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Old 06-20-2014, 12:41 PM   #1
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Ex-Major League Pitcher Bryan Rekar 'Blown Away' By OOTP

Like Curt Schilling, Pat Neshek, and others with professional experience, former major league pitcher Bryan Rekar was attracted to OOTP because, as he recalls: "I first found OOTP in 2013 as I was searching for a truly realistic baseball game that allowed me to be the General Manager and/or Manager. I had tried other games for years, but none of them really had what I was looking for in a true simulation baseball game."

He adds: "Then I found OOTP and was totally blown away with not just the realism of the play, but the unbelievable detail of every aspect of the game: from the amount of true players and their true, detailed abilities, to the off-season and drafts every year. It is exactly what I was looking for and more."

As is the case with many other OOTP players, Rekar had some experience with the dice-and-cards version of Strat-o-Matic Baseball, as well as Micro League Baseball on the Commodore 64. He remarks: "OOTP is the first game I have played since then that is truly realistic and uses real players with their real abilities. I have played the video games, but they are too unrealistic for me as I am all about the games being true and keeping realistic stats."

A Career Like Most

That love of virtual baseball also translated into the real world, as Rekar remembers: "My story is like most: I played as a child and kept playing and playing and got a scholarship to Bradley. I was drafted in '93 and in the bigs in '95. My career ended as I was just getting older and velocity was dropping and a crafty righty pitcher is a dime a dozen."

He pitched for the Rockies, Rays, and Royals during an eight-year career from 1995-2002, and of course he revisited that time period in OOTP, although he had mixed feelings about it. "I did manage myself on the '95 Rockies and '98 Rays, but I am such a crazy realist that to me that stuff happened and changing my career would be wrong, but historical play is an incredible feature, as I can see people wanting to recreate certain seasons like the '84 Cubs."

Despite his desire for realism, though, Rekar couldn't resist giving his virtual self one last shot at the majors: "I did make myself come out of retirement, a la Jim Morris, when I first got OOTP 13 (with some adjustments, of course) and traded myself to the Yankees as a late season vet to help the pennant push. I did better for them but was left off the playoff roster."

He would have liked to pursue a real front office career when his playing days ended, but he says that the pros are "such a crazy buddy system where people only seem to hire their friends and teams falter sometimes because they don't hire the best people for jobs. I really believe that's because they don't want to hire someone who will try to take their position away from them. It is a vicious cycle that ruins teams and keeps intelligent people out or from pursuing a career."

All the Details, Including the Cubs Curse

Rekar grew up a Cubs fan, so he often takes the helm of that beleaguered franchise. He recalls one season where "I was a game away from taking the Cubs to the World Series and halfway through I hit 'sim game' because I was up by a lot -- I ended up giving up nine runs in the bottom of the 9th inning to lose, and then I lost the next game too and didn't make the Series. I thought to myself that the Cubs Curse is in the game too, but we won it all the next year."

He also likes to take on expansion and small market teams, given where he played. "I got into a career as the Royals GM and the expansion teams came in," he says, "so I decided to be one of the expansion teams and see if I could turn them into winners. It was really fun taking on that challenge as I chose San Antonio and Charlotte as the cities. I took SA and called them the RoughRiders. I also move Oakland every career I have and build the Rays a new stadium in downtown Tampa."

Rekar says he keeps playing OOTP because "I really enjoy the realism and the amount of detail that makes each player a truly independent player and see how they do over time. I also like to create players for the upcoming drafts and see how their careers turnout. If a young and talented player suffers a career-ending injury, I bring them back a few years later as a great comeback story. It's just like real baseball, where it's never the same outcome twice."
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:11 PM   #2
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Great stuff

And what he said about the front office is so very true
I have limited personal experience in the matter.
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Old 06-21-2014, 05:32 PM   #3
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That name brought back some memories. Rekar was a pitcher I had way back playing the game and he was my staff ace and was great. He was the fortunate recipient of a couple of bumps in his career and developed huge for me.

Couple of cy young awards. All stars like crazy, he did it all though his career was cut short by an injury. Great to see him around and playing!

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Old 07-16-2019, 03:08 AM   #4
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Rekar is an amazing guy from all I have heard. My youngest brother knows him because they are both alumni of the same baseball program, Bradley University... wish things had gone better for him in his career, he had good stuff.
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