More proof that I spent way too much of my childhood playing ‘Bases Loaded’

Paste hit .467 with 60 homers.

HARLEM — The visitors’ clubhouse at Cleveland’s Progressive Field features an old Nintendo, which is why before a game last season, CC  Sabathia spent an afternoon taking on all comers in games of R.B.I. Baseball.

As I watched Sabathia dominate that day — it was obvious that he’d done this before — I started thinking back to my own childhood. Growing up, I too played a lot of R.B.I. But unlike most, I didn’t enjoy it much as its underrated alternative, Bases Loaded.

R.B.I. Baseball had real big league teams, real big league players and their real stats, which back then was a big deal. Even the uniforms were at least shaded the same colors as they were in real life. Bases Loaded had none of that. But it did have one important thing going in its favor.

His name was Paste.

We don’t know his first name (none of the fake players in Bases Loaded had one). But we do know that he played first base, and that he batted in the third spot for Jersey, and most importantly, that he raked.

I recently found the above tribute video (the SportsCentury music is a nice touch, no?) which correctly notes that Paste “nibbled at the heels of Roger Maris with 60 home runs.”  What it neglects to mention is his equally impressive .467 average. And as you quickly learned from playing the game, Paste never missed.

For me, this was particularly valuable, because I always played with the sound down and provided my own play-by-play. And having Paste meant plenty of chances to practice my home run calls.*

A few years ago, a buddy from college scrounged up an old Nintendo, and a copy of Bases Loaded. And it reminded me of a few more quirks about the game:

  • The game didn’t use the DH rule so all the pitchers had to hit. However, Car from Philly is the only pitcher I remember in the entire game that had a batting average of .000.
  • Every homer featured a scoreboard shot that showed the batter jogging around second base as the dejected pitcher took a knee.
  • If you went to the bullpen, the relievers were taken to the mound in a golf cart, which even at a young age found to be both unnecessary and lazy.
  • There was a cleanup hitter on the Miami team named Warner.  If you hit him on the head, he’d charge the mound the every time.
  • The only other player who charged the mound? Paste.

* I grew up listening to the great Bill King, the late longtime radio voice of the A’s, which is why all of my home run calls as a kid ended with the phrase “Holy Toledo!”

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27 Comments

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27 responses to “More proof that I spent way too much of my childhood playing ‘Bases Loaded’

  1. I never got to play with Jersey. My older friends always bullied me into picking DC. Fendy had pop and David was a decent enough pitcher, but it was never enough to get past Ryder, Paste*, Bay and Ford. And the bullpen, yikes.

    If there’s a sports video game Hall of Fame, those Jersey guys belong. Paste is first ballot. He’s up there with Mike Vick (’04 Madden), Bo Jackson (Tecmo Bowl), Mike Tyson (Mike Tyson’s Punch Out) and The Great Puma (NES Pro Wrestling). Honorable mention to Richie Sexson. His sweet spot was as big as his batting circle. As a Mariners fan, I talked myself into the Sexson era solely on this anomaly.

    And by the way, I’ve seen the Nintendo in the visitor’s clubhouse at Progressive. Too bad you weren’t there when Cy Buynak (http://bit.ly/cyBuynak) was the clubhouse manager. He put out a spread. His wife made baked goodies for all the teams. Sometimes she took special requests from players. I liked her chocolate thumbprint cookies.

    When I was at APDV, I had a conversation with Matt Stairs about lemon bars. I think it was lemon bars.

    – DC

    *I like to think his name was Jim.

  2. Drama Boy

    As much I admire the resume of the aforementioned 8-bit masher, it’s a travesty Boston wasn’t delved into. More importantly Frieda, the first 5-tooler. Never got the love he deserved.
    But about the mound charging. I have to take odds with Marc’s assessment that only hitting certain guys would provoke the melee. In fact, us in the know are aware that hitting three batters in a row would prompt a fight.
    And next time that should happen to you while playing millionaires, remember to just tap ‘B’, which cancels the ejection. It will blow their mind, and in fact may start fistacuffs for reals.
    Thanks for droppin’ that science though, well researched.

    • Ryan

      Frenchy Frieda, as I called him, was the subject of the poem “The Old-Fashioned Batter” by George E. Phair

      How dear to my heart was the old-fashioned batter, who scattered line drives from the spring to the fall.
      He did not resemble the up-to-date batter, who swings from the heels and misses the ball.
      The up-to-date batter I’m not very strong for; He shatters the ozone with all of his might.
      And that is the reason I hanker and long for –Those who doubled to left, and tripled to right.
      The old-fashioned batter,
      The eagle-eyed batter,
      The thinking-man’s batter,
      Who tripled to right.

  3. Never knew the ‘B’ button thing. I feel cheated.

  4. Will

    @Marc … tremendous writeup. I used to play as Jersey all the time. Interesting note is that Oko, the cleanup hitter from Philly, was damn near impossible to get out. If the guys in front of him could ever get on base, he’d have been a 150 RBI guy, easily.

    Bases Loaded The Second Season was markedly better, with the bio-rhythms letting you know who to sit, and the ability to dive and jump for balls.

    • Nice scouting report on Oko. And yes, Bases Loaded 2 was awesome as well. I liked that there were more pitchers with funky wind-ups, which is why I used to use Kansas. They had a sidearmer, a submariner, a guy with a hitch in his delivery and a lefty who dropped down. Good stuff!

  5. Matt Sterling

    Ok, this one hits close to home. I totally played as Jersey and remember Paste. You’ve got me yearning to play now…

  6. As I recall, the entire pitching staff stunk.

    I usually just chose Westin and his 5+ ERA for two reasons.

    1. Might as well go with a bad player who is supposed to be bad rather than a bad player who is supposed to be good.

    2. It was always funny that the closest thing to a real-life equivalent in that game — right down to the name — was Westin’s resemblance to the impeccably useless Mickey Weston:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/westomi01.shtml

  7. Art of 51

    Bases Loaded was my life every summer when I was a kid. I even took it to the next level with complete season stats. I didn’t record anything crazy like OPS or WHIP (not sure if that was invented yet) but HR, AVG & ERA was key. I used to love this team with a guy named Webb (I think) in the 3 hole, does anyone know the team name? He jacked HR’s like BIG MAC every AB. Thanks Mark for bring back my childhood.

  8. Drama Boy

    I recall Bases Loaded 3 was endorsed by Ryno Sandberg. Quality.
    Anyone else miss Baseball Stars?

  9. Nicky D.

    I remember a Weir from Jersey. Leadoff guy stole 100 bases everytime. Don’t remember what version that was though. Me and my brother used to play all the time, I was Jersey and he was Hawaii. Hawaii had a submariner named Ho that I could never hit.

  10. Brett Michael Strawn

    Dude, great post! I played hundreds of games as New Jersey and I used to track my own stats on notebook paper and tally them over full seasons. I consistently hit far better with Bay than paste. They were both awesome but Bay always put up crazy numbers. There was also a trick I discovered with their pitcher Pearl. There was a way to pitch down and away to every pitcher and he’d strike out every single batter until he got tired in the 6th inning or so. Then if you didn’t take him out almost immediately afterward, he got shelled.

    • Shawn M

      Actually Pearl may have been able to do this, but I know for sure Hall could. What you do is, start your pitch by holding down and to the left and push the A or B button. Which ever one it was you used to pitch the ball. Then after the pitcher (Hall) releases the ball push down and to the right. Kind of a screw ball movement. Doing this correctly you will strike out ever hitter up to the 6th inning or so. I’m not real sure if it was the 5th or 6th inning. After which ever inning it was Hall will tire and this will stop working. Then all you have to do is push the pitch button (A or B). Be careful though, the first few pitches may be hittable. You can throw some out of the strike zone if you like to get those few pitches out of the way. Anyway just push the pitch button and nothing else from here on out and Hall will throw a perfect game every time. Good luck!!!

      • Shawn M

        I may be wrong on starting the pitch using left and down. Hall may be left handed. If so do the same thing only start the pitch holding down and right. Then when the pitch is released hold down left and down. Sorry, I’ve played this game a million times, but its been a few years.

  11. Dan

    My fantasy baseball team is named after Jersey. I was always more partial to Bay….I kept full season stats and would get more homers from Bay, though a higher average from Paste. Wish that Romeo batted lead off because he was superior to Ryder, and wondered why the pitching animations were so vanilla when compared to teams like Philly and Boston! Oh, and let me not forget about everyone’s favorite umpiring crew, Yuk, Dum, Boo, and Bum. What a great game.

  12. Shawn

    Been playing a season as Omaha on Wii emulator. Fun finding which players can sub for others. Also some teams subs are better than starters. Omaha doesn’t have great power, but can hit. Has bullpen better than their nearly 4.00 or above ERA.

    Nebraska Shawn

    • Shawn

      Think my record is 56-15. Don’t know if I’ll play all 162 games though, or find cheats and try to win with all teams.

  13. Jon

    This is probably been the best thing I have ever read. Been playin a season with Jersey since about 1991. Hall is the best pitcher, I have never hit a home run with Ford. Paste is my all time favorite fictional character. I feel like Jersey is all about the late game come back. Great post!

  14. Me & my bro usta play Bases Loaded all the time. I know u can get Oko to charge the mound. It was our favorite thing to do in the game just so we could see “OKO EJECTED”

  15. Anonymous

    Every team has one hitter that will charge the mound. Whoever has the best overall offensive stats, BUT he must be pluncked after the 3rd inning, or no fight with the pitcher will occur. (For Boston, it’s Frieda, not Norkus.)

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