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The Essential Games of the Philadelphia Phillies (2012)

Essential Games of the Philadelphia Phillies DVD review

The Essential Games of the Philadelphia Phillies
New Video, 2012
Approx. 10 hrs., 14 mins.

When choosing a team’s greatest games, there is sure to be some controversy at some point. Two of these games are obvious choices. The team’s 2008 World Series victory over the Tampa Bay Rays and Roy Halladay‘s 2010 postseason no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds would surely make anyone’s list. And certainly, one of the games from the 1993 NLCS against the Braves would probably be included, but the last game of that series was not the most exciting. And in 1980, a year in which the Phils won the World Series, the game chosen was from the NLCS. A good game, no doubt, but in my opinion it does not trump the World Series.

Despite the shortcomings in the game selection, this is still a fine set to own. Where else can you see Nolan Ryan pitching to Pete Rose and Mike Schmidt, or Greg Maddux facing Darren Daulton and John Kruk? Anytime you have the chance to own a no-hitter on DVD, especially a postseason no-no, you have to do it.

Phillies phans won’t be able to root for their team in the 2012 postseason, but with this collection they can reminisce about their past pheats.

Games included in the set:

  • October 12, 1980, vs. Houston Astros – 1980 NLCS Game 5
  • October 13, 1993, vs. Atlanta Braves – 1993 NLCS Game 6
  • October 27, 2008, vs. Tampa Bay Rays – 2008 World Series Game 5
  • October 6, 2010, vs. Cincinnati Reds – 2010 NLDS Game 1

Learn more about New Video.

Purchase The Essential Games of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Essential Games of the Chicago Cubs (2012)

Essential Games of the Chicago Cubs DVD review

The Essential Games of the Chicago Cubs
New Video, 2012
Approx. 10 hrs., 12 mins.

The Cubs have a rich history of great games and great players, even though postseason success has eluded the franchise. Consider some of the great players that have worn the Chicago uniform: Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, and Fergie Jenkins. In fact, all four of those Hall of Fame players are featured in the 1969 game that comes in The Essential Games of the Chicago Cubs. Also included is a 1984 gem featuring a young Ryne Sandberg in the middle of his first MVP season, leading the team with a 7-RBI performance over the Cardinals; the game which also featured Willie McGee of St. Louis hitting for the cycle on the losing end.

Though the Cubs have not found their way to the World Series since the early twentieth century, they have flirted with postseason play on a few occasions. In 1998, Mark Grace and company battled the Giants in a Wild Card tiebreaker, and in 2008 the team clinched the NL Central against the Cardinals.

After another disappointing season in 2012, The Essential Games of the Chicago Cubs could be a soothing reminder that the team has enjoyed success in the past, and there’s always next year.

Games included in the set:

    • July 12, 1969, vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Hall of Fame Showcase
    • June 23, 1984, vs. St. Louis Cardinals – Sandberg’s Comeback Shocker
    • September 28, 1998, vs. San Francisco Giants – NL Wild Card Tiebreaker
    • September 20, 2008, vs. St. Louis Cardinals – NL Central Division Clincher

Learn more about New Video.

Purchase The Essential Games of the Chicago Cubs.

The Essential Games of the Texas Rangers (2012)

Essential Games of the Texas Rangers DVD review

The Essential Games of the Texas Rangers
New Video, 2012
Approx. 9 hrs., 6 mins.

The Texas Rangers are headed into the 2012 playoffs with their third straight division title, hoping to make it to the grand stage of the World Series for the third consecutive year. With The Essential Games of the Texas Rangers, fans have the chance to relive their pennant-winning 2010 and 2011 seasons, as Game 6 of the ALCS from each of those years is highlighted. In addition to those exciting moments of Texas baseball, fans can also watch the team’s first-ever postseason game from the 1996 ALDS against the New York Yankees. With three great playoff games in the set, what else could one want?

How about Nolan Ryan‘s seventh career no-hitter, a 1991 contest against the Toronto Blue Jays? Quick trivia: who was the final batter in that game? It was none other than 2011 Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, who struck out swinging against the Ryan Express.

One of the excellent things about this set is the packaging. Each DVD is nestled in its own thin case, and each case features artwork from the year of the game, either a program or yearbook cover. The 1991 case is especially nice, as it features a Vernon Wells painting of Nolan Ryan and several other former Rangers, including Fergie Jenkins, Charlie Hough, Gaylord Perry, and Buddy Bell among others.

Texas Rangers fans will absolutely love this set, and Nolan Ryan fans will savor every pitch against the Blue Jays in his astonishing seventh no-hitter.

Games included in the set:

  • May 1, 1991, vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Nolan Ryan’s Seventh No-Hitter
  • October 1, 1996, vs. New York Yankees – 1996 ALDS Game 1
  • October 22, 2010, vs. New York Yankees – 2010 ALCS Game 6
  • October 15, 2011, vs. Detroit Tigers – 2011 ALCS Game 6

Learn more about New Video.

Purchase The Essential Games of the Texas Rangers.

Baseball’s Greatest Games: New York Mets First No-Hitter (2012)

New York Mets First No-Hitter DVD

Baseball’s Greatest Games:
New York Mets First No-Hitter

New Video, 2012
Approx. 131 mins.

If a DVD were to be released of every no-hitter, there would be too many to collect. This year alone, fans have witnessed five no-no’s (including two perfect games). But there are some no-hitters that stand above the others as special, that deserve DVD treatment. Johan Santana‘s effort against the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this year proved to be one of those special moments as it was the first no-hitter thrown in the history of the New York Mets franchise.

The Mets have been around for more than a half century and several high-profile pitchers have appeared in their blue and orange uniform, such as Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden. Thirty-five times in the team’s first 8019 games a Mets pitcher has thrown a one-hitter, but Santana was the first to blank the opposition in the hits column for a full nine innings on June 1, 2012, at Citi Field in Flushing, NY.

One of the most exciting plays in the game came in the seventh inning when Yadier Molina launched a ball deep into the outfield. Left fielder Mike Baxter chased it down to make the catch, but was injured when he ran into the wall at full speed; he has not played in a big league game since.

After falling behind in the count 3-0 in the top of the ninth inning, Santana proceeded to strike out David Freese swinging to secure the first no-hitter in team history. The DVD included the post-game interview conducted on the field, complete with the whipped cream pie-in-the-face. As an alternative to the television broadcast, viewers can listen to the radio play-by-play in either English or Spanish while watching the game.

There is no doubt that this is a special game, not only from Mets fans, but for baseball fans in general. To own it on DVD is a no-brainer.

Learn more about New Video.

Purchase Baseball’s Greatest Games: New York Mets First No-Hitter

Major League Baseball Triple Header (2012)

MLB Triple Header

Major League Baseball Triple Header
New Video, 2012
3 discs; approx. 6 hrs. 39 mins. total + extras

In this newest video package from Major League Baseball, available Tuesday, fans can relive history with the All Century Team, argue about the best home runs and pitching performances during Prime 9: MLB Heroics, and laugh at the hi-jinks presented in Baseball’s Best Blunders and the Funny Side of Baseball. Major League Baseball Triple Header has it all, packaged together at a special price.

The first disc commemorating the All Century Team is a reminder that we need to wait for historical context before we bestow great honors upon players. Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens are recognized along with the truly great players of history, such as Lou Gehrig and Nolan Ryan. I say “we need to wait,” because the top players at each position were chosen by the fans and I believe some of those players who were hot commodities at the time would be shunned today. Despite our shortcomings, there were many worthy athletes honored, from Mike Schmidt to Willie Mays to “the greatest hitter that ever lived,” Ted Williams. The bonus features include the ceremonies from Fenway Park and Turner Field, and a behind-the-scenes look at the Turner Field ceremony, including conversations between Williams, Clemens, Ryan, Cal Ripken, Stan Musial, Warren Spahn, and Johnny Bench, and Pete Rose introducing his son to Schmidt and Ken Griffey. The reverence given to each of these men will send chills down every baseball fan’s spine.

The second disc, Prime 9: MLB Heroics, contains nine episodes counting down the nine best home runs, unbreakable feats, All-Star moments, and more. There are plenty of legendary players featured (Joe DiMaggio, Rickey Henderson), but several under-the-radar players are remembered as well (Eric Gagne, Ron Guidry). Some big moments from the controversial Rose are included as well, such as his career hit record and his collision with Ray Fosse at the 1970 All-Star game in Cincinnati. You may not agree with all of the program’s rankings, but it’s nice to have these significant moments all collected together on one disc.

The final disc, MLB Bloopers Doubleheader: Baseballs’ Best Blunders and the Funny Side of Baseball, presents the humorous side of the game, showing on-the-field goofs and off-the-field pranks. One of the more interesting segments shows players trying to get to the ballpark: Alex Rodriguez driving (and getting lost), Eric Byrnes skateboarding, Brad Wilkerson asking tourists for directions to RFK Stadium. When I was growing up, Roger McDowell was well-known for clowning around; more recently, Trevor Hoffman, Tim Hudson and Ryan Dempster have carried on that tradition. One of the most epic pranks in recent memory occurred when then-rookie Kyle Kendrick was convinced by teammates, manager Charlie Manuel, and even reporters that he had been traded to a Japanese baseball team. Of course, there are plenty of bloopers included on the program as well, and it doesn’t matter how many times you see Butch Husky running into the wall, it’s always funny.

This three-disc package has it all: great players, great plays, and great laughs. Any baseball fan is sure to love it.

Learn more about New Video.

Purchase Major League Baseball Triple Header.

Astros 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition (2012)

Astros celebrate fifty years of baseball

Astros 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition:
The Essential Games of the Houston Astros
and Astros Memories

New Video, 2012
5 discs; 11 hrs. 46 mins. + extras

Every team has them. Games that define a franchise, that will be talked about for decades after the last pitch is thrown. In this special collection by New Video due to be released May 15, the Houston Astros take the starring role as four of the most important games in the history of the team are on display.

  • Nolan Ryan‘s 5th career no-hitter (September 26, 1981)
  • Mike Scott‘s no-hitter, clinching the NL West (September 25, 1986)
  • 18-inning NLDS clincher over the Braves (October 9, 2005)
  • Craig Biggio‘s 3,000th hit (June 28, 2007)

This set is great not only for Houston fans, but for baseball history lovers. To watch one of Ryan’s no-hitters, against a lineup full of consistent Dodger hitters like Steve Garvey and Pedro Guerrero, is a great experience. One can relive the emotion on the field after Biggio’s 3,000th hit, as his family came onto the field and his teammates hugged him, and then the impromptu reunion with former teammate Jeff Bagwell. Mike Scott’s no-hitter clinched the division for the Astros in 1986, facing the San Francisco Giants and a young Will Clark. And then there is the longest playoff game in history, an 18-inning marathon victory over the Braves in 2005.

A fifth disc called Astros Memories rounds out this fine collection, featuring the legends of Astros baseball: Cesar Cedeno, Jimmy Wynn, Jose Cruz and more. Highlight reels and interviews are woven together as the story of Houston baseball is told from the days of the Colt .45s, featuring no-hitters, All-Star games, and playoff appearances. Larry Dierker provides several anecdotes in the form of “Dierker’s Diary,” while Bob Watson shares his heartfelt thoughts on the Houston franchise.

Baseball fans who love the Astros, Nolan Ryan, Craig Biggio, or just history in general will love the opportunity to watch these games again.

Learn more about New Video.

Pre-order Astros 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition.

Baseball’s Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6 (2012)

Baseball's Greatest Games

Baseball’s Greatest Games:
2011 World Series Game 6

New Video, 2012
3 hrs., 45 mins.

Certainly one of the greatest games in recent memory, the epic Rangers/Cardinals Game 6 features everything a Hollywood screenwriter could ask for: a come-from-behind, extra-inning win on a walk-off homer by a hometown hero. David Freese did what he needed to do, driving in two runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game, then going deep in the bottom of the eleventh leading to eventual World Series MVP honors.

A Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, the latest entry to the Baseball’s Greatest Games series features pre-game commentary and post-game interviews and more audio options than ever before. The viewer can listen to television announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, Español coverage, or choose between the Rangers and the Cardinals radio teams.

This game undoubtedly demands to be counted among Baseball’s Greatest Games, and if you have purchased previous titles in this series you know what to expect. This contest between St. Louis and Texas fits right in with its own drama and suspense.

Baseball’s Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6 is set for release next Tuesday.

Learn more about New Video.

Purchase Baseball’s Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6.

Baseball’s Greatest Games: Derek Jeter’s 3,000th Hit (2011)

New York Yankees vs Tampa Bay Rays

Baseball’s Greatest Games:
Derek Jeter’s 3,000th Hit

New Video, 2011
Approx. 3 hrs. + extras

With all of the scandals and controversies that have surrounded Major League Baseball over the past several years, baseball needs a guy like Derek Jeter to prove that there are still some good guys left in the game. A future no-doubt, first-ballot Hall of Famer, the Yankee shortstop is remarkably humble for a man in his position.

Stan Musial, Carl Yastrzemski, Cal Ripken, George Brett, Robin Yount, Tony Gwynn, Cap Anson, Craig Biggio, Al Kaline, and Roberto Clemente played their entire careers with only one franchise and reached the 3,000-hit plateau. Others amassed 3,000 hits with one club before changing uniforms: Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Pete Rose. On July 9, 2011, Jeter joined those legends as the only players to collect his first 3,000 with only one club.

In the bottom of the third inning, with one out and no one on, Jeter stepped to the plate to face off against Rays pitcher David Price. Having already singled in the first inning, the tension at Yankee Stadium was obvious. Everyone in attendance, including the players for both teams, focused on the man at the plate. The count, 3-and-2. Several pitches fouled off, but no one took their eyes off #2. Finally Jeter connects on a slider down and in, and drives it deep to left field, becoming only the second player in history to hit a home run for his 3,000th hit.

Of course, he didn’t stop there, finishing the day 5-for-5 and driving in the game-winning run in the 8th inning as the Yankees defeated division rival Tampa Bay.

Just like the Baseball’s Greatest Games boxed set, the viewer can switch between television broadcasters (Michael Kay and John Flaherty of the YES Network) and radio announcers (John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman of WCBS radio).

The bonus features make this disc really special. The 3,000th hit was replayed on highlight reels so that everyone had a chance to see it numerous times, but Baseball’s Greatest Games takes you deeper, showing several highlights from Jeter’s career:

  • Post-game press conference
  • 1st hit (off Tim Belcher in Seattle)
  • 1st home run (off Dennis Martinez in Cleveland)
  • Most hits at Yankee Stadium (passing Lou Gehrig)
  • Most hits at shortstop all time (passing Luis Aparicio)
  • Passes Babe Ruth on all-time Yankees hits list
  • Passes Gehrig on all-time Yankees hits list
  • Speech at closing of Yankee Stadium

As George Steinbrenner said, “Game in and game out, he just produces.”

Without question, Yankees fans, Jeter fans, and lovers of the game as it should be played will want to add this DVD to their collection.

Learn more about New Video.

Purchase Baseball’s Greatest Games: Derek Jeter’s 3,000th Hit.

Baseball’s Greatest Games Collector’s Edition DVD boxed set (2011)

As American as baseball and apple pie

Baseball’s Greatest Games
Collector’s Edition DVD boxed set
New Video, 2011
11 discs; 29 hrs., 56 mins. total + extras

What are the greatest baseball games ever televised? While every baseball fan may give a different answer, there are a few games that will certainly appear on the majority of lists. In this 11-disc collection, New Video makes available ten of the greatest games ever played, dating back to the 1960 World Series and coming into the 21st century with playoff games between the Yankees and Red Sox.

Let’s make one thing clear: these videos are not “highlight reels” of the featured games interspersed with interviews. No, these are the actual games as they were originally televised (minus commercials), complete with the original television announcers and graphics associated with the broadcasts. The number of Hall of Famers that played in these games is astounding, from Roberto Clemente and Mickey Mantle to Roberto Alomar and Paul Molitor. Couldn’t get any better, could it?

Actually, yes it could…and it does. Perhaps there is a television announcer that you do not like. What do you do? Mute the TV and watch in silence? You could do that, or you could go to the “audio set-up” of the DVD and choose “radio call” to hear the game as hometown fans heard it, such as the legendary Jack Buck on the 1985 NLCS game (Cardinals vs. Dodgers, featuring Ozzie Smith‘s bottom of the 9th homer), synced up to the action on the screen.

The ten games featured in this collector’s edition include nine playoff games (five of those from the World Series) and one regular season game.

  • 1960 World Series Game 7 (Pirates vs. Yankees, Bill Mazeroski‘s walk-off homer to win the Championship)
  • 1975 World Series Game 6 (Red Sox vs. Reds, Carlton Fisk waving it fair in the bottom of the 12th)
  • 1979 Wrigley Field Slugest (Cubs vs. Phillies, a regular season game with a final score of 23-22, multiple home runs from both Mike Schmidt and Dave Kingman)
  • 1985 NLCS Game 5 (Cardinals vs. Dodgers, Ozzie’s walk-off)
  • 1986 World Series Game 6 (Mets vs. Red Sox, Mookie Wilson‘s dribbler that went in between Bill Buckner‘s legs to send the Series to a seventh game)
  • 1991 World Series Game 7 (Twins vs. Braves, proof that Jack Morris belongs in the Hall of Fame)
  • 1992 NLCS Game 7 (Braves vs. Pirates, amazing come-from-behind win sending Atlanta to the World Series)
  • 1993 World Series Game 6 (Blue Jays vs. Phillies, Joe Carter‘s dramatic bottom of the 9th blast)
  • 2003 ALCS Game 7 (Yankees vs. Red Sox, the 11-inning nail-biter featuring Aaron Boone‘s heroic blast)
  • 2004 ALCS Game 4 (Red Sox vs. Yankees, the beginning of Boston’s historic comeback after losing the first three games of the ALCS)

In addition to these complete broadcasts is an eleventh disc featuring interviews from players and coaches, many of them involved in the contests. Hall of Famers Whitey Ford, Mazeroski, Fisk, Gary Carter, Kirby Puckett and Rickey Henderson, as well as legends Pete Rose, Fred Lynn, Tug McGraw, and Dave Stewart are included in these interviews.

This boxed set is a fantastic addition to any baseball lover’s video collection, highly recommended to those who love to relive the classic moments from baseball’s history.

Learn more about New Video.

Purchase Baseballs Greatest Games on DVD.

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