ESPN’s 30 for 30 series branched out into a series of shorts three years ago, telling stories that deserve to be told but may not have enough content to fill a full hour-long (well, 42 minute) 30 for 30. Many of the shorts throughout the years have featured quirky little stories you may not have thought too much about, like the Honus Wagner T-206 baseball card or a feature on the husband and wife that created MLB’s schedule by hand for years.
This Friday, ESPN will premiere a 30 for 30 Short with a subject that is well-known throughout the United States – the story of George W. Bush’s first pitch before Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, just months after 9/11. Appropriately, this Friday is the 14th anniversary of 9/11, and the short will premiere on SportsCenter following the national moment of silence on Friday morning. The short will also air during the 6 PM SportsCenter.
The 23-minute film, directed by two-time Academy Award-winning director Angus Wall and executive produced by Jim Gray, relives that anxious October night and the days leading up to it with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews from President Bush, Derek Jeter, Condoleezza Rice, Joe Torre, Rudy Giuliani, Billy Crystal, George Tenet, Bush family members, Cabinet officers and Secret Service agents. “First Pitch” recounts stories from the Yankees’ visit to the New York City Armory, where they comforted citizens looking for lost family members, as well as what it took for the president’s Secret Service team to safely allow him to throw out the pitch.
“As a fan of the great 30 for 30 series, I’m so pleased that ESPN Films and Jim Gray found Angus Wall to direct this,” said President George W. Bush. “They did a brilliant job telling this story about how baseball helped our nation start to heal after 9/11.”
From what we know, this looks like it’ll be another great addition to the series of 30 for 30 Shorts. Bush’s first pitch was one of the most memorable moments from the 2001 World Series, and it’s stuck with many sports fans since the day it happened. We’re really looking forward to this one.