Ladies and Gentlemen, if you’re old enough to remember the same video game characters as Charlie Manuel, it might be time to consider killing yourself before the self-recognition gets any worse.
Most players were more than willing to sit on the rotating chair as strobe flashes blasted milliseconds apart, recording their exact likeness for the game “MLB ’07.” The game is due out in 13 months, according to Sony artist Chris Rogers, who oversaw the proceedings.
“It was pretty cool,” said reigning Rookie of the Year Ryan Howard, 26, who also will be included on the game “MLB ’06: The Show,” due out next week. “You dream about this as a kid.”
A dream? Well, consider:
Howard and his peers have grown through the generations of computer games and their systems. Most, too young for the Atari revolution, first played a version of the ricochet game “Breakout” on a personal computer before graduating to the wonders of Nintendo staples “Super Mario Brothers,” “Donkey Kong” and “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out.”
“You got to fight Bald Bull,” recalled manager Charlie Manuel, a “Pacman” fan who, at 62, owns a “Tetris” game.
Manuel left video games behind after that but his players graduated to versions of “Mortal Kombat” before the arrival of John Madden’s wildly popular NFL versions, which still enrapture millions; minor leaguer Michael Bourne is the acknowledged club champion.
“I had to quit Madden back in ’99,” said Chris Roberson, the organization’s top minor league position player. “I had to start concentrating on baseball.”
His tone turned guilty as he acknowledged falling off the wagon: “Bourne got me back on it last year.”