The RBI Baseball Baseball Page

Frequently Asked Questions

The Basics

Playing RBI




Editing RBI



The Basics

What is RBI Baseball?

A popular baseball game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (aka NES). It was one of the first baseball games for the NES and I believe it was the first one to use authentic rosters from Major League Baseball. To this day (as if you couldn't tell by this site), RBI has a very loyal fan following and is actively played across the US.

When was RBI Baseball released?

Some people and Internet sources (such as initially claimed that RBI was released in 1987. Though according to the book "The Ultimate History of Video Games", RBI Baseball was first released on the NES in 1988. Half the player's stats are from the 1987 season, so it must have been made sometime after September of 1987. The Warp Zone's history of Tengen states that RBI was originally unveiled at the 1988 Consumer Electronics Show, making 1988 the offical RBI release year.

What company made RBI Baseball?

Short Answer - RBI Baseball was made by Tengen.

Long Answer - Things are a bit tricky to figure things out, but here's how I think it went - RBI was originally made by Namco as a Japanese arcade game. Namco is the company that brought you Pac Man, Pole Position and Galaga. Namco eventualy bought out half of the US company Atari Games, who broke off from the Atari we all know and love sometime in the 80s. After Namco and Atari Games were in partnership, an arcade version of RBI Baseball was released in the states, based almost entirely on the code from the Japanese verion. Tengen, the console (aka non-arcade) division of Atari Games, ported the arcade version of RBI to the NES. So while Tengen released RBI Baseball in the US, most of the initial work on the game was done over in Japan by Namco. Confused yet?

How many versions of RBI Baseball are there?

I believe there are five versions of RBI...

Tengen released two versions of RBI for the NES. The older version had the standard grey NES cartridge while the newer version had the hip, slender black cartridge. The black catridge is the unlicensed version of RBI while the grey cart is the licensed version. The reason for the two cartirdges is that, shortly after getting into the Nintendo business, Tengen decided that they were not going to license their games through Nintendo. As a result, all previously licensed versions were re-released as unlicensed titles. The Tengen vs. Nintendo battle is quite the soap opera, stemming from the Tetris court battles. It really doesn't matter though, just know that both RBI carts are basically the same.

For the Famicom, the Japanese version of the NES, there is a Japanese-language version with a completely different roster, titled Pro Yakyuu - Family Stadium. According to the GameFAQs database, the original Family Stadium was released on 12/10/1986. This definitely makes it older than RBI on the NES and may even predate the Japanese Arcade version of Family Stadium.

There are two versions of RBI for the arcade. One was made for the Nintendo vs. system in the US, titled VS RBI Baseball. It was released by Atari Games in 1987 and included all-time teams (more info below). There was also a Japanese version released by Namco in 1987, which I believe was the first actual version of RBI made.

There are also many sequels to RBI for various systems, but I do not play those nor do I care about them.

What year are the player stats from?

On the NES, most stats are from the 1986 (Cali, Boston, NY and Houston) or 1987 (Minnesota, San Fran, Stl and Detroit) Major League seasons, though there are quite a few notable errors. For some reason, many of the pitchers have ridiculously low ERAs. Also, they occasionally took the average from one year and home runs from another.

The arcade lineups are a mixture of all-time teams, so each players stats can be from just about any year before 1987.

Once again, my Hiragana and Katakana are a bit weak, so the Japanese stats and years are a complete mystery. In fact, I'm not even sure if those are authentic players.

Which RBI Cartridge is more rare?

Contrary to what people say on EBay, RBI is not rare at all. There are large numbers of both the grey and black cartridge out there. Though it appears as if they grey cartridge is more rare.

What teams are in RBI Baseball?

The US versions have 10 teams:


  • California
  • Boston
  • Detroit
  • Minnesota
  • New York Mets
  • Houston
  • St. Louis
  • San Francisco
  • AL All-Star
  • NL All-Star
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Cincinatti
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • New York Yankees
  • Oakland
  • SF Giants
  • St Louis
Family Stadium 87 has 12 teams:
  • G - Yomiuri Giants
  • M - Major Leaguers
  • L - Seibu Lions
  • C - Hiroshima Carp
  • B - Hankyu Braves
  • D - Chunichi Dragons
  • F - Foods-Foods (Nippon Ham Frights & Lotte Orions)
  • S - Yakult Swallows
  • R - Railways (Kintesu Buffaloes & Nankai Hawks)
  • W - Taiyo Wheels
  • T - Hanshin Tigers
  • N - Namco Stars

The M & N teams are all-star type teams. The F & R teams are a combination of two teams, as both teams have the same owner. The F teams are owned by a food company and the R teams are owned by a railway company. Thanks to Kenji from Japan for the translations.

Why did Tengen choose those 8 teams?

The eight teams represented in NES RBI were the division winners from the 1986 & 1987 seasons. In 1986, the Angles, Red Sox, Astros and Mets were champs. In 1987 the Tigers, Twins, Cardinals and Giants were the division champs. The player stats are also (for the most part) taken from the season in which their teams won the pennant.

How many players are on each team?

16 Players Total - 8 Starting Hitters, 4 Bench Hitters, and 4 Pitchers

How are the NES and Arcade versions different?

The Arcade version of RBI is very similar to the NES version. From a graphic and gameplay standpoint, they are almost exactly the same. That being said, here are some of the differences:

  • Different Teams - RBI Arcade has an entirely new set of rosters and teams. Instead of the regular lineups from the 1986/87 seasons, RBI Arcade features 10 All-Time teams - Oakland, Houston, Los Angeles, Cincinatti, San Francisco, New York Yankees, Atlanta, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis, and Boston. For a listing of the arcade rosters, check here. There are some great matchups in there, Koufax vs. Ruth, Cy Young vs. Mays etc...

  • Faster Gameplay - Overall, the arcade game is slightly faster than its Nintendo counterpart. Nothing major, but just enough to screw up your rhythm when switching back and forth...

  • No BOPs - BOPs (aka computer errors) do not exist in the arcade version, taking away some of the randomness...

  • Super Carry - The fly balls go much higher and travel much deeper, resulting in more home runs...

  • Abrupt Endings - The arcade version's handling of extra-innings and slaughters are a bit flawed. For slaughters, the game is immediately over once someone is up by 10 or more runs. For 1-player games, the game ends anytime the computer has a lead. Also, there are no extra-innings, the game simply ends with a tie.

  • Timer - You only have a certain amount of time to throw or make a substitution, otherwise the computer will throw the pitch or cancel. This makes sense when you consider the game is played on a quarter-by-quarter basis. Also, after a set amount of time, your credit is up and you have to put another quarter in.

The teams really are the biggest different bewteen the two, nothing else will greatly affect your skill level when switching between versions. If you are looking for big scoring and a quicker pace, go with the arcade. If you are looking for better overall gameplay, stick with the NES.

What exactly is Dee-Nee?

The term Dee-Nee started out as a sound effect by Potsie. He made a silly sound when bringing in pinch hitter Gene Larkin one day, and we all couldn't stop laughing. So it eventually grew into an everyday term, usually uttered when something good happens to you. Click here to hear Dee-Nee in it's proper pronounciation. It's a "dih nih" sound, not "d knee"

Sorry you asked, aren't ya?

Playing RBI

Where can I buy RBI Baseball?

Given the large number of cartridges produced, obtaining a copy of RBI is fairly easy. If you have a local video game shop in your area, such as GameStop, odds are decent that they'll have RBI for less than $5. Otherwise, you can always get a copy of RBI on ebay. And don't be fooled by the descriptions, RBI isn't rare. You should be able to buy one for about five bucks.

How can I play RBI on my computer?

Thanks to the wonderful world of video game emulation, you can now play the authentic version of RBI on your PC! To play RBI on your computer, you need two items:

  1. A Nintendo emulator - NES emulators are the programs needed to open and play Nintendo games. I don't really want to explain how they work, but go to this site if you want to learn more. My recommended NES emulator is FCE Ultra - it is fast, works flawlessly with RBI and works great under Linux. If you are having problems with FCE Ultra, you can't go wrong with NESticle. Grab one of those and install it...

  2. An RBI Baseball ROM - the ROM file is the actual code from a Nintendo game, transferred to the computer. Each game has its own ROM, so naturally you need the RBI Baseball ROM to play RBI. But where do you get this ROM? Why, at of course! You can find my complete collection of RBI ROMs here - and is the original version of RBI, download that to play RBI as you remember it. The other ROMs on that page have been created by users with alternate teams, players and abilities.

With the Emulator and ROM, you have everything you need to play RBI. Unless you have it already, you will need to install software that can handle the .zip files. The standard on Windows is WinZip. If you cannot open the zip files, install WinZip first. I would also recommend getting a joystick or gamepad, as playing with the keyboard sucks.

To install and run, unzip FCE Ultra to it's own directory. After that double-click the FCEU program and open up the file. That's it!

Disclaimer!!! Emulation is a very thorny legal issue. Most ROM sites say you should only play an emulated game if you actually own the original catridge. I'm not going to tell on you, but just know that some people (like the companies who own the games) don't like emulation. Tengen is no longer around (though technically they are part of Williams), so I don't think you have to worry...

How can I play RBI on my Mac?

Playing RBI on the Apple Macintosh is very similar to playing RBI on a PC, except you have to get an emulator specifically for the Mac. Check out Zophar's Domain for a list of Mac emulators. I've personally never played RBI on a Mac, but I've heard good things about RockNES...

Once you have the emulator installed, you can use the same RBI ROM file to play.

How can I play the arcade version of RBI on my computer?

Playing the arcade version of RBI on your computer is very similar to playing the NES version, except you need a different emulator and ROM file. The emulator you need is called MAME and the RBI Arcade ROM is available on Since I get so many questions about setting this up, here it is step-by-step:

  1. Go to the MAME32 Download Page and select the current version.
  2. Download the .zip file onto your computer
  3. Using your favorite Zip program, unzip the files to C:\MAME
  4. Get the RBI Arcade ROM here
  5. Download this file to the roms folder under C:\MAME
  6. Start up MAME by running the MAME32 file under C:\MAME
  7. On the left side, select the Available folder
  8. On the right side, double-click VS Atari RBI Baseball

You really want to have a joystick to play, but the default keys are "5" to enter a quarter, "1" & "2" for the number of players, the left "Control" key is the B button and the left "Alt" key is the A button. MAME can play a whole bunch of old arcade games, but finding the ROMs is the tricky part.

How can I play RBI against someone over the Internet?

As of August 2004, now hosts a central server where you can play RBI against anyone over the Internet. It works fairly well, though there is a small amount of lag. Here is the best way to get online RBI working:

  1. Download and install FCE Ultra version 0.98.10 - please see how can I play RBI on my computer for help setting this up. Verify that you can play RBI in 1-player mode before you play someone else.

  2. For the ROM, start off by trying nightwulf's 2-player pause ROM. This will let either player call timeout, which is very helpful

  3. Find a buddy to play with. If you don't have anyone to play against, you can register for the forums and join the chatroom. People also list their AIM/Yahoo accounts on the Online RBI board, so look there as well. Once dee-nee chat takes off, it will be the place to find RBI competition.

  4. Once you have someone to play, fire up FCE Ultra and open up the ROM you are using. Be sure both people are using the exact same ROM. When the ROM is open, go to Config --> Network Play. Under "Settings" enter as the remote host. Leave everything else the default, though you can give yourself a nickname. Click the "Connect" button and you should connect to the server as either Player1 or Player2 depending on who connects first.

    If you connect as Player3, Player4 or get a message about too many connections this means someone else is already playing on the server. The dee-nee server allows one game per ROM, so the easiest way to play when someone else is already on is to use a different ROM. Open up the RBI Licensed ROM and try again. If that game is also full, try the unlicensed ROM or any of the custom ones from the ROMs page.

  5. When both players are connected, you are synched up and ready to play. You can use the Network Play window to chat with your opponent. For best results, you should close any bandwidth-intensive programs on your computer (like file-sharing apps) and play in full-screen mode.

You will learn quickly that you'll need a joystick if you want to compete online. It's also good to know that you can use the F11 key to reset the game and F9 to take a snapshot of the game. Happy playing...

What is the best computer joystick for RBI?

No doubt about it, the RetroPad is the best controller for RBI and all other NES games on your PC. It is the actual NES controller with a USB connection. Works pretty much flawlessly, Lips and I both have one. Also comes highly recommended by the folks on the forums as well. If you don't want to order one online, any $10 Gravis from BestBuy will be just fine.

On what other systems can I play RBI?

If a system has a NES eumlator, you can play RBI. Most of the newer console system such as XBox and Playstation have NES emulators. The advantage to these is that you can play on a regular TV and use a real controller.

The one console system where I've personally played RBI is the Dreamcast. DCEmulation is the top website for all things related to Dreamcast Emulation. Download NesterDC and have a ball, it's my favorite way to play RBI outside of the NES.

For the Sony Playstation 1, a great emulator for RBI is It Might Be NES. The colors and gameplay are virtually flawless and the sound works well. Keep in mind that you can only use emulators on your Playstation if it contains a mod chip. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you probably can't play NES games on your Playstation.

If you have a GameBoy Advance, you can give PocketNES a try. I personally have never tried it, but it should be playable if you have a flash card and the required hardware. Since the GameBoy Advance has a link option, you should be able to play against another human opponent.

Where can I play the arcade version of RBI?

Finding the arcade version of RBI Baseball at your local arcade is a long shot at best. As of right now, I know of only two places that have the Arcade RBI. The first place is Round Table Pizza in Santee California - the full address is Round Table Pizza 9824 Magnolia Ave Santee, Ca 92071. Jim Flanagan confirmed via email that this place had arcade RBI as of June 2002. mentions this place in their FAQ - "If you live near upstate New York, the arcade version of RBI might still be in the arcade of Guptil's skating rink on Route 9 in Latham, NY. Their phone number is 518-785-0660. Call before going!"

Chris Starr has informed me on 12/2002 that a store called Gamers has the arcade version of RBI


What does a player's power rating do?

Like the name implies, a player's power rating measures their ability to hit deep fly balls and homers. The higher your power number, the more home runs you are going to hit. It is without a doubt the most important rating for players, as all the top hitters have high power ratings. Not only is it important for homers, but a high power rating is a huge asset when making a bad swing. The more powerful hitters will take a bad swing and bloop it in the outfield for a base hit, or jack a center/opposite field homer. The lower your power rating, the more dependent you are on getting a good swing to get on base...

Another bonus of a high power rating is that you tend to hit ground balls and line drives at a much higher velocity. As a result, it's tougher to field their ground balls and quite a few low liners will speed all the way to the wall or leave the park.

What does a player's contact rating do?

In the RBI manual and in the various RBI editors, each player has a contact rating. For years and years people speculated on the meaning of this stat. When looking at players with low contact ratings, it was obvious that they were for the most part some of the game's weaker hitters. So what does contact really do?

Fortunately for the RBI world, technical guru nightwulf has finally come up with an explanation - you can read the nitty-gritty details here, but basically your contact rating determines how much of your power rating is reduced when you make a bad swing. By "bad swing" I mean hitting the ball too far on the inside or outside of the bat. Again, the details are in the previously linked forum thread but here's an example:

Take Kirk Gibson, who has a power rating of 894 and a contact rating of 20. When Kirk gets the meat of the bat on the ball he has the full 894 power. If he hits the ball to far on the inside or outside, his power rating is reduced to 874 (putting him under Chet Lemon level)...

Keep in mind that because the disparity between player's power ratings is so much greater than their contact ratings, the overall impact of contact doesn't amount to all that much. Power is by and large the #1 rating in the game, but contact does have its impact...

What does a player's speed rating do?

You guessed it... the higher their speed number, the faster they are on the basepaths. I'm not sure if the speed rating affects their speed out in the field, but I doubt it. Speed plays a big factor for certain teams, especially St. Louis. Be sure and develop your throwing skills people...

Who can run the fastest?

Vince Coleman has the highest speed rating with a 148. Close behind are Davey Lopes and Tim Raines with a 146 speed rating.

Who has the most Home Runs?

Mark McGwire and Andre Dawson with 49 homers

Who has the best Batting Average?

Tony Gwynn at .370, though this doesn't mean much. The Average and Homers have zero effect on their actual abilities. The speed, contact and power numbers measure the true abilities of the players.

Who is the best hitter in RBI Baseball?

Highly debatable, but it's my FAQ and I say Reggie Jackson on California (aka Potatoes). Other possibilities are Darrell Evans on Detroit, Darryl Strawberry on New York, Jim Rice on Boston, Andre Dawson on the National League, and George Bell on the American League.

The arcade has so many great players that picking one is very difficult. I say Mickey Mantle on the Yankees, though there are some who would say he's not even the best player on his team (which includes Ruth, Maris, and Gehrig). Other notables include Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, Rogers Hornsby and Jimmie Foxx.

I'm done pleading ignorance on the Japanese version and it will be excluded from further questions. I have recently picked up a version of Family Stadium (though am lacking the proper adapted to play it), and should have more game details shortly.

Who are the better hitters - lefties or righties?

For us it's no contest, lefties are the better hitters. Perhaps this is a straight-pitch phenomenon, but lefties clearly have more power. There are a ton of mediocre stat, BIG homer lefties in RBI (Harry Spilman, Pat Sheridan, Rob Wilfong, Terry Puhl, etc). Also, with a runner on 1st, the lefty is very prone to get a base hit to right (known as the lefty hit). In the same situation, right-handed hitters are prone to the groundball double play. In my humble opinon, 8 of the 10 best hitters in RBI are lefties, not counting All-Stars.

Are there any switch hitters in RBI?

It depends on what you mean by switch hitter. There are certainly players in RBI who were switch hitters in real life, but RBI gives you no ability to hit from either side of the plate. The ability to switch hit did not come until RBI 2. Another note is that all actual switch hitters in RBI are left-handed batters in the game. Those hitters are Spike Owen, Gary Pettis, Kevin Bass, Bill Doran, Andy Ashby, Roy Smalley, Gene Larkin, Mookie Wilson, Wally Backman, Howard Johnson, Lee Mazzilli, Jose Uribe, Chili Davis, Vince Coleman, Ozzie Smith, Tommy Herr, Willie McGee, Terry Pendleton, Jose Oquendo and Tim Raines.

Are pinch hitters more powerful in their first AB?

Yes they are... By watching the RAM of the game via an emulator, it has been discovered that all pinch hitters get a boost of 64 power points (40 hex) during their first AB. That is a big boost and explains why some pinch hitters (Joel Youngblood comes to mind) completely suck after their first at-bat...

To put that number in perspective, 64 power points is the difference between Bob Boone and Jim Rice. Or Doug DeCinces and Reggie Jackson. Or Keith Hernandez and Darryl Strawberry....

What is the groundball attribute?

The short answer is that the groundball attribute is a mythical switch on certain hitters that prevent them from hitting many homers. It was originally devised by the folks who wrote the RBI Manager, and it is in fact an adjustable setting in their software. But in actuality the GBA does not exist and I'll give the technical explanation below...

Each player in RBI has their own Power Rating, which the RBI Manager folks assumed was stored as a one-byte field. For each player, the byte immediately following the "power byte" was either a 02 or 03. The RBIBM folks figured that if that byte was a 02, they had an inherent abililty to hit grounders. While they were on the right track, this isn't technically correct.

The power rating for every player is actually stored in a 2-byte field, though it is stored in a funky manner. That "02" or "03" byte is in fact the first byte of their power rating, even though it is physically stored as the second byte. Let's take Reggie Jackson as an example -- his power rating is stored in the game as B1 03. If you reverse the bytes, his actual power rating is 03 B1 in hex, which translates to 945.

The reason the Ground Ball Attribute is misleading is that the "02/03" byte isn't the whole package for power. For example Steve Lake and Gary Pettis are very simliar in terms of power. But Lake has a power rating of 00 03 and Pettis F7 02. If you were to belive the existance of the GBA, Pettis is a groundball hitter while Lake is not. In reality, their power ratings are only 9 points apart.

A hearty thanks to RBI Technical guru nightwulf for figuring this out. I'm merely the re-hasher...


How is a pitcher's speed rating determined?

Every pitcher in the game has three separate speed ratings based on the type of pitch they throw. They are Fastball Speed (dubbed Sf on my teams page, Regular Speed (Sr) and Slowball Speed (Ss). The higher the number, the faster they will throw that type of pitch. Keep in mind that a low Slowball Speed does not result in the ball hitting the plate, that is determined by the Drop Rating.

I'm pretty sure there is an exact formula for the speed ratings, but I'm too lazy to figure it out. Math majors play some games, break out the slide rule and let me know...

How is a pitcher's curve rating determined?

Every pitcher has two curve ratings - the ability to break a pitch towards lefty batters (labeled as Cl on my Teams Pages and righty batters (Cr). They are valued from 0-15, with the higher number resulting in more curve. To effectively "curve" the ball though, you need to have good curve numbers in both directions. If not, then you can only break a pitch one way.

How is a pitcher's endurance determined?

Every pitcher has a endurance rating, which determines how many pitches they can throw until they get tired. On my Team Pages, endurance is labeled as En. For starters, endurance ranges from 40 at the low end to Bert Blyleven at the high end with 54. Reliever endurance is much lower, with most of them sporting a 15 endurance...

The basic breakdown of endurance is as follows: everytime you pitch a regular pitch, you lose one endurance. For every fastball or slowball you throw, your endurance drops two points. Once your endurance drops to zero, all your pitches begin to lose speed. Todo - The entire endurance system needs to be explained per nightwulf's post...

Does throwing a lot of curveballs wear down your pitcher?

Contrary to popular belief, heavily curving the ball does not wear down a pitcher any more than throwing right down the middle. The only pitches that accelerate a pitcher's loss of stamina are fastballs or slowballs. And we are sure of this, over-curving the ball does not wear a pitcher down. One of those RBI Urban Legends...

What does a pitcher's drop rating do?

The drop rating determines how often a pitcher's slowball will hit the plate. The drop rating is labeled as "Dr" on my Team Pages. It is especially useful once a pitcher gets up in the count, the higher drop rating will let you hit the plate in the later innings.

Who is the best pitcher in RBI Baseball?

As my partners and I all play a straight-pitch style game, we are not the experts on this subject. For our purposes, the best starters are those who have speed and endurance - meaing Roger Clemens, Dwight Gooden, and Nolan Ryan are all up there. As far as a curve-based game, the previous three are often mentioned along with Fernando Valenzuela, Bert Blyleven, John Tudor and, believe it or not, Mike Krukow

Who is the best hitting pitcher in RBI Baseball?

Though some people swear by the hitting abilites of certain pitchers, all pitchers have the exact same batting characteristics. They are as follows - 64 contact (26 points worse than Sullivan), 118 speed (same as Tony Armas) and 640 power (64 points lower than the weakest hitter). This was determined by watching the RAM of the game itself while playing on an emulator. Thanks to Nightwulf for figuring this out. And it is correct, all pitchers hit the same...

What is the proper name for the slow pitch?

To throw a slower pitch in RBI, you press the up arrow before hitting the A button. This pitch has numerous names in RBI circles - changeup, slowball, forkball, drop pitch, the Blooj, and splitter to name a few. According to the RBI manual, this pitch has two names depending on where it lands. If the pitch crosses the plate and is called a strike, it is a knuckleball. If the pitch drops in front of the plate and is called a ball, it is a sinkerball. The sinkerball is much more effective, as the batter cannot make contact with it.

Which pitcher can throw the fastest?

With his 216 Fastball Speed Rating, Juan Berenguer can throw 103 miles per hour


How do you make a fast throw in the field?

When you throw the ball to the desired base, hit the direction pad at the exact same time you press the A-Button. Though it seems simple, quick throws take quite a bit of time to master. It can literally take many months to make a fast throw consistently.

What's the best way to throw out a base stealer?

I often hear people talking about how teams like St. Louis are really fast and you should be consistently stealing bases with them. Hogwash... If you know how to handle baserunners, only a select few players (Coleman, Raines and Lopes) can steal a base on you, and even then only a small percentage of the time. Instructions by base:

  • Second Base - This is the most difficult base to throw out runners, but you still should get 90-95% of them out. The key to nabbing a runner at second is to press down and A at the exact same time with the catcher. Yes, this means you should be throwing home with your catcher. If you do this the ball rolls all the way to second and you'll get them out virtually everytime. Be sure to move your pitcher out of the way after you throw.
  • Third Base - No baserunner should ever be able to steal third, though it may be possible if your pitcher is throwing in the 20s. Throwing to third is the same as a throw in the field - press left and A at the exact same time. Nothing fancy here, just throw like you normally would...
  • Home Plate - It does seem silly, but you can give up the stolen base at home if you don't know what you are doing (Potsie can attest to this). When a runner steals home, your catcher is a few feet behind the plate. If you don't press down and B to move your catcher to the plate, the baserunner will score. Many people run to third, but if you wait too long or the runner is really fast, the catcher runs right past the baserunner. Run home, plain and simple...

If you follow these simple instructions, all your stolen base woes will be cured. Be sure and test the newbies by stealing home on them. Many of them will end up running to second and, when realizing they fucked up, throw to the empty space at home. I love it when that happens...

What is a BOP?

A BOP is a term we use to decribe an error in RBI. BOPs are the errors that randomly happen - when the ball bounces off the fielder instead of making a catch or picking up a grounder. It is short for "Bolt of Poop" and was coined by NIU legend Nancy Bala. Just know that when we say BOP we mean computer error...

Do players have their own fielding stats?

Some people swear that certain players have better arms or are less prone to errors, but this is hogwash. Read this carefully - all fielders have the same abilities - individual fielding stats are a myth. This means nobody has a better throwing arm, runs faster in the field, or is more prone to making errors (aka BOPs) compared to other players at their position. It just isn't true people, we've gone into the game itself and looked at the data...

This also means that nobody really has a position - Jackson isn't really the right-fielder for Cali, for example. Every RF in the game is the exact same except for the team BOP percentage. I know this surprises many longtime players, but we have gone into the game itself and looked at the data....

Are some teams more prone to making errors?

In fact they are. When a player is about to catch a ball (either a grounder or flyball), a bunch of calculations are performed to determine if you are going to make an error. When all is said and done, each teams chance of making an error are the following:

  • California: 3.9%
  • Boston: 2.7%
  • Detroit: 4.7%
  • Minnesota: 3.9%
  • Houston: 3.1%
  • New York: 4.3%
  • St. Louis: 4.3%
  • San Francisco: 3.5%
  • American: 2.3%
  • National: 1.6%

Thanks to RBI technical guru nightwulf for figuring this out. These are the real numbers folks, we aren't making them up. So those of you who though Detroit made more BOPs, you were right. Though keep in mind these percentages are so low that they mean at most one BOP per game on average...

Do bench players make more errors in the field?

No they do not, there is no such thing as individual fielding statistics. A subbed player doesn't actually play the position of the guy he batted for since that player himself doesn't have a position. See do players have their own fielding stats?

Do pitchers make more errors in the field?

Though my buddies and I thought so for about a decade, pitchers (or any position player for that matter) are not more likely to make an error in the field. The code run to determine if a player will BOP or not makes no checks on the players position. Therefore, every position is treated the same when checking for BOPs...

Does throwing the ball too quickly increase your chance of making an error?

We are almost positive that pressing the button too quickly when fielding a ball does not increase your chance of making an error. This is an issue that was hotly debated on the forums and got a bit nasty at times. I personally have always felt that a quick throw causes errors, but both nightwulf and myself went into the code and can't find any place where this is checked. I would put the percentage at about 98% in favor of no increase in errors...

I know there are some people who will not belive me, but I was just as adamant about quick throws causing BOPs until I got into the ROM data. Check out nightwulf's original and my thread about the subject on the forums for more details.

What players have the best arm in the field?

Though many people still argue otherwise, we have yet to see any solid data in the ROM that supports individual defensive stats. That means everybody throws the same, and we are 100% certain about this. Technique determines all your fast throws, not the player itself. See do players have their own fielding stats?

Are certain positions faster in the field?

In my quest to disprove individual fielding stats, I tested out the speeds of a few fielding positions. You can read the full forum post but basically the RF and CF for every team are the exact same speed and the SS is a bit slower. From those tests, I would assume that all outfielders run at the same speed and are a little faster than the infielders (who are all the same speed). Of course, I should take the 20 minutes and do more testing but I am lazy. But yes, the outfielders are faster than the infielders...

Editing RBI

Can I edit the player stats in RBI?

Yes. Using some available computer programs or websites, you can edit most of the player and field data in RBI. You can change player names, stats, team names, colors and so on. With these programs, you can save you new ROM file and play it on any NES emulator.

See the sections for RBI Manager, Nightwulf's RBI Editor and DBatch's RBI Editor for more information.

What is RBI Manager?

RBI Manager is a Windows application that will let you look at and change the attributes of the players in RBI. You can change the names, stats and abilities of all the players in RBI, save your changes, and play with the hacked stats using your favorite NES emulator. Also, you can get the actual numerical stats for the main attributes - this lets you know what everyone's speed/power/contact/curve really is.

RBI Manager is a very good program, though it has been surpassed by Nightwulf's RBI Editor in just about every way. Still worth a download though...

What is Nightwulf's RBI Editor?

Nighwulf's RBI Editor is the way to edit RBI ROMs. It is entirely web based, meaning you don't have to insall any software on your computer. Nightwulf's editor lets you save ROMs online and provides more features than RBI Manager. Such features are editing the team abbreviation, their name in the ending newspaper, team colors and so on.

What is DBatch's RBI Editor?

The mysterious DBatch whipped up an RBI Editor for Windows that surpasses the features of RBI Manager. Most of the features in Nightwulf's editor are there, making it one of the best (and probably the best for Windows users) RBI Editors out there.

Here is the link to DBatch's RBI Editor Page. If anyone knows how to get in touch with DBatch, please drop me an email

Where can I get edited ROMs for RBI?

At your friendly neighborhood RBI shop, the Dee-Nee ROMs page. This is a list of all edited ROMs I know about, with a brief description of each. I also will take your edited RBI ROMs and put them on my site, simply email me and I'll take care of the rest.


Why do you guys like RBI Baseball so much?

1) It's cool and 2) We're losers

Who is the best team in RBI Baseball?

Yet another hot topic... The four of us are basically in unison - for straight-pitch style and All-Stars notwithstanding, Detroit is the team to beat. Their power is unmatched and they have a tremendous bench. I still play best with California, but if I had to pick one team to win a game, it would be Detroit (though more as a preventative measure). California and Boston, in no particular order, are #2 & #3.

Though I am not a curve pitch guru, most of the experts in that area deem Boston the best curve team.

Who is the worst team in RBI Baseball?

Houston - and this is not debatable - they fucking blow.

Why do the number of fireworks vary when hitting a homer?

Every time you hit a home run (not counting inside the park), you get a nice little fireworks display. If you pay close attention, you'll notice that you don't get the same number of fireworks each time. If you hit a solo shot, you get 5 fireworks. You get 6 fireworks for a two-run dinger, 7 fireworks for a three-run shot and 8 for a Grand Slam.

Why are all the players white?

Racial man... But seriously, you have to remember the primitiveness of console video games around this time. Of course, I'm sure they had the ability to add color back then, but perhaps they went for content. Shit, I dunno...

Why do all the batters cry when they get out?

Contrary to what Tom Hanks believes, there is crying in baseball, at least RBI Baseball. The second a batter is called out, he books it back to the dugout, crying all the way. It may seem perplexing, but if this site has taught you anything, it's that some people take RBI very seriously. The actual players are no exception to this, hence the crying...

Why does the music suck?

Because it does. Do yourself a favor and avoid listening to the RBI sounds, they will drive you mad. We mute the TV (and on our arcade version, disconnected the speaker) and play some tunes from the stereo, I suggest you do the same

What's the point of Watch Game?

When loading up RBI, you can choose to start a 1 or 2 player game. Another curious selection is the Watch Game choice, which lets you pick the two teams and let the CPU duke it out. In Watch Game mode, the computer controls both teams, but you can grab the controller and take control anytime you want. As soon as you stop using the controller, the computer goes back to playing.

Watch Game is even stupider than it sounds - there is little fun watching real humans play, let alone the pathetic CPU. They can't hit or field very well and you'll get bored very quickly. The only redeeming value of Watch Game is that you can play the whole game and let the computer take over when you need to take a piss. Though pausing the game does a much better job of that... In summary, Watch Game is one of the dumbest ideas in RBI Baseball - and that is saying something...

How do you win a 1-Player game?

Beat all the teams... Though I have to warn you, the reward for beating all the teams is quite pathetic. The appeal of RBI is 2-Player mode, single player mode is boring and incredibly easy.

Are there secret codes?

If you hold down A & B and press start during the title screen, you get a cheezy screen listing the game's programmers.

Who the hell is Tim Burks?

Although listed as Tim Burks in the NES RBI Manual, he is actually the great Ellis Burks. For those who need further justification, the stats from "Tim" Burks in RBI are the exact same as Ellis Burks' stats in 1987. Furthermore, according to the official Major League Baseball website, there was never a player named Tim Burks

Longtime player Ryan Strass has brought up an excellent question "have you guys given thought to the possibility that the manual probably calls Ellis Burks "Tim" out of confusion with Tim Burke, the Expos' closer at the time?" - no we haven't, but I find it the most feasible theory to answering the mystery of Tim Burks.

Who the hell is Pedriq on the NL All-Stars?

When you are batting with the NL All-Stars, plenty of familiar names come up - Tim Raines, Ryne Sandberg, Dale Murphy, Andre Dawson etc. Then when you get to the eight spot, some Pedriq dude with one homer comes up. Just who is this fucking guy?

He is none other than the great Al Pedrique - shortstop for the Mets, Pirates and Tigers over a very unimpressive three-year career. At the time of RBI he was a rookie for the Pirates, and not a very good one at that. His .294 average and one homer were his actual stats for 1987. And no, he did not make the All-Star team that (or any other) year...

So why did the RBI powers-that-be put Pedrique on the NL All-Stars? My guess is that their first choice, Ozzie Smith (the starting All Star in 1987), was already on the St. Lous roster. The backup shortstop that year was Hubie Brooks of Montreal. He didn't make it because either (a) the programmer for the NL team was ahead of his time in disliking Canadians or (b) Hubie Brooks had sex with said programmer's wife/girlfriend/mother/sister. That opened the door for Al Pedrique...

It should be noted that Pedrique (as of 8/2004) is now interim manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, so perhaps people will finally know who he is. Probably not though...

What RBI players are still in the Major Leagues?

As of July 2005 - Julio Franco, John Franco, Roger Clemens and Benito Santiago. Though as of right now, John Franco and Santiago are doing stints in the minors. Santiago should be back shortly, but John Franco might be done.

Are subs whose last name begin with "H" more clutch?

Absolutely fucking not. Some slack-jawed yokel must have initially posted that crap on one of those NES Tricks/Tips websites. And since these sites all steal each other's information, a bunch of NES Tips/Code sites now have this under their RBI Baseball section. First of all, there is no "clutch" attribute and we all know that Jose Oquendo is the most clutch late-inning sub (smiley). Kidding aside, it's all bullshit...

What are the different rules people play by?

It is truly amazing how many extra rules people apply to RBI. Although there is really no such thing as "RBI Factions", the playing styles can basically be divided between two groups: curve-thowers and straight-pitch-only. The styles are completely different and it's very difficult to be proficient in both styles. Here are some other goofy rules:

  • The pitcher cannot move on the mound
  • You cannot use two starting pitchers in the same game
  • You can only change pitchers once
  • Slowballs are forbidden with 2 strikes
  • You can only throw one slowball per inning
  • No resetting the Nintendo between games
  • No using All-Stars teams in "official" games
  • No intentional walks allowed
  • Teams must be picked randomly
  • No double-steals with a runner on 1st & 3rd
  • Infield fly rule enforced
  • You must pitch strikes when the pitcher is batting
  • One base on computer overthrows
  • Games are official from the (1-8)th inning on if the NES dies
  • Intentionally fouling off pitches is forbidden
  • The batter must set in the box before you can throw
  • If you throw a ball to the pitcher, you must throw 2 balls to the next batter
  • If you throw a ball to the batter, your next pitch must be right down the middle
  • You can throw curves, but they must be strikes - see Slurve
  • Anything goes pitching, except no slowballs.
  • If a pitcher hits a flyball past the infield stripe, it is a home run
  • If you try to steal a base, you have to commit to the steal - no running back to the base.

If you have any additional rules, please E-Mail me. As far as our rules go, we play straight-pitch-only. We also do not allow 2 strike slowballs (partially due to the fact we never have the volume on when we play, always the stereo), official games from the 5th inning on, and no All-Stars in official play. Not for everyone, but to each their own..

Why straight pitch? There's no skill in that!

To be honest, we play straight pitch because that is the way we have always played RBI. There are tons of homemade rules people create in RBI that seem just as silly. As far as the lack of skill/realism arguments go, they seem just as silly to me. This is a 15-year-old Nintendo game with half-sized rosters, VERY limited gameplay, erroneous stats, and unrealistic player abilities. If you want a realistic game, play something made in the last year. If you want the most skillful game, play chess. Everyone who still plays RBI does it to have fun, because it's the most enjoyable two player game ever made. And trust me, NOBODY has more fun playing RBI Baseball than we do. So if you get the most enjoyment out of curved-based RBI, then that's great. We personally prefer the high-scoring, straight-throwing, hard drinking style of RBI. Different strokes for different folks...

Is it possible to hit a home run with the pitcher?

Apparently, it is. I have received more than a few emails and read messages on my forums confirming the pitcher homer. The people on the forums are reliable folks and I am certain they are telling the truth, so it is possible. In every case I've read, the ball is lined down the left/right field line and goes through the top of the wall (aka the wallzie)>. That being said, none of the Dee-Nee crew or anyone I know personally has ever gone yard with the pitcher. But we will...

Is it possible to hit a home run with Ozzie Smith?

You betcha. In fact, Ozzie Smith has hit two grand slams in his illustrious RBI career. One of the greatest RBI moments for us was when Lipitz hit a game-winning grand slam with Ozzie Smith off Potsie in the bottom of the 9th. We had fun with that one, and it still haunts Potsie to this day.

Can you throw the ball into the stands?

Why yes you can... If, on a base hit down the 1st or 3rd base side, you attempt to throw the ball while standing too closely to the wall, it will bounce backwards into the crowd. Once this happens, you can maneuver the fielder so he can walk through the wall and get the ball. Typically though, by the time you end up getting the ball from the stands, the baserunner will score.

What are those numbers above the scoreboard for?

Those numbers are the elapsed time of the game, in hours:minutes. The clock starts from the throw of the first pitch and continues until the final out of the game. At first we thought the minutes went by at a faster pace than normal time, but the gameplay clock is pretty much accurate.

What if the Nintendo resets during the game?

If your NES happens to reset or freeze up in the middle of the game, you can take different approaches to making it an "official" victory. We stick to the baseball Rain Delay rule - if the game made it through 5 complete innings and the NES was reset by natural causes, the game is official and the higher score wins. If you didn't make it past inning 5, you play the game over with the same teams and positions.

If the NES resetting was the result of one of the players (such as throwing the controller in a fit of anger), the person responsible for the reset is the loser, regardless of inning. If you are especially harsh, make the person responsible Beer Bitch for the remainder of the night. Premature ending of RBI games should never be tolerated and must be punished with the strictest of penalties.

Is there any way to prevent the game from continuing?

There is a nice little trick to getting your RBI game stuck in fielding mode, thereby preventing the game from continuing. The best time to do this is when you opponent was caught advancing to the next base without tagging up on a flyout. This way he/she cannot just run home and score, they are stuck waiting for you to throw them out.

Here's how you do it - throw the ball to the catcher. Once the catcher has the ball run towards second base and throw home. The ball will zoom past the batter's box and hit the wall behind home plate. Now comes the fun part - run with all the fielders you can control to the ball. After getting all your movable players there in one big blob, keep throwing towards home plate. The ball will keep going from player to player, and eventually it will pop-up and land behind the home plate wall. Once there, you cannot retrieve it and the game is stuck. Enjoy...

Where can I buy the arcade version of RBI?

Getting your hands on the arcade version of RBI will not be easy. Your best bet is on ebay. Do a search on RBI Baseball every once in awhile and you may get lucky. The game will probably run you about $200-$400, plus shipping. The shipping is killer, costing upwards of $300. Our game ran about $375 with shipping, but we apparently got lucky. Finding one that is close enough to pick up would be ideal.

Mike Rico told me that a place called Blast from the Past in San Luis Obispo, CA is working on an upright RBI for him. Their website is here, drop them an email and perhaps they'll find or make one for you.

If you strike out with ebay, most big cities typically have arcade game auctions every couple of months. Never been to one though, but it may be worth a shot

Is Super Batter up related to RBI?

In 1992 Namco released a Super Nintendo Game called Super Batter Up. Though it doesn't bare the RBI name, it was quite obvious that Super Batter Up is based off the original version of RBI. The controls are virtually identical and the look/feel is generally the same outside of upgraded eye candy. It doesn't play quite the same, but you can tell it's an RBI clone. The dead giveaway is the gameplay music, give it a listen. Pretty eerie eh?

Rembmer that Namco made the original Japanese version of RBI, so they definitely had the rights to make this knockoff. Why they didn't use the RBI name I'm not sure...

What music goes best with RBI Baseball?

We tend to pluck from the punk genre. The official CD for RBI Baseball is Fat Wreck Chords' Survival of the Fattest (aka Chuck). Other punk RBI favorites are NOFX, Dance Hall Crashers, All, Dillinger Four, Tilt, and The Goops. The top non-punk CDs are Pat Benetar, The Rocky Soundtrack, Booty Mix volume 3, Ministry, and Urge Overkill.


Do you happen to know anyone that took a dump at Subway?

Why yes! His name is Jamie Liptz and I remember the day quite well. Potsie and I were waiting in line for our subs when he had to "go to the bathroom". Time went by, we had received our subs, yet Lipitz had not returned. Then we knew... then we knew...

To learn more about Jamie Lipitz and his excremental habits, click here.

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