TWIB devotes show to Ripken, Gwynn
Fans will get in-depth look, including highlight reels, interviews
SAN DIEGO -- "This Week in Baseball," presented by Pepsi, will be entirely dedicated to the newest Hall of Fame inductees: Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn.
The first featured segment will provide video clips from the careers of the Baltimore Orioles' Ripken and the San Diego Padres' Gwynn. The entire archive of MLB was sifted through to find highlight reels of them. Everything from Gwynn collecting his 3,000th hit to Ripken's Iron Man streak will be shown, even updated interviews from the two living legends.
"You're going to see Gwynn back in vintage 80s uniforms," TWIB producer James Potocki said. "You're going to see Cal in the end of his days and as a Minor Leaguer before he even came up.
"It's going to be a treat for fans from San Diego, Baltimore and anywhere. We're teeing up the Hall of Fame induction weekend. The thing about Gwynn and Cal is, for each town they played in, they are the absolute icon for their team. Twenty-year veterans, who played with the same team. They had a relationship with the fans that transcended the game."
Ripken was mic'd in the 2001 All-Star Game, and that footage will be shown, as well as Gwynn's last game, when he said good-bye to San Diego as its steady right fielder, No.19.
The retrospective segment will also include a lengthy montage from Hall of Famers and current players, who speak about each soon-to-be inductee and what they mean to baseball. Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Trevor Hoffman are just a few on the list.
Next will be "The Top Five Things You Didn't Know About Ripken and Gwynn," sponsored by Gillette. This segment will include everything from their statistics to "fun baseball tidbits," Potocki said.
The third segment is the "Clutch Moments," presented by Pepsi. Gwynn's home run in the 1998 World Series and Ripken passing Lou Gehrig for the consecutive-game streak will be featured, as well as a few other clutch moments. Gwynn will also walk viewers through his hitting regimen.
"He's one of the greatest hitters of all time," Potocki said. "What made Tony so great, he broke down the science of hitting. The team's video department, he used to scout pitchers. You get a scientific approach to the way Tony approached hitting."
"Front-Row Fan," sponsored by Chevrolet, will feature actor Edward Norton. Norton is a huge Orioles fan and, of course, an admirer of Ripken. The actor will discuss why Ripken is so special in his eyes, and TWIB will show video from when Norton took batting practice with the O's star in 2001.
Finally, the "How 'Bout That" segment presented by Gatorade will be on this week's greatest plays and bloopers, with music from Spill Canvas.
Ripken and Gwynn were unanimous selections for the 2007 Baseball Hall of Fame. The show will prove just how worthy they are of such immortality.
"This Week in Baseball" will air on Saturday. Check your local listings for times.
Elizabeth M. Botello is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.