December 10, 2014 – From a crew of umpires calling a remarkable seven-game World Series to a renowned player who thrived in pressure-filled moments, MLB Network will premiere two new documentaries this week that bring viewers behind the scenes of some of baseball’s biggest stages with the debuts of The Third Team: All-Access 2014 World Series this Friday, December 12 at 9:00 p.m. ET and MLB Productions’ Derek Jeter: 2 Witness an Icon tomorrow, December 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
For MLB Network’s second installment of The Third Team, the 90-minute show includes highlights from more than 80 hours of footage and live audio both on and off the field, giving a glimpse at umpires’ personalities and their interactions with members of the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals, including during the outburst between Royals catcher Salvador Perez and Giants reliever Hunter Strickland in Game Two. With expanded replay used for the first time in 2014, The Third Team also gives viewers an exclusive look inside the MLB Replay Operations Center during each of the two World Series replay reviews, including the pivotal overturned call at first base during Game Seven.
During the filming of The Third Team, MLB Network spent 11 straight days with the 2014 World Series umpire crew, including veteran World Series umpires Ted Barrett, Jeff Nelson and crew chief Jeff Kellogg, plus four umpires working their first World Series: Eric Cooper, Jerry Meals, Jim Reynolds and second-generation MLB umpire Hunter Wendelstedt. For the first time, MLB Network’s cameras captured exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre calling each umpire to let them know of their World Series assignment, which can be seen here.
In MLB Productions’ Derek Jeter: 2 Witness An Icon, the one-hour special presents some of the most famous moments of Jeter’s 20-year career from the perspectives of those who witnessed the plays first-hand. From the flip play in the 2001 ALDS to his 3,000th hit and the walk-off single at Jeter’s final home game, former manager Joe Torre, former teammates David Cone, John Flaherty, Paul O’Neill, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada, and Jeter himself each share stories of what they saw and experienced first-hand on the field.
Highlights from The Third Team: All-Access 2014 World Series
Joe Torre: “This is what they strive for. Just like when you lace them up in Spring Training as a player and manager, you want to get to October. These guys want to get to October.”
Hunter Wendelstedt: “As an umpire, we have the same passion, the same love for the game that the ballplayers have. We’re not a black-hearted villain. We don’t try to make mistakes. We love the game of baseball more than anybody.”
Jeff Kellogg: “Anytime you have a tough call in the Postseason, it is magnified a thousand times, and depending on the closeness of the game, it can be magnified even more, so the ability to go to replay is huge.”
Highlights of Derek Jeter: 2 Witness An Icon:
Jeter on hitting a home run for his 3,000 hit: “You feel a sense of relief, and then you can’t believe what just happened.”
Jorge Posada on the flip play in Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS: “We do practice this in Spring Training, especially on large fields with large foul territories, so six months earlier we were practicing it and he still has it on his mind.”
Paul O’Neill on Jeter’s walk-off home run in Game Four of the 2001 World Series: “You don’t see a lot of emotion in Jeter’s career, you saw a lot there. … Because it became November, is it more memorable? Possibly. But World Series game-winning home run, that says enough itself. It was the most exciting baseball I think I ever remember.”