Baseball Stars (known in Japan as Baseball Star: Mezase Sankan'ou, the sub-title loosely translated to "Aim for the Triple Crown") is a baseball game developed and published by SNK for the Nintendo Entertainment System in Japan on May 19, 1989, with a North American release on July 1989. It was also released in arcades (for NES-based PlayChoice-10 hardware).
The first baseball game by SNK, Baseball Stars builds on the traditional baseball game format for the era (with separate perspectives for pitching/batting and fielding) with the use of a battery backup system (the first sports game for the NES to do so), allowing players to save progress of their league and manage their own customizable teams.
Unlike most baseball games of the time, Baseball Stars does not include real-life teams or leagues (such as those from the MLB or NPB), instead including a variety of fictional teams of different themes (such as the "American Dreams" team, with names based on legendary MLB players, and the all-women team "Lovely Ladies").
The game later received a sequel from Romstar, as Baseball Stars II. It also received two arcade sequels from SNK (Baseball Stars Professional and Baseball Stars 2), a handheld sequel from SNK (Baseball Stars).
Baseball Stars allows players to choose one of eight teams to play with or they can go through the process of creating a team from the ground up. The player can choose team jersey, color, logo, gender, statistics, and names. It was the first sports game to have a role playing element in which, through the use of money spending you could boost attributes of your players.
Once you've chosen your team, Baseball Stars allows you to choose one of two game settings. One is Vs. play, were you square off against a friend or the computer in a single game contest. Vs. mode also allows the player to create a custom tournament of up to 25 games in a bracket style showdown. The other is Season play, were you are entered in a full season of baseball and stats are tracked. You are able to see how your players are hitting and follow their progression.
Baseball Stars featured eight teams in addition to the user created teams. The eight built-in teams are:
- American Dreams
- Brave Warriors
- Japan Robins
- World Powers
- Ghastly Monsters
- Lovely Ladies
- SNK Crushers