3D Baseball

From Sega Retro


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3D Baseball
System(s): Sega Saturn
Publisher: Crystal Dynamics (US), BMG Japan (Japan)
Supporting companies:
Distributor: Mindscape (US)
Licensor: Major League Baseball Players Association
Sound driver: SCSP (1 track)
Peripherals supported: Saturn Backup Memory
Genre: Sports[1][2] (baseball)

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Saturn
¥5,8005,800 T-18003G
Sega Rating: All Ages
Sega Saturn
ESRB: Kids to Adults
Non-Sega versions

3D Baseball, called 3D Baseball: The Majors (3Dベースボール ザ・メジャー) in Japan, is a 1997 baseball game for the Sega Saturn by Crystal Dynamics. During development it was known as 3D Baseball '95, before missing its 1995 launch date.

As the name suggests, the game renders the players and environment with 3D polygons, with player animations captured using motion capture (including 50 unique batting stances). It features CNN sportscaster Van Earl Wright as the announcer.


The game is an MLB baseball game. It has an MLBPA license, so the players are represented with their names, statistics, and portraits. Rosters are from the 1996 MLB season but player statistics are from the 1995 MLB season, so players who did not play in the 1995 season have no statistics by default. Team names and logos are not licensed, so teams are only identified by locale, and the game includes only four fictional stadiums (Crystal Yards, Burton Park, the Stadium, and Willis Field).

Before a game, players can change the batting line-up and pick a starting pitcher. During gameplay, the default view for pitching and batting is from behind the batter, but the player can cycle the view by pressing X. Views include higher or lower views from behind the batter or a view from behind the pitcher. The player can toggle the score and inning and the statistics of the current batter by pressing Y.

In the game options, players can select automatic or manual fielding (whether the game automatically moves the player's fielders when a ball is hit), toggle errors (whether fielders sometimes make mistakes, to increase the realism of the game), and toggle the spoken commentary.

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3D Baseball Saturn, Defense, Fielding.png

  • 3D Baseball Saturn, Defense, Pitching.png

  • 3D Baseball Saturn, Defense, Fielding.png

When pitching, the player can position the pitcher on the mound with Left or Right. The pitcher throws the ball with B; while throwing the ball, holding Left or Right breaks the ball in either direction, while holding Up does a change-up (slow pitch) or holding Down does a fastball. The pitcher can throw to base to pick off a runner by pressing C while holding a direction corresponding to a base (Right for first, Up for second, Left for third, or Down for home).

When fielding, the D-Pad controls the active fielder, who is identified by a yellow circle. The game tries to select the nearest fielder, but the player can manually cycle the controlled fielder with C. A green target on the field shows where the ball is going to land. If there is no fielder currently visible, a yellow arrow shows the direction of the nearest fielder. The fielder throws the ball to a base by pressing B while holding a direction corresponding to a base or runs to base with the ball by pressing C while holding a direction corresponding to a base. If no direction is held, the fielder throws to first. The fielder can jump for the ball with B or dive by pressing B while holding a direction. When an outfielder is throwing to third or home and the ball is in the air, the player can have the cutoff man catch and hold the ball with B or catch and throw it by pressing B while holding a direction corresponding to a base (or cancel by pressing B again before the cutoff man catches the ball). When automatic fielding is enabled, fielders move on their own, with the player only controlling their throws.

Pitchers tire out over the course of the game, impacting their ability to control the ball or throw fastballs. This is indicated by the pitcher shrugging more before each pitch. The player can call a timeout with  START  to call in a relief pitcher. From this menu, the player can also change the infield and outfield positions, with several options available for each, in anticipation of the offensive play, or watch an instant replay of the last play. Infield setups are normal, double play, corners in, in (on the grass), half-way, righty pull, lefty pull, and guard lines, and outfield setups are normal, deep, shallow, shade left, shade right, gap right, gap left, and guard lines.

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  • 3D Baseball Saturn, Offense, Hittiing.png

  • 3D Baseball Saturn, Offense, Running.png

  • 3D Baseball Saturn, Offense, Home Run.png

When hitting, the player can position the batter in the batter's box using the D-Pad. The batter swings by pressing B or bunts by holding A. While pressing one of these buttons, the player can direct the hit to the left by holding L or to the right by holding R. After getting a hit, the batter automatically runs to base.

Before the pitch, the player can instruct the runners to lead-off by holding C. Tapping C again extends the lead-off, or tapping Z shortens the lead-off. The runners can be instructed to run back to base with B. After the ball is hit, the player can advance all runners with C or have them all return with B. While pressing of these buttons, the player can advance or return a specific runner by holding a direction corresponding to a base (Right for first, Up for second, Left for third, or Down for home).

The player can call a timeout with  START  to substitute a pinch hitter or a pinch runner. From this menu, the player can also watch an instant replay of the last play.


There are two main modes:

  • Exhibition Game: A single game between one player and a computer player, two players, or two computer players (in a demo mode). Players can choose any team (which can be the same team) and any stadium and can optionally use the roster from the Pennant Race mode (including any trades that the player has made). There is a toggle for the Ten Run Rule, which ends the game early if a team is winning by 10 or more runs by the bottom of the fourth inning. Players can enter the General Manager menu before the game to alter player stats or make trades.
  • Pennant Race: A season of 26, 81, or 162 games, played by one player. Progress is saved to the Saturn's internal memory so the season can be continued later. The player selects a team and a home stadium. Season games are scheduled on a calendar. There is a General Manager menu that allows the player to alter players stats or make trades.


In addition to these teams, the American League All-Stars and the National League All-Stars are available to play in exhibition games.

Team Based on
Atlanta Atlanta Braves
Baltimore Baltimore Orioles
Boston Boston Red Sox
California California Angels
Chicago (A) Chicago White Sox
Chicago (N) Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Cincinnati Reds
Cleveland Cleveland Indians
Colorado Colorado Rockies
Detroit Detroit Tigers
Florida Florida Marlins
Houston Houston Astros
Kansas City Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Los Angeles Dodgers
Milwaukee Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Minnesota Twins
Montreal Montreal Expos
New York (A) New York Yankees
New York (N) New York Mets
Oakland Oakland Athletics
Philadelphia Detroit Tigers
Pittsburgh Philadelphia Phillies
St. Louis St. Louis Cardinals
San Diego San Diego Padres
San Francisco San Francisco Giants
Seattle Seattle Mariners
Texas Texas Rangers
Toronto Toronto Blue Jays


Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English (US) 3D Baseball 3D Baseball
Japanese 3Dベースボール ザ・メジャー 3D Baseball: The Majors

Production credits

  • Lead Programmer: Bill Willis, Richard Anderson
  • Lead Designer: Sam Player
  • Additional Programming: Jonah Stich, Steve Timson, Charles Martin, Dan Su, Doug Ihde, Mark Burton, Sam Dicker, Jeff Kesselman, Sean Vikoren, Robin Heydon, Bob Smith, Dan Rosenfeld
  • 3D Art: Chad Greene, Amy Hennig
  • Art: Amy Hennig, Cynthia Hamilton, Andy Kaplan, Mike Provenza, Maj Cole, Tenaya Sims, Laura Grieve
  • Additional Design: Bill Willis, Mark Burton, Richard Anderson, Andy Trapani, Riley Cooper, Lyle Hall
  • Starting Producers: Dave Kirk, Andy Trapani, Lyle Hall
  • Relief Producer: Bill "The Thrill" Mitchell
  • Closing Producer: Jeff Lee
  • Assistant Producer: Alex Ness
  • Executive Producer: Jon Horsley
  • PCA: Phil Lemarbre, Gene Bodio
  • Windlight Studios: Pam Lehn, Ron Pitts, Shannon Gilley, Jeff Raymond
  • Storyboard Art: Andy Mitchell
  • Original Music Score: Webtone Productions, Greg Weber
  • Intro Music: Steve Henifin
  • Music Adapted for Sega Saturn™: Brian Coburn
  • Audio/Video Group: Mark Miller, Dan Brazelton, Katie Weathers, Burke Trieschmann, Leland Susser
  • Intro Video Production: Twenty2Product, Chad Greene
  • Sound Effects: Steve Henifin, Brian Coburn, Loudmouth, Inc.
  • Statistics Provider: STATS, Inc., Jim Capuano, Stefan Kretschmann, Peter Woelflein
  • Player Photographs Provided by: The Upper Deck Company, Steve Babineau
  • Motion Capture Data Provided by: Biovision, Ron Marchi, Dwayne Mason, Matt Wynne
  • Motion Capture Actors: Paul Chiaffredo, Matt Daily, Jeff Martin, Sam Player, Jarrod Schock, Michael Wynne
  • Vice President of Marketing: Scott Steinberg
  • Product Marketing Managers: Chip Blundell, Jim Curry
  • Public Relations: Steve Groll, Sandra Yee, Jenniffer Bulka
  • Test Manager: Alex Ness
  • Lead Testers: Doug Leslie, Matt Prescott
  • Test: Sako Bezdjian, Eddie Ramirez, Scott Crisostomo, Billy Martorana, Mitch Giampaoli, Casey James Craig, Sean Potter, Craig Locicero, Joe Damon, Billy Mitchell, Chris Bruno, Shun Chang, Jeff Wilkinson
  • Voiceover Recorded at: General Television Network, Detroit, Michigan
  • Special Thanks: Madeline Canepa, Roy Cooler - MLBPA, Team Titan, Music Annex, Alpha CD
  • Game Manual: Hanshaw, Ink., Sam Player
US manual
3dbaseball sat us manual.pdf

Magazine articles

Main article: 3D Baseball/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Print advert in Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #75: "October 1995" (1995-xx-xx)
Print advert in Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) #1997-03: "1997-03 (1997-02-14)" (1997-01-31)


Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
GamePro (US) NTSC-U
Intelligent Gamer (US) NTSC-U
Next Generation (US)
Saturn Fan (JP) NTSC-J
Saturn Fan (JP) NTSC-J
Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) NTSC-J
Ultra Game Players (US) NTSC-U
Sega Saturn
Based on
7 reviews

3D Baseball

Saturn, JP
3DBaseball Saturn JP Box Back.jpg3DBaseball Saturn JP Box Front.jpg
3DBaseball Saturn JP Spinecard.jpg
3DBaseball Saturn JP Disc.jpg
3DBaseball Saturn JP Box Inlay.jpg
Saturn, US
3dbaseball sat us backcover.jpg3DBaseball Saturn US Box Front.jpg
3dbaseball sat us manual.pdf

Technical information

Main article: 3D Baseball/Technical information.

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Saturn
352,755,312 1996-11-11 CD-ROM (JP) T-18003G V1.000
Sega Saturn
352,755,312 CD-ROM (US) T-15906H V1.002
Sega Saturn
1996-08-06 CD-R Page
Sega Saturn
1996-08-30 CD-R Page
Sega Saturn
1996-10-16 CD-R Page

External links

  • Sega of America webpage: Saturn


3D Baseball

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Main page | Comparisons | Development | Magazine articles | Reception

Sega Saturn
Prototypes: 1996-08-06 | 08-30 | 10-16