The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Art of American Fantasy #48

6 comments :

Sock MonKey 1 said...

One of the greatest games ever devised!

Spoons Fiddlesticks said...

That catcher has incredible reflexes.

Fred said...

Thanks for posting this, Tom! I've been a Strat-o-Fanatic since I was 13, and got to attend the recent 50th Anniversary celebration in Manhattan. I picked up a set of cards for my son and got him hooked on the game too (sorry, but the computer version doesn't cut it in my book). There's even an on-line league run by the Sporting News. It's pretty amazing that a dice baseball game begun by a kid in Great Neck (Hal Richman) is still around today, operating out of a little office/warehouse near the train station in Glen Head, Long Island!

Chip Hilton said...

Is this the game with the 'donut' cards for each major player player? Different parts of the donut are sized according to the likelihood that theplayer will single, strike out, etc. Then a spinner is spun and where it lands on the donut determines the batter's at bat. Not sure if it's Strat-o-Matic that I'm thinking of.

VP81955 said...

Is this the game with the 'donut' cards for each major player player? Different parts of the donut are sized according to the likelihood that theplayer will single, strike out, etc. Then a spinner is spun and where it lands on the donut determines the batter's at bat. Not sure if it's Strat-o-Matic that I'm thinking of.

No, that was Cadaco's "All-Star Baseball," a much older (and far less sophisticated) game.

Fred said...

Chip, that was All Star Baseball (also known as Ethan Allen's All Star Baseball). Since all the action is read off the hitter's card, it doesn't matter if you have Cy Young or Ollie Perez pitching for your team. When Hal Richman developed Strat-o-Matic in the 50s, he wanted the action to be a combination of the hitter, the pitcher and the defense, using 3 six-sided dice. The game has evolved in its 50 years, but it still goes back to the original ideas that Hal came up with.