Jazz Chisholm is Eurostepping his way into video game history.
The Miami Marlins outfielder became the first Bahamian-born athlete to grace the cover of a sports video game with the announcement of MLB The Show 23 on Monday. In his three years in the big leagues, Chisholm has become one of the flashiest players in the game, with a colorful range of hairstyles, eye-catching on-field fashion and a signature Eurostep celebration.
“I’m from literally a small country that’s right outside the US, and you barely hear from athletes that come from there,” Chisholm told ESPN. “For me, it feels like I can finally give back to other kids and it feels like I can make a difference.”
In an injury-shortened 2022, Chisholm hit .254/.325/.535 with 14 homers, 12 stolen bases and 10 doubles in 60 games with 2.5 bWAR. While he remains a centerpiece for the Marlins’ rebuild, Chisholm has made headlines in recent years for his outgoing social media presence and his celebrations on the field.
Chisholm said the inspiration for his signature celebration came from 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.
But after a conversation with teammates Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison in spring training heading into 2021, Chisholm decided to bring the move onto the field. Chisholm told his teammates that he would start Eurostepping after his first home run, and after the celebration made waves on social media, a tradition was born.
“Everybody was like, you gotta keep doing it,” Chisholm said. “You can’t stop now.”
Chisholm was most excited when he saw the celebration had gotten animated into MLB the Show.
“My little brother sent it to me when it was in the trailer and I was like, ‘What?'” Chisholm said. “I watched it, and, bro, I was flipping out. I was like a little kid again.”
While his desire for personal self-expression has rubbed some in baseball the wrong way, Chisholm said he’s determined to remain himself regardless of the setting.
“You gotta know what that comes with, the noise,” Chisholm said. “You’re gonna get bashed, you’re gonna go on Twitter or Instagram and see stuff. You’re gonna have teammates that love it and that don’t like it. You just gotta learn to cancel it out and realize you have to be yourself while also not overstepping yourself.”
Chisholm said this was a learning process for him.
“I was way worse at 18,” Chisholm said. “If I was 18 right now, it would’ve been crazy.”
But being yourself can come with criticism. When Chisholm faces pushback from people in the game or the fans, he remembers the criticism Ken Griffey Jr. received for wearing a backwards baseball cap.
“Once I’m doing what I have to do, it shouldn’t be a problem,” Chisholm said. “You try to be the person you watched growing up. Nobody will ever bash anybody for trying to be like Derek Jeter because he was so perfect, but if you find someone to be like Ken Griffey Jr., it’s harder because he was The Kid . If you try to be like that, it could be too much for the world.”
With self-expression on the rise in baseball — from colorful cleats to chains to bat flips — Chisholm hopes to continue the push for a more accepting game, pointing to Julio Rodriguez, Michael Harris, Shohei Ohtani, Marcus Stroman and Francisco Lindor among the players growing the game’s culture. But there are more steps the game could take, according to Chisholm, such as allowing painted bats during games.
Although the game has come a long way, he sees more to be done.
“I just channel the culture I’m from,” Chisholm said. “I’m from the Bahamas, I’m Black. So I’m trying to channel everything from basketball to the Negro Leagues. I’ve been studying my history. It gives me love. My name is already Jazz, so I gotta rep the culture.”