These Two Old-School Table Games Are Still The Best
I wrote a piece here, about the worst game from my childhood, electric vibrating tabletop football.
But there were two that were simple and were too much fun. Table top rod hockey and dice baseball.
My folks got me a table top rod hockey game when I was about five or six. I was probably too young for it, but much like when they took me to the Sears Boys department, I'm sure they figured I'd grow into it. And boy, did I.
The game they got me was very similar to the one shown here for sale on ebay.
If I remember the story correctly, there were several competing brands in Canada and western New York. One of them was Munro Games. They didn't pay rights fees to the NHL, so they could only put the city names on the metallic players. (I think it was Coleco that could.)
Either way, we didn't care. We got to be about 8 or 9 years old, and this became a wintertime obsession. And the older we got, the louder we got, and did we have fun.
Once I got old enough to figure things out (about 12), I wrote Munro and bought all 14 (then current) NHL teams. Boy, was I cool. They also "improved" the game with a ball-bearing puck, rather than a wooden one. Munro also came up with a "double-player" two player attached as one piece, which would simulate a power play for a penalty.
And I also remember reading this story in Hockey Illustrated in 1971, even though Sports Illustrated ran it, too. I wanted so bad to play in this tournament. And about a year ago, I exchanged tweets with the writer's husband, Hall of Fame hockey writer and broadcaster, Stan Fischler. He said this was one of the most well know things his late wife, Shirley, had ever written.
But...here, friends, is the best, simplest game ever. There were fancy baseball simulation games like APBA, but we found this. It was cheap, and it was fun.
Dice Baseball. Perfect for a rainy spring or summer afternoon. I still remember. 6-6 was a home run. 5-5 was triple. We had a ton of fun with this, too. Good times, but I miss my buddies from that time even more.
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