Friday, September 25, 2015

Flashback Friday: MLB Showdown!

Welcome back to my second Flashback Friday (in consecutive weeks no less)!  This might very well become a "thing" here at Nachos Grande...we shall see!

As you may know, I am in the midst of a collection overhaul and reorganization.  It's a process that I started last summer (before I moved to my new house) and a process that has continued since then (and will continue for quite some time longer)!  During my cleaning though, I discovered this little gem.

That's a box for the 2001 MLB Showdown card game that was published by Wizards of the Coast (you might know them as the people who do Magic:  The Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons)!

I used to enjoy playing the MLB Showdown game with my younger brother - it was easy enough to learn but it had just enough actual strategy to be fun to play.  The essence of the game is that you create a team of players which are represented by cards. 

For example, this is Chris Singleton's card (from the 2002 set - I didn't have any 2001 cards in that box anymore)!

As you can see from the above card, each player gets certain statistics (and the better the player, presumably the better the chances of actually getting on base).  Singleton wasn't likely to every homer (you needed to roll a 22 or higher on a 20-sided die for him to clear the fences).  While that might sound impossible (and normally it would be), there are a bunch of different strategy cards that you can play that might add or subtract points from the die roll result (thus making it possible to "roll" higher than a 20)!

The strategy cards also allowed you to do other things, sometimes even working against your own team in the short term in the hopes of a long term benefit (an excellent example of that would be this "Hugn It" card which you could only play when you were on defense).  

That's right, you had to choose to give up a home run...but in doing so, you got to replenish your hand full of strategy cards.  Risk and reward...and as I said, cards like that added enough strategy to make the game fun over multiple play times!

Turning our attention back to the box that inspired today's post, inside the box I still have the original rules booklet as well as the play mat.

The mat itself is dual sided, the front side shows a baseball field (complete with space to put all the cards as the players make their way around the bases).  Notice that one player sits on one side of the mat while the other player sits opposite - and notice that the field features a pair of home was a clever way to avoid having to constantly turn around the entire mat (and move all the cards in the process).

The backside features a full checklist for the set...

...and here's the close-up of the Reds' portion of the set.  

As you can probably see, the names in all capital letters are the star players on the team (which get the foil board treatment from Wizards of the Coast).  Getting a card of one of those players in a pack truly feels "special" since they are the better cards for your team!  

I haven't been able to part with this box (or its contents) and I also haven't been able to part with any of my MLB Showdown cards yet as I've gone through my collection reorganization process.  In fact, there's an outside chance that I might someday buy another box of the stuff rather than get rid of the set...that's how much I like the set (and how many good memories the set brings back for me).  In total, this is a perfect set to "flashback" for me!

Editor's Note:  I actually wrote about MLB Showdown one other time (back in 2013).  


Nick said...

MLB Showdown rules!

The Junior Junkie said...

I found two boxes of these at Kmart for $1.99 each. I grabbed them, but haven't done much with them. Seems like it could be a prett fun game.

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