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MLB The Show 19’s first gameplay trailer focuses on baseball legends

Willie Mays, Christy Mathewson, Tony Gwynn among Hall-of-Famers in MLB 19

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

We finally have some gameplay footage of MLB The Show 19 to pore over, courtesy of Tuesday’s release of the first full trailer for the latest iteration of Sony’s acclaimed simulation baseball franchise.

Members of the Baseball Hall of Fame are sprinkled throughout the trailer, including MLB The Show 17 cover athlete Ken Griffey Jr., Tony Gwynn, and Christy Mathewson, the latter of whom is new to the franchise’s collection of “legends.” Presumably, they will play a role in one of MLB 19’s new game modes, Moments — the trailer closes with a clip of Willie Mays, an in-game recreation of his fabled over-the-shoulder catch in the 1954 World Series. (One of the taglines in the trailer is “relive history.”)

The other new mode in MLB 19 is called March to October. That sounds like it could be a rebranding of the old Season mode, which developer Sony San Diego removed in last year’s MLB The Show 18. (Baseball’s regular season runs from the end of March through September, followed by postseason play in October.) A screen in the trailer shows the 30 MLB clubs split into four tiers (“favorites,” “contenders,” “underdogs,” and “longshots”), with players having to choose a specific team and a difficulty level on the subsequent screens.

It doesn’t seem like the Franchise mode will be getting much love in MLB 19 — the ability to negotiate contract extensions is the only addition that Sony San Diego called out in a schedule of its upcoming information reveals. But the trailer does suggest that further changes are on the way for Road to the Show, a mode that the studio overhauled last year. Early on, the video features shots of at least one new off-the-field interior environment (a bedroom) and a new training minigame (lifting weights). A skill tree with four branches of personality traits would also be a new element of the RTTS experience. Finally, it appears that Sony San Diego has tweaked the way that in-game challenges function in the mode.

The apparent changes showcased in the gameplay footage are more subtle. Transitional animations from tags to throws should make it less of a headache to play defense, and it’s always a good thing for players to show more emotion, like the way that Anthony Rizzo slams his bat on the ground in frustration after hitting a pop-up.

MLB The Show 19 is set for release March 26 on PlayStation 4. For more details, keep an eye on Sony San Diego’s schedule of Twitch streams.