After more than 30,000 hours of programming that have changed the way fans watch baseball, MLB Network will mark its 10th anniversary on Jan. 1, 2019. At 6 p.m. ET -- exactly 10 years to the minute when MLB Network came on the air -- MLB Network: 10 Years and
After more than 30,000 hours of programming that have changed the way fans watch baseball, MLB Network will mark its 10th anniversary on Jan. 1, 2019. At 6 p.m. ET -- exactly 10 years to the minute when MLB Network came on the air -- MLB Network: 10 Years and Counting will look back at the network's beginnings as well as the memorable moments and stories in Major League Baseball over the last decade.
The hour-long feature will include commentary from original members of MLB Network's group of on-air personalities - including Hall of Fame award-winning broadcaster Bob Costas, Greg Amsinger, Sean Casey, Al Leiter, Dan Plesac, Harold Reynolds,Bill Ripken, Matt Vasgersian and Tom Verducci -- along with several others who've since joined the network, as well as Jimmy Rollins, who was the first active MLB player to appear on MLB Network on its launch, fresh off the Philadelphia Phillies' 2008 World Series championship.
Immediately following the show, MLB Network will re-air its debut feature programming from Jan. 1, 2009, at 7 p.m. ET, including Don Larsen's perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series -- which was the first time the game was shown on TV since its original broadcast -- along with the original interview by Bob Costas with Larsen and his battery mate, Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, held inside MLB Network's Studio 42. The telecast will also include a new conversation between Costas and Verducci about how Larsen's accomplishment stands the test of time.
Vintage promos from MLB Network's first years on the air will be interspersed throughout programming on January 1. MLB Network will continue to produce anniversary-themed content on-air and on social media throughout 2019, including countdown shows, vignettes with on-air personalities, and flashbacks over the last decade.
Launched with a goal to deliver our national pastime all the time for baseball fans across the country, MLB Network has continually increased its coverage of the game in the last decade, going from two original studio shows -- Hot Stove and MLB Tonight -- to eight in its current lineup, and growing a roster of more than 40 on-air personalities, including three members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Following is a selection of highlights from MLB Network's first ten years:
• Jan. 1, 2009: MLB Network makes its debut with Hot Stove at 6 p.m. ET. The network's launch in 50 million homes marked the largest network debut in cable TV history.
• Jan. 12, 2009: Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice are elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame during a telecast on MLB Network, marking the first time the Hall of Fame ballot announcement was made on TV. January 22, 2019 will mark the 11th time that MLB Network will exclusively televise the announcement of the Hall of Fame election results.
• Feb. 23, 2009: MLB Tonight premieres, marking the start of the show that has become MLB Network's signature program and changed the way the game of baseball is watched on TV. In the ten years since, MLB Tonight has received 13 Sports Emmy Awards, including six for Outstanding Daily Studio Show.
• June 9, 2009: Michael Trout is in attendance as he is drafted 25th overall at the first MLB Draft held inside MLB Network's Studio 42. MLB Network has exclusively televised every MLB Draft since 2009.
• July 23, 2009: MLB Tonight takes viewers across the country live to look-ins of Mark Buehrle's perfect game for the Chicago White Sox, establishing MLB Network as a destination for live coverage of important and historic moments in baseball.
• Aug. 5, 2009: Ballpark Cam is introduced, with two cameras positioned in MLB ballparks across the country, delivering previously unseen on-field, pregame and postgame footage and interviews to fans.
• June 8, 2010: Stephen Strasburg's Major League debut on MLB Network Showcase, called by Bob Costas, Jim Kaat and John Smoltz.
• Dec. 15, 2010: MLB Network airs the complete original television broadcast of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series -- regarded as one of the greatest baseball games ever played -- shortly after it was discovered in its entirety in the archives of actor and Pittsburgh Pirates minority owner Bing Crosby.
• Sept. 28, 2011: On what became known as "Wild Card Wednesday," four teams -- the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays in the AL and the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals in the NL -- fought for two Wild Card spots during the epic final night of the 2011 season. MLB Tonight captured the season-altering drama of each game with live look-ins, highlights and updates through an 86-minute rain delay, extra innings, comebacks, collapses, home runs, walk-offs and player reactions as each game unfolded at nearly the same time.
• Oct. 7, 2012: MLB Network produces its first-ever Postseason game telecast, as Matt Vasgersian and Jim Kaat call ALDS Game Two between the Oakland A's and Detroit Tigers. Since 2012, MLB Network has exclusively televised two Division Series games every year, including two thrilling extra-inning games: 2015 ALDS Game Two between the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays, and 2017 ALDS Game Two between the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians.
• Nov. 12, 2012: Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are named as the NL and AL Rookies of the Year in a live telecast on MLB Network, marking the first time the BBWAA Awards were announced live on TV. MLB Network has since exclusively televised the announcements of the winners of each BBWAA Award: Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young and Most Valuable Player.
• Sept. 24, 2014: Bob Costas, Jim Kaat and Tom Verducci call Derek Jeter's walk-off hit in his final game at Yankee Stadium on MLB Network Showcase.
• March 22, 2017: Matt Vasgersian, John Smoltz and Jon Morosi are on the call as Team USA defeats Team Puerto Rico to win the championship game of the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Two months after its launch, MLB Network televised 16 World Baseball Classic games in 2009, and it has since televised the tournament in its entirety in 2013 and 2017.