After 16 innings, a major save

Even Rays mascot Raymond Ray needed 40 winks. (Credit: © St. Petersburg Times/


Sunday Night Baseball Producer Tom Archer had two things on his mind late Sunday night:

One was producing the highest quality Major League Baseball telecast possible from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The other was his 13th wedding anniversary.

Monday was a big day for Archer and his wife Wendy, but Sunday was a long day, and he was a long way from his Connecticut home.

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball telecast on July 17 — featuring the Boston Red Sox at the Tampa Bay Rays — began at 7:59 a.m. ET and concluded at 1:57 a.m.

The game lasted 16 innings. Boston won, 1-0.

The 5-hour, 58-minute Sunday Night Baseball telecast was the longest ever (records date back to 1991).

Everyone who has spent a Sunday on location with Archer and his crew knows the record-breaking telecast was merely the cherry on top of an already hectic day.

“My day started at 6 a.m. with a cup of Joe, followed by our production meeting from 8-10:30 a.m.” Archer said.

“After saying thanks to our Production and Technical Teams for all the hard work, I drove back to the hotel with the Director, Jimmy Moore, and arrived around 2:15 a.m. on Monday morning.”

It was then that Archer realized he’d be going sleepless in St. Pete.

“After that, I went upstairs, showered and left for the airport at 3:20 a.m. for a 5:20 a.m. flight.

I always take the earliest flight, but I’m thinking, ‘Today is my wedding anniversary,’ so I took the earliest return possible.”

Despite being up for 30 hours straight, Archer took it all in stride.

As a matter of fact, it was a pretty good two-day period for him.

He got to produce an instant classic, and he made it home in time to spend his wedding anniversary hitting golf balls and going to dinner with his wife and daughter.

“It’s pretty hard to compare my day to what all the ESPN folks in Germany [for FIFA Women’s World Cup coverage] and Bristol have done the past four weeks, working tirelessly and capturing the attention of our country,” Archer said.

“And, look at the total hours of live and taped TV delivered by the Open Championship team.

“Tip of the hat to all involved in both of those events. We really served the fan well on Sunday.”

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