Harry's Grand Slam Baseball Review
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Players: 2
Playing Time: 15-20 minutes

I wasn’t watching when the Houston Astros clinched the NLCS over the St. Louis Cardinals this week (I stopped caring about the baseball playoffs once my beloved Red Sox were eliminated). Instead, I was having my own intense playoff game against my husband—with Harry’s Grand Slam Baseball game.

Originally printed in 1962, this classic card game has been restored by the folks at Out of the Box Publishing, and can be enjoyed once again by kids (and kids at heart) of all ages. Each player acts as a “manager” for their own baseball team, and plays various cards in order to advance their runners and score—or to keep the other team from doing the same.

The game is played like regular baseball, complete with singles, doubles, home runs, ground outs, strikeouts, etc. While it’s helpful to have at least one player familiar with the rules of baseball (someone who knows exactly what a “sacrifice bunt” is, for example), the game comes with a handy card reference so that you know exactly how the cards you play will affect the inning.

While there is some strategy involved—you need to figure out what order to play your cards in so that you can score the most runs possible—the game is largely dependent on luck. When my husband and I played, I kept drawing “hit cards”—I had no problem loading up the bases and scoring runs. My husband, unfortunately, kept drawing “out cards”—and the rules state that if you don’t have any “hit” cards, you have to play an “out” card, even if it hurts you. So the outcome really depends on the cards that you draw, and it’s really a matter of luck.

Anyone with even a passing interest in baseball should have fun with this game. It’s quick, easy to learn, and simple to set up. This “authentic reproduction” comes in a retro game tin, so it also adds character to your game closet. If the end of baseball season makes you a little depressed, pick up this game and challenge your neighbor to a friendly game.

Ed. Note: For more information, please visit Out of the Box Publishing.

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