I wouldn’t exactly call myself a baseball fan, but even I was mesmerized by the home run derby between sluggers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in the summer of 1998, when I was just 14 years old. Those two guys put on a hitting clinic throughout the season as they chased Roger Maris‘ home run record together. It was heartbreaking to learn, years after the fact, that it was all too good to be true.
McGwire and Sosa practically resurrected the sport of baseball that summer while driving in runs for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs, respectively. Chasing one of the game’s most hallowed records, they igniting the passion and imagination of fans and non-fans everywhere. The drama would be remembered for generations, albeit for different reasons.
In ESPN’s new 30 for 30 film Long Gone Summer, director AJ Schnack takes viewers back to that complicated landmark season. McGwire and Sosa both sit for in-depth interviews, talking at length for the first time in over two decades to paint an intimate portrait of their chase for greatness, and everything they sacrificed in their pursuit of immortality.
Long Gone Summer boasts a musical score composed by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, a St. Louis-area native and current Chicago resident, and will debut on June 14 on ESPN and ESPN2. Watch the trailer below, and then click here to watch the trailer for ESPN’s Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance in the event you somehow missed that excellent 10-part series.