At MLB.com, our business is baseball, but of course we're also fans of the game. We love to watch it. Many of us played it as far as our various levels of ability would let us go. And in many cases, we also love baseball video games.
The old RBI Baseball series was particularly beloved by many. So as MLB.com prepares to launch a new game inspired by those classics, R.B.I. Baseball 14, we're excited as a company, but we're also excited as baseball fans and as fans of baseball video games.
Here's what several of our staffers had to say about their memories of the classic game and their thoughts as RBI Baseball 14 is about to launch on Xbox 360, Sony PS3 and the Apple App Store today.
"I was young when R.B.I. Baseball came out on Nintendo but still played it a lot as a kid, especially with my cousins. My favorite team growing up was the Dodgers, but they weren't in the original game so I liked playing as the Cardinals with all their speed in the lineup with Vince Coleman, Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee. Jack Clark was also a tough out, and provided the power.
"My friend also had a Nintendo and the original R.B.I. game in college, so we'd play one-on-one tournaments to pass the time. So, needless to say, I'm excited for the newest incarnation and can't wait to play it." -- Rhett Bollinger, reporter.
"I grew up in the Boston area, and coincidentally, Game 6 of the 1986 World Series is my first memory as a baseball fan. Though I was only seven, I'd seen enough of the Red Sox to be legitimately upset about the Fall Classic's outcome -- and question my commitment to the game I was starting to love. That is, until that offseason, when R.B.I. Baseball was unleashed upon Generation X. With the ability to lead the Sox to a championship -- a reality I'd have to wait another 18 years to celebrate -- I became a lifelong fan of R.B.I., the hometown team and Major League Baseball. Here's to all the nostalgia inspired by R.B.I., and to its rejuvenating comeback. Play ball." -- Dean Chiungos, director, content sponsorship.
"Few things truly were staples of my childhood: wrestling buddies, Fruit Roll-Ups and R.B.I. Baseball.
"It's important to keep in mind that playing video games as a 6-year-old with older brothers in their teens is an impossible task. However, the simple yet simultaneously complex nuances of R.B.I. Baseball somehow leveled the playing field and concluded in me being the victor more often than not. Sure, my mom threatening to withhold dinner from my brother probably entered the calculus here, but regardless, I'm beyond stoked to have R.B.I. Baseball back in my life." -- David Feldman, director, social media.
"I have such vivid memories of playing the Nintendo version of R.B.I. Baseball, back when you needed cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol to actually make the cartridge work. It was such a big deal to use real players in a video game -- I always used the Mets; here come 'Dykstr,' Wilson and 'Herndz' in the top of the first. It didn't even matter that they all looked like the same little chubby guy.
"That in-game music is forever stuck in my mind, right alongside the tunes from Super Mario Bros. I'm excited that R.B.I. is getting its well-deserved reboot here in 2014. Maybe this time we'll see the Yankees with 'Elsbry,' 'Beltrn' and 'Txeira.'" -- Bryan Hoch, reporter.
"I loved the original game because of Vince Coleman and his Carl Lewis-esque speed. He was my favorite player growing up and the fact I got to be him on R.B.I. was an amazing thing in the late 1980s.
"The beauty of the original R.B.I. was the simplicity and speed of the game. I could knock out three games in an hour, something not possible with most modern baseball video games. The new game holds true to many of the original's roots, and while the graphics are better and features more robust, the game flies by and is easy to grasp within an inning of first picking up a controller." -- Gregg Klayman, VP, content development.
"I grew up a Brewers fan, so I always got excited to see the Brewers represented anytime and anywhere nationally. Bill Schroeder hit .332 with 14 home runs in 250 at-bats in 1987 for the Brewers. B.J. Surhoff was their starting catcher, but Schroeder still made R.B.I.'s American League All-Star team. I always got a kick out of that." -- Todd Zolecki, reporter.