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I spent hours apon hours playing Avalon Hill's Superstar Baseball either with family members or by myself. I more than anyone else compiled each player's strengths and weaknesses, as well as keeping pitching and batting statistics. We played a 162 game season including a mid-classic All-Star game and a Fall classic World Series that went the full 7 games. With all that aside, the game was not well balanced. Pitching was very dominant, leaving batting statistics quite subpar (example: Ted Williams a lifetime .344 hitter was only a .280 hitter). On average, hitters batting averages were usually 20% below their true lifetime marks. Overall, it's still a fun game to play!
This is the first baseball game I ever played. I played this game so much, I wore it out and recently purchased a unopened copy on eBay to replace it.
The game is very simple to play and can easily be played in about 20 min. I have played this game a lot and kept a lot of statistics from the game results. The outcome is that this game is slanted towards pitching and, as a result, batters never hit their actual batting average.
However, the simple game play makes this a very fun baseball game play and a great introductory baseball game.
There are a lot of people who play this game on the internet and make player cards for different years.
The best tabletop baseball game ever constructed was Sports Illustrated Baseball's All-Time All-Star set released almost 30 years ago. Superstar Baseball is the lite version of that game.
The game comes with 96 all-time great players culled from the original game's set of 400. Participants choose a team from those and set their lineups and commence play.
The play is simple and elegant. The pitcher rolls special dice (which result in values between 10 and 39) and consults his chart. The result could be an automatic out, disallowing the batter a chance to prove his abilities, a walk, or, most often, no event. If the result was not an out or walk, the batter rolls the dice and consults his chart to determine the final outcome of the play (single, triple, fly out, etc.).
This clean pitcher-rolls, batter-rolls mechanic makes for a speedy game (20-40 minutes, usually) yet still allows for detailed statistical accuracy.
The only reason this game merits less than a 5 is because of presentation and deficient rules. The player charts are presented on cards that must be aligned into a 'frame' on the gameboard which houses the dice-roll combinations (the 10-39 labels aren't printed on each card). Also the rules were not completely transcribed from the SI version to the Avalon Hill verson (the 'I' rating for catchers, which reduces an opponent's ability to steal bases, is not mentioned at all).
It's a grand old game which holds up after all these years. Sadly, Hasbro probably won't be updating this jewel now that they own the rights to both the game and the MLB Players Association's license.