On the merits of baseball vs. football Thomas Boswell once wrote, "Baseball means that spring is here. Football means that winter is coming." By no means am I siding on one side or the other on that decades-long discussion, in fact I have no rooting interest in the race. But it feels like minus-13 degrees outside at the time of my writing this and a little spring would be nice. Also, in the interest of full disclosure I will mention that I recreated hitting a home run in the bottom of the ninth in the World Series when I was a kid, like many other kids did. That some baseball players were actually able to replicate this in a real-world setting on the sport's biggest stages is a source of some envy.
Which brings us to the 25 Greatest Postseason Home Runs, an hour-long feature presumably produced by Lionsgate for the Major League Baseball television network and A&E video. With a mix of video from the moments that are chosen and interviews with the players involved, the teammates of those players and an occasional pitcher or two that delivered the infamous moment, the feature helps to capture the moments adequately. In fact, many of the moments I recall watching as they occurred, such as Rick Monday's extra-inning homer in Montreal in 1981, or more famously when Kirk Gibson, dealing with injuries in both legs, hit a dinger off of the previously unhittable Dennis Eckersley (and causing the early exiting fan from Dodger Stadium to hit his brake lights in video that has been seen countless times since) which propelled the Los Angeles Dodgers to victory in both occasions.
Most of not all of the postseason round-trippers that have occurred that people will remember are included on the feature. Walk-off, World Series-clinching homers from Bill Mazeroski (in 1960) and Joe Carter (in 1993) are obviously included, and others such as Reggie Jackson's three home-run performance in the 1977 World Series are also included. The 25 home runs that are chosen are fairly straightforward and with little complaint, other than most of the 25 are from the era where television was broadcasting MLB games. The choice to do this is obvious, otherwise the feature would be mostly old players recalling moments that had no video attached to them.
That said, the choice I did have issue with from the feature was airing the home runs in chronological order. With a list as significant as the most significant, important, GREATEST, 25 home runs in the postseason, listing them as they occurred in history is a flat cop-out. Whomever was responsible for the 25 Greatest Postseason Home Runs should have realized that one of the goals of putting together a list like this was to generate discussion as to what was ranked where. Simply putting together a chronological list leaves the viewer simply forces the viewer to say, ‘hmm, decent list,' and move on with their lives thus making the list forgettable. Come on guys, stir a crapstorm next time of you want to make things like this worth talking about!
MLB Productions' 25 Greatest Postseason Home Runs is a fine product in the sense that there are 25 home runs which occurred in postseason games and they are neatly arranged in a list of 25. But it abandons the next logical step in the process of labeling what is the greatest, thus making any potential fun in the project hollow as a result. If the folks behind these lists are putting out similar ones for other accomplishments, they are aiming a little low in the discussion and should try harder in the future.
25 Greatest Postseason Home Runs is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen, consistent with any presumable airing of the special which may have occurred. The historical footage is reformatted for the aspect ratio and looks okay despite not being true to the original image. And the more recent homers look accurate to their initial broadcast, with no noticeable edge enhancement or haloing, and the image in general looks pristine.
Two-channel Dolby stereo, which for this is really not a surprise. The interviews sound clear and consistent, and while there is no involvement by the rear channels, the background score of the feature seems to have a low bass note or two, to further emphasize a key homer. All in all, the audio is straightforward and there is little to fret over.
There are interviews with some of the subjects, specifically those that hit their home runs during the television era, recorded right after their accomplishment (29:56). Seeing the interviews at the time is kind of neat (and I recall some of them, like the Gibson one), but considering some of these same participants are in the hour long piece, it is a novelty inclusion.
The 25 Greatest Postseason Home Runs was a good idea, but when executed falls short of the mark of similar lists, in that is does bring any additional debate to the list. It just…lists them. The disc is fine from a technical perspective and the additional interviews are nice, even if they are a touch redundant. But if you want to discuss a list of the 25 greatest homers in baseball postseason history, it is just better to do it at the bar rather than spending an hour watching this.