Intellivision came out in 1979 as a competitor to the Atari 2600. Within a few years, Intellivision had its own baseball game with its own celebrity pitchman, forcing Atari to respond in kind. Thus, the George Plimpton-Billy Martin rivalry was born.

As our pal Owen Good at Kotaku puts it, these titles came out of the era when the commercials and box art were more dynamic than the games themselves. Case in point: George Plimpton on behalf of Intellivision, being so very Plimpton all over the place:

Can you imagine the equivalent today? It'd be like getting Lewis Lapham to do a Gears of War commercial.

Atari did some tidying up and came out with a newer version of Atari Baseball, complete with the Billy Martin Seal of Approval:

Take that, Plimpton! I hope these two patched things up before it was too late.

(Moving) Image of the Day: Billy Martin pitches Atari [Baseball Think Factory]