Dominican Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been the home run leader for a season, the Home Run Derby champion and now the new face of MLB The Show.
Vlad Jr. was revealed as the cover athlete for MLB The Show 24 on Tuesday. The Blue Jays star joins the long list of superstars who have appeared on the cover of MLB's flagship video game.
Players like Shohei Ohtani, Aaron Judge, and Bryce Harper have appeared on the cover of MLB The Show in recent years. On deck last year was Jazz Chisholm Jr. of the Marlins.
MLB The Show 24, featuring Vlad Jr., will be available for PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.
Guerrero is only 24 years old, but he's already become one of the most feared hitters in baseball. He has been selected to the All-Star Game three straight seasons, was co-champion in the home run in 2021 and won the Home Run Derby in 2023.
MLB The Show 24 introduced a unique featurette for Vlad Jr.'s cover reveal, as MLB The Show traveled to Guerrero's hometown in the Dominican Republic in December to film a special documentary in his honor to name him on the 2024 cover.
“Choosing Vlad Jr. was really easy,” said Ramon Russell, product development, communications and branding expert at MLB The Show for Sony. “But we really wanted to go further. That's why we filmed the documentary for our cover ad.”
“I'm pretty sure we were the first sports video game development studio to do that. We said, 'Hey, Vlad, instead of coming to San Diego, [donde se produce el juego]“How about we go to your hometown and show us some places that are really important to your life and how you grew up?” “So our fans can connect the dots and see that line of everything that happened to make him a great athlete and now be on the cover of the game.”
Latest MLB The Show covers
2024: Vlad Guerrero Jr. (24)
2023: Jazz Chisholm Jr. (24)
2022: Shohei Ohtani (26)
2021: Fernando Tatis Jr. (21)
2020: Javier Baez (26)
2019: Bryce Harper (25)
2018: Aaron Judge (25)
Part of this story is that Vlad Jr. is following in the footsteps of his father, Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero. And Vlad Jr.'s appearance on the cover of MLB The Show 24 is another link between the two.
Vlad Sr. was on the cover of MLB 2006, the predecessor to MLB The Show, which was the final version of the video game before becoming “The Show.”
“It's amazing to see this kind of come full circle,” Russell said. “At the same time, this is the story of Vladi Jr. This is the story of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. His father is a big part of it, but we wanted to make sure we focused on Vlad Jr.”
It's just another family honor shared by Vlad Jr. and Vlad Sr. Last year, they became the first father-son duo to win the Home Run Festival. This year, they are the first father-son duo to cover athletes for a major MLB game.
Vlad Sr. was coming off of the Angels' MVP season in 2004 when he appeared on the cover of MLB 2006, which was released prior to the 2005 campaign. The following year, the game was turned into “MLB 06: The Show”, with fellow Dominican David Ortiz as the first image .
Vladimir Sr. and Ortiz ended up becoming Hall of Famers after being athletes in an MLB video game. (Fun fact: The same thing happened with Cooperstown's most recent pick, Joe Mauer. Mauer was on the cover of MLB The Show in 2010 and 2011.)
Big Papi was also a big part of Vlad Jr.'s cover reveal on Tuesday. Ortiz, a great friend of the Guerrero family, is the host of MLB The Show 24's cover commercial broadcast called “Ride to Reveal.” He was also part of the documentary, thanks to his relationships with Vlad Jr., Vladimir Sr. and the entire baseball world in the Dominican Republic.
“Vlad Jr. spoke on the baseball field where not only did he play and hone his skills, but his father and David Ortiz also played on the same baseball field,” Russell added. “We were really happy and humbled and really excited to be able to dig deeper. Instead of just saying, 'This is the sports cover, this is the cool cover.'” “We wanted to do a deeper exploration and tell a more human story.”
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