By Religion of Sports | PRX

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What happens when your love of a sport is built on a major-league lie? Sportswriter Joan Niesen was a kid in St. Louis in the summer of 1998, when the home run race made baseball magic. Mark McGwire was her favorite player, and she tracked his every move that season as he chased baseball immortality. But the spectacle of that summer was not what it seemed. McGwire and countless other players had been using anabolic steroids for years. Now, Joan is revisiting the steroid era to untangle the truth from its many myths and search for answers. What happens when our heroes let us down? What can those years tell us about sports culture in America? And what is the legacy of baseball’s farthest-reaching scandal?

Episode Date
Episode 3: The Magic Shot

At the height of the steroid era, players across baseball had to decide if they should use—and reap the benefits—or stay clean. We meet two such players and follow the ripple effects of their choices.

Apr 15, 2021
Episode 2: The Snoop

When reporter Steve Wilstein started asking questions about a bottle of pills in Mark McGwire’s locker, it set off a chain reaction that would cast doubt on the home run record and the power that had come to define baseball.

Apr 08, 2021
Episode 1: The Feel-Good Story

In 1998, fans across the country fell in love with the home run race as Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa chased baseball immortality. Sportswriter Joan Niesen recounts her memories of that summer, examines the history and mythology of the home run and asks why people across the country wanted to believe they were watching heroes.

Apr 01, 2021
Trailer: Crushed

Sportswriter Joan Niesen is revisiting the steroid era to untangle its truth from the many myths, examine the legacy of baseball’s farthest-reaching scandal, and explore what it tells us about sports culture in America. Launching on April 1, Opening Day 2021.

Mar 24, 2021