Hammerin’ Hank and the 1973 HR Happy Braves

Hammerin’ Hank and the 1973 HR Happy Braves

When they talk about the “meat of the order”, the GM of the 1973 Atlanta Braves served up filet mignon.  Even the vaunted 1927 Yankees would have admired watching these guy smash the ball out of the park routinely.

1927 New York Yankees

1927 New York Yankees

Most baseball fans aren’t familiar with this bunch, thus are missing out on having them in their baseball game collection of MLB teams.  I will remove the shroud of secrecy and unveil this incredibly great team to have in your arsenal of teams as a must have and why.

The 1927 Murders’ Row nickname was directed towards the first 6 players in their order: Earle Combs, Mark Koenig, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bob Meusel, and Tony Lazzeri.  Their collective on-base plus slugging (OPS) average was: 5.893

The top 6 batters in the 1973 Atlanta Braves lineup had a collective OPS of: 5.283.  Not too shabby for a team that finished 22 ½ games out in fifth place with a losing record of 76 and 85.  Okay, so their pitching staff allowed the most runs in the National League and they weren’t the slickest of fielders, but they led the NL in hitting, OPS, slugging, HR’s and many other offensive categories.  These guys have great cards, their Baseball Classics cards light up like a Christmas tree!

Their batting order on any given day behind the OPS stated above was Ralph Garr, Mike Lum, Darrell Evans, Hank Aaron, Dusty Baker, and Davey Johnson.  Aaron, Evans, and Johnson each hit 40 home runs or more that season.  Can you believe Darrell Evans only made $27,500 for his effort that season?  Today, some guys practically get paid that much per every 7 pitches they face.

Pitches, not Pitchers!

Speedster Ralph Garr set the table at the top of the order with 200 hits that season, calculating to a dependable .299 batting average that included good extra base pop for a rather speedy player.  Mike Lum was 5th on the teams in home runs with 16 and batted .294.  Darrell Evans clobbered 41 homers, 124 walks, while still leading the team in RBI’s with 104 despite all those free passes.  Hammerin’ Hank had 40 long balls, an OPS of 1.045 while posting a .301 batting average.  Keeping the line moving was Dusty Baker with 21 round trippers, 99 RBI’s, and batted .288.  Last, but not least of the top 6 was Davey Johnson and his career high, team leading 43 blasts, 99 RBI’s, and contributed with a rugged .546 slugging average.

Here’s a strip of their Baseball Classics player card Result columns side-by-side.

1973 Braves Top Six Results

1973 Atlanta Braves Starting Top 6 Lineup Baseball Classics Result Columns

1927 Yankees Top Six Results

1927 New York Yankees Starting Top 6 Lineup Baseball Classics Result Columns

1973 Dietz4 of the 6 1973 Braves hitters have stronger home run power than the 1927 Yankees with Aaron holding out fairly comparable to Ruth in that category.  Though at clean-up Evans has an impressive card, Gehrig’s Results are just far too awesome to come close.

The green and yellows towards the center of the cards indicating where dice rolls occur more frequently graphically represent why the Yankees have a higher OPS.  Considering the 1927 New York Yankees 110 winning team are rated as the best lineup ever, you can see why I tout having the 1973 Atlanta Braves in your collection.  They are a fun bunch to play if you like power.  A bonus if you play Dick Dietz off the bench; another high OPS player card to enjoy with his banana peel stripes prominently displayed.

What do you think of this comparison?  What are some of your favorite MLB teams you would like to compare to the powerhouse ’27 Yanks and why?

How to Play Your Baseball Board Games Faster

How to Play Your Baseball Board Games Faster

Are your games taking too long to complete in 9 innings?  And if you are keeping score along the way, how much longer is that taking you?  If the answer to either of those questions is longer than 15 minutes, then this article is for you.faster game play

The prior post covers a very fast way to play Baseball Classics using your mobile device such as the iPad.  However this article will cover playing without any electrical type of device, just the game parts, paper, and pencil or pen.  Ready?  Let’s roll!

Now there are some games that are meant to take a good hour or more to play a nine-inning game.  Some go pitch-by-pitch, or require moving the fielders to where the ball is hit in the field of play.  Naturally, those are not for the gamer who is looking to shortcut their playing time.  However there are plenty of baseball games on the market, like our own Baseball Classics that are designed to finish in less than 30 minutes.

Let’s get right to it.  Here are 4 ways you can use immediately to pick up the pace of your tabletop baseball board game play.

Reduce Dice Rolls

Dice rolls typically take around 4-5 seconds each roll.  With at least 52 batters coming up during a nine-inning game, that’s at least 4 minutes spent just rolling dice.  For some nine-inning games it’s likely closer to 5 ½ minutes of dice rolling.  That leaves less than 10 minutes to complete your game in 15 minutes or less.

By using a duplicate pair of dice and rolling them with your initial pair, you can reduce your dice rolling down by at least half.  Here’s how this technique works.  There are some plays where you can’t know what the next roll is without spoiling that upcoming result.  Such as a batter reached base on a walk, then a subsequent roll will determine if the player can steal a base.  Then there are plays where knowing what the subsequent roll is will be inconsequential to the current play.  This is where rolling the second pair of dice at the same time will reduce the number of time you need to shake and roll the dice.

It’s best to use a second set of dice that are different in size and/or color than your initial dice.  You can roll all of the dice at the same time in one hand, before spilling them on to your playing surface.  Or you can put together a make shift divider in a see through container of some type and roll your dice that way.  Either way, this technique will cut your dice rolls in half saving you around 2 ½ minutes on average game played.

Hold’em, Don’t Fold’em

This tip will come in very handy if you’re only keeping track of the score of the game, but not keeping score.  Keeping track of the score, outs, and runners on base is very simple when using a game board.  For example, with Baseball Classics Scorefield game board, there are 7 transparent chip markers that simply slide over the numbers for which inning, what the score is, outs, and where the base runners are.  Yet, where it still can get a bit tricky to remember which players are on base?  You can try and memorize that, though that is not very effective.  Especially with force outs, etc., before you know it you’re spending more time back tracking trying to remember or figure out who is on which base by process of elimination or some other ineffective method.

Instead, try this.

When you play any baseball board games that have individual playing cards you simply slip the player card that reached base at the bottom of the current lineup deck and slide that card up a good inch or so to indicate that player is on base.  As any player card(s) either score or are no longer on the base path for any other reason such as getting thrown out attempting to steal, etc., then slide there card back down level with the rest of the cards in your lineup.

Keeping Score Faster

It’s important to use position numbers for this scoring, 1=pitcher, 2=catcher, 3=first base, 4=second base, 5=third base, 6=shortstop, 7=left field, 8= centerfield, 9=right field.

Using one standard sheet of 8 ½” x 11” paper, you can score 4 games.  Fold the paper in half; then fold that in half.  That will give you one quarter of the sheet to write down the lineup for the visiting team, and the flip side for the home team.

Now for the format to use for keeping score, this is key.  Write down each player’s last name in the batting order from top to bottom with a comma after each name.  After each play result, you will write down next to their name followed by another comma.  When a player drives in a run, place an asterisk next to the hit or play for each one.  When a player scores, place a shaded in triangle or diamond next to the hit or play he scored from.  At the end of an inning, indicate so with a slash mark (/) instead of comma.  Pinch hitters or runners will be inserted on the same line of the player they are replacing with a line (|) indicating their insertion.

Hits are simply 1B, 2B, 3B, and HR.  Here’s what a single would look like that drove in 2 runs and scored: 1B**u.

You have a couple of styles you can use for indicating the play results; indicate the out such as PO for popout or if you’re playing a game with a result that indicates who fielded the play you could instead use first initial of the type of out and number of the position who recorded the out, for example a popout to shortstop would be P6.

Use K or SO for strikeout and W or BB for a walk.  Errors would be E or to show who made the error E and the position number; for example an error by the shortstop would be E6.

Squeeze a stolen base or passed ball in with a lower case sb or pb respectively next to the way they reached base.  For example 1Bsb.  If that player stole 2 bases, it would look like this 1Bsb-2.

A sacrifice bunt would be S or sacrifice flyout would be SF.

When a runner on base is thrown out or picked off, put  a line through the way they got on base.  For example a batter who reached via a walk and was then picked off score it this way: W

Here’s what it looks like using one of my favorite classic MLB teams, the 1962 San Francisco Giants as an example:

Kuenn, K,1B,W,1B,S,

Alou, 1B,FO,GO/2B*K,

Mays, DP/1B,FO,HR**,LO/

McCovey, W,K/GO,FO/

Cepeda, FO,LO,2B,K,

Haller, PO,GO,W,W,

Hiller, 2B*,GO/LO/DP/

Pagan, LO/FO,K,1Bsb,

Marichal, K,PO,GO,|Bailey W,

Marichal 8 | 7 | 2 | 7 | 2 | 2  W (the pitcher’s line reads IP, H, W, K, R, ER, and W/L/S

Miller      1 | 2 | 0 | 1 | 0 | 0  S

What I really like about this besides the simplicity, small real state, and speed in keeping score is that it’s easy and quick to see how many innings have been played, how many runs have been scored, and the best part is with one glance getting a nice visual of what part of the order is producing for you.  Since it’s a tight formation, it’s almost like a graph measuring your lineup results.

Note – Since you made the lineup, it’s likely not necessary to write down their positions as you already know who is playing where.  However you can always add that too just before their name.

Bench and Bullpen Ready

This one is fairly obvious; yet not everyone does this so worth including as the 4th way to speed up your game play.  A little prep ahead of time in organizing your player cards before the game starts will save time.

Here’s how I have my player cards sorted so I’m ready for my rapid game play including any changes I need to make throughout the game.

I split my team into 2 decks.  My lineup player cards are in batting order in one deck.  In my second deck, which I rubber band, I have my current pitcher on top, followed by the other top rotation starters; they are followed by my closer, then next best relievers in order.  After that I have my pinch hitters, fielders, runners in priority order that I would likely insert them into the game if at all.  This way any batting and pitching substitutions should take a few seconds or so each.

When playing Baseball Classics and using these tips you should be able to easily play 3 games, though surely 4 within an hour unless you’re using the Fielding Grid.  The Fielding Grid is for those that want to know where the ball was hit in the field of play, so naturally they will require extra time for each play.  It’s up to you if the trade off for saving time of the type of out vs. the type of out by which fielder is your favorite way to play.

Here’s a general time table when playing Baseball Classics:

Basic – less than 10 minutes

Intermediate – less than 15 minutes

Advanced without Fielding Grid – less than 20 minutes

Advanced with Fielding Grid – less than 30 minutes

Whichever tabletop baseball board game you play, these tips will speed up your game play without sacrificing your enjoyment.  What tips do you use to play your games faster?  Let me know how incorporating these work for you.

Playing Baseball Classics on your iPad

Playing Baseball Classics on your iPad

It’s smooth as Ken Griffey Jr’s swing; playing Baseball Classics on your iPad.  Everything you could possibly need to play game after game with your Baseball Classics player cards are simply at the touch of your fingertip.

Baseball Classics for your iPadLike the familiarity of walking into your favorite MLB team’s ballpark, our Baseball Classics baseball game fans will have the same feeling.  Upon opening in your iPad browser, the colorful Baseball Classics Scorefield game board is there to greet you; the very same one that has welcomed thousands of our tabletop baseball game players over the years.

Baseball Classics Baseball Game was designed from the ground up for:

  1. Accurate player results
  2. Authentic play
  3. Flexible choices
  4. Fast and easy game play

Now our great game is even faster and easier than ever before to play, yet we didn’t change a thing about our player cards, authentic play where virtually anything in a Major League Baseball game can happen, or flexible choices.  We honored all of them, just took advantage a platform that was built for ease of use.  It’s a perfect marriage, Baseball Classics and your iPad.

Consider this post as your handy guide, it’s a quick read to get you started in minutes.

 What is it?

It’s not an “iPad app”; technically it is a free web application that runs in a browser.  Just like opening your email like Gmail or Hotmail in your browser, you simply open it up in your browser and it’s ready to use!

Can you play it on other devices?

The size has been tuned specifically for the size of an iPad.  You can play it on any iPad from the first edition to current.  I haven’t tried it yet on the iPad Mini, but should be fine, though again the screen size is optimal for the iPad.

Since it is a web application (as opposed to an iPad App), you can play if in virtually any browser, though it’s not optimal screen size play on devices like laptops that are better suited for horizontal designed user interfaces.  As for your iPhone or other type of mobile cell device, it will work.  You will need to have keen eyesight and surely, it’s not forgiving for those who typically “fat finger” on their cell phones.  I have tested it out on an iPhone; it’s doable, but again built for the iPad.

Does it have everything that comes with Baseball Classics Baseball Game?

Yes, Baseball Classics for iPad  has the complete set of game parts.  It’s everything you need to play with your Baseball Classics player cards.

Baseball Classics Scorefield – The same game board and transparent blue chip markers to keep track of the innings, score, outs, and base runners greet you for game play.  To update Innings, the Visitor score, Home score, or Outs simply tap where you want to place the chip and it will glide over there for you.  To start a new game, just tap on the top of the 1st inning and all chip markers will relocate instantly so you can begin in an instant.

Baseball Classics Game Parts – Everything is the same, so no new learning curve for our Baseball Classics fans.  And they are ALL included: The Field Manager’s Rulebook, Game Play Chart, Play Action Simulator, Fielding Grid, Pitcher Hitter Cards, and Dice.

To place base runner, tap on the base(s) and the chip will overlay.  Tap the chip again and it will disappear.  Note – whenever you tap a new inning, the any base runner chip markers will automatically disappear and the Outs chip marker will slide back to 0 outs.

What will you need besides an iPad?

Your Baseball Classics player cards.  That’s it.

If you don’t have Baseball Classics player cards of your own yet, sign up to receive our post via email  (upper right hand side of this post) and we will send you a PDF with a couple MLB teams from our Free Trial.  Simply print the PDF the player cards, cut them out, and you will be ready to play Baseball Classics on your iPad!

What’s new?

Here’s the good stuff, the part where we took the liberty to further streamline your baseball game play!

Scorefield Cube – It’s your new best friend for Baseball Classics game play.  It’s the heartbeat of your faster game play!  You can’t miss it, it’s the Baseball Classics theme colored blue and green.  It’s comes in handy for putting base runners on and moving base runners instead of tapping and re-tapping each base runner chip.

Positioned in the center is the “Rotate Scorefield Cube”.  You can access other options such as displaying or hiding the Pitcher Hitter Cards should you not be playing with a Designated Hitter.  Other options are to change the color of the six-sided dice.

Animated Dice – The dice are in the center of the Scorefield, easy to read and even easier to roll.  A single tap anywhere on the field of play “rolls” the dice.  There are 3 different dice colors to choose from for the six-sided dice.  The default color is the familiar green we ship to our customers.  Check out the royal blue color or sharp jet black in case you want to change it up.

Scorefield Instructions – Tucked at the lower left, bottom portion of the Scorefield game board, tap on the link to read the very simple and brief instructions on how to use the Scorefield game board.  Appears in the center of the Scorefield, click close to remove it.

Game Play Charts and Field Manager’s Rulebook – Located at the center and right bottom portion of the Scorefield game board.  Each link slides the Chart to hover above the Scorefield, simply tap anywhere on the Chart to remove it.  The Field Manager’s Rulebook link will launch a new browser page with a PDF containing the entire manual.

Play Action Simulator and Fielding Grid – Easy access is located just above the Outs, tap the icon or link.  They won’t block dice rolls, so you have keep them up as you need them, or simply tuck them away by tapping anywhere on each one.

Baseball tabletop boards games were designed to be just that, a tabletop baseball board game thus your experience will be that of playing Baseball Classics just like you did before, just faster on an iPad!

We’re looking forward to your feedback, please comment here on this post to share your thoughts and experience or ask any questions about it.  Remember, if you don’t have Baseball Classics player cards of your own yet, follow this post and we will send you a PDF with a couple MLB teams from our Free Trial.

Top 5 Baseball Board Game Under The Radar Player Cards

Top 5 Baseball Board Game Under The Radar Player Cards

Here’s possibly the 5 best MLB players you may have never heard of and that almost always have the most fascinating cards no matter which tabletop baseball board games you enjoy playing.

under the radarI would bat them in the #2 spot in any baseball lineup every time.  Some are in the Hall of Fame and 3 of them are named Ed.  How many famous MLB players named Ed can you think of?!  I would play them against the greatest pitchers of all-time, any time.

Their Baseball Classics cards always provide a rainbow of bright colors from top to bottom.  Roll after dice roll they always give you a chance to get on base and keep the line moving and sometimes provide a bit of pop in their bat.

These are my all-time favorite Major League Baseball players who most fans have probably never heard of.  If you get a chance to play them, you will see that these MLB players have some of the coolest tabletop baseball board game cards no matter your favorite one you enjoy playing.  Here is my top 5 in this category, starting with number 5.

#5 Eddie Joost – Shortstop, Secondbase, and Thirdbase  (1936 – 1955) Reds/Braves/Athletics/Red Sox

1949 Joost

A poster boy as an underrated baseball player, my 5th ranked MLBer in this category is well deserving.  This MLB lifetime .239 hitter was a 2-time all-star and received MVP votes 5 seasons.  How many lifetime .239 hitters can stake that claim?

Joost was smooth in the field, an integral part of a double-play machine during several seasons with the A’s.  He also had some might in his bat, and though wasn’t a contact hitter he made up for up with his patience at the plate.  His Baseball Classics cards are splattered with ink colors up and down.  You will forget all about his lightweight average because he can just about do it all for your team including drive in a good amount of runs too.

Here’s a card from one of his best seasons, 1949, this Eddie Joost card is loaded.

#4  Ed Roush – Outfield (1945-1955) Reds

All-Time RoushMy personal nickname for this great hitting and fielding Hall of Famer is the “Triple Kid”.  He could hit, but where he gets me is I’m a sucker for a ball player who has the knack for hitting more than his fair share of triples.  Ed’s cards always have a healthy three-bagger rating in Baseball Classics, yet that will hold consistent for any baseball board games featuring this all-time great season after season.  Nearly 8% of Ed’s hits throughout his career resulted in a triple.  That’s astounding!  Let’s put it into perspective for a moment.  Wouldn’t it be fair to say that Ricky Henderson would be someone a baseball fan would think would have a fairly high number of triples?  Yet the same percentage for Ricky over his career was just over 2%.

Where they are similar is with their ability to have some pop in their bat and get on base, i.e. On base Plus Slugging known as OPS.  No one had the stolen base flare in the game as Ricky Henderson, yet when it comes to batting number 2 in the order, I would put Ed Roush there anytime, his cards make for great game play.

Ed Roush  2376 hits, 182 triples, .323 BA, .815 OPS

Ricky Henderson  3055 hits, 66 triples, .279 BA, .820 OPS

#3 Eddie Yost– Thirdbase (1944 – 1962) Senators/Tigers/Angels

1959 YostDon’t be fooled by his .254 lifetime batting average.  Eddie Yost was a solid ball player; he could do all the little things to help your team win.  He’ll reach base plenty with his lifetime .394% on base percentage (OBP) over 18 seasons, move runners along with the bunt, and run around the bases to score often.  Talk about consistency over the long haul, this seemingly modest player reached on base via the free pass every 1.3 games over the course of 2109 career games.  9 of his 18 seasons he had an OBP greater than .400%, mercy!

Which All-Time Senators or Twins player over the course of their career had more walks than Eddie Yost?  Nobody.  Eddie was a good fielder too.  There wasn’t much he couldn’t do including give you a little pop in his bat now and then.  Playing most of his career for the Senators, word has it he would have hit many more home runs if he didn’t play in that spacious park.  Regardless, I would take this most leadoff batter and plunk him in at the second spot in my batting order and enjoy his contributions every game in so many ways.

#2  Max Bishop – Secondbase (1924 – 1935) Athletics/Red Sox

All-Time BishopOne of his nicknames was “Camera eye”.  Max wears out the yellow ink on his Baseball Classics baseball game player cards.  He was a decent average, light hitter, yet was able to reach base consistently thanks to his keen eye.  He compiled 1153 career walks and was a very good contact hitter with only 452 strikeouts.  Because Max reached based so often he scored nearly 1000 times in his career at 966.  He only played in 1138 games, thus an impressive ratio of runs scored to games played, especially for a career .271 batting average.

Max is another leadoff hitter in his career that I would bat second.  Max is the kind of player you want to insert at the number 2 spot in your order to reach base, score once he reaches base, and get the job done with a sacrifice bunt when needed.  He’s a little scoring machine, which is really something when you think about him being an average hitter for the most part.  4 seasons in a row, from 1928 through 1931 he scored more than 100 runs.  8 seasons in a row, from 1926 through 1933 he walked more than 100 times.  He makes my #2 ranking because his cards are colorful in Baseball Classics due to his lifetime, highly impressive .423% OBP!  This is his All-Time card, imagine how spiffy some of his best season Baseball Classics player cards looked like.

#1  Dick Dietz – Catcher and Firstbase (1966-1973) Giants/Dodgers/Braves

1973 DietzHere’s a guy that probably most have either not heard of, or if they have, they forgot about him.  He wasn’t a flashy player by any stretch of the imagination.  Yet he ranks in my top 5 at number 1 because his baseball game player cards are spectacular.  They are loaded with ways to get on base.  Dick had an eye for the walk and yet had decent batting averages that were sandwiched by his lone 1970 all-star season.  This combination made for some incredibly tough cards to get him out.

Let’s take my favorite card of his, the 1973 season with the Atlanta Braves; ironically and remarkably it was his last season in the bigs.  There is no card I know of that is more daunting when it comes to getting on base for a guy you most likely never heard of.  Check out his walk percentage that season per plate appearance, it was a walloping 25.6%.  His Baseball Classics cards require plenty of yellow ink to print out his sky-high amount of walks each season. Dick Dietz will keep the line moving by getting on base like nobody’s business.  He walked the walk, making a career of getting on base sporting an on base percentage of 39%.  Here’s his aforementioned Baseball Classics 1973 Atlanta Braves MLB season card, put your sunglasses on.

Though these 5 fascinating Major League Baseball players could reach base via the walk a jaw dropping number of times, they all had so many other great skills to make their teams far better.  Who are some of your favorite underrated MLB baseball players that have juicy player cards no matter which baseball board games you play and why?

Baseball Board Games Generate Brain Power

Baseball Board Games Generate Brain Power

It’s the bottom of the 9th inning, your team is down to their last out and you look over your bench and make the call to bring in a pinch hitter you think has enough pop in his bat to win the game.  After a roll of the dice, boom, he connects and it’s a game winning home run!

Baseball Board Games - Great for the Brain

Beyond all that drama and glory when that batter connects for a game winning home run when playing your favorite baseball board games, there is something far more important.

Baseball may break your heart now and then, but is there anything more important than having a healthy, sharp brain?!  Baseball has plenty of opportunity to exercise our brains when watching, naturally more so when playing.  Let’s explore these opportunities in detail and why at any age, playing baseball board games will always be great brain food.  After all, it’s the New Year, time to exercise…and the brain should be included!

 5 Ways Baseball Board Games Are Great for the Brain

#1 – Math

Truly one of the greatest, if not the very best benefit of playing baseball board games is the constant math your brain is processing.  Baseball practically made statistics a household and very cool thing to wrap your brain around.  And along the way since the earliest days of baseball in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, there are new statistics being added to the mix.  Bill James and many others have made a great living on statistics, the ways to think about them when it comes to making strategic or simple baseball decisions.

Yet baseball board games with dice such as our own Baseball Classics, Strat-o-matic, ABPA, and many others add to the mix.  Think about how many dice rolls you make when playing 1 game, let alone when playing your favorite baseball board games throughout the year!  These constant calculations are excellent exercise to keep your brain sharp.  It’s a key reason why I chose dice for Baseball Classics.  One would think it’s “easy” to add up 3 six-sided dice again and again, but it’s not always as simple as one would think.  A couple of years ago I introduced the Baseball Classics MVP Edition.  It was based on 4 six-sided dice, in a small study I watched others playing it.  Fascinating how college educated folks struggled with adding those 4 dice up.  Surely revealed the difference in memorizing a addition or multiplication table vs. adding up on the fly!

#2 – Reading

Baseball board games inspire reading more than just the playing instructions, charts, or the player cards.  There’s a deep bond that forms when playing baseball board games that makes a connection with players and points back in time.  I’ve read countless books on baseball players and baseball history throughout the years and I suspect you have too as a baseball board gamer.  I wouldn’t have read these books had it not been for the baseball board games I’ve played throughout the decades.  The games inspired me to want to learn more about who some of these fascinating players are and the historic times they played.

And there are countless hours of time I’ve spent with my nose stuck in baseball statistics books citing all kinds of intriguing, meaningful, and valuable information.  These books helped me to get a “picture” of their performance, areas of strength and weakness and have provided tremendous insight when choosing teams and/or players to offer for our customers.  There is no other sport game play I can think of that come close to fostering more reading than baseball board games, no matter which are your favorites to play.

#3 – Memory

Who led the American League in home runs in 2012?  How many home runs did Hank Aaron hit?  Which team won the World Series in 1975?  Which team did Honus Wagner play for?  He played over 100 years ago, yet many know about him and have memorized who this Hall of Fame great is let alone having the most famous baseball card.

And when playing your favorite baseball tabletop game, no doubt you have memorized many of the vital statistics, positions played, and teams of a wide number of players.  Since baseball is chalk full of numbers, we memorize them just we did early on in school when learning to remember multiplication tables.  Thus our brains are trained to learn to memorize numbers early on.  We used to memorize a slew of phone numbers until cell phones became prominent right?  And though “there is an app for that”, we still are memorizing vital player stats, teams, etc. when it comes to baseball and our baseball board games grant us plenty of opportunities to do so, thus sharpening our memory each and every time.

#4 – Continually Learning

Playing baseball board games presents a constant learning opportunity for every game played.

Baseball is a sport that requires continuous thinking from start to finish.  Even in between innings decisions can be made such as making a pitching change, will these threatening skies rain out the game by the 6th inning, etc.  We are constantly learning from the decisions made as well as about the ability of how the various skills translate from the baseball board game to the actual result.  Naturally the lessons learned impact our decisions in future play.  This also includes applying game strategies deployed during game situations and learning from the end results be it turning out to be genius moves or failures.

With 9 players on the field at all times, 9 batters in the lineup, 9 innings, 3 outs per innings, and the dynamic possibilities of end results there are more than enough variables to constantly keep one’s brain learning more and more about what, where, how, and when to make moves during baseball board game play.

Check out this article referring to a study done by Brain Scientists in 2000 by Brown University.  It states the study provides evidence that learning engages a brain process called long-term potentiation (LTP), which in turn strengthens synapses in the cerebral cortex.  Next time you play your favorite tabletop baseball board game, you can tell your spouse or parents it’s not just for fun, it’s in the name of science for the good of your brain.

#5 – Happy Brain = Happy Life

If you or your child or spouse or friend enjoys play baseball board games they are making their brain happy.  And that is providing many positive benefits for their brain according to Susan Reynolds is a Boston-based science writer.  She is a coauthor of Train Your Brain to Get Happy and the editor of Woodstock Revisited.  Susan wrote an article in 2008 entitled “Happy Brain, Happy Life” and with that a myriad of benefits for a happy brain such as:

  • stimulates the growth of nerve connections
  • improves cognition by increasing mental productivity
  • improves your ability to analyze and think
  • affects your view of surroundings
  • increases attentiveness
  • leads to more happy thoughts

The next time you or your loved one picks up dice to play their next baseball game, they are about to sharpen their saw to strengthen their brain and lead a happier life.  If I only knew this back when I was in my youth, I could have told my mom and she wouldn’t have haphazardly tossed out my Sports Illustrated All-Time All-Star Baseball Game.  Then again, if she didn’t I wouldn’t have created Baseball Classics, so thanks after all Mom!

What are your favorite baseball board game memories?  With all the power they generated for your brain, you must have quite a few you can recall to share, I look forward to reading them.