The Future of Baseball is nearly upon us!

I don’t really like ‘real’ Baseball as a sport. Playing it can be fun, but the need to follow so many rules can really make it drag out.

That said, I am hugely excited about the game because I have seen its future. In only three years time – in 2020 – you’ll be seeing male, female and robotic players in the field!

Yes, the future of baseball is almost here!

The Future of Baseball is here

In the world of Super Baseball 2020, robots jostle with human players in the Cyber Egg Stadium. To properly complete, human competitors can be equipped with powerful armour, computer sensors, and jet-packs for improved offence and defensive skills. Jet-packs!

Even the commentators are going to look cool!

Wait? What the hell is that robot? That one looks hostile! Those glowing red eyes suggest that baseball might only be the start of the robot revolution.

Super Baseball 2020 by Marc Ericksen

The image above, the one with the evil robot, can be found on the website of artist Marc Ericksen. Marc was asked to create the piece for Electronic Arts in 1994 after they had seen an earlier work created for GamePro magazine around a Japanese baseball game called Bases Loaded II: Second Season.

As you’ll see from this fantastic artwork, the future might actually involve laser swords instead of bats. You need this sort of kit if you’re going to be hitting balls thrown at light-speed by robots.

Bases Loaded II: Second Season by Marc Ericksen

Experience the future, in Super Baseball 2020, on the Neo Geo, Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. You can see a great comparison video over on the Retro Core Youtube channel.

The side-by-side comparisons from around 10 minutes into the video are a great way to get a glimpse of the future.

This post marks the start of a new series from me:
An irreverent and artistic A-Z of Neo Geo Gaming. Catchy, right?

The Revolutionary Speed Tracker Baseball

Speed Tracker Baseball

Though I never played Baseball as a child (us Brits tended to play a fun variant called Rounders), I remember seeing a baseball that could tell me how fast it was being thrown. Years later I was involved in a conversation about putting that technology in a tennis ball, only to be told that it could never work and that I must have imagined the baseball. And that was that.

Until I read through the Mattel 1987 Dealer Catalogue over at OrangeSlime.com where I found this, the Speed-Tracker Baseball!

It is normally around now I’d thrust a video in front of your eyes to show you it working but, alas, the internet fails me. In fact, finding anything more on this baseball is difficult so I’d love it if any of you could share memories of owning or using one of these.

Handheld Mattel Electronic Games

Handheld Mattel Electronic Games

Looking for a good good gift this year? How about a little baseball, basketball, or football on a Handheld Mattel Electronic Games? I can’t remember which of these I owned as a child and which ones I picked up over the years. Mattel’s original electronic football game was released back in 1977, but reproductions of those early games are still available in stores today.

There’s even an iPhone version of the games available, for those who miss these old games but haven’t been able to find one.

mattel-sports-02

Thanks to Matt Shevin for the iPhone photo and Mattel for all the years of fun!