MLB The Show 23 will have another league in addition to the major league, one that occupies an important spot in the sport’s history. San Diego Studio announced that it is implementing the Negro Leagues in the game, giving players a more intimate look into that chapter of American baseball.
As explained on the PlayStation Blog, these chapters will follow a handful of famous athletes from the Negro Leagues through a mode called Storylines. These will have short informational videos narrated by Negro League Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick and gameplay that “[reflects] important moments in that player’s career.” No gameplay was shown, but it sounds reminiscent of some of the Moments in prior entries or the modes NBA 2K has had in the past, like NBA 2K23 and its Jordan Challenge.
These players are Leroy “Satchel” Paige, Jackie Robinson, Andrew “Rube” Foster, Hilton Smith, Hank Thompson, John Donaldson, Martin Dihigo, and John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil. Renders of all eight are briefly shown in the trailer below.
This is also just the beginning, as the San Diego Studio noted that this was a multiyear partnership that has an aim to “educate, enlighten, and inspire by celebrating the rich history of the Negro Leagues.” The team even noted that MLB The Show 24 will have another batch of Negro League players. Sony is also donating $1 to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum for every collector’s edition sold in the United States until December 31, 2023.
San Diego Studio is hosting a stream on February 9 with Kendrick to speak more about this mode.
The Negro Leagues recently celebrated its 100th anniversary and started in 1920 after owners of the top Black baseball clubs in the Midwest gathered in a YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri and decided on forming a league. It went on for decades until its best players started being integrated into the majors, who brought the money and fans with them. After downsizing for over a decade, the Negro Leagues ended around 1960.