Tampa Bay Rays ace Blake Snell won the inaugural MLB The Show Players League on Sunday with a three-game sweep in the video game against the Chicago White Sox’s Lucas Giolito.
Snell’s Rays beat Giolito’s White Sox 5-1 in Game 1, 3-2 in Game 2 and 6-0 in Game 3 in the best-of-five championship series. The three-inning games were televised on ESPN.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast will receive a $25,000 donation thanks to Snell’s championship victory. In addition, MLB, the players’ association and Sony donated $5,000 on behalf of each participating player to a Boys & Girls Club affiliate in his team’s community.
Snell tweeted, “I NEEED IT SO BAD” after his victory.
I NEEED IT SO BAD 🕺🏼🕺🏼🕺🏼🕺🏼#playersleaguechamp pic.twitter.com/MrsxggpUkc
— Blake Snell (@snellzilla4) May 3, 2020
The Rays also congratulated Snell on Twitter by raising a virtual banner in his honor.
Raise the banner. pic.twitter.com/Nlb2xJX7Vp
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 3, 2020
Players from all 30 teams competed in the league, which featured a 29-game regular season. Each player streamed his games online from his individual Twitch or YouTube account.
The Texas Rangers’ Joey Gallo was voted by fans and players as the league’s Best Player after starting out 11-0 in the league and earning the No. 2 seed for the postseason.
The other awards:
Best Twitch Name: Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays (“BoFlows”).
Best Manager: Dwight Smith Jr., Baltimore Orioles. Smith made the postseason with a 19-10 record despite the Orioles’ 69 rating in MLB The Show.
Most Entertaining Streamer: Brett Phillips, Kansas City Royals.
In-Game MVP: Aaron Hicks, New York Yankees. With Tommy Kahnle at the controls, Hicks hit 14 home runs with 28 RBIs in 29 games.
Best Reaction: Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies, and Cole Tucker, Pittsburgh Pirates. During their game against each other, Tucker vowed to Hoskins he would name his first-born child after the Phillies’ outfielder if he homered in his next at-bat. Hoskins proceeded to homer on the next pitch.
Best Cameo: Gallo, who hit 13 homers with 26 RBIs using himself in the game.