Tabletop board games based on baseball have been around a lot longer than you would think. Some can be dated all the way back to the late 19th and early 20th century. Those older games can be worth quite a bit depending on the condition. As the decades rolled by, more and more baseball board games began to surface. Baseball wasn’t the only sport to get the board game treatment, but that’s the sport I’m dealing with here today. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten the cultural impact of electronic football.
There is a point in time where I believe every baseball superstar either had their own board game, or was included in one. Guys like Roger Maris, George Brett, Steve Garvey, and Mickey Mantle all had their own board game. Did any of these games revolutionize the board game industry? No. It was a cash grab. Slapping the names and faces of a famous baseball players on a game can help move them off the store shelves. The only reason people buy these games today is for the collector value. I highly doubt collectors are buying them to actually play.
Some of these games are fairly simple. Others can be very complicated with an endless list of tedious rules. One of the better reviewed games was released in 1984 by Milton Bradley. It was called Championship Baseball. Topps created (30) cards for this game. The players include stars like Pete Rose, Rod Carew, Cal Ripken, Jr., and Reggie Jackson. Even though the cards were made by Topps, the set was not licensed by Major League Baseball Properties. That is why the team names and logos are airbrushed out. On the back of each card you’ll find batting records that have been converted into dice roll combinations. You basically roll the two die, compare the results to a chart on the back of the player’s card, and that’s it. The game play is quite simple.
Given that this set was cheaply made, and contains no rookies, the demand isn’t there. You can easily pickup a sealed set for under $10.00. A complete game is worth about $20.00.