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    Pint-sized versions of your favorite Major League Baseball players take to the field in this fantasy baseball game.

    Mounds of Fun

    To make a team, you pick from kid versions of 10 stars, including Pedro Martinez, Derek Jeter, Ichiro and Barry Bonds, and 30 fictional kid players. Rather improbably, the kid versions of the pros have the same characteristics as their grown-up counterparts, right down to Alex Rodriguez's sweet swing.

    If one of the 30 authentic Major League Baseball team uniforms doesn't suit your taste, you can pick from a line-up of custom uniforms and team names. You can also create custom players.

    A Single Game will satisfy your urge to get out on the grass, but for added depth try a Season. You can track stats for an entire season and save them to a Memory Card with 14 free blocks. A Home Run Derby lets you swing for the fences.

    The assisted fielding takes some of the guesswork out of catching a pop-up or fielding a grounder. You can however, shift your fielders in both the outfield and infield to anticipate a particular hit.

    Out in Left Field

    Real pro players, authentic uniforms and detailed stats are great, but the Backyard Sports series brings a level of imagination to our national pastime.

    The wacky fields include a beach, a gator swamp and a scrap yard. You can unlock more by completing objectives, such as hitting a home run in a specific location or winning the World Series. Performing feats like hitting a grand slam or striking out a batter will earn you power-ups.

    In addition to the normal pitches like a fastball, curve and change-up, you can execute dazzling power-up pitches. The Fang is a whip curve ball that banks sharply before reaching the plate; the Splitball splits into two parts after it is thrown; and the Corn Popper makes the batter hit a routine fly ball. ("Can of corn" is baseball slang for easy pop fly.)

    Batters have a few tricks up their jerseys, too. The Seeing Eye Single is a line drive that automatically eludes all fielders; the Under Grounder digs into the dirt and emerges in the outfield; and the Sonic Boom knocks down the fielders when you connect with the ball.

    Backyard Baseball is a playful take on our favorite summertime pastime. The zany power-ups and fantasy fields may turn off sticklers for realism, but playing as kid versions of pro players is a blast.

    Contributed by Xoleras (66655) on May 08, 2005.