Aside from gaming, my other passion is baseball—wherever I can find it and in whatever form. Since my youth I have struggled to fill the void between the final game of the World Series and the return of baseball on opening day each spring. To get through the offseason months I have developed a large number of coping mechanisms, including reading individual player and team histories, replaying great games from past seasons, and taking a yearly winter trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.
Another way I deal with the offseason is through electronic games. When I was younger, Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, designed by NCHEG advisor Don Daglow and partner Eddie Dombrower, was a favorite of mine, as was Coleco’s handheld Head to Head Electronic Baseball. Afterward, every few years I managed to find a new electronic version to satisfy me until spring. This past offseason Baseball Mogul 2010, a PC sports management simulation, became my game of choice.
Naturally, I’m always on the lookout for baseball games to add to the NCHEG collection. NCHEG recently acquired a large number of Japanese titles for Sega Saturn, and those included Kanzen Chuuki Pro Yakyuu: Greatest Nine (完全中継プロ野球). Baseball, yakyuu in Japanese, is wildly popular in many parts of Southeast Asia, especially Japan, and many titles released in that market reflect this. I witnessed that excitement first hand when I attended a game between the Yomiuri Giants and the Chunichi Dragons in the Tokyo Dome in the late 1990s.
It should come as no surprise that I am planning to set up a Sega Saturn early next week to try out Greatest Nine and see how it compares to World Series Baseball, the Sega Saturn baseball game I remember playing. Fortunately, my colleague, Shannon Symonds, who is cataloging incoming NCHEG materials and will soon be a CHEGheads special guest blogger, speaks Japanese, and I am hoping that her language skills, combined with my years of electronic baseball play, can get us safely around the diamond. Play Ball!