Baseball Classics is a tabletop baseball board game played with dice featuring the realism of Major League Baseball with full color individual player cards generating accurate results based on each player’s actual season performance.  There are 3 playing levels; Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced thus any baseball fans from ages 8 to adult can enjoy.  All standard Major League Baseball rules apply to Baseball Classics game play at all levels.

Baseball Classics Scorefield

Basic Play level follows standard baseball rules and includes only the most basic plays such as double plays and sacrifice flyouts. Little League players are familiar with these concepts.

Intermediate Play level adapts Basic play level and includes bunting, base stealing, and base running. Casual baseball fans will enjoy these aspects of the game.

Advanced Play level adapts Basic and Intermediate play levels and includes fielding, hit & run, as well as virtually anything that can happen in a Major League Baseball Game.  Plays such as pitch outs, wild pitches, rain delays or rain outs, arguing with the umpire, injuries, and more are incorporated in this level. Expert baseball fans will appreciate the attention to detail in this level.

Use the same player cards for all levels—no need to purchase different player cards for each play level. From youth baseball to expert baseball fan, Baseball Classics gives you everything you need for realistic MLB game action.

This article will highlight how to play using the Basic level and provide game play examples providing a jumpstart.

The Basic level is the fastest way to play Baseball Classics baseball game. The player performance results are just as accurate in this level of play as they are in Intermediate or Advanced play levels.  There are no charts involved, simply use the player cards and dice to play.

Baseball Classics Dice

There 3 are standard six-sided same colored dice and one white binary die with either a 0 or 1.  These 4 dice are used to play for all levels of Baseball Classics.  A great side benefit for the baseball youth is how beneficial it is for the math skills while adding up the various combinations of the 3 six-sided dice rolls.  See the Blog entry I posted on January 2nd, 2013 on “Baseball Board Games Generate Brain Power” for more on this valuable topic.

A good way to remember that a 0 is for the pitcher card and 1 is for the batter card is a 0 is the shape a baseball ball that a pitcher throws and a 1 is the shape of a baseball bat used by the batter.

Baseball Classics Player Cards

There are two types of Baseball Classics player cards; one for the batters and one for the pitchers.  Each at bat the batter will face the current pitcher.  A graphic image in the upper right hand corner of each player card simply shows if the card is a batter card of a pitcher card.  Another indicator besides the batter or pitcher graphic image is the position or positions for that player are listed just under the image.

There are 3 columns in the center of each card, Roll, Result, and Stats.  The Roll column lists numbers 3 through 18, more on this in the next section.  The Result column lists the possible color-coded outcomes, these have been generated based on each player’s actual MLB playing statistics.  The Batter and Pitcher Stats column is your reference guide for how the play performed that season.

Each Baseball Classics batter cards can list a range of various fundamental outcomes such as Groundout, Flyout, Popout, Lineout, Double Play, (Flyout), Strikeout, Walk, Single, Double, Triple, and Home Run.  The difference between a Flyout and (Flyout) is all base runners hold on a Flyout, and any base runner on 3rd base scores on a (Flyout) with less than 2 outs, also known as a sacrifice flyout.

Baseball Classics pitcher cards offer the same possible outcomes with the exception of (Flyout) and Double Play.  In addition, the pitcher card includes a Groundout* and Triple Play.  A Groundout* indicates any base runners advance 1 base with less than two outs.  A Triple Play indicates that the inning is over if there are at least 2 base runners, or if 1 base runner it is scored as a Double Play.  If no base runners, it is scored as 1 out recorded.

Another indicator of a possible Triple Play on the Pitchers card is when a Result outcome is surrounded by brackets, for example <Groundout>.  When an outcome has brackets the white binary die must be rolled.  If a 0 then the play outcome is the same as Triple Play, otherwise the outcome is as indicated within the brackets.

How To Play

It’s very easy and fast to play Baseball Classics baseball game.  Play solitaire or against an opponent.  Make your lineups and choose the starting pitchers and you’re ready to play.  You can use the Baseball Classics Scorefield to keep track of the outs, innings, score, and base runners.

The current batter in the lineup faces the opposing team’s pitcher.  Roll all 4 dice and if the white binary die is a 0, refer to the pitcher’s card for the Result, otherwise if it is a 1 refer to the batter’s card.  Add up the 3 six-sided dice and lookup the Result next to it for the play outcome.

In the Basic play level any base runner(s) only advance as many bases as the batter.

5 Play Examples

Posey Ellis Beginner Play ExampleOne of the many benefits that Baseball Classics offers that no other baseball board game does is the opportunity to order any MLB teams or seasons since 1901 to the present.  Let’s use the 2012 Buster Posey San Francisco Giants batter card and 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates Dock Ellis pitcher card for some Basic play level examples.

Play Example 1 – Result is a Strikeout

With a roll of all 4 dice, we have the following:

Binary is 0

Standard six-sided dice total 5 (2, 1, 2)

With a binary dice of 0 we go to the pitcher’s card, the play outcome Result next to a Roll of 5 for Dock Ellis is Strikeout. 

 

Play Example 2 – Result is a Groundout

With a roll of all 4 dice, we have the following:

Binary is 1

Standard six-sided dice total 10 (3, 3, 4)

With a binary dice of 1 we go to the batter’s card, the play outcome Result next to a Roll of 10 for Buster Posey is Groundout.

Let’s say there were no base runners and 2 outs.  Buster Posey grounds out and the inning is over.  However if there was a runner on 1st Base with less than 2 outs you could either elect to force out the runner at 2nd Base and Buster Posey reaches on a fielder’s choice or instead throw out Buster Posey at 1st Base and allow the runner that was on 1st Base to safely reach 2nd Base.

The Field Manager’s Rulebook has a detailed section explaining the various Groundout options available to the team in the field with any base runner(s) and less than two outs.

 

Play Example 3 – Result is a Home Run

With a roll of all 4 dice, we have the following:

Binary is 1

Standard six-sided dice total 6 (1, 2, 3)

With a binary dice of 1 we go to the batter’s card, the Result next to a Roll of 6 for Buster Posey is Home Run.

 

Play Example 4 – Result is a Double Play

With a roll of all 4 dice, we have the following:

Binary is 1

Standard six-sided dice total 17 (6, 5, 6)

With a binary dice of 1 we go to the batter’s card, the Result next to a Roll of 17 for Buster Posey is Double Play.

Let’s say there was a runner on 1st Base with no outs, then the Double Play outcome is rolled from Buster Posey’s player card.  Then the runner on 1st base is forced out at 2nd base and Buster Posey is thrown out at 1st base.  Anytime base runners are in a force out situation and there are less than 2 outs, the Double Play is in order.

When any base runner(s) are not in a force out situation, a Double Play is not in order.  Thus the Result changes from Double Play to Groundout.

The Field Manager’s Rulebook has a detailed section explaining the various Double Play options available to the team in the field with any base runner(s) and less than two outs.

Play Example 5 – Result is a Groundout*

With a roll of all 4 dice, we have the following:

Binary is 0

Standard six-sided dice total 14 (2, 6, 6)

With a binary dice of 0 we go to the pitcher’s card, the play outcome Result next to a Roll of 14 for Dock Ellis is Groundout*.

Let’s say there was a runner on 2nd Base with one out.  The batter grounds out, though the base runner on 2nd Base advances to 3rd Base safely.

 

In summary here’s what we covered in this Baseball Classics Blog post:

  • There are 3 play levels: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced
  • The Baseball Classics player cards are used for any of the levels of play
  • The Basic level uses the basic level of Major League Baseball play
  • Player outcome accuracy is just as high as any other play level in Baseball Classics
  • It is the fastest level to play, almost every outcome is determined with 1 roll of the dice
  • It is the easiest to play level since there are no charts
  • We used 5 Play Examples to showcase the simplicity of using the dice for baseball game flow and how to play using basic to some decision-making options with Double Plays
  • The Field Manager’s Rulebook provides a detailed guide of how to play Baseball Classics baseball game.  It is available as a free download from our Resource section at playbaseballclassics.com/gameresources

We always love to hear from baseball fans with comments or questions.  Post yours in the comment section here and I will reply back here.  I highly encourage your comments and questions below.  They will be very helpful for all baseball fans learning and wanting to enjoy baseball board game play with Baseball Classics.  For those that are new to Baseball Classics, you can sign up for our monthly Newsletter and receive a Free download of Baseball Classics to try out.  Join the thousands who have done so, we welcome you to be a part of our Baseball Classics community.