Baseball scavenger hunt
May 25, 2012 3:15 PM   Subscribe

Baseball puzzlers: I'm tasked with creating some sort of trivia/scavenger hunt to get people to walk through a baseball themed art exhibit. I'm looking for interesting alternatives to a typical scavenger hunt, the more baseball themed the better.

Specifically, I'm trying to find interesting paper and pencil based puzzles people can play, with answers and clues existing in an exhibit of old baseball ephemera, collectibles, signage, etc.

The easiest approach will simply be a combo of plays on "I spy" games (ie, what color uniform was the guy in X exhibit wearing?) and general trivia inspired by team names, years, etc. that are included in the exhibit, but I'm wondering if there are ideas or examples of other puzzles in the vein of a scavenger hunt where people are collecting info instead of physical items.

If they exist, I'd also like to perhaps tie in any paper and pencil based baseball games or puzzles - the sort that you'd see in Games Magazine, or perhaps played during detention.

I know, this is vague, but looking for some inspiration.

And before anyone suggests it... photos are not allowed to be taken inside the exhibit, so a photo scavenger hunt is out of the question.
posted by Unsomnambulist to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Fact vs fiction:
Identify which of the following are real baseball player names/nicknames and which are made up.
(gives you a chance to highlight some of the great funny names/nicknames, and to make up some funny ones too) Can do the same thing for real team names, mascots, factoids about specific players, records for certain stats, ...

Place the team name on a map (you give a map with dots A, B, C, etc, and team names like Mudhens etc, so they have to figure out the town name and also where that town is).

Common element:
List of teams/players etc - What do these teams/players etc have in common? (year founded, years active, they all once played for same team, they all were teams a certain player played for)

Find the letters:
You could choose a thematically appropriate word or words, print out the letters to spell it in a distinctive font, and hide them within the exhibits. Patrons have to identify where in the exhibit each letter is hidden. (You could choose whether to tell them in advance what word/s they are spelling out.)

You could make the puzzles as a whole have a "9 inning" structure, and make certain items worth more points - eg you would need to get 4 easy puzzles right to earn a run, but a super-hard puzzle might give you a grand slam (4 runs).
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:24 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm not totally clear on what's in your exhibit, but if you can get your hands on something like this book it might be a source of inspiration. It also might be too arcane for general audiences.

There's some mileage to be had out of keeping score. You might have to tell people how to do it (hah, the officially sanctioned method is the way I do it--little wonder, I learned off the back of a Cubs scorecard). But if you've conveyed that information somehow, you can make little number puzzles relying on the numbers of the positions. Or, if you've got a recording of a play, you could have people score it. That's all I've got for paper and pencil things, really.

Here's a page about how the rules have changed over time.

Have any baseball cards with bizarre misprints in the exhibit? (I have a card that says Spokane is in WV, for example.)
posted by hoyland at 4:25 PM on May 25, 2012

Best answer: You could also create a mystery they have to solve, or a Mad-Libs type story they are filling in, where the clues they collect from the exhibits add up to a larger thing. That would take some more doing, though it could be super cool if done well.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:26 PM on May 25, 2012

Are your patrons likely to be adults or kids?
People who already know about baseball and like it, or people who don't know about it?
People who have some other interest (eg graphic arts, history of a certain geographic area) that you want to tie into?
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:07 PM on May 25, 2012

Response by poster: Mostly adults, most likely of an average population - the draw isn't the baseball exhibit, which is somewhat incidental (thus the need for the scavenger hunt/game as an incentive for people to check it out).
posted by Unsomnambulist at 9:58 PM on May 25, 2012

Tom Swifties are a fun sort of punny puzzle. You can make the answers depend on trivia found in the exhibits.

"We need that slugger. Let's buy him from the Red Sox, no matter what the cost," the 1919 Yankees owner said r_______ly (10)

"38 Studios is not in trouble," the ex-Diamondback said c___ly (6)

"I'm not sure I like our team colors," the Kansas City player said b___ly (6)
posted by painquale at 2:54 PM on May 26, 2012

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