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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Player of Games, #88: Out of the Park Baseball

With baseball's Opening Day truly upon us (the season begins when the Red Sox play their first game), I give you the most immersive, brilliant, and addictive sports simulation game of all time. Out of the Park Baseball (usually shortened to the doting diminutive OOTP by players) is like nothing else that exists on the planet. I allows for nothing less than complete and total mastery over every aspect of professional baseball you could imagine. Want to take over the 2024 Los Angeles Dodgers and manage each game, handling injuries and sulky stars, All-Star voting, the trade deadline, playoff madness? Or maybe you'd rather take a time machine to 1900 and set new parameters, such as removing the color barrier, and run a hundred years of simulated seasons? Those options and anything in between are at your fingertips.

For me, I've played far more hours of OOTP than I'd care to admit. I'll pick a season from history and become GM of the Red Sox, building a team from scratch to domination. You can elect for fictional players and draft classes if you want, but the fantastic aspect of this game in my opinion is the ability to cherry pick rookies each off-season who are destined for Cooperstown. I've had Ted Williams and Willie Mays and Hank Aaron in the same outfield. I've had Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, and Greg Maddux in the same rotation. I've put Mickey Mantle into a loaded lineup in Fenway Park, turned off injuries, and managed him to 1000 home runs. The customization is incredible. You can switch on a salary cap and modern financial rules, forcing you to grapple with free agency, or you can ignore that part of the game altogether. It's entirely up to you.

If this listing was a ranking, there is no question that OOTP would be in the top five. It's a singular, genius achievement that I will play forever.

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