My Husband’s Obsession With This Baseball Board Game Got My Son Hooked, Too — and Now They Can’t Stop Playing
by Bethany Braun-Silva
Strat-O-Matic has been a sports’ lovers favorite for years!
When the NBA suspended the rest of its season back in March due to COVID-19, you could hear the collective heartbreak of sports fans everywhere. That heartbreak was only made worse when Major League Baseball decided to cancel its games at the start of the spring season, meaning there would be no live sports for the foreseeable future. Of course, it’s for the best right now, but fans are definitely missing the action of watching games and seeing their favorite players each week.
Fortunately, there might be a solution for sports fans to get their fix — with a sports board game. In the game Strat-O-Matic, you get to be the manager of your own sports team, and the game is played based on real statistics from each sport’s prior season. Players can simulate real games with real professional athletes. It’s been a favorite amongst sports fans since it was created back in 1961, and right now Parenting readers can get 10 percent off with the special promo code PARENTING10.
Each season, players order a new version of the game — with boards offered for baseball, football, basketball, and hockey — and get cards with each player’s stats from the year before. You build your team with these cards, then play on a board that looks like each sport’s respective field, court, or rink.
To buy: $47.70 (originally $53); strat-o-matic.com
Players can choose their own team, hold drafts, make trades, and mix-and-match players from different teams based on their respective strengths — so a player like Ronald Acuna Jr., Left Fielder for the Atlanta Braves, who had the most stolen bases in 2019 with 46, is definitely a player worth choosing. Same with Pete Alonso, Mets First Baseman, who set the rookie record with 53 home runs last year.
I’ve been familiar with the board game for quite some time via my husband. He’s been playing for over 25 years and it was taught to him by his father. Now, he’s using all that newfound free time to teach our 8-year-old son. It’s a bit of a legacy (read: obsession) for him, and he calls it, “Dungeons and Dragons for sports fanatics.” I love it because my son is learning stats and numbers and having to make some pretty “big” decisions as the manager of his team. While I know they miss live baseball very much, this game is filling a pretty big gap and providing my son and husband with a lot of bonding time. In fact, they play every chance they get!
You can order the most recent version (2019) or years past for $53 on the Strat-O-Matic website, or click here for that special discount for Parenting readers.
Below are some more sports board games to consider if you’re missing the real thing:
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