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Realsports Baseball - Black Letter Variant Analysis


Leonard Smith

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Hi all,
Rather than hijack the Galaga box variant thread that @Atari_Bill created, I just wanted to share a detailed breakdown of the Black Realsports Baseball variant.

I grabbed one off eBay recently and it appears to be a complete boxed copy (even has a Toys R Us receipt in the box, but it's from 1986 so I doubt it goes with this game).  I compared my two copies side by side and here's what I can find.  Both versions are dated 1988, so that's a little baffling.

Disclaimer -- I am not a cart variation collector, but since the 7800 has such a small library, I decided to grab this as it became available.  I agree that this kind of analysis is a bit excessive, so apologies if all of this information is already known.  

 

Key Differences

BOX 
* Black lettering of the word "BASEBALL" on Box
* Black Label box has a 5th bullet point on back indicating usage with NTSC televisions only. (the white label box omits the 5th bullet).  Atari logo and copyright info is shifted down slightly due to the 5th bullet point
* Artwork on front of Black Letter box has a yellower tinge.  It's noticeable on the white pants of the players on the illustration
* Black Letter verson is made in Taiwan.  White box version is "Printed in Hong Kong and Made in China"
* All box text, screenshots, UPC codes, and fonts are identical in both versions

CART LABEL
* Black lettering of the word "BASEBALL" on Cart Label - both versions are full color
* Cart Label is applied in the wrong direction with the Black Text version.  Cart label again shows "Made in Taiwan" (white text version lists "Printed in Hong Kong")
* End label is more centered in the black text version.  White text version has the text aligned a bit more to the bottom, leaving a slightly larger silver gap at top

MANUALS
* Manual is actually a little larger (about a 1/4 inch taller) than the white box version - noticeable because you can see more of the bottom portion of the artwork.  Manual text and content is the same though.
* Manual copyright data:
-- Black text version = Printed in USA / 1988
-- White text version = Printed in Hong Kong / BT 11.1988

WARRANTY CARD
* Black Text version = Printed in Taiwan /    Rev B /     K 1.5.1988
* White Text version = Printed in Hong Kong / Rev B   / BT  5.1988

 

That's about all I can tell.

If the Warranty Card info is the correct one that originally shipped with the Black Text version of the game, then that tells us that perhaps the Black Text shipped in January 1988 and the White Text variant came out later that year in the May 1988 time frame.  
 

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Very Cool. I went to check my boxes to see which version I had. To my shock I have been living under the guise that I had a complete CIB 7800 set. Yes, including all the heavy hitters. But somehow I overlooked RS Baseball in boxes. I have both variations in loose carts but no boxes. So weird. Maybe I misplaced the box in my move 2 years ago. So I might be on the hunt for RSBB boxes. 

 

 

7800 RSBB.jpg

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17 hours ago, Leonard Smith said:

Nice to see.  Is your black text cart label applied the wrong way also?

Off topic - I see you have box protectors on your games.  Which seller did you buy them from?

 

Black Text Cart Label - It is applied the correct direction. 

 

Box Protectors - All of my standard Atari and other third party companies are in protectors from Dan at RetroProtection.com. 

 

I am in the process of replacing the protectors on my 7800 games to the Retroprotection ones as they have a better snugger fit than the other ones I was using. 

 

This is an amazing resource for the different box protectors for different sized 1st and 3rd party boxes

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Not my auction, but there's a 2 game sealed bundle on Ebay right now which includes Super Huey and the Black Letter RS Baseball variant.

Not a bad price for the two, especially sealed:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/275378301051?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=RYEtxGjURPS&sssrc=2047675&ssuid=8Q6gleWtSSW&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

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4 minutes ago, Cousin Vinnie said:

That was a much more lucid, in depth, well thought out description of label variances than that game ever deserved. 

Haha!

Just doing my part for the community, lol!
 

To be honest, these inconsistencies always fascinate me.  It was kind of fun to do the comparison.

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While waiting for my patch to arrive, I figured I'd give this game a real honest playthrough this weekend.  I used to like playing baseball games on the NES and SNES during my school summers, so why not.

 

I sat down with the manual and proceeded to learn the quirks of the pitching game.

 

I have to say, the pitching portion is actually a lot of fun once you figure out the overcomplicated controls.  I do like the fact that they put some realism in by making you throw the ball back to the infield and pitcher.  To pitch, you just hold down the right fire button and select directions with the joystick to throw various pitches.  Kinda fun... I find that a fastball (up), fastball (up) and inside slider (up/left) will usually keep the CPU batter off balance and I can usually strike out a batter or two each side.  

Fielding is a bit disorienting.  The ball gets hit so hard that you barely have time to react (the shadow dot appears almost instantly), but I did start to get the hang of fielding balls in the infield which became fun.

 

Batting is a joke though.  The CPU is just a pitching machine and you barely have time to get ready between pitches.  The batting is done by holding down the left fire button and choosing a direction, then letting the fire button go in time with the pitch.  Needlessly complicated considering this is really an arcade style baseball game.  They could have just gone with a 'push fire to swing' mechanism, but no, it's all about holding down the fire button and using some arcane direction combo.  I started to adjust and actually kept the CPU close at one point when I hit a 2 run homer.
For the love of god, they should have included a batting practice mode or something to help you adjust, since it's usually a 1-2-3 out inning when it's your turn to bat.

 

But, the damn game is too hard in 1 player mode.  
I mean brutally hard.  It's impossible to string together base hits against the CPU as all your hits are rocket shots to the outfielder or weak hits that get gobbled up by the infielders. The only way I score runs is via home runs.  

The other oddities are every batter being right-handed.  No pitcher changes or fatigue.  Some real questionable fielder choices when the ball is hit by the CPU.  And the aforementioned rocket shots that give you zero reaction time to field.  And some of the CPU pitches are questionable in terms of being strikes.  The CPU will walk you if you're patient, but that's only happened twice for me.

I'm determined to beat the CPU and will continue to study this game and figure out the best method of approaching the batting game.  I think I got the pitching game dialed in and I quite enjoy that.  Everything else though is a shame as this was clearly rushed and nowhere near the level of features and gameplay that competitors offered.

Edited by Leonard Smith
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On 7/13/2022 at 7:41 AM, GoldenWheels said:

...... I had some nice vintage stickers of the same logo I used on a "Real Sports" controller.

 

EkIR6TK.jpg

 That controller looks great! Any idea on the origin of the sticker? I never realized they made those.

I just made a small run of my own decal....slightly different than yours.

RS2.thumb.jpg.7ab419af8755be1f76d987ffac62fa09.jpg

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11 hours ago, Machine said:

 That controller looks great! Any idea on the origin of the sticker? I never realized they made those.

I just made a small run of my own decal....slightly different than yours.

 

I got the stickers AND the hat in the same lot on ebay years ago so sadly, nope!

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