1956 United Star Slugger & Star Super Slugger

Description: Star Slugger, 4/56, two players, running man unit with 3-dimensional rubber men (unlike Williams' 2-dimensional cardboard men), three bat speeds (slow, medium, fast), super home run hole, three home run decks, one to three innings of player (operator selectable). If the player makes a home run in each of the three decks in a single inning, 30 runs are awarded. Or if the player hits the super home run hole (above the upper deck), again 30 runs are awarded. Hitting the middle home run deck on Star Slugger doubles any runs scored. Hitting the upper home run deck triples any runs scored.

If you have this game for sale please contact me at cfh@provide.net

Dimensions are 25.5" wide x 80" tall x 78" long. Top glass is 54" (not 52 1/4"!) x 21" x 3/16". Uses four 7/8" balls. This is an extremely large game, even by coin operated baseball standards. Also the fact that the bat speed is variable (instead of the pitching speed) is somewhat strange, as most players just tends to try and beat the tar out of the ball by using the fast bat speed most often. The idea behind the bat speed is to use slow to hit the lower deck, medium bat speed for the middle deck, and fast bat for the upper deck, thus getting 30 runs for completing a homer in all three decks.

Very similar to United's previous year Super Slugger (7/55), but Star Slugger has playfield scoring holes behind the ramps that load the bases (where on Super Slugger these award outs). And the deck homer scoring is different on Star Slugger (middle deck scores 2 runs for each run, and the upper deck scores 3 runs for each run). Also the 1955 Super Slugger scores 50 runs for a "super home run", instead of 30 runs on the 1956 Star Slugger. Also the prior year's Super Slugger only allows one inning of play (Star Slugger allows up to three innings).Star Slugger is also kind of similar to Chicago Coin's Bulls Eye Big League (1955) and Home Run (1954) and Super Home Run (1954), but the Chicago Coin games do not have a running man unit. Frankly the 1956 United Star Slugger is the best all these variants in my opinion.

United's Star Slugger came in two versions:

  • Star Slugger, United, 4/56, two players, match replay version.
  • Star Super Slugger, United, 4/56, two players, no match (no credit counter) novelty version.

There is always a question how United used the Williams-style running man unit for its baseball game. In the early 1940s, Harry Williams and Lyndon Durant formed United Manufacturing. After WW2, the two men went their separate ways, with Durant staying with United, and Williams forming the new Williams Electronics (rumor has it the split had something to do with a women, where Williams got to keep the girl, and Durant got to keep United!) United Manufacturing became a big player in the industry, with their forte being bowling games. But in the 1950s United decided to make a baseball game, and who better to copy than Williams, whose baseball games were the industry standard. Harry Williams even let his friend and old partner use the man running unit, which had animated runners running the bases to show the batters' position.

Star Slugger replay Version (note the credit unit on the right in the banner):

Star Super Slugger novelty Version (note the word "star" inside the star, and no credit unit):

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