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How The Show Can Embrace Baseball's History

It’s a beautiful spring day in Brooklyn.

The smell of freshly cut grass fills your nose mixed with popcorn and hot dogs. A small murmur is coming over the crowd as it gathers in the stands at 55 Sullivan place for opening day of the 2014 Baseball Season.

This old ballpark has seen its share of history since opening in 1913, the year after Fenway Park opened -- if you are counting. The Dodgers have called this place home for years, full of its quirky dimensions including the short 297 foot right field.

As the GM, you’ve considered how your park was built and made adjustments accordingly. You want guys who can push the ball down the line here, center field does stand out there at an impossibly long 484 feet.

You see, at Ebbets Field, this place was built to have baseball played in it like it was being played in the early 1900s. Pitchers reigned supreme and the concept of the Babe was neither a ballplayer or a friendly pig from England.

Thanks to some hard dealing, you’ve built a pitching staff which limits contact as much as possible with a set of outfielders built to have enough speed to cover the vast caverns of the Ebbets Field outfield. You’ve got hitters who can hit the gaps with ease, sure your guys don’t hit home runs — but you score runs with the best of them.

It’s All Possible

The above example isn’t exactly real in any way, but it could be if the folks at SCEA San Diego are ready to fully embrace the history of America’s greatest game.

You see, America’s history is tearing it down. Old and historically significant places like Ebbets Field are routinely torn down to make way for future development. If it doesn’t fit into the economic future of a city, the place is as good as gone.

The folks in Houston are still debating whether to tear down the Astrodome or not. Sure, it doesn’t make much economic sense to have a stadium sitting empty, but tearing down a place which changed the way stadiums were built is also a tough sell.

But in MLB The Show, you don’t have to worry about this stuff. Thanks to the power of next-generation hardware, you could bring back to life old places like Ebbets Field, Crosley Stadium, the Polo Grounds, old Comiskey Park, Tiger Stadium, Forbes Field, and so many more.

Even cooler would be to be able to roll back the clock and play MLB as it once was. Imagine playing a season in the 1950s with all of the old and classic ballparks in tow. A 1954 Season could have you playing the Milwaukee Braves, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the Chicago Cubs all in one road stretch. In the AL, it’d seem even more familiar except the Athletics are from Philadelphia and the Senators are still a team from Washington.

Who knows how commercially viable such a mode is really, but it would seem anyone with a remote interest in how the game once was would feel as if such a mode would have at least some place in the game’s future.

Preserving Old Ballparks Digitally

More importantly, places which fewer and fewer people who are alive have visited could be brought back to life in stunning detail. It’s very likely the number of people who both play The Show and who visited Ebbets Field as a youngster is a very low number with two hands being able to count them all.

However, imagine a feature which gave the old ballparks the same treatment as the new ones, with painstaking detail applied to every corner of the stadium. For Major League Baseball, being able to have a feature in the game which allowed you to tour the old ballparks and learn about the game’s history seems like something that’s an all too obvious selling point.

There would seem to be an incentive to have SCEA do the dirty work of rendering the stadiums and giving them some compensation to allow such a ‘tour’ feature to be put onto a computer at the Baseball Hall of Fame as well — but that’s just me suggesting something crazy.

Imagine being able to digitally tour the old Tiger Stadium as it once was and then jumping into a game there. Even cooler, imagine being able to turn the clocks back and have modern day players play through a season in classic ballparks to see how the stats would fare. What about shrinking the league to the 1950s sized 16 teams and holding a fantasy draft, imagine the vast array of talent you'd see on each team. The possibilities are truly endless.

Baseball’s History: The Final Frontier

With such a rich and vibrant history, Major League Baseball has a library of content and built in retro features that would make any other sport blush. Other leagues were just getting moving in the 1950s, baseball was already in mid-season form.

To this point, no baseball video game has adequately approached the history of the game in a manner which added replay value — or really even value — to the game.

If the developers at SCEA are seeking an idea of where to go next with the series, the answer may just be backwards in time.


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Member Comments
# 1 GrandMaster B @ 03/14/14 11:11 AM
Great post. I agree.
 
# 2 Cryolemon @ 03/14/14 11:12 AM
"To this point, no baseball video game has adequately approached the history of the game in a manner which added replay value or really even value to the game."

No console game. OOTP does a good text sim job of it.

I would LOVE for a game like The Show to include historical seasons / teams.
 
# 3 burjeffton @ 03/14/14 11:25 AM
Awesome post. No other sport has the mystique, lore and grand tradition of baseball. What baseball has over any other American sport is AUTHENTICITY. It's past is rich and reaches far back. If leveraged correctly, it would be a seller.

I bought Tiger Woods PGA Tour a couple years back for the sole purpose of being able to play the original Augusta track with old clubs and old golfers.
 
# 4 LastActionHero @ 03/14/14 11:34 AM
Kinda like the vista mode in Forza but then for stadiums in The Show. I like it!
 
# 5 Bullit @ 03/14/14 12:08 PM
Great read, could not agree more.
 
# 6 ty5oke @ 03/14/14 12:36 PM
One of the better articles that I've read on here lately. Great post.
 
# 7 Knight165 @ 03/14/14 12:50 PM
If God loves baseball like I think he does......he will get Ramone to print this out and get this to the people who need to see this to get it done.
If they take care of the stadiums......a uniform editor and custom league setup...
We'll take care of the rest!

Great read.

M.K.
Knight165
 
# 8 RayRay34 @ 03/14/14 01:00 PM
I feel like I just got done listening to James Earl Jone's baseball speech from field of dreams! Great article!!
 
# 9 hbk_wess @ 03/14/14 01:12 PM
something i have wanted for years out of a baseball game
 
# 10 eaw913 @ 03/14/14 01:37 PM
This really is one of the absolute best posts I have seen here in some time. I could not agree more with everything said. I would even be willing to pay extra (maybe even $60 to pay for it as an extra game for all the licensing and content) just to have this.

I really hope that this happens in the next few years. With the power of the PS4, this could be quite amazing.
 
# 11 beecravey7 @ 03/14/14 01:49 PM
This would be awesome! I went to several games at tiger stadium as a kid and would love to see classic stadiums and teams be focused on in a baseball game.
 
# 12 asu666 @ 03/14/14 02:32 PM
Baseball relies a lot on history, so I'm in favor of adding historic ball parks and seasons. Nice post.
 
# 13 SDwinder @ 03/14/14 03:05 PM
Now that's what I'm talking about! Been wanting to see this for a long time. Old Time Baseball did this in mid '90s on PC with classic announcers Curt Gowdy and Mel Allen. Talk about reliving my childhood memories. Always have loved the classic ballparks. If they could really replicate the older player faces, mechanics, and nuances from old footage, that would be too cool. I know we had some historic ballplayers in earlier The Shows, but they were not done very well and were not very compelling.
MVP PC had some great classic stadium mods that were very immersive too.
This needs to happen. I would pay full retail add on to have this in The Show, if done correctly.
 
# 14 cws @ 03/14/14 03:12 PM
I wholeheartedly agree! Unfortunately, I feel another company will have to make such a game. Sony, just does not seem very interested in the historical part of baseball. That's too bad. I've been waiting for such a game for many years. Great article! Thanks!
 
# 15 capa @ 03/14/14 04:27 PM
I am a classic team nut. All I ever play with are classic teams. I would LOVE for Sony to take on something like this, but as Knight mentioned all they really have to do is make a set of stadiums. The community can take care of the rosters since Sony cannot do them due to licensing issues. They can't use names and likenesses of players from the past unless they negotiate and pay the player or family...and that is not going to happen for thousands of players needed for this type of thing. Once the player is no longer part of the MLB Player's Association, they have to be negotiated and signed separately.

If they provide the right tools, uniforms and logos could also be done by the community. So, again, getting the oldtime stadiums in the game is what we would need them to do...but again, this runs into licensing issues I believe. I know Ebbets is not available due to the cost you have to pay to reproduce that likeness in a game...I am not sure who "owns" the rights but imagine having to acquire rights and make payments for the majority of classic ballparks? Daunting and not likely.

I will tell you this...if they ever figure out a way to pull it off, I would gladly play extra fro DLC for stadiums and uniforms, etc. I do think it is, and always has been, a gold mine waiting to be tapped.
 
# 16 NAFBUC @ 03/14/14 05:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cryolemon
"To this point, no baseball video game has adequately approached the history of the game in a manner which added replay value or really even value to the game."

No console game. OOTP does a good text sim job of it.

I would LOVE for a game like The Show to include historical seasons / teams.
Agree Cryolemon ..........along with stats!
 
# 17 Ghost Of The Year @ 03/14/14 05:29 PM
I love the old stadiums of yesteryear & would enjoy them being in the game, but I'd like to see a way to have two eight team leagues set up without having all the expansion teams cluttering things up. With import-a-player, The Show is already ahead of the curve over madden & nba2k in regards to historical rosters.
 
# 18 MBMavs20 @ 03/14/14 05:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDwinder
Now that's what I'm talking about! Been wanting to see this for a long time. Old Time Baseball did this in mid '90s on PC with classic announcers Curt Gowdy and Mel Allen. Talk about reliving my childhood memories. Always have loved the classic ballparks. If they could really replicate the older player faces, mechanics, and nuances from old footage, that would be too cool. I know we had some historic ballplayers in earlier The Shows, but they were not done very well and were not very compelling.
MVP PC had some great classic stadium mods that were very immersive too.
This needs to happen. I would pay full retail add on to have this in The Show, if done correctly.
You are correct sir. Old Time Baseball was my favorite baseball game hands down. You could replay any season and it had all the Old Stadiums. The only one it didn't have was Cleveland Municipal Stadium. It was awesome playing in Old Yankee Stadium where the monuments were on the field in Left Center.
 
# 19 JoshC1977 @ 03/14/14 06:27 PM
Just for starters, I would love for SCEA to put in an option for historical division alignments (with or without interleague play) for season/franchise play. That way, when the great community creates historic rosters, we can truly re-create the feel of those historic seasons without the need for generic teams replacing more recent franchises.
 
# 20 cepwin @ 03/14/14 06:42 PM
Brilliant! I absolutely agree with you...the history put in OOTP with the graphics of "The Show" (BTW, I'm partial to the old Brooklyn Dodgers..my Folks grew up there and my Dad and his friends would on occasion see Rachael Robinson doing her chores while they walked to school.).
 

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