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1939 Baseball (Free Game Model), April, 1939

Produced in: April, 1939 / 1

Features: Gobble holes (18). The playfield has twenty non-electrical, non-scoring spring posts around its perimeter. The baseball diamond at center playfield is removable glass and is silkscreened to illuminate men running the bases. When the game is tilted or when game is over, on this glass a comical umpire figure just to the right of the pitching mound lights up with the words, “Yer Out”. Projection replay unit under lower right playfield. 3 outs ends game. A thin backbox advertised as the “new multi-colored illuminated flashing backboard” replaced the flat board marquee of earlier models. Replay wheel maximum: 99 Tilt penalty: game over. There is only a pendulum tilt in this game, no slam switches. Ball composition: wood, 1.1 inches in diameter, weighing 0.22 ounces (6 grams). From the playfield: Licensed by United Pat Corp.: Patent 2,073,177 [GAME APPARATUS] Filed February 25, 1935. Granted on March 9, 1937 to James W. Reed, assignor to Pacific Amusement Manufacturing Company. Patent 1,983,811 [GAME APPARATUS] Filed June 28, 1934. Granted on December 11, 1934 to Bon MacDougall, assignor to Fred C. McClellan. Patent 1,973,820 [COIN CONTROLLED GAME APPARATUS] Filed June 28, 1934. Granted on September 18, 1934 to Bon MacDougall, assignor to Fred C. McClellan. Fred C. McClellan was the president of Pacific Amusement Manufacturing Company whose patents were acquired by Jimmy Johnson after their bankruptcy. Licensed by J. E. Johnson: Patent 1,985,736 [GAME APPARATUS] Filed October 8, 1934. Granted on December 25, 1934 to William H. Bellah. Pat. RE 20698

Theme: Sports – Baseball

Additional Features:

Type: Electro-mechanical (EM) 

MPU: , Model Number:

#Produced: in April, 1939

Manufacturer: Western Products, Incorporated (1938-1941)

Design by: Art by: Music By: Sound By: Software by: Animation by:

Marketing Slogans:
Notes: The manufacturer referred to the projected display of replays on the lower left corner of the playfield as the “Free Game register”. Below this replay window is the manufacturer’s logo indicating “Western Products Inc.” This game was made in various models and under a few different names until 1941 when the company went out of business. In this listing, all games will have these features: • A thin backbox advertised as the “new multi-colored illuminated flashing backboard” indicating the words ‘Western’s 1939 Baseball’ with the year overlaid diagonally on top of the name ‘Baseball’. • A free game button is mounted to the immediate right of the coin slide. • There is no payout cup on the front left leg. See also Western Products’ 1938 ‘1939 Baseball (Novelty Model)’ See also Western Products’ 1939 ‘1939 Baseball (Payout Model)’ An owner told us that several wood balls were with his game when he acquired it. He offered this report: The game does not count balls. There is a single ball (mine came with some wooden balls) that is pitched. When the ball is pitched the bat is enabled for a single swing (you can’t swing again if the ball doesn’t go into a hole and returns to the bottom of the playfield). If the ball is hit, it either goes into a playfield hole or returns through the bottom of the playfield, if the ball is not swung at, it just goes through the bottom of the playfield. After the ball drops below the playfield it goes down a sloped ramp to the pitching mechanism. If you are less than three outs, the ball is pitched again. So if you don’t ever swing the ball is thrown over and over again, every 4 or 5 seconds apart. At least that is the way I think it works. The machine arrived with more than a single ball, but there was no way to slow down the pitches if more balls were loaded. It would throw all 5 in less than two seconds, you barely had time to think about doing anything. I tried [adding] an interlock with the batting mechanism so that it wouldn’t pitch until the bat was swung, but then it threw too quickly after you swung the bat. So I decided that it came with spare balls, but only a single one was ever intended to be in the game. I think the wooden balls are the right thing to use. Metal ball bearings would be too heavy to hit with the bat, and plastic didn’t exist in 1939. Possibly an odd early rubber compound was used that deteriorated over time, but even those would have been pretty heavy. The weight of the wood works really good.

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