Backyard baseball has become an American past time. And in my opinion it has to be the greatest computer game of all time. It brought baseball into a kids world. Backyard Baseball brought the movie, Sandlot, into a video game and attracted millions of fans.
I received my first copy of the game while at the All-Star Game convention at Fenway Park in 1999 (I still own it to this day). They were handing out the games for free because they were just trying to get their name out there. Can you believe I got this game for free?! I immediately went home to play it and fell in love at first click. The gameplay was great and it had a fun atmosphere which made it even more fun to play. The commentators, Sunny Day and Vinnie the Gooch, brought excitement and a load of new catch phrases for people to say. Playing the game was as serious as playing a real baseball game. You wanted to win each and every game of your customized season, and to field a great team, you needed to draft the best characters.
The characters are what made the game so unique. People and kids who played the game could relate to these characters and think that they could play with someone like this. The “Backyard Kids” made the game seem as if you were playing in your own backyard with your friends because it was so easy to think, “I could be doing this”. The most famous character was Pablo Sanchez (Pitching on the Cover above). Pablo was the best overall player in Backyard Baseball and excelled at every position. His nickname was the “Secret Weapon”. Pablo Sanchez became a household name with kids, if you brought up his name, he was almost as famous as a professional baseball player.
Once you drafted your team, it was onto the season. You were the manager and you needed to lead your team to the league championship. You could choose a 16 or 32 game season, which led you to the “BBL Playoffs”. After fighting through the playoffs, if you were lucky, you advanced to the “Backyard Baseball World Series”. The final award was the “Clanky the Robot” Trophy, only for the best Backyard Baseball teams. I loved going through the seasons, and it is just another reason to love the game. The game made you feel like you were playing in an actual season, and made you “want” that championship.
Backyard Baseball was a game that made baseball even more fun that it already was for people. It was such a relatable game for so many people, not just kids but everyone. I loved the game as a kid and still love it to this day. The one thing I don’t like is how they have changed the game so much as the years have gone on. It has taken away the nostalgic feeling it once had. But overall, Backyard Sports has become a globally known franchise of games. After Baseball, they came out with classics such as football, soccer, and basketball. Which have all been successful. The original Backyard Baseball has always been my favorite and I believe it is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, computer game of all time.