1961 Williams Batting Champ*

    Last full woodrail pitch and bat by Williams. This is considered the "end of the woodrail era" of Williams' baseballs, as this was the last full woodrail and "score hole" Williams baseball games.

    Batting Champ Variants:

    • Deluxe Batting Champ*, Williams #249, 4/61, one player. Super Home Run pocket can score 3, 5 or 10 replays. Carry over name-spelling replay option, beat high score replay option, and Match replay option.
    • Batting Champ*, Williams #252, 5/61, one player, novelty, no replays.

    Batting Champ is a one player game, and the bat works at any time (instead of being operator selectable for one bat per ball, or bat anytime), one inning play (can't select play for multiple innings, which was probably an attempt to make games shorter for the operator), "super home run" pocket (center ramp points at a home that can get up to 10 replays from a home run), auto select pitch feature (there is a small unit under the playfield that alternates between slow and fast pitch by applying a "brake" to the pitching unit). Some cost cutting measures were taken with this game (especially compared to the previous year's spectacular Official Baseball, which had playfield manikins and was a two player game). Batting Champ's top glass size is 23" x 39 1/4" x 3/16" tempered glass. Can use either 7/8" or 3/4" balls, but seems to work better with the smaller 3/4" ball (five balls needed).

The Batting Champ at my mom's. Note the bat handle has been replaced with a button.

Here's the pitching motor. Note the solenoid on the right. This is a brake mechanism, that is randomly activated
by the game, according to a small continuous stepper mechanism to the right of the pitching motor (not shown).
This allows the game to vary the pitching speed from fast ball to slow ball. This is done probably because it
is a single player game, and there is no second player to do the pitching against the batter.

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