MLB Network will bring in the new year by looking back on its history and celebrating more than 30,000 hours of baseball programming with a 10th anniversary special. MLB Network: 10 Years and Counting will air Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET -- exactly 10 years to the minute the network
MLB Network will bring in the new year by looking back on its history and celebrating more than 30,000 hours of baseball programming with a 10th anniversary special. MLB Network: 10 Years and Counting will air Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET -- exactly 10 years to the minute the network came on the air.
The hour-long special will look back at the network's beginning and commemorate memorable moments from the last decade with commentary from on-air personalities Bob Costas, Greg Armsinger, Sean Casey, Al Leiter, Dan Plesac, Harold Reynolds, Bill Ripken, Matt Vasgersian and Tom Verducci. Former Major Leaguer Jimmy Rollins, the first active player to appear on the network, will also be featured.
Following the special, the network will re-air its debut programming from Jan. 1, 2009, including Don Larsen's perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series, which was the first time the performance was shown on TV since its original broadcast, complete with a new discussion of Larsen's achievment between Costas and Verducci. Anniversary-themed content will continue on-air and on social media throughout the year.
In its first decade, MLB Network aired a number of baseball highlights, including Derek Jeter's walk-off hit in his final game at Yankee Stadium, two extra-innings playoff games and Team USA's World Baseball Classic victory in 2017.
MLB Network launched in 2009 in 50 million homes, which was the largest network debut in cable TV history, and has established itself as a destination for live coverage of important and historic baseball moments as well as news, analysis and original programming for baseball fans. It debuted with two original studio shows -- Hot Stove and MLB Tonight -- and has since grown its current lineup to eight programs and boasts a roster of more than 40 on-air personalities, including three Hall of Famers. MLB Tonight, the flagship show, has received 13 Sports Emmy Awards, including six for Outstanding Daily Studio Show.
The network has exclusively televised the last decade of MLB Drafts from Studio 42, beginning in 2009, when the Angels selected Michael Trout with the 25th overall pick. It produced its first postseason telecast in 2012 with Game 2 of the American League Division Series between the A's and Tigers and has exclusively televised two Division Series matchups every year since.
It also hosts the live announcements of both the major BBWAA awards and Hall of Fame election results. The upcoming Jan. 22 Hall of Fame results will mark the 11th time they've been announced on the network. Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice were the first players elected to Cooperstown during an MLB Network telecast on Jan. 12, 2009, and Bryce Harper and Trout took home National League and AL Rookie of the Year honors during the first live BBWA Awards announcement in 2012.
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.