MLB Video Game Covers


Players Gracing the Covers

While your favorite MLB team – whether it’s the Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, or even the Chicago Cubs – only plays 162 regular season games a year, it’s not always enough. Even a trip from the postseason to the World Series may not entirely quench your thirst for nine more innings of baseball.

Thankfully, video game developers are aware of this need, and titles like “MLB: The Show” give the baseball-obsessed a chance to enjoy the sport year-round. These games, released across different video game systems over the years, allow fans to digitally guide their favorite players and help them achieve a career worthy of Cooperstown.

What baseball positions are most featured on the cover of these games, and who are some of the most famous faces on the packaging? Here’s a look at recent MLB video games and what their covers can tell us.

Select A Team


No player without their own video game franchise (sorry, Ken Griffey Jr.) appeared on more covers than former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. He graced the cover of “Major League Baseball 2K5”, “Major League Baseball 2K6,” and “Major League Baseball 2K7” – three consecutive years not just as the face of the Yankees’ franchise but of this particular video game series. Those were some of the best years of Jeter’s career. In 2006, he finished second overall in MVP balloting behind Minnesota Twins player Justin Morneau.

Ken Griffey Jr. was featured on four covers, all from the series using his name and image. While the other players rounding out the top five appeared on two or more covers, only one was a pitcher. Pedro Martínez, a 2004 World Series champion with the Boston Red Sox and Hall of Famer, lent his visage to the covers of “World Series Baseball 2K1” and “World Series Baseball 2K2.”

Super Sox

Seven video game series have had Boston Red Sox players featured on the cover, the most of any one team. In addition to Pedro, recently retired designated hitter David Ortiz was on the cover of “MLB 06: The Show.” The only currently active Red Sox to appear on a cover was second baseman Dustin Pedroia for “MLB 09: The Show.” Adrian Gonzalez and Nomar Garciaparra were also Red Sox players when chosen as cover boys.

Two teams – the Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays – with only one MLB player on a video game cover have only done so very recently. In the last two years, Dodgers’ right fielder Yasiel Puig and Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson shared the responsibility of gracing “MLB: The Shows” cover in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Puig was 19th in MVP voting in 2014, and Donaldson knocked in 41 home runs and 123 RBIs in 2015, where he finished first in MVP balloting.

Positional Awareness

After outfielders, shortstops and pitchers were the most common positions to be featured on the covers of baseball video games. At six apiece, there are plenty of famous faces in this bunch. Derek Jeter for “Major League Baseball 2K” and Pedro Martínez of the Boston Red Sox in “World Series Baseball 2K” help lead this group.

You’re less likely to be the face of a video game franchise if you’re a second or third baseman. Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox and David Wright from the Mets, helped to further the cause of being considered for cover-star greatness.

Press Play to Play Ball

While there have certainly been players from small market teams who’ve made their way onto video game covers, stars from some of the MLB’s biggest teams – like the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees – make more regular appearances on the boxes of these digital baseball games.

Don’t miss an opportunity to turn digital dreams into a reality by getting officially licensed MLB merchandise and apparel transported to you in the real world from Fanatics. It’s the best way to level up your fan experience!


Video Games Franchises Covered

MLB: The Show, Major League Baseball 2K, Triple Play, Ken Griffey Jr., The Bigs, Home Run King, World Series Baseball 2K, Microsoft Baseball, MLB ‘98, MVP Baseball.

Home Run Analysis

The 2016 Major League Baseball season was one for the books. Between two endearing teams, the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians, facing off to end their century- and half-century-long World Series title droughts, tensions ran high and die-hard fanatics came hyped!

Both clubs wouldn’t have made it to this pivotal game without help from their supercharged rosters. Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Addison Russell led the Windy City with the most home runs and RBIs completed during the season. Over at the “Rock and Roll Capital of the World,” Carlos Santana, Mike Napoli, and Jason Kipnis reigned as Cleveland’s batting leaders.

All in all, home runs in the MLB are on the rise, and the baseball analysts at Fanatics compiled all batting stats from the 2016 season to provide you with enough home run data to hold you over until we start seeing some bombs this season.

Continue reading to see which teams and players stepped up to the plate this season with a home run state of mind!

Teams With the Swing

Major League Baseball players are some of the hardest hitters in the world. Let’s take a look at which teams have been crushin’ balls out of the park and dropping the jaws of teammates and fans alike.

The Baltimore Orioles topped the charts this season by scoring a total of 253 homers – the most nailed by any team in the MLB. Mark Trumbo – first baseman and outfielder for The O’s – led the Maryland-based squad with 47 at-bats converted into critical home run hits. Fielders Chris Davis and Manny Machado backed up the home run batting leader by nailing 38 and 37 home runs, respectively. The Orioles enjoyed a strong home run lead advantage over the rest of the clubs in the league for the majority of the season. The only team to step up to the plate to rival the Orioles was their inter-league competitor – the St. Louis Cardinals – trailing the Birds by 28 homers.

Rounding out the top five in season home runs were the Seattle Mariners (223), Toronto Blue Jays (221), and New York Mets (218).

Home Run State of Mind

Being the batting leader in your respective league is quite an impressive feat to boast on a major league resume.

Slugger Mark Trumbo hit a total of 47 home runs during his time at the plate this past season. Although the first baseman has been described as “one-dimensional,” his home run abilities are unrivaled. Trumbo’s excellence against inside pitches is what sets him apart from the rest, designating him an elite power hitter. No. 45’s exceptional performance could be accredited to his newfound happiness after signing a multiyear contract with the Orioles.

Trailing behind the seasoned slugger was Seattle Mariners outfielder Nelson Cruz, with a notable 43 homers under his belt in 2016. Cruz’s talent at the plate is prodigious and is showing no decline in this department as he is the only player to have surpassed the 40-homer threshold throughout the past three Major League seasons.  

Brian Dozier, Edwin Encarnación, and Khris Davis finished up as the top five hardest hitters in the league – all reaching the 42 home run mark by season end.

It’s That Time of Year Again…

Just as the weather fluctuates by season with reason to Earth’s axial tilt, the MLB tends to witness a spike in home runs depending on the month of the year.

Data suggest that sluggers at the plate are less likely to hit a dinger in April, with only 740 pitches hit out of town during the rainy month. It appears that the weather wasn’t the only thing on fire this summer. MLB batters were on a hot streak between the months of June and August, slamming a total of 2,928 homers. August takes the cake by far, recording an astronomical 1,053 home run hits alone within the 31 calendar days.

Major League history was made this season when the Baltimore Orioles set the all-time home run mark for the month of June with 56 dingers. Hyun Soo Kim is responsible for the record-setting rocket after his solo blast during the seventh inning against the Mariners.

Hey Batta, Batta!

The world of baseball is riddled with an array of written and unwritten rules. One of those “unwritten” rules entails not swinging at a risky 3-0 pitch as the batter is just one ball away from being handed first base. The majority of sluggers who step up to the plate attempt to hit a long ball on the first pitch thrown, and it seems to be working. Batters launched the most rockets to flight off 0-0 pitches with a total of 983 homers – dominating all other situational pitches with a 300-plus home run lead.

Curtain Call

With spring training in full force, there’s no telling how many home runs one should expect from the 2017 season. Be ready to support your home team the best way you know how. Head over to Fanatics, because we’ve got you covered with the latest MLB jerseys and fan gear.


Home Run Tracker: June 4th to June 11th


Taking a look at last week’s home run stats, it’s clear there’s a slew of red-hot sluggers that approached the plate with a scoreboard-adding hit in mind. Continue reading to see which players produced the most dingers and launched the highest homers from the past week.

Where There’s Smoak, There’s Home Runs

home run tracker_Asset-1B

Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak is finally undergoing his breakout season after achieving his first multi-homer game since last season and preventing the Jays from suffering a three-game sweep. Smoak’s home run campaign comes as a pleasant surprise to the thriving “Blue Birds,” and positions him as a viable All-Star candidate.


A post shared by Cincinnati Reds (@reds) on

Scooter Gennett of the Cincinnati Reds made history on June 6 by hitting four home runs against the St. Louis Cardinals, becoming the 17th player to tie the Major League record for most home runs in a single game. Sharing his teammate’s glory in the batter’s box, Joey Votto emerged from a hitting rut to clobber a whopping four high-fliers into the crowd during last week’s contests.

New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez produced two homers during the team’s June 8 meeting against their longtime rivals, the Boston Red Sox – driving in five runs and propelling the “Pinstripes” to a 9-1 victory at Yankee Stadium.

Coming In Clutch


If one thing is for certain, it is this: The fourth inning is a hub for home runs. Batters in the fourth inning were responsible for producing 41 of this week’s long balls.

While the number of homers cranked out during a regular nine-inning match is jaw-dropping, sometimes it’s the delayed dingers that create unforgettable moments and improbable comeback victories.

One of the home runs hit in the 11th inning was a Baltimore Orioles walk-off by Trey Mancini, his second of the night that sent the Pittsburgh Pirates “walking the plank.” Additionally, Robinson Chirinos came in clutch for the Texas Rangers on June 10 after belting a three-run home run into the bleachers against the Washington Nationals – claiming a 6-3 victory for the Texas-based club.

Just Your Average Long Ball


If you managed to keep up with every Major League home run last week, then we applaud you. If not, here’s everything you need to know about last week’s average long ball.

Players entered the batter’s box in a silver slugger state of mind. After compiling all home runs smacked by heavy hitters last week, we discovered the average homer had a launch angle of 28 degrees and exit velocity of 104 miles per hour, traveling an average true distance of 401 feet.


A post shared by New York Yankees (@yankees) on

Yankees rising rookie Aaron Judge capped the week off by hitting a season-high 496-foot long bomb off of Baltimore Orioles’ Logan Verrett in the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Miami Marlins power hitter Giancarlo Stanton trailed Judge’s impressive feat by launching a 465-foot tape-measure shot against the Pirates on June 9th, clearing the batter’s eye but ultimately flopping back onto the field.

There are home runs… and then there are HOME RUNS. ⚾️💪 #VoteStanton |

A post shared by Miami Marlins (@marlins) on

If you’re a home run hothead, be sure to check out for the latest MLB fan gear in the game – from jerseys and hats to collectibles and memorabilia, no matter which team you’re cheering on.


Toronto Blue Jays Home Run Hot Spots: Rogers Centre


J.D., Joey Bats, and The Jays

Formerly the “SkyDome,” Rogers Centre has been the home field of the Toronto Blue Jays since 1989. It was the first professional stadium to have a fully functional, fully retractable roof (weighing in at a delicate 11,000 tons). For the Jays’ first 12 seasons of their 40 years in the American League East, they called Canadian National Exhibition Stadium home. It wasn’t until they settled into the SkyDome that Toronto was able to bring home a World Series Championship in 1992, and another the very next year.

Icons to suit up in “Blue Jay” blue throughout the franchise’s relatively young history include some big-time all-stars, including Carlos Delgado, Joe Carter, and Vernon Wells. Delgado holds the Jays’ all-time record for career home runs, with 336 long balls.

The roof is open, it’s a beautiful night in Canada for some #WildCard action. #OurMoment

A post shared by Toronto Blue Jays (@bluejays) on

Toronto’s active leading bleacher-burner is José “Joey Bats” Bautista. The six-time All-Star slugger is entering his 14th season (his 10th as a Blue Jay). Second to Bautista, and his active tally of 265 round-trippers, is third baseman Edwin Encarnación, who heads to Cleveland this season, leaving behind 239 home run balls over eight seasons in Toronto.

Where To Sit For That Homer


2015 American League MVP Josh Donaldson dialed long distance 37 times last season for Toronto. He’s also the mightiest Blue Jay of 2016, going yard for 466 feet against KC last summer at Rogers Centre. The three-time All-Star already has 78 career home runs for the Jays (24th on their all-time HR list) after only two seasons in with the club.

If you were sitting in one Rogers Centre’s left field hot spots last year for any of Donaldson’s deep shots, the view must’ve been nice. Unfortunately, his longest dinger would have been far beyond the reach of your “Fred McGriff” palm-stamped Rawlings. If you’re looking to snag a souvenir ball at Rogers, the bulk of left field long balls are landing closer to the fence in sections 137, 138, 140, 141, and 142. In right field, you’re dragging your mit to the park as merely a hand-warmer (Oh, Canada), unless you’re sitting in sections 104, 105, 106, 107, or 108. These sections have historically harbored the most home runs.

Blame it on the metric system, but Rogers Centre’s dimensional measurements are shorter than the Major League Baseball average, making it one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the bigs. The 328-foot fences to both left and right field are especially favorable.

“For it’s un, deux, trois strikes you’re out at the old-” … Toronto Blue Jays baseball will soon be back at Rogers Centre, with Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson, and newly acquired Troy Tulowitzki once again swinging for the fences. If you’re heading out to the ballpark this season, maybe it’s time to check out Fanatics for a fresh, new Jays jersey to upgrade your home run-catching wardrobe.


The Evolution of the Toronto Blue Jays Uniform


The Toronto Blue Jays came into existence in 1976, after the American League voted to expand into Canada – or more specifically, into the city of Toronto.

The Jays received their name after holding a “Name the Team” contest in ’76, involving close to 4,000 names and 30,000 entries. The results proved “Blue Jays” to be the winner, but some claimed that majority team owner Labatt Brewery had a role in choosing the name for advertising purposes. Regardless, blue had been the primary color used by Toronto teams since 1873, when it appeared on the jerseys of the Canadian Football Club’s Toronto Argonauts.

Since becoming part of Major League Baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays have had two World Series appearances and six playoff appearances. The Jays won their first World Series Championship in 1992 after taking the series 4-2 against the Atlanta Braves. During the 1993 season, Toronto would go on to capture not only their second consecutive A.L. East flag, but also a subsequent World Series Championship – downing the Philadelphia Phillies in game six. Despite their success during those two seasons, the Jays did not make the playoffs again until 2015, when they lost the ALCS match.

Over the years, the Blue Jays have kept their uniforms pretty simple utilizing red, white, navy blue, and royal blue as their primary colors. The team has maintained a consistent look in their home uniforms by keeping them solid white with various fonts and accents in blue or red.

Continue reading to see how the Toronto Blue Jays have rebranded, transformed, and maintained their signature look since their inception into Major League Baseball.

Notable Uniform Changes


1977: The original uniform consists of a pullover shirt and elasticized pants. The team uses two types of blue, white, and red as their color scheme as well as a unique letter styling.

1989: The first major round of changes take place, adding a belt and offsetting the Blue Jay logo to one side. The team also wears a symbolic patch on the left sleeve as hosts of the All–Star game during the season.

1993: After winning the 1992 World Series, the team adds a ceremonial patch to their right sleeve for the season. Blue hats are also used with the home uniforms.

1997: Red striping is added to the sleeves and pants along with a new maple leaf logo on the hat.

2001: The team replaces the red with with blue piping through the middle of the shirt. The left sleeve features a commemorative patch celebrating the team’s 25th season while the right sleeve marks the American League’s 100th season.

2003: A new primary logo is adopted and used throughout the uniform. It combines a Blue Jay and red “T” representative of Toronto.

2004: The team rebrands with a new primary logo and color scheme. A new type style is used to display “Jays” on the front of the shirt.

2009: A red maple leaf patch is added to the right sleeve as well as a ribbon patch featuring “TED” to honor late team owner, Ted Rogers.

2012: Another rebranding features multiple uniform combinations similar to those from the team’s early days.

Looking Back to Look Forward

Traditionally, teams in the MLB tend to retire the uniform numbers of players who have displayed true strength and determination on the field. The Blue Jays follow this trend, but to a much lesser extent; they have retired only two uniform numbers to date (one of which, Jackie Robinson’s No. 42, was retired across all baseball teams).

The Toronto Blue Jays currently have two retired uniform numbers:

No. 12 – Roberto Alomar

No. 42 – Jackie Robinson

Rooting for the Jays this season? Step up to the mound and be a part of the #BlueJaysNation by decking out in the latest Blue Jays fan gear. Look no further than Fanatics – a one-stop shop for the best sports merchandise in the game!


Toronto Blue Jays Walk-Up Songs

The world is watching as the Toronto Blue Jays won the wild card game with a walk-off homerun in the 11th inning. Blue Jays fans still believe. And the team just may pull it off.

As you watch the game, listen carefully for a time-honored baseball tradition: In any MLB game, the moment marking a player’s transition from sidelines to spotlight – whether it be from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box or from the bullpen to the pitcher’s mound – is taut with excitement and anticipation.

Cue the walk-up music.

A player’s walk-up song is crucial. In those final seconds that it takes to enter the field, this anthem gives the crowd a chance to show their overwhelming support and the player a chance to gather his confidence and focus on the challenge ahead. While the title, artist, and genre of the song depend on each player’s personal preference, you’ll notice some common themes in players’ song selections.

Songs of the Blue Jays

Sounds of the Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays prefer hip-hop over any other genre: Thirteen players chose rap songs for their walk-up music. Both Dalton Pompey and Jose Bautista decided on songs by Toronto native Drake (“Know Yourself” and “Trophies” respectively), while the remaining 11 chose songs by rap artists ranging from Kendrick Lamar (“Alright”) and Wiz Khalifa (“We Dem Boyz”) to The Notorious B.I.G. (“Hypnotize”) and Naughty by Nature (“Hip Hop Hooray”).

The rest of the team has varied tastes. Pop is the second-most popular genre, followed by country, R&B, and Latin. David Price and Roberto Osuna hype up the crowd with electronic music, while Marco Estrada and Brett Cecil take a different approach with heavy metal hits; Scott Copeland stands alone in his choice of Bob Marley’s reggae/ska sound, while Drew Hutchison appeals to the crowd with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Saturday Night Special.” And, believe it or not, R.A. Dickey enters the field with the theme song from “Game of Thrones” announcing his arrival.

Do Songs Affect Stats?

Our research of the MLB overall uncovered some interesting data concerning walk-up music. Players who chose hip-hop songs, for example, actually hit the fewest home runs, while players who opted for indie/alternative music hit the most. Whether or not walk-up music has any sort of correlation to player performance, fans hope some of these songs help energize the Blue Jays during the rest of their series performance. While you wait for the next game, check out the Spotify playlist we put together of the Blue Jays’ favorite walk-up songs, and stay tuned for the rest of our walk-up music analysis!

Update: find other MLB teams’ player walk up songs at the MLB Walk Up Songs application at Fanatics