Watch Excerpt of Eck: A Story of Saving here
Thirty years after his role as a closer for the Oakland A's ensured his status as a future Hall of Famer, there's been no player in Major League Baseball like Dennis Eckersley. As the 1992 Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner, a 1989 World Series champion, a six-time All-Star and a first-ballot Hall of Famer, Eckersley's accomplishments and animated personality throughout his 24-year career turned him into an icon. But the latest installment of the MLB Network Presents documentary series, Eck: A Story of Saving, premiering Thursday, Dec. 13 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT, also explores how Eckersley endured personal challenges greater than anything he faced on the field.
Filmed at the Cabot Theater in Beverly, Mass., Eckersley takes the stage for a revealing, in-depth interview in the spotlight. Eckersley gives insight to the ups and downs he experienced during his pitching career, all as he faced crossroads in his life with family, a battle with alcoholism, and his path to sobriety. But through it all, he's comfortable with who he is, perhaps more than ever. Subjects detailed throughout the hour-long film include:
• Eckersley's breakout performance as a rookie pitcher for the Cleveland Indians in 1975
• Getting traded to the Boston Red Sox in 1978 as his first marriage was ending
• Recognizing his addiction to alcohol and checking into rehab during his time with the Chicago Cubs in 1986
• Transitioning from a starter to the first true ninth-inning closer with the A's in 1988
• Being on the losing side of one of the most famous moments in baseball history during the 1988 World Series
• Starting a second career as a baseball broadcaster, where "Eck" offers candid analysis and his own unique vernacular.
The film features new interviews with Eckersley's daughter Mandee, plus many who played with, against and covered Eckersley, including Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa, former A's pitcher and broadcaster Ron Darling, former A's first baseman Mark McGwire, A's broadcaster Ray Fosse, former Boston Red Sox starter Bruce Hurst, 1975 American League MVP and Rookie of the Year Fred Lynn, J.G. Taylor Spink Award winners Peter Gammons and Dan Shaughnessy, and NESN play-by-play announcer Dave O'Brien, who all attest to Eckersley's individuality, his honesty, and his lasting impact on the game.
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 Only in Hollywood, Mr. Padre, Billy, The Swingin' A's, Mike Trout: Millville to MVP, The Bird, and The Colorful Montreal Expos.
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