SSTN Interviews Hal Richman of Strat-o-Matic
February 21, 2018
Note - We're still catching up with a few last articles that didn't transfer when we changed our hosting platform to WIX. We will run these interviews on Thursdays as we did in the past. The new interviews will come in 2023!
Hal Richman is the inventor of the extremely popular table top game known as Strat-o-Matic Baseball. After meeting Mr. Richman at the 2018 Opening Day celebration, he agreed to be interviewed for our blog. The following is our exclusive interview with Hal Richman.
SSTN: Please tell us how you originally developed the baseball game. HR: Baseball game development began for me at the age of 11 when I created a dice baseball game for summer consumption (camp). Prior to creating cards, I rolled the dice 5000 times to develop a probability table. Game changed form many times during my teenage years (was a card game at times). After college, my product line (had several games other than baseball created) was reviewed by a toy buyer. He indicated that I had creative ability but my products were not commercial enough-in essence, they lacked play value. His criticism inspired me to come up the idea of a third die, which gave the baseball game much more play value and allowed for more realism.
SSTN: To what do you attribute the success of Strat-o-Matic? (How does the game stay so popular today?) HR: It was the first game to recreate all the important factors of baseball-hitting, pitching, fielding and running. It did so without limiting play value. Our company has a very loyal following—some of our players have played 50 years plus. The attraction was the mix of play value and realism-superior, I believe to all other baseball games.
SSTN: I absolutely agree that your game is vastly superior to any of the others. What do you consider the greatest advance you have developed for the game? HR: Allowing for the realism of lefty-righty match ups.
SSTN: Of all the cards you have made, can you identify a personal favorite? HR: I do not have a favorite card now. However, when Bonds had his monster year, I found his card to be over the top. Unfortunately, much of his success was due to steroids. When I became aware of this, I felt that he had done a terrible disservice to the game of baseball and rejected his card thereafter.
SSTN: Do you ever take the time to play your game? HR: Over the years, I worked very hard (60 to 80 hours per week)-there was little time to play the game.
SSTN: If you had to pick one team to play, which team would it be? HR: The 1927 Yankees.
SSTN: Strat-o-Matic continues to recreate past seasons. What is the next big project that is in the works? HR: Our next big project is the 1980 baseball season.
SSTN: Thank you for your time Mr. Richman. You have been extremely generous with us. We wish you continued success, always. Thank you also for creating such a wonderful game that has provided millions with so much joy. I hope to see you again!