Chicago Cubs: Three things I’m hoping to see in Long Gone Summer
Here are three things I would like to see in the upcoming Chicago Cubs documentary, Long Gone Summer.
Chicago Cubs fans will be treated to some great moments in Cubs history on Sunday when ESPN presents its documentary, Long Gone Summer, featuring the home run chase of 1998 with Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. Many Cubs fans still have complicated feelings when it comes to Sosa, but it still figures to be an entertaining documentary.
The two sluggers from totally different backgrounds will forever be linked together for what happened in 1998, and interestingly enough, McGwire hit his record-breaking 62nd home run off Steve Trachsel and the Cubs. It was an incredible time in baseball history, one that transcended sports, as those old enough to remember will recall.
When I watch this documentary on Sunday, I’m not sure what to expect. Still, there are some things that I would like to see from it. Here are three of them:
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Lots of player and fan reaction
I’m hoping that this documentary serves as more than just a summary of what happened in 1998. I hope there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes footage, along with reflections from other players who were involved in the chase and from fans. I really would like to know what other players thought of being teammates of McGwire and Sosa, or what opposing players though about all the media hoopla every time they played the Cardinals and Cubs. I’m also hoping that many fans will have a chance to share their memories, which will rekindle my own memories of that time.
No mention – or at least little mention – of steroids
We all know that Sosa and McGwire took performance-enhancing drugs. We also know that many other players did back in the 1990s. In addition, we know that the arguments for and against including those who we know took them in the Hall of Fame and in other MLB celebrations have been presented to death.
Is it a black eye for the history of the game? Absolutely. Yet I’m so tired of hearing and arguing about steroids that I’m hoping this documentary will be a place to escape that for at least a couple of hours. Instead, I want to recall all the happy moments from one of my best childhood memories. We can save the steroids debate for another time.
Inspiration to get baseball going again
The 1994-1995 players’ strike is one of the darkest events in baseball history. The game, it many ways, has recovered from that. And though I think the argument that the 1998 home run chase “saved” baseball is overblown a bit, there’s no question that it was important in generating fan interest in the game.
Right now, we’re facing another critical moment in baseball history, as owners and players go back and forth on terms to bring some baseball back for the 2020 season. I don’t think there’s one fan that wants to go through what happened 25 years ago again.
The lack of live baseball has played at least some role in reviving interest in what happened in 1998, yet I’m hoping this documentary will serve as a reminder of what a great game that baseball is and that we need it back soon. I hope the owners and players will be watching.