Mr. Sheats, Jr is not responsible for the software programming for first two of the current "Top 5" modern Stern games since 1999, which seems to be overlooked.
Mr. Sheats has done less than half the games for Stern since return to pinball in 2005.
These specific titles are TSPP (2003) and LOTR (2004), both of which were software designed by Keith Johnson and Dwight Sullivan.
Mr. Sheats, Jr contributions are extremely notable, but he was taught by many people that no one seems to mention when he was signed on as an apprentice at WMS in the mid 1990s, and was very fortunate to do so, as he was suggested for employment by one of the people above, namely Dwight Sullivan. His "magic" did not come up out of thin air, in some cases was a multiple contribution effort for titles on the design teams, including code design.
For example much of the initially code efforts ideas for Medieval Madness can be credited to Mr. Eddy, not Mr. Sheats, Jr. For the most parts by the time the game was in full production, code was already completed in early 1997 by the design team.
One of the reasons Mr. Sheats, Jr has remained notable is not only for his contributions and success, but the fact that the industry does not support large volumes of programmers, companies do not employee them, and older program designers are not interested in returning for a number of reasons.
When Mr. Sheats, Jr develops designs for new games, he contacts his former WMS employees for advice, which adds significant benefit to games.