The 1986 World Series-winning run by the New York Mets will get multi-part documentary treatment by ESPN in a project under the 30 for 30 banner whose executive producers include Jimmy Kimmel.
ESPN Films said Thursday the series would chronicle the team’s exploits on and off the field. In the Series, the Boston Red Sox were one strike away from victory before a two-out rally and a ground ball hit by Mookie Wilson slipped through the legs of Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner. The comeback, ESPN said in a press release, “was merely the climax of an epic tale of ambition and swagger set in a city that was synonymous with excess.”
The network promises “hours of never-before-seen footage” of the team, a group of disparate, larger-than-life characters who made a big impression on and off the field. Many members of the team went on to generate headlines long after 1986, among them Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez and Lenny Dykstra. The team has already been the subject of a dishy non-fiction book, The Bad Guys Won, written by Jeff Pearlman, whose LA Lakers book, Showtime, has been turned into a scripted drama on HBO.
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Gooden and Strawberry, whose paths as young Mets at the top of the sport in the 1980s diverged as they both experienced numerous bouts of drug addiction and recovery, have already been the subject of a 30 for 30 installment. Doc & Darryl aired in 2016.
Executive producers include Kimmel, Sal “Cousin Sal” Iacono, Kimmelot’s Scott Lonker, ITV’s Jordana Hochman and Major League Baseball’s Nick Trotta. The show will be directed by Nick Davis, whose credits include Ted Williams: ‘The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived.
Kimmel, a lifelong Met fan, tweeted, “This one is going to be a lot of fun.”
The breakout success of The Last Dance, ESPN’s 30 for 30 series about Michael Jordan’s final title run, capitalized on the nostalgia for the period and drew blockbuster ratings during its run in the spring.
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