Howard Gets In The Game

By Don McKee
Updated: February 1, 2008

PHILADELPHIA — No one knows how Ryan Howard’s contract standoff with the Phillies will play out. The best guess is that if the Phillies’ offer of $7 million goes to arbitration, Howard’s request for $10 million will be granted.

One indication of the vast popularity of the 2006 National League MVP emerged earlier this week, when Howard was revealed as the star of MLB ’08: The Show.

The slugger will be on the cover of the video game, which will be released March 4 for PlayStation2, PlayStation3 and PlayStation Portable.

All of which meant Howard had to go through a long session in the grasp of video technology. The bulky first baseman donned a skintight, high-tech red suit dotted with 55 sensors to have his motions captured.

Wearing the red suit definitely stood out for Howard.

“I mean, there’s pictures and I’ll have to go around and confiscate cameras and all kinds of stuff,” Howard told the Associated Press, jokingly. “It was an experience, the motion capture.”

The sensors were placed on all of Howard’s flex points so 42 cameras, shooting at 120 frames per second, could capture his motions. The work was done at Sony Computer Entertainment America’s San Diego Motion Capture Studio.

“It’s definitely an honor, because I remember when I was 15 and playing video games, being in college and playing video games, making yourself up as a character on the actual game,” said Howard, the NL Rookie of the Year in 2005.

“I always thought that if I made it to the big leagues, I’d actually be in a video game. I thought that was the coolest thing that when I got called up in ’04, in ’05, the next year, I was in a video game.

“It was definitely something cool for me for Sony to call me up and ask me to be on the cover of MLB ’08: The Show. I think it just took it over the top.”