Strat-o-Matic Player URLs and Alias Files

Strat-o-Matic’s computer version is tremendously customizable, and getting moreso every year. The ability to customize your gaming experience isn’t usually intuitive, however, and can be maddening at times.

Tonight I thought I might get around to updating the player urls in my version of Strat, so that when I’m in a player notebook, I can just click on “Web Page” and I’ll automatically be linked to the player’s Baseball-Reference.com website.

Updating that little "Web Page" button turned out to be more difficult than it was worth

You’ll notice, however, that when I open the player notebook for 1965 Roberto Clemente, there is a little picture of his 1965 Topps baseball card. I love this little bit of chrome for the game, but getting it to show up there was no easy feat, either.

To get your player photos to appear in the game, you have to first download the player photo to a directory called “Player” (ok, easy enough – make sure the batter photos are in the “Batter” file, though, and pitchers are in the “pitcher” file). Then you have to go back to a file called the “alias” file and enter some text that tells the computer to associate this particular player (1965 Roberto Clemente from the Pittsburgh Pirates) with this particular photo (his 1965 Topps baseball card).

When complete, that alias line will look like this:

b,roberto clemente,1965,pit,roberto clemente 1965 topps

If you want all your players in your league to have little photos, you have to edit the alias file for every one of those players, so that their name links to their card photo every time it appears.

This would be frustrating and tedious work, frankly, if it hadn’t already been done for us. Thankfully, the Strat-o-Matic community – the folks at the Strat-O-Shack in particular – has taken this work on and there are numerous places on the internet to download complete player photo packs and alias files to just copy & paste into the game files.

I learned tonight that player urls (that little button that links to the Web Page of each individual player) is much more difficult to setup if you have already setup an alias file.

On “Brian’s Strat-O-Matic Player’s Page” Brian offers Player URL links for all players (I’m not sure when it was last updated). Great!

Here is what part of the completed URL file looks like:

Notice the problem? In the highlighted line, because I have the alias file for Roberto Clemente 1965 setup to look for his 1965 Topps card, in order to get his Player URLs to work in the game I had to use the name of the alias instead of the name of the player.

To do this for every player is going to take days of work, that I’m not willing to do. Disappointing, certainly. But I learned a valuable lesson:

Wait, no I didn’t.

Current Tabletop Sports Projects

These are the projects I’m currently working on, or planning to start within the next month:

click on the list to see it at full size

As I review this list, it occurs to me that I really want to try some other sports besides baseball and soccer.  I would love a great football game.  I might give APBA Football a shot.

What other games am I missing out on?

MLS 2010 – Game 27: LA Galaxy v Colorado Rapids

MLS 2010 – GAME 27:  LOS ANGELES GALAXY v. COLORADO RAPIDS
(played at a neutral site)

The second-to-last game of the 8-team, 7 game mini-season turned out to be the biggest offensive explosion of the season.  This was a fun one to play.

Omar Cummings gets a Hat Trick for Colorado, but Edson Buddle matches him for LA.

Strat-o-Matic Minor League Seasons

Created by Gary Simonds as part of his 1934 Pacific Coast League roster set (free and downloadable at his MyOpera site)

This is a screenshot from Joe DiMaggio’s 1934 San Francisco Seals player notebook (I cropped out the spirals in the center).  If you haven’t yet, you’ll definitely want to take a look around Gary Simonds’ website.  It is a treasure trove for Strat-o-Matic fans.

Gary has created many Minor League, Japanese League, and College seasons that he distributes for the use of the Strat community.  His work is stellar.  For most seasons, the 1950 Strat season authorization is required on your computer.

I wonder how many 1950 season codes have been sold just to take advantage of Gary’s work.  It’s really tremendous stuff.

How Cards Bring Players to Life

There is something about baseball cards, isn’t there? 

They can bring a whole life and personality to what otherwise would just be a name in a box score.  I’ve fallen in love with players over their Strat-o-Matic cards before.  Kenny Williams is one that immediately comes to mind.  I’d never heard of him before Strat.  Once his 1922 St Louis Browns card had a few clutch hits for me in my league, I went on to research his life and career and now he has become one of my favorites of that era.

Along those same lines, inspired first by a 1933 Goudey Gum baseball card, Jared Thatcher at Full Spectrum Baseball has become a fan of Sam West’s, and this morning he posted an appreciation of West’s life and career.

Q:  Has a replay or a baseball card ever turned you into a fan of a ballplayer you’d never known or appreciated before?