Last Thursday, 21-year-old Christopher Gilmore put aside his allegiance for one day. At 2K Sports' first ever eight-man single-elimination live MLB 2K12 tournament, the Red Sox fan chose the Yankees as his designated team.
Was it worth it?
Talk to the $1 million check.
Gilmore, a Brevard Community College student from Melbourne, Fla., had the third choice of team at the tournament in New York City. After the first two players picked the Tigers and Rangers, Gilmore pulled the Yankees off the board.
"I had to pick them," he told Florida Today. "It's about strategy."
Donning a pinstriped Yankee jersey, Gilmore rode the Bronx Bombers to three straight victories. He trailed only once, down 6-3 in the fourth inning of his first game, but a 10-run outburst ended the scare. In the final, Gilmore defeated No. 1 seed 25-year-old Charlie Bates of Conway, Ark., (insert Mighty Ducks joke here), 10-1.
Ironically, Gilmore earned the trip to New York by defeating the Red Sox. To qualify for the tournament, players needed to record not just a perfect game, but the most "points" during that perfect game. Points are earned based on the talent of the pitcher, the talent of the opposing team and the pitcher's performance. According to Forbes, 2K sports used an algorithm in which individual perfect games were ranked on degree of difficulty (opposing team's offensive skill and pitcher's skill) and level of perfection (number strikeouts and pitching efficiency).
Gilmore won by sending Kyle Drabek of the Blue Jays to the hill against the Red Sox. "I had to do it, but I am still a big fan," Gilmore said.
Drabek's gem posted a total of 800 points. It was one of Gilmore's four recorded perfect games during the qualifying phase. Note: In his one outing against the Red Sox in 2012 on April 10, Drabek tossed 5.1 innings and allowed one earned run for a win.
Gilmore's point total gave him the third seed at the event, thus the reason for getting the third choice of team.
Unlike many players of Gilmore's skill, the MLB 2K had not been a part of the champion’s life until recently. "Actually, I just started playing the MLB 2K games since last year's version with 2K11. I haven't really been a big gamer like everybody," he said.
A trip to Beantown may be in the works. "A couple of my buddies always wanted to go to Fenway Park, so I want to pick them up and take them to Boston," Gilmore said. "We could stay with my uncle who lives pretty close to the city, and end up going to a Fenway game. That would be really cool.”
Chris, you just won $1 million. Consider a hotel.
Oh yeah, a $1 million check was not all Gilmore won. He also got to meet Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover model Kate Upton, who presented the check. Apparently earning a Topps baseball card was just the tip of the iceberg for Upton's relationship with baseball.
As for Gilmore's MLB 2K future, the millionaire said: "I'm definitely going to play games more now. The other competitors that were there, everybody liked each other and they were all really nice. We're all going to stay friends, play in online leagues together, and stuff like that."
Sure you will. But you are probably going to have a larger TV. Much larger.
A 30-minutes Spike TV special are Gilmore's triumph is in the works.
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