Baseball Games Played as a Kid (Games 5-12)
Games 5 and 6: Strat-O-Matic and APBA Baseball – These were commercial board type baseball games that were on the market then and that are still sold now. These were designed for MLB season replays, so they were right up my alley.
Games 7 and 8: Baseball off the step or fireplace or wall or door – Same game, but one was inside and one was outside. Both games could be played with one person or two. The fireplace/wall/door version was better by yourself. The outdoor step version was better with two people. If playing by myself, I would use MLB lineups and keep stats. If playing with a buddy, it would be a competitive game between us. The rules were very similar to baseball by yourself. Any error resulted in the baserunner being safe and then there were certain areas designated for singles, doubles, triples and HR’s. Each play started by either yourself or the person you were playing against throwing a ball off a step, fireplace, wall or door.
Games 9, 10 and 11: Earl Weaver Baseball, APBA Baseball and Tony LaRussa Baseball – These were all computer baseball games that I started playing in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Earl Weaver Baseball was the predecessor of the modern day game console or PC baseball game. It used real players, kept stats, had the real stadiums and allowed you to play out or simulate a MLB baseball season. This game single handedly led me into the IT world that I still work in today. APBA baseball was a computer version of the above mentioned board game. It didn’t have any graphics, so it was 100% simulation, which I loved. You can still buy this game today. Tony LaRussa Baseball came out in the 1991-1993 range and was a worse statistical/replay version of Earl Weaver Baseball, but a better graphical version of it. Tony LaRussa even mentions that Earl Weave Baseball inspired it.
Game 12: Backyard Baseball – The dinosaur of baseball games. Unfortunately, it’s extinct like the dinosaur as well. This was your classic sandlot game using 2-4 backyards instead of a sandlot. I would gather up 6-10 neighborhood kids every weekday during the Summer starting at 9am. We would usually still be playing when my dad got home from work at 3pm. It was not uncommon for me to play backyard baseball all day out in the hot sun and then have a Little League game or practice at night and then come home from that and play one of the indoor versions of these games. You can probably guess I don’t buy into the burn out theory very well. With the danger of sending kids to a sandlot unsupervised in today’s society and the lack of willing neighbors to share their backyards, this version of baseball has made organized baseball the only remaining version of “real baseball”.
WRITTEN BY JASON CLYMORE (President & Founder)
Originally posted on October 21, 2011 on our old website