Blog by Roger Schlueter
MLB Productions house historian
This Week In Baseball, in its 31st season on air, is the longest running sports anthology show in the history of television. In its early years, TWIB was the only place fans got to see highlights of games other than those of their own team. For more than 20 years TWIB was hosted by legendary broadcaster, Mel Allen – then, for two years, by Hall of Fame inductee, Ozzie Smith. In 2000, TWIB took a bold step forward – selecting a different player to host the show each week, which allowed fans to connect with the players on a much more personal level. Over the past few years TWIB showcased the best in the game as superstars such as Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, Albert Pujols, and Pedro Martinez hosted the show. In 2008, TWIB continues to take fans inside the game like no other show can – giving them unprecedented access as TWIB imbeds itself with a different team each week. Fans will get a look into the clubhouse and hear what players talk about as they are wired during batting practice and actual games. Although TWIB today is very much in tune with 21st century Baseball, it still maintains some subtle links to the past: first with “TWIB Notes” – the classic feature looking around the league at fun facts and happenings. TWIB also strengthens its ties to the past with a weekly “great plays” segment called “How ’bout That”, featuring the most outstanding weekly plays from around the league mixed in with wireless from the best players and set to a contemporary musical hit by the industry’s biggest recording artists, such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Robert Randolph Band. The name of the segment is a tribute to former host Mel Allen, who made the phrase “How ’bout That” legendary. TWIB brings back “Pepsi Presents…”, highlighting the monthly candidates and winners of the Pepsi Clutch Performer of the Month Award, created to champion the most clutch players of the month and year as voted by the fans. In non-voting weeks, TWIB shifts focus to “Make Your Body Happy”, presented by Aquafina, which lets the game’s biggest stars share the most memorable moments they’ve had on the diamond. In addition, TWIB begins to explore how far baseball reaches into our culture and society with “Baseball Is…” , a segment devoted to celebrating the impact baseball has made on celebrities, fans, and players. This Week In Baseball airs Saturdays on FOX for 26 episodes this season.