Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: National Pastime baseball game (1940s or 50s?) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Joe Salamone
United States
Billerica
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Aggravating people worldwide since 1964
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My father had a baseball board game called NATIONAL PASTIME. Based on my father's age, I estimate the game was published somewhere between 1947 and 1955. I remember playing it with my dad when I was a kid. I have no idea what happened to it, but I haven't seen it at my parents' house in at least 30 years.

The game consisted of a fold-out board with charts printed on it for "bases empty," "man on first base," "bases loaded" (and every other possible base-running situation). It also had charts for bunting, hit-and-run, and base-stealing. Each chart had 4 color-coded columns that corresponded to a deck of numbered, color-coded cards.

The game was very simple (and heavily based on luck). If the bases were empty, you would just flip the top card from the deck and consult the "bases empty" chart. So, if the card you flipped was a yellow card with the number 7 on it, you would look in the yellow column beside line #7 to get the result ("home run," for example). You really had no control over the outcome of the game and the decision-making was limited to things like deciding whether to bunt or "swing away." The luck of the cards determined everything else. But when I was about 8 years old, this was a really fun game. And it had the wonderful smell of cardboard that had been stored in the basement for a couple of decades.

If anyone has any information about this game, I would appreciate hearing about it.



2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve O'Grady
United States
Jacksonville
Alabama
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sounds very similar to (and may have been the inspiration for) Statis Pro Baseball. Published in the 1970s - 1990s by Avalon Hill.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Grimshaw
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
Bits and bobs from around the net:

In the early 1920’s Clifford Van Beek of Green Bay WI, invented a new genre of baseball board game, where each ballplayer’s results statistically mirrored their actual on-field performance. Van Beek’s National Pastime was patented in 1925 but didn’t get commercially printed until 1931, based on the 1930 MLB season. It used 2 different colored six-sided dice read as a 2-digit number from 11-66. For each ballplayer, National Pastime had a result number next to each of the 36 possible dice rolls. The result number was then cross-referenced using charts indicating the situational runners on base. The results were easily memorized, with a 9-inning game taking 15-20 minutes to play. There is no evidence that pitching or fielding was represented in Van Beek’s game. NP was produced for one year and died in the midst of the Great Depression when the printer went bust.

From: http://www.gamersalliance.com/F10/baseball.htm

A fan has done some considerable work on the original game (according to them, I don't play, so I couldn't say) and, made it freely available for download (check the from link below).

From: http://ntlpt.com/NPNG_Page_2.html

Some images that I've found that don't seem to be directly to the game, but would appear to use a similar system (11 - 66) from a more recent publication (APBA Pro Baseball). Might be something worth looking into:


From: http://www.gamersalliance.com/F10/baseball.htm


From: http://www.mfooz.com/bblog/?p=231


From: http://www.juangone.com/pictures.php?cardid=95571

((I'll update this post as I find more))
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Eldard
United States
Burke
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Cartomancer wrote:
Bits and bobs from around the net:

In the early 1920’s Clifford Van Beek of Green Bay WI, invented a new genre of baseball board game, where each ballplayer’s results statistically mirrored their actual on-field performance. Van Beek’s National Pastime was patented in 1925 but didn’t get commercially printed until 1931, based on the 1930 MLB season. It used 2 different colored six-sided dice read as a 2-digit number from 11-66. For each ballplayer, National Pastime had a result number next to each of the 36 possible dice rolls. The result number was then cross-referenced using charts indicating the situational runners on base. The results were easily memorized, with a 9-inning game taking 15-20 minutes to play. There is no evidence that pitching or fielding was represented in Van Beek’s game. NP was produced for one year and died in the midst of the Great Depression when the printer went bust.


Great info, Tom! I've been playing APBA Major League (Pro) Baseball since the mid'60s and was unaware of this older game.

The the base situation boards/charts and the way the dice are applied in APBA may have been inspired by this National Pastime.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Grimshaw
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
Eldard wrote:
Cartomancer wrote:
Bits and bobs from around the net:

In the early 1920’s Clifford Van Beek of Green Bay WI, invented a new genre of baseball board game, where each ballplayer’s results statistically mirrored their actual on-field performance. Van Beek’s National Pastime was patented in 1925 but didn’t get commercially printed until 1931, based on the 1930 MLB season. It used 2 different colored six-sided dice read as a 2-digit number from 11-66. For each ballplayer, National Pastime had a result number next to each of the 36 possible dice rolls. The result number was then cross-referenced using charts indicating the situational runners on base. The results were easily memorized, with a 9-inning game taking 15-20 minutes to play. There is no evidence that pitching or fielding was represented in Van Beek’s game. NP was produced for one year and died in the midst of the Great Depression when the printer went bust.


Great info, Tom! I've been playing APBA Major League (Pro) Baseball since the mid'60s and was unaware of this older game.

The the base situation boards/charts and the way the dice are applied in APBA may have been inspired by this National Pastime.


No problem. .
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Rumaley
United States
Williamsburg
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
As I understand things, it’s a well-known bit of APBA lore that creator Richard Seitz played the 1930 National Pastime heavily in his youth. Heck, it’s so well-known that even Wikipedia knows about it. Which, of course, has nothing to do with the game described by the OP.

Here’s a site dedicated to the history of tabletop baseball games. The majority of these are unknown to BGG, but there are two games named National Pastime, published in 1946 and 1947, either of which may have been the keeper of the smell of Joe’s basement.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Salamone
United States
Billerica
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Aggravating people worldwide since 1964
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Cartomancer wrote:
Bits and bobs from around the net:

In the early 1920’s Clifford Van Beek of Green Bay WI, invented a new genre of baseball board game, where each ballplayer’s results statistically mirrored their actual on-field performance. Van Beek’s National Pastime was patented in 1925 but didn’t get commercially printed until 1931, based on the 1930 MLB season.


I've seen this information online. However, this is not the game my dad owned. His game just had generic baseball results. It did not have individual player cards. One of these days, I'll turn my parents attic upside down looking for this game. Unfortunately, it was probably thrown away many years ago.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Salamone
United States
Billerica
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Aggravating people worldwide since 1964
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
GeekDadGamer wrote:
Sounds very similar to (and may have been the inspiration for) Statis Pro Baseball. Published in the 1970s - 1990s by Avalon Hill.


I have played Statis Pro many times. It is similar in that it uses charts for various men-on-base situations. However, Statis Pro uses statistics from real players. My dad's game just had generic play results and did not have stats for individual players.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.