_ _____ / \ _ _ / ___| _ / _ \ | | | | \ (__ _| |_ _ _ | |_| | | | | | ___ \__ \ '-. .-' __ | |/ \ | _ | | | | | |___| \ \ | | _\ \ | /\_\ | | | | | | | | ___/ / | | / O \ | | |_| |_| |_| |_| |____/ \_\ \___/ |_| ____ _ _____ ____ ____ _ _ _ | _ \ / \ / ___| | __| | _ \ / \ | | | | | |_) | / _ \ \ (__ | |__ | |_) | / _ \ | | | | | _ / | |_| | \__ \ | __| | _ / | |_| | | | | | | | \ \ | _ | \ \ | | | | \ \ | _ | | | | | | |_/ / | | | | ___/ / | |__ | |_/ / | | | | | |_ | |_ |____/ |_| |_| |____/ |____| |____/ |_| |_| |___| |___| __ ____ ____ ____ / \ / \ / \ |___ \ /_/\ \ | /\ | | /\ | ___) | / / | | | | | | | | |___ | / / | | | | | | | | ___) | / /___ | \/ | | \/ | | | |______| \____/ \____/ |____/ =============================================================================== Table of Contents =============================================================================== [INTRO] Introduction [MODES] Modes of Play [TEAMR] Team Ratings [TEAMS] Team Summaries [QUEST] Frequently Asked Questions [REALL] Comparing to Reality [VERSN] Version History [COPYR] Copyright [CONTC] Contact Information Navigation tip: Press Ctrl and F to bring down a search bar. Then type in the name of the section you're looking for - like [VERSN] for the ever-popular Version History. =============================================================================== Introduction [INTRO] =============================================================================== Baseball season's here again, so Vinny's next project is an outdated baseball game! What a way to spend a few kilobytes of disk space, a few hours of time, and space on your walkthrough list (26 and counting). But really, All-Star Baseball 2003 is still a pretty fun game with effective game play and dramatic music. In fact, it's not much different from the N64 All-Star Baseball games. What's more, this is a great new addition to the VinnyVideo brand's ever- growing portfolio of FAQ/Walkthroughs. Okay, I do read the Business section of the newspaper sometimes... Note: Since you're playing an old baseball video game, I'm assuming you know at least a little something about the rules and strategies of baseball (i.e. you know what strikeouts and shortstops are). If you don't, then go to your local library or visit Wikipedia or MLB.com and find out. =============================================================================== Modes of Play [MODES] =============================================================================== ---Single Player--- These are one-player games. Quick Game: Play an exhibition game with two randomly selected teams. All you have to do is select the team you control and the difficulty level, and that's it. This is good if you want to get to the game quickly. Exhibition Game: Play an exhibition team using the teams of your choice. You can also change the difficulty level. All-Star Game: Play a single game between teams consisting of the best players of the National and American Leagues. You can change the team you control and the difficulty level, but unfortunately, you can't pick the players. Batting Practice: Practice hitting with any batter in Major League Baseball at any venue. You can also select a specific pitch or plate location to work on and can choose between a right-handed pitcher and a lefty. Home Run Derby: The Home Run Derby matches up sluggers in a free-swinging contest to smash as many home runs as possible. You can change the players involved, and you can also use the Options menu to change team selection, venue, time, and game type. The Innings mode can take a while, so you may prefer the Modern style. The best American League sluggers are Manny Ramirez (Boston), Alex Rodriguez (Texas), Jason Giambi (New York Yankees), and Carlos Delgado (Toronto). Pick Sammy Sosa (Chicago Cubs), Barry Bonds (San Francisco), Luis Gonzalez (Arizona), and Ken Griffey Jr. (Cincinnati) or Todd Helton (Colorado) for the N.L. Season: Season mode lets you play through a Major League Baseball season. Since a full 162-game season may get boring after a while, a variety of schedule types are available. After selecting the schedule, you'll pick the team you control. Before you start playing games, though, you might want to adjust your pitching rotation and set your rosters for left- and right-handed pitchers and for DH and non-DH games. It's also possible make trades with other teams, but remember that the game won't let you trade players of widely differing abilities; for example, Morgan Burkhart for Derek Jeter. You can also view schedules and statistics. Press A on the schedule screen to simulate games up to that point. Your progress is saved after each game so you don't have to play through a marathon of games to see how long your batteries last. World Series: Play a best-of-seven series between the A.L. and N.L. teams of your selection. There are no options to adjust, but you can view series statistics. The game will save your current status after each game. ---Multiplayer--- I believe all of the one-player games are available in Multiplayer mode except for Season play. I am not absolutely sure about this because I don't have a Game Link cable, a second Game Boy Advance, and a second ASB2003 cartridge. Also, I think you're able to play with three or four players, which is about as much fun as watching the tarp get wet during a rain delay. ---Trading Cards--- You receive a special trading card at the conclusion of every game. This feature lets you view the list of cards you've collected. Also, if you have the right equipment, you can trade duplicate cards to another copy of All-Star Baseball 2003. ---Options--- Options changes settings, mostly settings related to sound. I like to keep Crowd Noise and In-Game Music (familiar bouncy ballpark organ tunes) on, and I would strongly consider turning Auto Fielding on for beginning players. These settings can also be adjusted from the in-game pause menu. ---Credits--- See who helped produce this game. Give them a round of applause while covering your yawning mouth. Press B to end the credits. =============================================================================== Team Ratings [TEAMS] =============================================================================== OVR SPD POW CON DEF BEN PEN ROT Anaheim Angels 76 68 53 54 94 82 91 91 Arizona Diamondbacks 77 59 57 59 88 85 92 100 Atlanta Braves 78 66 60 60 97 78 89 97 Baltimore Orioles 71 65 50 54 86 77 82 82 Boston Red Sox 74 58 56 57 91 73 92 95 Chicago Cubs 74 66 54 57 89 77 86 94 Chicago White Sox 75 64 58 59 94 79 86 87 Cincinnati Reds 74 63 54 56 92 83 85 85 Cleveland Indians 74 62 52 56 86 82 93 89 Colorado Rockies 76 67 57 64 93 82 84 85 Detroit Tigers 72 67 52 55 88 78 80 85 Florida Marlins 71 60 49 51 90 71 82 96 Houston Astros 76 70 52 55 93 80 89 91 Kansas City Royals 74 70 53 55 91 80 85 84 Los Angeles Dodgers 75 69 53 56 93 77 85 94 Milwaukee Brewers 71 59 53 56 86 71 85 86 Minnesota Twins 75 70 54 55 91 79 84 92 Montreal Expos 71 62 50 54 89 77 80 89 New York Mets 76 62 55 58 94 84 90 94 New York Yankees 79 65 58 60 98 76 99 100 Oakland A's 78 68 59 56 96 80 89 97 Philadelphia Phillies 73 65 52 54 92 74 85 93 Pittsburgh Pirates 72 66 52 54 91 77 82 83 St. Louis Cardinals 74 63 50 55 91 79 90 92 San Diego Padres 74 69 54 53 89 87 88 83 San Francisco Giants 78 63 62 63 95 80 95 91 Seattle Mariners 78 71 53 56 97 83 85 96 Tampa Bay Devil Rays 71 68 46 51 84 76 88 83 Texas Rangers 77 65 60 60 100 78 87 89 Toronto Blue Jays 74 70 52 54 89 80 85 91 71 58 46 51 84 71 80 82 79 71 62 64 100 87 99 100 Rating are (in order) Overall, Speed, Power, Contact, Defense, Bench, Bullpen, and Rotation. =============================================================================== Team Summaries [TEAMS] =============================================================================== Anaheim Angels: The Angels were the World Champions this year, much to the surprise of followers of the game. The Angels aren't going to hit a lot of balls out of the park, but they can certainly play "small ball," as the lineup is full of threats on the basepath. Their pitching is pretty good, and Troy Percival is a lights-out closer. Arizona Diamondbacks: The D-backs are the defending World Series champions. The lineup is good but not spectacular, even with Luis Gonzalez at his peak. Instead, the Diamondbacks win ballgames from their pitching - specifically, their starting pitching, and especially Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. When one of them is on the mound, expect a 10-strikeout performance and an Arizona victory. Atlanta Braves: As usual, this is a playoff-caliber team. There's power and contact throughout the lineup, especially for Chipper Jones, Gary Sheffield, and Andruw Jones. Even 43-year-old first baseman Julio Franco is an important contributor. Don't overlook the Braves' fine defensive play. Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine are the main members of a strong rotation, while John Smoltz is the new closer. Baltimore Orioles: This is not a good team. Marty Cordova is the only bright spot in a terrible lineup, although Tony Batista will hit home runs despite his terrible batting average. Rodrigo Lopez is the best member of a terrible pitching staff. According to the game's ratings, the O's have the game's worst starting pitching and are tied for the worst fielding. Boston Red Sox: Manny Ramirez and Nomar Garciaparra are real superstars. There aren't many threats on the basepaths, though, with this lumbering ballclub, and there's little depth from the bench. The pitching is very good. In real life, the Sox missed the playoffs despite career years from Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe, and Tim Wakefield. Chicago Cubs: The Cubbies don't really look like a team that's going to the playoffs. Sammy Sosa, of course, is a menace to pitchers, and Fred McGriff and Moises Alou are also great players. However, there are many near-automatic outs in the rest of the lineup. The Cubs' rotation is quite good, even if two of their best pitchers - Carlos Zambrano and Mark Prior - weren't called up until later in the year, and another key pitcher (Matt Clement) was acquired from the Marlins before the season and isn't on the Cubs' roster in this game. Chicago White Sox: The White Sox have four talented sluggers in Paul Konerko, Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Lee, and Frank Thomas. The team ranks in the middle of the pack in every rating - except the most important one, starting pitching, where they lag near the rear. Keith Foulke is one of the best relievers in the game, though. Cincinnati Reds: The Reds have a fairly average-looking lineup. Ken Griffey Jr. is the main threat when he's not on the disabled list. The Reds' hurlers are mediocre at best. In addition, the Reds are loaded with bad gloves and chronic whiffers. Cleveland Indians: By this time, the Indians' days of automatically winning the A.L. Central were over. Ellis Burks and Jim Thome are the main threats in the lineup, but otherwise there's not much. Another problem is the poor defense. The bullpen is pretty good, but the starters aren't much good. Colorado Rockies: The Rockies have some superb hitters like Larry Walker and Todd Helton and one of baseball's best leadoff men in Juan Pierre, but the pitching stinks. Get ready for high-scoring baseball if you select this team. The game gives pretty generous ratings to this 89-loss franchise. Detroit Tigers: This is a really bad team; that's why they lost 106 games in 2002 (and 119 the next year). There's little to like about the lineup, but the pitching is even worse, particularly in relief. Florida Marlins: Mike Lowell, Derrek Lee, and Preston Wilson supply almost all of the Marlins' home runs on this low-power team. The Marlins have the worst Contact and Bench ratings in the game, and they're tied for worst overall. I think they're better than the other 71's, though. The Marlins were just a year away from a World Series title, mostly thanks to their young and talented pitching staff, which includes future stars like Josh Beckett and Brad Penny. The majority of the players on the roster came from the Marlins' farm system. Houston Astros: The Killer B's provide most of the pop in the Astros' bats, and the pitching is pretty good, too, especially ace Roy Oswalt and closer Billy Wagner. The speed rating of 70 is much higher than it should've been. Kansas City Royals: The Royals have a young, fleet-footed lineup. Carlos Beltran is a superb all-around player, and Raul Ibanez and Mike Sweeney are also major threats. Unfortunately, the pitching is just too poor to keep Kansas City in contention. Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers' diversity of players makes the team look like a United Nations conference. The hitters can't consistently hit for average, but they've got decent power and speed. The pitching staff is pretty good, mostly thanks to Kevin Brown. You'll notice a lot of past and future Cubs on this team. Milwaukee Brewers: This is not a good team! Speedsters Eric Young and slugger Richie Sexson are all the lineup has to offer. The weak pitching won't do anything to bail out the offense, which can't hit for average at all. According to the game's slightly dubious rating system, this team is tied for worst in All-Star Baseball 2003. The Brew Crew has serious problems with arm, bat, glove, and foot. Minnesota Twins: The Twins shocked the baseball world by making the playoffs despite speculation that the Twins would be "contracted." The Twins' roster consists almost entirely of "home-grown" players. There aren't a lot of stars on the team (except Torii Hunter, as David Ortiz wasn't in his prime yet), but the abundance of good players will win ballgames. Montreal Expos: Vladimir Guerrero, who had 34 or more doubles, homers, and steals in 2001, is one of the best players in Major League Baseball. While there aren't a lot of other great hitters, this better-than-average Expos team achieved a winning season even with the distraction of possible contraction. They're easily the best of the All-Star Baseball 2003's five worst teams. The pitching, led by Javier Vazquez and Carl Pavano, is pretty good. New York Mets: The Mets stumbled to a 75-86 despite having a plethora of prominent players. Mike Piazza, Mo Vaughn, and Jeromy Burnitz will hit home runs, Roberto Alomar is a good overall hitter, and Roger Cedeno has super speed. The pitching, led by starters Al Leiter and Steve Trachsel, should also be pretty good. New York Yankees: The Yankees are arguably the best overall team in All-Star Baseball 2003. Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, and Jorge Posada are among the Yankees' Hall of Fame-caliber superstars, although some of the reserves are iffy. The starting rotation boasts an impressive group of Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, David Wells, Mike Mussina, and Orlando Hernandez (I won't talk about steroids). Closer Mariano Rivera forms the base of the game's best relief corps. Oakland A's: The Oakland A's play like the Oakland A's. The "Money-Ball" system hits plenty of home runs, draws many walks, doesn't always hit for average, and steals very few bases. The rotation, led by Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, and Mark Mulder, is one of the most skilled in baseball. Philadelphia Phillies: Pat Burrell, Bobby Abreu, and Scott Rolen are the main threats in an unremarkable lineup. Jimmy Rollins is ultra-fast. The Phillies' pitching staff is merely average, although Robert Person and Randy Wolf are good starters. Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates have a lot of players with mediocre batting averages and moderate power, although Brian Giles is a great all-around hitter. The pitching staff is too weak to keep the Bucs out of their ship's cargo hold. St. Louis Cardinals: The Redbirds boast a well-balanced lineup even after the retirement of Mark McGwire. A wise pitcher will strongly consider pitching around to Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds. The pitching staff is generally sound. San Diego Padres: This team has some fleet-footed runners and a little bit of power, but there's not much contact hitting. The starting pitching is very bad. The best pitcher is closer Trevor Hoffman, who will have very few games to close. Note that Mike Darr is on the game's roster even though he was killed in a car accident before the season started. San Francisco Giants: The Giants have plenty of players who hit for a respectable average and slam 15 home runs. However, the offense is clearly built around super-superstar left fielder and 2001 home run champ (and alleged steroid user) Barry Bonds. In most situations, if you're pitching against him, go ahead and intentionally walk him like they did 198 times in 2002. Heed not the boo birds! Kirk Rueter and Jason Schmidt are the most prominent members of an effective group of starting pitchers. The bullpen is even better. Seattle Mariners: The 2002 Mariners faltered a bit, missing the playoffs a year after a 116-win 2001 campaign. The Mariners have one of the most balanced lineups in the game, with plenty of contact, power, and speed to go around, in addition to good fielding. Ultra-speedy Ichiro Suzuki is one of baseball's best pure hitters. You'll like the pitching, too. Tampa Bay Devil Rays: Yuck. Greg Vaughn is a good hitter, but that's all the lineup has. The Devil Rays (nowadays just the Rays) have the lowest power, contact, and defense ratings in the game, and there's very little to like about that pitching staff, which includes a lot of mediocre players you've never heard of. Texas Rangers: The Rangers have a swing-for-the-fences style, slugging many homers and stealing very few bases. Much of the power comes from lampooned superstar Alex Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro (accused of using steroids, but maybe he got that power from the sildenafil citrate drug he endorsed). The Rangers' pitchers are hardly remarkable, although they're not awful. The Rangers are much overrated in this game - in real life, they lost 90 games, and injuries are only partially to blame. Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays have a decidedly average-looking team (the Jays are very good at being in the middle of the pack), although they do have a lot of speed. =============================================================================== Frequently Asked Questions [QUEST] =============================================================================== Q: What are the controls? A: ---Hitting--- Control Pad: Move hitting cursor A: Swing the bat B: Hold to bunt R+Control Pad: Select the swing angle (left/right, up/down) L: Hold to manipulate runners (see Running section below) SELECT: Toggle between a contact and power swing ---Pitching--- A: Confirm pitch type/throw pitch Control Pad: Select pitch/Select pitch's plate location B+Control Pad: Throw over to corresponding base (Right = first base, etc.) R: Cycle through infield defensive shifts L: Cycle through outfield defensive shifts SELECT+L/R: Change view to check baserunners ---Running--- R: Return runners who aren't on a base to last base (especially helpful if you overshoot the intended base). On force plays, just press the Control Pad direction corresponding to the runner's current base - for instance, Right to move a runner from first to second. If it isn't a force play, press the Control Pad direction corresponding to the runner's current base and then the next base. For example, to move a runner from second to third, press Up+Left. To steal a base, hold L, use the button combination you would for a non-force play to get a lead, and then apply that combination again to take off running. It may not work though, so be careful. For example, to steal second with a runner on first, hold L and press Right+Up twice. ---Fielding--- Control Pad: Move fielder A+Control Pad: Throw ball to corresponding base (Up = second base, etc.) A: Change player to control/throw to pitcher B: Attempt diving catch/throw to pitcher L: Throw to cutoff man Press START at most times to pause the game and bring up a menu that allows you to view game statistics, change your lineup, or adjust game settings. On game menus, the A button will select an option, and B will take you back to the previous screen. Q: Should I hit for contact or power? A: You'll often want to hit for power if you have a player who has a high Power rating (like Sammy Sosa). There are some other factors as well; for example, if the count is 2-0, there's a good chance you'll be getting a sluggable fastball down the middle - an invitation for power. An 0-2 count may force you to use a more defensive contact hit. Having runners on base may make power more useful; empty bases is usually a more desirable condition for contact. And lastly, if you're bunting, using power won't help you bunt farther and will make it harder to angle your bunt. Q: What are the differences between the difficulty levels? A: The main difference between the Rookie and All-Star levels is the speed. On harder difficulty levels, the pitches seem quite a bit faster (even though the radar gun says the same speed as in Rookie mode), giving you much less time to react, whether hitting or fielding. Also, opposing pitchers are a little more willing to work the corners of the plate and hitters are less likely to ignore a fastball down the middle. In short: If you're inexperienced or have poor reaction time (maybe because you're drunk!), stick with Rookie or Veteran mode. Q: How do I change team lineups before the game? A: You can't in exhibition games. This is probably the game's biggest shortcoming. You can pinch-hit, make substitutions, and change pitchers from the pause menu once the game is started, though, and you can set starting lineups, positions, and rotations in Season mode. Q: How can I bring in a pinch-runner? A: You can't. You can only pinch-hit. Q: Does anything special happen if I pitch a no-hitter? A: No. Sorry. Q: I can't hit a home run in the Home Run Derby. What's wrong? A: First of all, make sure the participants have high Power ratings (check the Modes of Play for my recommended hitters). Second, always hit the ball with a power swing (press SELECT after each pitch). Third, hold R to tilt the contact zone to the proper area: Press Down a notch or two to hit a slightly higher ball. If you're left-handed, hold R+Left until the cursor is just a notch or two from reaching its most extreme angle. If you're a righty, use R+Right. This way, you'll pull the ball fairly high, and it should go out of the park. Lastly, remember that different ballparks have unique dimensions, making it easier or harder to slam home runs. Q: What tips do you have for the game? A: Here are a few tips that might help you out: ---Hitting--- * To make good contact with the ball, swing the ball when your cursor overlaps squarely with the pitcher's aiming sight. Watch the latter closely, as it may dip or curve, especially on breaking balls. * At the plate, don't try to chase bad pitches that are well outside the strike zone. * You can use the R button to change the angle of power shots, too. However, make sure to set the angle before pressing the SELECT button; otherwise, you won't be able to see how far you're tilting the contact zone. * Don't angle the ball with R too sharply, or you'll hit a foul ball or a puny pop-up. To keep the latter from happening, I'd just change the horizontal angle, leaving the flat vertical angle unchanged. * If you don't angle your cursor a little, every contact hit will go straight down the middle, regardless of the batter's handedness and tendencies. * With practice, you can bunt well. Angle the cursor so you'll hit the ball slightly down and strongly toward the third base foul line. Don't angle too sharply, though, especially horizontally. One notch below the sharpest angle possible is best. There's no point in using the power cursor when bunting. * Use pinch-hitting to your advantage, especially when a tired pitcher is at the plate. But don't pinch-hit for an effective pitcher who still has gas in the tank. * Baserunning isn't easy, so expect to make some mistakes early on. But don't feel bad: Real runners have the advantage of having base coaches, in addition to the ability to see the entire field. ---Fielding--- * In All-Star Baseball, your pitching will be most effective if you aim for the corners of the strike zone. Unlike real umpires (who can be quite inconsistent), the game's strike zone never changes. * The changeup is the most effective pitch in the game, but don't use it exclusively. * If your pitcher is getting tired, don't throw high breaking balls to a heavy hitter unless you'd like to give up a home run. * Different pitches have different pitches to choose from, and some pitchers (like Greg Maddux) have bigger repertoires than others. * If you're ahead in the count (like 0-2), throw a tempting pitch at the edge of the strike zone or even in the dirt. * You can aim breaking balls a little off the plate, and if done properly, they'll curve back for a strike (keep in mind whether you're a lefty or a righty). * You can also tell your (and your opponent's) pitcher's energy level by watching the aiming sight, which turns from white to green, yellow and then red as the pitcher becomes more fatigued. * Remember that you don't have to warm a pitcher up in the bullpen before making a pitching change. ---Fielding--- * In this game, fielding is tough. The small screen (unless you're playing on a GameCube or emulator) can make it worse. You may want to use the auto-fielding option when you're starting out with the game. * If you're manually fielding, check the radar on the upper-right corner of the screen to help position your fielder (the yellow dot) near the red circle (where the ball will land). * Bring the infield in (check the Controls section) if you think the opposition is planning to bunt. Use infield and outfield shifts to your advantage. * When making substitutions, don't insert a player into an unnatural position - for example, don't play a first baseman in center field. Remember that "CO" stands for Corner Outfielder and "MI" is a Middle Infielder. ---Other Game Notes--- * All-Star Baseball 2003's stats are based on the 2001 season (the game was made right before the 2002 season began). * On the box score screen, press L or R to cycle through to different stat types. * Use the "Change Controls" option on the in-game pause menu to change the team you're controlling. The other options are self-explanatory. * I've seen several hit batters, but as far as I know, the game doesn't have balks, wild pitches, passed balls, catcher's interference, or other rare events. And, of course, there aren't rain delays or bench-clearing brawls. * Kenny Lofton is the best free agent, but there aren't a lot of other stars who didn't have a team when the game was made. Remember that in season mode, you can trade anyone to and from the Free Agents team (scroll all the way down to find it); you can even trade an A-rated player for a C (or vice versa). * Most teams in this game have 11 pitchers on their 25-man rosters. * Some things in this game aren't realistic; for example, Jamie Moyer's fastball will never approach 100 MPH in real life, and Wrigley Field doesn't have a grass infield. * Two venues - Turner Field and The Ballpark at Arlington - obviously have signs advertising Anheuser-Busch's most popular brand. Also notice the massive ENRON sign across Astros Field. The energy giant had collapsed just a few months before this game was released. However, by the time the game was released, the stadium was known as Astros Field. * The hill in the outfield at Astros Field doesn't affect play; in this game, you can't even see it. * On game menus, the positions for players who play multiple positions are separated by backslashes (\) instead of the more conventional slashes (/). A useless observation. =============================================================================== Comparing to Reality [REALL] =============================================================================== The "Comparing to Reality" section is used in many of my sports guides to provide a brief summary of the season upon which the featured game is based or to show discrepancies between the game and real life. More detailed information about the 2003 MLB season can be found at MLB.com, Wikipedia.org, and other Internet and print sources. Was 2002 the best season of the millennium, or was it the worst? It's hard to say. It may have been both. This was the season that brought us a tied, shortened All-Star Game, the death of a prominent active pitcher (Darryl Kile), an umpire savagely assaulted by two intoxicated spectators, labor strife, and endless speculation about "contraction." It also brought us some exciting pennant races and a memorable World Series comeback, where the Angels came from behind to win Game Six and force a deciding seventh game, which the Angels won to wrap up a Cinderella-like season. In February, Jeffrey Loria bought the Florida Marlins and sold his old team, the Montreal Expos, to a group owned by the 29 other major league teams. This was not a good arrangement, so at this point, the lords of baseball began threatening to "contract" the Expos - folding the team. Since a 29-team league would not be operable, a contraction plan would have had to kill off another team - usually the Twins, although sometimes the Devil Rays, Marlins, Angels (often including an A's move to Anaheim), or other teams. Fortunately, contraction did not occur, as people realized that such a plan would be devastating to the game of baseball. The 2002 season was not high on parity; the Tigers, Brewers, and Devil Rays each lost 106 games. The Oakland A's won an amazing 20 consecutive games in August and early September, propelling them to an A.L. West title, even as their division rivals won fewer games yet took home a World Series championship. Former slugger Ken Caminiti made the rather sensational claim that 50% of major-leaguers used some form of performance-enhancing steroids. Soon afterwards, the players' union finally agreed to begin drug testing programs. The players even agreed to the new collective bargaining agreement without going on strike, though not before a few threats from union chief Donald Fehr. Several individuals reached significant milestones; Barry Bonds hit his 600th home run, and Rafael Palmeiro his 500th, while shortstop Mike Bordick broke fielding records. Some more unusual records were set as well. A record 62 home runs were hit during the games played on July 2. On August 29, Mark Bellhorn became the first player to homer from both sides of the plate in the same inning. On September 3, Joaquin Benoit achieved a statistical oddity as he recorded a seven-inning save - the longest in major league history. The next day, another Ranger, Aaron Myette, started back-to-back games - extremely rare nowadays. In addition to Darryl Kile, notable baseball personalities who died during 2002 include Mike Darr, an active pitcher killed in a car crash before the season, along with Jack Buck, Pete Gray, Ted Williams, Enos Slaughter, and Dave McNally. Now that I really think about it, that was a lot longer than I usually make these segments. However, a season as eventful as 2002 deserves a long Comparing to Reality segment. =============================================================================== Version History [VERSN] =============================================================================== Date | Version | Size | --------|---------|------|----------------------------------------------------- 5-15-08 | 0.2 | 33KB | Began guide based on my All-Star Baseball template. 5-16-08 | 0.3 | 34KB | Completed Team Ratings section. 5-22-08 | 0.4 | 36KB | Did some stuff. 5-24-08 | 0.6 | 36KB | Completed Team Summaries. 5-26-08 | 0.7 | 36KB | Did a little. 5-27-08 | 0.8 | 36KB | Did some more. 5-28-08 | 1.0 | 38KB | Finished things up. =============================================================================== Copyright [COPYR] =============================================================================== (c) 2008 Vinny Hamilton. All rights reserved. All trademarks mentioned in this guide are copyrights of their respective holders. You can print this guide out for your personal use. You can download this guide to your computer for your personal use. You can post this guide on your Web site as long as you give proper credit AND you don't change a single letter, number, or symbol (not even an ampersand). Remember that the latest version will always be available at GameFAQs.com, but don't count on there being frequent (if any) updates. You can translate this guide into a foreign language (British, Southern, Australian, and New Yorker are not considered foreign languages) and post the translation on your Web site as long as you ask permission first. You can't post this guide on your Web site and then say you wrote the guide yourself. You can't post this guide on Web sites that contain (or have links to sites that contain) explicit depictions of unclothed humans (also known as pornography), racism, gambling, or flattery of totalitarian regimes. You can't post this guide on your Web site if you're going to change anything in this guide that took me so many hours to write. If you don't comply with these guidelines, your hard drive will be reformatted inexplicably and you will suffer from constipation for the rest of your life. Heed this warning. =============================================================================== Contact Information [CONTC] =============================================================================== If you have any questions or comments about this guide, please e-mail VHamilton002@gmail.com. That's zero-zero-two, by the way. Remember that not all e-mail messages will be read. Please follow these guidelines: Do include "All-Star Baseball" in the subject line. Do send polite suggestions for ways to make this walkthrough better. Do tell me about any errors or omissions you find in this guide. Do send information about any glitches, tricks, or codes you discover. Do ask any questions you have about All-Star Baseball 2003 gameplay. I will respond eventually if you follow all of these rules. Do make a reasonable effort to use decent spelling, grammar, usage, punctuation, and capitalization so I can understand what you're trying to say. Do use patience. I check my e-mail quite sporadically. Do not send spam, pornography, chain letters, "flaming," or anything that contains profanity or vulgarity. Again, violating this rule will result in deletion of the message and permanent constipation. ******************************************************************************* Current list of VinnyVideo guides available on GameFAQs.com and Neoseeker.com: F1 ROC: Race of Champions FAQ/Walkthrough F1 ROC II: Race of Champions FAQ/Walkthrough SimCity 3000 Walkthrough/Strategy Guide Nigel Mansell's World Championship Racing FAQ/Walkthrough Kyle Petty's No Fear Racing Strategy Guide/FAQ Madden NFL '96 (SNES) Strategy Guide/FAQ Madden NFL '98 (SNES) Strategy Guide/FAQ Madden NFL '97 (SNES) Strategy Guide/FAQ ESPN SpeedWorld (SNES) Strategy Guide/FAQ The Oregon Trail: Fifth Edition (PC) FAQ/Walkthrough The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest Low-Spoiler FAQ/Walkthrough Off Road Challenge (N64) FAQ/Walkthrough F-1 World Championship Edition (SNES) FAQ/Walkthrough Donkey Kong 64 FAQ/Walkthrough Where in America's Past is Carmen Sandiego FAQ/Walkthrough Michael Andretti's Indy Car Challenge FAQ/Walkthrough Mario Open Golf (Japan) FAQ/Walkthrough Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (SNES) FAQ/Walkthrough MicroLeague Football 2: The Coach's Challenge Strategy Guide/FAQ Scooby-Doo: Unmasked! (GBA) FAQ/Walkthrough All-Star Baseball 2004 Strategy Guide/FAQ BS Super Mario USA 2 FAQ/Walkthrough BS Super Mario USA 1 FAQ/Walkthrough BS Super Mario USA 3 FAQ/Walkthrough BS Super Mario USA 4 FAQ/Walkthrough All-Star Baseball 2003 Strategy Guide/FAQ ******************************************************************************* Possible future guides: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (GBA) FAQ/Walkthrough The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Low-Spoiler FAQ/Walkthrough The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Low-Spoiler FAQ/Walkthrough The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GCN) Low-Spoiler FAQ/Walkthrough Madden NFL '95 (SNES) Strategy Guide/FAQ Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego (PC) FAQ/Walkthrough And lastly, a public service message: Fight for and affirm the rights of all humans, regardless of race, age, or creed! And... Say no to bullying and bullies, whether bully-like activities occur in person or over the Internet. No one's likely going to read this, anyway.