Ready to be the commissioner of your own personal baseball league? Here's everything you need to DO it! The 2018 Baseball America player card set for HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL Big League Baseball Game, NOW AVAILABLE!
In April of 2013, we introduced Baseball America, a fictional big league baseball universe where YOU are the commissioner. Now, the saga continues with a brand NEW year of baseball--and, just like in real-life spring training, some players have returned, poised for big production, others are hoping just to hang on to a roster spot. Of course, many of the league's established stars are back for "business as usual." But some 2017 players aren't even in the league anymore--they've either retired, been demoted to the minors, or simply not offered a new contract. Taking their places is a crop of newly-carded prospects, each ready to show you what they've got!
You'll get individual cards for over 300 ball players, from superstar to scrub. That's enough to stock twelve teams. You can use all or some of the players, to create a circuit custom-tailored to your table-top plans. The cards come in the standard HMB design (see examples at right) each identified by the season rather than by a specific club. You're free to distribute players the way you want to! You can create parity, with all your clubs having strengths and weaknesses, or you can set up your league to have clear-cut championship cup favorites. However, each player also has an optional numerical team assignment, offering you the choice of ready-made rosters if you'd rather not spend the time and effort crafting your own.
2018's Baseball America free-agent market was busier than ever, and once again a number of high-profile players have switched uniforms. Potent hitters like 1B Matt Heubschtak and 2B Nick Griffis, fire-balling pitchers such as SP Xavier Colon and RP Chick Schramm, and highly-touted youngsters like OF Dixon Weaver and RP James Giarratano have each moved to new clubs and big-dollar salaries. The ink is dried on the contracts, now the heat is on these players to show return on the investments. Will they come through?
While these names grabbed BA headlines in the off-season, plenty of other moves flew under the radar screen. SP Steve Show moves on after last year's one-year deal, adding immediate strength to his new club's pitching staff. OF Junior Royal was released for salary cap reasons, but quickly signed with new team. C Tommy Orsulak, a fixture behind plate for years, unexpectedly switched clubs. 3B Curt Swarnge is back with his "home town" team after two years with a rival club. Every BA team made some changes to their rosters, while a few conducted wholesale house-cleanings. Which moves will work, and which ones won't? Only time will tell—and YOU'RE writing the story, with the 2018 Baseball America card set!
Of course, many league stars have stayed put with last year's club and will presumably pick up where they left off in 2017: emerging young stars like C Damaso Aceves, 2B Travis Harvey, and SS Pauli Pauxtis, veteran stars like 1B Tod Sargent, CF Vance Hairston, 3B Rickey Roynell, RP John Boudreaux, SP Fumi Suziki and many more will continue to delight home town fans with masterful mound performances, clutch hits, and highlight reel defensive plays! And breakout rookies like SP Fernando De La Rosa, IF Ronnie Cyr and C Bobby Grubb will be filling the home town stands again with fans hoping to see the same kind of promising play from them in '18 that was put on display last year.
This year's rookie crop is a bit lighter than usual, but there are a few notable first-year players who have earned 2018 roster spots, most of whom are "works-in-progress." SS Joaquin Ulloa has demonstrated an impressive glove, but needs to improve his stickwork. 2B Dave Wedge wowed fans in spring training with a number of tape-measure homers interspersed between frequent strikeouts. OF Jorge Cosme just might the fastest baserunner in the league—he just needs to figure out how to get on base more often. And rookie pitchers Joe Tatro and Kirby Colston both have shown plenty of heat along with occasional lapses of control.
Sadly, as is the case every year, some long-tenured players won't be taking the field in 2018. Long-time 2B Steve Kaiser battled health issues the last couple seasons, saw the "handwriting on the wall" and reluctantly retired. He could be talked out of it though—his card is included in the 2018 set, unassigned to a team. Longtime batting star 2B Rico Santana spent 2017 waiting for the phone call that never came and officially hung up his cleats over the off-season. Veterans like UT Carlos Ennis, 3B Coy Owens, IF Don Skube and former 20-game winners Marc Bethune and Stan McDowell each found themselves on the outside looking in when final roster moves were made at the end of spring training, generating the usual analysis and furor on the sports call-in radio shows. Other players have departed with scant concern from fans or media. 3B Reggie Warnock had a run-in with the law and was unceremoniously dumped. C Foster Lugo balked at being sent to the minors, we may have seen the last of him. IF Naruto Mayoshi, who was featured on the cover of a major national sports magazine in 2014 as one of baseball's "Can't Miss" rookie stars, has moved on from baseball after failing to find his game. And 2017 rookie 2B Kamm Houck appeared on a network TV reality singing show during the off-season, winning first place and a country music record contract—he's off to Nashville, holding a guitar this summer instead of a baseball bat!
Some of the other stories of spring training '18 centered on several "where did THAT come from" performances from unheralded players. RP Harvey Nixon didn't allow a single earned run the entire pre-season, and SP Mickey Lyons' newly-developed slider had TV analysts talking for weeks. IF Fort Sprouse suddenly looked like a hall-of-famer with an error-free pre-season that was filled with amazing fielding plays. Are these guys for real? Are they poised for career-seasons, or was it just a flash-in-the-pan?
The 2018 Baseball America card set for HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL Big League Baseball Game gives you unlimited possibilities to create the perfect tabletop baseball experience, tailored to your own personal taste, preferences and time constraints. Sure, playing a full 150+ game league season with all twelve teams is certainly do-able, but not many of us have that kind of available hobby time! However, there are plenty of other fun options you can explore. Hand-pick your own odds-on pennant favorite, and see if you can live up to the expectations by playing a full season against the rest of the league's teams! Draft your league's teams and do a "game of the week" season project, full-playing a select game or series and quick-playing the rest of the week's games with a single dice roll using the Instant Results chart. Or, quick-play the entire season up to the final week or two, and full-play the rest! Conduct a best-of-five tournament, with every team getting a shot. These are just a FEW of the ideas PLAAY Gamers have come up with to enjoy the Baseball America card series in a way that suits them best.
Discover the fun and freedom of open-ended, un-scripted "blue sky" baseball, minus the pressure of preconceived historical expectations of "what happened in real-life." You're writing your OWN baseball history, and there IS no "right" or "wrong" outcome! Just roll the dice and enjoy the drama.
The 2018 Baseball America card set for HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL Big League Baseball Game is available for just $24 postage-paid, and includes over 300 player cards on easy-to-separate micro-perfed card stock, plus a set of umpire cards, 18 different ball park cards which you can assign to your teams as you wish, and an "Instant Results" table listing projected 2018 win ranges for each of the league's twelve teams. It's your own, personal big league baseball universe, yours to run with a light touch or an iron fist—endlessly entertaining, exciting, and UNIQUE to only you—and it's just a click away! Order YOUR copy!