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|Publisher(s)||Humongous Entertainment |
The Evergreen Group
|Platform(s)||Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, Wii, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Xbox 360, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo GameCube, Macintosh|
|First release||Backyard Baseball|
October 10, 1997
|Latest release||Backyard Sports: Baseball|
Backyard Baseball is a series of baseball video games for children which was developed by Humongous Entertainment and published by Atari. It was first released in October 1997 for Macintosh and Microsoft Windows. Later games were featured on Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Wii, and iOS. It is part of the Backyard Sports series. There have been eleven different versions of the game since 1997. Some of the game titles that were created include Backyard Baseball, Backyard Baseball 2001-2010, and Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers.
The original game consisted of 30 neighborhood kids from which the player must build a team. Over the years, the idea of "Pro players as kids" became popular, and the original statistics and looks of the players changed. Some of the professional players that were available included Chipper Jones, Frank Thomas, Alex Rodriguez, Alfonso Soriano, Ichiro Suzuki, Sammy Sosa, Jim Thome, Albert Pujols, Nomar Garciaparra, Ken Griffey Jr., and Barry Bonds. As the game progresses, there are some professionals that become available or "unlockable" including Randy Johnson, Derek Jeter, and Mike Piazza.
In Backyard Baseball, players take a managerial role by creating a team of different players to compete against opponents. In the different installments, one could choose to play a one-off exhibition game or a seasonal league, followed by the "Backyard Baseball League" playoffs, which contains the American League and National League divisional series, the AL and NL championship series and finally the "Backyard Baseball World Series". Series games will vary per game.
This game has various playable modes, they include: Single Game, Batting Practice, Spectator, and Season Game.
In 2013, The Evergreen Group acquired the intellectual property from Atari.
The game has also been noted for its diversity (gender, race,disability) of characters, both in ratio of white to non-white and male to female, as well as skill level and the distribution of the best characters.
In Backyard Baseball 2001, the Backyard kids are joined by 31 MLB pro players, many of which were all-stars during the 1999 Major League Baseball All Star Game. Eventual Hall of Fame players featured include Barry Larkin, Vladimir Guerrero, Jeff Bagwell, Larry Walker, Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter, Mike Piazza, Tony Gwynn, Ken Griffey Jr., Cal Ripken Jr., Ivan Rodriguez, and Randy Johnson, who are all playable characters to choose from.
|Backyard Baseball||October 24, 1997||Macintosh, Microsoft Windows||Original Characters|
|Backyard Baseball 2001||May 19, 2000||Macintosh, Microsoft Windows||Cal Ripken Jr.|
|Backyard Baseball||2002||Game Boy Advance||Mike Piazza|
|Backyard Baseball 2003||2002||Macintosh, Microsoft Windows|
|Backyard Baseball||2003||Nintendo GameCube||Alex Rodriguez|
|Backyard Baseball||2004||PlayStation 2|
|Backyard Baseball 2005||2004||Microsoft Windows|
|Backyard Baseball 2006||2005||Game Boy Advance|
|Backyard Sports: Baseball 2007||2006||Game Boy Advance, Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows||Albert Pujols|
|Backyard Baseball 09||2008||Nintendo DS, Wii, PlayStation 2, Windows||David Ortiz|
|Backyard Baseball 10||2009||Nintendo DS, Wii, PlayStation 2|
|Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers||2010||Wii, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows||Original Characters|
|Backyard Sports: Baseball 2015||2015||iOS, Android published by Fingerprint Network|
- Kram, Zach (2017-10-10). "How 'Backyard Baseball' Became a Cult Classic". The Ringer. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
- "Pablo Sanchez: The Origin Of A Video Game Legend". www.wbur.org. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
- "The 25 Best Virtual Athletes In Video Games". Complex. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
- Carson, Dan. "The 15 Most Unfair and Terrifying Video Game Athletes to Play Against". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
- Delayo, Mike (10 May 2019). "The Inclusive Legacy of Backyard Baseball". Fangraphs.
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