Any normal Cardinal fan appreciates a good sac bunt to help the team win, but as most could tell you: I’m not normal. Give me a walk, walk, three-run bomb any day of the week. The only exception is when I’m playing baseball on a video game, then it’s a swing-at-every-pitch, all-or-nothing mashfest.
To combine my love for video games and baseball’s annual home run derby (bertflex.com even did a kick ass live blog), here is my list of the best video game power hitters of all time. This would be a home run derby for the ages, mostly because it would never end; none of that Josh Hamilton wussing out after 28 and getting tired. These guys will go all night if they need to…or until you hit the reset button.
Ken Griffey, Jr. Ken Griffey Jr.'s Winning Run (Super Nintendo)
Lesson 1 of video games: If they name the game after you, you have super powers. Ken Griffey did not play around on this shit. He made it look too easy. The scary thing is that he probably wouldn’t make it to round two against the rest of these guys.
Albert Pujols MVP 2004 (PS2)
Lesson 1A: If the player's face is on the cover of the game, he most likely has super powers too. But the powers are legitimate. If you thought Bert Flex was good in real life, play a full season with him. If you’re a big enough dork to play every single game, you should end the season with about 200-250 jacks. If you’re ruthless enough to cheat and boost his power ratings to 99, you’ll watch him hit about 500 in one season. You’re a cold-hearted bastard, but winning is everything (and I’d like to hang out with you).
Reggie Jackson RBI Baseball (Nintendo)
The most feared hitter in video game history, no doubt about it. It's like he's got a big red club in his hands. The BP pitcher is required to tell the ball he’s sorry before he throws it. RBI Baseball has numerous other mashers in the game (Tony Armas, Mac Wire, George Bell, Darrell Evans, etc), but Reggie is my man, so I’m going with him.
Mo Vaughn All Star Baseball 2000 (N64)
I've never played All Star Baseball, but I've heard about the destruction that big Mo brings in this game. In real life, at this very second, I’d assume that Mo Vaughn has a plate of barbecue in front of him. In the video game world, he’ll always be focused on crushing your next pitch, so he doesn’t have to run around the bases.
Paste Bases Loaded (Nintendo)
You'll notice a heavy influence of Nintendo players in this derby. You'll also notice a heavy rain of souvenir baseballs into the upper deck. Just make sure the BP pitcher doesn’t plunk Paste, as he is prone to lose his temper. Though it would be the first charged mound and brawl in home run derby history, so that would be fun to watch.
Bo Jackson Tecmo Bowl (Nintendo)
Okay, so Tecmo Bowl is a football game, but are you going to tell him he can't play? Plus, this is a list of video game athletes, and The Constitution says it’s mandatory that Bo be included.
Sammy Sosa MVP 2002 (PS2)
I didn’t want to put two guys from the MVP series in my derby, but Sosa has to be here because I have a story about him. Back in the summer of ’02, my friend Tony hit 113 home runs in the 10-out ROUND of home run derby on this game. Slightly unrealistic, but I was there. I seen it. Well, actually I think I took a dump, went on a smoke break (even though I don’t smoke), and knitted a sweater halfway through Tony’s 73 consecutive homers.
This is a true story and easily the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever witnessed in my video game career.
Cecil Fielder Sports Talk Baseball (Sega)
Papa Fielder was a beast on this game. Besides that, my friends and I have a fictitious place called Mount Crushmore. The faces of Mount Crushmore are Fielder, Rob Deer, Mickey Tettleton, and Jim Thome. I’d lose my lifetime pass to Mount Crushmore and its wildlife preserve if I didn’t include one of these four guys.
I’m not even going to bother making a prediction or do anything special to rank the eight virtual sluggers above. Just remember, next time you break out the old-school systems and face any of these guys, look over to your manager, telling you “four.” Doesn’t matter what the situation is – just walk them. Save yourself the embarrassment of serving up another bomb. Better yet, why waste four pitches; all you need is one at the noggin.
For more HMW, head to www.bertflex.com. It’s a good way to waste more time at work. You know you want to.