Major League Baseball is co-producing a baseball drama aimed at Generation Z

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My dad, born in 1943, is supposedly a member of the “Silent Generation,” which means that he liked Bob Dylan, but only as long as he played protest songs and liked protests only as long as the protesters had short hair and got a damn job.

My mom, born in 1948 is a Baby Boomer and pretty much fits the stereotypical bill. She wore stuff with shoulder pads in it in the 80s and watched “M*A*S*H”. What, you thought all Baby Boomers were at Woodstock? Bah.

I date to 1973, which means I spent most of my 20s and 30s overly-preoccupied with “authenticity” without ever bothering to ask why, setting back my emotional development a good ten years. I also have strong feelings for Winona Ryder and never felt older than when she showed up as the half-crazy mom of a high school kid in “Stranger Things.”

My fiancee was born in 1980 and, according to most sources, that makes her a Millennial, but she bristles at that label. I can see both sides. In some ways she has more Gen-X qualities, separate and apart from liking a tired old Gen-X guy like me, than Millennial qualities. On the other hand, she is constantly explaining to me how technology works and unironically likes things simply because they bring her joy and that’s TOTALLY not a Gen-X thing.

Point is: generations are somewhat amorphous and difficult to peg. Major League Baseball thinks it has a way of getting to a specific generation, however. Via a new TV show:

Today, AwesomenessTV and Major League Baseball announced that their new scripted series “Out of My League” will premiere on September 19th on AwesomenessTV. The series features an all-star cast featuring Lauren Elizabeth Luthringshausen (3M fans) and Brian Redmon (654K fans) with Caeli Santa Olalla (16.9M fans) and Ryan Abe (857K fans). Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star center fielder, Joc Pederson (439K fans) also makes a special appearance.

Shot in and around legendary Dodger Stadium, “Out of My League” follows Claire (Luthringshausen), a die-hard Dodgers fan visiting her dad in LA for the summer, and Chase (Redmon), a surfer who knows little about baseball. Claire is doing a good job avoiding distractions while spending her days at the ballpark rooting on her team, until she meets Chase and both of their worlds are turned upside down.

“We produce premium content that engages our Gen Z audience, and partnering with MLB gave us the opportunity to make stories with the themes this audience cares about in the iconic setting of America’s pastime, “said Paul Kelly, Chief Partnerships Officer at AwesomenessTV.  “‘Out of My League’ brings a new perspective of the baseball experience to this audience, whether they are established supporters of teams or new baseball fans.”

The trailer is below.

Full disclosure: “AwesomenessTV” is, apparently, partially owned by NBC’s parent company, Comcast, even if I’ve never heard of it before. I have heard of Major League Baseball and will grant that (a) this show is not aimed at me, it’s aimed at “Generation Z,” which I assume is what my daughter’s generation is; and (b) a show like this may be better received by those types than yet another appearance of Fallout Boy playing a three-year-old song before the All-Star Game is, so good for Major League Baseball for making an effort.

Which is to say, hey, whatever works. Beyond Joc Pederson’s leaden acting in the trailer (should’ve gotten Puig for that part!), your appreciation for it will likely be directly proportional to how close you are to being the target audience:

 

Cards’ Pujols hits 700th career home run, 4th to reach mark

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 700th career home run on Friday night, connecting for his second drive of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers and becoming the fourth player to reach the milestone in major league history.

The 42-year-old Pujols hit No. 699 in the third inning, then launched No. 700 in the fourth at Dodger Stadium.

With the drive in the final days of his last big league season, Pujols joined Barry Bonds (762 homers), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) in one of baseball’s most exclusive clubs.

It’s been a remarkable run for Pujols. This was his 14th home run since the start of August for the NL Central-leading Cardinals, and his 21st of the season.

Pujols’ historic homer was a three-run shot against Dodgers reliever Phil Bickford. The ball landed in the first few rows of the left-field pavilion, the same location his two-run shot touched down the previous inning off left-hander Andrew Heaney.

Pujols received a prolonged standing ovation from the crowd – he finished out last season while playing for the Dodgers. He took a curtain call, raising his cap in acknowledgment.

The fans chanted “Pujols! Pujols!” They finally sat down after being on their feet in anticipation of seeing history.

Pujols snapped a tie with Alex Rodriguez for fourth on the list when he hit career homer No. 697 against Pittsburgh on Sept. 11.

Reaching 700 homers seemed like a long shot for Pujols when he was batting .189 on July 4. But the three-time NL MVP started to find his stroke in August, swatting seven homers in one 10-game stretch that helped St. Louis pull away in the division race.

“I know that early in the year … I obviously wanted better results,” Pujols said after he homered in a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 22. “But I felt like I was hitting the ball hard. Sometimes this game is going to take more away from you than the game (is) giving you back.

“So I think at the end of the day you have to be positive and just stay focused and trust your work. That’s something that I’ve done all the time.”

Pujols has enjoyed a resurgent season after returning to St. Louis in March for a $2.5 million, one-year contract. It’s his highest total since he hit 23 homers for the Angels in 2019.

He plans to retire when the season ends.

Pujols also began his career in St. Louis. He was selected by the Cardinals in the 13th round of the 1999 amateur draft and won the 2001 NL Rookie of the Year award.

The Dominican Republic native hit at least .300 with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs in each of his first 10 seasons. He helped the Cardinals to World Series titles in 2006 and 2011.

He set a career high with 49 homers in 2006 – one of seven seasons with at least 40 homers. He led the majors with 47 homers in 2009 and topped the NL with 42 in 2010.

Pujols left St. Louis in free agency in December 2011, signing a $240 million, 10-year contract with the Angels. He was waived by the Angels in May 2021, and then joined the Dodgers and hit 12 homers and drove in 38 runs in 85 games.