From 1963 through 1966 some William’s bat games have plastic home run targets. This home run plastic was poorly designed at the top of the target where the plastic material is thinned due to the forming process at this location. They must have sold a lot of replacements.
• 1963 Major League,
• 1963 Big Inning (Chicago Version)
• 1964 Grand Slam,
• 1966 Pitch and Bat and Big League.
1963 Major League
The Major League home run plastic is the most intricate. It has backlit ‘arrows’ telling you when the extra Inning feature is active. Hit a home run while lit and you get more innings, yippee. This is a one player game that sets randomly the number of runs for you to beat.
1963 Big Inning
The Big Inning (Chicago Version) has no picture available in the IPDB. It has no backlit lights as was not a feature of this game. Otherwise very similar to the 63 Major League plastic target.
1964 Grand Slam
The Grand Slam is a two player game. Again no backlit extra inning feature nor does it show the ‘Home Run’ wording below the target, if you played the games at the time you should know where to hit the ball so by now the sign was redundant I guess.
1966 Pitch and Bat and Big League
Different striped markings on a white background.
Most games you see for sale on eBay etc this home run plastic is in terrible shape especially on the Major League and Grand Slams. There has been a few topics on getting a replacement made as it is not commercially viable I guess, but nothing so far. So following Clay's vacuum forming article and other internet tutorials and some encouragement from fellow Pinsider's with these games I have made them. They are not quite as good as the originals on close inspection but they are close.
New Major League Home Run Plastic
Major League and Grand Slam (Big Inning not shown)
Major League Art
Back View of plastic
How it was Made
Vacuum Box; 4"X 1" lumber, peg board and MDF bottom board. Drill hole for your wet vac. Note you need a new clean filter for vacuuming activities and it must stay clean! Make the mold for the plastic and sand no more than 400 grit.
Success…eventually no webbing. White 'hips' acrylic 0.60" thick.
PETG form success. More difficult due to needing less time to heat up and lower temperature than the hips plastic. Again using 0.60" thick material.
Tried a lot of weather-strip (vacuum necessity) eventfully used the rubber sponge and this was usable a few times.
The grill was the limiting factor for the size I could form. Note the grill heat deflectors have to be in the correct place (not as in picture). This is critical to form anything successfully.
The mold needs to be raised of the pegboard more than its thickness so there was 3/4" wood spacers under the mold each time and that was on pennies to maximize the vacuum. If not you get webbing. A beer to celebrate!
I originally made the home run plastics with white ‘Hips’ acrylic but eventually settled on a clear PETG material with a reverse clear decal painted over white on the back. This was to accommodate the Major League Lights. The white hips material could be fine for the 1966 Pitch and Bat/Big League plastics with a decal on the front. I have this material but have not developed the decal. Now I know what to do I can probably get a success vacuum form 75% of the time using the home equipment available. I used my wet vac, homemade vacuum table, BBQ grill and lots of failure. However, eventually we worked it all out and get a consistent part… most of the time.
I have made extra home run plastics to defray my costs so if people want them and tell me the game I can offer probably what they need. The cost will be $65 + shipping ($7.00). That will cover most of the set up costs. so pin mail me guys.
Regards Steve J.
Post edited by SteveinTexas: Firmed up cost and shipping