For one lucky gamer in 2012, Moneyball will take on an entirely different meening. MLB 2K12 cover athlete Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers appeared on Conan January 11, 2012, to talk up the Perfect Game Challenge.
2K’s annual contest has previously awarded $1 million to the first player to pitch a perfect game after it starts. That’s a game in which no member of the opposing team reaches base. This year, 2K Sports is changing things up a bit. Verlander told Conan O’ Brien 2K Sports will rank the perfect games submitted. Then the eight best contestants will meet in a tournament to win $1 million.
This will be the first year players won’t have to submit a video of their perfect game. Instead, they will enter a unique code to the 2K Sports contest site and a dynamic leaderboard will rank the best perfect games. Gamers can play to improve their score through the end of April 2012.
I’m interested to see what criteria they use to dissect perfection.
The 2011 contest winner, Brian Kingrey, picked on light hitters Houston Astros to win the cash. Perhaps pitchers that throw a perfect game against better teams will earn more style points. If you don’t know a knuckle ball from a knuckle sandwich, don’t worry. Kingrey wasn’t a baseball fan and didn’t know any of the rules until he began preparing for the contest.
Verlander explained an important part of his pregame ritual to O’ Brien: His pre-game meal before every start consists of Taco Bell tacos and a Mexican pizza – without tomatoes. I don’t know if it actually has any impact on his pitching, but for a $1 million prize I’m willing to try it.
MLB 2K12 releases on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP, DS and PC March 6, 2012. The Perfect Game Challenge begins April 4, 2012, the first day of baseball’s regular season but only game splayed via PS3 or Xbox 360 are eligible.