Sports Illustrated, MLB Announce Two Documentaries
Sports Illustrated and Major League Baseball have announced the first of two co-produced longform documentaries. The first film from the collaboration is 14 Back, which will be directed by 11-time Emmy Award-winning director and producer Jonathan Hock, to be debuted on Sports Illustrated TV (SI TV) this fall.
14 Back will focus on the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry during the summer of 1978, which ended in a climactic one-game playoff and concluded a pennant race by which all others are measured. Even 40 years after the Yankees and Red Sox vied for a chance to play in the ’78 Fall Classic, their battle both on and off the field during that summer and fall has arguably never been equaled.
“There was greatness in both dugouts on that autumn day at Fenway in 1978, and each team needed the other to define itself,” says Hock. “The result was as rich and juicy a sports story as two teams were ever destined to write together. To be the filmmaker to help tell that story is, for me, as good as it gets.”
The documentary will feature interviews with players, writers and celebrities on both sides of the rivalry, incredible archival footage from MLB’s unmatched library and Sports Illustrated images from that era will feature prominently in the film to transport audiences back into the tension and mood of that iconic season four decades ago.
“SI’s great competitive advantage is its ability to tell the most impactful stories. The creation of SI TV, as evidenced by the success of “WeTown,” enables us to tell the story of the most memorable season in the most bitter rivalry in sports in an even more high-impact, entertaining and illuminating way,” says Chris Stone, editorial director of Sports Illustrated. “This is almost like the prequel for “Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies,” the awesome ESPN 30 for 30 documentary which Jon wrote and produced. His insight into what fuels and sustains the most epic rivalries in sports uniquely qualifies him to own this story.”
14 Back will debut on SI TV, Sports Illustrated’s SVOD network, later this year. Executive Producers are Josh Oshinsky, Chris Stone and Ian Orefice for Sports Illustrated; Hock and Nick Trotta, Major League Baseball.
Hock has directed four ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries and was the writer and producer of last year’s critically acclaimed “Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies,” a three-part, five-hour film about the rivalry.