National League Beats American League 7 – 5 in Microsoft Virtual All-Star Game

DENVER, July 2, 1998 — For two former All-Star Game managers, Davey Johnson and Dick Williams, it was just like old times. For baseball’s best players and their fans, it could be a glimpse into the immediate future.

In a computer simulation of next Tuesday’s All-Star Game played here today at Pinnacle All-Star FanFest using a specially enhanced version of Microsoft® Baseball 3D, the National League beat the American League 7-5 in a nail-biter at the cyber equivalent of Coors Field. In the bottom of the eighth inning with the score tied 5-5, Atlanta Braves’ first baseman Andres Galarraga scored on a triple by Vinny Castilla of the Colorado Rockies. Castilla scored after a single to left by Atlanta Braves’ catcher Javy Lopez, making the score 7-5. The American League went down in order in the top of the ninth with Cincinnati Reds’ pitcher Jeff Shaw picking up the save. Tom Glavine of the Atlanta Braves was the winning pitcher, while John Wetteland of the Texas Rangers was tagged with the loss. Another hometown Rockies’ star, outfielder Larry Walker won the game’s Most Valuable Player award with a

2 for 4 performance, including a 464-foot home run in the bottom of the third.

True to reality, the Microsoft Virtual All-Star Game featured the National League (NL) and American League (AL) lineups as chosen by fans for the actual All-Star Game, which will be played

July 7 at Coors Field. In Microsoft Baseball 3D, everything from the players’ athletic attributes to their faces and batting stances mimics reality to create one of the most authentic baseball experiences for the personal computer.

Davey Johnson, last year’s American League Manager of the Year with the Baltimore Orioles and manager of the 1986 World Series-winning New York Mets directed the virtual NL All-Stars, while Dick Williams, manager of the 1973 World Series-winning Oakland Athletics and four All-Star teams, skippered the virtual AL All-Stars.

Although Walker won the MVP Award, the highlight of the night may have belonged to American League outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. of the Seattle Mariners, who hit a 547-foot blast in the top of the eighth to tie the score 5-5. Atlanta Braves’ third baseman Chipper Jones and Baltimore Orioles’ Roberto Alomar also hit home runs.

Each manager was teamed with a Microsoft game master, who carried out his manager’s directives — from pitch selection to player substitutions.

“I thought I’d have an edge in this game because I was one of the first managers to actually use computers in managing my real baseball team,”
Johnson said.

Williams countered,
“I wasn’t nervous facing Davey despite his computer experience. The beauty of this game is that it’s just like the real thing, it still comes down to fundamentals — making the plays, the proper substitutions, the little things. Davey’s team was just a bit better tonight.”

One of the most realistic baseball games available for the personal computer, Microsoft Baseball 3D uses real-world physics, superior animation and unique artificial intelligence to deliver an authentic baseball experience. Available in stores now, the game has an estimated retail price of $54.95. Microsoft Baseball 3D is licensed by Microsoft from both Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

The Microsoft Virtual All-Star Game was created using the players and stadium from the game’s retail version. The Microsoft development team, looking to capture the fun and excitement of the 1998 All-Star game, created this special computer version in the hope of predicting the real game’s outcome and to showcase potential real-world highlights.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

High-resolution photos are available at ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/deskapps/games/public/Screenshots/ , directory
“Baseball 3D,”
directory
“All-Star.”

A box score and highlights can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/sports/baseball/allstar/

Television Highlight Package Available – Satellite Times and Coordinates

Friday, July 3, 1998: 2:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. EDT

C – Band – Galaxy C6 – Transponder 9H – Ch. 9 – Audio 6.2 and 6.8, Downlink Frequency 3880 MHz

Sunday, July 5, 1998: 2:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. EDT (Refeed – Same Coordinates)

Monday, July 6, 1998: 2:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. EDT (Refeed – Same Coordinates)

*NOTE: Galaxy C6 has been moved to 99 degrees west – The orbital position of the Old Galaxy C4

** For New York City Broadcasters and Media Outlets – This Is Available via Fiber From Waterfront Fiber Loop #1620.

For information about Friday’s and Sunday’s satellite feeds, contact Atlantic Satellite at (201) 784-2003. For Monday’s feed, please contact Jerry Schranz at DWJ Television, (800) 766-1711, ext. 210.

Microsoft is either a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

All logos and marks of Major League Baseball, its Teams, Players and Sponsors are the property of Major League Baseball and its respective Teams, Players and Sponsors and may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of Major League Baseball Properties and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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