I’ve decided to finally hop on board The League of Extraordinary Bloggers and discuss this week’s topic: baseball.
Kind of an odd time for me to finally speak up; I’ve never been a sports fan, and I’ve been to one baseball game, and that was the Dodgers vs. Padres back in 1983. I was lucky to have been invited by my best friend’s dad, who was a huge baseball and Dodger fan, so he got us great seats right behind home base and he gave me insights to every single thing going on. It was actually really exciting, once I was exposed to all the strategy and challenges the baseball players took on.
As far as actually playing baseball, forget it. As a kid in the late ’70s and early ’80s, I was way more into arcade games and BMX bikes, although I was surrounded by many friends who were part of neighborhood baseball leagues and went on to play baseball in high school.
Aside from a basic disinterest in sports, I especially had a phobia of getting hit by the ball in baseball. I saw someone at a game get totally beaned by a line drive, knocking him off his feet unconscious, then at the local park during a softball game someone broke their nose right in front of me when they attempted to catch a pop fly, which was gonna be a foul anyway.
I literally almost passed out when they tried to fix the bridge of his nose in front of me on the bleachers. It wasn’t the blood so much, but the subtle but distinct, wet “crunch” sound of broken bone being adjusted. I got lightheaded now just remembering that sound. Ugh.
But baseball video games? Now we’re talkin’. In ’83, not long after that Dodgers/Padres game, I received an Atari 800XL and was able to get my hands on a bunch of cracked games, one of which being Gamestar’s Star League Baseball, which was awesome! Here’s a video of the game in action:
The cool thing about the game was its attention to detail: The organ music, National Anthem, the organ build up music when players were in scoring position, and even random messages on the scoreboard in between innings. It was totally fun to play and still remains one of my all-time favorite games.
In fact, when beginning this article, I even downloaded an Atari 800XL emulator for my mac and a Star League Baseball ROM just to relive the whole experience again…and it was totally worth it. I can’t believe how miniscule this game is (29KB), but the fun factor goes beyond most of the modern games I’ve tried, which require Gigabytes of memory!
Anyways, here’s me, um, already getting owned by the 2nd inning.
All I need are some Atari joysticks that work with my Mac (the keyboard works, but a joystick would rule). Looks like Legacy Engineering Group makes ‘em, but they’re all sold out.
Back in ’83, playing against the computer was fun, but I had a younger cousin who was a big baseball fan (he even wanted to become a sports commentator), so we’d play Star League Baseball during summer sleepovers, often ’til the wee hours until our eyes burned from staring at the TV screen. Good, good times.
So while I’ve got you on the field, let’s take a look at other League members who hit this topic out of the park:
- TL, with his bittersweet memories of Backyard Baseball, from his blog, Flashlights are Something To Eat.
- Dex over at AEIOU and sometimes Why also recalls playing more baseball on screen rather than on field—on his Atari 2600 (yay!).
- Ashley from Life with Fandom takes her baseball memories way back to Abbott and Costello!
- Reis O’Brien of Lair of the Dork Horde (Dood, awesome name!) reminds us what is was like to be a kid in the early ’80s.
- John at Revenge from the Cosmic Ark has fond memories of playing a vintage nintendo game.
- Paxton at the Cavalcade of Awesome put on his GM’s cap and assembled an all-star team of movie baseball players.
- Clarence at the Red-Headed Mule joined the League this week with his lineup of pop culture greats. Maybe he and Pax should go head to head?
- Jon at Double Dumbass on You might very well be the only true baseball fan in the League.
- My head is still spinning after reading the Claymation Werewolf’s response.
- Kevin at Team Hellions had to dig through a stack of comics before coming up with anything related to baseball.
- Brian at Cool & Collected struggled with this week’s topic, but finally came up with a sappy nod to one of his favorite movies.