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Seattle, WA, USA

Earl Weaver Baseball - One disk shy of the entire 'family'

by intric8 Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:00 am

Soon after the Cubs won the World Series in 2016, I got the harebrained idea of creating a 2016 Stats disk for Earl Weaver Baseball - one of the most innovate baseball computer games of all time.

I had the original program as well as a copy of the powerful Commissioner's Disk, but never any of the MLBPA (Major League Baseball Players Association) Stats disks. Friends on Amiga Love did send me the ADF for 1988, and another recently sent me 1989.

There were five official stats disks created for the Amiga: 1986-90. Each year player stats disks were sold at the retail level for the previous year. So in 1987, when Earl Weaver Baseball shipped, there was a stats disk made available for 1986 since that dataset was complete, as so on. Sadly, by 1992 the franchise moved to MS-DOS and left the Amiga behind. It is my understanding that 1990 (made in 1991) was the final stats disk made available on the Amiga. And, interestingly, it looks decidedly generic and a bit ghetto compared to all of the previous years.

For those that are interested, you should read a bit about this innovative game and why it is so important to the entire genre.

In any case, I even contacted Eddie Dombrower, the original creator of the game in the 1980s to see if he knew how I might import all of the data (say, from Baseball Reference) rather than type it all in.

As I mentioned in the post linked above, Mr Dombrower kindly wrote me back about making contemporary stats disks.

Eddie Dombrower:
Thanks so much for reaching out to me.. it's always a blast to hear from fans of this game which is so near and dear to my heart.

I think creating a stats disk is always a great idea, but I don't have a way to do it right now... probably the best thing is, as you mentioned, is for fans to do this.

If you're still playing on an Amiga, then the only option I'm aware of right now is to use the Commissioner's tools on the Amiga and hand enter the data (what a labor of love that would be).

If you're on a PC version, there are actually some import tools in the EWB II Commissioner's disk.

The thing is, there are some stats in Earl Weaver Baseball - particularly the defensive stats - that don't match up to what one can easily find online and transcribe using the Commissioner's Disk. Back in the 1980s, EWB used data from STATS, which is a service media companies can pay for even today. The data is not readily available to the public, however. The best mere mortals can do is use Baseball Reference, which in most cases would be good enough. STATS goes a level deeper, though.

Long story short, after all this time finally lucked into an incredible auction. I nearly have the entire "System" now on original physical media.
Earl Weaver Baseball - so close to the complete System. It only lacks the 1987 MLBPA (Major League Baseball Players Association) Stats disk.

  • Original Game, in a sweet Electronic Arts Flat in excellent condition. It also has the manual, installation card and (first time I've ever seen this) an order form for more pieces of the System that looks like it was printed with a dot-matrix printer (image below). Very cool.
  • Commissioner's Disk in its original packaging. Originally sold for $18. That equates to $36 in 2017 US dollars! A back of the napkin guesstimate tells me the entire EWB family through the years would have cost about $140. Amazing! The Commissioner's Disk came with its own very handy manual, too.
  • Stats disks - original disks - from 1986, 1988-1990. Every single one except for 1987! If I ever find 1987 my quest will be compete. And my 1988 disk still has the original packaging. This came with a single sheet of paper folded into quarters with a note from Trip Hawkins and some basic instructions for use, too. Something else I've never seen before.
All in all, 1 disk shy of a complete set. Super stoked! I'm going to spend some time duplicating the disks soon and seeing about trying - one more time - about creating a more contemporary version some time this winter. It's tough because not all of the data matches up. But I should be able to scan these old stats disks and try to at least see how some players were ranked, and loosely map that to new players.

For what it's worth, I've learned about an extremely rare game on the Amiga called MicroLeague Baseball. One of my online friends will type up all of the current player stats and run simulated games on his Atari computer (something EWB can also do). What's cool is he'll do this during the World Series and tell everyone which team one, how many games were played, etc. And last year it got it right! Pretty hilarious.

Data matters. <3

If allowed, I plan on posting and hosting all EWB Stats Disks (minus 1987, until I find it) here on Amiga Love soon.

If anyone out there reading this has the 1987 Stats disk, please let me know!
Original packaging for the Commissioner's Disk
Original packaging for the 1988 Stats Disk
Four years worth of team stats
Original order form to buy the complete 'System' for Earl Weaver Baseball.
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Re: Earl Weaver Baseball - One disk shy of the entire 'famil

by mattsoft Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:27 am

You checked TOSEC for the 1987 data disk?
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Seattle, WA, USA

Re: Earl Weaver Baseball - One disk shy of the entire 'famil

by intric8 Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:09 pm

Curious - how do you personally "check TOSEC"?

I actually have access to a public yet hidden FTP server on EAB, and it typically lists anything and everything TOSEC that is out there along with cracks, etc.

They have EWB (the game), the Commissioner's Disk and the 1988 Stats disk. They also have an "All-Time Great Teams" disk and "Earl Weaver Baseball Europe" from 1991 which I'll be honest - I have no idea what that means unless it's a PAL version. Both of these additional disks are in TOSEC, too. On Mr Dombrower's site - the creator of EWB - he offers NL and AL great teams, which I assume is the same as the "All Time Great" files on EAB.

But unless you've got a better way to search the entire TOSEC codex, I'd be very curious.

For what it's worth, TOSEC is massive and awesome. But it doesn't have everything. I've actually sent them two ADFs myself which they've accepted and added to their repository: Infocom's A Mind Forever Voyaging, and more recently the very first version of Excellence! (they only had versions 2 and 3).

If I get permission to share the ADFs from Mr Dombrower, I plan to contact TOSEC about these new Stats disks I've finally acquired (my contact is Swiss). When you have original disks, they ask you to Kryoflux them.

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Re: Earl Weaver Baseball - One disk shy of the entire 'famil

by mattsoft Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:02 pm

Yeah, they don't have everything -- but that is their goal.

To browse the files, you use a ROM manager (I like ROM Vault for Windoze) and then grab the DAT files from the TOSEC website. Let me load up the DAT for Amiga...

OK, here is what they have:

    Earl Weaver Baseball (1987)(Electronic Arts)
    Earl Weaver Baseball (1987)(Electronic Arts)[0323]
    Earl Weaver Baseball (1987)(Electronic Arts)[a2]
    Earl Weaver Baseball (1987)(Electronic Arts)[a]
    Earl Weaver Baseball (1987)(Electronic Arts)[h BS1][v Micromaster]
    Earl Weaver Baseball (1987)(Electronic Arts)[h FLT]
    Earl Weaver Baseball (1987)(Electronic Arts)[h HTL - New Age]
    Earl Weaver Baseball (1987)(Electronic Arts)[regular &amp; speedy versions]
    Earl Weaver Baseball - Commissioner's Disk v1.0 (1989)(Electronic Arts)[a2][data disk]
    Earl Weaver Baseball - Commissioner's Disk v1.0 (1989)(Electronic Arts)[a][data disk]
    Earl Weaver Baseball - Commissioner's Disk v1.0 (1989)(Electronic Arts)[data disk]
    Earl Weaver Baseball Europe (1991)(Electronic Arts)[f NTSC TT][regular &amp; speedy versions]
    Earl Weaver Baseball - 1988 Teams Stats (1988)(-)
    Earl Weaver Baseball - All-Time Great Teams (1988)(Patrix Productions)(SW)

Don't know if any of those ring a bell.

If you need a disk, archive.org has most of the TOSEC compilations available. No need to visit those dirty pirate sites. :)
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Seattle, WA, USA

Re: Earl Weaver Baseball - One disk shy of the entire 'famil

by intric8 Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:54 am

So that is exactly what is on the EAB site, too.

So they are indeed missing Stats disks for 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1990.

Looks like I'll be making more disks for them soon. :)
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Re: Earl Weaver Baseball - One disk shy of the entire 'famil

by mattsoft Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:56 pm

Just keep making stats disks for every current and keep submitting! you're living proof that the Amiga will never die! :)

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