“A Tale of Two Seasons”
Following the tremendous success of the award-winning 1982 Atlanta Braves TV program “Long Way To October” (also available from Rare Sportsfilms), a new behind-the-scenes documentary was produced by WTBS on the Braves’ 1983 season titled “A Tale of Two Seasons”. Created in similar style to “Long Way”, with viewers being able to peek into the Braves locker room, see into private meetings with club owner Ted Turner and overhear manager Joe Torre talking to pitchers out on the mound and arguing with umpires during games, “A Tale of Two Seasons” concentrates on the Braves’ final month of the season, when after a valiant fight, they lost out to the eventual Western Division Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. However to put the final month into perspective, much is also shown from the earlier part of the season, in which the Braves led by six games in mid-August over the second place Dodgers – hence, the title “A Tale of Two Seasons”.
Craig McMurtry, Rick Behenna, Pete Falcone, Terry Forster, Gerald Perry, Mike Jorgensen and Brad Komminsk are new additions to the ballclub for 1983. Also seen on this DVD are Donnie Moore, Jerry Royster, Randy Johnson and Ken Dayley. Starter Pascual Perez has his best season, winning 15 games. The keystone combo of Rafael Ramirez and Glenn Hubbard both improve their performances over ’82. Bruce Benedict has an outstanding year and becomes an All-Star.
But as you’ll see, by the end of the season the Braves have dealt with a variety of factors which lead to the fall from the top of the standings. There is much action from games (both home and away) against the one club they had to beat to win, Los Angeles. Bob Watson’s walk off home run vs L.A. in mid-August is one of the unforgettable memories of the season. But so is the embarrassing Tommy Boggs-Forster-Tony Brizzolara pitching change mixup and eventual 7-6 Dodger win on a squeeze bunt at L.A. Injuries take their toll, the most important being the broken wrist of Bob Horner (Bob comments), which sidelines him for the rest of the year. Others are Chris Chambliss’ injured ribs, Forster’s hamstring pull and injuries to two of the Braves’ most effective relievers of ’82, Gene Garber and Rick Camp, who describes his injury and how it occurred. All these injuries are shown as they actually happened.
The 1983 Braves season is also one of controversy. You’ll see the on the field incidents which lead to the Scott Sanderson-Claudell Washington fight during which both benches empty. There’s the infamous Len Barker trade with Cleveland for “Players To Be Named later” and the eventual leak that fan favorite Brett Butler is one of the players. The ballclub is fined, Butler and Ted Turner both comment about the mess, how it came about and what their thinking is going forward. The Dodgers start the Braves on their August losing streak at the same time as Chief Noc-A-Homa’s teepee is removed from the left field stands, re-igniting another controversy from even the previous year. You’ll hear Turner and the front office personnel joke about it in one of the closed door meetings!
Meanwhile, All-Star Dale Murphy is having another outstanding year. Having to take up some of the slack in the batting order from the absence of Bob Horner, he bats .302, hits 36 home runs, leads the N.L. with 121 RBI, scores 131 runs and steals 30 bases on his way to winning his second consecutive N.L. MVP award. Many great scenes of Murphy are captured in this presentation of Murphy’s outstanding season-long play!
There’s also much coverage of the final week of the season, as the Braves slide out of contention. Afterward, Bruce Benedict and Bob Horner both comment about the season and why the Braves lost. At the end, the release of veteran Braves knuckleballer and fan favorite Phil Niekro is covered, with G.M. John Mullen giving the ballclub evaluation of the situation and Rick Camp and Niekro himself giving comments on the Braves’ controversial decision from their perspective.
This 99-minute DVD is another fabulous offering from Rare Sportsfilms, Inc. To order, send $29.95 plus $5.00 S & H to:
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