1960 Gottlieb Captain Kidd
(the great games are still out there to be found)

Complete story on finding this game at the bottom of this page.


These are pictures of the game "as found" without any clean up....




On Wednesday evening around 10 pm I was looking at the local craigslist for pinball machines and I spotted a Captain Kidd pinball machine….I remembered this game from when I was a kid because of the neat backglass.  The ad read:

1960 Captain Kidd pinball machine - $160 (Baltimore)

Pinball machine is excellent condition haven't played in 20 years but it's stuck on tilt

Call mike at 410 636 10XX. Thanks

 I felt that it was pretty late to be calling someone about a pinball machine at 10:15 pm, but I took a chance and gave Mike a call…he answered and said that his nephew had just put the game on the net a couple of hours ago and that I was the first caller.  He said that his father-in-law had bought the game almost 50 years ago and he needed to sell it because he was downsizing to a small apartment.  Mike mentioned that the game was in excellent shape but didn’t work because when they powered the game on, it always said TILT.  Even though there were no pictures of the game on the craigslist ad, I told him I would buy the game sight unseen.  He said that Saturday morning would probably be the best time to come and get the game.  He said that the game was mine as far as he was concerned (I have heard this line many times in the past only to show up and not find the game for one reason or another).  I got his cell number and told him that I would contact him on Friday evening to arrange pickup of the machine.

 All day Thursday I thought about the game and decided to call him and leave a message on his cell phone that I was available to pick the game up Thursday evening.  To my surprise, he said some time had freed up and to meet him around 7 pm at his father-in-laws house in Baltimore.  Being a little leery about going into certain parts of Baltimore as night approaches on the whim of a craigslist ad, I ask a friend of mine to come along and cover my back if needed.  I plugged in the GPS and traversed a series of narrow streets in Baltimore and found the address….it was a neatly cared for  row house where everyone  was sitting out on their front stoops.  The road was just wide enough to get the car up…cars were parked on both sides of the road with no parking spaces in sight.  Sitting on the front steps of the row house were Mike and his father-in-law Bill.  They said to just pull into the alley entrance across the street and park our van there.  I was concerned about getting a ticket or worse yet, getting towed (although I don’t think a tow truck could possibly maneuver the narrow street).  Mike said that the neighbors will look out for the meter maid and let me know in time if the van needs moved. 

So we entered the narrow row house (I could almost touch the opposite walls with my arms extended) and Mike said that the game was down stairs.  He opened a stairway door and the steps were almost a vertical drop…I felt that there should have been a pair of hand rails so I could just slide down the steps like on some ships.  As I descended the steps, a large tapestry of Elvis stared me in the face.  Seems Bill was an Elvis fan and he had Elvis memorabilia all over the basement.  As we turned the corner, I spotted the pinball machine beside the steps where it had been parked for almost 50 years.  I was afraid that my eyes were going to pop out of my head.  What I saw was the nicest original game that I ever ran across in my 5 short years of collecting games.  To say the least, it was awe inspiring.  The game was original except where Bill had redone the natural wooden rails and head frame.  The backglass was perfect, the playfield was almost as nice (although a little dirty) and the case had the original paint which was in beautiful shape.  The legs even had the original paint and they looked great.  All the original paperwork came with the machines, along with the original keys and locks.  It even had a little metal plate on the upper part of the playfield from when it was licensed last in Baltimore in 1964.  Needless to say, I couldn’t pay Bill fast enough.

 Getting the game up the steep steps proved a lot of work but was well worth the effort.   It just goes to show that beautiful games are still out there waiting to be found.  To me, it is the enjoyment of the hunt that is so exciting.  I have found some real POS machines over the years, but this is a beautiful original  keeper. 

  L&M Arcade