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This Week in Baseball

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This Week in Baseball
Also known asTWIB
GenreSports highlights
Created byJoe Reichler
Written byMark Durand
James Rogal
Jeff Scott
Presented byMel Allen
Warner Fusselle
Ozzie Smith
Cam Brainard
Jennie Finch
Theme music composerMike Vickers
Opening theme"Jet Set"
Ending theme"Gathering Crowds"
Composer(s)Matthew Cang
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Larry Parker
Geoff Belinfante
CinematographySavas Alatis
Richard Wilmot
Editor(s)Tony Tocci
Michael Kostel
Marco Lagana
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)
Original network
Original releaseApril 1, 1977 (1977-04-01) – September 26, 1998 (1998-09-26)
April 8, 2000 (2000-04-08) –
September 24, 2011 (2011-09-24)
Preceded byIn the Zone
Followed byMLB Player Poll
Related showsMajor League Baseball Game of the Week
External links

This Week in Baseball (abbreviated as TWiB, pronounced phonetically) was an American television series which focused on Major League Baseball highlights. Broadcast weekly during baseball season (and in its second incarnation, prior to marquee MLB games and during rain-delays) the program featured highlights of recent games, interviews with players, and other regular features. The popularity of the program, best known for its original host, New York Yankees play-by-play commentator Mel Allen, also helped influence the creation of other sports highlight programs, including ESPN's SportsCenter.

After its original syndicated run from 1977 to 1998, and gaining a revival in 2000 (which moved to Fox as a lead-in to its Saturday MLB coverage), TWiB was discontinued at the end of the 2011 Major League Baseball season, replaced by the new program MLB Player Poll.


When Commissioner Bowie Kuhn first took office in 1969, the only weekly showcase of Major League Baseball was its Saturday afternoon Game of the Week on NBC. On the other hand, the National Football League had produced its own syndicated highlight programs like This Week in Pro Football through its in-house unit NFL Films. In response to its competition, This Week in Baseball premiered in first-run syndication in 1977. The show was originally hosted by long-time New York Yankees announcer Mel Allen.

The program was typically picked up by stations that also had television rights to major league franchises like WTBS in Atlanta, KTTV in Los Angeles, and WGN in Chicago. TWIB would also air on owned-and-operated NBC stations as a prelude of sorts to NBC's Game of the Week telecasts.

According to Curt Smith's biography on Mel Allen entitled The Voice: Mel Allen's Untold Story, when NBC lost the rights to the Game of the Week to CBS (who, unlike NBC, didn't broadcast regular-season games for all 26 weeks of the season) after the 1989 season, TWIB, sans a strong anchor,[2] proceeded to either lose markets or move to weaker, (often independent) stations. Even more so, TWIB was now (under the CBS umbrella) averaging a 1-2 rating and, in several places, airing at midnight (as opposed to, for example, WNBC New York at 1:30 p.m.; in this case, however, TWIB moved to WWOR, which had the rights to the New York Mets at the time, and aired on Sunday afternoons as the Mets' lead-in for their game telecasts).

End of the Mel Allen era

In 1996, Mel Allen died.[3] Warner Fusselle, who had previously contributed the "TWIB Notes" and "TWIB Ticker" segments as well as substituting for Allen frequently in later years,[4][5] and filled in for Allen when needed[6] ultimately took over for the remainder of the season.[7] In 1997, the recently retired Ozzie Smith[8] became the new permanent host with Fusselle serving as the show's announcer and main contributor.[9][10] TWIB had pretty much moved into being more of cable-syndicated show as in Detroit for instance, it was shown on PASS (Pro-Am Sports System). By this point, however, TWIB appeared to have run its course and the 1998 season proved to be the last for the original series.

From syndication to Fox

In 2000, Fox Sports decided to cancel its young-viewer-centered baseball series In the Zone (Fox's answer to NBA Inside Stuff) in favor of reviving This Week in Baseball. While the show was much more feature-driven than it had been before and was still targeted at the younger audience, the show retained some of the older features, such as plays of the week and the same open and closing themes.

Cam Brainard hosted and narrated the new series. For much of the show's run, a claymation version of Mel Allen introduced and closed the show.

Although all other children's programs were cancelled by Fox on December 28, 2008, TWIB was retained at least for the 2009 season, airing for the first time in high definition. It also aired on the MLB Network.

By the 2011 season, TWIB's ratings declined as the result of such shows as ESPN's Baseball Tonight and SportsCenter, which showed baseball highlights daily. The rise of the internet and the MLB Network also sealed TWIB's fate. In 2012, Fox cancelled TWIB and replaced it with a new baseball-oriented show, MLB Player Poll.


Cardinals great Ozzie Smith hosted TWIB from 1997–1998.
Cardinals great Ozzie Smith hosted TWIB from 1997–1998.

The show also aired on regional sports networks around the country, on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada, and was also often played as part of the pre-game entertainment on the TV screens of major league stadiums. From 2004-2005, segments of the show were hosted by U.S. fast-pitch softball sensation Jennie Finch.

In 2007, TWIB was slated for 26 episodes running from April to the end of September, focusing on stories of various clubs and different baseball themes each week. The segment "Front Row Fan" features celebrities reminiscing about their favorite baseball memories. Guests have included Tom Hanks, Bernie Mac, Alyssa Milano and Kevin James. There is also a play of the week section and TWIBIA, in which a trivia question is asked before the commercial break.

Highlights of the past week's action are used less frequently, except for a closing highlight reel set to popular songs. The highlight reel is named How 'Bout That?, in reference to Mel Allen's well-known catchphrase. Video is gathered from each of the 30 Clubs' Stadium Loggers, who compile highlights of each game and send them to MLB Productions in Secaucus, NJ.

The program also uses educational segments to help it qualify for E/I status in the United States.


The opening theme music to TWIB is "Jet Set," composed by Mike Vickers, a former member of the original Manfred Mann band. "Jet Set" was first used as the theme for the original 1974-75 version of the game show Jackpot. When Fox brought TWIB back, a slightly revamped version of "Jet Set" was written.

The closing theme to the show is "Gathering Crowds," composed by John Scott.[11] It is typically played over a montage of baseball's greatest moments, building to a crescendo with a punctuated 3-note chord as the MLB logo slides into view. The piece has also been utilized to similar effect for montages and credits at the end of, for example, local TV newscasts.

Stations (1977-1998)

City Station
Archer Lodge WFPX 62[12]
Atlanta WTLK 14[13]
WTBS 17[14]
Baltimore WMAR 2[15]
Bangor WVII 7[16]
Birmingham WAPI 13[17]
Boston WABU 68[18]
WSBK 38[19]
Buffalo WKBW 7[20]
Carthage WEZF 22[21]
Casper KGWL 5[22]
KTWO 2[23]
Chicago WGN 9
Cincinnati WLWT 5[24]
Cleveland WUAB 43[25]
Columbia WIS 10[26]
Columbus, Georgia WYEA 38[27]
Columbus, Ohio WTTE 28[28]
Cordele WSST 55[29]
Dallas KXTX 39[30]
Dayton WDTN 2[31]
Davenport WOC 6[32]
Detroit WDIV 4[33]
Florence WYLE 26[34]
Fort Worth KXAS 5[35]
Greeneville WETO 39[36]
Hartford WFSB 3[37]
Houston KTXH 20[38]
Huntington WSAZ 3[39]
Kansas City WDAF 4[40]
Lancaster WGAL 8[41]
WLYH 15[42]
Los Angeles KTTV 11[43]
Minneapolis WTCN 11[44]
New Britain WVIT 30[45]
New York WPIX 11[46]
Oklahoma City KWTV 9[47]
Onondaga WILX 10[48]
Philadelphia WTXF 29[49]
Portland WCSH 6[50]
Providence WLNE 6[51]
Rapid City KEVN 7
Richmond WWBT 12[52]
Rochester WROC 8[53]
Sacramento KCRA 3[54]
Saint John CKLT 9[55]
Salt Lake City KUTV 2[56]
San Diego KCOX 4[57]
San Francisco KRON 4
Scranton WDAU 22[58]
Secaucus WWOR 9[59]
Seattle KIRO 7[60]
KSTW 11[61]
St. Louis KPLR 11[62]
KSDK 5[63]
St. Petersburg WTTA 38[64]
Terre Haute WTWO 2[65]
Valdosta WGVP 44[66]
Washington, D.C. WRC 4[67]
Waterbury WTXX 20[68]
Wheeling WTRF 7


  1. ^ Mushnick, Phil (June 12, 2012). "Warner Fusselle dead". New York Post. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
  2. ^ Cassuto, Partridge, Leonard, Stephen. The Cambridge Companion to Baseball. Cambridge University Press. p. 234.
  3. ^ Borelli, Stephen (September 7, 2000). "Without Allen, 'TWIB' no longer meaningful". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on February 4, 2010.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. ^ Fusselle hosted ‘This Week In Baseball’ after Mel Allen and had a weekly show on ESPN.
  5. ^ "A lot of people didn't know that Mel was even alive," said Warner Fusselle, Allen's backup voice on the show.
  6. ^ "Remembering Warner Fusselle: Brooklyn Cyclones announcer and legend". June 15, 2012. Archived from the original on August 18, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
  7. ^ Goldstein, Aaron (June 14, 2012). "Warner Fusselle, R.I.P." The American Spectator. Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
  8. ^ 1997 Ozzie Smith This Week in Baseball Commercial on YouTube
  9. ^ The New Land Of Oz
  10. ^ "Ozzie Smith Gets Job in Television". January 15, 1997. Archived from the original on November 20, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2008.
  11. ^ Foster, Jason (August 4, 2015). "The inside story of how 'This Week in Baseball' got its iconic theme music". Sporting News. Sporting News Media. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  12. ^ "Retro: Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville, July 15-16, 1995". Radio Discussions. August 4, 2005.
  13. ^ "Retro: Atlanta/Athens Saturday, September 14, 1991". Radio Discussions. September 14, 2010.
  14. ^ "Retro: Atlanta Sunday, October 3, 1982". Radio Discussions. August 3, 2006.
  15. ^ "Retro: Baltimore/DC/Lancaster, Saturday, August 1, 1992". Radio Discussions. July 30, 2019.
  16. ^ "RETRO: MARITIMES, SATURDAY, MAY 6, 1978". Radio Discussions. May 17, 2010.
  17. ^ "Retro: Northern Alabama Saturday, September 24, 1977". Radio Discussions. September 23, 2012.
  18. ^ "Retro: Lowell, MA, Sunday, July 5, 1998". Radio Discussions. June 20, 2018.
  19. ^ "Retro: Meriden, CT, Sunday, August 7, 1988". Radio Discussions. August 19, 2017.
  20. ^ "Retro: Rochester/Syracuse/Buffalo Saturday, August 5, 1978". Radio Discussions. July 30, 2013.
  21. ^ "Retro: Vermont Sat., Aug. 15, 1981 Part 2". Radio Discussions. October 1, 2014.
  22. ^ "Retro: Idaho Sat, Oct 5, 1991". Radio Discussions. October 4, 2010.
  23. ^ "Retro: Denver/Casper/Cheyenne/Rapid City Sat, July 4, 1987". Radio Discussions. July 4, 2012.
  24. ^ "Retro: Kentucky Saturday, June 14, 1980". Radio Discussions. June 14, 2011.
  25. ^ "Retro: Columbus/Zanesville Sat, June 18, 1988". Radio Discussions. June 24, 2010.
  26. ^ "Retro: Spartanburg, SC, Saturday, July 16, 1988". Radio Discussions. November 28, 2017.
  27. ^ "Retro: South Georgia UHFs Saturday, July 18, 1981". Radio Discussions. July 18, 2009.
  28. ^ "Retro: Northern Ohio Sun, Aug 15, 1993". Radio Discussions. August 15, 2015.
  29. ^ "Retro: South Georgia/North Florida Sat, Apr 17, 1993". Radio Discussions. April 23, 2012.
  30. ^ "Retro: North Texas Sat., Oct. 8, 1977". Radio Discussions. October 8, 2014.
  31. ^ "Retro: Central Ohio Saturday, June 17, 1978". Radio Discussions. June 24, 2013.
  32. ^ "RETRO: WESTERN ILLINOIS, SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 1984". Radio Discussions. April 3, 2010.
  33. ^ "Retro: Toledo/Detroit/Cleveland/Fort Wayne (Saturday, August 17, 1985)". Radio Discussions. August 17, 2012.
  34. ^ "Retro: North Alabama (Birmingham and Huntsville) Sunday 9/1/96". Radio Discussions. August 28, 2010.
  35. ^ "Retro: Dallas/Ft. Worth Sunday, July 8, 1984". Radio Discussions. January 20, 2008.
  36. ^ "Retro: Bristol-Kingsport-Johnson City Sat 9/17/88". Radio Discussions. October 6, 2005.
  37. ^ "Retro: Hartford/New Haven TV - Network Affiliates". Radio Discussions. March 15, 2006.
  38. ^ "Houston-September 13-14, 1986-Independents". Radio Discussions. November 26, 2007.
  39. ^ "Retro: West Virginia Sat, Sept 8, 1979". Radio Discussions. January 28, 2009.
  40. ^ "Retro: Kansas City, Sat. September 13th, 1986". Radio Discussions. February 20, 2015.
  41. ^ "Retro: Washington-Baltimore, Sunday, April 27th, 1986". Radio Discussions. August 8, 2012.
  42. ^ "Retro: Baltimore/DC/Lancaster, Sunday, May 31, 1998". Radio Discussions. February 21, 2018.
  43. ^ "Retro: Los Angeles Sat, Aug 18, 1984". Radio Discussions. August 19, 2009.
  44. ^ "Retro: This Week in TV Guide, August 1, 1980 - MN State Edition". Radio Discussions. August 5, 2014.
  45. ^ "Retro: Boston/Providence/Hartford, Saturday, April 10, 1982". Radio Discussions. May 26, 2017.
  46. ^ "Retro: Pennsylvania-New York, Sat. September 7, 1985". Radio Discussions. May 12, 2012.
  47. ^ "Retro: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - Week of August 11th, 1991". Radio Discussions. October 20, 2018.
  48. ^ "Retro: Toledo/Detroit/Cleveland/Fort Wayne Saturday August 4, 1984". Radio Discussions. August 5, 2012.
  49. ^ "Retro: Reading/Philadelphia, Sunday, July 3, 1988". Radio Discussions. May 31, 2018.
  50. ^ "RETRO: New Hampshire, Today in 1987 (Oct. 3)". Radio Discussions. October 3, 2007.
  51. ^ "RETRO BOSTON TV- Tuesday April 5, 1983". Radio Discussions. November 15, 2005.
  52. ^ "Retro: Washington DC/Richmond, Sunday, May 5, 1985". Radio Discussions. January 22, 2018.
  53. ^ "Retro: Eastern Ontario Sat, June 2, 1984". Radio Discussions. June 1, 2011.
  54. ^ "Retro: San Francisco/Sacramento, Saturday, August 30, 1986". Radio Discussions. June 10, 2017.
  55. ^ "Retro: Maine (Saturday, May 19, 1984)". Radio Discussions. May 18, 2011.
  56. ^ "Retro: Montana Sat, Aug 26, 1989". Radio Discussions. August 21, 2012.
  57. ^ "Retro: San Diego Tues, July 20, 1998". Radio Discussions. July 20, 2009.
  58. ^ "RETRO - SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3, 1981". Radio Discussions. November 4, 2012.
  59. ^ "Retro: Yakima, WA; Sun. July 3rd, 1988". Radio Discussions. July 14, 2014.
  60. ^ "Retro: Yakima, WA; Sat. September 19th, 1987". Radio Discussions. June 30, 2016.
  61. ^ "Retro: Yakima, WA; Sat. July 15th, 1989". Radio Discussions. August 2, 2015.
  62. ^ "Retro: St. Louis, Saturday, April 11, 1998". Radio Discussions. December 24, 2018.
  63. ^ "Retro: St. Louis Sat, Sept 8, 1984". Radio Discussions. September 8, 2010.
  64. ^ "Retro: Orlando, Sat. August 16th, 1997". Radio Discussions. December 20, 2015.
  65. ^ "Retro: Indianapolis/Terre Haute/Lafayette Sat, Apr 21, 1984". Radio Discussions. February 22, 2006.
  66. ^ "Retro: Albany, GA, Saturday, July 20, 1996". Radio Discussions. June 26, 2017.
  67. ^ "Retro: Baltimore/DC/Lancaster, Saturday, September 2, 1989". Radio Discussions. February 1, 2019.
  68. ^ "Retro: New York City/Hartford, Saturday, May 5, 1990". Radio Discussions. March 9, 2017.

External links

This page was last edited on 28 August 2020, at 06:36
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