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2008 AL MVP Dustin Pedroia is your MLB 09 The Show cover athlete

5:30 PM on 01.08.2009 // Samit Sarkar

I’m a die-hard Yankee fan, yeah -- but first and foremost, I’m a baseball fan, so I have no problem admitting that Dustin Pedroia is highly deserving of the cover of Sony’s MLB 09 The Show. The Red Sox second baseman has already racked up numerous honors and awards in his short two-year career. For example, he’s one of only three players in baseball history to win the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards in consecutive seasons (the others are Cal Ripken Jr. and Ryan Howard, last year’s cover athlete).

You can peruse the press release after the jump if you’re interested in a laundry list of Pedroia’s exploits. As for the covers themselves, they’re in the gallery below. All three of the covers (PS3, PS2, and PSP) have the new “Only On PlayStation” branding that Sony exclusives now carry. This is the second year in a row of this particular style -- cover athlete in front of a black-and-white shot of his home stadium -- and I really like it (I think it’s classy, especially in the case of the storied Fenway Park).

As for the game itself, all kinds of details can be found in the announcement post from December, and if you’re anticipating this game as much as I am, they’ll make you drool, too. MLB 09 The Show will slide into stores on March 3rd, less than two months from today, for the PS3, PS2, and PSP -- and according to a comment from a Sony PR man on the PlayStation.Blog, we can expect to see a PlayStation Network demo sometime in February.

AMERICAN LEAGUE MVP DUSTIN PEDROIA OF THE BOSTON RED SOX ANNOUNCED AS COVER ATHLETE OF MLB 09 THE SHOW™ FOR PLAYSTATION®3, PSP® (PLAYSTATION®PORTABLE), AND PLAYSTATION®2
Gold Glove Second Baseman to Partner with Best-Selling Baseball Game Franchise

FOSTER CITY, Calif., January, 8, 2009 – Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) announced today the signing of Red Sox Second Baseman and 2008 American League MVP Dustin Pedroia as cover athlete for MLB 09 The Show™. As the newest representative of SCEA’s baseball franchise and face of MLB 09 The Show, Pedroia’s duties include participation in the game’s motion capture process, A.I. consultation, integration into all facets of the marketing campaign, and spokesperson for the franchise. The latest installment from the best-selling MLB franchise game is due to hit stores in Spring 2009 as the only officially licensed first party software title exclusively for PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™), PSP® (PlayStation®Portable), and PlayStation®2.

In his first year in the big leagues, Pedroia was named 2007 American League Rookie of the Year, receiving 24 of the possible 28 first place votes. Pedroia hit safely in 14 straight games, the longest batting streak for an AL rookie in 2007. Additionally he led all MLB rookies with a .317 batting average, a record for a rookie second baseman. Pedroia continued his strong play in the post-season, where he had a .283 batting average with 2 homers and 10 RBI while starting all 14 playoff games. Pedroia also has the fifth most playoff hits ever for a rookie and handled 53 chances without an error at second base, helping the Red Sox win their seventh World Series Title.

This past season, Pedroia was the first second baseman in nearly half a century to be named the AL MVP by hitting .326 with 17 home runs, 83 runs batted in, and 118 runs scored. He is the 10th player in the history of the Red Sox to capture the AL MVP and the 8th player in AL history to win the MVP, Gold Glove, and Silver Slugger awards in the same season. With his scrappy and aggressive approach, Pedroia has quickly become a fan favorite at Fenway Park, a truly historic and treasured stadium in one of baseball’s most passionate cities.

“Dustin Pedroia has made a tremendous impact on an already storied Boston Red Sox organization and was an integral part to their 2007 World Series victory,” said Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President, Product Marketing, SCEA. “We are excited to have him become part of our MLB franchise, represent MLB 09 The Show, and join the impressive roster of MLB stars who have served as previous cover athletes.”

MLB 09 The Show is the first baseball game cover for Pedroia, who joins teammate and previous MLB cover athlete David Ortiz as the second Red Sox player to represent the franchise. Pedroia joins an elite cast of MLB cover athletes and spokespersons including Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, New York Mets third baseman David Wright, Oakland A’s third baseman Eric Chavez, Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Troy Glaus, New York Mets outfielder Shawn Green, and Cincinnati Reds outfielder Adam Dunn.

As Pedroia continues to establish himself as one of the most talented individuals to play the game, MLB 09 The Show is also building upon an already stellar reputation for authenticity and unparalleled playing experience. With several new key features and enhancements to the critically acclaimed title, MLB 09 The Show is poised to continue the franchise’s reign as the premier MLB licensed game on any platform.

“Road to The Show” mode returns with interactive training, new-settings, a new steal/lead-off system, presentations, and coach interaction. “Franchise Mode” also returns to the game, with the long anticipated 40-man roster, Salary Arbitration, Waiver Transactions and September call-ups. The widely-popular, online gameplay will continue to be a fan favorite, as both traditional “Online” and “Online Season Leagues” will allow users to hold a fully functional draft and utilize a “Flex Schedule,” allowing users to play games ahead in the schedule.

MLB 09 The Show has added new details and subtleties, such as wear and tear on the field, dusk to night lighting transitions, JumboTron animations, an ultra-realistic crowd atmosphere, and different grips and arm angles from pitchers. Adding a more personal touch to the game, MLB 09 The Show for PS3 and PSP, features custom music and fan yells and chants, thus bringing long-standing rivalries to life.

The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating for MLB 09 The Show is “RP” for “Rating Pending.” For more information about the ESRB visit http://www.esrb.org.

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Samit Sarkar,
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