New MLB The Show 23 Storylines Mode Celebrates Black Sporting History

MLB The Show 23 is getting a Storylines mode, which will revolve around historical Black baseball leagues and their triumphs over adversity.


Published: February 6, 2023 9:50 AM /

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Artwork of several iconic Black baseball athletes in the new MLB The Show 23 Storylines mode

Sony has revealed the new MLB The Show 23 Storylines mode, which will celebrate Black achievements in baseball. Telling the story of The Negro Leagues, as they were called at the time, MLB The Show 23 will focus on eight individual Black players and their stories.

Over on the PlayStation Blog, San Diego Studio's Ramone Russell discusses the story of the Negro Leagues and what they mean for baseball. Russell says that although the Leagues are an integral part of baseball history, their iconic figures "are not nearly as well-known" as other baseball legends of that era. This is what the new MLB The Show 23 Storylines mode is intended to remedy.

Essentially, the mode will work thus. You'll choose from eight iconic Black baseball legends including Hank Thompson, Buck O'Neil, Jackie Robinson, and John Donaldson. Each story will contain "short informational videos" discussing that player's legacy, and you'll also get the chance to play through some of the players' most iconic moments. You can check out a trailer for the MLB The Show 23 Storylines mode here.

The mode will be narrated by Bob Kendrick, the president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, who also appears in the trailer. Kendrick says the Negro Leagues' story "is not an African-American story"; rather, it's an "All-American" story, since it revolves around "pride, passion, perseverance, determination, [and] the refusal to accept the notion that you're unfit to do anything".

Here's the full roster for the first season of MLB The Show 23's Storylines mode.

  • John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil (who was also one of the founders of the NLBM)
  • Hilton Smith
  • Hank Thompson
  • John Donaldson
  • Jackie Robinson
  • Martin Dihigo
  • Andrew "Rube" Foster
  • Leroy "Satchel" Paige

Every new MLB The Show release will add more Black athletes from the Negro Leagues so that Sony can "pay rightful tribute" to baseball stars who were unfairly passed over during their time. Next year's game will represent season 2, so look forward to a new batch of legends arriving in the Storylines mode then.

As well as the above, Sony says it will donate $1 to the NLBM for every MLB The Show 23 Collector's Edition it sells. On Thursday, Bob Kendrick will join Sony for a deep dive into MLB The Show 23's Storylines mode, and you can check that out on Twitch or YouTube when it arrives. You can also learn more about the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum via its official website, and this fascinating yet overlooked part of Black history is well worth diving into.

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