During the OOTP crew’s trip to PAX East for an indie game marketing panel, they held a meet-and-greet for fans at Boston Beerworks, which is across the street from Fenway Park. The event saw 25 people show up, including longtime OOTP players, members of the games media, and several OOTP marketing team members.
Baseball fans love to discuss who would make their roster if they had the pick of players throughout history, and of course many Hall of Famers typically make the cut. However, what about the guys who were pretty good but didn’t quite have enough oomph in their stats to survive past one or two Hall of Fame ballots?
That’s what Shawn Anderson’s Hall of Very Good (HOVG) website is all about: It’s a celebration of the also-rans who were pretty good players and who are often the favorites of a few baseball fans. Anderson has been inducting players into his Hall since 2012, and the current roster includes Jim Kaat, Lee Smith, Luis Tiant, Dale Murphy, and Tommy John, among others. Out of the Park Baseball has been a proud sponsor of the annual HOVG induction awards, as well as the site’s podcast.
OOTP 17 is the ultimate sandbox game for baseball fans – and it’s so big, we sometimes receive suggestions from new fans as well as longtime players about new and interesting ways to jump in and play. With that in mind, here are five really cool “hardball sandcastles” you can build, in no particular order.
And don’t forget that you can mix and match just about any options you want to create a unique experience that few baseball fans have ever seen!
Wayne Thompson: Online Leagues Are His Passion
“Normally when I played baseball video games, I would spend more time trying to manage the team and set up the rosters [than playing the game],” says Wayne Thompson, who has been a fan of Out of the Park Baseball since version 5, which was released 12 years ago. “I would sim more games than I would actually play because the GM role was much more interesting to me. I wanted to see if I could build a winner.”
He adds that when he discovered OOTP, he “fell in love with the game because it fit exactly what I wanted to do. I continue to purchase and play it because it is the most realistic baseball sim out there. I love the GM aspect of games so this to me is a way to try and run a team better than a real life GM.”
World War II was a massive conflict that disrupted millions of lives around the world. In the United States, hundreds of players in Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball served their country in the armed forces, along with many umpires, managers, and others who earned their living through the sport.
As a result, the course of baseball history was forever altered, as future Hall of Famers saw their career totals diminished and other players missed the opportunity to prove their worth on the playing field. (How many who were killed or gravely wounded could have become Hall of Famers too? We’ll never know.)
In the case of those career Hall of Famers, Ted Williams’ name often comes to mind, but we thought we’d take a look at another who served too: Cleveland Indians starter Bob Feller.
Before this World Series began, we simmed it five times and found that, unsurprisingly, it would likely go the distance, since four of the sims went seven games and the other one lasted six. We also called the series for the Royals, given the fact that they won three of the sims (all 7-game series) and our gut feeling that they had a bit more magic than the Giants possessed. (Or maybe that feeling in our gut was those tacos we had for lunch.)
So here we are: The Royals blasted the Giants, 10-0, in Game 6 to set up a final, winner-take-all Game 7. Tim Hudson vs. Jeremy Guthrie, with various starters available in relief, if necessary. We decided to do 10 sims of Game 7 and set up both teams accordingly, using their Game 6 lineups, since they were again facing righties, and we made the Game 6 starters unavailable.
We also made Giants reliever Jean Machi unavailable, since he pitched three innings in Game 6 — And since he also gave up two runs on five hits and now had an 8.10 ERA for the series, we figured Bochy likely wouldn’t want to bring him in anyway. (As you’ll see, though, A.I. Bochy decided to ride the Madison Bumgarner train to the championship whenever he could, with some interesting results.)
Here’s a look at the scores from the games:
We thought we’d try something different with our World Series sim. This time we simmed the series five times and put together a composite that gives us a pretty good look at what will likely happen. The big takeaway? This is, unsurprisingly, a very evenly matched series: four of the sims went seven games and the fifth ended in six. Both teams won 17 games total.
Our pick? Our gut says the Royals, not only because they won three of the five sims (all seven-game series) but also because, when we step away from the computer and think about both teams, they seem like the one that has the stars aligned overhead just right. Sure, the Giants have had their share of magic this postseason, but the Royals have simply had more of it.
As you’ll see, though, their bullpen better remain airtight, because their starters were out-pitched by the Giants. They had a clear edge in the closer department, though, and of the 21 games (out of 34) that were won by two runs or less, the Royals prevailed, 12-9. That tells us you need to watch for plenty of tense late-inning drama in this series.
You want stats? Sure, we’ve put tons of stats in a Google Docs spreadsheet that you can peruse, and we have an overview of the top level stats from each series below.
Items of note follow:
We’ve decided to wrap up our sim of the 2014 NLCS in one shot. While real life has the Giants up, three games to one, heading into Game 5, we had the series tied after four. Here’s how the final three games played out in Out of the Park Baseball 15:
The St. Louis Cardinals jumped out to a 3-0 lead, starter Shelby Miller allowed two runs through seven solid innings, and a parade of relievers no-hit the San Francisco Giants’ lineup in the final two frames. The Cardinals’ 4-2 victory evened up this simulated NLCS at two games apiece. With the Giants up 2-1 in the real series, could OOTP match reality when the real NLCS Game 4 starts in a couple hours?
While the real world Royals take a 3-0 series lead into today’s Game 4 against the Orioles, the virtual version found themselves down, two games to one, against the Orioles in our simulation. Like they did all year in real life, though, the Royals found ways to scratch out runs and used their bullpen to seal a 3-2 victory that tied this virtual ALCS at two games apiece.