Growing up in the 80's and keeping myself in candy money by selling baseball cards (embarassing fact: I actually had a table at a baseball card show once as a kid), I'll certainly remember the great lineup of the '87 Minnesota Twins, lead by Kent Hirbek and the late Kirby Puckett (who would go on to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001) and the pitching of Frank Viola and Bert Blyleven.
The Twins didn't have one of the strongest seasons, but despite their road record of 29-52 (the team had the lowest winning percentage ever for a World Series champ), the Twins managed to work their way into the playoffs, first beating the Tigers (who had the best record going into the playoffs) and then faced the St. Louis Cardinals (who were favored by many to win) in the World Series, winning the series 4-3 and nabbing the World Series title for Tom Kelly, who managed the win in his first season. Each team won all the games played on their home turf, the first time that that had occured in baseball history.
Backed by crazed fans at the Metrodome (after Dan Gladden's grand slam in the first game, noise meters clocked the decibel level in the dome at 118 - in comparison, a jet engine is about 120 decibels), these are exciting games; while the Twins easily take the first two games, the tables turn once the series moves to St. Louis.
What does disappoint me again here - and I've mentioned it in every review of a Major League Baseball product on DVD - is that the MLB logo is once again seen throughout the entire program. While the logo is fairly small, it's sizable enough to be distracting. I was hoping that, for a World Series set, it would be gone, as people who are buying this set have spent a lot to have to view the entire series with the logo in the top corner.
A positive note that must be mentioned is the set's use of the inserts for each of the discs. Instead of just slapping on some basic graphics, the inserts (both inside and out) provide a scorecard, game highlights, trivia, attendance, number of pitches, game running time and trivia. All the information you need to know about each game has been fit onto the cover.
VIDEO: A & E presents the series in its original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. Image quality does have a few issues but, as a notice states on the box, there are some issues with the original master copy that were not able to be fixed. That said, sharpness and detail are a tad inconsistent, but the picture is mostly crisp and the occasional soft moments don't look too terribly soft.
Some minor wear is noticed on the source elements, but only infrequently and when it is noticed, it's not much of a distraction at all. Additionally, some slight shimmering is also spotted on occasion. Colors seemed natural and accurate, with nice saturation and no smearing or other concerns. This presentation looked a little improved over the 1986 Mets World Series DVD set. In both cases, it's amusing to be reminded of how unslick sports broadcasts looked 20 years ago.
SOUND: The stereo soundtrack of the games sound perfectly fine although, as with the video, there are some minor imperfections in the source material. However, the audio is mostly crisp and clear.
EXTRAS: While not extensive, the few extras that are offered here round out the set fairly well. We get the '87 World Series Trophy presentation to the Twins, as well as parade footage, a post-game interview with Puckett and the MVP presentation to Frank Viola. There's also a look at the Twins' history and footage of the Twins Clinching the American League West, Twins 4-run rally in the 8th inning of ALCS game 1, the 1987 ALCS clincher and Harmon Killebrew throwing out the World Series game one 1st pitch. Overall, about 45 minutes of extra footage is included.
Final Thoughts: Twins fans should be pleased with this set that captures this classic World Series match-up. While the fact that the MLB logo remains on-screen is irritating, image and audio quality is otherwise very good and the extras round out the set nicely. Highly recommended for fans.