Thursday, October 20, 2011

Top 50 Video Game Moments: Number 30

Moment number 30 comes to us from the game Tony LaRussa's Ultimate Baseball II (which I recently proclaimed my 42nd favorite game, along with a minor spoiler for this very moment). I don't have the proper version of this game for this particular moment to work, anymore (it's sort of a bug, which has since been fixed), so it's really not a spoiler of any type - and certainly nothing you're likely to encounter.

However, I've done the whole page jump thing on every one of these so far, so I may as well press on.

I loved this game as a 12 year old (you might have noticed as much earlier, though I think I stated my case for it rather poorly). Once my love of the provided rosters wore thin, I created the entire 1991 major league roster. I played my heart out until I was able to advance my beloved Twins to the World Series. In one of the games played at Fulton County Stadium, I was down by two, but I had the bases loaded, when who should come to the plate, but pitcher Kevin Tapani. Since I erroneously decided that Tapani was having a good game (giving up 4 runs in 5 innings), I decided to keep him as the hitter. Since he had, for whatever reason, a reasonably high bunt rating, I decided to have him bunt. Fearing that I just wasn't going to be able to give up enough outs on the play, I called a hit and run to set all the runners in motion. There are so many things wrong with that line of thinking. So, on that fateful at bat, as John Smoltz went into his pitching motion, the runners all took off, and Tapani squared to bunt.

...and promptly hit a 580 foot grand slam....on a bunt...

Nick Punto sometimes daydreams about this very thing...

I found the famous (among old-skool TLUB2 players, anyway) "bunt home run" glitch. I watched in amazement as the ball disappeared well over the left field wall. I didn't learn until later that it was a easily reproducible glitch -  I just enjoyed the moment.

There are no videos that I can find of this glitch (in fact, I'm having a damned hard time finding any documentation of it on the Internet, so scratch what I said about it being "famous", but I have heard other folk talk about it, so I'm not the only one), and the version of the game that I was able to find online has been patched to avoid such unlikely happenings. It almost certainly sounds lame to any normal gamer for a moment such as this to outrank countless other big, important video game moments.

But holy shit, when it happened it was awesome.


  1. Yeah, I would have laughed my ass off and overrated the moment as well.

    In one of the real early baseball games, I specifically remember being tied in the ninth and pitching to the CPU with two outs and a runner on third. The CPU hit into a sharp routine grounder. I tossed the ball to first, and the ump promptly said "SAFE!" with the runner only halfway down the line. The winning run scored and the runner ran through the bag and celebrated while my 1B held the ball and stood on first. After my initial anger, I laughed a lot. When I watch games with my brother, who was there, I occasionally yell SAFE! immediately upon a routine groundout.


  3. Wow, so it looks like they had the bunt glitch in previous TLUB games and just never fixed it. Weird.

    Old school baseball games were funny.

  4. I'm not tagged here?

    You gotta amend the name, because it HAS to be a pitcher, and it HAS to be a hit and run.