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Old 11-09-2011, 05:10 PM   #1
BradC
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British Baseball Society: A Jolly Good Time on the Baseball Pitch

Baseball is seen as a uniquely American sport, with an additional level of strong interest in the Far East, but what if it became popular in other countries too? How would they embrace it, and how would they organize their teams? It's a fun "What if?" question, and Mark Cooley decided to take a stab at it with the British Baseball Society (BBS), which he created thanks to the vast customization options available in Out of the Park Baseball. (Editor's note: I discovered on March 29, 2013 that the BBS site was no longer being hosted by Cooley, so I am now linking to an Internet Archive capture of that site that unfortunately has a lot of broken images. It's the best I can do.)

He explains: "I'm a soccer nut. BBS takes place in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland are represented). I didn't want just a regular baseball league set in England, so I tried to figure out a way to mold baseball into more of an English football scenario. What I came up with was each 3-game series being treated as a soccer 'fixture.' Winning a series gets you 3 points. Losing the series, but winning one of the first two games, gets you 1 point. Sweeping the series gets you 4 points. Each club plays the other 7 clubs in its tier in 4 series each season."

He continues: "BBS has three tiers in our world. Each tier has its own 'cup' and the entire country has a cup. Each winner earns money."

At the end of each season, the bottom two teams in Tier 1 are dropped to Tier 2 while the top Tier 2 club is promoted is promoted to Tier 1 and the top Tier 3 club is promoted to Tier 2. The other Tier 2 and Tier 3 clubs promoted to Tiers 1 and 2 are decided through a home-and-home series -- if that series is split, the tie is broken by total runs, and if those are equal, road runs are used; if road runs are equal, a one-game, winner-take-all playoff is scheduled.

Cooley notes: "We're now in our third season and I've seen clubs moved from Tier 3 all the way to Tier 1. I've also seen teams move down. It's all dependent on what the coach does during free agency (FA). Our FA is done auction style using Fidel's great auction app, AllSimBaseball Free Agent Auction 1.0."

He explains other ways the BBS remains authentic to its geography: "Our finances are handled outside the game as each tier has its own ticket price and salary cap, all under 700K per year. We have two transfer periods, much like European football. I've modded the news.xml file to handle the lack of team nicknames. Our teams are named such as European soccer clubs are (Leeds White Rose, Ibrox United, Granite Aberdeen, West Reading BC, Metro Walsall, etc.). We use only names from nationalities that our teams are located, so BBS only has English-, Irish-, and Scottish-named players."

For the future, Cooley plans something he calls a Champions League, which would take baseball worldwide: "This competition would contain the top teams from each country, beginning with a group stage and moving to head to head match-ups, just as most soccer tournaments follow."

Cooley has been a long-time OOTP player since version 2 was released. "I checked it out and ordered it solely to run an historical league called Glory Days Baseball," he recalls. He adds that he had been a videogame player for a long time, "but something was lacking. OOTP 2 filled that need. I still have the disc."

And he expects to stick with OOTP for the foreseeable future: "I've always been solely an online leaguer. That's why I still play OOTP. There are so many ways to customize this game. What other game will allow you to create something like the British Baseball Society?"

Last edited by BradC; 03-29-2013 at 10:04 AM.
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