Who Is John?

1st Issue Cake and me at 28!
 
This photo goes with the story of how this all got started. I had gotten this idea that I could do a newsletter to go along with the Strat-O-Matic Review. It never occurred to me to replace the SOM Review since they were writing mostly about the results of the games. I was concerned with the stuff that went on before the games were played. 

On a small scale, I had always done these numbers and projections for myself. I started to make a mailing list from old SOM Reviews and from league address lists. In November 1985, I mailed out almost 500 issues and waited. I had not told anyone in the SOM world that I was doing this. It was exciting to read the letters as they came back in from surprised SOM managers.

I published my second issue with 17 subscribers. I was up to 35 with the 3rd issue.  Opening day at SOM in January 1986 was an eye opener for me as most of the guys on line just blew me off. One of the SOM guys came out and asked if I was the guy who did the newsletter and that Hal Richman wanted to talk to me. Richman told me that he couldn’t support two newsletters. At that point, I hadn’t asked for anything but I was glad that he had taken the time to talk to me on opening day.

A year later, Richman helped me work out deal with the SOM Review so managers could subscribe to both in one offer. That deal allowed the SOM Game Company to recognize me. That deal allowed me to ask for something. I wanted the cards early. I got the computer printouts early and I was on my way. Now I could have the card rating numbers available on or before the cards came out. This is what I had always wanted but it did take away from the excitement of actually getting the cards and seeing them for the first time. 

Having the cards was great. Questioning the numbers was another matter. It took a while for Strat to believe me when I question the cards but now I would say that I proof or inspect them before the cards are printed. The turning point came with the 1993 cards on New Years Eve of 1993.  Richman called to thank me for saving them.  I had found a major software bug which was involving the 3-2 and 4-2 results on the cards I had, which were the same as the card info at the printer, which were different from the original cards at Strat. That is the day I got my flyer in with the cards. That’s a short version of the LBB story that is still going strong.

Hal Richman and John at SOM in Glen Head, Opening Day 2000

This photo is of Hal Richman and me in January 2000 on Opening Day at Strat-O-Matic. I’ll just mention one of the things that we talked about when things settled down on that busy day. Hal said that he doesn’t read my LBBs. He said he didn’t want to be influenced by any of my numbers. We also discussed a change to the Graeme Lloyd card. I had reported a card error to Strat in December. It had to do with the number of home runs lost to the ballpark diamond on the 4-11 vs rhbs. It was off by a small amount but I report anything that doesn’t look right. When I was there in January, I told Hal that I should have let it go because it was so small. He said that he thought that too, at first, but later changed it because it was off. Just in case you were wondering how I got where I am now.  Hey, check out all the clothes I’m wearing and I’m indoors 

Questioning the numbers was another matter. It took a while for Strat to believe me when I question the cards but now I would say that I proof or inspect them before the cards are printed. The turning point came with the 1993 cards on New Years Eve of 1993. Richman called to thank me for saving them. I had found a major software bug which was involving the 3-2 and 4-2 results on the cards I had, which were the same as the card info at the printer, which were different from the original cards at Strat. That is the day I got my flyer in with the cards. That’s a short version of the LBB story that is still going.