Lost in Thought: Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball
Baseball. It's a simple game, maybe boring to others but for me it's a past time filled with great moments. Baseball video games on the other hand have been hit or miss, but that is a blog post for another time. With Spring Training underway I always get excited for the upcoming season and I have looking back on one of the special games from my childhood that I didn't own.
In spring of 1994 and the Colorado Rockies getting ready for their second season as a franchise, I see in the issue of Nintendo Power magazine screenshots of the game starring Ken Griffey JR. I was a huge, huge baseball fan as a kid and Griffey being probably the most popular ball player at the time I was so excited for this game. While looking through the screen shots of the game, what got me most excited for it was it had the MLB license, more importantly I could play as the Rockies at Mile High Stadium. I could not wait to get the game.
So I had my parents take me to Toys "R" Us, I bolted to the video game isle and found the game. My parents really did not want to spend $50 on a baseball video game (ironically now that I am older I can't see myself spending that much on a baseball game either...) So, I tried and pleaded with them to buy it. They were unwavering. My dad had walked around and found sports equipment, where they had a baseball glove. He comes back to tell me "Instead of spending money on this video game, we buy you this new baseball glove and you can go play outside".
It took a little convincing because my heart was set on Griffey. We had left the store with this Louisville slugger glove. Just a couple of weekends later, I had seen some kids playing baseball at the nearby park, and they had asked if I would like to join in. The first ball I caught in that glove was a popfly, and it stung like hell. Well anyway, out of the group of kids who knew that one of them, Matt, would become one of my closest and best friends to this day. From there almost ever summer we had our own 'Sandlot' teams and played most days.
Some 19 years later, I still own this glove. It has seen better days, the leather is tattered and needs re-laced but the memories are priceless. To think that I had every intention to but that video game, and in the end I had more memories with that glove then the game I probably would have traded away at some point.
I did eventually buy the game and it did not disappoint when I finally played it. I knew that the game had the MLB license but not the MLBPA. Which means no real players are in the game (besides Ken Griffey). I didn't realize this until just a few years ago that my team Colorado Rockies roster are names of classic horror film stars. Like Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney and Christopher Lee. The overall game play is fast and arcade like, which is a style I prefer for baseball games compared to simulation style like MLB The Show. There still are times when out of nowhere the A.I. will just kick my ass. All it takes is one inning and poof! But the game is still a fun sports title. It always makes me smile to see someone strike out, and get very upset either yelling "Oh come on!" at me or breaking his bat.
As fun as the game is, I am glad that my parents at the time convinced me to go with the glove. Has anyone ever had a similar thing happen to them? Want one game, or console but end up leaving with something different? Were you glad you made that choice or regret it? I would love to hear your stories below.