Jazz Chisholm is making his way through video game history.
With the announcement of MLB The Show ’23 on Monday, the Miami Marlins outfielder became the first Bahamian-born athlete to grace the cover of a sports video game. Chisholm has become one of the game’s most flashy players in his three years in the big leagues, with a colourful array of hairstyles, eye-catching on-field fashion, and a signature Eurostep celebration.
“I’m from a small country right outside the United States, and you rarely hear from athletes from there,” Chisholm told ESPN. “It feels like I can finally give back to other kids and make a difference for them,” she says.
Chisholm hit.254/.325/.535 in 60 games with 2.5 bWAR in an injury-shortened 2022, with 14 homers, 12 stolen bases, and 10 doubles. While he remains an important part of the Marlins’ rebuild, Chisholm has made headlines in recent years for his outgoing social media presence and on-field celebrations.
Chisholm said his signature celebration was inspired by his high school days.
“I would always Eurostep around people in the hallways, even teachers, just Eurostepping past them, trying to mess with them,” Chisholm said.
However, after speaking with teammates Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison during spring training in 2021, Chisholm decided to implement the move on the field. Chisholm told his teammates that he would begin Eurostepping after his first home run, and the celebration became a social media phenomenon.
“Everyone said, you’ve got to keep doing it,” Chisholm said. “You’re not going to be able to stop now.” Chisholm was ecstatic when he saw that the celebration had been animated in MLB The Show ’23.
“When my little brother sent it to me in the trailer, I was like, ‘What?'” Chisholm explained. “I was flipping out while watching it, bro. I felt like a child again.”
While his desire for personal self-expression has irritated some in baseball, Chisholm insists he will remain himself regardless of the circumstances.
“You gotta know what that noise comes with,” Chisholm said. You’ll have teammates who adore it and those who despise it. You just have to learn to cancel it out and realise that you have to be yourself while not going overboard.”
Chisholm stated that this was a learning experience for him.
“I was a lot worse at 18,” Chisholm admitted. “It would have been insane if I was 18 right now.”However, being yourself can lead to criticism. When Chisholm receives criticism from teammates or fans, he recalls Ken Griffey Jr.’s criticism for wearing a backward baseball cap.
“It shouldn’t be a problem once I’m doing what I have to do,” Chisholm said. Nobody will ever criticise someone for attempting to emulate Derek Jeter because he was so perfect, but finding someone to emulate Ken Griffey Jr. is more difficult because he was The Kid. If you try to be like that, the world may reject you.”
With self-expression on the rise in baseball, from colourful cleats to chains to bat flips, Chisholm hopes to keep pushing for a more accepting game, citing Julio Rodriguez, Michael Harris, Shohei Ohtani, Marcus Stroman, and Francisco Lindor as players who are changing the game’s culture. According to Chisholm, the game could take additional steps, such as allowing painted bats during games.
“I just channel my culture,” Chisholm explained. “I’m Black and from the Bahamas. So I’m attempting to channel everything from basketball to the African-American Leagues. I’ve been reading about history. It makes me happy. Because my name is already Jazz, I feel obligated to represent the culture.”