Basketball fans have had a lot to look forward to recently even without live sports happening. ESPN's highly-anticipated Michael Jordan documentary - "The Last Dance" - was released two months early due to the lack of sports in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The documentary has lit up the basketball world, setting ratings records for ESPN and becoming the main topic of conversation among basketball fans on Twitter.
As someone who is not much of a basketball fan, I haven't been tuning in, but in seeing all of the talk, I can't help but be a little jealous and wish that there was something like this for baseball.
Well, us baseball fans are getting something from ESPN this summer. The network announced recently that it will debut a documentary on Jun 14 detailing the 1998 home run chase between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire.
The 30 for 30 presentation will be one of three films to premier in the weeks following the final episodes of "The Last Dance."
"Just as ESPN Films moved “The Last Dance” earlier to fill the void that live sports left, ESPN Films’ Peabody and Academy Award-winning 30 for 30 series is premiering three new documentaries, two of which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, that will air on Sundays in May and June," ESPN announced in a statement.
"Following the airing of final episodes of the record-breaking documentary series “The Last Dance,” ESPN will air 30 for 30s “LANCE,” “Be Water,” and “Long Gone Summer,” which was an official selection to the Tribeca Film Festival. The films will be made available on ESPN+ immediately after their respective premieres, along with the rest of the 30 for 30 library."
The film boasts in-depth interviews with both McGwire and Sosa, and ESPN says it will take 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."
This documentary sounds like it's going to be very entertaining, providing insight into what the 1998 season was like for both players and what it means all these years later.
But that's not all we'll get. ESPN also recently announced that an E:60 feature will be premiering on May 29 telling the story of late Hall of Fame pitcher Roy Halladay.
E:60 released the trailer for the film on Twitter, and it looks like it will be quite the ride.
Halladay, who threw a perfect game on May 29, 2010, died in a plane crash in 2017. The film features interviews with his wife and seems as if it will detail his personal struggle that few knew about during his lifetime.
"Imperfect: The Roy Halladay Story" is sure to be an emotional watch, but it will no doubt be a production that every baseball fan should tune in to.
While we will have to wait a little longer for live baseball to come back, each of these documentaries should provide plenty of entertainment and hold us over for the time being.
Now, if we were to ever get a "The Last Dance"-style documentary on a baseball team, who would be in it? Sports Illustrated seems to think the Core Four Yankees would be the right choice.
What do you think?
Matthew Atkins, Journalist and Baseball fan.