Minnesota Twins Catcher Joe Mauer To Return as MLB 11 The Show Cover Athlete!

Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC. (SCEA) announced today the North American release of the #1 selling and rated baseball video game this generation, MLB® 11 The Show™. Gracing the cover of this year’s installment of the market leading Major League Baseball® (MLB®) franchise is a familiar face—3-time Gold Glove winner, 2-time Silver Slugger, 3-time American League (AL) batting champion, 2009 American League Most Valuable Player (MVP), and MLB® 10 The Show™ cover athlete, Joe Mauer, All-Star catcher for the Minnesota Twins.

Available for the PlayStation®3 (PS3™), PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) including PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) go, and PlayStation®2 systems, MLB 11 The Show is due to arrive in stores on March 8, 2011, just in time for Spring Training. The Show has been and continues to be the highest ranked officially licensed baseball title of this console generation (according to Metacritic.com), delivering true-to-life gameplay, authentic franchise and season modes, and incredible detail not found in any other sports game. MLB 11 The Show builds on what has been delivered in previous franchise releases adding compelling features that bring unparalleled innovation and polish to the sports genre.

“I’m extremely honored to return as the cover athlete for MLB 11 The Show,” said Joe Mauer. “Serving as spokesperson for The Show is a thrilling experience, and partnering once again with the best baseball game available was an easy decision and one that I’m very excited about.”

“Joe Mauer continues to be a driving force in Major League Baseball as the premier all around player in the game,” said Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President, Product Marketing, SCEA. “Year in and year out, MLB The Show delivers the best baseball gameplay experience available, truly in a class of its own, so I could not think of a more worthy ambassador to once again represent the highest rated, best selling baseball video game franchise of all time.”

In his breakout 2006 season, Mauer became the first catcher in Major League history to lead both leagues in batting average and the first American League catcher to win the batting title, finishing with a .347 average. In 2008, he showed off his versatility by winning his first Gold Glove Award, but still impressed at the plate becoming the first American League catcher to win the batting title twice, leading the AL with an average of .328. In 2009, Mauer became the first catcher to lead the Major Leagues in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage in a single year—his .365 average is the all-time highest mark among catchers in MLB history. He also won his second consecutive Gold Glove, followed by a near-unanimous win for the American League MVP crown, only the second catcher in 33 years to win the coveted award. In 2010, Mauer captured his third Gold Glove, recorded his 1,000th career Major League hit, and finished third in the AL with a .327 batting average, while his 43 doubles rank second on baseball’s all-time list for doubles by a catcher.

MLB 11 The Show is the second baseball video game cover for Mauer, as he was the face of the franchise in 2010. He follows an elite cast of MLB cover athletes and spokespersons to represent the franchise including Red Sox second baseman and 2008 AL MVP Dustin Pedroia, Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, and New York Mets third baseman David Wright. As the latest representative of SCEA’s baseball series and ambassador of MLB 11 The Show, Mauer’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.

As Mauer continues to establish himself as one of the most talented individuals to play the game, MLB 11 The Show also continues to build upon an already stellar reputation for immersion and unparalleled delivery of the baseball experience. With various new key features and enhancements to the critically acclaimed title, MLB 11 The Show is poised to continue the franchise’s reign as the premier MLB licensed game on any platform.

Leading off on our new features set for PS3 is the addition of the Pure Analog Control System, which includes analog controls for hitting, pitching, and throwing adding more precision and accuracy to all three disciplines. Pure Hitting allows you to stride and swing using the Right Analog Stick, Pure Pitching functionality incorporates a new Pitch Meter when setting strength and location, and Pure Throwing can be used to make defensive throws by simply pointing the Right Analog Stick in the direction of the base, also allowing for fake throws to keep runners honest.
Next up is the newly added Co-op Mode, which allows up to four-player offline or online cooperative play where sports gamers can split duties covering either the infield or outfield, while also switching off at the plate or choosing the specific batters they’d like to control. Users can play 1 vs. 2, 2 vs. 2, or 2 vs. CPU. Also adding to the competitive fire is MLB 11 The Show’s Challenge of the Week—a quick, fast paced 2-3 minute, 1-player, online experience, with leader boards and prizes awarded, in 3 tiers.

The fifth generation of Road to the Show returns in version 5.0 bringing a new interactive slider set to the Create Player process, new training modes triggered by the Player Performance Evaluator, Minor League substitution logic improvements, advancement system improvements that now compare your stats versus your competition in the organization, and the new No Assist Fielding option to make the fielding experience even more realistic.

New to the MLB 11 The Show broadcast booth is former Dodger first baseman Eric Karros who joins franchise veterans Matt Vasgersian and Dave Campbell to complete the three man crew. Karros currently works as a color commentator for baseball on the FOX network as well as KCAL-TV in Los Angeles, where he does the pre-game show for Dodger games.

Additional new features for the PS3 game include stereoscopic 3D functionality in all gameplay modes, a customizable camera editor, stadium specific broadcast camera angles for all 30 MLB teams, new weather elements in the form of rain and dynamic cloud coverage, stadium specific jumbotrons and fireworks, and PlayStation Move motion controller support making its debut in Home Run Derby®.
To coincide with our launch on March 8, a new DUALSHOCK®3 – MLB®11 The Show Edition will be available at retailers nationwide. Available for $54.99 (MSRP) for a limited time, the newest addition to the DUALSHOCK 3 family is perfect for baseball fans and provides the same motion-sensing technology, vibration support, and comfortable grip gamers are already familiar with.

For fans who want to take The Show on the road, MLB 11 The Show for the PSP and PSPgo systems delivers big baseball action in the palm of your hand by utilizing core gameplay features found in the PS3 system version. MLB 11 The Show will also be available for PlayStation 2, providing the same authentic baseball experience that fans have come to expect from The Show.