The boys of summer aren't playing right now, but 30 of them will be competing in a new league through MLB The Show. MLB announced today that players from across the league will be playing in an MLB The Show 20 Players League, an online league that will also contribute to local charities.
Names in the league include Trevor May, Joey Gallo, Amir Garrett, Ty Buttrey, Juan Soto, and more. Over the course of about three weeks, several all-star players and World Series champions will play one-on-one inside MLB The Show 20, seeing whether their athletic prowess holds up on The Show's diamond.
Play will start today, April 10, with several games scheduled for 9 p.m. ET tonight. You can catch the schedule and standings on MLB's site, and league play will eventually lead into playoffs starting April 30.
As part of the virtual league, MLB, the MLB Players Association, and Sony Interactive Entertainment are donating $5,000 on behalf of each participating player to their team's local Boys & Girls Club. The winner of the league also gets another $25,000 to their local club.
Professional baseball players are no stranger to video games. Stories of Fortnite dominating locker rooms were widespread over the last few years. But with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Twitch streaming and online games have become the new outlet for fans and athletes to enjoy their sport of choice.
NASCAR has taken its racing season online through iRacing, and FIFA is teaming up with EA to host a charity cup in lieu of real soccer to play. Most pro sports leagues seem to be pivoting to these formats, utilizing their gaming presence to keep the season alive in some manner.
In a time of social distancing, it's at least nice to have the distraction of sports back in some form, and to have them as a vehicle for charity at that. The Show 20's Players League will air on the MLB Network Twitch channel and other venues, and you can follow the schedule for links to individual streams. Don't forget the peanuts and Cracker Jacks.