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5 Minutes with srunstro

srunstro is in his first season with Capra. His San Diego Aztecs compete in the AL West. 

1/What If Sports. How long have you been on the site, and how did you end up here? What is your favorite game here? Favorite team or experience on the site? 
          I first joined WIS on January 31, 2005 with the username HalfAstros. I discovered the site while browsing for hot-stove league information on, during the short period where WIS was affiliated with MLB. I was in my early 30s at that time and “HalfAstros” was the name of my beer-league softball team. When I joined, I thought I was naming a team, not my user id, so I was a little surprised when the name hung around.
My first couple years on the site, I played mostly SimLeague Baseball. I played several hundred “spring training” league seasons, and 20 full seasons, winning 2 world series. I also played around with most of the other SimLeague games, but not seriously.
          In 2008, I tried HD during a free promotion, and was quickly hooked. I was part of the group of people who joined the Knight world when it was first created, and raced up the ladder to the powerhouse D1 schools. I created my srunstro id that year so that I could both move up to a higher division, and keep coaching my D3 school at the same time (this is allowed in HD, as long as you follow certain rules). I was actually the first person to reach D1 in Knight, and eventually coached UConn for about 25 seasons.  In total, I’ve played exactly 100 seasons in HD, and won 6 national titles.          
          I started playing HBD in 2010 when a bunch of guys I knew from HD started the HIGA World. I played 14 seasons in that world, and I think I made the playoffs 11 times. We had a great group of owners in that world, and I became friends with several of them outside the game. We started a trade-deadline chat-group one season, and it became a place a bunch of us hung-out while watching sports or movies even when we weren’t discussing HBD. I really enjoyed that time, but after about 4 years, owners started leaving and the world merged into Maddux. Shortly after that, I took a break from HBD for about 2 years. This season is my first one back in HBD.     

2/Sports. What are your favorite teams in the real world? Favorite players and/or sports memories? What drives you crazy about sports or sports culture? 
          I’m a baseball fan first and foremost. I’ve been a Red Sox fan since I was 5, but what I really love is baseball. I will happily watch majors, minors, high-school ball, and even little league. I’ve coached both my kids’ little-league teams for the past 5 years. I actually really like coaching the T-Ball level. When it comes to enthusiasm, nothing tops a 6 year old who just put a uniform on for the first time.  
          I grew up in Massachusetts, so I’m a big Boston sports fan. Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics in that order. I was a Red Sox fan long before they were any good, suffering for 30 years of their legendary 86 year drought. Although it’s awfully fun to win, part of me is nostalgic for the pre-2004 era when the fans at Fenway were real fans, not bandwagon fans. I actually don’t mind that they’ve had a couple down seasons, you can get tickets again.  

Most memorable sports moments:
  1986 ALCS game 5:  David Henderson homers twice to steal victory from the Angels.    

  1986 WS game 6: Watching the end of the game in the restaurant where I worked. 2 out in the bottom of the 10th, and this guy everyone hated yells: “Everyone stand up for the last out of the WS!” Ouch. 

  1999-2000 seasons: Pedro Martinez was the best pitcher I ever saw. Arguably the best ever.

  2004: 4 games in October. Still gives me chills.  

  2013: That Red Sox team had no business winning, but they did anyway.

Favorite player: I want to pick some obscure guy and sound more interesting, but, David Ortiz is the man.   

3/Music. What are the last three things you listened to? All-time three favorite artists? Best show you've seen? 
           U2, Jimmy Buffett, and Ellis Paul were the last three things I listened to. Those are probably most frequent on my playlist, but I like a lot of stuff. Best show is hard.  Violent Femmes at the Royal Albert Hall in London was pretty fun. I went to a few Grateful Dead concerts when I was young, which were pretty wild times. Now I’m old and usually just put the music on in my house.
4/Aside from sports and music, what are your favorite hobbies, films, books, etc? What might surprise us about your interests?
  I taught both my kids to ski this winter. I hadn’t been in 12 years, but we made a few trips and had fun. Not a good year for snow in the northeast though. 
  My all time favorite movie is Kicking and Screaming (1995-Noah Baumbach). It captures my youth better than anything I’ve ever seen. I also quite liked the last Star Wars movie. 
  Over the past year, I’ve read the entire series of Spencer books by Robert Parker. They’re perfect for what they are – good characters, good stories, not too heavy. I’m on the last one now (#40 I think). 
  In my 20s, I was paid to perform improvisational theatre with a bunch of my friends. We weren’t that good but we had a lot of fun.  
  I was elected to be a Selectman in my town for 3 years. As a board of 3 people, we ran the town – managing 50 people and a $10 million dollar budget.  We set the budget, negotiated union contracts, hired and fired people, and answered lots of complaints.  It wasn’t really fun but I did learn a lot. 
  In addition to my day job, I teach at WPI in Worcester. So, technically, I am a professor.

5/Survival. Where are you from originally, and where are you living now? How do you pay your bills, assuming you do? 
          I was born in Detroit but grew up in central Massachusetts. I currently live just outside Worcester, MA. People hear MA and they think Boston, but I live in a town of only 4,000 people. I know pretty much everyone. There is quite literally a corn field across the street from my house.  The downside is I drive an hour to work each way.
          I work as a Technical Writer / Content Architect at The MathWorks, a software company that makes “Technical Computing Software.” It’s software that Engineers use to design things that you use every day, including cars, aircraft, and consumer products. It’s a great company and I’m one of the lucky few who actually likes their job. I’ve been here about 10 years.    


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