Playing A Half-Inning Of Cadaco All-Star Baseball!

Good afternoon, and welcome to Cadaco All-Star Baseball Field for today’s game between the Springfield Isotopes and the Shelbyville Shelbyvillians!

Cadaco Field View

There’s not a cloud in the room and the 60W sun is shining brightly… A perfect day for baseball!

Before we get started, an apology:

All of the images on this post are right-side up on my computer, but for some reason WordPress wants to rotate some of them 90 degrees when I upload them.

How CADACO all-star baseball works

Cadaco All-Star Baseball is a tabletop simulation based on each player’s likelihood of getting different outcomes from an at bat. Pitching doesn’t factor into it, fielding doesn’t factor into it. It all comes down to what the player at bat is likely to do.  Given the limitations, it’s actually a pretty good simulation.

Each Major Leaguer in the game is represented by a disk which has different numbered spaces around the outside edge.  You put the disks into a clear plastic holder with a spinner on top. The players spin the spinner and the space that the spinner lands on determines what the batter does. Each type of outcome gets a different number… Home Runs are 1, Strikeouts are 10, Triples are 13, and so on. It’s all on this “Batting Key” on the gameboard:
Cadaco Batting Key

Here are two examples of how it works… Rod Carew is known as a singles hitter, and his disk reflects that.  Big areas for singles (7 & 13), some doubles (11), a small number of triples (5) and homers (1).  Relatively few strikeouts (10).
Cadaco Rod Carew Disk
His disk also reflects that a ballpoint pen must’ve leaked out on it years ago.

Nolan Ryan may be a Hall-Of-Fame pitcher, but as a hitter, well…
Cadaco Nolan Ryan Disk
Look at those 10’s.  As a hitter, Nolan Ryan strikes out. He strikes out a LOT. Also notice that there’s no space on the disk for Homers (1) or Triples (5), and a very small spot for Doubles (11). One shouldn’t count on getting extra base hits out of Nolan Ryan.

Incidentally, you might have noticed that the center of Nolan Ryan’s disk is white, Rod Carew’s is grey, and some of the other disks are red. The color-coding is by position… White for pitchers and catchers, grey for infielders and red for outfielders.

OK, now that we’ve got all that out of the way…

play ball!

Leading off for the Isotopes, the left fielder Lou Brock.

Cadaco 1 - Lou Brock Doubles

The manager spins the spinner, and as you can see on the Lou Brock disk, he gets a “11”.

As you can see from the Batting Key which sits between the two spinners, 4 means “Double”.

Cadaco Batting Key

Awesome!  The leadoff batter is in scoring position!

Next up is right fielder Dave Winfield.  The manager spins a “7”.

Cadaco 3 - Dave Winfield

…and “7” means that Winfield gets a single!

Cadaco Batting Key

When I was a kid – and don’t all kids do this? – we apparently didn’t finish reading the rules and we played a simplified version of the game where runners advanced one base on a single, two bases on a double, and so on.  Here’s what the game says you should do in these situations:  After the manager who’s “batting” spins a single, ground ball or fly ball, the other manager spins his spinner and looks at the blue and black ring around the outside of his spinner to get a letter.  In this case, the opposing manager (also me) spins gets an “N”…

Cadaco 7 - Bowa second spin
BTW, The Dave Concepcion disk is here because he’s the other team’s leadoff hitter, waiting for the bottom of the 1st.

…Back to the game, we spun an “N” and then we look at the chart on the “scoreboard” to see what “N” means for a single:

Cadaco - Single II

The batter, Dave Winfield, is safe and the runner, Lou Brock, advances two bases… and that means he scores!

So we turn the “Run” wheel on the scoreboard…

Cadaco 5 - 1 run in

…because it’s not as much fun if you don’t rotate the wheels on the scoreboard.

OK, so we’ve got Winfield on first and shortstop Larry Bowa steps up to the plate.

The manager spins a “13”…

Cadaco 6 - Larry Bowa

…which means Bowa gets a single.  The other manager spins the other spinner and gets an “N”.

Cadaco 7 - Bowa second spin

…and like before, “N” on a single means that the runner advances two bases.

So now we’ve got runners at the corners…

Cadaco 8 - Runners On the Corners

…and cleanup hitter George Brett steps up to the plate.  The manager spins a “14”…

Cadaco 9 - George Brett

…which is a fly ball…

Cadaco Batting Key

…The opposing manager spins an “L”…

Cadaco 10 - Brett second spin

…and it’s a sacrifice fly;  Winfield scores from third and Bowa holds at first.

Cadaco - Fly Ball I

Cadaco - 1 out

So we’ve got one out, and Thurman Munson is coming up to bat… But I want to implement some strategery.  I decide I want Bowa to attempt to steal second, so I get out the Strategy Disk, put it in the other team’s disk holder, spin the spinner and check the results in the blue/black outer ring.

Cadaco 18 - Pre-Fuentes Strategy

A single steal from first falls under the “A-E Strategy” range, and on that red ring we got an “A”.  We look at that list on the scoreboard…

…and incidentally, this does play faster in real life…

Cadaco Strategy A-E

…Munson takes the pitch, and Larry Bowa steals second.

Back to Munson’s at bat, we spin and get a “12”…

Cadaco 12 - Thurman Munson

Cadaco Batting Key

It’s a ground ball, we spin the other spinner, get an “L”…

Cadaco 13 - Munson Second Spin

Cadaco - Ground Ball III

Munson is out at first, Larry Bowa isn’t forced so he stays at second.

Runner at second, two outs, two runs in.

Willie McCovey steps up to bat… McCovey has apparently had a hard life because some sort of liquid, possibly Coke, has been spilled on him.

The manager spins…

Cadaco - McCovey strikes out

And it’s right on the line between 10 and 2…  But the decision is made that it’s a 10 – McCovey strikes out and strands Bowa at second.

So, after one half inning it’s Springfield 1, Shelbyville coming to bat…

About my copy of the game

Cadaco All-Star Baseball Box

Although the game I own is the right vintage for my childhood, it’s not the same game I played growing up.

When I was a kid, my best friend had this game, and we played it about as much as we played any board game.  I liked tabletop games (and still do), but he only played indoors if the weather was bad.

I got my copy of the game about 10-15 years ago at a yard sale.  I don’t know what year it was originally from, but I can guesstimate from the players included. Dave Parker is included, and although he played in 1973 and 1974, I don’t think they would’ve given him a card before his breakout season in 1975… So let’s say no earlier than 1976. Joe Torre is also included, and in 1977, his last season as a player, he only played 26 games… So I wouldn’t think they would give him a card in the 1978 set.   Combining those two minor deductions, I think we’re looking at 1976 or 1977.

14 thoughts on “Playing A Half-Inning Of Cadaco All-Star Baseball!

  1. I used to play some kind of RPG style game but for football (european of course). Stickers would do the team lineup and the dices would decide the result of it. Of course there was the cheating factor lol ;)
    That’s pretty cool game. I think the easy rules are better on the fact that it takes less time to get the game final but following the rules really feels like playoffs!

  2. That’s a more advanced version of the Cadaco All Star game I played. I have never seen strategy disks. This is much closer to Strat-O-Matic with a spinner instead of dice.

  3. Hi,

    I appears your game is the 1978A edition. Which is my first game also. There is a yahoo group devoted to the cadaco game. Here is the link‎

    If your set contains Bill North then it is sure to be the 1978A edition.

    enjoy the game and stop by the group

  4. Pingback: Learning To Play MLB Showdown | The Shlabotnik Report

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