As you can see, not a single positive highlight from anyone on the Boston Red Sox in this trailer. Cool, cool. I guess being the most power-deprived lineup in the American League doesn’t sell video games. Whatever.
Aaron Judge is on the cover this year, which I wrote before the cover unveiling was a great choice. I think back to my childhood days when there was seemingly a superstar on every single team, how one of the most recognizable stars in the game played in Seattle, a market that most fans today would classify as a small market.
That being said, Ken Griffey Jr. was still an absolute rockstar in the baseball world during his prime, and I think one of the biggest reasons why is pretty obvious — video games. Aside from being one of the most talented, exciting, and must-see players to ever step in between those white lines, Griffey had his own video game that every single kid at school owned. And because they owned it, they played the shit out of it, and because they played the shit out of it, they learned who all the big names on each team were.
That’s sadly become a lost art, even though, as you can see here, video games have come a long way from N64 and GameBoy graphics. Going with Judge for this year’s cover was an excellent choice, because he’s a larger than life, superhero character whose mere appearance translates perfectly to his performance in the batter’s box. Mammoth home runs, built-in gimmick seating at Yankee Stadium, the whole deal. He’s a star, and he’s only just completed his rookie season.
If the younger audience is who MLB has in mind to market their flagship video game to, then, aside from maybe Jose Altuve, who also gives smaller-sized kids hope that they could not only one day play in the big leagues but also win an MVP, then Judge is the perfect marketing tool.
But Judge is just the gateway. Hopefully kids are picking up The Show and discovering guys like Francisco Lindor, Nolan Arenado, Carlos Correa, Paul Goldschmidt, Corey Seager, Freddie Freeman, Javy Baez and the list goes on and on. Full disclosure, I haven’t owned The Show since ’09. I kind of fell off the video game life, but I texted Dallas Braden, who famously threw a no-hitter, and asked him what video game system he has because I wanted to get the same one so that we can battle on weekends. He said he had a PS4, so I said that’s the one I’m going to get. Then, he told me he had an extra, and he mailed it to me for free. What a guy!
So, you can bet your ass that I’ll be getting The Show, and I hope all young baseball fans do, too. There’s too much damn young talent in this league right now that is going under appreciated or not appreciated at all because of either the market that they’re stuck in or their team’s lack of postseason spotlight. The Show can help change that.
PS — Babe Ruth was an out of shape, drunk asshole who would get carved up by 90% of the pitchers in the league right now. Don’t @ me.