This year, 2K Sports decided to do something unprecedented to market their baseball game, Major League Baseball 2K10 -- in an effort to highlight the game’s improved pitching system, they offered a $1 million cash prize to the first person to throw a perfect game. This past Wednesday, they announced the winner: 24-year-old Wade McGilberry of Semmes, Alabama, who accomplished the feat on the game’s launch day, March 2nd.
I arrived at Citi Field shortly after 4 PM, and even though I had already been there once before, I still had to take a moment to marvel at the stadium itself. It’s truly a beautiful ballpark. I joined the crowd of journalists and PR folks who were already there, along with Wade and Katy, and we all stepped out into a small fenced-in area on the field itself (!) to watch the Mets take fielding and batting practice. For a lifelong baseball fan like me, setting foot on a big-league baseball field was a dream come true. (I took the first ten photos in the gallery from our position on the field, behind and to the left of home plate.)
He submitted the recording to 2K Sports, a step required by the contest’s stringent verification policy. After videogame record-keeping agency Twin Galaxies made sure everything was in order, 2K informed Wade that he was the winner, and then flew him and Katy to New York early last week. Wade and Katy had to keep the whole thing under wraps until the official announcement on Wednesday’s edition of The Early Show on CBS: as Wade noted, “We couldn’t even tell our family.”
After milling around on the field for an hour or so, we headed up to the suite from which we would watch the evening’s baseball game. But 2K had a surprise up its sleeve: a contest in which the journalists in attendance would hit against Wade in MLB 2K10; if we managed to get some hits, we would win prizes. Each writer was afforded an inning against Wade as the Mets; he played as Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox, his favorite team. Wade didn’t expect to stymie us, since he hadn’t come close to throwing a perfect game since he recorded himself doing it, but boy, did he defend his title admirably.
The Giants-Mets game turned out to be a very fun one to watch. Ike Davis and Rod Barajas of the Mets had two home runs each, and the game came down to the wire. Francisco Rodriguez, the Mets’ closer, came in to seal a 4-3 victory in the top of the 9th, but he gave up a pinch-hit solo shot to the Giants’ John Bowker. Seeing all the Mets fans with their heads in their hands was quite amusing. But Barajas saved the day in the bottom of the ninth, hitting a two-run walk-off homer to give the Mets a 6-4 victory. You can’t ask for more than that!