With the beginning of the Major League Baseball season comes another tradition that many fans also like to take part in, the release of the annual MLB The Show video game. This year is no different, as game developer San Diego Studios is doing it’s part to bring the game to a broader audience as the ’21 rendition will be released on the Xbox game console after being exclusive to PlayStation since the game’s inception in 2006. The Jackie Robinson Edition of the game was released on April 16, while the standard edition will be released April 20.
While there have been a number of MLB licensed video games over the years which have included those created by EA Sports and 2K Sports, after MLB 2K13, The Show has been the exclusive platform for gamers who enjoy playing ‘America’s Pastime’. Over the years RBI Baseball has given fans another outlet to enjoy the sport virtually, The Show still sits at top when it comes to MLB Licensed games in the industry.
While also being introduced to Xbox, the game will also feature cross-platform, meaning anyone who holds either console will be able to play another player no matter what system it is on. Of course many of the modes that have made the series so popular will return; such as Franchise, Road to the Show, and March to October (a new play on season mode).
Out of all the game modes Diamond Dynasty remains one of the most popular. Its own spin to Madden’s MUT or FIFA’s FUT, Diamond Dynasty is an online mode which allows players to build their own team by unlocking or purchasing player cards enabling them to face other players. Over the years the mode has expanded to feature challenges in order to make unlocking new players easier.
Players of course include current MLB Superstars in the league, from your perennial MVP candidates, all the way to your favorite team’s utility player with minor league options and as recently as last year many top prospects waiting for their chance at the big leagues. The Show will also provide bonus cards of current players, typically celebrating an award winning season such as an MVP, Cy Young, or Rookie of the Year. While using all the current players is great, many fans enjoy getting the opportunity to unlock legends of yesteryear in the game.
Over the years The Show has added many former players. Legends such as Babe Ruth, Ken Griffey Jr, and Bob Gibson have graced the game, which honestly is a great way to give fans the opportunity to learn more about the sports history. Each year The Show will present a handful of new players that can be used in many of the modes throughout, most importantly Diamond Dynasty. Pedro Martinez (reintroduction after retiring in 2009) and Hank Aaron are included in those making their debuts this year.
The Angels have been well represented over the years in the game as well. Angels legends that have been introduced include Garret Anderson, Troy Percival, Nolan Ryan, and Jim Edmonds. Last year Tim Salmon’s card made its debut and Darin Erstad was introduced in the 2018 edition though his character has not been back since that year. Vladimir Guerrero has also been a playable character over the past handful of years, and while he is mostly known as an Expos legend, you can unlock a Big Vlad card from his great 2004 MVP season with the Angels in Diamond Dynasty as well.
This year The Show dropped a handful of new legends to join that pool of players. Along with the aforementioned Martinez and Aaron, Angels great Frank Tanana is also making his debut in the game. For you Angel fans that love the mode, look to unlock the great left-handers card as you begin getting into this years installment. While Diamond Dynasty is a fun mode in its own right, being able to use the legends and add them to any roster you would like brings another exciting dynamic for long time fans of the game of baseball. As a long time Angels fan being able to follow up Mike Trout in the lineup with Vladdy and Garret Anderson in franchise mode is always something I look forward to.
That got me thinking with all the new cards that are dropped every year in the game, who are some of the Angel greats that would be fun to see in The Show moving forward? I’ll talk about four Halos legends who could rightfully be brought into the game in the future. And before I get started, in the very slim chance of anyone from San Diego Studios reads this, please bring Darin Erstad back, okay? Thanks a bunch!