Amazingly, this is different from the previous 17 years, when the Pirates’ roster has been primarily made up of random players. And no, the random Pirate in upcoming baseball video games is not an awesome pirate like Cornelis Jol…I’m talking full-on Pittsburgh Piracy.
Kotaku recently profiled 5 current MLBers who have not and will never appear in baseball video games. They are all guys who worked as scab players during the 1994 and 1995 baseball strike (remember that?). As such, they are denied membership into the MLBPA, which also negotiates deals to use player likenesses in vehicles such as video games.
“Fifteen years ago, in the infancy of console sports simulations, 38 baseball players made a choice that would ensure they would never appear in a video game. Only five of them remain in the major leagues.
They crossed a picket line, an act of war to organized labor, by signing replacement player contracts with Major League clubs as the infamous 1994 players’ strike dragged into the spring of 1995. Just five of them logged major league service in 2009 and they’re all 38 years old or older. But the continued absence of their names in games is one of the last persistent vestiges of the baseball strike of 1994 and 1995.
Although these replacements later made full major league rosters, some of them contributing memorably, they are forever denied membership in the Major League Baseball Players Association, and thus their likenesses can never be used in any MLBPA licensed merchandise.
[Kevin] Millar, [Jamie] Walker and [Ron] Mahay are free agents entering 2010. But [Brendan] Donnelly signed a one year deal with Pittsburgh on Jan. 16, and Herges has been invited to spring training with Kansas City. So it’s likely this quirk of history will continue when MLB 2K10 and MLB 10 The Show release on March 2.”
Players with their likenesses withheld have always been replaced by some generic name/face. Belichick doesn’t grant permission to use his name in Madden, and playing against the Patriots means playing against NE COACH or some stuff. I think we need to come up with amazing names for 2k10 and MLB 10 to use when referencing new Pirates pitcher Brendan Donnelly.
Sammy Davis Jr. The Pony.
I’m just firing these off from the top of my head.