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Strat-O-Matic Opening Day At Glen Head, N.Y. Headquarters A Big Hit For Fans

Strat-O-Matic Opening Day (credit: Dave Columbo)

They began lining up at 2 a.m. At least that’s the reported time that the first guest appeared at Strat-O-Matic Headquarters on Railroad Avenue, in the shadow of the Glen Head Long Island Rail Road stop. The first of what grew to more than 200 hearty souls braved near-freezing temperatures Friday in order to be among those to get ahold of the new baseball season cards fresh out of the warehouse.

In what has become an annual tradition, gamers from across the country – and sometimes other parts of the world – gather outside the blue-gray offices, not only to pick up the new season game and other items, but to meet friends old and new who share a love for the game that has been such an important part of their lives.

By all accounts, Bret Sypniewski traveled the farthest, getting into his customized white cargo van and traversing the country all the way from Las Vegas, where he took orders of his own for upwards of 30 games from friends and competitors at the various tournaments that he’s participated in regularly since retirement.

“It took me about 10 days, I took the scenic route,” said the affable Sypniewski, who has played the game for more than 35 years, a time frame that seemed to match many of the Opening Day participants. “I enjoy the tournaments, playing face to face, getting to interact with people while we play.”

Sypniewski made the Strat-O-Matic visit the fulcrum of a trip that included stops in Lubbock, Texas, for some hiking and a Texas Tech Red Raiders basketball game, another in Lexington, Kentucky, for a UK game and various other activities. His diverse interests match the variety of Strat-O-Matic baseball seasons that he enjoys playing.

“I enjoy playing the 1911-1930 teams, but I’m picking up the new season and 1984,” he added. “I like the old time stuff, I learn a lot about the players.”

Another highlight for Opening Day attendees is meeting the Strat-O-Matic founder and creator, Hal Richman, who enjoys hearing fans talk about the decades of enjoyment that the game has brought them.

Strat-O-Matic Chief Content Officer John Garcia presided over the Opening Day ceremonies, which included the induction of three members into the Strat-O-Matic Hall of Fame, including former major leaguer and noted SOM enthusiast Keith Hernandez, longtime game tester Larry Foster and Strat-O-Matic Forum editor Dan Patterson.

Garcia and CEO Adam Richman also raffled off some unique items, including test cards from last year’s 1933-1983 All-Star baseball set, a game autographed by Hal Richman, a subscription to the pending release of Baseball Max, currently in beta, and more.

About Jerry Milani

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Jerry Milani is a writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 30 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and as a freelance professional. His PR clients have included Wizard World and FAN EXPO, which produce pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America, USA Wrestling, the National Lacrosse League, Strat-O-Matic Media, the Pacific Life Open and Pilot Pen Tennis tournaments and dozens of others. Milani is also the director of athletic communications for Caldwell University. He is a proud graduate of North Rockland High School and Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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