Backyard Baseball (series)

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Backyard Baseball
The current Backyard Baseball logo.
Basic Information
Humongous Entertainment
Sports, Baseball
Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, Wii, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Game Boy Advance, GameCube and macOS

Backyard Baseball is a series of children's games for the Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Wii, iPhone OS, and the PC. It is the original game in the Backyard Sports series. Currently all the games in the series have been developed by Humongous Entertainment and published by Atari. It is one of six Backyard Sports games.

The original game consisted of 55 neighborhood kids. Over the years, the idea of "Pro players as kids" became popular, and the original stats and looks of the players changed. Some of the pros available include Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez, Alfonso Soriano, Éric Gagné, Ichiro Suzuki, Sammy Sosa, Jim Thome, Albert Pujols, Nomar Garciaparra, Kenny Lofton, Ken Griffey, Jr., Cal Ripken Jr., Curt Schilling, and Barry Bonds. Some unlockable pros include Randy Johnson, Derek Jeter, Greg Maddux and Mike Piazza.

Managers cannot create players, but instead choose from a roster of characters to form teams. In the latest version of the game, a player could play an exhibition game or a 16 or 32 game season (previously 14) followed by the "BBL playoffs," which contains both the AL and NL divisional series, the AL and NL championship series and finally the "Backyard Baseball World Series". The game includes many modes, and they are Single Game, Batting Practice, Spectator, and Season Game.

Backyard Baseball attempts to recreate the experience of playing baseball as children.

Power-Ups[edit | edit source]

Sometimes accompanying the four standard batting modes (Power, Line Drive, Grounder and Bunt), some beneficial power-ups appear. In the original Backyard Baseball, these batting power-ups appeared when the player got a hit when the computer used a "crazy pitch" (see below). Starting from Backyard Baseball 2001, the power ups were awarded after a hit off a "crazy pitch" and when the player turned a double play or triple play on defense.

  • Aluminum Power: is the rarest and most valued of power-ups and can disappear after one or no tries when in use. Players use an aluminum bat to hit a home run it will always be a home run.
  • Screaming Line Drive: can last at least two uses and appears more frequently. Players hit a fast line drive to the wall and allows the batter to run more or all bases.
  • Under Grounder: can last at least two uses. Players hit a ground ball that goes into the ground, causing the ball to appear in any random area of the field.
  • Crazy Bunt: can disappear after one or no tries when in use, although sometimes it will last for up to four uses when used sparingly. The ball hit will roll around the field erratically as fielders just barely miss catching it. It is effective in securing runs, doubles or triples and in exhausting the opposing team.

In addition to these batting power-ups, pitching power-ups, or "crazy pitches," also progressively appear, though they are much more frequent and in number, occurring whenever the player strikes an opponent out.

  • Big Freeze: the ball is thrown like normal but suddenly stops just before it enters the strike zone, often faking the hitter into swinging at the pitch. Very difficult to anticipate.
  • Elevator: the ball is thrown low along the ground and suddenly jumps into the air at the last moment. More difficult to hit if the pitch is aimed low.
  • Crazyball: the ball "laughs" when thrown, and it moves in random directions in the air. Easier to hit if swingspot is enabled
  • Corkskrew: the ball makes a spiral motion through the air. Easier to hit if swingspot is enabled
  • Zigzag: the ball makes a zig-zag motion through the air. Easier to hit if swingspot is enabled
  • Slomo: the ball travels very slowly through the air, requiring precise timing to be hit. Most players miss due to its odd and very picky timing.
  • Spitball: the ball is covered with saliva and jerks in the air. The timing to swing is pickier and harder to hit.
  • Fireball: arguably the most powerful pitch, the ball blazes past the batter in a ball of fire at an incredibly high speed. Very difficult to hit, even with experienced players

These pitches consume much more energy and causes the strike zone to expand, so most of the pitches given are never used consecutively. In addition to the "crazy pitches," a strikeout may also award the player "More Juice," a full energy recharge for the pitcher that can be used when the player sees fit to use it.

Installments[edit | edit source]

Title Year Platforms
Backyard Baseball 1997 Macintosh, Microsoft Windows
Backyard Baseball 2001 2000 Macintosh, Microsoft Windows
Backyard Baseball 2002 2001 Game Boy Advance
Backyard Baseball 2003 2002 Macintosh, Windows
Backyard Baseball 2004 2003 Nintendo GameCube
Backyard Baseball 2005 2004 Windows
Backyard Baseball 2006 2005 Game Boy Advance
Backyard Baseball 2007 2006 Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Windows
Backyard Baseball '09 2008 Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, Wii, Windows
Backyard Baseball '10 2009 Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, Wii
Backyard Sports : Sandlot Sluggers 2010 Wii, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, PC

References[edit | edit source]