Following a record-setting 2019 season for home runs in Major League Baseball, MLB Network will look back at how the St. Louis Cardinals played a different brand of baseball to dominate the National League in the 1980s in the latest installment of the MLB Network Presents documentary series, titled Birds of a Different Game: The ‘80s Cardinals. Golden Globe Award-winning actor, Missouri native and lifelong Cardinals fan John Goodman will narrate the one-hour program, which will premiere on Tuesday, January 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET. A trailer for Birds of a Different Game: The ‘80s Cardinals is available here.
In new interviews, Hall of Fame Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog and Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith, five-time All-Star Keith Hernandez, and former Cardinals Tom Herr, Ken Oberkfell, Terry Pendleton, John Tudor and Andy Van Slyke each describe how the 1980s Cardinals used electrifying speed, outstanding defense and strong pitching to win three NL pennants and the 1982 World Series championship.
The film highlights how the Cardinals’ style of play, which was nicknamed “Whitey Ball” after Herzog’s managerial style, saw them take advantage of the artificial turf and cavernous outfield at Busch Memorial Stadium to lead the NL in stolen bases for seven consecutive seasons from 1982 – 1987, finish first in NL team fielding percentage in eight different seasons, and finish top five in NL team ERA in five different seasons.
2018 Ford C. Frick Award winner Bob Costas, 2007 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Rick Hummel, award-wining broadcaster Al Michaels, Emmy award-winning actor and diehard Cardinals fan Jon Hamm, and longtime author and Cardinals historian Doug Feldmann discuss the impact the Cardinals’ 1980s turnaround made on the city of St. Louis as Busch Memorial Stadium became a “sea of red” and fans came to the ballpark in record-setting fashion. Signature moments of the Cardinals’ run are highlighted throughout the film, including the 1982 World Series victory against the Milwaukee Brewers in seven games; Ozzie Smith’s famous walk-off home run to win Game Five of the 1985 NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers; and Don Denkinger’s infamous blown call in Game Six of the 1985 World Series that changed the course of the Cardinals’ matchup against the Kansas City Royals.
Launched in January 2015, MLB Network Presents has produced programs covering many subjects across baseball, including the Emmy-nominated The Story of Billy Bean as well as The Cobra at Twilight, Bench, Eck: A Story of Saving, Only in Hollywood, Mr. Padre, Billy, The Swingin’ A’s, Mike Trout: Millville to MVP, The Bird, and The Colorful Montreal Expos.