at that time…..So he got in and the taunting began. About a month later, another team came up and I got the fortune to get in  the ABL. Having the better team made not getting in right away, just fine !!!

So now I try to get power at the corners, defense up the middle, and a bit of speed to go around. And yes decent starting pitching, backed up by a versatile bullpen. Most all the players I try to get play every day and have good longevity. I do not prefer to platoon and do like power over speed. Oh yeah, and have at least one head case on the team !!!!! All to honor Kevin Mitchell. Vince(firecracker man) Coleman replaced him in later years !!!

None of the teams I have run has gotten to the world series, but has gone to playoffs many times. Also I have held the Division title in a couple of Leagues for multiple years. Just never have gotten to the big dance. It has been fun to watch players and follow them through their careers and to predict who will take off and who will peak and go away. I have found out that I have no judgement when it comes to the outfield and for catchers. Who would have thought that Tori Hunter would suddenly hit for power ????? Marty Cordova over Garrett Anderson. Geez, that one was good. The classic was trading Randy Johnson right before the CY Young years. The walks were killing me. Jose Rijo over Kevin Appier. I do have one great trade that I can hold to. Bobby Bonilla for A-Rod. Sorry Clinton, but it is my favorite.

Baseball to me is a great sport that comes alive through Strat-o-Matic. Without the game I do not think it would be as fun to follow the sport. Now when you have a vested interest in the sport, then being a fan is easy. The strike took me away from the game for a couple years as it was just too frustrating to see the game implode on itself. Now my reasoning is that Baseball is too good a game to let them wreck my enjoyment of it.

This article has been kind of a ramble of the past, but I have had good memories of the sport and people that I have met because of Baseball.

 All in all it is a fun hobby to be in and I am glad to be involved in the  BrassWorld  League