In 1971, Time Inc (owner of Sports Illustrated magazine) published their first baseball game. It included about 20 players on each at-that-time current (1970 season) baseball team, presented on tri-fold color charts. The following two years, they released new editions to cover the most recent season. For 1972, they switched to teams of 25 players each on single double-sided color charts. In 1973, the teams roster size was reduced considerably and the player charts were presented on individual player cards with no color coding.
Also in 1973, they released their All-Time All-Star Baseball game, in the style of their second edition (1971 season, 1972 publication, color charts). It included each of the original American League and National League franchises, each with the 25 "best" players from that team's long history. This was a smashing success amongst tabletop managers, but was apparently not enough to sustain the enterprise and was the last new baseball product produced by Time Inc in this line.
The All-Time All-Star edition was altered to match the individual card format and relabeled as Superstar Baseball. This was later transferred to Avalon Hill when they picked up the entire line of sports games from Time. This also granted Avalon Hill the right to use the words "A Sports Illustrated Game" on any Avalon Hill sports product, even if it wasn't part of the original Time, Inc line of games, which led to some confusion for titles such as Baseball Strategy, Football Strategy, and Pro Golf.
1971, Sports Illustrated Baseball in blue box with silver "foil" image:
Charts (based on 1970 season) were tri-fold full color:
1972, Change to a long box:
Charts (based on 1971 season) changed to single-leaf format:
1973, Still published by Sports Illustrated/Time, though name changed to Pennant Race
Charts (based on 1972 season) changed to monochrome perforated cards, necessitating a different board to line up chart results with dice-roll numbers:
1973, Also released All-Time All-Star Baseball edition. Box was a red version of the old small blue-box (no picture in database at this time). Update: Another box was used for selling the All-Time All-Star edition (seen on eBay). It was the long box version and the cover showed an image of (presumably) Ruth hitting a home run with the catcher in a half-squat behind him. It may very well be the same image that was cropped for the bookcase box cover below.
All-Time All-Star Baseball charts were very similar in format to the 1972 ('71 season) charts:
1974, Still published by Sports Illustrated/Time, the seasonal baseball line was disbanded (no charts based on 1973 season), and the All-Time All-Star game was revamped to include only 96 players on monochrome perforated cards (similar to the 1973 seasonal game revamping). The name was changed to Superstar Baseball.
Superstar Baseball was originally released in a long box format:
Avalon Hill purchased the games from Sports Illustrated in 1978 (?) and there are two editions in bookcase format from Avalon Hill. While it is certain that the card mix between the Sports Illustrated long box Superstar and the Avalon Hill blue-box Superstar are minutely different (one or two different players), it is unclear whether the edition in between is different from the blue-box edition.
1978 Avalon Hill "Ruth" edition:
1978 Avalon Hill "Blue Box" edition:
Often, Avalon Hill would repackage existing stock from a company (e.g. the Ruth cover) and later revamp the game contents, sometimes changing the box art again, which could explain two different boxes from AH, each with a 1978 copyright.
1983, Avalon Hill issued 48 additional players (projected future superstars playing at the time). This had no packaging of its own, but was simply an additional set of cards with a blue info sheet:
The game officially went out of print, but has had many "home grown" versions available from fans. At least one was packaged and sold as a complete game, starting in 2004, named Ultimate All-Time All-Star Baseball:
This Excel file takes Randy Cox's famous UATAS color charts for all 28 teams (26 MLB teams and 2 Negro League all-star teams) and converts all players into individual 2.5" x 3.5" cards that can be printed out, cut, and (if you want) sleeved with standard baseball-card sleeves.
The stats used are the exact same stats from Randy's file (also available here in the BGG downloads,) just in card format for those who prefer their tabletop sports games with individual cards instead of charts. Enjoy!
Before I created my Ultimate All-Time All-Star set (see files section here), I created this set. It's not exactly compatible and does not include most of the optional rules I later came up with for the UATAS set. But it's a perfectly usable set of all-stars broken down by decade.
Years ago, I (Randy Cox) created a new set of color charts for this old game, complete with several new (optional) rules. I sold the set for years and now it is sold out. I am now making it available for free here on BGG.
This is a compressed (zipped) file containing an Excel spreadsheet and a Word document. Print each tab and the word document and you have all you need except for the dice. I do still have several sets of dice that I have sold over the years. Alternately, you can create your own:
Black die sides: 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3
White die 1: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
White die 2: 0, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4
Green die: 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 2
Red die: 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3
I designed the chart creation algoritms, data normalization (yes, the charts are not "pure"),...