A.I

MLB The Show 21’s fan-created ballparks are incredible, and impossible to find

The bad news about MLB The Show 21’s new custom stadium creation toolkit? The vault of user-shared creations is nearly impossible to find, and there’s no search capability to help you once you do click through to the menu and find where it lives.

The good news, I guess, is that this makes any offensive content harder to find.

I jest, but only partly. MLB The Show’s created stadium library is not completely overrun by objectionable, slur-filled creations. Several parks, however, have gotten a lot of attention in some forums and on social media for their offensive content. Since these stadiums have user IDs attached, moderation may be on the way, if it hasn’t already arrived.

Regardless, the Stadium Creator mode makes it hard to showcase the good creations, or appreciate the hard work that SIE San Diego Studio developers, and their fans, have put in during the first week of release. The biggest obstacle is how users’ creations are displayed, or not displayed, as the case may be.

First, MLB The Show 21 already has a set of four “Vaults” where players share things like custom rosters, slider difficulty settings, and more importantly, logo designs for created teams in Diamond Dynasty and elsewhere. Players expecting to see stadiums under a new tab in The Show’s Vaults have wondered where the hell all the ballfields are, since that seems to be the most logical place for them to be.

But the stadiums are inside a tool option in the Stadium Creator mode, which you only see if you open up the Tutorial Park, or one of the other 29 fictitious field templates, as if to edit it. Here are several screenshots to illustrate where that option lives:

The game’s UI isn’t much more helpful from that point on, either. The batch of submissions (currently about 50,000 strong) is presented one way and one way only: in descending order, starting with the most recent upload. You can’t search or filter the group at all.

Dedicated fans have tried to share information about their parks in various ways outside of the official system, but it’s hard to track down a specific creation without any means of searching for it.

Green cathedrals, once and future

The difficulty in finding parks is really a shame, because there are some nice efforts already being made using the in-game tools.

Most recently, I came across “Publix Park” by PlayStation Network user MOLDY TRISKIT. It’s the kind of thing that Tampa Bay Rays fans have sometimes mused about as a replacement for the unlovable Tropicana Field.

interior shot of a fantasy stadium in MLB The Show 21’s Stadium Creator.

“Publix Park,” a concept of an outdoor stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays, whose domed home field IRL is cavernous, outdated, sparsely attended, and unsightly.
Image: SIE San Diego Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

Other players have worked on bringing back their favorite team’s green cathedrals. From Redditor TeamKillerTurbo, this is Detroit’s Tiger Stadium (1912-1999). Until the creator pointed out that all users must put a batter’s eye in their stadium (the large, blank wall or empty seat section in center field, giving hitters a background to see the small white ball), I didn’t realize Tiger Stadium did not have one.

Tiger Stadium (1912-1999) as created by a fan in MLB The Show 21

Image: SIE San Diego Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment via TeamKillerTurbo/Reddit

Any Bay Area baseball fan who remembers how the fickle winds could blow pitchers like Stu Miller off the mound would no doubt enjoy this recreation of Candlestick Park, by SomeLadyNamedRuth.

Interior of a fan-created Candlestick Park, former home of the San Francisco Giants, in MLB The Show 21

Image: SIE San Diego Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment via SomeLadyNamedRuth/Reddit

They’ve also done a representation of Denver’s long-gone Mile High Stadium, which wasn’t just the home turf for the NFL’s Broncos. The minor league Denver Bears and Denver Zephyrs called it home before the Rockies moved in for a short-term lease.

Right field and the stands behind it in Mile High Stadium, as recreated by a player of MLB The Show 21

Image: SIE San Diego Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment via SomeLadyNamedRuth/Reddit

And here’s a hell of a chaser from SomeLadyNamedRuth: Anaheim Stadium, as it appeared in the 1960s and 1970s, with the Big A towering over left field once more!

Left field, and Anaheim Stadium’s famous “Big A” scoreboard, as created in MLB The Show 21 by a fan

Image: SIE San Diego Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment via SomeLadyNamedRuth/Reddit

I’d love to pull any of these into my Road to the Show or Franchise playthroughs, but there is no way to grab them unless I know the specific page they are on (right now, even), and have the patience to scroll to it one page at a time.

I certainly appreciate San Diego Studio including 30 parks of different sizes and architectural types to mess around with — letting you rebuild your high school ballfield, minor league venue, or even the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa. The options given to players are strong.

But repositioning objects, cycling through the very deep library of what’s available, and manipulating outfield wall height are all multistep processes that take time to understand. Stadium Creator comes with several guided tutorials, and it’s good to watch all of them to know what you’re doing. For now, though, that is time I’d rather spend playing baseball itself, especially when I know there is next to no way to share my creations in a meaningful way.



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