MicroLeague Baseball

Foreword

The year is 1984, the personal computers are filling the void created by the videogame console crash as a system for videogamers to enjoy games. The ability to use a keyboard open the possibilities to experiment with the way of playing videogames, specially in sports simulations. Baseball was one of the first to experiment with getting the user to taste how to manage a team instead of controlling the actions of the virtual athletes, the amount of stats available to baseball and the way the sport plays itself, easies the simulation of the experience of being manager of a baseball team.

Datafile

Company: Micro League Sports Association
Year: 1984
Plataform: Commodore 64
Controller: Keyboard

Game

PLAY BALL!!!

The company MicroLeague Sports bet big with a game that emphasized being manager sending the plays and let the virtual athletes to perform. Considering the company achieved to get the license of using Major League Baseball (MLB) name, and also, the one of MLB Players Association, allowed them to produce the first baseball videogame with real stats, names of teams and players up until 1984.

As manager you must define what kind of throw will perform the pitcher, how to set the infield, or when to bring a relief pitcher while your team is in the field. When batting, you send the signal of free batting, bunt, stealing, hit and run, etc.

The company provides you with a list of 20 teams to choose, highligthing the All-Star rosters of National and American League of 1984. Other teams are from World Series like both contestants of 1975 World Series, or selections of players of Philadelphia Phillies and Detroit Tigers.

When on the field, you only specify the last pitch. This means is the pitch that creates a change of situation: if the batter is out, or he gets on base, or there is an error. At first is a bit disorienting seeing in the board phrases like “Fastball 3-1” or “Curveball 0-2”. You also are responsable to warming up relief pitchers before bringing them to the game (It’s recommended warming up a pitcher from 4 to 10 batters), if not, then the pitcher won’t perform as expected.

Since the player do not control the movements of the virtual athletes, the game is controlled via the keyboard of the computer, sending indications with keys only. This eased taking the game to the main personal computers of the time. The following tables indicate the keys used in the game:

Offense

KeyWith runners on baseWithout runners on base
0 or ENTERFree battingFree batting
6BuntBunt
1Runners try to get more bases
2Runners are more conservative
3Steal
4Hit and Run
5Sacrifice Bunt
8Pinch runner
7Pinch hitterPinch hitter
9See lineup or rosterSee lineup or roster

On the field

KeyAction
0Visit the pitching mound, warm up a pitcher, or bring the relief
1 o ENTERFastball
2Curveball
3Slider
4Changeup
5Pitchout
61B and 3B play inside
7All Infield inside
8Intentional Walk
9See lineup or roster

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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