John Burgeson

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John Burgeson (born August 19, 1931) is a former IBM engineer who created the first computer baseball simulation game in 1961 on an IBM 1620 Computer in Akron, Ohio.[1]

A baseball fan and long-time member of SABR, Burgeson initially wrote the program on his own time for enjoyment, He shared the program with the company, and they included it as part of the software that shipped with the 1620, for which it was the only game. The game was run by placing a deck of punch cards into a card reader, which in turn read them into the computer's memory. Users would pick a lineup from a roster of 50 players, the computer would pick its lineup from the remaining list and the simulation game was then played to completion based on the statistical probabilities for each batter and pitcher.

In 1961 a radio DJ at KDKA in Pittsburgh, Rege Cordic, read three of Burgeson's printed play-by-play game results on the air in a re-creation of the fictional games.

On September 12, 2016 at the age of 85, John W. Burgeson died surrounded by family. He is survived by his wife, Carol, his eight children, twelve grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.


  1. ^ " April 9, 2012 - The Lost Founder of Baseball Video Games, by Bess Kalb".