With the Long Gone Summer 30 for 30 coming out on Sunday, what are three things I’d love to see from it?
In 1998, Mark McGwire energized St. Louis Cardinals Nation and captivated the whole world of baseball fans while he battled the Cubs’ Sammy Sosa for the home run record.
The season finished with McGwire earning the crown, destroying Roger Maris’ record of 61 homers with 70. Sosa finished with 66, but both records were tainted. Neither McGwire nor Sosa did it clean, but there was not a day that these two didn’t capture the eyes of the sports world.
Long Gone Summer is the most recent in ESPN’s 30 for 30 series. Recently, The Last Dance, a 10-part series on Michael Jordan was followed up by Lance, a documentary on Lance Armstrong and his doping scandal. Both of these were extremely successful and hopefully this one lives up to both of those. Long Gone Summer is directed by AJ Schnack and airs on Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. CT.
This was a huge story for Cardinals fans at the time and while I was not technically born at the time that all this was happening, there are things I hope to see in this doc. What are the top three of them?
No. 1: An honest explanation of why Big Mac did it
One of the most interesting parts of the Lance Armstrong 30 for 30 was that it let Lance Armstrong explain why he made the choice to dope. In that, it was because everyone was doing it. It was part of the sport.
While McGwire and Sosa were at the beginning of the so-called “Steroid Era” of the MLB, I’d love to get a look behind McGwire’s thinking behind it. From the time that McGwire confessed to the cheating, we know how sorry he was and all that, but now that this is being brought back up 20 years later, I wonder how his thoughts on it may have changed.
Also, I want to know if he regrets it. I would guess yes, but I really think that the time he may not have. Was there one specific point where he crossed the line? There’s so much to explore there.
No. 2: Interviews with Big Mac’s teammates
I wonder what it would feel like to play alongside a literal superhero. Big Mac and Sosa were larger than life characters both in stature and on-field play. What was it like to play with him? Was he a good leader?
The most important question I want to know? Did you know he was doping?
They had to know right?
I wonder what it was like to get pitched to batting before him… There are so many different ways to approach this.
No. 3: Lots and lots of home run highlights
As someone who was not born at the time of this home run race, I am not as familiar with Mark McGwire’s biggest highlights as someone who watched it.
I’d hope that ESPN will go through and follow the storylines of his biggest homers of that year.
Also, we have all been missing the glorious sounds of home runs being hit and getting to see a bunch of legendary ones would brighten everyone’s day.
I have high hopes for Long Gone Summer, especially because it has to do with a part of Cardinals’ history I wasn’t able to watch. Remember, 8:00 CT on Sunday night, hopefully it lives up to expectations.