Sunday Night Baseball
|Sunday Night Baseball|
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||25th Season|
|Running time||variable (3 hours approximate)|
|Original channel||ESPN (1990-)|
|Original run||April 15, 1990 – Present|
|Preceded by||Baseball Tonight|
Monday Night Baseball
Wednesday Night Baseball
Sunday Night Baseball is an exclusive weekly telecast of a Major League Baseball game that airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN during the regular season. (The official name is ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball Presented by Taco Bell; previous presenting sponsors included Nextel and Bank of America.)
The games are preceded most weeks by the studio show Baseball Tonight. Both Baseball Tonight and Sunday Night Baseball are also televised in high definition on ESPNHD. A few telecasts each season appear on ESPN2 rather than ESPN due to conflicts with other programming.
- Notable games aired on Sunday Night Baseball 1.1
- History missed 1.2
- Features 2
- Current 3.1
- Former 3.2
- Other networks 4
- Notes 5
- References 6
- External links 7
The series debuted in Steve Phillips joined them for the 2009 season, and Orel Hershiser did so for the 2010 season following Phillips' dismissal by the network. From 2004 until 2006, Sam Ryan served as the field reporter, but she left to join New York City's WCBS-TV and CBS Sports in June 2006. On July 2, 2006 Bonnie Bernstein joined the crew as the new field reporter, but did not return in 2007 primarily due to her request to cut back her schedule because of her continued recovery from a bout with deep vein thrombosis in October 2006. Beginning in 2006, Peter Gammons joined the broadcasts as a field reporter in the scouts position. Gammons, however, suffered a brain aneurysm and didn't return until September 2006.
In 2010, Miller and Morgan began their 21st consecutive season working together for ESPN. Among U.S. network television sportscasters, only
- Baseball on ESPN.tv
- Gammons to join Sunday Night BaseballUSA Today-
- "Mediaweek - ESPN's Ryan Joins CBS Sports". Archived from the original on 2006-06-25. Retrieved 2006-06-12.
- "Gammons to make three in ESPN announcing team". USA Today. March 5, 2006.
- Sandomir, Richard (November 8, 2010). "ESPN Breaks Up ‘Sunday Night Baseball' Team". The New York Times.
- Sandomir, Richard (2010-11-22). "Miller Declines ESPN's Radio Offer". The New York Times.
- Smetlz, Nate (2010-12-01). "ESPN's Shulman, Hershiser and Valentine Form New Sunday Night Baseball Booth". ESPN MediaZone.
- "Francona replaces Valentine as ESPN Sunday analyst". Yahoo Sports. 2011-12-06.
- Lepore, Steve (March 5, 2014). "Curt Schilling needs additional surgery during ongoing cancer treatment". AwfulAnnouncing.com. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- Lucia, Joe (September 9, 2014). "Curt Schilling is returning to ESPN on Thursday". AwfulAnnouncing.com. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
MLB International. "Major League Baseball International Expands Coverage in Canada in 2014". Retrieved 2014-08-17.
MLBI renewed deals with long-term partners Rogers Sportsnet and RDS (French language), while welcoming TSN and TVA Sports (French language) as new partners beginning with the 2014 season.
- TSN (press release) (2014-02-03). "TSN Lands Media Rights to MLB’s Marquee Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday Games". Retrieved 2014-02-22.
In Canada, Sunday Night Baseball has aired on the TSN family of channels (usually on TSN2) since May 16, 2010. This was initially under a sublicensing agreement with Rogers Sportsnet, the primary Canadian rightsholder for Major League Baseball, in a deal through which TSN transferred its remaining rights to Toronto Blue Jays games to Sportsnet, which is now the exclusive carrier of Blue Jays games. However, individual SNB games were subject to reclamation by Sportsnet in the event both TSN and TSN2 have other programming commitments. Beginning in 2014, TSN has contracted directly with MLB for rights to SNB and other ESPN MLB telecasts through 2021. Previous carriers of Sunday Night Baseball were TSN (1990–2000), The Score (2001–2002), and Sportsnet (2003–May 9, 2010).
Outside the USA, this weekly game was also broadcast live on Five in the UK from 1997 until 2008 and at the time was the longest running programme on the channel. In Latin America the game is broadcast on ESPN Latin America. When the NFL season begins, the game is moved to ESPN Dos only for the audience in Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, Colombia and the Caribbean Islands.
ESPN Radio has aired a weekly Sunday Night Baseball broadcast since 1998. Currently, Jon Sciambi calls play-by-play of the games, with Chris Singleton serving as color analyst. Sciambi was preceded by Gary Thorne (2008–09), Dan Shulman (2002–07), and Charley Steiner (1998–2001), while Singleton was preceded by Dave Campbell (1999–2010) and Kevin Kennedy (1998).
ESPN Domingo de Grandes Ligas (Major League Sunday) is also broadcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes, with Ernesto Jerez on play-by-play and Luis Alfredo Alvarez as the color analyst. This version is also presented on the Spanish feed of ESPN Latin America. The Brazilian feed, in Portuguese, has Romulo Mendonça doing the play-by-play and Paulo Antunes as the analyst. They broadcast from ESPN Brasil studios in São Paulo.
- Bonnie Bernstein: (field reporter, July–September 2006)
- Terry Francona: (analyst, 2012)
- Peter Gammons: (field analyst, 2006–2008)
- Orel Hershiser: (analyst, 2010–2013)
- Álvaro Martin: (field reporter, 2000–2001)
- Jon Miller: (play-by-play, 1990–2010)
- Joe Morgan: (analyst, 1990–2010)
- Wendi Nix: (field reporter, 2011)
- Steve Phillips: (analyst, 2009)
- Sam Ryan: (field reporter, 2004–2006)
- Bobby Valentine: (analyst, 2011)
- Dan Shulman: (play-by-play, 2011–present)
- John Kruk: (analyst, 2013–present)
- Curt Schilling: (analyst, 2014–present)
- Buster Olney: (field reporter, 2011–present)
A complete list of broadcasters, with their period of tenure on the show (beginning years of each season shown).
The telecasts also utilize the K Zone, a computer-generated on-screen graphic that accurately outlines the strike zone and pitch location. A Skycam is also used; it is usually mounted 20 feet above the stands in foul territory and travels back and forth along the first base line from behind home plate to the foul pole.
Major League Baseball gave ESPN permission to move the late season games in 2000, and ESPN continued that practice until its loss of the Sunday night football package to NBC at the end of the 2005 season.
ESPN was scheduled to televise the game between the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles from Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 1998, the game where Cal Ripken, Jr. elected to end his consecutive games played streak at 2,632. However, 1998 was the first year of ESPN's contract to air Sunday Night Football through the entire season, as opposed to the second half of the year as in previous years, and the NFL games took precedence. ESPN sought permission from Major League Baseball to move the game, as well as two other late-season contests, to ESPN2, but Major League Baseball denied the request.
As noted above, the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Mets at Citi Field on September 11, 2011 was broadcast on Sunday Night Baseball as part of the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001; New York was targeted by the terrorists in the attacks of that day and the Mets hosted the first major professional sports event held in New York City since the attacks on September 21.
On July 17, 2011, a game between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays went scoreless into the 16th inning before the Red Sox scored in the top of the inning, leading to a 1-0 victory. This game was also notable for a foul ball hit by the Rays' Sean Rodriguez that hit and broke a lamp in the catwalks of Tropicana Field. As the grounds crew cleaned up the broken glass that fell onto the field, the stadium PA system played the music from The Natural.
During the May 1, 2011 broadcast between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, ESPN announced the death of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, at the end of the 8th inning. At the top of the 9th inning with 1 out and Daniel Murphy at bat, fans at Citizens Bank Park erupted with U-S-A! chants despite the fact that no announcement of the news in the stadium. Appropriately, the Mets game against the Chicago Cubs on September 11 was a Sunday night game to mark the tenth anniversary of the attacks.
Sunday Night Baseball broadcast the George W. Bush, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game, joined Jon Miller and Joe Morgan in the ESPN booth during the telecast.
On April 29, 2007, a canceled broadcast occurred between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals when Cardinals relief pitcher Josh Hancock was killed in a car accident earlier in the day at 12:35 A.M. while driving under the influence. In place of the game, special programming hosted by Miller and Morgan was shown. The game was later made up on September 10, 2007, where the Cubs defeated the Cardinals 12–3, though the game was not broadcast as the Game of the Week.
Rafael Furcal completed an unassisted triple play for the Atlanta Braves against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 10, 2003. It was the 12th such play in baseball history. In the fifth inning, the shortstop caught pitcher Woody Williams' liner with the runners moving in a hit and run attempt, stepped on second base to retire catcher Mike Matheny and tagged Orlando Palmeiro before he could return to first.
On September 2, 2001, Mike Mussina of the New York Yankees came within one strike of a perfect game against the Boston Red Sox. The effort was broken up on a single by Carl Everett, with Mussina settling for a one-hitter. The game itself was an exciting pitchers' duel, with the Red Sox' David Cone also shutting out the Yankees for eight innings, before allowing an RBI double by Enrique Wilson in the ninth. It was the only scoring of the Yankees' 1–0 win. Additionally, Cone was the most recent pitcher to record a perfect game having done so two years earlier as a Yankee against the Montreal Expos.
ESPN was on hand for the Cleveland Indians' historic comeback against the Seattle Mariners on August 5, 2001. The Indians trailed 14–2 after six innings, but scored twelve runs in the final three innings before winning in the bottom of the eleventh, 15–14. The twelve-run comeback tied the Major League record for largest deficit overcome in a game.
On May 28, 2000, Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens faced off in an epic pitchers duel at Yankee Stadium. Both pitchers threw complete games and combined for 22 strikeouts, 13 for Clemens, 9 for Martinez. The game was scoreless until Trot Nixon hit a two run home run in the top of the ninth inning. Martinez then got the final three outs in the bottom of the inning to secure the victory.
Notable games aired on Sunday Night Baseball
Play-by-play announcer World Series coverage. Prior to the 2014 season, Hershiser left ESPN to become an analyst for the Dodgers on SportsNet LA, and was replaced by Curt Schilling; however, Schilling's subsequent diagnosis of and treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer led to his being unavailable for ESPN at the beginning of the season. Shulman and Kruk worked as a two-man booth for most of the season, with Schilling joining them in September.
 Miller was offered, but chose to decline, a continued role with ESPN Radio.