Major League Baseball is supposed to be in the in the midst of a “golden era” that has set the league up for a long and prosperous future according to commissioner Bud Selig. He made this statement prior to the All-Star Game at New York’s Citi Field.
“The last nine years have been the greatest attendance years in the history of the sport,” Selig said. “We are at numbers that no one could have dreamed possible.”
That’s an astounding and oft-repeated claim from the outgoing commissioner, especially given his travails. In the past 20 years, MLB has suffered through a canceled World Series, the steroid era and the desecration of its holy bible—the hallowed records book that linked generations of fans. This narrative is running dry against the ink that has been spilled over the last two decades and the worries about baseball’s future, as the National Football League had zoomed past in revenues and overall popularity.
Meanwhile, the world has changed dramatically. We are a short-attention-span culture addicted to football, technology and drive-by fandom. Many feared a plodding sport like baseball would eventually join milkmen and encyclopedias in the dustbin of history.
The financial numbers indicate that Selig and Kendrick are correct about the state of baseball today. And what about tomorrow? The numbers and other realities appear murky.
Two generations of children have grown up in an era when televised postseason games routinely end after midnight for much of the population. And far fewer children are playing baseball today than 15 years ago. However, most people would think its pretty cool to have been a big league player.
Being a ballplayer and an advisor for one of the best baseball movies ever made, seems downright unfair, but Ken Berry has had the good fortune to do both. And he’s got plenty of stories to share along with many of his experiences.
Ken Berry can cover a lot of ground about baseball:
- How he’s the only outfielder to make a putout at all three bases.
- How he hit .750 against Nolan Ryan.
- What type of baseball player John Elway would have been.
- Which actors actually had some baseball ability
- How he began writing children’s stories.
Berry managed players such as Frank Thomas and Robin Ventura in class AA after a career spent playing with and against some of the biggest names in baseball history. He also managed a young prospect named John Elway, who ended up choosing football over baseball. Along the way, he was the technical advisor for John Sayles’ movie ”Eight Men Out”, and worked with actors, Charlie Sheen and John Cusack, in their baseball scenes.
We are joined by Ken Berry LIVE at BEYONDtheCheers on blogtalkradio on Wednesday, July 30th at 7PM EST. You can also listen each Friday at NOON to the repeat broadcast on AMFM247. Dial-in TOLL FREE 1-877-357-2448 in Canada and United States to ask a question, or email in advance. Listen to any BtC episode at any time via iTunes Radio or Stitcher.com.
PLAY T3 Trivia for this show and WIN a Pair of MLB tickets to any regular season game!
The clues and answers are in the blog post above! Simply add your answers in the comment section below.
Q1. Name the only MLB All Star outfielder to make a putout at all three bases.
Q2. Ken Berry was the technical advisor for which famous baseball movie?
Q3: What was Ken Berry’s batting average against Nolan Ryan?
A winner will be announced during the LIVE show!