Description: Official Baseball, Williams #232, 2/60, two players, woodrail with players on the playfield and animated umpire and pitcher, plus a running man unit. Uses 3/4" balls. Very often the playfield men get broken from the ball play (or the catcher is just plain missing!) A very cool woodrail (maple side rail) baseball arcade game with hole style scoring (opposed to the 1963 and later target scoring scheme), and a very good looking game. Two player game, so competive play is encouraged. High score is kept, with a default of 15 runs as the minimum high score to beat. Game can be set for one to three innings per game. Game uses a buzzer which sounds between innings and players. Most of the players have lights under their fielding hole. If the light is on, the runner advances if the ball goes in this hole. If the light is out, the field hole is an out. Whether the light is on or off is determined by how many players are currently on base (via the running man unit in the backbox). So hitting to the first basemen's field hole could get the player an out or a single.
Official baseball is easily the best looking of all post-WW2 pitch and bat baseballs. With the metal playfield men and classic design, it's a handsome game. It is not though the best playing of the Williams pitch and bats. Since it does not have a home-run deck (like most of the other Williams p&b games), it's not riveting from a game play perspective. But the pitching unit (the umpire hands the ball to the pitcher, and then the pitcher moves forward to pitch the ball) reminds one of the 1937 Rockola World Series (considered to be the ultimate pitch and bat machine). A better playing post-WW2 Williams pitch and bat is the 1959 Williams Pinch Hitter, but that game does not have the 'looks' and unique pitching feather of Williams Official Baseball. Official Baseball is more show-than-go, but we all know having your arm around a good looking blond is more impressive than holding hands with that beauty-challenged but great personally gal.
Game came in both "novelty" (no credit unit) and "deluxe" versions (with a match feature and a credit unit so you could win and accumulate free games). In the home environment it really makes no difference which version you have (since you're playing for free anyway right?) The deluxe version is far more common since only a few states (NY, WI) needed to have a novelty version (no free games).
See a movie of the game in play by clicking here (1.3meg).
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The author's 1960 Williams Official Baseball:
Here's the pitching unit where the umpire hands the ball to the pitcher.
Behind the plate showing the often missing catcher.
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