All-Star Baseball 97 brings to the plate several features that build upon 1996's Frank Thomas "Big Hurt" Baseball. The most notable additions are both Major League Baseball and MLBPA licenses, offering 30 official teams and stadiums as well as over 700 real players with ratings based on the 1996 season. Six different modes of play include Exhibition, Season, Playoffs, All-Star Game, Batting Practice, and Home Run Derby.
Also included are trades allowing would-be General Managers to help their teams make a run at the World Series. Play-by-play announcing is provided by award winning Jon Miller of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, and "dynamic stadium sounds" have vendors hawking peanuts and Cracker Jack. Frank Thomas also assisted with motion-capturing player animations for realistic swings and throws.