Collectible card games

MLB Showdown

MLB Showdown logo
Players 2
Age range 10 and up
Playing time < 30 minutes
Random chance High
Skill(s) required Card playing
Some knowledge of baseball
1: Due to the 20-sided die

MLB Showdown (colloq. Showdown) was a collectible card game made by Wizards of the Coast that ran from 2000 to 2005. The game was introduced to the public in 2000, featuring Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones on the product cover. Since the 2000 base set, cover athletes have included Shawn Green, Gary Sheffield, Manny Ramírez, Luis Gonzalez, Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols, and Craig Biggio.


Original MLB Showdown Logo

MLB Showdown simulates baseball through a card game, with heavy randomness. It involves a 20-sided die and cards made specifically for the game. These cards were available in booster packs, a staple of collectible card games, as well as starter games and draft packs. There are two types of cards: player cards (current and former Major League players) and strategy cards (actions that can add to or subtract from die rolls, change results, draw extra cards, etc.)

The outcome of an at-bat largely depends on the player cards. The player whose pitcher is pitching that turn rolls a die to determine whether the batting player rolls on the pitcher's chart or the batter's chart. Each of the two charts has a list of possible results from the at-bat.

Organized play

Organized play was set into three levels: local leagues, regionals, and the national championship. The MLB Showdown card game has had four national champions: Scott Forster (2001), Gary Quinn (2002), Keith Pioro (2003), and Terry Dugan (2004).

For the 2005 season, the national championship was set as a different format than it was previously because of changes in organized play. Eight players were regional champions only and won the grand prize of MLB season tickets to the team of his/her choice. However, Wizards of the Coast eventually approved a national championship in Houston, Texas. Prizes were reduced to merely autographed memorabilia sent in from Wizards of the Coast. Four players, Stephen Mendel, Ben Taylor, Jonathan Rosen, and Daniel Rosen split the tournament and were named national champions of the 2005 season.

There was no formal organized play since Showdown was discontinued by Wizards of the Coast in January 2006 until May 20, 2013. On this day play began for the 2013 national championship in Williamsville, NY.


Year Set Type of Card # of Cards
2000 Base Player 462
2000 Base Strategy 55
2000 Pennant Run Player 150
2000 Pennant Run Strategy 25
2000 Spring Training Promo Player 34
2000 Home Run Hitter Promo Player 14
2000 Pennant Run Promo Player 8
2001 Base Player 462
2001 Base Strategy 75
2001 Pennant Run Player 175
2001 Pennant Run Strategy 25
2001 MLB Showdown 2001 Promo Player 34
2001 Ace Pitchers Promo Player 16
2002 Base Player 356
2002 Base Strategy 50
2002 Trading Deadline Player 150
2002 Trading Deadline Strategy 25
2002 Pennant Run Player 150
2002 Pennant Run Strategy 25
2002 All-Star Game Player 50
2003 Base Player 304
2003 Base Strategy 50
2003 Trading Deadline Player 145
2003 Trading Deadline Strategy 25
2003 Pennant Run Player 125
2003 Pennant Run Strategy 25
2004 Base Player 248
2004 Base Strategy 50
2004 Trading Deadline Player 125
2004 Trading Deadline Strategy 25
2004 Pennant Run Player 125
2004 Pennant Run Strategy 25
2005 Base Player 348
2005 Base Strategy 50
2005 Trading Deadline Player 168
2005 Trading Deadline Strategy 25

MLB Showdown timeline

Read more: