Søren #Kierkegaard, #Baseball, and My New #RallyBird Rules (PDF)


If I may translate the philosopher’s concepts in my own way, then baseball’s four bases represent Søren Kierkegaard’s scoring strategy. They exemplify his coaching observation of the first aesthetic, then ethical, and finally religious modes of base running, with a difficult slide (or leap) of faith to reach Home plate. Kierkegaard argues that one can have faith that the cloud of dust transforms into a Run on the colossal electric scoreboard, but one can never believe it, because the bright click of that scoreboard is beyond muscle achievement and beyond reason. The cerulean Run is something else. This unrelentingly requirement of test on individual strength and resolve relates to the compelling existentialism of baseball.

1st base is an achievement of individual aesthetics, the batter’s skillful use of the passions to swing the bat just right. This does not mean an abuse of passions, but the motivation is pleasure. Who among you has not exalted, as I still do, at the musical sound of the bat hitting the ball in its sweet, sweet spot? O sensual raptures! Mind you, to maximize pleasure thoughtfully, an Epicurean life is smarter, measured, more calculated than a hedonistic life. A runner can take an 11-foot lead from first base, sometimes a 12- or even 13-foot lead, but a hedonistic 14-foot lead? That cannot last. It won’t last. It doesn’t last.

A moment comes when the baserunner found a way to move beyond the limitations of the aesthetic approach and achieved second base. It’s a new way. Wary of mere pleasure-seeking, from oneself the player naturally thinks of the team, of the friendly dugout clearly in view, of what 2nd base represents as the border of a Runner In Scoring Position. From second base the player can easily see the comrade at bat. Trading glances, the second base runner can spy the pitcher’s grip on the laces of the ball and signal, with hand on chin, then hand on knee, that he’s loaded a fastball. (RallyBird’s Take the Pitch card reflects this specific possibility.) This is legal, but baseball’s unofficial regulations frown on it; at least, Defense may respond by beaning the player next time at bat. Ethics brings responsibility. Ethical responsibility means the player has moved from thinking about the self to others, but the self remains.

As baseball commentator Kierkegaard says, no player on second base has ever reached Home plate by running in a straight line toward it. The absurd fact is, that the player seeking Home must run obliquely (beyond logic, proof and reason) from the ethical second base toward the Third Base of religious feeling. The greater the uncertainty, the more likely that this will be a great sports moment, we in the crowd lean forward and making sounds beyond language. The baserunner blurs between third base and home. The ball returns like a cannon shot from the center fielder. The catcher reaches his glove. Unable to see the ball or Home, the Knight of Faith dives into the obscurity, with trust that Home plate will reach back to tag the player’s outstretched hand.

This RallyBird rule pdf (link below) is in progress, but I offer to share it with you. It looks different, but it is the same 1-hour baseball board game with quick decisions for offense and defense each at bat. I’ve added a couple of new variants including Series rules. Also I learned I could add an additional card to the game at no cost to you, so I added a trophy card. The rules include a picture of it. When I proof these rules, mull and ruminate a few more hundred times, I’ll replace the current ones that come with the game with this set.

RallyBird Board Game Rules version May11, 2019

Here is a concise and sensible summary of Kierkegaard’s stages.

You can buy the RallyBird Baseball Board Game here.

The RallyBird Baseball Board Game’s Rules = Basically 2 Pages

The RallyBird Baseball Board Game‘s rules are 8 pages total, but the rules take up only 2 of those pages (page 2 and 3, below).  My point is that the rules are easy and concise. This allows you to concentrate on your tactics, with quick turns and decisions for offense and defense each At Bat. The information on the cards is intuitive and matches the board’s logic is multiple ways. Easy!

These are low resolution screenshots–but you can download the full pdf
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Okay, those are the main rules, pages 2 and 3. What about page 1? Page 1 is an overview of the game components…

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Page 4 is a diagram of the mechanics, plus some optional rules…

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Pages 5-6 of the rules are a Beginners Guide, and 7-8 are the Frequently Asked Questions. These pages support board gamers with less experience or those less confident about baseball. I designed the RallyBird Board Game to play!

Here’s a link to the RallyBird Board Game Rules PDF. 

The board game is currently for sale here.

Dynamic How to Play video below!

How to Play the RALLYBIRD BASEBALL board game (new video)

UPDATE April 6, 2019: the new version with audio is here:

The old version is below. I’ll be removing it soon. Thanks!

This just completed HOW TO PLAY video offers lavish illustrations! It goes over the various rules thoroughly from different directions, so I think it should be clear. The rules are easy!

This video offers all the information right now in pictures with words. It’s silent. When I have time I’ll edit audio narration.

Thank you!

In Progress: A New “How To Play” Video for the RallyBird Baseball Board Game

I have a report from the Nest. Well as you can tell there’s a flurry of activity at the RallyBird headquarters! While I’m waiting for the prototypes of Mini RallyBird version 4 to arrive, I’m also waiting for the first prototype of the 2018 MLB Teams add-on kit. And while I wait, sometimes with the new season roaring the background, I’ve started working on a new How To Play video. I’ve never been satisfied with the first one I did in a hurry. The camera was a disappointment. I didn’t have time to do it right. So it goes. This new one in progress, I think, will be about 100 times better. Here’s a sample, a screen grab from the work in progress.Screen Shot 2019-03-29 at 10.05.18 PM.png

Stay tuned!

Here is a link to the rules PDF: RallyBird Rules, Guide, FAQ .

You can pick up your own copy of the regular sized RallyBird Board Game here.

Testing MLB Team Rules for the RallyBird Baseball Board Game

I designed the RallyBird Baseball Board Game for a easy, 1-hour, thoughtful board game experience of the sport. This meant when I recently took on the task of adapting historic MLB team performance to Rally Bird, I did not try to drill down on the charismatic, individual statistical performance of players. Instead, these optional, add-on MLB rules I’m testing depend on team averages over the season. This is a necessary simplification to keep the RB board game quick and playable, yet with emphasis on decisions for offense and defense each At Bat.

Within these broad modifications, the decisions of the board game players and their dice determine the individuality of events. It’s fun for me to try to adapt MLB team performance to the characteristics of this board game. Does it succeed? I don’t know yet, but I’ve designed and ordered the components I need to test the playable asymmetry of the 2018 season. This includes a larger set of Glove defense tiles, and the print out of the adaption rules (1 page) and individual team ratings in RallyBird Board Game categories.

By the way, enjoy today! It’s opening day of the new MLB season! –PG

Rules Here! Download the Rules to the RallyBird Baseball Boardgame

Here are the RallyBird boardgames rules in colorful PDF you can download and read!

The rules take up the first 3 of the 8 pages. The 4th page is a diagram illustrating the simple system, plus some some variants including the fun RallyBird rule. The 5th and 6th pages are a Beginner’s Guide that offers some help (for those who want help) with the cards and their tactics. The last section, the 7th and 8th pages, are Frequently Asked Questions by my play testers, and my replies. This pdf is 7.6 MB.

RallyBird Rules, Guide, FAQ

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You can purchase the RallyBird Baseball board game here.

Baseball Logic

In response to this question about a Runners In Scoring Position double play situation, I amended the rules to include this specification…

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This does not change any rules. It’s just a clarification that makes explicit the logic of baseball. I want people with different levels of baseball confidence to enjoy the game, so I’m happy to make this addition. I write about all this more extensively in my previous post.

Thanks to the RallyBird Baseball gamers who asked the question!