Magazine article USA TODAY

All-Star Return

Magazine article USA TODAY

All-Star Return

Article excerpt

For more than half a century, fathers and sons controlled the fates of Major League Baseball All-Stars in the palms of their hands--with disks, a spinner, and a few key statistics. In 1993, though, with the video game revolution in full swing and a movement away from board games, one of America's longest-running success stories--All-Star Baseball--was forced into retirement. Happily, though, the National Pastime, perhaps spurred on by the unexpected near--success of the once-woebegone Cubbies, is enjoying a resurgence. Likewise, as traditional board game sales begin to rebound and the nation gravitates toward more nostalgic forms of leisure, Cadaco, Chicago, Ill., is reintroducing All-Star Baseball ($30) in a special Hall of Fame edition (suited up in a commemorative tin that resembles Chicago's Wrigley Field).

The original game was invented in the late 1930s by former outfielder Ethan Allen, who kicked around the bigs for 10 years with six different teams, compiling a lifetime .300 average. As the Iongtime college baseball coach at Yale University, Allen authored several books about the game and mentored a first baseman named George H.W. Bush.

The concept behind All-Star Baseball is quite simple--play the role of a big league manager and use the statistics of real players. …

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