SPidge Tales

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

RBI Baseball and the 1986 World Series Come Together

1986 was a quite monumental year. The first 363 days of it, I was five years old and had a number of what cheesy authors would call defining moments. In January, my family moved from Schenectady to Rensselaer. I graduated from pre-school in the Spring and started Kindergarten in the Fall. 1986 would also mark the final year that wetting my pants was almost a daily occurrence.

The two most significant events in my life from 1986 were actually not even on my radar screen that calendar year. While I was busy learning my alphabet during the days and watching He-Man and Transformers in the afternoons, unbeknownst to my mullet-haired (at the time) self, two amazing events would forever reshape baseball history: Game Six of the World Series and Nintendo RBI Baseball. Because of a random experiment from someone with too much time on his hands (not me, don’t worry), 20 years later these monumental achievements have converged.

I did not appreciate this until later, since I was two years away at the time from starting T-Ball, and about five years from becoming a baseball fan, but 1986 was the year the party crazy, alcoholic, cocaine infested New York Mets (the team I would become a fan of) made their miracle comeback against the Boston Red Sox in the bottom of the 10th inning of Game Six of the World Series, trailing the series 3 games to 2, and the game itself 5-3, with 2 outs and no one on base. Keith Hernandez headed for the clubhouse to grab a beer after making the second out, and the rest is a Bill Buckner induced history.

I did not get my first Original Nintendo until I was 8 or 9, so I also did not at the time appreciate the release of RBI Baseball. It is a classic baseball game with bubble shaped players, terrible graphics, and iffy game-play. What makes it enjoyable, besides the simple, quick, game style, is that it is one of the first sports video games to use real teams and real players. It included about 15 teams from the 1986 season, including both the Red Sox and the Mets.

Because of some computer guy (read about it on SI.com: sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/
pete_mcentegart/04/11/ten.spot/index.html ), the real life and video life have finally merged. You can now watch the entire 8 minutes and 39 seconds of the bottom of the 10th inning with RBI Baseball players, complete with the real World Series announcing of Vin Scully. This has to be one of the greatest ideas ever thought of. And, yes, I am supplying the link. Click here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8547285560243429315&q=RBI+baseball&pl=true , and turn your volume up to watch and listen. Yes, this is real. This is no joke.


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