If you’ve seen the movie Field of Dreams or read the book the movie was based on (W.P. Kinsella’s Shoeless Joe) you know the story of Moonlight Graham. Thanks to Out of the Park 17, you might meet a hundred fifty thousand people like him soon enough.
For those of you who don’t know, Moonlight Graham was a baseball player who made it to the Major Leagues in 1905, and played one game for the New York Giants. He played outfield, for one half inning, and never returned to the major league ever again. It says something about the romance of the game that a forgotten player, who tasted the major league level so briefly, is now remembered, over 110 years after that one game was played.
And OOTP 17 will introduce you to one hundred fifty thousand people just like him, who never even got to that level, but yet, somehow, someway, are still part of the game’s immortal fabric.
That’s the new feature available with historic simulations, accurate minor league rosters going back to 1919. That’s 150,000 players,. all rated to perform in the eras they played. It’s jaw dropping, and amazing. One of the greatest things about baseball is the length and breadth of stories that can be found, not just at the highest level, stars like Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson.. but the minor leagues, stuff that felt like an immortal part of American summers after World War I to the present day. There are 150,000 stories waiting to be told. Players who didn’t have the talent to stay in the game long, but still, for one or more summers, traveled from small town to small town, playing games in the hot sun or under the bright lights for the locals. Or Players who were signed and touted as the next big thing, but became that all too common tragedy, the “can’t miss kid who somehow missed”.
Think of how many people across 97 years of baseball could say to their kids.. “If I just had that one break…” And believe it or not, OOTP 17 may just give them that one break, at least in the electronic world. Think of how many stories can be told, about that one prospect who hit 72 homers in the minors, but yet, for whatever reason, never made the major leagues.
Yeah, I’m an incurable romantic when it comes to baseball.
David "SirFozzie" Yellope is the operator of the "An 8 bit mind in an 8 Gigabyte World". (an8bitmind.com) While not QUITE yet at the stage of waving his cane and telling the kids to "get off his lawn", he does admit he owns three canes.