MLB The Show 21 Cover Athlete Changes the Game

MLB The Show 21

Fernando Tatis Jr., Cover King

The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived. MLB The Show 21 revealed that San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. is this year’s cover athlete. 

The world typically finds out who will be on the cover of MLB The Show every October, just a few weeks after the World Series. This year, the pandemic delayed the development of the game due to quarantine restrictions in San Diego county, where the game was produced. Months later, we finally have an answer. 

MLB The Show is the only baseball simulation game on the market. The game is quite popular, especially among younger age groups. People have been playing this game since 1997 – before Tatis was even born. At 22 years old, he’s the youngest player ever to decorate the cover. 

“All my memories of when I was just a kid playing this game, and now that I’m the face of the cover is crazy,” said Tatis. “Crazy how dreams come true like this.”

It’s a tremendous honor to be picked for the cover art because that player becomes the face of baseball for future generations. Previous athletes to be featured include David Ortiz (2006), Joe Mauer (2010), Miguel Cabrera (2014), and Aaron Judge (2018). 

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts, Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, and Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. were among the possible candidates for this year’s cover. But Tatis topped them all. 

Not only is he one of the best in the game, Tatis leads a program that currently sits in the No. 2 spot for the 2021 preseason rankings. He’s also one of the most polarizing players in the league, which is why this choice is so significant for MLB’s future.

Is this a new wave of change for MLB? 

Nearly every aspect of baseball is evolving. The technology, the statistics, the pitching mechanics–you name it. Tatis is a living example of that change. He swings on 3-0 pitches, flips his bat after home runs, and dances his way around the bases. But more importantly, he inspires kids to play ball with complete swagger. He rewrites the rules of the game with every move he makes.

MLB had an opportunity to cater the game to a younger audience, and they took it. By placing Tatis on the cover of MLB The Show 21, it shows that the league may be more willing than ever to improve their marketing strategies, entertain Little Leaguers across the world, and grow the game for the youth.

This year’s installment of the video game will come to both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 as well as the Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch, and PC. MLB The Show 21 is the first title in franchise history to be featured on a multitude of game consoles. 

It also marks the first time that a San Diego Padre is on the cover. Not to mention the first bat flip cover too. Tatis has changed baseball, its fanbase, and MLB The Show. Now we’re never going back.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

Players mentioned: Fernando Tatis Jr, David Ortiz, Joe Mauer, Miguel Cabrera, Aaron Judge, Mookie Betts, Tim Anderson, Ronald Acuña Jr.