Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Game Is Not Child's Play for Author; St. Johns County's Glenn Guzzo Wrote Book on Baseball-Based Strat-O-Matic, Literally

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Game Is Not Child's Play for Author; St. Johns County's Glenn Guzzo Wrote Book on Baseball-Based Strat-O-Matic, Literally

Article excerpt

Byline: ED GEFEN, The Times-Union

Glenn Guzzo, who lives in northwest St. Johns County, will be quick to say he has done more important work than his recent book about the history of a 40-plus-year-old baseball board game. But none has generated such an array of nostalgic satisfaction than Strat-O-Matic Fanatics, The Unlikely Success Story of a Game That Became an American Passion.

Guzzo, who has been sports editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer and most recently was editor at the Denver Post, will sign copies of his book at 7 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 9282 Atlantic Blvd. He answered a bunch of our questions via e-mail.

Q: What was your first book signing like?

Friday, Jan. 28, was a typical Opening Day at Strat-O-Matic headquarters on Long Island. Ridiculously cold weather for people to stand out in line for several hours waiting to get their cards. Still, the number of "fanatics" was larger this year than the last couple of years, and many of them wanted the signatures of (game creator) Hal Richman and myself on the books they were buying. . . . Hal and I heard many touching stories about how much joy the hobby has brought to others.

Q: When did you first play the game?

In 1963, in the bedroom I shared with my brother Alan in Dearborn, Mich. I had requested the game as a 12th birthday present after seeing an ad in a baseball annual.

And that's how I became a fanatic -- drawing all my friends to the game and playing every day -- on kitchen tables, in basements, on porches, on backyard picnic tables, in bedrooms -- whatever space we could commandeer. As I moved around the country -- first at age 24 and five more times over the past 30 years -- I have found other Strat-O-Matic players everywhere.

Q: Do you take a board game with you or has anyone brought their game and wanted you to play? …

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