Roll the dice. Check the cards. Write down the results. Repeat. This was the routine for Brett Carow and Sam Hennemann for 61 straight hours as they played Strat-O-Matic Baseball in June, breaking the world record for Longest Marathon Playing a Board Game.
Strat-O-Matic uses complex statistical analyses to create cards that simulate the results of real baseball players, bringing them to life for über-passionate fans like Carow, 32, and Hennemann, 31. Few fans are more devoted than Carow, who was the recipient of the first Ultimate Strat-O-Matic Fanatic award last year. He even admits to playing the game while on his honeymoon in St. Louis in 2006.
Such devotion led Strat to select the duo to break the record, set last year in Oklahoma. They were flown to New York from their homes in Minneapolis and Farmington, Minn. The event took place at the storefront window of Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant, a midtown sports bar. With five-minute breaks allowed every hour for stretching, the competition required 116 games, approximately 10,000 rolls of the dice and 61 videotapes, which recorded the game as proof for Guinness World Records. (Guinness had yet to verify the feat as of June 26.) Pub customers and passersby stopped to take pictures, but when the bar closed from 4 to 8 a.m., the players and witnesses were locked in.
At 54 hours, the record was broken, but the duo had long planned to go for 60 because of the number’s baseball significance, Hennemann says. But as they approached 60 hours, they were on a roll. “We didn’t see a reason to stop,” Carow says. So as a tribute to baseball’s greatest pre-steroids-era record, they played hour 61. No asterisk will be required.