Major League Baseball, like every major sports league in the world, is currently on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. While we are supposed to be nearly two weeks into a new season, fans and players alike are stuck at home wondering if and when () the 2020 season might begin.
So what are we to do? If there are no games, where will fans get their baseball fixes?
Look no further. We have compiled a list of 10 indoor baseball games that should help fill the time before Opening Day. Each of these options are quarantine-friendly, can be played indoors, and do not require leaving the household in any capacity (online shopping could be required for some). In return, all we ask is you invite us to your next sock ball tournament whenever it becomes safe again to travel.
Without further adieu, here are 10 indoor baseball games you can play during quarantine.
1. Sock Baseball
If you never played sock baseball as a kid on a rainy day, you are in for an absolute treat. Before playing, it's probably best you remove any fragile items from the room before starting.
Set-Up: First, you roll up a pair of socks to use as your ball (the heavier the sock, the further it will travel). Second, designate bases around the room; it's more than acceptable to only have two bases due to space restrictions. Anything from dinner tables to couches to lamps can be used for bases. After that, it's really just a modified game of baseball.
· You must run on your knees or crawl
· Use the palm of your hand as the bat and the sock as the baseball
· Play ball!
The minor rules and regulations can be adjusted to the desire of the players. For example, some may want to use 'peg ball' as a means for recording an out (throwing the sock a la dodgeball). Some will want to play the sock off the walls. Sock ball is your playground. Have fun with it.
2. Baseball Name Game
You may have played this on your most recent road trip. Although it requires some baseball player knowledge, you will not need anything other than your voice.
· Player 1 starts the game by saying a former or active baseball player's name
· Player 2 must name a different player; that player's first name must start with the first letter of the last name that Player 1 used
For example: Player 1 says, "Derek Jeter." Player 2 must name a player with a first name that starts with "J," such as Jamie Moyer.
· A name can only be used once or else it's a strike; if a player cannot think of a name, it's a strike
· Like baseball, you get three strikes and you're out
(If necessary, you can use a timer)
3. Scene It? Sports Board Game
This one will involve some online shopping if you don't already own the board game.
Test your sports knowledge with this sports trivia game that is used both with cards and sports clips on a DVD. The game is a bit dated (made in the early 2000s), which makes for the perfect opportunity for parents to stump their kids.
Ask any former pitcher, and he will tell you he played two-ball just as much as he trained. The game is best played with 5-plus players, but can be played with less all the same. Here's how it works:
· Grab two baseballs and get your group in a circle (standing up)
· Player 1 starts with one ball in each hand
· Player 1 tosses one ball underhand to another player and then tosses the second ball to a different player within the circle
· Continue tossing the baseballs amongst each other until one is dropped
· You will often see two baseballs coming toward a single player, which is where is gets challenging
· If the ball is dropped, that's a strike; if the ball is poorly thrown, it's a strike
· If both baseballs are thrown to a single player and that player catches both balls in the same hand, the thrower of the second ball is given a strike
A more detailed rulebook can be found here.
This is more of a drill opposed to a game, but you can grab a bucket of whiffle balls with a tee and go to work. This is best played out on the back deck or backyard, although Joey Gallo (below) doesn't seem to mind playing this one inside.
As always, use caution and be aware of your surroundings before swinging.
6. Baseball Poker
Who doesn't love a good card game? All you need is a 52-card pack and you're ready to roll.
Baseball poker is similar to regular poker, only 3s, 4s, and 9s hold special value because of their significance in a baseball game (three outs, four balls, nine innings). All 3s and 9s are wild cards. As for the No. 4 card, "if a four is dealt face up, it entitles the recipient to an additional hole card, which the dealer immediately provides, face down." The player with the best five-card hand wins.
A more extensive rulebook can be found here.
7. MLB the Show
Video games and eSports are some of the few professional sports still ongoing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ability to compete from the seat of one's couch certainly helps at a time like this.
MLB the Show, baseball's most popular video game of the decade, produced by SIE San Diego Studio, debuted in 1997 and hit its stride in the 2010s after both the MVP Baseball and MLB 2K series faltered in 2008 and 2013, respectively. The game is exclusively available on Playstation game consoles, but is expected to be available on XBOX soon.
8. Baseball Card All-Star Game
Still have that old baseball card collection lying around the dust bunnies in the garage? Well, now is its time to shine.
The Baseball Card All-Star Game is regarded as more of an old-school type of game. But, hey, what better time to bring out the forgotten gems than right now? Players use their baseball cards to create a baseball lineup and use a die roll to determine the result of each player's at-bat.
Imagine Mike Trout, Ken Griffey Jr., and Ted Williams all in the same lineup. Depending on your card collection, this is an opportunity to let your greatest baseball fantasies run wild. Complete list of rules and results can be found here.
9. MLB Slug Fest
Another video game option -- albeit a bit more unrealistic one -- four versions of the MLB Slugfest series were released in the early 2000s on PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Xbox.
The game is most known for it's aggressive nature, including features that allow players to charge mounds, run over players, and "catch fire." Though a bit more violent than your everyday sports game, Slugfest is rated E for everyone, meaning the violence is intended to have a more comical tone.
10. Backyard Baseball Online
Pablo Sanchez and his friends are still alive and well thanks to new technology.
Computer gaming websites, such as ArcadeSpot, have found a way to make the entire game of Backyard Baseball available to anybody with internet access. The baseball game fad originally of the 2000s, Backyard Baseball is known for mixing in unique kid characters with actual MLB players, who are also portrayed as kids. Some of the players include Barry Bonds, Ichiro, Albert Pujols, and Ken Griffey Jr.
Did I mention it's completely free? You can play Backyard Baseball here.