Sosa, McGwire Steroid Fueled HR Record Chase 30 for 30 Coming Soon


Just a couple weeks ago, we wrote of the “steroid wing” of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. It’s just one single glass case, but it contains jerseys worn by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa during the famous, and now infamous 1998 home run record chase in which both surpassed Roger Maris’ 61 homers in 1961.

There’s even a copy of Sports Illustrated, with both men depicted as Greek Gods and anointed “Sportsmen of the Year” on the cover (pictured below). You can read the whole piece at this link.

And now comes a new 30 for 30 “Long Gone Summer,” directed by AJ Schnack, which premieres on ESPN, at 8pm central on June 14. So get your DVRs ready on Flag Day.

For some bizarre reason, the ESPN PR blurb promoting the documentary does not mention the word “steroids” or phrase “PEDs,” not even once, but here’s a snippet from it anyway:

Featuring in-depth interviews with both McGwire and Sosa, talking at length for the first time in over two decades, the intimate portrait carries viewers through every twist and turn of the sluggers’ historic chase of Roger Maris’s iconic record of 61 home runs in a single season.

With a musical score composed by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, a St. Louis-area native and current Chicago resident, 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.

At least the Hall addresses the elephant in the room directly. Also, flashing back to this point in time, do you recall this very strange photo of McGwire and his wife in SI? She clearly just does not want to be there.

Sosa remains persona non grata with the Cubs, and there’s no reason to believe that this documentary, and the inevitable hype and publicity which will surround it, will change that. However, when does “time heals all wounds” begin on that?

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago, on Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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