With the Major League Baseball season starting Sunday – featuring seven games in two days on ESPN – Hannah Storm will host a SportsCenter Face to Face special on Friday with four MLB newsmakers (10 a.m. ET, ESPN2). Storm’s long-running “Face to Face” franchise consistently delivers insightful sit-downs with the biggest names in sports.
Storm will have in-depth interviews with Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers, Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins, Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker during the one-hour program. The show will originate from the new SunTrust Park in Atlanta.
Storm spoke with Front Row about the special:
You’re going back to Atlanta – how meaningful is that for you?
The fun thing for me is I not only graduated from high school in Atlanta but then I went back and lived there later in my career when I worked for CNN. So I went to an untold number of Braves games going to high school there and then working at CNN we used to go to Braves games all the time. I used to host the baseball show on CNN so I covered the postseason trips and I was in the locker room with champagne spraying everywhere interviewing [former team owner] Ted Turner and [former Atlanta pitcher] Tom Glavine for NBC when they won the 1995 World Series. I have some fantastic memories of baseball there in Atlanta.
When you do the “Face to Face” interviews, what is it you’re trying to bring to the viewer?
I think the interviews are very conversational so what I’m trying to bring is not necessarily X’s and O’s baseball to the viewer – they’re certainly going to get that in the course of a game – but who are the people, and I do this with all of my interviews, who are the people behind the greatness? How have they achieved what they have achieved, what have they gone through good and bad, how did they get through it, what have their challenges been? One of the main reasons that we love sports is because of the skill but also because of our emotional investment in these people, and ability to at least on some level relate to what they go through as people, and this particular show catches the real breadth of that. It’s storytelling, it’s insightful and it makes you understand who they are as people, and I think that’s a really important component of sports and it’s valuable – a long-form interview in the short-form world we’re living in.