1954 New York Giants WIllie Mays The CatchOne of the most iconic plays in Major League Baseball history was the incredible over the shoulder basket catch by New York Giants Willie Mays during Game 1 on a deep fly ball blasted off the bat by Vic Wertz of the Cleveland Indians in the 1954 World Series known as “The Catch”.  The ultimate when it comes to representing individual fielding play is in your Baseball Classics tabletop baseball board game play.

When it comes to fielding in Baseball Classics, take your baseball game play to the ground level by incorporating individual fielding.  This article introduces the Baseball Classics Fielding Grid for your game play in the Advanced play level.  The Fielding Grid tracks where the ball was put into fair play all the way to the warning track or foul grounds and which fielder makes the play or commits an error.

In our last article, we explained fielding ratings for each player, that all ratings are based on their actual MLB season performance.  Each player card has up to four different fielding positions.

Recapping our Baseball Classics full color theme, the ratings are color-coded symbols.  There are four rating levels as follows:

 Excellent rating      Very good rating      Fair rating      Poor rating

Players fielding ratings are in the upper right hand side located just to the right of their name.

Baseball Classics Fielding Grid

The Baseball Classics Fielding Grid reveals where the baseball was put into play, who fields the baseball, and the type of Out.

The Fielding Grid is a baseball field layout including foul territory and extends all the way to the warning track.  The entire layout is on a grid with the top row and first column each consisting of the numbers 3 through 18 labeled as dice roll numbers using the standard six-sided dice.  The numbers are not in order from lowest to highest or highest to lowest, rather they are distributed based on mathematical equations adjacent to the grid field layout.

The Fielding Grid is organized into 9 areas, one for each of the 9 fielding positions.  Each area is divided by white lines and contains the number for the fielding position covering that area of play on in the grid.  In baseball, each fielding position is assigned a number as follows:

  • 1 = Pitcher
  • 2 = Catcher
  • 3 = First Base
  • 4 = Second Base
  • 5 = Third Base
  • 6 = Shortstop
  • 7 = Left Field
  • 8 = Center Field
  • 9 = Right Field

The Fielding Grid is lined with “dirt” designated by tan color and “grass” represented by dark green.  The play surface also contains a color-coded with light green, yellow, blue, and red square within each numbered position area.  These indicate an error on the play anytime the color square matches the fielding rating color of the player currently fielding that position area.

Baseball Classics Fielding Grid

Individual Fielding Play

The Fielding Grid is your reference point whenever the batter puts the ball into play as a Result from ether the Batter or Pitcher player card is any type of out (shaded in red) or hit (shaded in green) with the exception of a Home Run.  Note – when the play Result is Strikeout (shaded in blue) or Walk (shaded in yellow), the Fielding Grid is not used.

When the dice roll of the play Result is an Out (highlighted in red, for example a Flyout), from either the batter or pitcher card, instead of using that type of Out listed on the player card, use the type of Out from that will be revealed in the Fielding Grid.

When the dice roll of the play Result is a Hit from the batter or pitcher card, you will always use that Hit instead of any Out from the Fielding Grid.

Determining where the ball is put into play

To see where the ball was put into play, use the first dice roll for the play Result from the batter or pitcher card, then make one additional roll.  The “intersection” of these 2 dice rolls pinpoint where the ball was put into play as well as if the ball was fielded cleanly or an error occurred.

Here’s how it works:

Once you have the play Result from the batter or pitcher card, follow these steps to see where the ball was put into play in the Fielding Grid:

– Roll all 4 dice to get your first intersection point

– White binary die = 0

Start your cross-reference point on the far left column on the grid with the number from the six-sided dice, this is your starting cross-reference point.  Then roll the six-sided dice and refer to the intersection point on the grid from the top row as your ending cross-reference point.

OR

– White binary die = 1

Start your cross-reference point on the top row on the grid with the number from the six-sided dice, this is your starting cross-reference point.  Then roll the six-sided dice and refer to the intersection point on the grid from the far left column as your ending cross-reference point.

When the play Result is an Out

Whenever the Result from a player card is highlighted in red, the ball is put into play as an Out, unless an error occurs. Instead of using the type of out from the Result listed on the player card, the Fielding Grid will reveal the type of out. If the type of out listed on the player card from the Result is a Double Play, Groundout*, or (Flyout) then play as follows:

Double Play – If the intersection from the 2 dice rolls is not in zone 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 and instead is in zone 7, 8, or 9 then with any runner on base, it is an outfield Double Play, lead runner and batter are out.

Groundout* – If ball not hit to zone 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, roll again.

(Flyout) – If ball not hit to zone 7, 8, or 9, roll again.

When the play Result is an Error

When the dice rolls intersection point lands on a light green, yellow, blue, or red square then check the fielding rating for the player at that position on defense.  If it matches the color square, then an error has occurred.  For example if the intersection is a red square in area 5, check the rating of current Third baseman and if his rating is red (q), an error has occurred.  However if not, then the Hit or Out is fielded without an error.

If the play Result from the batter or pitcher card was a Hit and an error has occurred, the batter is awarded that hit plus an error occurs in addition to the play.

When an error has occurred, roll all 3 six-sided dice again and refer to the Error Chart to see what type of base error the team has committed. Note if the play was an “Infield Play” or and “Outfield Play” to see if it’s a 1 base, 2 base, or 3 base error.  When a batter reaches base due to an error, the team on offense may attempt to send any base runners an extra base just like they would if it was a hit.

Let’s walk through some play examples using the Fielding Grid using these 3 player cards:  at the plate is 2012 New York Yankees Derek Jeter, he’s facing 1975 Boston Red Sox Luis Tiant pitching, and in the field at Thirdbase is Rico Petrocelli.

Baseball Classics Player Cards Derek Jeter, Luis Tiant, Rico Petrocelli

Play Example 1 – Groundout Second Baseman, no error on the play

No runners on base.

Roll the white binary die and 3 six-sided dice to see the play Result: 0, 14 (6, 6, 2).  Referencing Luis Tiant’s card, the Result is Groundout.  Using this dice roll, refer to the Fielding Grid far left column, number 14.

Roll all 4 to get the first intersection on the Fielding Grid, roll is: 0, 14 (3, 6, 5)

Now roll the 3 six-sided dice, the roll is 7 (2, 2, 3).  Cross-reference 7 from the top row with 14 from the far left column and the Fielding Grid Result is “GO” (Groundout) to the 2nd Baseman fielded without an error.

Baseball Classics Fielding Grid Example 1

Play Example 2 – Double to centerfield, no error on the play

No runners on base.

Roll the white binary die and 3 six-sided dice to see the play Result: 1, 15 (3, 6, 6).  Referencing Derek Jeter’s card, the Result is Double.

Roll all 4 to get the first intersection on the Fielding Grid, roll is: 1, 15 (6, 4, 5).  Refer to the Fielding Grid top row, number 15.  Since the Result is a Double, that is the play Result that will be used on the Fielding Grid.

Now roll the 3 six-sided dice to get the second cross-reference point, the roll is 8 (3, 2, 3).  Cross-reference 8 from the far left column with 15 from the top row and the Double is fielded without an error.

Baseball Classics Fielding Grid Example 2

Play Example 3  – Error on a Popout play at Thirdbase

No runners on base.

Roll the white binary die and 3 six-sided dice to see the play Result: 1, 3 (1, 1, 1).  Referencing Derek Jeter’s card, the Result is (Flyout).  Using this dice roll, refer to the Fielding Grid top row, number 3.

Now roll the 3 six-sided dice to get the second cross-reference point, the roll is 14 (4, 4, 6).  Cross-reference 14 from the far left column with 3 from the top row and PO (Popout) shaded in yellow is the result.  Since the result is on one of the 4 colors that could result in an error, we need to check Third Baseman Rico Petrocelli’s Thirdbase fielding rating.  His rating is yellow, since it matches the color that was landed on in the grid, the result is an error.

Next roll all 3 six-sided dice and lookup the type of error on the Error chart.

Baseball Classics Fielding Grid Example 3

Play Example 4  – Groundout Double Play without an error

Runners on 1st Base, 1 out.

Roll the white binary die and 3 six-sided dice to see the play Result: 1, 6 (1, 3, 2).  Referencing Derek Jeter’s card, the Result is Double Play.  A double play is now in order.

Now roll the 4 dice again to get the first cross-reference point, the roll is 0, 10 (5, 1, 4), refer to the Fielding Grid far left column, number 10.

Now roll the 3 six-sided dice for the second cross-reference point, the roll is 9 (3, 3, 3).  Cross-reference 9 from the top row with 10 from the far left column and LO (Lineout) is the result.  Since a double play is in order, the batter hits into a lineout to Third Baseman Rico Petrocelli and the lead runner (at 1st Base in this example) is picked off.

Baseball Classics Fielding Grid Example 4

 

In this article on Individual Fielding in the Baseball Classics baseball game Advanced play level, we reviewed individual fielding and to play using the Baseball Classics Fielding Grid.  Two dice rolls are plotted on the grid to determine which of the 9 areas the ball is put into play and if the Result is an Out, the type of out as well is if the play was fielded cleanly or there was an error.  If the intersection is on one of the highlighted squares on the grid, refer to the position player’s fielding rating to determine if the play was fielded cleanly or there was an error on the play.  If the highlighted square on the grid matches that fielder’s rating, there is an error, roll again and refer to the Baseball Classics Error chart for the type of error committed.

The next article, will be our 7th in this series of How To Play Baseball Classics as we continue to focus on the Advanced play level.  It will explore how virtually anything that can happen in a Major League Baseball game can happen in Baseball Classics when using the Play Action Simulator.

Which fielding method do you prefer, team or individual based?  Please share your comments, questions, and feedback.