Chicago Cubs: Sosa and McGwire’s “Long Gone Summer” is almost here
Expectations and suspense are sky high as ESPN gets ready to debut another long-awaited documentary- this one focusing on the Summer of ’98 home run chase in its “Long Gone Summer” on Sunday, June 14.
ESPN may have to move into the sports documentary business full-time if this COVID-19 lockdown and its The Last Dance success are any indication of the future of sports. With their unprecedented success and the fact that we still don’t have any kind of live sports worth mentioning, ESPN has moved up the clock on yet another documentary dealing with a larger-than-life athlete and his exploits as a member of the Chicago Cubs during the summer of 1998.
Of course, this athlete was a little bit better at baseball than Michael Jordan, and was nearly as big a cultural and sports star at the height of his powers. And, while no one would confuse Sammy Sosa with the GOAT, these guys were both kings of Chicago and darlings of the worldwide sports stage in the late 90s, helping to vault their respective sports to newfound popularity amongst the masses.
Jordan may have had a just a tad more success willing his teams to championships and parades (not to mention selling shoes and becoming a global icon and NBA owner in his post-playing days), but make no mistake – Sosa was almost as big a deal as Jordan for a stretch in the summer of 1998. We just tend to forget it because of how history has treated them since.
Coming right off the heels of The Last Dance both as a documentary in 2020 and in its own historical time, the Sosa/Mark McGwire documentary Long Gone Summer will pick up pretty much right after Jordan crossed up Bryon Russell for the iconic mid-range jumper to seal the 1998 Larry O’Brien trophy and second Bulls three-peat of the 1990’s.
The documentary will detail the exploits of Slammin’ Sammy and Big Mac during the Summer of ’98 – an iconic summer in sports that served to bring baseball back from the dead following the strike of 1994-95. How did it do that, you ask? Well, if you weren’t around in 1998 to witness if firsthand, read on to see what all the fuss was about and what to expect from the documentary.