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SmallBallBaseball Tutorial: the SmallGiants

This is the story of a new Smallball team called the SmallGiants - Not only how I made them, but how I made it to top of the Big League standings!


My first task was getting SmallBall Baseball onto my computer. 

I went to this page on the SmallBall web site and downloaded the game.  Then I ran the installation program. This made a SmallBall Icon on my Desktop, which I double-clicked to start SmallBall.  After downloading the files it needed, it then displayed the SmallBall Start screen.  I clicked on the Registration Button.  After entering an Owner name that I wanted to be called, a password that I could remember, and an e-mail address so that SmallBall could send e-mails to me about my team, I was an official SmallBall Owner and Manager.

Now, it's time to get my team ready.  I click on Training on the SmallBall Start Screen, and for the first time, I see my team on the practice field. They have white uniforms and blue hats and no names.

So, the first thing I do is click on Edit, then Names.

This box comes up.  Here, I name my team "SmallGiants". I then give my team a letters code that's between one and five letters.  I go with a typical length of three letters, and type in "SMG". 

Now I name each of the 12 players (although I have space to enter a very long name, SmallBall only displays 20 characters in some areas, so I stay under that limit).

Hint: To save time, note that the corresponding initial positions for the twelve slots are:
P, C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, and three bench spots.

I intentionally leave the last 3 unnamed.  I can rename these later (or any player, actually), and I've run out of ideas, so I'll wait until I'm inspired to name the rest.

Now that I have my team named, I click OK, and I'm ready to choose my uniform colors.

I select Edit - Colors and get this dialog box. Here I choose the uniform color, hat color, and skin color for my entire team. Due to technical reasons, I can only choose one skin color for the whole team. 

I choose:

  • the skin tone by clicking on a Radio Button at the top.
  • the uniform color, by clicking on a color in the left palette.
  • the hat color by clicking on a color on the right.
I hit Apply to see the colors on my team out on the field.  Once I find an outfit I like, I hit OK, and my team now has its official colors.

Next, I click on Roster to see the team. The Roster editor enables me to: 
  • review and edit my batting order listed in the left pane.
  • Choose my 9 man line up, and change player positions.
In this case, I am happy with everything except I see Little Russ, my pitcher, is batting first. 
I want him to bat 9th...

So, to move Little Russ in the batting order, I click on him to select him and click the Down button. Each time I click the Down button, Little Russ moves down the list. 

I click Down 9 times and Little Russ now bats 9th, as I feel a pitcher should.

I'm done so I click OK. 


Hint: If you want to change the player positions seen in the Roster listing, you must move them to and from the Bench area. When you click the "Move to Bench ->" button, the players that are selected in the Roster and Bench columns swap.  Use this to reposition your players.

Now it's time to personalize the training for my team.  The team is already throwing the ball around, and a batter is hitting pitched balls.  I decide the first bit of special training the team is going to get is some Running.

I click and drag each player to the lower left side of the practice field. When I let them go, they run back to their positions. I spend a few minutes making sure each player gets a good jog. 

Next, I have each player take a turn batting. To do this, I simply click and drag the player that I want to bat to stand right behind the current batter.

When I double click on a player, he becomes selected. A selected player does a few things: 
  • Displays his name, stats, Skill level and Mood level icons on the score board.
  • Displays his Training Potential pie under his feet. In this case, Little Barry has about 4/5ths of his Training potential left. 
  • Makes other players throw him the ball. All the fielders like to throw to the player that is selected (except if the selected player is the pitcher, batter, or catcher -- these three are busy in batting and pitching practice).
Hint: To learn more about the icons displayed, read the Help page.

After a lot of running, catching and throwing, I click on Little Barry again, and see that he's almost out of Training Potential

I know I've trained my guys well when all their Training Potential pies are drained. If I do this for several days in a row, the players will play much better, as I can see reflected in their skill icons.  Conversely, if I don't train my guys often enough, they'll start to lose their edge -- their skills actually diminish.

Bottom line: The more they do, the better they get!


Hint: It takes a day to restore Training Potential 100%.  A little additional Potential is earned whenever your team is challenged to a game by another team.

I've been training my team for a while, and I think my SmallGiants are ready to play their first game! 

So now I need to find an opponent.  I have friends that have been playing SmallBall for a while, so their teams are probably too good to challenge.  

I want to give my team a chance to win their first game!  So, I need to find some more "rookies".  I use my browser and go to the Big League web page.

Here, among many choices I click on Newest teams, to see who I can take on!  After reviewing the teams a bit, I write down the info for one of them.

I click on the Public Game button on the Smallball Start Screen. When the Search Team window comes up, I enter the Owner ID# 1147 which is for the Dwarves of Pain.  

I could enter the team's letters or the team's name, but I decide to use the Owner ID#, since its the easiest and quickest way to guarantee a search for the correct team.  Also, even if the team ever changes its name or letters, the ID# will always remain the same.

Then I click Search.

The game starts. Since I challenged the Dwarves of Pain, my team is up first. 

I see my players make some errors and the Dwarves seem to be winning... But, in the last inning, my SmallGiants prevail and win their first game!!!

I guess they can rename their team from Dwarves of Pain, to Dwarves in Pain :)


So now I want to see where I stand in the Big League Standings, so I go to Big League, and select Recent Games.

There it is! For all to see: Dwarves of Pain vs. SmallGiants. 

I won 5 to 4. The game has been recorded as Game ID# 283, so if I ever want to see my victory again (during this season), I can just enter this number in the Review Game window.

But now that I've won, I'd like to see where I stand against all the other SmallBall teams.

I go to the Big League page and choose Top 100 Rookie Teams.

Because I won my first game I have 0 losses. This means my team's among those with a top winning percentage!  And when I check the site, I see I was lucky enough to be even be the NUMBER ONE team (at least for right now)!!!

But I realize that I won't be at the top of that list for long. Now that I've played my first game, my team appears in the standings for all to see.  So, now other teams can play against mine. The Dwarves of Pain will probably want a rematch, too.

However, I am determined to make my team a top team. And I'm well on my way with my first win.


It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring when everything else begins again and it blossoms in summer, filling the afternoons and evenings and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it. Rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops

Bart Giamatti
Commissioner of Major League Baseball

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