In the tabletop-sports hobby, Scott Simkus is known as the genius researcher behind the critically acclaimed 2010 release of Strat-O-Matic’s Negro League 108 card set. Simkus compiled an unprecedented collection of Negro Leagues boxscores, game accounts, and period literature on the leagues and its stars, and used that information to help create the Strat-O-Matic Negro League set, as well as write the guidebook that came along with the set (the guidebook is available for download from Strat-O-Matic here).
Though the guidebook is tremendously useful for anyone getting to know the old Negro League and its stars, Scott’s prose and ability as a storyteller wasn’t fully allowed to shine in that forum. In June of 2010, he and the folks at Seamheads.com launched “The Outsider Baseball Bulletin” to showcase the stories of ballplayers, teams, leagues, stadiums, and all the ephemera associated with baseball that has been played “outside” of the mainstream professional leagues.
Scott’s storytelling, his subjects, his perspective, his voice, are all unique. In that first issue of The Outsider Baseball Bulletin, the very first line of the very first article under his byline, Simkus wrote:
Turns out, Babe Ruth’s pecker was about average size.
Click here to download a FREE copy of the Outsider Baseball Bulletin. This issue focuses on Jimmy Clinton, a white ballplayer who pitched in Semi-Pro ball in New Jersey from 1916-1926, who was likely to have been every bit as good or better than many of the celebrated Negro League and Major League stars of the era.
Also included in that issue: two free Strat-O-Matic cards of Jimmy Clinton. One based on his performance in exhibition games against Major League clubs, one based on his performance in games against Negro League clubs.
“The Jimmy Clinton Story” is exactly the kind of story and extras that I hope oneforfive.com can give its readers. If this blog can give enjoyment on par to half of what The Outsider Baseball Bulletin provides, I’d be thrilled.
Now, however, subscribers to The Outsider Baseball Bulletin are going to get even more. This is an exclusive scoop, I’m proud to say. I received the following in an email from Scott today:
I forgot to mention…starting in mid January I kick off a Strat-inspired promotion. One card each week, for 22 weeks, until the entire 1933-34 Pittsburgh Crawfords team is ready for Strat team play. Two year spread gives me a big enough sample to rebuild the team, constructed from own collection of box scores. Much more accurate than what is posted at baseball-reference.com. Feel free to mention that, if you wish.
Since Strat has never offered a complete Negro League team, this is a groundbreaking release. Strat-O-Matic hobbyists have not had a resource offering Strat-sanctioned cards since the old Strat Fan magazine died, that Scott is releasing these cards is a great development for Strat baseball players.