“What if I told you, that 35 years after they last won it all, the 1986 Mets would be immortalized in one of the preeminent sports documentary series of the 2000s?”
Perhaps that’s not the tagline the commercial will use, but indeed, this is set to happen, as ESPN Films announced on Thursday that they have begun production on a multi-part ’30 For 30’ documentary centered around the 1986 World Series Champion New York Mets.
According to the release, the production is a partnership between MLB, Jimmy Kimmel’s Kimmelot, ITV America, and Nick Davis Productions, with Kimmel and “Cousin Sal” Iacono as two of the executive producers. Davis, who wrote and directed PBS’ documentary “Ted Williams: ‘The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived,’” will direct.
Additional details are “to be announced” by ESPN, but they gave this description of the 1986 Mets in their release:
“One of baseball’s most dominant and iconoclastic teams, whose legendary World Series comeback was merely the climax of an epic tale of ambition and swagger set in a city that was synonymous with excess.”
Those Mets still hold the franchise record with 108 wins, and of course are known for their epic World Series comeback that included Bill Buckner’s most egregious error, but they were also revealed by pitcher Ron Darling to be, shall we say, substance-ially enhanced for much of the season.
ESPN’s ’30 For 30’ series has tackled some of the most iconic, interesting, and infamous stories in sports, both on and off the field, since its debut in October 2009. New York-wise, the series has included shows on the 2004 Yankees-Red Sox ALCS, Reggie Miller’s rivalry with the Knicks, the legacy of George Steinbrenner, and, of course, June 17, 1994, as well as the little-known (until then) story of how rotisserie baseball was conceived in an NYC restaurant in 1980.
While ESPN ’30 For 30” docs are normally 60 minutes in length, ESPN Films has had success with a few multi-part productions – most notably the recent 10-part series “The Last Dance,” chronicling the career and final season of Michael Jordan, as well as the five-part series “O.J.: Made in America.”
Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroWFAN