First Base: Getting Started with Ball Park Baseball™
BALL PARK BASEBALL™ may be played by one person playing both teams or by two
persons acting as rival managers. Games may be played individually, as part of a series or in
league competition. Teams may be played as they existed historically or as built through a draft
from any major league season from 1901 to the present. To play a game:
- Choose your team or draft players to make a team.
- Select one player for each position.
- Assemble Batters' Cards in a stack according to their batting order.
- Set your Pitchers' Card apart for easy reference during play of the game.
- Enter line-ups on the score sheet, with home team the one in whose park the game will
- OFFENSIVE MANAGER (team at bat) generates the random numbers.
DEFENSIVE MANAGER (team in the field) keeps the score sheet.
- Visiting team bats first.
- HOME TEAM MANAGER looks after the Park Chart.
VISITING TEAM MANAGER refers to the Play Book, when necessary.
- The game starts when the visiting team manager generates a random number for the first
batter in the line-up.
- If two ten-sided dice are being used, add the numbers on both die for the random number
desired (with a double zero on one die and a single zero on the other being interpreted as
50); if a calculator is random programmed 1-50, read as given.
- The action is normally produced on the Batters' Card on numbers 1-25, with specific
columns reflecting whether the batter is facing a left- or right-handed pitcher (the None
On column is used with no runners on base, the Runner On in all other cases). On
numbers 26-50, the action is normally produced on the Pitcher's Card, with specific
columns reflecting whether the pitcher is facing a left- or right-handed batter. Space on
the bottom of each card is reserved for when the pitcher controls numbers on the batters'
cards and visa versa.
- Sometimes the final outcome of a play is determined by referring to the Park Chart (for
chance plays) or Play Book (for special situations).
- The Park Charts introduce characteristics particular to every park.
The Play Book incorporates all of the outcomes that occur in the play of a game.
The Strategy Cards are used by the OFFENSIVE MANAGER to initiate strategy by
placing the one with the chosen strategy face down on the table, to which the
DEFENSIVE MANAGER must then respond orally with a counter strategy option from among those given in the Play Book.
- A typical game can be played in from 20 to 40 minutes.
among those given in the Play Book.
Here are some suggestions on how to organize the game for play:
1) Play one or several World Series match-ups of the past to verify the historical outcomes or
to demonstrate your own managerial prowess.
2) Play a full or mini-season of set teams with their historical rosters to test your experience
with the game against the actual record.
3) Pit various great teams against one another to arrive at an understanding of which was the
best among the best.
4) Organize a league competition for a selection of teams from different eras to see which of
them prevails, and what era or eras show the most strength.
5) Draft teams of players from a given season in a competition that continues into subsequent
seasons, with new players being added to the next draft along with those players above the
number each manager is allowed to protect. This kind of play stresses the importance of general
managerial skill in addition to managing ability. It also builds and sustains interest over time and
is a way for friends to come together on a regular basis.