Description: Play Ball!, Chicago Coin, 1/51, one player, playfield mounted turntable running man unit that uses balls for base runner. This is basically a reissue of the 1934 Rockola World Series. The difference being size (the CCM version is A LOT bigger), and the CCM machine is EM (electro-mechanical), where the earlier Rockola is purely mechanical. The Rockola uses 3/4" balls where the CCM Play Ball! uses standard 1 1/16" pin balls. (There should be 10 balls installed, and the game uses 31" wood legs.) In either case there's no flippers on these games. It's all about the initial ball plunge, and gettting the ball down the center to get a "hit." Whether you get a single, double or triple or homerun is randomly picked by the game. Like the Rockola, the position of "home plate" is somewhat odd, as it's furthest away from the player (unlike nearly every other baseball machine made.)
This is a very fun game. Personally I enjoy it much more than the Rockola. Maybe because it's larger, and seems more like a "real" pinball machine. Also the EM design (versus purely mechanical for the Rockola) and light scoring is appealing. In either game though, just the way it keeps track of balls and strike is very cool. And the way the balls move through the bases and score runs, it's an elegant design.
An interesting feature of the game is the ability to turn off the backbox lighting during a game (operator selectible.) This prevents glare on the top glass. A neat feature. The backbox by the way is empty, with only the glass and three 7.5 watt bulbs to light the glass. Also the 1951 CCM Play Ball allows the player to win multiple replays (which the original Rockola did not do.)
A big problem with the 1951 CCM Play Ball! is the score graphics are silkscreened onto the top glass (which is often cracked or broken). All the scoring (runs/outs/replays) is screened onto the top glass. This glass is not available, so a missing or broken top glass limits the appeal of the game (and the playability to some degree, as the runs/outs/replays is shown on the top glass).
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