We are fast approaching MLB The Show 24’s release. Next week, SDS is set to reveal the cover athlete for the latest entry in their popular series. That means it’s time to look at some more legends that I would love to see added to MLB The Show. This is part three in this series, so make sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 as well.
While most players in the first two parts of this series were from the 2000s and 2010s, this selection takes us back to the 70s and 80s. Dale Murphy was one of the best outfielders of this era. Murphy was named to 7 All-Star teams while winning 5 Gold Gloves and 4 Silver Sluggers. He also won back-to-back NL MVP awards in 1982 and 1983. From 1982 to 1987, Murphy averaged 161 games played, 36 HRs, and 105 RBIs per season. Murphy finished his career with over 2,100 hits, 398 HRs, and 46.5 WAR.
Murphy could be placed in about any card series SDS could think of. The Awards series could offer Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, MVP, and Roberto Clemente Award options for the outfielder. The Milestone series would also offer several opportunities for Murphy. One option could be his 30/30 performance in his 1983 MVP season. Murphy could get another card in this series for his #3 jersey being retired by the Atlanta Braves in 1994. These cards would have great hitting stats, incredible power, and above-average baserunning.
Alright, back to the 2000s nostalgia. Dustin Pedroia was one of the best all-around players of this era. He burst onto the scene with the Red Sox in 2007, winning Rookie of the Year after hitting .317/.380/.442 with 39 2Bs and 50 RBIs. Pedroia followed it up in 2008, leading the AL in hits and 2Bs and winning the AL MVP. Pedroia spent his entire 14-year career with the Red Sox, winning 4 Gold Gloves, and 2 Silver Sluggers, and helping Boston win World Series titles in 2007 and 2013.
The obvious options for Dustin Pedroia cards are Awards series versions for his 2007 Rookie of the Year and his 2008 AL MVP. If the Cover Athlete series from MLB The Show 22 returns, Pedroia’s MLB 09 The Show cover would have to be included. Pedroia was such a beloved player during his career, that SDS could throw him in any series and gamers would love it.
A certified Yankees legend, Andy Pettitte was part of the core that brought 5 World Series championships to the Bronx from 1996 to 2009. Pettitte played 18 years in MLB, 15 with the Yankees. He finished top 5 in Cy Young voting on four occasions. He was also named to 3 All-Star games. Pettitte had more wins in the 2000s than any other pitcher. He also holds the record for postseason wins, games started, and innings pitched. Pettitte holds Yankees franchise records for strikeouts and games started.
The best options for Pettitte would be cards that represent his postseason brilliance. An Awards series card for his 2001 ALCS MVP would be one option. Honestly, any series SDS introduces could include Pettitte. What would be interesting is a program focused on the Yankees’ “Core Four.” Pettitte would be the last of these four players to be added to MLB The Show, so it would be fun to see a program honoring four players that made so many young fans at the time, like me, fall in love with baseball.
Brandon Phillips is one player whose accomplishments often get overlooked. But in the late 2000s and early 2010s, he was one of the most consistent 2B in baseball. Over 17 years, Phillips hit .275/.320/.420 with 211 HRs and 951 RBIs. During that time, he won a Silver Slugger, 4 Gold Gloves, and was named to 3 All-Star Games.
Phillips cards in Diamond Dynasty probably wouldn’t be on most players’ endgame squads. However, he would be a popular BR option. His cards would have good contact and vision. His cards would need to have incredible fielding stats. Look up some of Phillips’s highlights on YouTube, and you will see plenty of great diving stops and incredible catches. His best chance at a 99 OVR card would be a Milestone series card based on his 30/30 season in 2007.
Buster Posey was the face of the Giants dynasty in the 2010s that won three World Series titles. He won the first title with the Giants as a rookie in 2010. He won NL Rookie of the Year after hitting .305 with 23 2Bs and 67 RBIs. Posey was severely injured in a home plate collision in 2011, leading MLB to outlaw such collisions. The rule became known as the Buster Posey rule. When the catcher returned in 2012, he picked up right where he left off. He led the NL with a .336 batting average, along with 39 2Bs and 24 HRs. This performance earned him the NL MVP award, as the Giants would go on to win their second title in three years. In his 12-year career, Posey won 5 Silver Sluggers and was named to 7 All-Star teams.
Posey would immediately be one of the best catchers in MLB The Show. His cards would have some of the best hitting stats of anyone at the position in the game. He would also have incredible fielding stats, which are always valuable behind the plate. An Award series card based on his MVP season would be a popular BR or Ranked Seasons award.
Another talented player from the 2000s who does not get talked about enough is Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez showed his potential in 2001 with Pittsburgh when he put up 34 HRs, 40 2Bs, and 112 RBIs at only 23 years old. However, it wasn’t until Aramis got to Chicago that he started making waves. From 2004 to 2011, Ramirez averaged 28 HRs, 31 2Bs, and 96 RBIs while hitting .297 with a .892 OPS. Over his 18-year career, Ramirez accumulated over 2,300 hits, 386 HRs, and 32.4 WAR. Ramirez was a 3-time All-Star and won a Silver Slugger in 2011.
Ramirez would be an incredibly popular DH option now that the feature is present in Diamond Dynasty. Aramis’s cards would have great hitting ratings, though his defense will not be playable in online games. Ramirez had -70 Defensive Runs Saved throughout his career. He also had 244 career errors at 3B, including 33 in 2003.
Despite these defensive shortcomings, Aramis Ramirez’s cards would still be great at the plate. The most likely version of Ramirez would be an All-Star series card or an Awards series Silver Slugger card. No matter what type of card, Cubs fans will love to see it.
Hanley Ramirez was such a fun player to watch on what was otherwise some pretty disappointing Florida Marlins teams in the late 2000s. Ramirez joined the Marlins as part of the return Boston sent to Florida for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. Ramirez showed up his first year in Florida, as he posted 46 2Bs, 11 3Bs, and 51 SB while hitting .292/.353/.480. This was enough for Ramirez to edge out Ryan Zimmerman and his teammate Dan Uggla for NL Rookie of the Year. Ramirez continued to have success in Florida, winning an NL Batting Title and Silver Slugger in 2009. That same year, he finished 2nd in NL MVP voting to Albert Pujols. Ramirez finished his 15-year career with 271 HRs, 281 SBs, 375 2Bs, and a 124 OPS+.
Hanley Ramirez’s cards in Diamond Dynasty would be similar to the current Oneil Cruz or Elly De La Cruz cards in that there would be great baserunning and hitting ratings, but not great defensive ratings. During his career, Ramirez had -76 Defensive Runs Saved at shortstop, along with 147 errors. His defense became so bad later in his career that he transitioned to 1B. Despite his poor defense, the speed and power-hitting combination would make Hanley’s cards some of the most popular in the game.
Hanley Ramirez would need to have a Milestone series card for his 2008 30/30 season. He could also have a Milestone series card for 2006 and 2007, where he put up 51 SBs each year. There would be multiple options for Awards series cards for Ramirez. His Rookie series card would be diamond-rated as well, considering how impressive his first year was.
This is one of the biggest names MLB The Show could add to the game. This would be similar to when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were added last year. Manny is considered by many to be one of the greatest hitters of all time. During his legendary 19-year career, Ramirez racked up 2,574 hits, 547 2Bs, 555 HRs, 1,831 RBIs, 69.3 WAR and a 154 OPS+. He was also a 12-time All-Star, a 9-time Silver Slugger, and finished top ten in MVP voting nine times. He won an AL Batting Title in 2002 after hitting .349 for the Red Sox. One of the most amazing stats about Manny is he had 8 seasons, including six straight from 1999-2004, where he had an OPS over 1.000.
The second Manny is added to MLB The Show, he will be a staple in everyone’s Ranked Seasons squad. His cards would have to have some of the best hitting ratings in the entire game. Card options for him could include All-Star series or Awards series versions. He would also have plenty of options for Postseason versions. Manny won two World Series titles with Boston, including being named World Series MVP in 2004 as Boston finally broke the curse of the Bambino. Ramirez holds the records for postseason HRs and RBIs. Honestly, Manny is such a big name that if he is ever added, his first 99 OVR version will be a Live Series collection reward.
Moving from one of the best hitters of all time to one of the best relievers of all time, Francisco Rodriguez dominated the late innings during the 2000s. He was easily one of the best closing pitchers of that era. And in a time that included guys like Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, Troy Percival, and Joe Nathan, that’s saying something.
Rodriguez made his MLB debut late in the 2002 season. This meant when the postseason started, hitters didn’t know what to expect from him. This helped him secure five wins that postseason, a feat that at the time only one pitcher had accomplished. This incredible performance helped the 2002 Angels go on to win the World Series. A few years later, Rodriguez was named the full-time closer, and the rest was history. In his first two years as the closer, Rodriguez led the AL in saves. Then, in 2008, he took it up a notch. Rodriguez set the single-season record for saves with 62. He also had a 2.24 ERA and 77 strikeouts that year. This performance helped him finish third in Cy Young voting and sixth in the AL MVP race, which for a reliever, is incredibly impressive. During his 16-year career, Rodriguez had 52 wins, 437 saves, 1,142 strikeouts, and 24.2 WAR.
Francisco Rodriguez would be one of the best options for the Incognito series if it returns in the future. Rodriguez’s nickname, K-Rod, is one of the best in all of baseball to me. He would also be a great option for a Postseason series card due to his great 2002 playoff performance. Finally, Milestone series card for his record 62 saves in a season would probably be a top-three reliever in any MLB The Show game ever.
There is probably no bigger name on this list that SDS could add to MLB The Show than A-Rod. Rodriguez was one of the best all-around players in the history of baseball. His accolades and statistics are too lengthy to list. A-Rod won 3 AL MVPs, an AL Batting Title, 10 Silver Sluggers, 2 Gold Gloves, and was named to 14 All-Star games. During his 22 years in the big leagues, Rodriguez racked up 3,115 hits, 696 HRs, 329 SBs, 2,086 RBIs, and 548 2Bs. His 117.5 career WAR is the 16th most all-time. A-Rod is one of only five players in MLB history to have 40 HRs and 40 SBs in the same season. To put into perspective how insane A-Rod was, from 1996 to 2010, Rodriguez averaged 41 HRs and 121 RBIs per season.
Rodriguez would be such a massive addition to MLB The Show. With a name as big as his, he would probably get a special edition cover of the game, similar to how Derek Jeter did last year when he returned to the game. As far as card options go, they’re almost unlimited. Awards, Retro Finest, Milestone, and every other card series could have multiple A-Rod versions. His cards would need to be among the best we have ever seen in Diamond Dynasty. He would be a five-tool player, with great hitting, fielding, and baserunning across the board. Like Manny, A-Rod would 100% be a Live Series Collection reward for his first year in the game.