LOS ANGELES – The journey to the Big Leagues is often a long, lonely and uncertain one. A player must navigate a route that often begins in childhood, continues through school and into their mid-20s. ROAD TO THE SHOW, premiering Saturday, June 27 (12:30 PM ET) on FOX Sports 1 is a new documentary series from FOX Sports which gives viewers a chance to hear from some of today’s biggest Major League Baseball stars about what it took for them to make that arduous journey to baseball’s grandest stage.
Although some of these World Series Champions and All-Stars seemed destined to reach the pinnacle of the sport, the voyage was tumultuous along the way. From their earliest days of Little League, to making it to their high school varsity team, the ups and downs of the minor leagues, to finally cementing themselves as a MLB player – this intimate autobiographical format gives these stars the chance to share their own personal stories.
“In all of sports, there is no journey quite like rising through the minor league ranks to become a Major League Baseball player,” said FOX Sports Senior Vice President, Development Melissa Forman. “We’re excited to step back and take a unique look at the humbling beginnings of some of baseball’s best.”
Each 30-minute episode highlights the pre-MLB career of one several of the sport’s biggest names including: A.J. Pierzynski, Prince Fielder, Torii Hunter, Jonathan Papelbon, C.J. Wilson, and Tim Hudson. Each player recounts the mentors they had along the way, the adversity they faced as youngsters and talks about life in the minor leagues. ROAD TO THE SHOW provides never-before-seen platform for today’s stars to shine a light on the people who helped their Big League dreams come true and to share the behind-the-scenes stories of how they made it to where they are today.
ROAD TO THE SHOW is produced by Boardwalk Pictures. Andrew Fried and John Henion serve as executive producers, with Dane Lillegard as co-executive producer for Boardwalk. This is Fried’s fourth series for FOX Sports 1, having previously executive produced BEING: MIKE TYSON, BACK OF THE SHOP and teamed with Henion on last summer’s THE PECOS LEAGUE.
ROAD TO THE SHOW episode breakdown:
Episode 1: AJ Pierzynski, Saturday, June 27 (12:30 PM ET)
After two-time All-Star and World Series champion AJ Pierzysnki was drafted out of high school, he spent four thankless and humbling years in the minors before finally establishing himself as an everyday player in the Big Leagues.
Episode 2: Prince Fielder, Saturday, June 27 (1:00 PM ET)
For five-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger award winner Prince Fielder, it was hardly ever in doubt that he would make it to The Show. Instead, the question was whether or not he would be able to escape the long shadow cast by his Big League father, Cecil Fielder.
Episode 3: Jonathan Papelbon, TBD
Phillies closer and five-time All-Star Jonathan Papelbon wasn’t even sure he wanted to go to college for baseball, let alone pitch, until a coach at the University of Mississippi told him he wouldn’t start until his senior year. Papelbon took this as a challenge – one that changed his life forever.
Episode 4: Torii Hunter, TBD
Five-time All-Star and nine-time Golden Glove winner Torii Hunter is the poster child for perseverance. From growing up in the hardscrabble town of Pine Bluff, Ark., to struggling through six years of minor league ball, the one thing Hunter never did was give up.
Episode 5: Tim Hudson, TBD
World Series champion and four-time All-Star Tim Hudson was so scrawny as a child that few would have ever predicted that he would go on to have such a celebrated career in the Major Leagues. Hudson’s saga is a true David and Goliath story.
Episode 106: CJ Wilson, TBD
At nine years old, two-time All-Star Angels pitcher CJ Wilson wrote down that when he grew up he would ‘be a Major League Baseball All-Star’ so he could buy a Ferrari Testarossa like the one Don Johnson drove in Miami Vice. Sixteen years and several career threatening injuries later, CJ played in his first Major League game.
Watch the ROAD TO THE SHOW promo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZosZyZtM32g