Last July, ESPN announced a four-part 3o for 30 documentary devoted to the 1986 World Series champion New York Mets. One year after that initial announcement, a premiere date has been revealed for the film and a new trailer released.
Titled Once Upon a Time in Queens, the multi-part 30 for 30 will air Sept. 14 and 15 (a Tuesday and Wednesday night) on ESPN.
In April, the network tweeted out photos that indicated several members of the 1986 Mets squad would be interviewed for the film, including Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez (currently part of the Mets broadcast team for SNY), Lenny Dykstra, Bob Ojeda, Wally Backman, and Game 6 hero Mookie Wilson. Glimpses of those conversations can be seen in the trailer, as well.
At 30 seconds, maybe this should be called more of a “teaser.” But give it a look:
Related: 30 for 30 review – Doc & Darryl
The 1986 Mets won 108 games, finishing 21 1/2 games ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East. In the postseason, they defeated the Houston Astros (only the two division winners made the playoffs back then) and rallied to defeat the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.
But if that Mets club was only a good baseball team, their story couldn’t fill up four hours of documentary. (Or a book, like Jeff Pearlman’s 2004 account, The Bad Guys Won.)
The documentary promises plenty of never-before-seen footage, along with those interviews, to help chronicle that 1986 season. Strawberry and Gooden were compelling due to their off-the-field exploits along with their on-field success. Hernandez, Dykstra, and Ojeda embodied a “work hard, play hard” ethic. The team broke out into mainstream popularity too with their “Let’s Go, Mets Go” theme song music video getting play on MTV.
Once Upon a Time in Queens is directed by Nick Davis, who helmed the PBS Ted Williams documentary, The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived. Executive producers on the project include Jimmy Kimmel and “Cousin Sal” Iacono (co-host of FS1’s Fox Bet Live), with Scott Lonker from Kimmel’s production company Kimmelot, ITV’s Jordana Hochman, and Nick Trotta from MLB.