It's Players Weekend, and we celebrate with crystal.That is the traditional gift for a 15th anniversary, and this weekend will be a time for all baseball fans to stop and recognize a landmark event that changed everything, even beyond sports. On Aug. 26, 2002, Major League Baseball Advanced Media presented
It's Players Weekend, and we celebrate with crystal.
That is the traditional gift for a 15th anniversary, and this weekend will be a time for all baseball fans to stop and recognize a landmark event that changed everything, even beyond sports. On Aug. 26, 2002, Major League Baseball Advanced Media presented a live Rangers-Yankees stream on a postage-stamp media player to 30,000 curious daytime viewers at MLB.com, and the result was MLB.TV.
Today, it is not only the No. 1 sports streaming service, but it also remains the technology standard-bearer as the first over-the-top (OTT) product on the Internet. MLB.TV's first game and the subsequent streaming of all live out-of-market action enabled people to see, for the first time, a future in which you could enjoy your favorite video programming on different screens and from anywhere in the world -- even binge-watching.
For you, it means an already-special weekend of baseball is even bigger. MLBAM is inviting everyone to join in the anniversary party and offering a $9.99 sale price through Sunday for a yearly subscription to MLB.TV Premium or MLB.TV Single Team.
"Everybody uses MLB.TV right now," said Phillies reliever Joaquin Benoit, the answer to an MLB.TV trivia question as the last remaining active player who was in uniform (with Texas) for the first MLB.TV stream in 2002. "It's the thing to do right now. It's great. Every single day that you turn on your phone or get on your computer, you see something different. The information that you have in your hand right now, you feel so privileged because right now nothing is far. Everything is within touch in your hands."
So, you may be wondering whether actual crystal is "within touch in your hands" as well on this anniversary. We can promise you the $9.99 MLB.TV sale price for the rest of the year, even for authenticated users to watch every World Series game that way. As for actual crystal around baseball, we can think of at least a half-dozen examples:
1. What Robinson Cano held up in Miami
Technically, that crystal bat that the Mariners' second baseman received and held aloft on July 11 is known since 2002 as the Arch Ward Trophy for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. This weekend, Cano is back at his old Yankee Stadium home, wearing "Don't You Know" on the back of his Seattle jersey. If you have MLB.TV, you can click from game to game easily and see all of those fabulous styles as the players' passion and personalities come out in a brand-new way.
2. Billy Crystal
We'd quote him from the batting-machine scene in "When Harry Met Sally," but he wasn't talking about baseball. "It's the game I grew up playing with my brothers," he said, "and it's always bonded us in a special way." On March 13, 2008, MLB.TV subscribers watched live as the comedian/actor, signed to a one-day contract by his beloved Yankees, played in an actual Spring Training game in Tampa, striking out against Pittsburgh. He wore No. 60 that day, because it was his 60th birthday. Crystal turns 70 next March, just saying.
3. Crystal clear
That applies to two things in baseball right now: (a) Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers for National League Rookie of the Year Award, and (b) the picture quality of your live MLB.TV stream. Revolutionary 60fps live streaming video is available to MLB.TV Premium subscribers. This HD technology is available on supported iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs as well as Chromecast, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Roku, Xbox One and Xbox 360.
4. Say anything, but don't say goodbye
Crystal Gale sang those words 40 years ago in her chart-topper, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue." That same year, Reggie Jackson said goodbye to three baseballs in three straight swings, and Brooks Robinson said goodbye to the game. Babe Ruth once said: "A ballplayer should quit when it starts to feel as if all the baselines run uphill." Watch MLB.TV to appreciate the very youngest of the new breed, and to see if the Bambino was right. It is a time for fresh legs and walk-offs into the sunset.
5. Crystal, Minn.
It's just a short drive up Broadway from Target Field in Minnesota, and a lot of people there are in on the biggest reason to have MLB.TV right now: pennant races. The surprising Twins are symbolic of widespread pennant chases, as they entered Thursday night still holding the No. 2 American League Wild Card position. There were 20 teams still within no more than 5 1/2 games of a postseason berth, and MLB.TV is made for scoreboard-watching. It's on more than 400 devices, and subscribers have free access to all premium features in MLB.com At Bat (a $19.99 value), including home and away radio broadcasts, exclusive highlights and more.
6. Crystal balls
They usually don't work in baseball. No champion has repeated since 2000, the longest such streak in worldwide major pro sports. Most crystal balls said the Cubs would do it this fall. The one sure thing is MLB.TV, always there since 2002.
Every Night. Every Device.
Just ask Carlos Correa. He started a rehab assignment Thursday at the Astros' Triple-A Fresno affiliate, and MLB.TV viewers can watch his expected return to the American League West leaders during the homestretch. The last time Correa was in the Minors, he relied on MLB.TV to keep up with Major League pitching so he would be prepared for his first call-up.
"When I'm in the hotel, I have Apple TV, I take it on the road with me. At home, I use my iPhone and the At Bat app," Correa said. "It's great for fans to watch the games and be able to replay them and just enjoy baseball."
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Follow him @Marathoner and read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com/blogs hub.