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MLB The Show 18’s first trailer brings back Babe Ruth

Holder of many home run and other batting records returns to video games

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Aaron Judge smashed 52 home runs as a rookie for baseball’s glamour franchise in 2017, making him a no-brainer selection for the American League rookie of the year last November and the cover of MLB The Show 18 this spring. And yet in the game’s first trailer, he gets upstaged by another New York Yankee with a far longer resumé in power hitting: George Herman Ruth.

The Babe’s last video game appearance was 13 years ago as an unlockable all-time great in EA Sports’ beloved MVP Baseball 2005 for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. So this will be the first opportunity to see Ruth hit in new Yankee Stadium, built in 2009, whose playing field dimensions are the still the same as The House That Ruth Built in 1923.

As with most sports video game trailers, the real news is in the subtleties: The crowd seems to be the highlight of an overall atmospheric upgrade, from 7th inning stretches to the wig-and-robe-wearing fans in the “Judge’s Chambers” in right field of Yankee Stadium. Pee Wee Reese, the Brooklyn Dodger Hall of Famer, is the shortstop in No. 1 for the legends team. Toronto hurler Marcus Stroman checks in for the hat tip to our friends north of the border. And with Giancarlo Stanton gone to New York and Christian Yelich to Milwaukee, that leaves Justin Bour as the video’s token Miami Marlin.

Fielding seems to be an emphasis in the trailer, too, showing off leaping back-foot Jeter throws from shortstop, underhand exchanges at second base, and first basemen digging out one-hop throws. This post on the PlayStation Blog has more detail. The official product page is also highlighting “A Hero’s Journey” for Road to the Show, the game’s most-played mode, in which players take a single star from the minor leagues to the majors. The listing promises “a robust, immersive RPG where every decision — on and off the field — determines your unique path to greatness.”

MLB The Show 18 launches March 27 on PlayStation 4.