Backyard Baseball 2001 is a sports video game released by Humongous Entertainment in 2000. It is the second game in the Backyard Baseball series and the first to include pro kids, such as Alex Rodriguez, Mo Vaughn, Ken Griffey Jr., Jason Giambi, and many others. The game is targeted at young children. Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. was on the cover.
The game consists of two types of game modes: The Pickup game, where the player picks the field, the team, and takes turn picking players with the computer. When everything is set, a single match is played. The stats of the players during a single game does not affect their stats for a season. For the season mode, the player picks a team, home field, and all their players and then plays through a 14 game season, complete with a Backyard Playoffs and a Backyard World Series. The game is a single mouse played game that uses a click for swinging, throwing, and pitching. For the virtual players, each player has his own player bio with all of that player's info and personality. The bio also includes that players abilities and stats.
The stats are shown on a scale from 1 to 10, and there are four stats:
- Pitching: Shows the players ability with pitching stamina, pitching speed, and control.
- Batting: Shows the players skill with batting contact, and swinging power.
- Defense: Shows the players skill at fielding/catching a ball and their throwing ability.
- Running: Shows the players speed on the base paths and on the field. A players running highly affects the players stamina.
A third type of play is also available, the online play. Backyard Baseball 2001 and Backyard Football are the only two games ever released by Humongous Entertainment and Humongous Inc. to offer online play. The online play option is shown in the middle of the treehouse, however is only available for Windows users, at that time Humongous did not support Macintosh Network systems. To create a new coach, a player must register a coach name at the Junior Sports Network Site (www.jrsn.com). However, this site has been discontinued, so as of today new coaches may not be entered. When a coach name has been created, Humongous will send the coach a password through email within 48 hours. Then, the player may access its coach through online play. In online play, the coach has many options and things to do. It may read the Humongous Sports Newspaper for coach rankings, game stats/play by play, and even news about the Jr. Sports Neighborhood. They may also vote in online polls on various subjects. The third thing they may do is find another online player and play them in a single game. There are three different locations to play. Easy mode (Easy Streets), Medium Mode (Mediumville), or Hard Mode (Toughy Town). A location must have a population of at least one coach to play there. When a coach has found a player they wish to challenge, the can call them through the telephone and talk to them through pre-written chat dialogues. If they decide they wish to play with each other, they pick the location, field, team, and players. If a player has a slower network connection then another player, the game speed will be slowed down to match the slowest of the players. Another thing to note is that the location of the game does not only determine the skill of the coaches, but also the rules of the game. Easy Mode: 3 innings, pitch spot on, errors off. Mediumville: 6 innings, errors on, pitch locator on. Toughy Town: 9 innings, errors on, pitch locator on, though if both players agree on turning the pitch locator off, they may do so.
The players also can have what is called "good days and bad days." The player will lose some of their skill points on their bio when having a bad day, and gain points when having a good day. During gameplay, the pitcher or the batter will have his/her bio on the screen, and the color of their background will indicate the type of day they are having (e.g. blue for bad, green for average, orange for good). Players can have good days based on their teammates, the field they are playing on, their uniform number/color, and if it is their birthday. The greatest known chemistry effect on a player due to their uniform color is Maria Luna with a pink uniform. When she is given a pink uniform, her stats are improved immensely.
Major League players
Backyard Baseball 2001 was the first installment of the Backyard Baseball series to include real major league players in the game. The major league players are depicted as kids, of a similar age to the other backyard kids. There are 31 major league players, one from each team and two from the Cincinnati Reds. The following major league players are included in the game:
Power-Ups- The following are power-ups used throughout the game. They are:
Crazy Bunt- Allows the player using it to bunt; When the ball is actually bunted, it goes in an unpredictable direction, normally resulting in a foul ball. (When a foul ball occurs, the power-up usually stays in effect)
Under Grounder- When the player hits the ball, it quickly goes under ground, stays there for a short while, and then pops right back up in a different spot on the field.
"Screamin'" Line Drive- When the batter hits the ball, the ball tends to "scream", hence the title. It goes exceedingly fast, and, at times, will go over the wall for a home run.
Aluminum Power- When the batter hits the ball, it makes a sound as if it were screaming with a muffled effect to it. This is considered the "ultimate" power-up in batting. A home run is guaranteed when the batter makes contact with the ball. Also, the batter will easily know that the Aluminum Power power-up because the bat will change from pine to gray. (Backyard Baseball players use only wooden bats; An aluminum bat tends to go farther, that's why the power-up, "Aluminum Power" is the home run hitter.)
The only two cheat that is accountable for Backyard Baseball 2001 are to hold shift while in the tree house and click on the "Mr. Clanky" doll to unlock him to be picked for a single player game only. The other cheat is to hold Shift and Enter when viewing "Pablo Sanchez's" bio and click on his portrait to hear him speak in English, while without the cheat, he will only speak in Spanish. Both of these cheats are available in the first Backyard Baseball game as well.
Over 50 people were hired to record the voices of both the backyard kids and the pro kids. The commentators include "Sunny Day" and "Vinnie the Gooch."