On Tuesday, ESPN announced a series of new ’30 For 30′ documentaries set to be released early due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the episodes will highlight the slugfest of a summer that was the 1998 MLB home run race.
The documentary is called “Long Gone Summer” and is directed by AJ Schnack, who is a Cardinals fan according to his Twitter avatar. It’s set to debut on Sunday, June 14th at 8 PM CDT.
Schnack is a nonfiction filmmaker, artist, and writer based in Los Angeles. A Southern Illinois native, he’s a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
In the film, Schnack takes us back to the 1998 season and shares highlights, in-depth interviews with Sosa and McGwire, and the twists and turns of chasing the single-season home run record that went unbroken for more than two decades. The previous record was held by Roger Maris at 61 home runs in the 1961 season.
It’s a journey back through time that recalls how impactful and emotional the story was — despite how the accomplishments would later be called into question during the infamous steroid era.
I was seven years old in 1998, so I can’t tell you too much from memory, but I will tell you the home run race is what made me a baseball fan. This should be a fun one following the excitement of The Last Dance.
Other documentaries set to release in the coming weeks include “LANCE,” a two-part film about Lance Armstrong’s story through raw interviews and personal perspective, and “Be Water,” an intimate and very personal look at the life and purpose that motivated Bruce Lee.