The Tuesday Discussion: Baseball Games
February 28, 2023
This week we posed the following to our writers:
The new Strat-o-Matic cards are out (highlighting the 2022 season). Which baseball board games did you play as a kid? If so, what were (are) your favorites? Are there any baseball board games or computer games that you play today?
Here are their responses:
Paul Semendinger - It is no secret that I love Strat-o-Matic Baseball. It is the best. I have been playing Strat since 1981. As a kid, there were a few other games I really enjoyed. There was a great game called Charlie Brown's All-Stars. I also played a lot of Cadaco's All-Star Baseball which was similar to Strat-o-Matic, but with spinners, and it had no way to control for the pitcher. Edu-U-Cards had a great baseball card game that I loved. And Ideal's All-Pro Baseball was an amazing game, very realistic in the particulars of actually going pitch-by-pitch, and the importance of player positioning, but it took as long as a real game to play so while I liked the game, I didn't play it often.
Mike Whiteman - As a kid, I played a lot of Strat-O-Matic baseball and Sports Illustrated Superstar Baseball. I loved baseball history from an early age, and rolled a lot of games with the Strat "Oldtimer" teams like the 1927 Yankees, 1934 Cardinals, 1909 Pirates, 1967 Red Sox, etc. As an adult, I still enjoy rolling tabletop baseball, though not with the frequency that I could as a young person. Strat continues to be my favorite, and have matched managerial wits with the SSTN editor via Zoom. I've enjoyed rolling plenty of APBA through the years, especially at an annual local tournament, where I've made some great friendships.
Lincoln Mitchell - Growing up I played both Superstar Baseball and APBA. Superstar Baseball was only around for a few years, but it was an unusual game. It was a dice and card game like Strat-o-Matic, but it only had all-time greats. The game came out in the mid-70s, so the most recent players then were Mays, Aaron, Koufax and a few later players. The player choices were odd, so, for example, there was never a Joe DiMaggio card, but lesser greats like Pete Runnels were in he game. Each card had some stats and biographical information on the back. The game itself was well thought out and a lot of fun to play. I started playing APBA when I was a little bit older, probably around 12 years old. I played APBA extensively until I was about 16, but not much after that. A friend of mine who was not a baseball fan and could not quite figure out why me and so many of our mutual friends liked APBA so much used to refer to it as “Dungeons and Dragons for baseball.” As I have gotten older, I have reflected Strat-o-Matic may been the better game, but I never had the opportunity to play it. I don’t play any games table top baseball games anymore, but am open to getting back into it.
Cary Greene - When I was younger, the first board game I played was All Star Baseball. The game featured circular player cards and you would flick the spinner. The scores were very unrealistic of course.
Then when I finally hit middle school I started playing Strat-o-Matic Baseball in fifth grade and loved it. I played it all the way through high school. Back then, I thought I was the manager of the Pirates, Yankees or A's (who are my favorite teams to this day).
That's the extent of my board game playing and I don't play any video games, so unfortunately I miss out on all that fun stuff as well!