Strat-O-Matic Basic Average e Ratings

I broke out some Basic Strat last night. I don’t like the basic fielding charts, so I’d rather use the simplified “card charts” I use for the Advanced game. Trouble is, the Old Timer cards don’t have e Ratings. If I had some average e Ratings for each position, I could use that.

I found an old article in Strat Fan that gives a formula for e Ratings:

SOM e = 1458 * Errors / Innings_Played

I can find this data for specific positions and seasons on Baseball Reference. I scraped the data for the National and American Leagues from 1901 through 2021 and calculated the average e Ratings. (I treat all outfielders together.) The whole mess can be seen in the busy chart below.

I broke the seasons into six somewhat arbitrary periods. (The longer periods have less variation.) Then I averaged the seasons in each period. This gave me the numbers for the new chart:

Now, if a card doesn’t have an e Rating, I can look up the average value here and use it. Of course, every player at a particular position will have the same rating, but at least it will be representative of the era.

The updated card charts can be downloaded here.

Strat Pitcher Hitting Cards

A beef I’ve always had with SOM is that the pitcher hitting cards are offered in basic format only. If you use them with the advanced game, then you’ve got a monochromatic, portrait-orientation pitcher card mixed in with the black/blue/red, landscape-orientation position-player cards. Yuck.

So, as a little Photoshop exercise, I created some pitcher hitting cards in the advanced style.


Right now the results are identical against left- and right-handed pitchers, but I may add some differences later and produce separate cards for RHB & LHB pitchers.

Ads from 1973-1974

I recently acquired some old baseball mags from the time I started following the game. The 1974 Street & Smith’s yearbook was a particularly important specimen, as it was there I first saw anything about tabletop baseball. The APBA ad must have grabbed my imagination more than the others, because I sent away for their free brochure and sample cards, and soon afterwards ordered the game.

Looking back from 2008, I’m surprised at how many games were advertising. Who runs print ads nowadays?

My favorite bit is in the APBA ad from another energy crunch 35 years ago:

Street & Smith’s 1974 Yearbook:

June 1973 Baseball Digest:

Average Errors per Game

The SOM basic fielding chart seems to produce a lot of errors, at least compared to TPB. Reality check: what’s the average number of errors per game in MLB? A quick Retrosheet hack gives the average over the years. It’s not a perfect count—multiple errors during one play are all counted as one.


Is the drop due to a change in fielding prowess or a change in official scoring? I reckon it’s the latter.