MLB The Show has introduced a total of eight Negro League Legends into their 2023 Edition. Players can now venture into a storyline mode and play as these characters for the first time. The 2023 edition was introduced on Tuesday.
The game will feature legends like Hank Thompson, Martin Dihigo, Rube Foster, Hilton Smith, John Donaldson, Buck O’Neil, Robinson, and Paige.
Sony, the game’s developers, partnered with the Missouri-based Negro League Baseball Museum’s president Bob Kendrick on the project. Kendrick will also narrate the storyline of the characters.
“This made sense on multiple levels,” Kendrick said reflecting on the project. “The way the Negro League players played, it fits perfectly for a video game. There were so many gaming fans who have been clamoring for the inclusion of the Negro Leagues. People were popping into my timeline on social media. This has been stirring for several years.
“I never really dreamt this would become reality. And I didn’t really think it would happen with arguably the biggest baseball video game of them all. This is something we are inherently proud of.”
The last time Negro League players were featured in a video game was on EA Sports MVP Baseball 2005 which included Robinson, Paige, and Bob Gibson.
“For the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, this is all about creating relevancy,” Kendrick noted. “How do I establish a relevant connection with an ever-changing generation of young people? I can’t sit back and wait for them to come to me at the doors of the museum. I have to got to them in the mode of which they are getting information. If it’s a video game, then so be it.”