The MLB’s Atlanta Braves Love Playing Mario Kart 8 During Rain Delays

I've always wondered why professional athletes don't bring along Nintendo DS's or old-school Game Boys to break out during downtime, especially when it comes to sports that consistently involve a lot of it. The reality is that handheld gaming's often antisocial nature would probably be frowned upon in most clubhouses, especially if you're a young second or third string hoping to eventually make the cut. It's probably best to pay attention to what's going on rather than pay attention to evolving your Charmeleon into a Charizard.

Rain delays are another story entirely though, and the lengthy one during Tuesday's Major League Baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates served as a perfect opportunity to break out the Nintendo Switch for some team-bonding Mario Kart 8 action.

In a report that describes the Braves' knack for kart racing on their "Nintendo Wii Switch," the thoughts of Braves athlete Luke Jackson on the matter revealed the teams' established Mario Kart hierarchy.
 

The best in the clubhouse is definitely Nick Markakis, as he is phenomenal. [Eric] O'Flaherty is pretty good, Ender is good and Sean Rodriguez is an actual solid sleeper pick. But Markakis is probably clubhouse champ.

Meanwhile, Markakis himself weighed in, after first admitting that he plays quite a bit of Mario Kart 8 in his free time outside of baseball duties.
 

You've got to have some camaraderie in the clubhouse, and some fun other than baseball. We are here for one thing, and we realize that, but when you have down time, you've got to have some things to do. It is just one of those things.

Shortstop Dansby Swanson was able to sum up the entire Mario Kart encounter nicely, reflecting on simpler times and how the game helps bring the team together.
 

We love it, it brings back the good ol' days. We play during rain delays, before games and it is like a unique team-bonding experience.

The rain delay that prompted the fierce karting sessions was a whopping three hours and twelve minutes, so it's only reasonable the team would need something to do: it probably doesn't mean they'll be booting up the Nintendo Switch every game between innings from this point forward. Still, it's always nice to see gaming stretch even further mainstream than it already has, and if Atlanta's top athletes can have a blast with Mario Kart 8, then perhaps their fans will decide to do the same.