MLB The Show 23 shines a light on the history of the Negro Leagues through its new Storylines mode, which tells the stories of eight of the greatest athletes to play professional baseball in the sport’s pre-integration days. But that’s not the only way in which the game features these Negro League greats: They’re also playable in Diamond Dynasty, the mode in which you put together fantasy teams with virtual trading cards.
Baseball’s all-time greats have been available as playable “legends” in Diamond Dynasty (and Franchise) for many years now, allowing MLB The Show players to put Mickey Mantle on the same team as Aaron Judge. This year, the crop of legends in MLB The Show 23’s Diamond Dynasty mode will include Negro League players for the first time. They’ll be available as soon as the game launches — its public release date is March 28, but early access is live as of March 24 — and thanks to the way Negro League baseball was played, they’ll be some of the most desirable players in all of Diamond Dynasty. Here’s how to unlock them.
Which Negro League players are in MLB The Show 23?
MLB The Show 23’s Storylines mode focuses on eight Negro League stars, running the gamut from one of the most renowned figures in American history to some lesser-known ballplayers who were no less skilled on the field:
- Martín Dihigo
- John Donaldson
- Andrew “Rube” Foster
- John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil
- Leroy “Satchel” Paige
- Jackie Robinson
- Hilton Smith
- Hank Thompson
How do you unlock the Negro League players in Diamond Dynasty?
It’s simple: Play the Storylines mode!
That’s right — all you have to do to unlock MLB The Show 23’s eight Negro League stars for use in Diamond Dynasty is to play through their respective Storylines chapters. You’ll get a 90-rated card for each player once you complete their segment, and if you do all eight of them, you’ll also receive a 95-rated Captain card for Hall of Famer Buck O’Neil.
Each player’s Storylines chapter is broken up into a number of playable “moments” interspersed with video vignettes that tell you more about the athlete’s career and life. The chapters are designed to take 35-45 minutes to complete, per MLB The Show developer SIE San Diego Studio, so you should be able to play through all eight of them within approximately five hours. That’s not too much of a time investment to unlock some of the best players in Diamond Dynasty! (Plus, the Storylines mode itself is really cool and worth seeing.)
What makes the Negro League players so good in Diamond Dynasty?
Diamond Dynasty is all about fielding the best squad possible from the cards in your collection. It may make sense to play someone out of position — even if that drops their overall rating a bit — to make room for a player who needs to stay in a certain spot. That’s going to be less of an issue if you’ve unlocked the Negro League cards.
One of the many remarkable things about the Negro Leagues is that it was common for athletes to be two-way players — to pitch as well as hit. (Financial constraints often limited rosters to 20 or so spots, forcing players to pull double duty.) That’s not to say that everyone excelled in both roles, but a few of the standouts are featured in MLB The Show 23. In fact, everyone except Satchel Paige can play at least two positions — and Cuban-born Hall of Famer Martín Dihigo can play all nine.
- Martín Dihigo: SP/C/1B/2B/3B/SS/LF/CF/RF
- John Donaldson: SP/1B/LF/CF/RF
- Rube Foster: SP/1B
- Buck O’Neil: 1B/LF/RF
- Satchel Paige: SP
- Jackie Robinson: 2B/SS
- Hilton Smith: SP/LF/RF
- Hank Thompson: RF/2B/3B/SS/LF/CF
Unlocking some of the more versatile players, like Dihigo and Hank Thompson, will give you more options as you piece together your Diamond Dynasty squad.