The Coleumn: Creating my 26-player Nicktoons MLB Roster


Baseball season is in full swing, whether it is at the Major League level with the Tampa Bay Rays starting the year 11-0 or in the Minor Leagues. While the pitch clock continues to produce quicker contests, I am turning my attention to a classic baseball video game. No, I am not talking about the MLB 2K series; the game we will be discussing is Nicktoons MLB. 

Released in 2011, Nicktoons MLB is a game available on the Wii, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS where users can play with Major League Baseball players from that season and famous Nickelodeon characters. With these rosters, as well as six fictitious teams, you can play anywhere from the Poseidome and Frosty Freezy Field to Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. Partially inspired by an article ranking Mario Super Sluggers characters, it is time to assemble a 26-player roster made up of Nicktoons characters. 

Writer’s Note: The Wii and Xbox versions of this game offer 23 Nicktoons characters, so I added three of my own that would fit with the team’s overall design. It has been years since I played this game, so bear with me if my analysis is imperfect. 

Infielders (6) 

  • Larry the Lobster 
  • Ultra Lord  
  • Yak 
  • Zim 
  • Arnold Shortman 
  • Jimmy Neutron 

With his bulky muscles, Larry the Lobster can hit moonshots beyond the surface of the sea. Yak, whose voice is the first thing I think of every time Joe Buck says Patrick Mahomes, can also play at first base with his power, and it would not surprise me if these two sluggers took turns playing first. Zim can wreak havoc on the basepaths with his glove, which is used most effectively at second base. Ultra Lord would make an elite third baseman because even though he does not have top-tier speed, he has near-perfect accuracy that would allow him to make highlight-reel plays just like Gio Urshela.  

Arnold Shortman (who is not included in any version of the game), and Jimmy Neutron are the two players I expect to work well in the middle of the infield. Available only on the Nintendo DS version, Neutron’s intellect is going to help him make smart fielding decisions with the bases loaded while his speed would make him a top-of-the-order player. Although not available in the games, Shortman’s baseball flow and football-shaped head help him throw or even toss the ball during double play situations, especially if he plays shortstop. 

Outfielders (5) 

  • Powdered Toast Man 
  • Otis 
  • Fanboy 
  • Dudley Puppy 
  • Flying Dutchman 

Every outfielder can typically do one of two things: hit dingers or play Gold Glove defense. Dudley Puppy can fetch flyballs in the outfield, and while his muscles can lead to barreled baseballs, his canine speed will be lethal on the basepaths. The same can be said for Fanboy, whose Gold Glove defense compliments his role as a Julio Rodriguez-like speedy leadoff hitter.  

Powdered Toast Man is a multi-ingredient mix of speed and contact, thus making him a particularly good segue to the heart of the order, while Otis (not included in any version of the game) can provide the powerful punch late in the batting order. When used in the lineup, the Flying Dutchman will thrive anywhere in the outfield as he will soar to great heights to snag a popup. 

Catchers (2) 

  • Patrick Star 
  • Sandy Cheeks 

Patrick Star’s style of play, from his powerful throwing arm to his hot bat, reminds me of Gary Sanchez during his tenure with the New York Yankees. Star does not have much speed, but he can turn on any meatball and send it to the moon with one powerful swing of the bat. The Bikini Bottom Bambino is also a valuable designated hitter, but when he is not behind the dish, Sandy Cheeks can come in and frame pitches with precision. With her black belt skills, no wild pitch will get past Cheeks, and runners will have to think twice before she chucks a baseball toward a base. 

Pitchers (13) 

  • Spongebob Squarepants (SP) 
  • Mr. Nesmith (SP) 
  • Ren Hoek (SP) 
  • Aang (SP) 
  • Danny Phantom (SP) 
  • Sheen Estevez (RP) 
  • Toph Beifong (RP) 
  • Kitty Katswell (RP) 
  • Chum Chum (RP) 
  • Katara (RP) 
  • Gaz Membrane (SU) 
  • Stimpy (SU) 
  • Prince Zuko (CP) 

Spongebob “Sandy Koufax” Squarepants is the Clayton Kershaw of this pitching staff, as he is a lefty that can strike hitters out in bunches. Squarepants’ signature sinker will have broadcasters saying “hook, line and sinker” every time he strikes out a batter and sends them to the bottom of the ocean. I wanted to have five different shows represented in the rotation, and Mr. Nesmith was a better fit over Sheen “Ultrason” Estevez. Nesmith can leave people dumbfounded with his intelligent splitter and two-seam combination. Aang is an airbender, and while his fastball will blow hitters away, his floating knuckleball will force hitters to check their bat after they swing and miss. The last airbender has mastered all four elements, so mastering the eephus should be no problem for this dynamic pitcher. Kodai Senga has the ghost pitch, but Danny “he is a” Phantom has a ghoulish splitter in his ghastly arsenal while Marland T. “Ren” Hoek’s screwball is just simply stinky. 

Even though he is not a starter, Estevez’s screwball and knuckleball mix easily makes him the No. 1 long reliever option, opposite of the duties of “Major League’s” Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn (played by Charlie Sheen). Kitty Katswell can take on a middle reliever role with her aggressive splitter, while Chum Chum’s southpaw changeup can leave hitters stumped in two-out situations. Do not sleep on Toph Beifong or Katara in that bullpen because their two-pitch combinations will have hitters bending over backwards. 

When filling out a lineup in MLB 2K, you have the option of assigning two pitchers to a setup role just behind the closer. Gaz Membrane focuses on a spooky fastball because it produces gas, which is part of her name, but Stimpson J. Cat is the Andrew Miller-type reliever who will sit hitters down with a disgusting curveball-slider combination. Prince Zuko is a master firebender from the Fire Nation, and it only makes sense that he is the one chucking triple digits in a save situation. With his flaming hot fastball, Zuko can turn the lights out just like Aroldis Chapman, Jhoan Duran and Emmanuel Clase all do. 

Coaching Staff 

  • Master Splinter (Manager) 
  • Lincoln Loud (Bench Coach) 
  • Hank Mufflin (hitting coach) 
  • Mr. Crocker (pitching coach) 
  • Rocko Rama (first base coach) 
  • Jack Fenton (third base coach) 
  • Professor Keswick (Major League Coach and Analyst) 
  • Carl Wheezer (Bullpen Coach) 
  • Pig (Catching Coach) 
  • Squidward Tentacles (Quality Control Coach) 

There are more broadcasters named in Nicktoons MLB (like Perch Perkins and Gir) than coaches, but it is always fun to imagine a potential winning coaching staff. Master Splinter manages four different attitudes in New York City with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and his ability to develop players is going to lead to long-term success as the team’s official manager. Lincoln Loud makes a good bench coach because he lives in a house with 10 sisters and has to manage responsibilities day in and day out. Without going through the rest in detail, I personally like Keswick as the team’s analyst because he is always calculating something for the T.U.F.F Agents to take down D.O.O.M. In an age where statistics reign supreme, he is the team’s Billy Beane and the mastermind behind their roster creation. 

General Manager/Owner 

  • Eugene H. Krabs 

At the basic level, general managers get to work with the money. Mr. Eugene Krabs, owner of the Krusty Krab, loves money. I would not be surprised if Krabs took the Steve Cohen approach and gave out $20 million annual contracts to each of his star players, even if it means parting with his hard-earned cash. 

The Nicktoons Headliners are months removed from a loss in the League Championship Series against the Disney XD Xtreme and Animation World Series MVP Perry the Platypus. With significant additions to the outfield and changes in the coaching staff, no team can stop this juggernaut, not the Cartoon Network Animators or even the best roster that Mario Super Sluggers can assemble. By the time the calendar flips to November, the Headliners will be making national headlines as Animation World Series champions. 

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