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A Tabletop Tradition
-- text copyrighted 2016-19 by the Baseball Games front office staff --

"Dice baseball" -- now there's a great American tradition. Yeah, what ever happened to that? Well, there's a story there, or possibly several stories. Bear with us for just a few moments while we sort those out. We're talking about the "home version" of dice baseball here, not a boxed, commercially-produced game -- although commercial games were undoubtedly the source of the many different home versions, and their influence and historic connections are an important part of the discussion. That is, y'know, if we're going to have a discussion and not just jump right in to playing. Dice baseball, for any visitors here who may not be aware, was played by untold thousands upon thousands of kids -- and a few adults too -- over the course of more than a century, and seems to have faded as a popular pastime only since around the early 1980s. Sadly, any version of this delightful game is utterly alien to almost every youngster nowadays, and even most gamers, among the throngs of tabletop baseball enthusiasts today who avidly enjoy far more sophisticated baseball simulations involving dice, are oblivious to the debt their games owe to a simpler form of dice baseball. A pair of standard dice. A scoresheet and a pencil. A little imagination (the more the better). That's all you need. Fun ensues. Adults, you can teach it to the kids. Kids, you can learn it here yourselves. Pull up a chair. We're going to give you a little background on all of it, and then we're going to show you how to play it.
The Professional Game of Base Ball -- Parker Brothers, c1896
The Professional Game of Base Ball,
Parker Brothers, c1896
The Game of Base Ball -- Parker Brothers, 1890s
The Game of Base Ball,
Parker Brothers, 1890s
The College Base Ball Game -- Parker Brothers, 1906
The College Base Ball Game,
Parker Brothers, 1906

        A word, first, if we may, about the disappearance of tradition, and, in particular, traditional 
  entertainments...  we interrupt your regularly-scheduled programme for a brief rant...  

        The cranky old buzzards who run this website and Forum also frequent many other game, card, 
  antique, and sports memorabilia forums -- and when we see a post in any of them, as we often do, 
  titled something like "Question about ancient baseball game" or "Help me identify antique card," 
  we naturally get a little revved up, expecting that we can either provide the answer, or that someone    
  else will have an answer we don't and that we ourselves will thereby actually learn something.  
        Most of the time, the "ancient baseball game" or "antique card" turns out to be something from 
  the 1980s or '90s, which makes the cranky old buzzards here feel just a little older and crankier.  
  We're all bifocal-wearing longtime AARP members here, but down deep we're just superannuated 
  adolescents.  That may go some ways toward explaining our fascination with tabletop baseball, 
  which we first encountered as boys back in the 1950s, and with "dice baseball" in particular, to 
  which we were introduced in the 1960s.  You know, the '50s and '60s, which for most Americans 
  under the age of 40 means the Dark Ages, something around the time General Washington and 
  General Lincoln led the US and our Japanese allies to victory over President Hitler of England 
  during the Civil War.  
        Hey, now before you jump to the conclusion that this is just another tired, cliche-filled "why, 
  back in my day..." dirge about how things nowadays ain't the way they usedta be, by cracky, and 
  that we're completely out of touch with anything that's happened since Coolidge was President, 
  well, hold yer horses there, missy.  Dag nabbit.  No need to send us telegrams or ring us up on 
  our rotary-dial phones to complain.  We're presenting dice baseball, but we'll stipulate that we 
  have in fact played computer baseball games, and sports games on the Wii, and the latest version 
  of Halo and whatnot, and we've quite enjoyed them, amongst ourselves or playing with our 
  nephews and nieces and grandkids.  There's a great deal to be said for the graphics and sound 
  effects and the bells and whistles and blinkenlights.  We would contend, however, that whatever 
  entertainment they provide -- and that's no small thing, of course -- they all lack the intellectual 
  stimulation offered by a good boardgame.  But then again, why wouldn't kids prefer to spend 
  their entire afternoon all alone playing Warcraft on their iPads instead of wasting as much as 
  two minutes listening to family stories or insights from grandpa or grandma, let alone half an 
  hour playing some boring old game with them...  
        Beyond that, we find a disturbing ignorance of, even an active contempt for, anything that 
  happened longer ago than last week among too many otherwise intelligent young people, raised 
  on computers, babysat by video-game consoles, and miserably addicted to texting and twittering.  
  Forget events and figures of world history -- even major pop-culture icons of sport, music, film, 
  and television might as well be unrecognizable 18th-century obscurities if they didn't make 
  headlines in the past year.  And that, sadly, extends to the modern disregard for traditional 
  pastimes, and in particular traditional games.  
        Kids and young adults today have so much access to, and so much familiarity with, so much 
  high-tech entertainment, most young people, tragically, are wholly unacquainted with boardgames 
  of any sort and regard the very idea of boardgames and paper-and-pencil games as impossibly dull, 
  fusty, and unappealing.  The very idea that boardgames were, for generations, an enormously 
  popular activity for kids as well as adults -- and especially for kids and adults together, as a family 
  entertainment -- is something they find literally difficult to picture, indeed difficult even to believe.  
  But it turns out -- we've discovered to our astonishment -- that if you can lasso the young'ns and 
  actually get them to sit down for a good boardgame, they will in fact enjoy it and yes, want to 
  come back for more.  For kids who already have an interest in "real" baseball, dice baseball can 
  be a revelation -- something so simple, yet replicating the sport right there on the tabletop, and 
  providing some pleasurable exercise for those woefully atrophied muscles of imagination. 

        Pardon our digression.  We now return to the matter at hand...  
Double Game Board -- Parker Brothers, 1926
Double Game Board ~ Football Baseball and Checkers,
Parker Brothers, 1926
The National-American Base Ball Playing Field -- Parker Brothers, 1926
Baseball Football and Checkers -- Parker Brothers, 1957
Baseball Football and Checkers ~ 3 Games in 1,
Parker Brothers, 1957

        Dice baseball was our absolute favorite as kids -- despite growing up in households full of 
  commercially-produced boardgames, most of them highly entertaining, well-loved, and repeatedly 
  played.  Dice baseball, though, wasn't a store-bought tabletop baseball game from a big-name 
  game publisher, no -- no need for that.  All we needed was a pair of dice, an easily-memorized 
  table of results, scoresheets, and a pencil.  
        The game was handed down to us in the 1960s from our dads and uncles, who'd played it as 
  boys themselves in the 1930s.  Whence they got it will never be known -- none of them knew of 
  any source other than another boy at the time, one of their neighborhood pals, who'd taught it to 
  them.  Decades later, as we became fascinated with antique tabletop baseball games and busy 
  developing our own game, we wondered about how that 1930s game came to be.  The source of 
  the game, its true origin, became something of a Holy Grail quest for us -- because the game's 
  history, its lineage, its geneology if you will, was a thread that ran through time and place and 
  connected generations....  Depression-era boys on the front porch of a home in their urban 
  neighborhood, on a rainy summer day when they couldn't play sandlot ball, or in the cellar on 
  a winter afternoon, imagining Ott or Mize or Foxx or DiMaggio at the plate with each roll of 
  the dice...  years pass, and the boys, now men, teach the game to their sons and nephews in 
  their pre-fab suburbs and play it with them, and those kids teach it to their friends and play it 
  on patios and in rec rooms, visualizing Mantle or Killebrew or fictional players from their own 
  imaginations as the dice bounce on the table...  and the years roll on, and those kids of the '60s, 
  now grown as well, try to pass the game along to yet another generation...  and 21st-century boys 
  engage in a pastime among boyhood friends, a father-son bonding ritual, a tradition, learned and 
  played a lifetime earlier by boys who'd learned it from and played it with dads and uncles, all 
  gone now, all gone, who'd played it another lifetime before that, having learned it from...  
        Well, that was the mystery.  Generations connected back, but eventually, far enough back, 
  the ultimate source hid behind some opaque haze.  In the early '90s, we finally tracked down 
  that neighborhood pal of our forebears' boyhood but, alas!, although otherwise still sharp as a 
  tack, he had no memory of how or where he'd learned the game.  
It's likely, though, that the original source, perhaps through someone of a generation or two even earlier, was one of several Parker Brothers' baseball games published between the 1890s and 1920s. Parker Brothers produced numerous versions of dice baseball, all fundamentally similar to one another, for more than seventy years -- The Professional Game of Base Ball (circa 1896), The Game of BaseBall (circa 1899), The College Base Ball Game (1906), The National-American Base Ball Playing Field in their Double Game Board (1926 and 1948) and Baseball Football and Checkers (1957 and 1962) game medleys, and the last three editions (1954, 1957, and 1961) of Game of Peg Baseball.
Game of Peg Baseball -- Parker Brothers, 1954
Game of Peg Baseball, Parker Brothers, 1954
Game of Peg Baseball -- Parker Brothers, 1957
Game of Peg Baseball, Parker Brothers, 1957
Game of Peg Baseball -- Parker Brothers, 1961
Game of Peg Baseball, Parker Bros, 1961

        All these games were themselves derived from Our National Ball Game, designed in 1885 
  by Edward K McGill.  That game is a landmark in the development of tabletop baseball.  It was 
  not the very first baseball game to employ dice for play results -- League Parlor Base Ball by 
  R Bliss Manufacturing preceded it by a year.  But the Bliss game was an odd, rudimentary thing, 
  using only a single die (we'll show you that one, too, in a few moments).  A handful of single-die 
  games followed in both commercial and folk versions in later years, and McLoughlin Brothers, 
  with their 1886 Home Base Ball, was the first of many companies to produce a two-dice game 
  using just the eleven totals produced by a pair of dice (many a "homebrew" version also uses 
  that method).  McGill's game, however, obtained results from the 21 different combinations 
  possible with the dice.  This made for a larger variety of play results -- including "strike," 
  which added a bit of suspense to each roll and some pacing to the game -- and a much more 
  satisfying game overall.  
        In the 130 years since Our National Ball Game made its debut, dozens of manufacturers 
  have produced hundreds of other dice-driven baseball games, with varying degrees of simplicity    
  and complexity, among the more than a thousand different tabletop baseball games employing 
  cards, spinners, miniature implements, spring-loaded mechanical elements, electronics, and any 
  number of other methods and devices in various combination ranging from the ingenious to the 
  inane.  But it seems certain that McGill's creation was the basis for many of the hugely popular 
  folk-versions of dice baseball as well as for the far more complicated dice-based baseball 
  simulations that evolved through the years -- and it's somehow deeply pleasing to know that 
  some version of McGill's invention thrived for so long as a homemade entertainment, and still 
  survives more than a century and a quarter down the road. 
Our National Ball Game -- McGill & Delany, 1886Our National Ball Game -- McGill & Delany, 1886Our National Ball Game -- McGill & Delany, 1886

      Many folks we've encountered who played dice baseball in their own childhood or 
  adolescence remember playing a version very similar to the one we knew.  That may lend  
  some credence to our guess that a popular commercially-produced game had provided the 
  basis for so many homebrew versions of dice baseball.  Dozens of other versions can be 
  found on the internet, and in any number of books titled something like "Games for Kids" 
  and "Games You Can Make at Home" -- but the traditional, most widespread version has 
  become curiously tough to locate.  Full marks, to be sure, to those many clever boys who 
  devised a dice baseball game on their own without having had the benefit of an older 
  game taught to them by a family elder, and we'll include several such inventions below.  
  But it's the versions of dice baseball handed down through one or more generations, and 
  the stories they hold, that most intrigue us.  
      Most "folk-game" variations of dice baseball use two standard dice, but we should 
  mention that while most entries on the 130-year-long long list of commercially-produced 
  dice baseball games likewise employ a standard pair, there have been and are others that 
  use a single die, some that use three, and still others have involved four, six, and more, 
  or require ten-sided or 20-sided dice or other "special," uniquely-marked dice, rather 
  than the standard "d6" with which everyone's familiar.  And not only the commercial 
  games, but also a few homebrew versions and several variations available in print or 
  on the internet involve considerably more complex and detailed rules, edging into the 
  realm of simulation games with results individualized for each player in the line-up.  
  We're concerned here with only "basic" dice baseball -- a simple set of rules, no more 
  than three dice, and uniform, generic odds for all players.  A "starter" game, if you will.  

      One last thing before we roll the dice:  any version of dice baseball -- or for that 
  matter, any tabletop baseball game regardless of the method of play -- presents a great 
  opportunity for adults to teach kids the strategies and subtleties of baseball, and for kids 
  to exercise their underutilized imaginations, rather than having the images and results 
  spoon-fed to them by computerized graphics.  We strongly recommend, for you adults 
  who'd like to teach kids how to play any tabletop baseball game, you first take them to 
  see an actual ballgame -- any level of play, major leagues, minors, the local high school 
  team -- or at least watch a game on TV with them, and see if it generates some interest 
  in them.  If it does, then help them picture the action in their minds when you play the 
  tabletop version.  Muster up your best Vin Scully impression!  Be the play-by-play man, 
  announce it and describe the action as play proceeds.  A little hand-drawn playing field 
  with coins or buttons to indicate baserunners helps them visualize the play as well.  
      The kids' line-ups and yours are limited only by the imagination, too.  You and they 
  can insert the names of major league stars past or present, or those of the players on the 
  local minor pro team, or your kid's Little League teammates, or create fictional players 
  out of whole cloth (still more imagination required there, and we think more fun).  
      If you know how to score a game (another lost art -- maybe we should do an article 
  on that) and want to keep a proper scoresheet to record the result of every at-bat (yesss!), 
  rather than just tallying the runs in each inning, it's easy enough to draw your own, or 
  you can just do an internet image search for "baseball scoresheet" and find hundreds of 
  different templates you can print out.  Seriously, how else can you know who's up next?  

      All right, we've kept you waiting long enough.  Without further ado, then, we're going  
  to present several variations of dice baseball for you right here, with a little additional 
  annotation.  First we'll trot out just a few of the earliest commercially-produced games -- 
  a selection of the most popular and most noteworthy -- and show you how they worked.  
  Then we'll present a variety of homebrew versions, as described to us by the guys who 
  actually played them -- and along with that, we'll provide some of their reminiscences 
  of playing and developing more complex versions of dice baseball.  And we'll conclude 
  with a sampling of dice baseball games we've seen on the internet.  
      For each of them, we'll give you the total of hits and outs to give you an idea of 
  how much offence each game affords.  We feel a game with an overall batting average 
  between about .260 and .290 provides the most realistic and satisfying results, so 
  keep that in mind when choosing a game to try.  
      Let's roll! 

League Parlor Base Ball -- R Bliss Mfg, 1884

League Parlor Base Ball. R Bliss Mfg, 1884
The first tabletop baseball game to use dice -- well, one die, anyway, a unique die marked 1, 2, 3, and 4 and on the two other sides "O." Rolling an O ends the half-inning. You can give this stunningly simple game a go just by using a standard d6 and counting a roll of 5 or 6 the same as O. The printed rules suggest the option of having the O represent two outs or just one, which would boost the offence to .500 and .667 respectively. Special thanks to Tom Shieber, Senior Curator at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, for providing us the rules sheet.

  1 -- single 
  2 -- double 
  3 -- triple 
  4 -- home run 
  O -- three outs 
  O -- three outs 
  4 H, 6 O -- .400  

Our National Ball Game McGill & Delany, c1886 A G Spalding & Bros, c1887
This is really the one that started it all, the first tabletop baseball game to utilize the 21 different combinations possible with a standard pair of dice, the inspiration for hundreds of both commercial and homemade dice baseball games that followed. It's still seriously heavy on offense, although not as insane as the Bliss game, and the seven strikes will add a few more outs in gameplay. One oddity: it's twice as easy to hit a triple as it is a double. Never mind! McGill and Delany were geniuses to realize you could make a pretty good ballgame with just two dice, and for what their invention bestowed upon tabletop sports gaming, they belong in the Hall of Fame.

  1 / 1   double 
  1 / 2   single 
  1 / 3   single 
  1 / 4   single 
  1 / 5   base on error  
  1 / 6   base on balls 
  2 / 2   strike 
  2 / 3   strike 
  2 / 4   strike 
  2 / 5   strike 
  2 / 6   foul out 
  3 / 3   out at 1st 
  3 / 4   out at 1st 
  3 / 5   out at 1st 
  3 / 6   out at 1st 
  4 / 4   fly out  
  4 / 5   fly out  
  4 / 6   fly out  
  5 / 5   double play  
  5 / 6   triple  
  6 / 6   home run 
  10 H, 17+ O -- <.370 

The Professional Game of Base Ball Parker Bros, c1896 The Game of Base Ball Parker Bros, c1899 The College Base Ball Game Parker Bros, 1906
Game publishing giants Parker Brothers began producing their own two-dice game, clearly derived from McGill's design, perhaps as early as 1890, although 1894 or 1896 dates are more reliably ascribed to The Professional Game of Base Ball. The same game, retitled simply The Game of Base Ball in order to disassociate itself with the unsavory gambling scandals that riddled 19th-century pro ball, debuted around 1899, and, with only the subtlest changes to gameplay, was reintroduced with an even purer amateur cachet in 1906 as The College Base Ball Game. The game(s) enjoyed widespread popularity for years thanks to the engaging method of play and the massive reach of Parker Brothers' distribution, and influenced the creation of even more homebrew versions. Hitting was only a bit less torrid than in McGill's original. The dice results for the first and last editions are at right, the only revisions changing both the 3/4 fly out and the 5/5 double play into strikeouts. One unwelcome feature, common to so many tabletop baseball games over the years, is the inclusion of a "rare play" -- here, the balk -- as a frequent occurrence among the play results.

The Professional Game of Base Ball
1 / 1 strikeout 1 / 2 out at 1st 1 / 3 out at 1st 1 / 4 out at 1st 1 / 5 out at 1st 1 / 6 base on error 2 / 2 double 2 / 3 single 2 / 4 single 2 / 5 single 2 / 6 single 3 / 3 triple 3 / 4 fly out 3 / 5 fly out 3 / 6 fly out 4 / 4 double play 4 / 5 walk 4 / 6 balk 5 / 5 double play 5 / 6 foul out 6 / 6 home run --------------------------- 11 H, 21 O -- .344

The College Base Ball Game
1 / 1 strikeout 1 / 2 out at 1st 1 / 3 out at 1st 1 / 4 out at 1st 1 / 5 out at 1st 1 / 6 base on error 2 / 2 double 2 / 3 single 2 / 4 single 2 / 5 single 2 / 6 single 3 / 3 triple 3 / 4 strikeout 3 / 5 fly out 3 / 6 fly out 4 / 4 double play 4 / 5 walk 4 / 6 balk 5 / 5 strikeout 5 / 6 foul out 6 / 6 home run --------------------------- 11 H, 21 O -- .344

Parlor Base Ball -- American Parlor Baseball, 1903
Peg Base Ball -- Parker Brothers, 1908

Parlor Base Ball American Parlor Baseball / American Play Games, 1903 Peg Base Ball Parker Brothers, 1908 and 1936
In 1903, Frank Honeck introduced Parlor Base Ball, a graphically gorgeous if childishly simplistic and utterly awful single-die game. A specially marked die indicated 1 (single), 2 (double), 3 (triple), H (home run), and on two faces O (out). That was the whole game. It remained inexplicably popular for over a decade. Parker Brothers countered in 1908 with their own single-die game, Peg Base Ball, likewise a beautiful thing to behold and only slightly less awful as a game. The roll / counter-roll method of play debuted with Peg -- gamers alternate rolling the die, and the team in the field gets a chance with each throw to negate a successful throw by the team at bat. A popular item into the late 1920s, this.

Parlor Base Ball
1 - single 4 - home run 2 - double 5 - out 3 - triple 6 - out ------------------------------------ 4 H, 2 O -- .667
Peg Base Ball
Team at bat (offense) rolls once, then team team in field (defense) rolls once to allow or negate roll by offense. 1 - single if defense rolls 2, 4, or 6, out if defense rolls 1, 3, or 5 2 - double if defense rolls 2, 4, or 6 out if defense rolls 1, 3, or 5 3 - triple if defense rolls 2, 4, or 6 out if defense rolls 1, 3, or 5 4 - home run if defense rolls 2, 4, or 6 out if defense rolls 1, 3, or 5 5 - foul out if defense rolls 2, 4, or 6, strike if defense rolls 1, 3, or 5 6 - ball if defense rolls 2, 4, or 6, strike if defense rolls 1, 3, or 5 --------------------------------------------- 4 H, 5+ O -- <.444

The Champion Base Ball Game -- New York Games Co, 1913

The Champion Base Ball Game New York Games Co, 1913
Prior to World War I, inventors and game companies seemed still to be having trouble figuring out how to design a baseball game that yielded realistic results using only dice. The unusual formula in The Champion Base Ball Game, using the eleven totals possible with a pair of dice, did not get them any closer.

   2   stolen base if runner on;  
        batter out if bases empty 
   3   strikeout 
   4   foul out 
   5   sacrifice, runners advance 
        if less than two out;  
        if two out, batter out,  
        no runner advance 
   6   runner on 1st picked off; 
        if no runner on 1st, 
        batter grounds out 
   7   fly out 
   8   single 
   9   double 
  10   triple 
  11   home run 
  12   base on balls 
  14 H, 11-21 O -- .400-.560  

Armstead's Play Ball -- J I Austen, 1920s

Armstead's Play Ball J I Austen Co, c1920
And... closer, but still no cigar, for this effort. It's a safe assumption, though, that many companies aimed less for realism than they did for overheated scoring, ostensibly to entertain younger gamers. Armstead's provided unique dice marked with one bat, two bats, a pair of crossed bats, four bats arranged in a diamond shape, a baseball, and a glove, which easily translate to the 1 through 6 spots, respectively, on standard dice. The game was also produced in spinner format, titled Armstead's Play Ball Junior, with all 36 combinations represented, accurately replicating the dice.

  1 / 1   single 
  1 / 2   strike 
  1 / 3   hit by pitch 
  1 / 4   ball 
  1 / 5   out 
  1 / 6   out 
  2 / 2   single 
  2 / 3   strike 
  2 / 4   out 
  2 / 5   out 
  2 / 6   out 
  3 / 3   single 
  3 / 4   strike 
  3 / 5   ball 
  3 / 6   out 
  4 / 4   double 
  4 / 5   out  
  4 / 6   single 
  5 / 5   triple  
  5 / 6   out 
  6 / 6   home run 
  8 H, 16 O -- .333 

Double Game Board Parker Brothers, 1926 and 1948 Game of Peg Baseball Parker Brothers, 1961 Baseball Football and Checkers Parker Brothers, 1957 and 1962
In 1926, Parker Brothers revived, and significantly revised, their earlier two-dice game, reissuing it as part of their new Double Game Board medley. Just four changes to the 21 original results turned a slugfest into a pitchers' duel -- the 2/4 and 2/6 singles and the 4/6 balk turned into outs, with a lone out replacing the 4/4 double play. Identical play results saw the offense remain stifled on "The National-American Base Ball Playing Field" despite revised graphics (1948) and a title change (Baseball Football and Checkers, 1957 and 1962). The single-die Peg Base Ball was revived in 1936 as Peg Baseball Game, retitled Game of Peg Baseball for new editions in 1954, 1957, and 1961. The 1936 reissue uses the 1908 rules, as do most examples of the 1950s editions, although a few instead contain the 1926 rules for two-dice play. The 1961 edition plays according only to the Double Game Board two-dice rules.
Double Game Board / Baseball Football and Checkers
1 / 1 strikeout 1 / 2 out at 1st 1 / 3 out at 1st 1 / 4 out at 1st 1 / 5 out at 1st 1 / 6 base on error 2 / 2 double 2 / 3 single to LF 2 / 4 strikeout 2 / 5 single to RF 2 / 6 foul out 3 / 3 triple 3 / 4 strikeout 3 / 5 fly out 3 / 6 fly out 4 / 4 out at 1st 4 / 5 base on balls 4 / 6 infield fly 5 / 5 strikeout 5 / 6 foul out 6 / 6 home run --------------------------- 7 H, 27 O -- .206
Game of Peg Baseball (1961 edition)
1 / 1 strikeout 1 / 2 out at 1st 1 / 3 out at 1st 1 / 4 out at 1st 1 / 5 out at 1st 1 / 6 base on error 2 / 2 double 2 / 3 single to LF 2 / 4 strikeout 2 / 5 single to RF 2 / 6 foul out 3 / 3 triple 3 / 4 strikeout 3 / 5 fly out 3 / 6 fly out 4 / 4 out at 1st 4 / 5 base on balls 4 / 6 infield fly 5 / 5 strikeout 5 / 6 foul out 6 / 6 home run --------------------------- 7 H, 27 O -- .206

The Great American Game ~ Pocket Base Ball Neddy Pocket Game Co, 1920s
Someone finally devised a pretty satisfactory system here -- alas, the little-known Neddy company did not generate much in sales, the game languished in obscurity, and only a very few examples of it survive.
The Great American Game ~ Pocket Base Ball -- Neddy Pocket Game Co, 1920s

  1 / 1   strikeout 
  1 / 2   out 
  1 / 3   out 
  1 / 4   out 
  1 / 5   bunt single  
  1 / 6   out, runners advance 
  2 / 2   double 
  2 / 3   single 
  2 / 4   single 
  2 / 5   hit by pitch 
  2 / 6   out, runners advance 
  3 / 3   triple  
  3 / 4   fly out 
  3 / 5   fly out  
  3 / 6   fly out  
  4 / 4   double play, batter and 
            most advanced runner out 
            -- if bases empty, strikeout 
  4 / 5   base on balls 
  4 / 6   strikeout 
  5 / 5   double play, two most advanced 
            runners out, batter safe -- 
            if only one runner or none, 
  5 / 6   foul out  
  6 / 6   home run 
  9 H, 23 O -- .281 

  And there we're going to cut short the parade of early commercial dice games.  
  There were, of course, many others we've left out, but the games above were 
  among the earliest and either most influential or best designed.  Now, though, 
  it's time to move on to the real point of this exercise -- showcasing some of 
  the many homebrew games undoubtedly derived from those early commercial 
  efforts... and, we hope, encouraging you to give one or two of them a whirl, 
  and teaching them to some young baseball fan of your acquaintance... 

dice baseball as we were taught it
This was the Sacred Formula handed down to us by the Ancient Ones -- er, no, sorry, got carried away there for a second. But it was indeed the system taught to us by the previous generation of our family, the game they'd played as boys in the 1930s. We, as boys in the 1960s, were immediately fascinated by it and played it incessantly well into our teens. In many aspects, it's an amalgam of several of the commercial games we've shown. One thing we particularly liked about it was the presence of balls and strikes among the dice results, an element seen in only the McGill and Armstead games above -- for us, those added more suspense to each roll and each at-bat, and a more baseballesque flow and pace. Some gamers prefer the instant gratification of hit or out with each roll and hate balls and strikes as unnecessary time-killers. They are wrong. As the months and years rolled along, we did on occasion become annoyed with some results, and, having no grasp then of the laws of permutations, we tinkered ignorantly with the outcomes, a subtle tweak or two blindly changing, for a few games here and a month or two there, the overall BA from as high as .353 (6 H, 11 O) to as low as .211 (4 H, 15 O). Two variations that did work are at far right.

original 1930s
dice baseball
1 / 1 home run 1 / 2 strike 1 / 3 double play 1 / 4 fly out 1 / 5 ball 1 / 6 stolen base 2 / 2 triple 2 / 3 ground out 2 / 4 foul out 2 / 5 strike 2 / 6 ball 3 / 3 double 3 / 4 ball 3 / 5 ball 3 / 6 strike 4 / 4 single 4 / 5 strike 4 / 6 ball 5 / 5 walk 5 / 6 ground out 6 / 6 base on error ------------------ 4 H, 11+ O -- <.267

variation 4
1 / 1 home run 1 / 2 strike 1 / 3 double play 1 / 4 walk 1 / 5 ball 1 / 6 strikeout 2 / 2 triple 2 / 3 ground out 2 / 4 foul out 2 / 5 strike 2 / 6 ball 3 / 3 double 3 / 4 ball 3 / 5 ball 3 / 6 strike 4 / 4 single 4 / 5 strike 4 / 6 fly out 5 / 5 single 5 / 6 ground out 6 / 6 base on error ------------------ 5 H, 13+ O -- <.278

variation 9
1 / 1 home run 1 / 2 single 1 / 3 double play 1 / 4 fly out 1 / 5 fly out 1 / 6 strikeout 2 / 2 base hit * 2 / 3 ground out 2 / 4 foul out 2 / 5 strike 2 / 6 ball 3 / 3 double 3 / 4 ball 3 / 5 ball 3 / 6 strike 4 / 4 single 4 / 5 strike 4 / 6 strike 5 / 5 base on balls 5 / 6 ground out 6 / 6 base on error ------------------ 6 H, 15+ O -- <.286 * roll again -- single if total 8 or less, triple if 9 or more

Baseball Games basic dice baseball Kerm, Fred, Butch, & Win
The game we'd played as kids had evolved, in fits and starts, into a more involved and more frustrating thing, and was set aside for many years. We blame the distracting presence of young women. A lifetime or so later, after a long hiatus, our fascination with tabletop baseball was rekindled, and we set to work designing and playing the rather complex homebrew game we now play, which involves pitcher, hitter, and fielder ratings, lefty-righty splits, multiple charts and so on. Its foundation, though, is a version of the dice baseball game we learned as kids -- and so we went back to basics, too, putting a fresh coat of paint on the original source material, and turned out a relatively simple version that adds just a few more rules to our boyhood pastime. We're trying to pass it along to our grandkids. See if yours like it.

  1 / 1   home run  
  1 / 2   single * 
  1 / 3   out -- batter out if bases empty; 
            double play if runner(s) on base, 
            most advanced runner and batter out 
  1 / 4   out 
  1 / 5   ball 
  1 / 6   strikeout 
  2 / 2   base hit * -- roll both dice again: 
            if total is 8 or lower, single;  
            if total is 9 or higher, triple  
  2 / 3   out 
  2 / 4   out 
  2 / 5   out 
  2 / 6   out 
  3 / 3   double * 
  3 / 4   ball 
  3 / 5   ball 
  3 / 6   strike 
  4 / 4   single * 
  4 / 5   strike 
  4 / 6   strike 
  5 / 5   base on balls 
  5 / 6   strike 
  6 / 6   ground ball -- roll both dice again: 
            if total is 6 or lower, out;  
            if total is 7 or higher, base on error 
  6 H, 15 O -- <.286 

* With less than two out, runners on base advance by only as many bases as the batter gains on a hit; with two outs, runners advance by as many bases as the batter gains on a hit, plus one additional base. To try for a steal of 2nd or 3rd, declare your intention, then roll both dice -- if the total is 2 through 7, or 12, attempt is successful; if total is 8 through 11, runner is thrown out. To try for a steal of home, declare your intention, then roll both dice -- only if the total is 2, 3, or 4 is the attempt successful; if total is 5 or higher, runner is thrown out.

Aruba dice baseball
Longtime Baseball Games Forum contributor Henri Roca remembers a Caribbean version he played as a boy. Despite using only the eleven totals available from a pair of dice, it looks like it should provide a remarkably good game. Henri recalls: "I was nine years old and in my first year at St. Stanislaus (Bay St Louis, Mississippi) about to enter the 4th grade... 1944. "The Rodriguez brothers from Aruba taught me [this] dice baseball game."

   2 - triple
   3 - double
   4 - single (if 2/2, any runners  
         advance two bases) 
   5 - out
   6 - out (if 3/3, base on error)  
   7 - strike out
   8 - out (if 4/4, double play, 
         most advanced runner out)  
   9 - out (if 4/5, sacrifice fly)  
  10 - walk
  11 - single
  12 - home run 
  9 H, 23-24 O -- ~.281 

  We posted at the esteemed Net54 Baseball forum, asking the 
  baseball fans, historians, and memorabilia collectors there 
  what experiences and memories they had with dice baseball, 
  and what versions of the game they played. 
  We were gratified to receive a number of detailed responses, 
  and we now present just a sampling of those here...  

Dan V
Dan V recalled his game, similar to Parlor Base Ball of 1903: "Mine was exceedingly simple. One die. I used baseball cards to make my teams and would lay them out in their positions each inning. Had simple little scorecards I kept. Games were high scoring, obviously, given the possible outcomes. By the end, I had ten teams playing 14-game seasons against each other. I still remember how dominant this Aaron Myette card was in my 'league.'"

1 - single 2 - double 3 - triple 4 - strikeout 5 - out 6 - home run ------------------ 4 H, 2 O -- .667
Aaron Myette
Eric Harrington
Eric Harrington remembered his single-die game: "My good friends and I would play after school and on weekends in the 1983-1985 timeframe. Six-inning games. One die. If a hit, one more roll of the die. "We played hundreds of games and there was one perfect game by Matt Young. We had some great times. "We used to argue about the legality of dice rolls. One of my friends (we had four in the league) had a way of holding the dice with his thumb and index and middle fingers (kind of like a knuckleball) and flipping it in a way where it would rotate one time and land on a 1 or a 2 (i.e., a hit). He would do it over and over again. We finally had enough and after one string of hits it got so heated the altercation got physical (the other two quickly jumped in and broke it up). After that, he went back to a conventional roll. We took our dice baseball seriously!"
  1 - hit * 
  2 - hit * 
  3 - out 
  4 - out 
  5 - out 
  6 - strikeout 

  * roll again: 
  1 - single 
  2 - single 
  3 - double 
  4 - double 
  5 - triple 
  6 - home run 
  2 H, 4 O -- .333  

Pennsylvania dice baseball
Mike Knapp shared these memories: "My Dad played this game when he was a kid in Pennsylvania in the '40s and '50s. He was born in 1940. He said he played the game alone more often than not. He had other friends who played the game as well. He said he occasionally played against his friends. There were four or five of them that all played using the same rules. He believes one of them introduced him to the game when he was nine or ten. "I was ten and living in Washington State. My father was in the military so we played it all over Europe and the Middle East. I was an only child and he spent hours with me playing this game. Ironically I had no idea he was teaching me math by playing dice baseball. "We would select eight rosters and play about 50 games. We saved all of the stats and then would use them to identify two all-star teams and play a best of seven series... Merv Rettenmund was an absolute beast."

  1 / 1  single  
  1 / 2  strikeout 
  1 / 3  out * 
  1 / 4  out * 
  1 / 5  out * 
  1 / 6  single 
  2 / 2  double 
  2 / 3  out * 
  2 / 4  out * 
  2 / 5  single 
  2 / 6  out * 
  3 / 3  triple 
  3 / 4  single 
  3 / 5  out * 
  3 / 6  out * 
  4 / 4  home run 
  4 / 5  out * 
  4 / 6  out * 
  5 / 5  walk 
  5 / 6  out * 
  6 / 6  double play / 
           sacrifice fly 
  10 H, 24-25 O -- ~.290 

  * fielder's choice 
      if runner(s) forced 

  Runners advance only 
  as far as forced.  
  No base-stealing. 

New Jersey dice baseball
Bruce Garland provided these reminiscences: "We lived just outside Trenton New Jersey. My father's name was Roger. He devised the game around 1958 or '59 -- I was nine or ten. "His goal was for a quick, easy game that could be played by a nine- or ten-year-old, by himself or with others, that approximated what might occur in a real game. My friends and I thought he succeeded and we played thousands of games. We played constantly with lineups etc., kept stats and everything. This was mostly late '50s, early '60s, although I must confess there were a few games in college also. "I still marvel at how real the games and stats seemed. Believe it or not Vern Law once pitched a perfect game. I still associate dice rolls with the baseball game meaning. "I think what made it so great was you could play alone, against a friend, or as a tournament. We've passed it on to our families, but it is not played as religiously. We even had a football version. Fun memories."
  1 / 1  home run 
  1 / 2  double 
  1 / 3  single 
  1 / 4  pop out 
  1 / 5  ground out (double play 
           if a force available) 
  1 / 6  strikeout 
  2 / 2  single 
  2 / 3  pop out 
  2 / 4  ground out 
  2 / 5  strikeout 
  2 / 6  ground out 
  3 / 3  single 
  3 / 4  strikeout 
  3 / 5  ground out 
  3 / 6  fly out 
  4 / 4  walk 
  4 / 5  fly out 
  4 / 6  fly out (sacrifice fly 
           if runner on 3rd) 
  5 / 5  base on error 
  5 / 6  single 
  6 / 6  triple  
  10 H, 24-25 O -- ~.290 

  Runners advance only as far 
  as forced.  No base-stealing. 

  Interesting thing to note, perhaps, about the last two games 
  described above:  despite differences all throughout in what 
  each throw of the dice indicates, the hit and out totals match 
  exactly -- in two games both from roughly the same general 
  region.  Eh, maybe just coincidence.  
Some guys had less crystalline memories of precisely how their games played, but shared nonetheless highly entertaining recollections of it all. Still others provided some fascinating insights on their own efforts to refine the generic game they'd begun playing and develop a far more detailed simulation game, with results individualized for each player, a la APBA, Strat-O-Matic, and many other commercially-produced dice-based sims. Those are included next, below, and we can't let it go without mentioning (and strongly recommending, in case you haven't read it) The Universal Baseball Association, J. Henry Waugh, prop., the staggeringly brilliant novel by Robert Coover. Grand -- indeed universal -- themes play out within and against the backdrop of the tabletop world created by one man's obsession with his self-made dice baseball game. Magnificent.

Bob McCartha
"My brothers and I played dice baseball during 1963-64, sometimes against each other, sometimes individually. We used three dice. The game was simple, and lots of fun. "I was 11 in 1963 when the only big league games I ever saw -- in black and white -- were courtesy of the Saturday TV Game of the Week. So, there was plenty of time during the week to be creative with the love of baseball. "We pencilled lineups onto index (score) cards... kept score and stats. A doubleheader could be played in about 30 minutes. The dice game was entertaining even when playing alone. My favorite team back in the day was the Chicago White Sox and I pitted them against the mighty Yankees, Tigers, or Twins. Best as I can remember, rolling 18 was a homer and rolling 3 was a triple. I think rolling 17 or 4 equaled a double; 16 or 5 a single; base on balls and K's -- can't remember those; all other numbers were outs. "For some of my favorite players (like Pete Ward), I'd give him a 'mulligan' roll, or two, hoping to roll an 18. Somehow, the Sox always won those dice games. For me, the dice game was simple but lots of fun. Once or twice, I pretended to be a broadcaster and recorded the 'game' on a portable tape recorder."

Doug Chamberlain
"Got the idea from my neighbor back in high school -- pair of dice with the rolls meaning the same result for everyone (e.g., double 4's = HR). "When he mentioned that his current HR leader was Mark Belanger I thought, well, that ain't right! "So I eventually took the idea a bit further, creating eight A.L. team rosters with each player having their own results for each possible roll of the dice. "Drawing vertical lines on steno pad sheets (just happened to be about the perfect size), I created a table for each team's roster with the table headers being Player, 1/1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, etc, thru 5/6 (double 6's was reserved for 'miscellaneous'). "It took some time, but filling out the table allowed you to increase the odds of, say, Jim Rice leading the league in HR's as opposed to Mark Belanger. In this case (yes, I still remember) a roll of 1/5 was a HR for Rice. For Belanger to hit a HR, a roll of double 6's and then a second roll of one die with a 5 or 6 (3 or 4 could be a triple and 1 or 2 reached on error ... whatever you wanted to make it). "The table also allows you to add an extra single in the possible rolls for the better hitters, maybe replace one with an out for the 'glove only' type players. Add an extra K in there for those who fan a bit more than average, etc, etc. "Tweaking over time led to a third, different colored die for pitchers, that overrode the other pair if applicable. This helped separate the better pitchers from the others. "Next to the pitcher's name would be one, two, or no asterisk. No * (average pitchers) meant the single die was to be ignored. One * (above-average pitchers) meant if the single die came up a 1, the batter was automatically out, ignore the other pair of dice. Two * (Cy Young-calibre pitchers) meant if the single die came up a 1 or 2... same as above. If that single die came up a 1 for, say, Nolan Ryan, then the out was a K."

Todd Schultz
"Ah yes... I devised a three-dice game when I was ten and then revamped it to four dice when I was 12 or 13. I wish I knew where the 'codes' were these days -- I had them memorized down to each play, but had them written down so the two or three neighbor kids who challenged me could either test my honesty or look for themselves. Outs were simply listed as groundout, fly or foul out, and line out. "In the three-dice game walks and Ks had to be earned one roll of a ball or strike at a time, with no HBP that I recall. In the four-dice game I used three red dice and one white die, and I had a few changes if the white die came up a specific number -- for example, 1-2-3-4 was an infield single, but if the white die was the '1' it was a strikeout. All I remember about the three-dice game was that 1-1-1 and 6-6-6 were home runs and the other threes of a kind were extra-base hits. It was all random, with no weight for greatness. Mays could bat .125 and Gus Gil .300. "My game was tied to baseball cards -- you had to field a team at each position using the Topps cards, and no multi-player cards were allowed. Guys like Bobby Heise were especially valuable, because his card just said 'infield' so you could plug him in throughout the various positions -- a few guys even had the designation 'inf-of,' which of course was a managerís dream. I also remember the 1973 Yankees having four 3rd-basemen -- Allen, Sanchez, Nettles, and Lanier, which greatly hampered their bench. Lanier and Allen were not true 3rd-sackers, but had played there the year before because Nettles had not yet been acquired. Thanks, Topps. What also was really cool was that one of the neighbors had only 1968 cards, so it was possible through trades that we would have the same guy playing for each side. "I remember that Joe Foy led my league in homers by a landslide in the three-dice game. Foy was on the Ď69 Royals, who also had Luis Alcaraz leading off for me just because I liked his card. I kept a written account of all games, but again there was no recording of defensive outs, just 'O' for out. I remember a star was used for RBI, a check mark for run scored, and X for SB -- symbols I still use today if scoring a game. Same for the four-dice game, which used all my 1972 Topps, and where the Brewers beat the Cardinals in the World Series, led by sparkplug Brock Davis (I remember I hated playing 'capless' players, but didnít have outfield depth at the beginning and Davis just kept hitting all season). "Great memories."

Mark Satterstrom
"When we were about ten years old, living in a suburb of Minneapolis, we came up with a simple game -- our own invention -- that used one die. We made a chart on a piece of paper with batting average / at-bats combinations. The idea was that a guy with a ton of at-bats who hit .300 was better than a guy with only 200 AB. For each combo we had the result line. So, for example, 500-550 AB and .250-.299 BA might be: 1 - single 2 - ground out 3 - strikeout 4 - double 5 - fly out 6 - pop out "Obviously there was very little precision, so the next increment (either more AB or higher BA) might just turn a double into a homer, or an out into a walk. "For stealing bases, another chart was simple, with outcomes based on a player's SB total, like 0-5, 6-10, etc. If a player had more than 50 SB, die rolls 2-6 were safe, only one was out. "When we used 1971 cards, with 1970 stats, Lou Brock was the beast. He had over 650 AB, hit over .300, and had over 50 SB. So when he got on base, the general strategy was to clear the bases in front of him (even if it meant stealing Harmon Killebrew into a certain out) and then stealing Brock all the way around. "What was nice is that all we needed was one die, a piece of paper we could easily fold into our pockets, and we could make a new one whenever necessary, and our baseball cards. Once, at the lake, we didn't have a die, so instead we used a deck of playing cards, just the A through 6s, and the guy batting would choose a card after the other shuffled. "What was really fun, when I got older, was making baseball cards of myself and all my teammates. Using the APBA method that uses two dice and gives 36 equally likely outcomes, I went through our game scorebooks, compiled detailed stat sheets, and then correlated every plate appearance to an outcome. When a player had fewer than 36 PA, I'd put a dash next to that dice roll, meaning the dice needed to be re-rolled. So in my game, if a kid had 4 singles, a double, and 6 strikeouts in 25 plate appearances, I could replicate those odds exactly. "When players had more than 36 plate appearances, I divided the stats by 2, and when there was an odd number, I put two outcomes with a "/" which meant another roll was required -- a single die and 1, 2, 3 meant the first result, 4, 5, 6 the second. So it looked like: 2 / 1 fly out 2 / 2 strikeout 2 / 3 single 2 / 4 double / ground out 2 / 5 walk 2 / 6 strikeout 3 / 1 --- "And so on. It was neat because it was a precise statistical representation of the batting stats. However, pitcher strength wasn't factored in, or defense, and I don't think stolen bases had a very sophisticated mechanism. "I contacted a couple of coaches of other teams to see if they had well-maintained scorebooks, but none did. That would've been cool, to have cards of all the kids in the whole league. "This concept stayed in the back of my mind and later, in graduate school (software engineering) I played with the idea of developing such a program to basically determine optimal batting lineups. In other words, run 1,000 simulated nine-inning 'games,' rotate the lineup to the next configuration, run a thousand games with that lineup, and so on. Kick the program off before going to bed, and in the morning see which lineup produced the highest number of runs. "I pitched (that's a pun) the idea to the baseball coach at the school, and right away he said: 'Some of my guys get hot, some can't hit left-handed pitching, some can't hit the good fastball, some can't touch a curve... so I have to weigh factors like that into setting my lineup on any given day.' "And... I realized he was right. A manager has to set his lineup based on the people on his team, not just their stat lines. "Also, with college teams in Minnesota, the dataset is just too small to be reliable. At the major-league level, when guys get 500 at bats, it's a different story. "Anyway, statistics-based simulated baseball is a fascinating topic, and really the only way that Rod Carew can take some cuts against Grover Alexander... "

  It was only in the summer of 2019, long after we wrote and compiled the 
  original version of this article, that we found another memory of homebrew 
  dice baseball written long before -- this 2007 reminiscence (including rules 
  of play!) from someone on the staff of WNST sports-talk radio in Baltimore: 
Dice Basebell -- A Memory
  Somehow the 4-6 result has been omitted from the results list there, and 
  since what's shown produces an overall .344 BA (11 hits, 21 outs), we'd 
  strongly recommend making 4-6 an out if you're going to try to play it.  
  Nonetheless, a charming walk around the basepaths of memory lane, 
  thanks to that anonymous WNST intern.    

  There are still more versions of dice baseball to be found on the internet, 
  although one of the reasons we put this page together is because most of 
  those other versions are, in our opinion, markedly inferior to the version 
  we played and to those described by the contributors above -- and mainly 
  that they have a sterile, arbitrarily-concocted feel, devoid of any sense of 
  dice baseball's heritage and oblivious to the vital element of imagination 
  that actually makes any version of the game, y'know, fun.  Several of 
  these other internet versions are presented as lessons or "fun exercises" 
  in math, assembled by math teachers who seem to have little grasp of 
  either baseball or math (our long-ago experiences as students leave us 
  unsurprised).  Nonetheless, merely in the interest of a more complete 
  presentation, we relay a few of the least awful or most unusual versions 

"Dice Baseball" State of Washington Public Instruction http://www.k12.wa.us/cisl/pubdocs/DiceBaseballRules.pdf
"What is it: A long-played math baseball game using dice. "It's a fun at-the-end-of-class or at-home game. "What you need: Two participants, two dice, four place markers, a sheet of paper with a baseball diamond drawn on it. "Object of lesson: Having fun with math and giving students a possible math game for the summer. "What they'll learn: Basic multiplication, decimals and fractions, and baseball rules. "Source: Special thanks to teacher-advisor Bob Krech, who actually put this game to paper for scholastic.com a few years back. While this dice game exists in many forms, we drew a lot from Bob's version of Dice Baseball."

  Each player rolls one die.  
  The total shown by the 
  two dice gives the result. 
2 - strike 3 - fly out 4 - single 5 - ground out 6 - strike 7 - fly out 8 - double 9 - ground out 10 - triple 11 - foul ball 12 - home run ------------------ 12 H, 16+ O -- <.429

eHow Hobbies' Baseball Dice http://tinyurl.com/z45ufcf

Runners advance on hit only as many bases as forced. 2 - home run 3 - strikeout 4 - strikeout -- if 2/2, base on balls 5 - ground out 6 - ground out -- if 3/3, base on error 7 - fly out 8 - fly out -- if 4/4, base on balls 9 - single 10 - double 11 - triple 12 - home run ------------------ 11 H, 23 O -- .324
Lots of Kid Games Dice Baseball http://tinyurl.com/zo7x972

"This is not only fun, but kids can hone their math skills as they add up their points each inning." 2 - home run 3 - triple 4 - single 5 - out 6 - out 7 - out 8 - walk 9 - out 10 - single 11 - double 12 - home run ------------------ 12 H, 19 O -- .387

Jon Simonds' Dice Baseball http://tinyurl.com/jlrez2u

Each player rolls one die. The total shown by the two dice gives the result.
2 - strike -- roll again, if 11, foul ball 3 - fly out 4 - single 5 - ground out 6 - strike -- roll again, if 11, foul ball 7 - fly out 8 - double 9 - ground out 10 - triple 12 - home run ------------------ 11 H, 16+ O -- <.407

John Dejong's Dice Baseball Game http://tinyurl.com/jx2jsdz http://tinyurl.com/hn742jr
1 / 1 home run 1 / 2 three outs 1 / 3 single 1 / 4 three outs 1 / 5 single 1 / 6 three outs 2 / 2 home run 2 / 3 three outs 2 / 4 single 2 / 5 three outs 2 / 6 single 3 / 3 home run 3 / 4 three outs 3 / 5 single 3 / 6 three outs 4 / 4 home run 4 / 5 three outs 4 / 6 single 5 / 5 home run 5 / 6 three outs 6 / 6 home run ------------------ 18 H, 54 O -- .250

dice baseball The Official World Encyclopedia of Sports and Games © Diagram Visual Information Ltd 1979 http://www.diagramgroup.com/diagram_sport.htm
One-die Baseball 1 - single 2 - double 3 - triple 4 - home run 5 - out, runners do not advance a) if one man on the bases, he is out; b) if men on all bases, the man on base 1 is out; c) if he has men on bases 1 and 2, the man on base 2 is out; d) if he has men on bases 1 and 3, the man on base 1 is out; e) if he has men on bases 2 and 3, both are safe. 6 - strikeout Two-dice Baseball 2 - home run 3 - triple 4 - single 5 - out, all runners advance one base 6 - out, no advance 7 - double play, runner nearest home is out 8 - out, except 4/4 base on balls 9 - out, no advance 10 - single 11 - double 12 - home run ------------------------------------ 12 H, 24 O -- .333 Three-dice Baseball Each player throws the dice in turn, scoring one run for every 1 that is rolled. When he fails to throw a 1, a player's half-inning is ended, and his opponent takes over.
Simple Baseball Dice Game http://www.sportsreplays.net/downloads5.htm
Play with two dice of different colors, or play as roll and re-roll. First roll, or die one: 1 - 2 batter safe 3 - 6 batter out Second roll, or die two: if safe: 1 - walk 2 - single 3 - single 4 - double 5 - triple 6 - home run if out: 1 - strikeout 2 - ground out, all runners advance 3 - ground out, forced runners advance 4 - ground out -- double play if runner on 1st, all others advance 5 - fly out, runners hold 6 - fly out, runners on 2nd and 3rd advance --------------------------- 10 H, 24 O -- .294 steal of 2nd or 3rd: 1 - 2 out 3 - 6 safe

  One last version of dice baseball must be mentioned here, although copyright concerns, 
  as well as its relatively lengthy rulebook, filled with specifications on baserunner 
  advancement, dissuade us from presenting it.  That game, though, is semi-legendary -- 
  titled simply "Dice Baseball," it's a chapter in The Second Fireside Book of Baseball, 
  the thoroughly excellent 1958 anthology edited by Charles Einstein.  The game is the 
  creation of Einstein, writing rather coyly under his "D. J. Michael" pseudonym.  Ask 
  your local library to obtain a copy if they don't have it on their shelves -- it's a fine 
  and worthwhile read.  

  There ya go.  A little history, a little nostalgia, and, hopefully, somewhere in that mix, 
  the recipe for some fun you can have with your kids or your grandkids or your friends 
  or all by yourself.  Give one a try!  And if it doesn't satisfy, pick one that yields a 
  different proportion of results and try that.  And of course, you're totally at liberty to 
  customize to your own taste any of the systems presented and alter what any roll of 
  the dice means.  Make it your own!  Make it a tradition.  
Thanks again to Doug Chamberlain, Robert Coover, Bruce Garland, Eric Harrington, Mike Knapp, Bob McCartha, Dave Newman, Henri Roca, Mark Satterstrom, Todd Schultz, Tom Shieber, Dan V, and Ed Voss for contributions large and small, up front and behind the scenes.

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