Backyard Baseball 2001

Arrite so here at FDAB we claim to have extensive knowledge of all things from our childhood (And we do!) But one sad confession I have is that I never owned the original Backyard Baseball, I know, call me crazy, I was too busy tearing up Sim City 2000. But anywho, when the time came, I sacked up and got the best computer game to my knowledge (close rival of Roller Coaster Tycoon).

I could bring you through my entire star-studded lineup but instead I will just throw out some quick reminders of who the top dogs were way back in the day when Mr Clanky was pitching BP and Sunny Day and Vinne the Gooch (questionable name for a kid’s game) were on the sidelines getting their announcing game in early.

Look on the one hand, you could be like me and pick a million MLB players to stack your team: Kenny Lofton (probably the most versatile player in the game, great contact, extremely fast, and for no foreseeable reason a dirty pitcher), Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr, Frank Thomas, Shawn Green, Juan Gonzales, etc. etc. etc.

But no, everyone knows that they were all legends, but let’s peep the prospects of the diamond from way back:

Achmed Khan:

This kid was a rockstar. He pulled the headphones move before it was cool (I’m lookin at you kid from Hardball). But I digress, kid was also a champ on the field. Had a great arm, and was an overall great kid to have on the bench. He never caused any problems because he was continuously getting pumped up by whatever it was that he was listening to under those headphones. Also sidebar: He was so much cooler and better than Amir Khan. God Amir sucked. Classic case of little brother sucking. But hey, let’s be honest even a 2 year difference can make a humongous difference when youre younger.

Kenny Kawaguchi:

I have a personal bias for this guy, I will be honest. Why? Well because the first time I played this game I bombed a grand slam with him. That’ll seal the deal for any 6 year old. Now I’m not sure if they were trying to reach out to the disabled folk of yesteryear, but I don’t even care at this point, this kid could jack homeruns from a chair. Seriously sit down in a chair and play baseball, tell me it ain’t impossible. But yeah, this kid would definitely fool you the first time you play, like “I’m not picking the kid in the chair” Oh you should DEFINITELY pick the kid in the chair or you are missing out sir (or madam).

Angela Delvecchio:

Ya Boy will tell you that he was the person in the family to find this hidden gem. Yes, I’ll admit it, I was an extremely sexist kid (not saying that I’ve fully grown out of that yet either) but I didn’t want girls on my team. They’re girls for god’s sake. And don’t even try to give me any of that bull about girls being just as good of athletes as guys. I’m pretty sure Ya Boy has defeated some D1 NCAAW chicks in the rec center a few times. But I digress. Angela is a special case. She was the most powerful pitcher in a video game. The only person that even came close to rivaling her was AJ Burnett’s style in MVP Baseball 2003. Put them toe-to-toe, and I’m picking Angela on this one, no doubt. I mean her brother was the biggest d-bag this side of ever, who did he think he was? Point is, once you can get over the fact that her family probably sucks, and that she’s a girl, she’s pure gold on the diamond.

Pete Wheeler:

Classic idiot. This kid had to be the stupidest kid on the face of the earth. Everyone had a kid that Pete reminded them of. When he bunted he TURNED AROUND. But BOY did this kid have wheels, and I mean WHEELS. He turns those things on, and you are absolutely toast. I mean it made sense, I’m pretty sure he was like 2 feet taller than everyone else. At that age, height is part of what matters to be a speedster. I’m not trying to take anything away from him, but I guarantee he didn’t grow up to me the 100m champion. He probably turned into a cross-country runner or something stupid like that. But seriously, draft this kid. Great for team morale (how would anyone know that?) And I guarantee you that no matter how well he did the kids on the bench would be like “aw shit, Pete’s up again, here comes another out” and then whooop, SURPRISE WIN, kid bunts a triple. I’m sure he did.

Pablo Sanchez:

I think that says it all. No really, do I even need to explain this kid? This kid was the face of the entire game. Arguably the most racist kid in the game, but everyone looked away so it was no big. We’re talking about a chubby kid who probably saw all the rest of the kids playing baseball, so he went up to them, started talking a mile a minute in Spanish. The other kids probably had no idea what he was saying, but, their mistake, let him play. Wow is there anyone that would be worth selectting over him? I don’t even think when you throw the MLB players in there is anyone that comes close. (Sidebar: We all know that he secretly knew English right? The original troll)

Look, if you’re not convinced, then put these guys to the test. I’m sorry if I left out some of your favorite characters like Dmitri Petrovich (the world’s best punter), or Ernie Steele who was quietly 5′ ^” as a 10 year old….yeah….or Mikey Thomas who  had a cold every day of his life, or Dante Robinson who would do anything you wanted for candy and hamburgers, or Luanne Lui who, let’s be honest, was the cutest girl in the game. I don’t mean that in a creepy way, she was adorable with that pink teddy bear.

All in all, I’m glad that these kids’ parents encouraged them to go out and play the most organized games of sports you’ve ever seen in kids this age. They had the most diverse peer group ever, they were all unreal at sports, and they even were interesting enough to get a lot of different personalities to announce their games. Talk about unreal on top of unreal.

~Little Spoon

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