Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the face of ‘MLB The Show 24.’ It’s a family tradition.

Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. still plays video games. It was a big hobby for him when he was a kid, and when he was in the minors. But even during the MLB season, he finds time to pick up his controller.

On the second night of a three-game series, when he has the night off from fielding first base, he hops onto “MLB The Show,” links up with his cousin and starts hitting dingers, he told The Washington Post. Sometimes, he makes his players wear Blue Jays uniforms. Other times, he picks jerseys he likes. He uses his own video game character, or the iconic Hank Aaron.

And then he’ll use his father, the legendary outfielder Vladimir Guerrero.

“Yeah, that’s my right fielder,” he said.

The appreciation for his father doesn’t stop there. Sometimes, Guerrero makes his players wear uniforms for the Montreal Expos, the now-defunct MLB team with whom his dad spent eight seasons.

While Guerrero is mimicking his dad in the game, he’s also doing a pretty good impression outside it, too. He’s the cover athlete for “MLB The Show 24,” his first time as its marquee player. And it comes nearly two decades after his father was the cover athlete for “MLB 2006” — the video game’s predecessor franchise.

“It’s a dream come true,” he said. “And when I was a little kid, I always played video games, and now I’m on the cover — that means a lot for me.”

It’s not lost on Guerrero that he graced the cover during an important year for the “MLB The Show” brand, as it has gone all-in on incorporating women. Now, gamers can create their own female ballplayers, who can then compete in MLB or their own custom leagues. The game also heavily featured Toni Stone, the first female baseball player to compete in men’s leagues during the mid-2oth century.

Kelsie Whitmore, a pitcher and outfielder for the Staten Island FerryHawks of the Atlantic League, has been promoting the new game across multiple platforms. She said this year’s “MLB The Show” hopes to show young girls and women that anything is possible, and that women in baseball can’t be ignored.

“It is important for ‘MLB The Show’ to emphasize women and women baseball players because it is time to,” she said. “It is time to highlight how capable women are and to educate individuals that women can and do play baseball. Many women behind the scenes already play baseball without others knowing, but now is the time to show the world that it is normal and possible.”

According to San Diego Studios, the new game allows gamers to create entire rosters full of women. Some streamers and content creators have already built entire leagues and teams that way. Another made a video where Taylor Swift played for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“We understand why some might say it’s unrealistic,” said a San Diego spokesperson. “But there are women, like Kelsie, playing baseball professionally today and they’re playing it well. They’ve honed unique and beneficial skills in order to set themselves apart from the hardest-hitting, fastest-throwing guys on the team. And they’re continuing to make strides and go further than anyone expected before.”

For Guerrero, being on the cover isn’t solely about recognition or honoring his father’s legacy. He said that this year’s game shows baseball is for everyone — current stars, legends, men and women alike.

“That’s good, you know, when you have more people in ‘MLB The Show’ and more legends, more women now — it’s better,” he said. “You opened the game for everybody to go and play.”

SOURCE

Leave a Comment