Back in the day athletes wanted to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. It’s still an honor, with the number of SI covers a badge of success. Just look at the names: Michael Jordan leads with 50. Muhammad Ali and LeBron James are #2 and #3. But SI comes out every week. In the 21st century the cover you want to be on is the video game cover — you get that spot for a year. And in 2018, the MLB: The Show 18 cover belongs to Aaron Judge, the pinstriped home-run crushing New York Yankees rookie outfielder. The MLB: The Show cover can barely contain all 6’7″ of Judge, who hit 52 home runs in his first campaign in the bigs.
1) Major League Baseball just says “The Future Is Coming.” (American League pitching found out last year the future is already here.)
— MLB (@MLB) November 7, 2017
2) There are Judge detractors who need little more reason than that he plays in New York. But those doubters get told a plain truth by a Twitter user who’s no great Judge fan: “Who else could it be?”
absolutely who else would it be though. as much as it irks me to say this, Judge IS Major League Baseball in 2017
— Logan Corsaut (@logancorsaut) November 7, 2017
3) Gary Phillips of USA Today reminds everyone of a salient point — the cover is a marketing tool for the game. It’s a popularity contest, not a stats MVP race thing. “An obvious choice from a sales perspective.”
— Gary Phillips (@GaryHPhillips) November 6, 2017
4) Some people think it’s obvious that this is just Judge’s first cover, posting a reminder that New York Yankees shortstop legend Derek Jeter ushered in the century with his first video game cover in 2000.
Derek Jeter’s first video game cover vs. Aaron Judge’s first video game cover pic.twitter.com/kEkxrfI77r
— Rich (@RAKcity27) November 7, 2017
5) His rookie season was played smart not just on the field. The MLB: The Show cover isn’t the only place you’ll see Judge’s face in the future. “Floodgates open,” says insider Darren Rovell.
Aaron Judge didn’t want to talk new endorsement deals during season, according to his agent Page Odle. Expect the floodgates to now open. pic.twitter.com/CcsUcWoZrM
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 7, 2017
6) PlayStation has put a very big bet that the Twitter user below is in the minority,
practically all by himself there.
I’m not going to buy MLB the show 18 for the soul reason of Aaron Judge being on the cover.
— Tommy (@T_Sedlack) November 7, 2017