I love Backyard Baseball. Specifically, I love Backyard Baseball 2001, the unquestioned GOAT of the franchise. I love it so much that I made Pablo Sanchez my Twitter avatar for this very blog. Backyard sports took something we all loved growing up - playing outside with our neighborhood buddies - and turned it into an incredible computer game, so that we wouldn't have to go outside.
The game was simple. You only ever had to click the left mouse button, but it could be played for hours thanks to the creativity injected into each unique field as well as the personality of every backyard kid. Unfortunately, the game's prime was short lived. The series didn't hold up on systems other than the computer, and Humongous began outsourcing character design, which caused Pablo to evolve from his original cartoon self to this. However, that prime is still worth celebrating:
If anyone reading this played Backyard Baseball growing up I highly recommend reading the above article. It's long, but it's fantastic. And if you're a millennial like myself and just want the cliff notes version, well then here are the most interesting facts I took away from this piece:
-The game only ever got created because Humungous, which was based in Seattle, was inspired by the mid-to-late 90s Mariners playoff runs.
-Kimmy Eckman was the first backyard kid created, and was modeled after Peppermint Patty from Charlie Brown
-Pete Wheeler was modeled after Forrest Gump
-The broadcaster Sunny Day is voiced by the same woman as Princess Peach (Mario)
-Pablo Sanchez's batting stance was modeled after Edgar Martinez, again because of the mid 90s Seattle connection
-There are two Cincinnati Reds players in the 2001 version of the game. I always wondered why the Reds of all team got two representatives. It's because Ken Griffey Jr. was originally the Mariners representative, but he got traded to the Reds during development, and the creators wanted to keep him in the game. So they made him the second Reds player (in addition to Barry Larkin) and used A-Rod to rep the Mariners.
If you want more Too Much Tuma inspired Backyard Baseball content, prior to the 2017 regular I guessed who would represent each team in a hypothetical reboot of the game: