MLB The Show’s Road to the Show is so much better with these two community toolkits

If you’re starting — or like me, restarting — a career in MLB The Show 19’s popular Road to the Show career mode, two indispensible character creation tools are now available thanks to the game’s dedicated community. One of them makes the creation and customization process go a lot more smoothly.

That’s Operation Sports user Baseballking888’s list of animations. In MLB The Show, players can give their creations (whether RTTS or in the main game) any of 1,329 batting swings and 712 pitching deliveries. Many of these are listed under their owner’s name, either because they’re currently an MLB player or they’re an old-timer licensed to appear in the game.

But more than 2,000 are listed under nothing more descriptive than “All-Star Windup 36.” Thanks to Baseballking888, we know that’s kaopectate enthusiast Chan Ho Park. The reason these animations can’t be listed by their owners’ names is because they’re no longer in the league, so Sony San Diego Studio no longer has license to identify those players. Instead, Baseballking888 takes on that task for us every year, so now I know where to find Dan Haren’s delivery and Todd Helton’s swing.

San Diego Studio keeps retired players’ animations in the game because they’d be silly to throw out these assets, and they help diversify to behavior of the thousands of CPU ringers who make up the AA and AAA minor league populations. And on that note …

The next great toolkit deepens Road to the Show, and it’s also a huge bonus for those who go deep into the general manager’s role of Franchise. That’s RidinRosters’ fully-named roster of real minor leaguers, current for 2019. Again, because of licensing, no player without MLB service can be a member of the MLB Players Association, and therefore they are not covered by the group license to their likeness. (This is why big-time call ups always take a week or so after their debut to make it into the game.) So while MLB The Show 19’s career modes will see real-life players down in AA or AAA, most of them are randomized bots. The rosters can be found by searching for the username “RidinRosters” from MLB The Show 19’s Vaults menu; they stock the game’s 60 minor league teams with their real life lineups.

Unfortunately, not all of these players’ names are in the equally voluminous dialogue library recorded by play-by-play announcer Matt Vasgersian (and stadium P.A. Alex Miniak, of San Diego’s Petco Park, who this year replaced Mike Carlucci after 22 years). So the price paid here is a lot of “No. 14 comes to the plate.” But for those who don’t want to wait for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to be called up, create your player, have him choose to be drafted by Toronto, and join Vlad in AAA Buffalo.

What’s that you say? You can choose your team in Road to the Show again? Yes. After a disastrous, puritanical experiment last year that stripped out every means of selecting the team you play for, the option is back in MLB The Show 19, and it’s even more convenient than in the preceding titles. Now, after your player completes his two (instead of three) scouting combine games, a conversation option will allow you to pick the team you hope drafts your player. Lo and behold, they do. In the past, you’d have to hold out your star from the draft for four years before it would give you the option of sliding into your favorite nine’s GM. This is much better.

And finally, in my review I’d mentioned that the ShowTime time-slowing perk was gone from Road to the Show. My mistake — it’s one of the perks on the mode’s “Lightning Rod” personality branch, which I hadn’t noticed because that was the slowest developing fork of my player’s conversation history, and because I’d imported a character from MLB The Show 18.

MLB The Show 19 is available now on PlayStation 4.

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