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81-year-old San Diego man hits home run with baseball board game

Bob La Porta used his love for baseball and producing skills from The Mike Douglas Show to create 3-9 Baseball.

SAN DIEGO — Most people had COVID project throughout the pandemic. For an 81-year-old San Diego man, that project was a home run. In this Zevely Zone, I played ball! This story was shot from a high-rise condo in downtown San Diego where I didn't have to go to Petco Park to play baseball. 

"This is Roberto Clemente a Pittsburgh Pirate that I adored," said Bob LaPorta. 

When the 81-year-old was a boy in the 1950's, he played a baseball game with dice with his best friend Puggy. "It's called 3-9 Baseball," said Bob. "3 and 9 are critical three bases, three outs, nine players, nine innings. So, I named it 3-9 Baseball."

Credit: 3-9 Baseball

You can also play the game in under 39 minutes. Bob's COVID project was finding a way to share his passion. "There are three die," said Bob. "I am in the top of the order, and I get a six and a two, right? So, it's a six and two, top of the order, so it's a fly to left field." When you make it to the bigs, they call it 'The Show'. Bob knows how to put on a show alright. "Well, I come out of television. I was a producer of the Mike Douglas Show for five years I handled all of their co-hosts and wrote all of the questions for Mike," said Bob.  

Credit: 3-9 Baseball

The question you may want to ask is the following. "You realize that kids these days play video games?" I said. Bob said, "I know, I know. This is for the father and the grandfather to play with their children. It will connect people and that was in my heart all of the time. They always ask me why didn't you create an app for this? I don't want an app."

As for our game, Bob hit into a double play and stranded his runners. "No runs were scored," said Bob. That's when I was up and went on a roll. "Look at this a single right up the middle," said Bob. "You got a man on."

Then with another roll of the dice. "Single to center," said Bob. Another roll of the dice gave me a walk. "10 is a walk, so you have the bases loaded. This is great, this doesn't happen that often," said Bob. I then added, "This is the definition of getting beat at your own game."

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I rolled the dice directly on top of Bob's favorite baseball car. "I am going to channel my inner Roberto Clemente," I said. "What would Roberto do right now?" Bon answered, "Roberto would get a hit." I rolled a five and three. "Ah, 5-3 middle of the order, 5-3 he strikes out, no!!! He strikes out swinging," said Bob.  

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The game is such a hit, you may forget you still have 8 innings to go. "Play Ball!!" yelled Bob, "Okay top of the second." Bob has an instructional video that will show you how to play 3-9 Baseball. For more information on how to play or buy the game click here.

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