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New ’30 For 30′ on Sosa/McGwire 1998 Home Run Race Coming June 14

What if I told you two athletes slugging it out helped save baseball in the summer of 1998…

Photo: Chicago Tribune

22 years after the infamous 1998 home run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, we finally get to relive it in documentary form.

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.

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