Seven-hundred has been a memorable number in 2004. With Barry Bonds becoming only the third player in baseball history to hit 700 career home runs this season, there has been a lot more attention paid to reaching this special milestone.
"TWIB" will also crack the 700 barrier with its 700th episode. When the series first started airing in 1977, it immediately caught on with baseball fans and people in the game with its inside look at the inner workings of baseball, its fans and its great history and highlights.
"I can remember when people couldn't wait until they saw that show," said Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda, who has been featured on the series many times in its 27 seasons. "It was very, very entertaining and to see it continue for so many years, that's very understandable because I think it's one outstanding show. It brings so much about baseball to the viewing audience. It's interesting, it's exciting, and very entertaining."
Even today's players still get excited about the show they grew up with.
"I remember back when Mel Allen was the host and it was on once a week, it didn't run a couple of times a week -- it was on once and you didn't want to miss it," said Dodgers infielder Robin Ventura, who watched the show religiously growing up in Southern California. "I remember me and my older brother were always working on the lawn on Saturdays and I had the worst job, sweeping up, and it always took forever, so I'd only get to see the second part of the show, which was good enough.
"The first time you are actually on the show is great because it takes you back to your memories of watching it as a kid. It's one of those things that is just kind a part of baseball. For guys who are lucky enough to get here in the Majors, you can look back to that and remember how people are viewing you."
"It's how I kept up with baseball every Saturday," said Rockies first baseman Todd Helton. "I'd be at my grandmother's house and we'd be swimming or something and we'd always run into the house to watch "This Week in Baseball," just so we could get caught up, my brother and I. It was one of the highlights of the weekend.
"It's pretty neat to be on a show you grew up watching and really enjoyed. I still watch the old shows on ESPN c before I go to the park and see a lot of the guys who are coaching now when they were players and it's cool to see them on that show."
In this special episode, TWIB travels through the years to watch how the show has evolved since its debut. Baseball stars of the past and present, such as Mike Piazza, Derek Jeter, Will Clark and Fred Lynn, provide commentary on their fondest memories, from watching as a kid to hosting as a pro.
Other highlights include:
From the Vaults: TWIB pays homage to its former host, Mel Allen. From old commercials featuring the Hall of Fame broadcaster to an interview with his biographer Stephen Borelli, the shows honors its original voice.
Beyond the Fence: Highlights the best bloopers of all time, including Jose Canseco's infamous home run off his head.
Pepsi Pinch, Hit and Run with Jennie Finch: Features the Olympic gold medalist's best moments practicing with the pros.moreless
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