Out of the Park Developments, an official licensee of MLB.com, MiLB.com, and the MLBPA, today announced “16 in ’16: Baseball’s Tournament of Champions.” This unique competition will determine which Major League Baseball team truly is the greatest of all time, thanks to the new Out of the Park Baseball 17 Historical Series feature and the game’s powerful simulation engine that has delighted baseball fans for the past seventeen seasons.
Out of the Park Baseball 17, an MLB.com licensee, offers a stadium full of exciting new features, starting with a Major League Baseball Players Association license that allows us to include Facegen images for all MLB players. You’ll also find 2016 Opening Day rosters, logos for all teams and leagues in MLB and Minor League Baseball, authentic minor league systems with a database of 100,000+ players, and much more.
Don’t forget that you can pre-order OOTP 17 now and receive VIP access to the Gold Master beta build of the game on March 18, four days before its official worldwide release, along with a free Steam key that will be available on March 22.
This is a guest post by Dan Glickman. Dan is a freelance writer, journalist, and blogger from Rochester, NY. When not searching for a job, watching baseball or playing video games, he runs The Baseball Continuum.
Not much is known of the baseball culture of Greenland. It is, after all, Greenland, one of the coldest and least densely populated places on the planet. But, there is baseball there. Not like the baseball we know, but baseball all the same. Because, you see, in Greenland they play “diamond wall baseball”. This strange game involves outfield walls that are almost a straight line, making the field look like a literal diamond.
And then, there is the fact the outfield walls are 700 feet high. I don’t know how they pull that off, but just roll with it.
This is a guest blog post by Eric Kranz. Eric has been ruining franchises in online OOTP leagues for nearly a decade. His style of GM’ing can best be described as a mix between Sal Bando and Jack Zduriencik. You can follow his current attempt to resurrect the Brewers at gobl.obleague.com.
As a 34 year old lover of baseball, I grew up idolizing Ken Griffey Jr. It didn’t matter that I was a lifelong, die-hard Brewers fan. The Kid was the coolest thing around. I had his jersey, his shoes (better than Jordan’s ever were), his SNES games and went to see the Mariners every time they played at old County Stadium. I cheered for the Brewers, but I loved Ken Griffey Jr.
The recent kerfuffle surrounding his “only” getting 99% of the Hall of Fame vote sort of rekindled my interest in Griffey, and as is often the case when my interest in anything baseball is sparked, I decided to fire up Out of the Park Baseball 16. My thinking at first was “is it possible to get Griffey to 100% of the HoF vote?” I quickly realized that as amazing as OOTP 16 is, I wouldn’t be able to get anything super useful by paying too close attention to the Hall of Fame vote.
So, I decided to run a simulation of a discussion that I am willing to bet all of us mid-30’s baseball fans have had at one time or another; how great would Junior have been if he had stayed in Seattle and not gotten hurt? Inspired, I took to OOTP 16. I set up a league that started in 1989, turned off injuries and controlled the Mariners to ensure Griffey never left. I ran the sim through 2018 five times.
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.
“For me, OOTP is more than a sim – it’s a role-playing game, probably one of the greatest RPGs ever created,” says Mike Dunn, who used the game to create an elaborate fictional world that became the basis for his novel Lord Bart and the Leagues of SIP and ALE. The book is currently available for nomination as part of Amazon’s Kindle Scout program, which selects the most popular submissions for publication by Kindle Press.
We encourage everyone with an Amazon account to visit the page for Dunn’s book and nominate it for publication by Thursday, Jan. 7. He describes it as “a baseball steampunk adventure” set during the 30th anniversary celebration of the SIP and ALE baseball leagues, when an airship disaster threatens to push tense relations between the Setherian and Helderan nations to the brink of war. It’s a world in which baseball has been resurrected as a way to bring about an uneasy peace between Setheridge and Helderan.
Dunn recalls: “I spent many months creating the fictional world – one major league, one minor league, covering two nations on one continent. I made logos, created a player names file, crafted a map, tweaked the finances, and even got my hands dirty with the .xml files. Then I simmed 30 years, so the league would have a history. It was only at that point that I started the dynasty thread in the forums.”
Each annual version of Out of the Park Baseball and MLB Manager brings with it a roster update that’s accurate as of Opening Day, and in the case of OOTP, that includes all Major League Baseball teams and all the MiLB clubs, along with independent minors in the US, major and minor league teams in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, and more.
It’s a herculean undertaking, one that requires a “24/7, 365 days a year process,” explains Howard Woolfolk, who oversees the team that handles all that work. Lukas Berger serves as his right-hand man, and the two of them graciously agreed to answer some questions and give readers a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most low-key, but crucially important, aspects of the games.
Want to use OOTP in your class or after-school club, or know a teacher who would like to use it? We’re happy to provide free copies of OOTP for use in K-12 and higher education settings. Please get in touch via the OOTP Developments contact page.
Could Out of the Park Baseball be a useful tool for teaching high school students about business math? That was the question teacher Joshua Dixon, of Lutheran High School in Illinois, asked himself when he decided to bring his love of OOTP into the classroom. He credits our interview with another teacher, Justin Lander, who did something similar, as his inspiration for the idea.
Dixon teaches Business Math, which is focused on consumer math but has some lessons covering owning and maintaining a business, so he thought the front office part of OOTP would be perfect for his students, who would also get the thrill of running a Major League Baseball franchise. Dixon had no trouble getting his principal on board with the idea, since “he was a big fan of the idea of combining a real world application to the information being learned in the classroom,” and soon he was off and running.
“With the business aspect of the class,” Dixon explains, “OOTP helped the students understand the importance of paying for employees (the managers, players, scouts) while making a profit and pleasing the customer base (the fans).”
No matter who wins the World Series this year, one team’s new generation of fans will finally know the thrill of a championship. The New York Mets last took a trip to the fall classic in 2000, when they lost a subway series to their cross-town rivals, the New York Yankees, but they haven’t won it all since that classic 1986 World Series against the Boston Red Sox. (To refresh your memory: Game 6. A rolling ball. Bill Buckner’s legs.)
Meanwhile, the Kansas City Royals have repeated as the American League pennant winner but are still seeking their first World Series win since 1985, thanks to a loss in seven games against the San Francisco Giants last year. Like the New York Mets, Kansas City’s previous World Series victory was a seven-game thriller that also featured a memorable Game 6 moment and wins in the final two games to seal the championship.
After simming the World Series 20 times with Out of the Park Baseball 16’s Simulation Module, we’re picking the Kansas City Royals to win it, since they prevailed 16 times, but they’ll likely need six or seven games to do so: Nine times the series went the full seven, with three six-game series, seven five-game series, and just one sweep. We used the Simulation Module’s new Game Importance dropdown that allows you to select “playoff,” so the AI behaves accordingly. (It will be a new feature in OOTP 17 next year.)
This year’s National League Championship Series features two teams that are on the rise again after several down years. The Chicago Cubs haven’t been in the playoffs since 2008 and famously haven’t played in the World Series since 1945, with their only two championships happening in 1907 and 1908. And then there’s that much-talked-about movie angle: A news headline in a certain popular film sequel says that Chicago has won the 2015 World Series.
Meanwhile, the New York Mets’ previous postseason appearance was in 2006, and their last World Series appearance happened in 2000, when they lost a so-called “subway series” to the New York Yankees. Like Chicago, they have just a pair of world championships under their belts (1986 and 1969), but unlike their NLCS counterpart, they’ve only been around since 1962.
We’ve already simmed the ALCS and found that one possibly too close to call, although we’re giving an oh-so-slight edge to the Toronto Blue Jays. As with the sims we ran for that prediction, we’ve simmed the NLCS ten times and have created a composite of the results. This time, the results were more clear-cut: We expect the Chicago Cubs to win, and we explain why below.