stratomatic.JPGPlaying Baseball in the Rain

Some days it rained all day. There was no baseball outside. What is a boy to do?

You invent your own games so you CAN play baseball. No store-bought games for us like STRATOMATIC – too expensive. With a little ingenuity, we came up with two games that worked for us.

For both, you needed a mess of baseball cards so that you could put together your own team and have a card of each player on your team. Then you get together with your buddies and play, play, play.

We had two games that served us well for inside baseball games.

The Dice Game: Get a pair of dice, one for each team. The batting team rolls a 1 for a strike, a 2 for two balls, a three and a four for an out, a five or a six for a hit… if you get a hit, you roll again, …. 1,2,3 are singles, 4 is a double, 5 a triple, six a home run. Nine innings, 3 outs, just like the real game. We’d put our cards in a batting order and start off. We would also keep track of who was on base by moving baseball cards around a diamond on a table, and we’d keep stats in a notebook. There could be many games going on at once in one house.  Dave Olson’s basement was the best for this because he had a table in one end of the basement and a ping pong table in the other.  W

The Floor Game: We played on garage floors,  (The best floor in town was Jimmy Nelson’s house) where we’d set up the bare floor as a baseball field. We’d take our baseball cards, set up a batting order, and then one team would be at bat the other out on the field. One team’s cards would be placed out on the floor in relation to the players; positions, creating the three outfielders and the infielders … the batter would be at home, with a one of those wire spring clothes pins. He’d place a ‘ball’ (a piece of paper folded, like the way we’d fold it for a football when playing table top football in study hall…) on the end of the clothespin and then launch it. It the paper ball landed within a baseball card width of one of the cards laid out on the floor, the batter was out. I don’t remember how we determined what kind of hit was what if the width rule wasn’t achieved.…. But it was fun.

We even had draft day to put our teams together, debating over who got which player. We even went as far as naming our teams. Keep in mind this was the mid-1960s – one of my teams was the Denver Royales … rather forward looking really, since the Colorado Rockies of Denver and the Kansas City Royals didn’t exist yet.

And that’s what a boy is to do.