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Baseball’s next esports event is a what-if? tournament of all-time greats

The ‘Dream Bracket,’ in collaboration with Out of the Park Baseball, begins next week

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St. Louis Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina rejoices after Ne
Carlos Beltran (holding bat) and Yadier Molina are in the Dream Bracket lineup for the Mets and Cardinals, respectively.
Photo by James Keivom/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Major League Baseball’s latest video game collaboration, in lieu of real-world games put off by the COVID-19 lockdown, will be a tournament of all-time greats spanning more than a century of history for the national pastime. “The Dream Bracket,” as it’s being called, will be run by Out of the Park Baseball, the critically acclaimed management simulation for Windows PC and Mac.

The Dream Bracket is made up of all 30 MLB clubs, whose 26-player rosters will comprise the greatest stars in team history, playing at the peak of their careers. Two additional clubs will join the field, one of stars 25 years old and younger, and the other made up of great players from the Negro Leagues, when the professional sport was segregated.

MLB and title sponsor DraftKings will be livestreaming select game simulations on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from MLB Network’s Twitch channel and social media, and from DraftKings’ mobile app. The tournament begins April 20 and runs until May 5. Scott Braun and Jon Morosi, broadcasters for MLB Network, will supply play-by-play and color commentary for the broadcasts.

The tournament takes place over five rounds, with competitors playing a best-of-seven series in each round. The American League and Negro League Stars form one half of the bracket, and its winner will face the winner of the National League and the Under-25 Stars in their half of the bracket.

Players who starred for multiple teams do repeat (for example, Greg Maddux for the Cubs and Braves; Barry Bonds for the Giants and Pirates; Babe Ruth as a pitcher for Boston and hitter for New York; and Nolan Ryan on the Angels, Astros, and Rangers). has the full rosters, here are the franchise seedings:

American League

  1. New York Yankees
  2. Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland Athletics
  3. Boston Red Sox
  4. Detroit Tigers
  5. Baltimore Orioles (entirely Orioles; no St. Louis Browns)
  6. Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins
  7. Chicago White Sox (including Shoeless Joe Jackson, banned forever from Major League Baseball)
  8. Negro League Stars (19 of the 26 players are enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame).
  9. Cleveland Indians
  10. Kansas City Royals
  11. Toronto Blue Jays
  12. Houston Astros (with Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa and José Altuve, all involved in the sign-stealing cheating scandal)
  13. Los Angeles/California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  14. Washington Senators/Texas Rangers
  15. Tampa Bay Rays
  16. Seattle Mariners

National League

  1. St. Louis Cardinals
  2. New York/San Francisco Giants
  3. Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers
  4. Cincinnati Reds (with Pete Rose, also banned for life, at third base)
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates
  6. Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves
  7. Chicago Cubs
  8. 25 & Under Stars (Pete Alonso, Carlos Correa, Juan Soto, Ronald Acuña, Cody Bellinger and German Marquez appear both here and for their current franchise)
  9. Philadelphia Phillies (no salary cap; Ryan Howard at first base)
  10. New York Mets (Carlos Beltran in center field)
  11. Florida/Miami Marlins
  12. Arizona Diamondbacks
  13. Montreal Expos/Washington nationals
  14. San Diego Padres
  15. Milwaukee Brewers (no Seattle Pilots)
  16. Colorado Rockies

In all, MLB says 185 of the 333 members of the Hall of Fame are in the event. The players account for 115 MVPs, 67 Rookie of the Year Awards, and 61 Cy Young Awards (and Cy Young himself).

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