Computer Baseball (Apple II)

Foreword

In videogames for home markets, the consoles ruled at early 80s, but that does not mean the consoles did not have competition. The home computers, particularly in the U.S.A. during that timeframe, had a niche market, be it from the whole Atari 8-bit computers (We already wrote about one of those games), as long as from other home computers like Apple ones, pioneering the empire knows to us in 21th. century. The sports videogames were already available in either home console or home computer library in those years, and Apple was not the exception with titles of sports in its main home computer back then, the Apple II, at early 80s. One of its first titles was Computer Baseball, with the feature of choosing between many baseball teams of World Series to play with.

Datafile

Company: Strategic Simulations, Inc.
Year: 1981
Plataform: Apple II
Controller: Keyboard

Game

Description

In this simulator, the TWO teams of every World Series are available.

The playability was limited to only managerial decisions, like selecting lineups, determining when to bring a relief pitcher, choosing pinch hitters, positioning the infield, sending a bunt and so on. This particular way of gaming was used lately in the game Micro League Baseball.

You have to consider that a home computer back then, had a superior quality in graphics, and mainly, storage, so saving a greater amount of stats was quite helpful for a baseball game.

The pitcher and batter are quite familiar to mexican fans.

At the beginning of the match, a player must decide if he goes against the computer, or against another human player. After that, the player must choose from a predefined list of teams that played in World Series, if a World Series appears so the two participant teams. You have to consider that the teams are up until 1980, because the game was released during 1981 season (well, probably Fernandomania was not too high at release time), I would have prefered to see the Milwaukee Braves or the Swinging A’s, but beggers can not be choosers. Two particular teams will be familiar to mexican baseball fans.

Once both teams were chosen, there is a series of questions to configure the game, like use of designated hitter or counting the days a pitcher has been inactive. After that, the player must check the team’s roster, and if necessary, build the lineup. Fortunately the listing of players shows the player’s position, because the game is very strict in the aspect that every position in the field must be covered.

Controls

Now, that the match is properly configured, you can play. In this case, the input consist in entering a two-letter instruction which tells the team what to do. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a complete copy of the manual, or a full command list, but there is a partial one:

ENTER = Pitching, or batting PA – Pitchout VM – Visit the pitcher CP – Change pitcher DP – Double Play formation IN – Infield plays inside HR – Hint and run ST – Steal BT or BU – Bunt PH – Pinch Hitter PR – Pinch Runner

Extra

In this game appear the first names of mexican athletes in videogames. The table tells which real-life players are and the teams they played for:

PlayerTeam
Roberto “Beto” ÁvilaIndians-54
Enrique RomoPirates-79

Ports

Commodore 64

In 1982, the videogame was ported to toher personal computers at the time.

With notorious differences, among them the addition of teams playing during the 1981 World Series.

The positions of elements in the videogame’s main screen is different, alongside the color palette used, which is also different from the original port.

Aside from the mentioned differences, the videogame remains practically the same. With the same schema control, and apparently, the same difficulty.

Other Plataforms

  • Atari 8Bit
  • MS-DOS Computers

Epilogue

The game is curious, because learning all the commands can be a bit hard, and at least to me, not very intuitive. The game has a sort-a-kind historical value to mexicans for the players mentioned before.

References

Sport Icon designed by Smashicons of FlatIcon licensed by CC 3.0 BY.

Apple II icon created by Ciro Alfredo Consentino for the software EmuLoader.

Commodore 64 icon taken from Retroarch.

Partial command list taken from My Abandonware.

EstadioRetro

Informatic guy and fan of retro videogaming. Mexican and spanish. I like to drink good coffee. My favorite sport is baseball, but I like to watch others.

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