There have been many different incarnations of the Superstar Baseball board games over the years. The following is a brief overview of the pastime, some history behind the creation of the most popular versions of this game, and where you can find them today.
All About Superstar Baseball
The Superstar Baseball board games were first released in 1971 as Sports Illustrated Baseball, but they have changed a great deal since then. The 1973 version was released as All-Time All-Star Baseball and included each of the original American League and National League teams with the twenty-five best players from each team's history. The 1974 version was released as Superstar Baseball and was simply the All-Time All-Star edition altered to provide an individual card format.
This is a basic level baseball game and a good way to get youngsters started in tabletop baseball. It is certainly for those who enjoy batting around sports statistics and rolling dice. It is an excellent way to get young sports enthusiasts interested in math as they can't help but use it when playing.
There are a total of 96 pitcher and batter cards for the all time best players as chosen by Sports Illustrated. Although unrealistic, this tabletop version of America's pastime allows you to match up great hitters like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig against pitchers like Cy Young and Sandy Koufax.
This is also fairly quick to play and therefore youngster friendly. A full 9-innings only takes about twenty minutes to play. An added benefit is that this activity can be played by a single player.
History of the Game
Superstar Baseball was originally produced by Sports Illustrated and its parent company Time. When Sports Illustrated sold their games division, ownership was transferred to the Avalon Hill Game Company.
Avalon Hill sponsored an annual convention known as AvalonCon where they would have, among others, a Superstar Baseball tournament.
Over the years, as new versions were released and some changes were made in the presentation of statistics, the All-Time All-Star version continues to be a fan favorite.
The 1971 version had large, 11" x 17" tri-fold charts. The front of each team's chart showed players' names, jersey numbers, and basic statistics for the 1970 season including batters' home runs, averages and RBIs and then wins, losses, and ERAs were included for pitchers. Once you opened the chart, you'd find batter's charts for lefties and righties and ratings for bunters. A third batting chart was included on the inside for pitchers while the pitching charts were located on the tri-fold's back. Another panel of the tri-fold showed a ballpark layout and included notes about the particular team. This large tri-fold layout was not a favorite of players.
The 1972 version saw the charts changed to an 8 ½"x11" double-sided page. One side included batters' charts and their dice combinations while the reverse side included pitching and pitchers' batting charts. This is the preferred chart format for most players of this game.
The 1973 version, named Sports Illustrated All-Time All-Star Baseball, continued with the 1972 chart format but only included the original sixteen National League and American League teams. This most popular incarnation of the game was sold in a manila envelope and cost consumers $5.95. You may find it costs considerably more today.
Where to Find Superstar Baseball
The most popular version of the game, according to aficionados, is the Sports Illustrated All-Time All-Star Baseball. Although none of these games are in production anymore, you can easily find previous incarnations, including the All-Time All-Star version, available at online auction sites like ebay, at sports card collectors' shops or through baseball gaming groups.