In the ol’ ball game

Originally posted at GameSpot on June 18, 2008

This is the sixth entry into a series about great moments from my gaming past. These wrinkles in time refuse to go away in my conscience, and I want to get them down before all the details are lost. The events are not in chronological order.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not really a big fan of sports games. The simple fact is, I’m terrible at them. And with that in mind, I would rather spend my time and money on something I will be halfway decent at rather than a genre that routinely crushes me into the ground.

Still, sports games fill a slot that no other game type can. When you get done watching (or playing) a sport, you want to translate that into gaming – and (obviously) nothing else can do that besides a simulation of a sport, a.k.a. “sports games.”

This is turning into more of a definition than a wrinkle, so let me get to it – one sports game I do have found memories of is Sammy Sosa High Heat Baseball 2001. Not really because of the game itself, but because of the stuff connected with it.

I didn’t even own the game – a good friend of mine did. You could say we had baseball on the brain; we spent a lot of time just tossing the ball around in our back (or front) yards, trying to get pitches over the plate or just messing around; we took a summer tour of visiting ballparks, hitting up five of them over several states; we even worked at a professional ballpark that same summer, every single home game. So, with all this background, you can see how Sammy fit nicely into our baseball-themed summers.

What I remember, though, isn’t the graphics or gameplay, but the sheer epic feel these games seemed to take on. I don’t know how or why, but it seemed like every game came down to the ninth, or the last hit, or extra innings, or some other nail-biting moment that always ended up with one of us screaming with the joy of victory of the agony of defeat.

When I think back to good times, I find myself on that porch, sweet sun tea in hand, and Sammy Sosa High Heat Baseball 2001 humming right along.

Post tenebras lux

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