Electronic Arts today announced that Red Sox left fielder and World Series MVP Manny Ramirez has been selected as the cover athlete for MVP Baseball 2005. MVP Baseball 2005 is due next spring for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube, and PC.
Ramirez was instrumental in leading the Red Sox to their first championship since 1918, leading the American league with 43 home runs and a .613 slugging percentage. October's World Series effectively broke the purported "Curse of the Bambino" that had plagued the Red Sox since they sold Babe Ruth to the rival New York Yankees in 1920.
Ramirez's next challenge may be to break the "EA Sports cover curse" that has ruined several star athletes, most noticeably those who graced the covers of the Madden Football franchise: Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick broke his leg and ended his season after appearing on the cover of Madden 2004; Atlanta Thrashers right wing Dany Heatley ended his season and killed teammate Dan Snyder in a car crash after appearing on the cover of NHL 2004; and the previously undefeated (save for one disqualification) Roy Jones Jr. has kissed the canvas twice since putting his face on Fight Night 2004.
St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols fared slightly better after being selected as the cover athlete for MVP Baseball 2004--his Cardinals were merely embarrassed in a dominating four-game World Series sweep at the hands and bats of Ramirez's Red Sox.