On Thursday, Sony announced Ken Griffey Jr. would grace the cover of the 2017 version of MLB’s The Show, in addition to making an appearance in a video game for the first time in over two decades. While the Kid’s accolades are richly deserved in this, the year of his enshrinement in the Hall of Fame, you might not know that some other Mariners have also been featured on the covers of various video games.
Duck Hunt - Shawn O’Malley
Duck Hunt was the game you played when your jerk older sister hid the copy of Super Mario Brothers. It was fun enough, a very serviceable game, and perfectly represents the 80s, just like Shawn O’Malley. Plus, Duck Hunt was like having a version of Big Buck Hunter right in your living room, which basically made it like a 1980s version of the Golden Plates for Richland.
Bubble Bobble - Dae-Ho Lee
Bubble Bobble was super fun, super charming, and ultimately accomplished nothing. But who cares! It was so lovely and relaxing and joyful! We all need more Bubble Bobble in our lives.
Q*bert - Kyle Seager
Q*bert isn’t a fancy game. It’s just jumping on cubes through an isometric pyramid. But once you really start to negotioate the game, you’ll realize it’s surprisingly complex, just like our dear third baseman and his hidden wacky side. Also, Q*bert has a weird head and an iconic swear bubble. You know he’s ready.
Grand Theft Auto - Chris Iannetta
Chris Iannetta loves sports cars and wine and there are no good video games about wine. Please note I am using the original, 1997 version of GTA, rather than its later iterations which kind of squick me out. Chris is a dad, after all.
Battletoads - Adam Lind
There are many lively discussions around the old internets on what the hardest video game level of all time is. Votes roll in for the Water Temple in Zelda, or the underwater level in NES’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or all of Dark Souls, but there’s one game, one particular level, that causes a certain generation of gamers to hunch over in the fetal position, and that’s the Turbo Tunnel level of Battletoads, a level so incredibly difficult to beat it was almost impossible without something like a Game Genie. There’s something about playing a video game level where failure is imminent, expected—inevitable, really—that feels so similar to watching Adam Lind walk up to bat in 2016. But each time the level starts up again, you think—maybe this time. Maybe this time will be the time you emerge triumphant, the walk-off, the improbable victory, and that hope is enough to keep you pushing reset.
Wii Bowling - Seth Smith
Staple of senior citizen centers and youth groups everywhere, the Wii is the perfect embodiment of Seth “Dad” Smith. Wii sports are so wholesome and benign, it’s surprising Freeform doesn’t show tournaments. (No one ever gets too mad in Wii sports, because no one ever cares that much to begin with.)
Tetris - Jerry Dipoto
All season long, Jerry has twisted and turned and manipulated pieces into holes in the roster. Sometimes he found the just-right piece to clear through a level, and other times he shoved a big old Adam Lind into a corner and hoped for complementary pieces to fall (oops it’s an Aoki! Shift it shift it shift it!). Next season shouldn’t provide Dipoto such glaring holes to fill, but the difficulty level will definitely increase in his second year on the job.
Do you have any suggestions for player/game combos? If so, feel free to leave them in the comments! (Bad photoshops not required)