When something that you grew up with suddenly ceases to exist, it feels as though a part of your childhood dies with it. Such is the case with “This Week in Baseball” which after 34 years on the air, is gone for good. Slow ratings had doomed the program which has been replaced by something called MLB Player Poll. I know one thing, this new show will not be able to live up to the legacy of TWIB.
There wasn’t a weekend afternoon in the Summer that did not go by without me turning on WPIX Channel 11 and finding the great Mel Allen start each broadcast with a quick recap of what was happening in the world of Major League Baseball. The show’s opening and closing melodies are iconic tunes that will live forever. Each week I looked forward to those spectacular plays in the field as well as the hilarious bloopers that showed us kids that even the pros do silly thing during a game.
And now it is gone. Probably the reason for low ratings is that there was neither a consistent time slot nor a weekly guaranteed viewing. In the later years, I recall that it was shown before the FOX Game of the Week. The time that game started yo-yoed from season to season. Also, for two weeks we would get TWIB and then maybe it wouldn’t be shown for another month. No program could survive a schedule like that. I am sure kids enjoyed it just as much as I did when I first saw it 30 years ago. The format changed and there was no Mel Allen but it was still a quality show.
TWIB and “The Baseball Bunch” hosted by Johnny Bench were awesome shows for young, impressionable fans like me. I would love to see a network start a similar weekly program so that future fans can have the enjoyment I had. As Mel might say, “How about that”!
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