Very Sad "Be a Manager" Story

bondseye007
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bondseye007
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11:26 PM - Mar 15, 2016 #1

Hello. I am excited to find this forum and look forward to visiting with fellow gamers and collectors.
But first, a sad story. As a teenager in 1968, I attended a Houston Astros game at the Astrodome.
As a promo, I received a yellow envelope containing all the documents and charts, along with a fold-up
paper board for a game called "Be a Manager." Additionally, player cards for the '67 Astros and '67 Reds
were included. I was hooked the first time I played. Using the conveniently included order forms, I soon
ordered all '67 AL and NL player cards. Finally, I later ordered a complete set of Hall of Famer cards.
I mixed HoF cards with current cards to form leagues, played full seasons and kept maticulous stats,
all the way through high school. Sadly, when I went off to college, like no doubt many of you, my
dear mom decided to clean house, beginning with all my baseball cards and my beloved BAM game.

I never saw a real game box, nor did I know the game was called Hank Bauer's Be a Manager until
years later when, while searching for a "replacement game" with which I could renew my long-lost hobby
and introduce my grandson to something that requires no batteries or simm cards, I learned the game
had become a desirable collectible. More recently, in 2013 and 2015, I saw a few games sold on eBay
for unbelievable prices. Completely sucked in and going through total game withdrawal and deprivation,
I poured over eBay, hoping against hope that another would appear. To my amazement, one did this
past weekend. I lost my mind and bid my heart rather than my head, pouring in a max bid of $1680.00,
only to lose in the final moment by $25. It's a good thing, too, as my wonderful wife would have sold me
on eBay had I won. Nevertheless, I'm devastated. I don't want the game as a collectible or to resell.
I just want to play it again and renew the hobby I so enjoyed those many years ago.

So, if any of you can help me 1) find a game to buy, 2) sell me paper copies of player cards, charts
and instructions, 3) crack the codes and probability formulas to help me re-create the game, or
4) tell me how to contact Sy Marder (if he is still living), I would be eternally grateful!

Seriously, thanks so much for any help any of you can give in pointing me in the right direction.
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BaseballGamesBKW
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6:44 PM - Mar 20, 2016 #2

Hi Kent (is it Kent?), welcome to the Forum and thanks for your comments and questions!
We sympathize with your sad tale, one shared by thousands -- over the years, the bitter hearts
of the cranks here in the front office have come to believe that the destruction and disposal
of boyhood (or girlhood) treasures should be a jailable offence. Vandalism! Invasion of privacy!
Intentional infliction of emotional damage! Too bad, ma! You brought it on yourself! Talk to
your lawyer!


Er... sorry, having a flashback episode there... where were we... Ah! We have good news
for you. First, you were lucky to have been outbid on that example of BAM on eBay last week
-- that's a new record high price for the game, although a few other recent sales ended close to
that amount. Typically, though, prices have indeed been more than half that amount, which
ain't chump-change. Second, however, there are several Be A Manager fanatics on board
here, at least one of which deals in repro cards for the game and could possibly copy the rules
and charts for you as well. We've copied this thread to the Transactions forum here to enhance
your post's visibility, so perhaps one or more of those fellas will be along soon to reply.

In the meantime, you can send a PM (private message) via this forum (it's sometimes a little
wonky, so we can't vouch for how well it'll work or whether the intended recipient will check in
and find it), or send a direct e-mail to another member of the Forum (both buttons are located
toward the lower left of any message they post). Since he's often put his contact information
out there for just this purpose, we recommend you first e-mail Brian "Bamco-Star"/"beerstamp69"
at [ beerstamp69(at)verizon.net ]. We recall he sells CDs of the cards that you can print out.
If that doesn't pan out, come back here and we'll try to put you in touch with other BAM fans!
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bondseye007
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9:09 PM - Mar 22, 2016 #3

Hey, thanks so much for your reply and for the welcome to the forum. Sorry I don't know your name!
I am enjoying reading the different posts and learning about the great finds others are making.
I appreciate the heads up on pricing as well as for the suggestion to try to contact Brian regarding BAM.
Looking forward to reading more posts!
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bondseye007
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12:01 PM - Mar 24, 2016 #4

Hi, B, K, and W,
Brian (aka beerstamp69(at)verizon.net) doesn't appear to be an active email address,
and I haven't had any luck getting PM to work. Any other ideas how to reach him?
Thanks.
Kent Bond
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BaseballGamesBKW
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5:33 PM - Mar 24, 2016 #5

Hi Kent -- huh!, that's surprising and disappointing news...
Well, you could try contacting him via his eBay account here: http://www.ebay.com/usr/bamco-star
-- however, he doesn't appear to have been any more active there in the last few months
than he's been in here...

Normally we wouldn't make anyone's personal contact information available here in the Forum,
but Brian's already posted it in here himself, so we're only repeating what he's volunteered --
you could try mailing an inquiry to him at his actual address:
Brian D Starr
201 Hitching Post Dr
Bel Air, MD 21014

There are two different phone numbers for him, easily searchable on-line, but since he didn't
actually include those in his posts we won't relay them here (should take you less than a minute
to find them, in case cold-calling is in your capacity... judging by his eBay feedback comments,
you might endear yourself to him with some hideously ultra-right-wing political comment... ).

We're still hoping, perhaps naively, that one or more of the other BAM enthusiasts will post
some helpful information, but as you may have already gathered, this is a pretty quiet group...
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1961Yankees
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4:11 PM - Apr 02, 2016 #6

Kent,
Cool story about attending a game at the Astrodome and receiving a baseball board game!
Sorry to hear about your near miss on the potential Be A Manager game purchase ...
I've been on both sides of the last second bidding frenzy. Wish I could help you out
with this game, but I have no personal history with it.

All,
I'd like to share a story I found online concerning this particular game and sports memorabilia
in general. I was going to post the URL, but after testing it from within this draft, the link
wasn't working for some reason, so I'll provide the story below.

Looks like the author's 1993 crystal ball was quite a bit foggy, but who knew? I'm still amazed
that the collecting bug for older sports memorabilia is as strong as it is today, but hey,
I'm helping out like everyone else.

Even before I ran across this article, I've had the same thoughts as the author, especially
concerning the last two paragraphs.
Hank Bauer Game Could Strike Out 1.jpg Hank Bauer Game Could Strike Out 2.jpg Thoughts?
Dave
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
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bondseye007
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11:46 PM - Apr 05, 2016 #7

Hi, Dave, and thanks for empathizing with me! Those are good articles you found. I've actually run across them myself
while searching for the game. The last writer may be correct. BAM wasn't really that great of a game, at least as
strategy games go, and it apparently wasn't marketed all that well. After all, if I got it free as a promo at a MLB game,
what does that tell us, lol?! As with most collectibles, it comes down to the nostalgia surrounding the item - how we
used the game, where we were, who did we enjoy it with, things like that. I suppose the future popularity of baseball
collectibles may be heavily influenced by the number of boys who are now playing baseball, and somewhat sadly,
by the popularity of digital gaming. As for BAM, I would never get caught up in an auction like that again. I'm very
relieved rationally that I lost, but certainly not nostalgically.

Kent
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BaseballGamesBKW
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3:45 PM - Apr 06, 2016 #8

Dave, Kent, thanks for your contributions to this thread -- we think there's more to be said, and, hopefully,
it'll keep going, perhaps with input from some of the other folks on board as well.

Different people can look at the same evidence and reasonably reach opposing conclusions. It was almost
25 years ago that Rinker suggested that the market price for Be A Manager had probably topped out at around
$50.-$150. and would descend in the years to follow. Even accounting for inflation, that's obviously proven
not to be the case. 'Why that's so' would be the question. The game itself is almost fifty years old. Are
the collectors paying four figures for examples of the game all geriatric sentimentalists enamored with
nostalgic memories of Hank Bauer? Are they memorabilia investors who expect to be able to re-sell the game
for even more money? Are they just gamers who've played BAM at some point and think it's the coolest
baseball sim ever?

Both of you (and Rinker) raise a good point about the future of sports memorabilia collecting -- a topic that's
previously been touched on briefly here in the Forum and similarly, and at greater length, over at the estimable
Net54 forum [ http://net54baseball.com/ ]. To wit, how will market values for sports antiques hold up with
generations to come that may (may) have a diminishing interest in baseball per se, in the game's history
(or any history), and (specific to the interests of members of this forum) in boardgames in general?

The main (but far from sole) interest at Net54 is tobacco cards, particularly the 1909-1911 T206 issues.
Clearly there's no one still alive who collected those at the time they were produced, nor even anyone
still alive who saw any of the players featured in that set actually play. Yet market values hold, and increase.
What's the connection to that set, to those players, for collectors today? Some of it is on the investment
side -- buyers expecting to turn a profit in resale -- but for many, it's an appreciation of the aesthetic value
of the cards and/or a fascination with the game's history. Will that aspect of collecting dwindle as collectors
age and pass on, with few or no younger collectors arising to take their place -- reducing the size of the market
and thereby market values? It's true that most T206 collectors are part of the aging "baby boom" generation,
but is that because they're the only ones interested in antique baseball memorabilia, or, instead, because
there are so few potential collectors younger than a certain age who have the time and, especially, the
disposable income to pursue so expensive a hobby?

We know that we here in the front office are in the minority of game collectors in terms of our lack of
excitement over player-endorsed games vis-a-vis games that don't feature a player's name or image.
A game appeals to us on the basis of its graphics, its design, its playability, its rarity, its age, and so on,
regardless of whether or not it carries a player/celebrity endorsement. Be A Manager would be just as cool
to us if Hank Bauer had nothing to do with it. So the question there is what proportion of collectors, or just
buyers, are competing for examples of BAM because of Hank Bauer, compared to those chasing the game for
other reasons? The same question applies to any other player-endorsed game. So-called "supercollectors" --
folks who focus their collections on anything related to one specific player, if we understand the term correctly
-- may go after a game endorsed by, say, Willie Mays or Ty Cobb for example, if that's their guy, even if
they have no interest whatsoever in games generally. But we suspect that's a very tiny minority of collectors.
What's the appeal, then, to most or to any, of a game, or a tobacco card, or an autograph or a photo or
what-have-you, featuring Mays or Cobb or Pat Moran or T J Jordan? And of course the big question --
will it appeal to anyone at all in another ten years, or twenty, or fifty?

Discuss...
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bondseye007
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10:03 PM - Apr 07, 2016 #9

Really interesting thoughts, B, K, and W. You know, interestingly, when I received BAM at that Astros game years ago,
it was not in any kind of official packaging, nor did it mention Hank Bauer or game creator Sy Marder. In fact,
my understanding is that the game was distributed at all MLB games in yellow, clasp envelopes that one night
and featured player cards for only two teams, those being the two playing that night. "Hank Bauer" and "Sy Marder"
were points of information I learned only after I began searching online for the game. Not sure how copyright or
licensing came into play.

To your point, since I'm not a true collector, outside of my Topps card collection, and would NEVER re-sell BAM if I found one,
I suppose I fall into your third category, a gamer who thought it was a cool SIM, especially in that day.

I confess that I, too, have wondered just who the buyers of the game are, especially those who purchased games
in the last three or four years on eBay. Are we bidding on the same one or two games over and over again? LOL!
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BaseballGamesBKW
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2:15 PM - Apr 14, 2016 #10

Interesting points, Kent, thanks for those -- we were (still are) hoping a few more guys on board here
might jump in on this thread and sort of revive this topic from the old Yahoo forum. Lots of questions
for discussion right under just this one umbrella -- the appeal and future of boardgaming in any genre,
the appeal of sports games with player endorsements versus those without, the future of games as
a subgenre of sports memorabilia collecting...

As for the Houston giveaway, that -- and obtaining Bauer's endorsement -- would seem to speak highly
of Sy Marder's entrepeneurial abilities. As far as we know, Be A Manager was pretty much a one-man
effort, in production and promotion as well as design. The acronymical BAMco was all Marder, and
Be A Manager his only product. Again, "as far as we know"... if anyone has further new information,
it's eluded our radar, and we'd be happy to learn otherwise.

The game does seem to have had a pretty healthy production run, though, with a revised set of cards
evidently issued in, ehh, 1970 was it? (Where are the BAM guys on board?) For sure, though, it's
not just a handful of examples of the game that are being sold and resold -- it's clear from the various
dings and dents and tears and stains seen in the photos in on-line sales and auctions that there are
quite a good number of examples of the game out there.
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bamco-star
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10:16 PM - Dec 12, 2016 #11

Hey I'm still alive, So you should have written to that address been here 15 years. Be a Manager " known 1967-1971"
I have been able to reprint the game, played over 10.000 games. Some of the players have 3000 to 5000 at bats and
pitchers with over 1000 innings. However I start listing stats after 600 at bats and 200 innings. The reprinted versions
are far better than the originals. I do not use my originals, and update reprints when more stats become available.
Thank You Jim Whittey.
I started using simulating stats. If I use 1970(69stats) Frank Robinson. 1971&1970 few SB differences,stats are the same.
1969 has 40,53,54 outs. 1967 has 9HR 40&54 outs. I do not have a 1968 card. but if I did I could go back thru game played
stats, and come up with an Average for that card. I do not do this with the pitcher cards, so there are pure stats. Send me
an S.A.S.E (large envelope) I'll send you a sample. I have been working on this for at least 25 years.... I print in color
on photo thick paper on sheets of 4 (20 players per team) I am working on extra players (Schofield shows up on 1971 card
but played in 1966-1971 at least) Also picked up a HOF Koufax card. Bob Uecker & Thurman Munson
PS are you sure it was 1968 game (the card was 4x6 on thin cardboard) in 1969 they used 3x5 thin cardboard.
Balto VS Oakland Be A Manager day was in 1969. Same with Wash Vs Stl, Atl Vs Mets
anyone here can email me at beerstamp69(at)gmail.com...... I'll send you attachment with the card differences,
still looking for 1968 (67 stats) hall of fame version, and misc others.........
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bamco-star
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11:32 PM - May 29, 2017 #12

Be A Manager 1967 NL sold for $1135 or more, 3 bidders over 1000 mark.
Be A Manager 1969 Atlanta & Mets giveaway game sold for $80
Do you remember what team was giving away with the Astros ...............
Still looking for the 1968 (67 stats) cards, does anyone have I copy....
THANX BRIAN
PS....... $150 In your wildest dreams, I've only seen 2 copies go that cheap in 30 years.
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bondseye007
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1:27 AM - May 30, 2017 #13

Yes, I do. It was the Cincinnati Reds that was given with the Astros at the Astrodome when I first received the game.
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bamco-star
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10:55 PM - May 31, 2017 #14

Thanks for the reply......... I have a double of that version just as good or better, without the box and field
I would sell for 500. A few cards have team stickers changed. " I may have a set of stickers that I do not use,
not sure" A reprint would run 200 or less, in the new version 4x6 thick cards. My originals are barely readable
from my use in the 70s. Since, you mentioned Houston 1969(68 stats) I am missing a pitcher and hitter for that set.
I will list what I do have, maybe you can tell me what I need. pitchers Wilson,Dierker,Lemaster, Gladding,
Monbouquette,Blassingame & Coombs (missing Womack,Ray-Jim or Griffin) players Edwards,Alou,Morgan,
Menke,Rader,Wynn,Geiger,Torres,Miller,King-H (missing Blefary ??, Watson or McFadden) (If Blefary, were his
HRs 17,30&34 Doubles 13,44,56) in the 70 version HR were changed to 13 & 56. 17&30 Doubles. I am missing
9 players + 3 Montreal & 15 SD from 69NL. 67,70,71 & 69AL complete. The odds of you rolling a 1 is 6x6x6=216
after a chance or 1.2-2 per 600 atbats
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jballgameca
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5:12 PM - Jul 06, 2017 #15

bamco-star wrote:Be A Manager 1967 NL sold for $1135 or more, 3 bidders over 1000 mark.
Be A Manager 1969 Atlanta & Mets giveaway game sold for $80
Do you remember what team was giving away with the Astros ...............
Still looking for the 1968 (67 stats) cards, does anyone have I copy....
THANX BRIAN
PS....... $150 In your wildest dreams, I've only seen 2 copies go that cheap in 30 years.
I badly wanted that 1969 "giveaway" game a couple of months ago. I would have bid a fair amount above what it sold for
but the seller wouldn't budge on sending it Priority Mail to Canada. I find that International First Class works just as well,
if not better, and is much less expensive. Sigh...

Hey Brian, I guess I'm one of the two lucky BAM buyers you mentioned. I actually got mine for $135 on ebay ten years ago.
I did a Kansas City A's Jim Nash pitcher replay that I posted regularly about on the old forum back then.
John
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BaseballGamesBKW
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3:25 PM - Jul 10, 2017 #16

Hiya, John, good to hear from you!
The progress and results of your Jim Nash replay can be found starting in
the "Archive - Yahoo forum posts, 2007 December 1 - 20" thread
[ post199.html ] in our Archives sub-forum,
beginning with message #4002 (Monday 17 December 2007).
The replay continues through posts of the summer of 2008.
Anyone interested to read how that turned out should just enter "Nash"
(capitalized, but without the quotation marks) in the Forum's Search page.
That Nash sim was a fun ride!
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bamco-star
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11:34 PM - Jul 19, 2017 #17

I could not retrieve the Jim Nash info but I remember from long ago..........................
My Nash stats are the following 1967 (66stats) 
181 games W-L 78-71 11 Shut outs 1313 innings 905 or 6.2 strikeouts 1003 or 6.9 batter outs
489 or 3.4 walks 1108 or 7.6 hits 3.82 ERA which is good since the average is 4.25 ERA 

I currently selling reprints for ( 6 teams of 20 for 100 ) Thick cardboard stock paper. 
Always looking for 1968 (67 stats version)
Working on additional players for various versions to bring the rosters to 24 or more.   
Look in transactions or sims for updated versions.
Much better than the originals, ( just the header info ) cards have not been altered........ 
unless no Triples,DPs, Line out to outfielder (DP), pop out to (DP). too many or too few Line out (DP)s..... etc.
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Hollyzmom
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11:41 AM - Sep 23, 2017 #18

My name is Joyce Olcott, formerly Joyce Marder. My dad, Sy Marder created this game. 
I too wish I could find a version of this game, as he has passed and I have nothing if his. 
It's so wonderful to see people still remember this game, as this was his "baby" ,and 
he put his heart into creating it. He ALWAYS loved baseball- the GREATEST game ever ❤❤ 
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bondseye007
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2:17 PM - Sep 23, 2017 #19

Hello, Joyce, and welcome to the forum! I certainly wish I could help you out locating the game 
but as you have no doubt read, I can't. I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the time and work 
your dad put into developing Be a Manager. It brought me and, no doubt countless others, many, many 
hours of enjoyment while also instilling a love and appreciation for baseball in the hearts of many others. 
Thanks for your tribute to him. I'm sure he would be very proud and delighted to know he had a lot of fans. 
Hope to hear more from you in the future!
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stone193
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11:33 PM - Sep 23, 2017 #20

bondseye007 wrote: Hello, Joyce, and welcome to the forum! I certainly wish I could help you out locating the game 
but as you have no doubt read, I can't. I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the time and work 
your dad put into developing Be a Manager. It brought me and, no doubt countless others, many, many 
hours of enjoyment while also instilling a love and appreciation for baseball in the hearts of many others. 
Thanks for your tribute to him. I'm sure he would be very proud and delighted to know he had a lot of fans. 
Hope to hear more from you in the future!
Well put and thanx for sharing your thoughts Joyce.
Mike
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