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ET), takes a look at the 1998 season with in-depth interviews with McGwire and Sosa. While watching towering shots threaten to shatter the lights of the stadium makes for fleeting entertainment, the problem with the Home Run Derby is that the grandest of long balls only occur in the wild. Monopoly: Star Wars The Mandalorian Edition Game With Figure, Disney Parks Holiday Collection – shopDisney. McGwire speaks briefly about coming to terms with being a fly-ball, home-run hitter — instead of a five-tool ballplayer — but Schnack doesn’t bring in any hitting experts to extol on the difficulties of belting dingers. He kept pace early on before fading and finishing the year with a mere 56 homers…10 shy of Sosa, and 14 off McGwire’s record-breaking pace. A rookie in the sport playing for the Chicago Cubs, Sammy Sosa, had an incredible season, quickly catching up to the Big Mac’s home run number. Sign up for our Email Newsletters here. Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Copyright © 2020 Penske Business Media, LLC. This 30 for 30 documentary chronicles the 1998 baseball season when not one, but two players were neck-in-neck in a race to beat Roger Maris’ record for the most number of home runs in a single season. Home runs are best appreciated in the context of a game, which often gains added meaning from a season-long marathon, or even a 100-year championship drought. Of course, anyone who remembers that season knows its aftermath, and eventually Long Gone Summer reaches its extended coda, where the revelation of players’ steroid use comes out, causing fans and commentators to see the 1998 chase in … Director AJ Schnack takes viewers back to the 1998 baseball season – its tremendous highlights, massive impact, and undeniable complications. There’s a healthy competition between the two men and a fun dichotomy between Sosa’s larger-than-life persona and Mark McGwire’s more reclusive sensibilities that is fun to watch. Each player’s ambitions erupted into an unforgettable chase to best Roger Maris’s record. Sign up for our Email Newsletters here. Despite (or because of) both athlete’s participation, McGwire’s admission to juicing isn’t mentioned until there are only 10 minutes left, and Sosa’s corked bat isn’t mentioned at all. Steroids certainly come into play and the commentators remind viewers that in 1998, the MBA didn’t have any rules against it. But when you’re still staring at Mark McGwire’s hulking physique or Sammy Sosa’s suspicious bat for two hours, there’s simply no way to put blinders on — not if you’re seeking any kind of authentic appreciation of their accomplishments. The film is a journey back through time that recalls how seismic and emotional the story was – even as the legitimacy of the accomplishments at its center would later be called into question. See All Buying Options. In case it’s not painfully clear, I’m a lifelong Cubs fan and thus the ideal audience for a feature-length documentary on the 1998 home run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. ESPN's "Long Gone Summer" is a 30 for 30 documentary about the 1998 baseball season when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa reinvigorated the sport by beating Roger Maris' home run record in a season. Interviews with leading film and TV creators about their process and craft. Following the documentary, “Inside 30 for 30: Long Gone Summer” will air on ESPN+. All rights reserved. Mark McGwire being interviewed for “Long Gone Summer”. It all starts with 1994 when the baseball season was cut short by a strike that left many diehard fans feeling burned. Unlike Lance, which spent nearly four-hours covering controversy over steroid use, Long Gone Summer focuses mostly on the triumph of these two men. The bulk of the doc’s runtime is rightly spent on McGwire — he broke the record after all, and as close as Sosa came to topping him, the Cubs’ right-fielder is mainly there for charm and color. But wait, there’s more! It clears up any confusion about the accomplishments of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in an honest way. Schnack prefers to provide brief glimpses of each players’ pre-’98 career, rather than the scandal that changed everything a few years later. ESPN’s new 30 for 30 film “Long Gone Summer,” which debuts at 8 p.m. (9 p.m. You bet. Ominously starting with Todd McFarlane trying to justify his million-dollar collection of McGwire and Sosa baseballs (as well as a throwaway shot of St. Louis’ tourist staple, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard), “Long Gone Summer” never escapes such superficial engagement with the story at hand, as it’s disproportionately focused on the race itself. 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Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. This family-friendly viewing experience celebrates the excitement of the moment, why it was so important, and why it should still be celebrated. That may be true, but, even if you set the scandal aside, it doesn’t mean much in hindsight: 2019 saw ongoing complaints about too many home runs, contrasted by a record-setting drop in attendance. ‘Soul’ Aims for Oscar Glory as Disney Shifts to Streaming, but Not All Films Deserve the Same Release, How Closed Theaters, Drive-In Movies, and Netflix Supremacy Are Shaping Oscar Season, ‘Chicago 7’ Vs. the World: How Aaron Sorkin’s Awards-Friendly Epic Jolted a Strange Awards Season, Introducing ‘Deep Dive’: Damon Lindelof and His Team Go Behind the Scenes of ‘Watchmen’, ‘Succession’: How Editing Helps Every Dinner Scene Come to Life — Deep Dive, Becoming Hooded Justice: The ‘Watchmen’ Craft Team Analyzes the Emotional, Pivotal Scene – Deep Dive, 40 Must-See New Movies to See This Fall Season, The Fate of Movie Theaters Could Hinge on the Outcome of the Election, Zoe Lister-Jones Shook Up Hollywood with Her All-Female Crew, Now She’s Doing It with ‘The Craft: Legacy’. I give Long Gone Summer 4 out of 5 of Todd McFarlane’s overpriced game-winning baseballs. Write a review. Disney Parks Reveals 2020 Holiday Spirit Jerseys, Loungefly Bags and More! “See ball, hit ball,” McGwire quips at one point, summing up the evaluation of his skill, even though there’s obviously more to it than that. Griffey’s clean record on steroid use doesn’t really matter here. Well, watching 136 home runs in 104 minutes may hold up for a live event like the Derby, but it definitely doesn’t work here. At the same time, two good sports is less exciting to watch than two cutthroat rivals, losing some of the excitement in the middle of the documentary. (It’s tossed off in a coda right before the credits roll.) Laughing Place is a dedicated group of Disney fans, like yourself, who love Disney. Four years later, stadiums were still largely empty, but the potential of a potential record breaking moment that many thought would never come changed everything. 'Long Gone Summer' official trailer: McGwire & Sosa's 1998 home run chase. ET), takes a look at the 1998 season with in-depth interviews with McGwire and Sosa. by Alex Reif | Jun 10, 2020 9:39 AM Pacific Time. Long Gone Summer is an honest look back at a year that reinvigorated baseball for America. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. A truly human and balanced view of Bruce the man. 1:07 'Long Gone Summer' exclusive look: McGwire's chase for the Maris record. Maybe because the steroid scandal soured many fans’ relationship with the long ball? Nothing would make me happier than to remember that summer as pure, uncorrupted, childhood fun, or to see my favorite player the same way I did then. The sport’s best(-ish) sluggers step to the plate and launch long ball after long ball into stands of “ooo”-ing and “ahh”-ing spectators. Mark Heim is a sports reporter for The Alabama Media Group. But I can’t. There’s just one version of the film to watch on Sunday, June 14th, and its suitable for the whole family to enjoy. Much has changed since I was an adolescent gazing at the heroic sluggers’ race to beat Roger Maris’ single-season home run record, with steroid scandals and corked bats tarnishing the purity of the players, as well as a sport that still relishes its virtuous image. “Long Gone Summer” doesn’t bother with the tough questions, nor does it pose them to McGwire and Sosa. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20). How are ratings calculated? He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. “Long Gone Summer” wants viewers to appreciate a feat of the past without considering if it was fabricated — just watch the balls soar and don’t ask too many questions. Laughing Place is not endorsed by or affiliated with the Walt Disney Company, or its subsidiaries. ESPN gives baseball fans the chance to relive one of the most exciting years the sport has ever seen in Long Gone Summer. PodcastLaughing Place PressDiscussion Boards, More DisneyStar WarsMarvelDisney TheatricalDisney Consumer ProductsDisney InteractiveDisney BooksD23ESPN, FollowFacebookYouTubeTwitterInstagramRSS Feed, ESPN Releases Trailer for 30 for 30 film "Long Gone…, New Series "Inside 30 for 30" Coming Exclusively to ESPN+, ESPN Moves Up Premiere Dates for 30 for 30 Films…, TV Review - "NBA Rooks: Home Away From Home" on ESPN+, shopDisney’s Disney Castle Collection Features Famous Animated Palaces. Still, it’s perplexing to see how little “Long Gone Summer” cares about their lives, or even their basic athletic attributes, outside of the ’98 season. In 1998, St. Louis Cardinals’ Mark McGwire and Chicago Cubs’ Sammy Sosa embarked on a chase for the single-season home run record of 61 that was set by Roger Maris 37 years prior. (He claims to have only taken them to help with recovery.) By using this website you agree to Laughing Place’s User Agreement and Privacy Policy. Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! ET on ESPN. Intermittent glimpses into history, be it looking back at Maris’ quest to break Babe Ruth’s original home run record or hearing from groundskeepers about the pandemonium surrounding each at-bat, help break up the feeling that you’re seeing a pre-taped home run derby, but this story demands more excavation — more reckoning with the past and what it means to the present.

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