Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. on cover of MLB The Show 21

Padres Fernando Tatis Jr.

Credit: Padres

Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The popular video game MLB The Show announced Monday that Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. will be the featured athlete on its cover for 2021. 

After months of speculation, the announcement was finally made. Fernando Tatis Jr., the Padres’ very own star shortstop, will be featured on the cover of MLB The Show 21. This is a historic day for many reasons. It marks the first time a Padres player has been on the primary cover of this video game, which has been in production since 2006 (Chan Ho Park was featured in the Korean version in 2006).

This is a new level for Padres fans. Never in their wildest dreams would they have guessed even just a few years ago that their best player would be the most exciting player in baseball and on the cover of MLB The Show.

To some, this might seem silly. The younger generations have normalized video games and brought the industry fully out onto the main stage. Older generations stigmatized the playing of video games, but now it’s a booming industry, and ESports is now featured on ESPN and the like. Millions upon millions play video games worldwide, from famous athletes to successful business people down to the lowly college student. Now, if they like baseball, they will be buying a video game with Tatis’ face all over it.

It was a no-brainer choice from a business point of view. Tatis is wildly popular in and out of the United States for his flashy personality, other-worldly talent, infectious smile, and utter disregard for unwritten rules. Plus, Sony San Diego Studio is the game producer, so it’s an easy choice to feature the game’s most electric star that’s also in their own backyard.

According to SportsCenter, Tatis is the youngest athlete to be featured on the game’s cover.

Are you worried about a curse? It’s a valid concern, given that Javy Baez was the 2020 athlete and afterward  hit .203 with a 59 OPS+. However, his team was not cursed as the 2020 Cubs won the NL Central.

It didn’t seem to bother Bryce Harper after gracing the cover in 2019, hitting 35 home runs with a .882 OPS in his first year in Philadelphia.

This is the most exciting time to be a Padres fan, and it just got that much more exciting. A.J. Preller just capped off the biggest offseason perhaps in franchise history. Now the Padres’ biggest star, one of Major League Baseball’s biggest stars, Fernando Tatis Jr., is on the cover of the game’s most popular video game.

The game will be released on April 20 on both PlayStation and Xbox for the first time.

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Nick Lee
Native of Escondido, CA. Lived in San Diego area for 20 years. Padres fan since childhood (mid-90s). I have been writing since 2014. I currently live near Seattle, WA and am married to a Seattle sports girl. I wore #19 on my high school baseball team for Tony Gwynn. I am a stats and sports history nerd. I attended BYU on the Idaho campus. I also love Star Wars.

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