Out of the Park Baseball is closing out its 18th year in 2017. OOTP has plenty of long-time players, as well as several long-running online leagues, but few have been around as long as SDMB. The online league was founded by Michael Weintraub and Zev Steinhardt 15 years ago and has embarked on its 30th season.
out of the park baseball
As Out of the Park Baseball continues to grow and reach new fans, we’ve needed to expand our team so we can handle the various ways we interact with you. As part of that expansion, we recently added Kris Jardine, Associate Community Manager for OOTP, to our roster. Here’s what he has to say.
Brent Long, commissioner of the GAF Online Baseball League that came together on the NeoGAF forum, discovered Out of the Park Baseball with last year’s version 16, but once he did, he was hooked. “When I play any game that tries to simulate a sport, I’m always most interested in the long-term development of my team,” he says. “You get to see what would happen if you were in control and, right now, OOTP probably does that the best out of any game that I’ve played.”
He joined the GOBL not long after its inception and soon became the commissioner. “GOBL brings me into the game every single day,” Long observes. “There’s a lot more intrigue when you know you’re competing against other people and not just the CPU.” (The league has a few openings, so anyone who’s interested in joining should see the thread on the NeoGAF forum and contact Long (he’s “brentech”) for more information.)
Some consider baseball the most cerebral of the pro sports, so it’s not a surprise that an enterprising Out of the Park Baseball player would capitalize on the idea with the Overeducated Baseball League. Consisting of fictional athletes playing in the Platonic and Socratic Leagues, with Kant and Hobbes Divisions in the former and Hegel and Calvin Divisions in the latter, the OEL has been going strong for ten years. There have been 20 simmed seasons completed.
“Yes, we’ve made all the ‘Calvin & Hobbes’ jokes,” OEL co-founder Nate Wooley says without being asked the obvious question. While that comic strip’s main character was fond of a game called Calvinball that involved rules created on the fly, Wooley is a stock broker and his fellow co-founder Mack is an attorney, so they’re sticklers for rules. [Read more…] about Overeducated Baseball League Mixes Highbrow and Lowbrow
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.”
When we simmed the 2016 Major League Baseball season to give a glimpse into what this year might hold, we had the Cleveland Indians down the Washington Nationals in a seven-game World Series that saw Corey Kluber win a 1-0 Game 7 against Stephen Strasburg.
Could that still happen? Sure, anything is possible, but we thought we’d revisit that sim at the halfway mark of the season to see how it compares to real life. Then we had a fun idea: What if we pretend the season ended right now and sim the playoffs to see what might happen? Stay tuned for the results.
Which MLB team was the best ever? That question has spurred endless debates over the years. The discussions can be heated, and usually someone throws in a minor league team or a Negro League club, but we’re limiting this query to the National and American Leagues.
The arguments will never end, of course, but we thought we’d take a shot at answering the question ourselves by using Out of the Park Baseball 17 to simulate a tournament of the 16 best teams in history. Dubbed 16 in ‘16, the event started with a selection committee consisting of Tim Kurkjian (ESPN), Neil Paine (FiveThirtyEight), Mark Simon (ESPN), Brian Kenny (MLB Network), Ken Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau), Rob Tracy (Elias Sports Bureau), CJ Nitkowski (MLB Analyst), Kat Bailey (Hit The Pass/US Gamer), and Gus Ramsey (Committee Chairman).
We’re happy to publish guest posts any time someone approaches us with an idea. Here’s the latest one:
Out of the Park Baseball as a Digital Game-Based Learning Project: The 1879 Northwestern League, Frank Bandle and the Omaha Green Stockings
(The full article, with all of the relevant data and screenshots, can be downloaded online.)
By Robert Roy Foresman
In the spring semester of 2015, I was given the opportunity to develop a digital history project at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Since my historical interest mainly involves baseball, and at that time I was researching the 1879 Northwestern Baseball League for a book, I was thinking about what options there might be to create a digital history project that included the 1879 NWBL. At that time, I had recently discovered that the league had only played half of its season when it folded in mid-July. One of the obvious historical questions that had been on my mind was that if a complete ‘championship season’ ran its’ course in 1879, who would have won? Was there a way to simulate the season that might provide this information? I had done this on other gaming platforms with contemporary baseball rosters and seasons.
Then, I realized that Out of the Park Baseball (OOTPB) provided a perfect opportunity to uniquely answer this question. This is how my idea for a digital history project came about. OOTP Baseball allows the user to recreate historical baseball leagues or even develop fictional leagues at the creators’ discretion. For this project, parameters were set to function in 1879, and the league with all the historical data gathered was included. The 36-game season was the framework for this ‘tryout’ that included a championship series occurring at the end of the simulated 1879 season. The simulation model was set for 10 seasons to give an impartial representation of what the actual results might have been if a whole season had been played.
The emergent digital game-based learning (DGBL) concept is attracting educational enthusiasts across the world. This article will follow that global trend and demonstrate how Out of the Park Baseball provides a valuable framework for classroom-based, DGBL projects. The aim of this article is to exhibit the benefits, learning outcomes and potential for DGBL baseball projects in college and high school classrooms. This commentary will also reveal that DGBL can provide learning engagement and motivation for students when given the opportunity to participate in similar DGBL ventures. The editorial will offer a brief explanation of DGBL and provide simulation results, comparative analysis and conceptual modeling for a DGBL baseball project utilizing Out of the Park Baseball. Additionally, the work will provide learning outcomes for the classroom project and includes a suggested reading list that potential instructors may access. The hope is that this article will be referenced as a curriculum development resource in future DGBL projects.
Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com with any questions or for the opportunity to collaborate further. The full article is free and open to the public. You may also download this article and others at my academia.edu profile.
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.