Saturday, February 5, 2011

Introduction To Milton Bradley's (MB) Official Baseball Game

It was 1969.  Specifically, the Summer of '69.  That was the summer in which I became an Official Baseball Game fanatic.

I didn't actually own the game at that time - yet.  My friend Pat owned the game (which had just come out that year), and I looked over his shoulder a couple of times as he played against his brother.  The appeal was immediate, due in part I think to the fact that the game featured individual player cards, with a photo and the player's rating.  I had just begun collecting baseball cards, and I made a positive mental connection between my still modest pile of baseball cards and the mountain of cards provided with Milton Bradley's Official Baseball.  I had to have this game!

I spent the rest of the year hounding my parents to get me the game as a Christmas present.  I think the game retailed for about $10 in 1969, and I knew it was available at our local toy store.  I went and looked at it every time my mom went grocery shopping at the National, and my brother and I could walk over to Foster's Toys and check to make sure they still had the game.

It arrived, as hoped for, on Christmas day, and for the next four or five years I played hundreds of games on it.  I devised a way to play solo, and kept box scores and simple stats on line-ruled notebook paper.

Apparently, the game was not a hit with kids at the time, because the only update to it was rumored to be  in 1972, with different cards (although I have never seen this version of it being sold online).  Spooky's Hobby Shop had this to say about it, "This was Milton Bradley's attempt at a replay game.  Since it is geared towards kids It is very simple compared to Strat-O-Matic or APBA but adults can still have fun with it.   It features cards with photos of 296 major league players."  The 1969 game in good condition can fetch as much as $200 on some sites.

The game cards themselves are sometimes auctioned off individually on eBay like baseball cards, even with rookie card (RC) designations!  I've seen the Roberto Clemete on sale for $45 and a Pete Rose for $30.  That alone makes it difficult to find a complete game with all the cards intact.

My copy of the game, with its well-worn cards, was eventually lost in a series of moves in the 1970s and 80s, and recently I decided to see if there was a way to create and play an online simulation of the game.


  1. Joe,
    Keep looking for the cards and they can be bought on the cheap. I buy lots off of ebay and sometimes they will include stars. I found the hardest for me to find was Rose and Clemente. The nice thing about these cards is that they were used as part of a game and the used cards are very cheap to purchase.

  2. I would love to have this game!
    But the only chance I have , living in Italy, it is to make it by self.
    I've ONLY to convice someone to scan all the player cards :-D