In Milwaukee 27 years ago, there was just one story that was important enough to hold onto the national media’s attention. Milwaukee Brewers infielder Paul Molitor put his name in the record books for a 39-game hitting streak.
If you were in Milwaukee at that time, there was a buzz about the streak and how good the ball club was that year. Across the country, baseball fans and average audiences of the national news on ABC, CBS and NBC knew the story, too.
Time Warner Cable SportsChannel is airing a half-hour documentary special tonight, "39: Paul Molitor’s Hitting Streak." Host Dennis Krause takes a look back at the streak as told through an exclusive, one-on-one interview with Molitor, interviews with former teammates Jim Gantner and Rick Manning, and persective from current Brewers broadcaster and former teammate Bill Schroeder.
In the one-on-one interview with Molitor, Krause asks that in today’s world with social media, television and radio coverage of sports, would there be more attention, more pressure.
"I think that’s probably an obvious answer," Molitor said. "It would be yes for me. I think that when I had a streak 39 games, it was different for me than it was for Ted Williams.
"I know that today’s players would be under a lot more scrutiny cutting into every at-bat once you get to a certain number … just the attention that something like that would bring, (would) certainly be a lot different than it was in 1987."
The special will air at 7, 8 and 9 p.m. tonight and will be in regular rotation after that.
"With the help of WTMJ-TV’s archives, the show also is able to capture the excitement of the streak at the time. Since 1900, it is the 5th longest hitting streak in Major League Baseball and it has not been topped since it happened," Krause wrote in his blog.
"With all of the increased media scrutiny, it will be tough for anyone to match even Molitor, not to mention the record 56-game streak of Joe DiMaggio set in 1941.
"The show was a labor of love for me because it brings back so many memories. In the midst of a tense division race, it’s fun to look back at one of the most significant pages of Brewers history. I hope you have a chance to see it and that you enjoy it."
BASEBALL RATINGS: WITI-TV Fox 6 scored with the airing of the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday night. The event averaged a 12.0 rating, which was the best rating for the game since 2009, according to the station.
"SIMPSONS" QUESTIONS: After 25 seasons on the air, Quizmaster is offering a "Simpsons" Quiz on July 27.
The six-round event will be held from 7 to 9 at Jack’s American Pub at 1323 E. Brady St. The cost is $5 per person. To pre-register and for more information, contact Quizmaster at (414) 801-8970.
Media is bombarding us everywhere.
Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.
The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.