R.B.I. Baseball

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R.B.I. Baseball Cover.jpg
Cover art of R.B.I. Baseball
Developer(s) Namco
Atari Games
Publisher(s) Namco
Domark (home computer ports)
Designer(s) Peter Lipson
Composer(s) Junko Ozawa, Brad Fuller, Don Diekneite, John Paul, Kent Carmical
Series R.B.I. Baseball
Platform(s) Nintendo VS. System
Nintendo Entertainment System
Sega Genesis/Megadrive
TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine
Sega 32X
Commodore Amiga
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Sega Game Gear
ZX Spectrum
Atari ST
Nintendo Switch
  • JP: December 1986
  • NA: June 1988
1991 (home computer ports)
Genre(s) Sports
Mode(s) Single-player

R.B.I. Baseball (known as Pro Yakyuu Family Stadium in Japan) is a baseball video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The original version, developed by Namco, was released in Japan in 1986. R.B.I. spawned two sequels on the Nintendo Entertainment System as well as numerous ports to home computers and consoles. R.B.I. is an initialism for "run batted in".


Namco developed and released Pro Yakyuu Family Stadium (also known as Family Stadium) for the Family Computer (the Japanese version of the NES) in December 1986. Family Stadium was a success and spawned numerous sequels across a variety of platforms in Japan. Atari Games released a Nintendo Vs. Series arcade machine of Family Stadium named Atari R.B.I. Baseball in 1987[1] which was also successful, so its programmer, Peter Lipson, developed a console version for the NES which was published by Atari Games' subsidiary Tengen.

Gameplay and features[edit]

Screenshot from NES version

RBI Baseball was the first console game of its kind to be licensed by the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and used actual MLB player names, unlike other baseball video games of the late 1980s. It was not licensed by Major League Baseball (MLB) itself, however, and thus did not use team nicknames or logos. Instead, the game contained 8 teams listed only by city name: Boston, California, Detroit, Houston, Minnesota, New York, St. Louis, and San Francisco; their real-life, MLB counterparts were the first place teams in each division in 1986 (Boston, California, Houston, New York) and 1987 (Detroit, Minnesota, St. Louis, San Francisco) MLB seasons. The game also boasted two All-Star teams, American League and National League; the two featured established veterans such as George Brett, Dale Murphy and Andre Dawson—none of whom appeared on the other eight teams—and up-and-coming players like Mark McGwire, Andrés Galarraga, Kevin Seitzer and José Canseco.

Each player has different capabilities in the game; hitters vary in ability to make solid contact, to hit the ball with power, and their base running speed. Vince Coleman is the fastest player in the game; it is very difficult to catch him stealing second base. Pitchers vary in pitching speed, and the amount by which the player can steer the ball left and right during its flight. Pitchers also have varying stamina; as a pitcher gets tired, the ball slows down and is harder to steer. Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens are two pitchers in the game with the fastest pitches. Fernando Valenzuela, without a hard fastball, has tremendous movement in both directions with his pitches. Mike Scott has a sharp and deceptive breaking ball. The best pitcher is debatable, depending on how they are used by the players. There is no evidence that fielding abilities correspond to individual players.

The abilities of each player do not necessarily correspond with the statistics shown on the screen when the player comes to bat or takes the mound. These statistics are generally accurate, with many exceptions (see below). They do not change during the course of the game or sequence of games.

A rudimentary box score is displayed during and after the game showing composite statistics for each team. A hit batter is credited with a walk, and anyone reaching on an error gets credited for a hit even as the other team is charged with an error. Conversely, a batter thrown out while trying for extra bases is not credited with a hit.

The rosters for the eight teams are fairly accurate if simplified representations of the playoff rosters from their respective years. Each team has 8 starting batters, four bench players, two starting pitchers and two relievers. The player can start any pitcher they like, though the relievers have very low stamina. But if they play consecutive games without resetting the system, any starting pitcher used in the previous game will be unavailable. The player has to wait until the game starts before substituting players with pinch hitters, who can play any position.

Additionally, while the statistics shown on the screen for each player in the original game were reasonably accurate, their playing attributes were not always accurate. For example, George Brett was depicted in-game as a right-handed batter, while the real-life Brett batted left-handed. Also, all real-life switch hitters, such as Tim Raines, were depicted exclusively as left-handed batters.[2]

In Vs. RBI Baseball, the teams are made up of legends from 10 different franchises. These players were statistically represented with their best seasons. A notable exception was that of McGwire, who was included on the Oakland team, and was statistically represented by his potential numbers. In a remarkable display of foresight, he was projected to hit 62 home runs in his best season. In 1998, he set the then-major league record for home runs in a season with 70.


Game Release date Platforms
R.B.I. Baseball 1988 Nintendo Entertainment System
R.B.I. Baseball 2 1990 Nintendo Entertainment System, Amiga
R.B.I. Baseball 3 1991 Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis
R.B.I. Baseball 4 1992 Sega Genesis
R.B.I. Baseball '93 1993 Sega Genesis
R.B.I. Baseball '94 1994 Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear
Super R.B.I. Baseball 1995 Super Nintendo Entertainment System
R.B.I. Baseball '95 1995[3][4] Sega 32X
R.B.I. Baseball 14 2014 PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Android, iOS, Steam
R.B.I. Baseball 15 2015 PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, Steam
R.B.I. Baseball 16 2016 PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, Steam
R.B.I. Baseball 17 2017 Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, Steam
R.B.I. Baseball 18 2018 Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One


  1. ^ "Atari R.B.I. Baseball". Killer List of Videogames. Retrieved 27 April 2016. 
  2. ^ Passan, Jeff (July 27, 2017). "The legacy of Tim Raines, old-school Nintendo and 'RBI Baseball'". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved July 29, 2017. 
  3. ^ "RBI '95". Next Generation. No. 7. Imagine Media. July 1995. p. 69. 
  4. ^ "RBI '95 Goes Deep on the 32X". GamePro. No. 84. IDG. September 1995. p. 74. 

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