With the new year just around the corner, we are not far away from getting the first news of MLB The Show 24. While there are a lot of additions fans would like to see to next year’s game, one thing that always gets everyone excited is seeing which new legendary players will be added to the game. Legendary players are usable in Diamond Dynasty, as well as Franchise as Legendary Free Agents.
With this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame ballot being released this past week, I wanted to talk about some of the players I would like to see added to MLB The Show 24. Now, I want to say that this list started as 10, then expanded to 20, and now sits at 40 legends. So this will be a four part series, with each part including ten legends.
Most of these players were ones I watched growing up, so some personal bias is definitely showing in these articles. I also tried to stay away from players who had just retired since they usually take a few years to come back to the game. This is why legends like Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina are not on the list. I also tried to stay away from any legends who had just recently been removed from the game. Finally, I excluded players who had serious off the field issues, as SDS usually stays away from adding these players to the game. With all that out of the way, here, in alphabetical order, are first ten MLB legends I want to see added into MLB The Show 24.
Bobby Abreu played for six MLB teams from 1996 to 2014. Abreu was a menace both at the plate and on the base paths. Over the course of his career he racked up 2,470 hits, 288 home runs, and 400 stolen bases. He had two 30 HR/ 30 SB seasons in 2001 and 2004. He was a two-time All-Star (2004, 2005) and also won a Silver Slugger (2004) and Gold Glove (2005). Abreu is one of only seven players in MLB history to record 900 extra-base hits and 400 stolen bases. Abreu is currently in his fifth year on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, getting 15.4% of the vote in 2023.
Off the field, Abreu has done tons of charity work. During the 2003 and 2004 seasons, Abreu would buy about $10,000 worth of tickets for kids to attend Friday night games in his “Abreu’s Amigos” section. The kids would receive jerseys, concessions, and get to meet Abreu during batting practice. In 2008 while playing for the Yankees, Abreu made a contribution to the Police Athletic League of New York City to provide children with recreational, educational, and social programs.
Abreu could have a variety of cards in MLB The Show 24. He could have a 30/30 club or 50 doubles in a season Milestone cards, a Silver Slugger Awards series card, as well as a Retro Finest card for his 2004 season. His cards should have high speed and stealing, as well as incredible hitting stats. He should also have great vision, as he had a .395 career OBP, including having a OBP over .400 in 8 of 9 seasons from 1998 to 2006.
Rick Ankiel could be one of the most fun legends to use in MLB The Show 24. Ankiel started his career as a starter for the Cardinals, before transitioning to an outfielder in 2005. Ankeil would play for six different teams from 1999-2013. Ankiel was the first player since Babe Ruth to win 10 games as a pitcher and hit 70 career home runs.
Ankiel’s inclusion in MLB The Show 24 would add to the growing list of two-way players. With Shohei Ohtani bringing the concept of a two-way player to the forefront, now is the perfect opportunity to add Rick Ankiel to the game.
After struggling early in his career, Jose Bautista went on to be one of the best power hitters of the 2010s. From 2010-2015, Bautista averaged 38 HRs, 97 RBIs, 26 2Bs, and had a 156 OPS+. Bautista won three Silver Sluggers during this period and was named to six consecutive All-Star Games. He also finished top-10 in MVP voting four times during this period. Bautista was also a great playoff performer. In 20 postseason games, Bautista had a .904 OPS with 6 HRs and 16 RBIs. His emotional bat flip and fist pump after hitting a home run against the Rangers in the 2015 ALDS became one of the most iconic images of that era.
Obviously, Bautista would be a dominant player in MLB The Show 24. He could have multiple Silver Slugger Award series cards, a 50 HR Milestone card for his 2010 breakout season. The best card though would have to be a 2015 Postseason card for his iconic ALDS performance.
Josh Beckett is an icon in Boston and one of the most recognizable pitchers from the early 2000s. Beckett started his career with the Florida Marlins, where he helped lead them to the 2003 World Series Championship. Beckett was named World Series MVP after starting two games and holding the Yankees to just 2 earned runs across 16.1 innings and striking out 19.
He was then traded to the Boston Red Sox on Thanksgiving Day 2005 along with Mike Lowell for minor league shortstop Hanley Ramirez (who we will talk about later in this list). Beckett would have 3 All-Star years for the Red Sox, including finishing second in Cy Young voting in 2007. That same year, Beckett helped Boston win their second World Series title since 2004, and picked up ALCS MVP honors along the way. Becket finished his career in 2014 with the Dodgers, where he threw a no-hitter just months before he retired.
Beckett could have several cards from the different eras of his career. He could have a World Series MVP Awards series card from his early career, all the way to a No-Hitter Milestone card from his final year in the league. Beckett was known to throw a cutter, curveball, and changeup, which would make an impressive pitch mix in MLB The Show.
Carlos Beltran is another player that was a face of baseball in the 2000s and early 2010s. His career started in Kansas City in the late 1990s, where he won the 1999 Rookie of the Year with 27 2Bs and 22 HRs. Beltran would go on to hit 435 HRs, rack up more than 2700 hits, 70.1 WAR, and stealing over 300 bases. He joined the 30/30 club in 2004 where he had 38 HRs and 42 SBs. Beltran won 3 Gold Gloves, 2 Silver Sluggers, and was named to 9 All-Star Games. Late in his career, he served as a veteran presence on the 2017 Houston Astros World Series Championship team in his final year. Beltran received 46.5% of the vote last year in his first year on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot.
Off the field, Beltran is known as a humanitarian. The Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy was opened 2011 in Florida, Puerto Rico to help develop young athletes. Beltran over $4 million to the academy, which includes instruction from MLB players. In 2013, Beltran became the fourth Cardinals player to win the Roberto Clemente Award. In 2017, Beltran was named the winner of Sports Illustrated’s inaugural Hope Award for his work to help Puerto Ricans recover after Hurricane Maria.
Thre are tons of options for Diamond Dynasty cards for Beltran. The Awards series cards could include Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, or Roberto Clemente variants. A Retro Finest card for his years with the Mets would showcase the 5-tool ability of Beltran during the prime of his career. Cards for his later years would have less baserunning, but still great hitting attributes. At 39 in his next to last season, Beltran still hit 29 HRs with a .295 batting average and .850 OPS.
Adrian Beltre is easily in the conversation for best third basemen of all time. Beltre played 21 seasons with four teams and finished his career with 3,166 hits, 477 HRs, 636 2Bs, 1707 RBIs, 93.5 WAR and a .819 OPS. Over the course of his career, Beltre won 2 Silver Sluggers, 5 Gold Gloves, and 2 Platinum Gloves. He was also the first player from the Domincan Republic to reach 3,000 hits, and retired as the only third baseman with 3,000 hits and 400 HRs. In 28 postseason games, Beltre hit .261 with 5 HRs and 11 RBIs.
Beltre brings several options to the table for Diamond Dynasty cards. A Platinum Glove Awards series card would have to have maxed out fielding stats. A Retro Finest card for his 2004 season with the Dodgers where he led the league with 48 HRs would have maxed out power. There are several years to choose from for his years with the Rangers, including his 2011 postseason performance where he hit 5 HRs in 17 games.
Mark Buehrle was one of the most consistent pitchers of the past two decades. Buehrle put up double digit wins and over 200 innings ever year from 2001 to 2014. The White Sox ace finished his career with a 214-160 record with a 3.81 ERA and 1870 strikeouts. Buehrle is probably most remembered for his perfect game in July 2009 against the Tampa Bay Rays. This was just the 18 perfect game in MLB history.
Buehrle could have a few different Diamond Dynasty options. The most obvious would be the perfect game Milestone series option. You could also have some Awards series cards, as Buehrle 4 Gold Gloves during his career. Buehrle could also have a Postseason series card for the 2005 season, where he helped lead the White Sox to a World Series Championship.
Carpenter was a steadfast presence in the Cardinals rotation throughout the 2000s. He was a critical part in their 2006 and 2011 World Series Championship teams. Carpenter pitched 15 seasons in the big leagues, racking up a 144-94 record, a 3.76 ERA, and 1697 strikeouts.
There are two main cards I want to see Carpenter get when he is eventually added to MLB The Show. First, a Postseason series card for both the 2006 and 2011 championship teams. Also, I want an Awards series card for his 2005 NL Cy Young winning season where he went 21-5 with a 2.83 ERA and had the only 200+ strikeout season of his career.
Bartolo “Big Sexy” Colon was a fan favorite player throughout his entire 21 year MLB career. Colon played for 11 different teams over the course of his career. He was a four-time All-Star and won a Cy Young Award in 2005 with the Angels after winning 21 games and posting a 3.48 ERA with 157 strikeouts. Colon finished his career with 247 wins, a 4.12 ERA, 2,535 strikeouts, 46.2 WAR, and exactly one beautiful home run.
For Colon, an Awards series card for his Cy Young winning campaign would be very fun to see. However, the card that needs to be made is a 1st Career Home Run Milestone series card. This card should give Colon some decent power, probably somewhere in the 90s. This would commemorate Colon’s first and only home run that he hit in his career in 2016 at the age of 42.
When Jacoby Ellsbury burst onto the baseball scene in the late 2000s, it was thought that he would be a future superstar in the league. In 2011, he made his only All-Star appearance when he hit a career-high 32 HRs, drove in 105 runs, and had a 146 OPS+. That same season, Ellsbury won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger, and finished 2nd in MVP voting behind Tigers ace Justin Verlander. Injuries would later derail Ellsbury’s career, as he only hit double digit homers one more time in his career. Ellsbury finished his 11-year MLB career with 104 homers, 512 RBIs, a .760 OPS and 31.2 WAR.
Obviously, the main card Ellsbury could get is some 99 OVR version based on his 2011 career year. This card would be a five-tool player, with great hitting, fielding, and baserunning stats. He could also have a couple Postseason series cards, as he helped the Red Sox win two World Series during his career.