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Clutch Hitter is a baseball themed arcade game that was released in 1991 by Sega.

This is an excellent example of how good some sports games were, before they started messing them up by making them 3-D. Clutch Hitter features all the Major League Baseball players from the 1991 season (but only 3 different ballparks). You can even play the All-Star game if you wish. Gameplay is is quickly learned, and not too difficult. The computer seems to adapt to your level of skill, so it is difficult to give the computer team a real beating (in the same vein, it is difficult to lose by a large margin).

Clutch Hitter is controlled by a joystick and 3 buttons (which are nicely labeld for function if the control panel is still intact). Anybody used to playing sports games will be able to walk right up to this one and play. I usually hate sports games, but I find that I play a few innings of this game at least once a week.

This game was only available as a conversion kit (no dedicated cabinets were made). The marquee, sideart, bezel, and control panel overlay are all green, while the joysticks are red ball top units. The one thing that really stands out about this games cabinet is the joysticks, they have the best feel of any stick I have ever used. I actually ended up taking them out of my game to put them into a game I play more often (these sticks were just too good for a sports game). The game board itself is a Sega System 18 board, and is JAMMA compatible.

This game is a good choice for your gameroom, because it is a rare bird, a sports game that is actually fun (giving it unlimited replay value). Expect to pay from $100 to $300 USD for one of these at an arcade auction (location and condition are the biggest factor in price).

The mainboard to this game contains a Sega 68000 style suicide chip. So far there is not a fix for boards that have already died. But you can replace your existing battery using a rather tricky wiring trick. Peel the top of the big "block" on the mainboard. That should expose a battery. Wire a second battery to the same contact points. Do not allow the original battery to move while you are doing this! If you lose power at any point it is game over for good. After you have the second battery wired up, then you can replace the original one, and remove the additional one. This procedure will need to be repeated once every ten years.

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