MILWAUKEE -- Add another entry to Christian Yelich’s superstar resume: video game cover athlete.
Yelich adorns the cover of "R.B.I. Baseball 20" wearing the new logo unveiled by the Brewers just this week to mark the 50th anniversary of their move to Milwaukee. Besides the updated version of the ball-in-glove logo, which debuted in 1978, Yelich wears one of the team’s new cream-colored home uniforms with block lettering and accents reminiscent of what the Brewers wore upon their arrival to County Stadium in '70, when mention of a “video game” would have drawn a puzzled look. Atari did not introduce the game "Pong" until two years later.
Yelich is the second player in franchise history to be featured on the cover of an MLB-licensed video game. Prince Fielder was on the cover of The Bigs 2 in 2009.
That’s fitting, since Yelich has had a Fielder-sized impact after the Brewers traded for him in January 2018. He won the first batting title in franchise history in his first season in Milwaukee with a National League-leading .326 average, then won another by batting .329 during an injury-shortened '19. In the span of 20 days in August and September in '18, he became the first player in history to hit for the cycle twice in the same season against the same team, part of a late-season surge that lifted Yelich to the NL MVP Award. This year, he finished as runner-up for that award to Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers.
“I’ve never seen anyone this good at baseball for this long,” said Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, the last Milwaukee player to win his league’s MVP Award before Yelich. “I mean, maybe [Barry] Bonds in his prime. As great as [Mike] Trout is. I’ve seen [Albert] Pujols. … I think everybody should take the time to appreciate it, because what we’re witnessing is greatness.”
"R.B.I. Baseball 20" will be available for the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One X, the Nintendo Switch system as well as for iPhone, iPad, supported Android smartphones and tablets. The game will retail for $29.99 on consoles and $6.99 on smartphones and tablets. Launch dates for each platform will be announced when available.
The game features an ever-increasing array of updates, features and enhancements developed by the MLB Games & VR team, billing itself as a uniquely fast-paced baseball experience with wholly retooled hitting and pitching mechanics, along with a host of improvements covering a broad spectrum of visual and game play categories.
Yelich is the sixth player to appear on the cover of the game since MLB relaunched the brand in 2014. There was no cover athlete that year, but Anthony Rizzo appeared in '15, then Mookie Betts in '16, Corey Seager in '17, Francisco Lindor in '18 and Alex Bregman in '19.