4th Street Baseball is a baseball simulation game using individual ratings to recreate big league baseball action. Ratings are printed in booklet format on perforated cardstock. They measure 3.5" x 2.5" (the same size as a bubble-gum card).
The game starts with the pitcher. Each pitcher is rated for his ability to get the ball over the plate, the likelihood of him giving up the long ball, walk to strikeout ratio, hits allowed, etc.
Each hitter has been rated for average, extra-base potential, strikeouts and walks, base running, stealing, bunting, and lefty-righty hitting. In addition, pitchers and hitters are rated for defensive range, error frequency, outfielder-catcher arms, and infielders ability to turn the double play.
Five dice are employed in 4th Street Baseball...one twenty-sided (d20), two ten-sided (d10), and two six-sided (d6).
Play starts by determining the count. The two d10 are rolled and the count is determined by looking at the pitcher's count column. If the pitcher gets ahead in the count, his ratings, along with all of the defensive players behind him, increase. If he falls behind, then the increase is instead given to the hitter. The defense is allowed to position its players and selects a strategy card (fastball, breaking ball, pitchout, etc.). The offense, likewise, selects a strategy card (hit and run, steal, etc.). All five dice are rolled, the strategy cards are revealed, and the play continues by finding a "matchup" on the pitcher's card. Matchups vary from balls hit to a specific fielder, to batter-pitcher battles, to ballpark and defensive positioning effects. Once a matchup has been determined, the defender's rating is subtracted from the hitter's rating and the result is compared to the d20. If the result is less than or equal to the d20, the hitter wins the matchup and the final result of the play is read off the hitter by adding the two d6 and referring to the appropriate column. If the d20 result is higher, then the play result is found similarly on the defensive player.
The game comes with a book (or two books, depending upon the season) full of baseball player ratings which are perforated to 2.5" x 3.5" (the same size as a bubble-gum card), baseball fields (printed on 8.5" x 11" card stock, for each team), dice, strategy cards, an easy-to-read results chart, and score sheets. All players are rated for the 2005 season, except those with less than 25 at bats or innings pitched, or pitchers who had 2 or less starts.