Mattel Electronic Baseball was first available in 1978. An updated version was released around 1979. The 1979 version was smaller and had some other minor differences. By today's standards, the gameplay was simplistic, involving tiny red LEDs on the screen and audible beeps and music.
As a player you are always hitting -- you never play outfield. You press the Pitch button to trigger a pitch which arrives randomly within 2-3 seconds. Pitches are delivered at various speeds and sometimes curve. After a hit, you hear one, two, or three beeps indicating a single, double, or triple. You hold run button until you arrive at the appropriate base, or push your luck and try for an additional base. If you hit a home run, some brief celebration music plays (lame music, but still satisfying). This brief YouTube video is a quick demo of the gameplay and ends with a home run (not my Youtube video, btw).
I received this game for Christmas 1979. It was a hit on Christmas Day, but it was not nearly as exciting as Electronic Quarterback had been two years earlier. Perhaps, I was a year older and just so much more sophisticated by 1979 (haha). I played it sporadically in the 2 or 3 years that followed. I seem to recall playing it extensively with my cousin who often visited during the summer.
As a child, I always disassembled things to see how they worked. This game was quite annoying because the screws holding it together were triangles. Who has a triangle screwdriver??? Terrible.
Overall, I am going to rate Mattel Electronic Baseball as a dud. Electronic Quarterback was a hard act to follow.
More "Stuff I Got For Christmas" posts to follow.