Spring training is just around the corner, and MLB Show 23′ unveiled a new storyline to get young and old fans excited. This year’s edition of the game will feature some of the legends from Negro Leagues baseball. The game is set to release on March 28, and opening day is March 30.
The Negro Leagues are coming to @MLBTheShow.
In partnership with the @NLBMuseumKC and president @nlbmprez, #MLBTheShow is adding a new game experience this year to celebrate the history of the Negro Leagues. pic.twitter.com/v0BZeu8dc9
— MLB (@MLB) February 6, 2023
Background of New Story Mode
MLB, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick, and Sony headlined the partnership to bring this feature to the game. Before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, the Negro Leagues were the professional baseball leagues for Black players.
The storyline takes you back in time to 1920 at the YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri, where Rube Foster created the Negro National League composed of seven teams from Chicago, Cincinnati, Dayton, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City and St. Louis.
Kendrick helped come up with a balanced list of players that will be featured over the multiyear project. This year’s version will only feature season 1.
“The Negro Leagues are an important part of baseball and American history, whose iconic figures are not nearly as well known as other baseball players of the era,” Sony product development communications and brand strategist Ramone Russell said in an email. “We’ve thought about introducing the Negro Leagues into MLB The Show for years, but we needed to figure out how to do it the right way for an interactive medium.”
In 2020, the Negro Leagues celebrated their 100-year anniversary, and MLB recognized over 3,000 players from the league as official MLB players.
The cover athletes will feature Jazz Chisholm Jr. of the Miami Marlins and Yankees legend Derek Jeter on the iconic ‘Captain’ edition.
Who Will Be Featured?
The storyline will feature eight legends from the Negro leagues: Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Buck O’Neil, Rube Foster, Hilton Smith, Hank Thompson, John Donaldson and Martín Dihigo.
Fans will be able to play as these historical figures with a narrative experience for each player, short videos about the players, and gameplay of their most iconic moments in their careers.
The players will also be available in exhibition mode of the game and other usable areas of the game, which will be announced at a later date. Fans can get their first preview of storylines this Thursday on Sony’s San Diego Studio Twitch and YouTube channels.
Kendrick will serve as the narrator to the storylines in the game and will also be a special guest this Thursday to talk about the new in-game feature.
San Diego Studio will also donate $1 to every NLB museum for every copy sold of the collector’s edition version of the game from now until the end of 2023.