Warren Paper Products Company (now Warren Industries, Inc.) of
Lafayette, Indiana was founded in 1921 as a manufacturer of setup
paper boxes for manufacturers of candy, apparel, jewelry, and other
items. With the shortage of metal toys during World War II, the
company began producing picture puzzles, paperboard dollhouses,
paper forts and gas stations, and miniature replicas of the
Indianapolis 500 Stadium. The Built-Rite line of toys and games was
introduced during this period. During the 1940s and '50s, Warren
began turning out miniature buildings and townscapes for use with
model railroad layouts. Through the 1960s and 1970s, Warren
produced an array of low-end promotional games and puzzles, similar
to those produced by Milton Bradley and Western Publishing, but
-- info credit http://www.megabloks.com/warren/warren.html
The company's first effort with tabletop baseball appears to
have been product No. 882, Manage Your Own Team
Baseball Game, in the late 1950s or very early '60s. The
box measures about 16x8". The game features 22 cards,
each with nine possible plays, the result determined by the
assigned field position of the player then at bat. The
mechanic is derivative of that used in various editions of
The National-American Baseball Game ("the Nap Lajoie
game") and Baseball Cards, both produced by Parker
Brothers from about 1913 into the 1930s. The playing field,
which reads simply "Baseball Game," build-ups, and cards
are shown here.
|The game, entirely card-driven, was also produced as a card game per se. The "blue box" version of Baseball Card Game shown at left, product No. 443, again featured nine results per card, but doubled the card count to 44. The cover art uses the figures from the middle right of the boxed game's lid. At least two card-back designs were made -- the green baseball motif shown at right, and a plain beige pattern. Instructions are printed on the back of the box.|
|The "green-box" version of Baseball Card
Game shown at left, although using the same
title, the same cover art (but with a green
rather than blue background color), and the
same product number, is a completely
different game. This is a simple "draw"
game with but a single result on each of
the 44 cards. The swinging batter on the
"home run" card was first seen at the upper
left of the original box lid.
An edition with different cover art, shown at
right, was also produced, trumpeting the
"shaped" cards found in all of Warren's
early "card-game" editions.
|The "nine-result" version of the game also |
appears in Warren's Sports-O-Rama Game
Chest (No. 2003). It's possible this four-game
medley, whose football, basketball, and golf
card games all use a similar multiple-result
mechanic, may have been the real first
appearance for Warren's baseball game. As
with the earliest edition of Manage Your Own
Team (above), the baseball gameboard/
playing field is again marked only "Baseball Game."
The football game was also produced as a
separate boxed boardgame, Jr. Quarterback
Football Game -- and in another version as a
card game only, Football Card Game (No.
443F), which featured 42 play cards and two
instruction cards. "Swish" Basketball Game
was likewise produced as a stand-alone boxed
boardgame, as was the "Break Par" Golf
Game. Tabletop keglers demand to know why
Bowling Card Game (No. 495) was excluded
from this set!
more attractive cover art -- even if the pre-adolescent manager does have a
curiously awkward grip on his clipboard, and his adult players appear to be
competing on a diamond of Little League dimensions. On the edition shown
above, Manage Your Own Team Baseball, the cover art "bleeds" over onto
the side aprons of the lid, where the game directions are also found. The
gameboard, at right, now includes the "Manage Your Own Team" legend,
as well as illustrations of two batters recycled from the lower corners
of the original edition box lid.
|Yet another variation in the graphic design is |
shown at left. A yellow border frames the lid of
this edition, which also features yellow aprons.
The build-up is also slightly different from that
shown above, and in at least some samples, the
cards again have the plain beige-pattern backs.
Still No. 882 -- but now simply Baseball Game, with
"Manage Your Own Team" relegated to a blurb elsewhere
on the lid -- this edition of the game was published in the
1970s by Tee Pee Toys and manufactured by Jessup
Paper Box of Brookston, Indiana. Whatever licensing
arrangement was involved is yet to be researched, but
it's likely one or both entities were simply subsidiaries
of Warren -- Brookston is barely ten miles from Warren's
main plant in Lafayette. The box, featuring some of the
clumsiest, most painfully garish cover art ever seen, is
a bit smaller -- 15.5x8" -- and the card backs have a
blue and white plaid pattern.
Warren reclaimed credit for the game -- now just
Baseball, No. 7008-10 -- with this mid-'70s edition,
restored to 16x8" and emblazoned with a crest
declaring it "A Warren Blue Ribbon Game."
"Manage Your Own Team" remains in place on the
playing field, although the gameboard/build-up
is slightly altered once again. Card backs
have a bold green and white pattern.
Our apologies for the public-domain photo of
this badly moisture-damaged example -- we'll
replace it with a better shot soon.
|It's uncertain how many cards are supposed to be in |
this edition of Baseball Card Game -- at least 28, but
the flip-top box is too slim to hold many more than that.
This version, again No. 443, was probably the last hurrah
for Warren's tabletop ballgame after a run of close to
twenty years. It may have been the image of a boy in
a magenta jersey hitting into a green typhoon that
finished it off.
tabletop baseball. Although utterly unrelated
to the family tree of games above,
Dice-Baseball (product No. 2880),
the company's last (and only other) foray into
the genre, is included here for completists.
Warren were only the "jobbers" for this
early-1980s dice-and-cards design
by K & K Enterprises.