Major League Baseball just announced that MLB Productions Film and Production archives — and new videos too — are going up on iTunes. Included in the archives: the first season of “This Week in Baseball” from 1977.
To celebrate it, MLB has put the opening sequence of TWiB from 1977 online. And it’s … glorious.
Takeaways: how skinny Eddie Murray was. How much foul territory there was in a lot of those old parks. How crappy the groundskeeping was then compared to now. It’s a different game in so many ways today yet, because everything in baseball changes incrementally rather than quickly, that we rarely notice these changes as they’re happening.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.