TWIB opens the baseball vault
Catch off-the-field features from the past eight seasons
This Week in Baseball will reopen the vault on Saturday to relive some of the best off-the-field features from the past eight seasons.
"We like to have a theme," TWIB lead producer James Potocki said. "And this show, we're taking a step away from the diamond, but these stories are still true to what makes us love baseball."
A feature on Little Leaguer Anthony Burruto aired last summer, and because he was featured on the cover of ESPN The Magazine recently, TWIB producers have decided to show it again. It's an inspirational story about the teenager from Orlando, Fla., who made his all-star team despite playing with prosthetic legs.
"He's just a regular kid who loves to play baseball and doesn't let a disability prevent him from playing," Potocki said.
Also in this week's show is a feature on fan and self-proclaimed future big leaguer Ray Daugherty, who has become the Orioles' adopted mascot. Daugherty is only 5 years old, but he has attended more than 250 games because his parents are season-ticket holders. In the piece, cameras capture Daugherty as he goes into the Orioles dugout to mingle with infielders Brian Roberts and Kevin Millar.
TWIB, which airs in most locations on FOX prior to the Saturday Game of the Week, takes a look at the significance and joys of playing Wiffle ball in Aquafina's "Make Your Body Happy," a segment that ran in 2005. The classic game has spawned highly competitive tournaments around the nation, and as Potocki said, "Today's generation's introduction to the game is a yellow bat and a plastic white ball."
With the retirement of Mike Piazza this week, TWIB pays tribute to one of the greatest hitting catchers of all-time in Chevrolet's "Baseball Is ..." segment. In a feature that ran in 2000, Piazza exhibits his cooking skills while whipping up chicken cacciatore at the legendary Bronx restaurant Rao's.
"When he retired with very little fanfare, we felt like he deserved a little tribute," Potocki said.
And, as always, watch the best plays and bloopers of the week in "How 'Bout That?" with music supplied by The Punch Brothers and their latest hit, "Punch Bowl."
Ryan Lavner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.