April was the month of the military child. This is when we take the time to remember soldiers are not the only ones that sacrifice for their country. But the children as well, because they have to sacrifice their time with their fathers and mothers and even their fathers and mothers themselves. It is no easy thing to be a military child. Thus it is important that we take the time to not only remember but also offer our help at times to families who have a loved one absent due to military service.
So in honor of Military Child Month, we decided to highlight a vintage children’s game called “Ethan Allen’s All Star Baseball Game”.
In 1941, Ethan Allen was one of the more famous center fielders in American baseball. From 1926-1938 he played for six major league teams including the St. Louis Cardinals and even the Chicago Cubs. He loved the game so much that he decided to create a game for families and children which could be enjoyed at home.
This became “Ethan Allen’s All Star Baseball Game”. It was released in 1941 right before America entered the Second World War with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This game became one of the most popular board “baseball” games of all times becoming a staple in American homes for kids who’s fathers or older siblings were serving overseas.
It is easy to play with pegs, score cards, and spinners. It is essentially a batting simulation. It is designed in such a way as to challenge the player to reproduce real life batting scenarios such as home runs, triples, walks, and even strikes. Players can use strategy cards to steal bases, sacrifice flies, and perform hit and runs. The player that has the most runs in nine innings is the winner!
“Ethan Allen’s All Star Baseball Game” was produced from 1941 until today with very few changes to the game itself.
The Arkansas Air and Military Museum is privileged to have one of these games in its collection. It is featured in the “Homefront” display which depicts different items that would have been in homes during World War Two. Make sure to come down to visit the museum soon so you can see this pastime of yesteryear’s American child!