This Week in Baseball was abbreviated as TWiB…..and was an American syndicated television series which focused on Major League Baseball highlights…..which was broadcast weekly during baseball season….and in its second incarnation, prior to marquee MLB games and during rain-delays….as the program featured highlights of recent games, interviews with players and other regular features.
The popularity of the program was primarily the result of its host….legendary N Y Yankees play-by-play commentator Mel Allen….who also helped influence the creation of other sports highlight programs, including ESPN’s SportsCenter.
After its original syndicated run from 1977 to 1998….which also includes its revival in 2000….which moved to Fox as a lead-in to its Saturday MLB coverage….when TWiB was discontinued at the end of the 2011 Major League Baseball season….and replaced by the new program MLB Player Poll.
When Commissioner Bowie Kuhn first took office in 1969, the only weekly showcase of Major League Baseball was its Saturday afternoon Game of the Week on NBC. On the other hand, the National Football League had produced its own syndicated highlight programs like This Week in Pro Football through its in-house unit NFL Films…..so, in response to its competition, This Week in Baseball premiered in first-run syndication in 1977….as the show was originally hosted by long-time New York Yankees announcer Mel Allen.
The program was typically picked up by stations that also had television rights to major league franchises like WTBS in Atlanta, KTTV in Los Angeles, and WGN in Chicago…..plus, TWIB would also air on owned-and-operated NBC stations as a prelude of sorts to NBC’s Game of the Week telecasts.
According to Curt Smith’s biography on Mel Allen entitled The Voice: Mel Allen’s Untold Story….when NBC lost the rights to the Game of the Week to CBS….who unlike NBC, didn’t broadcast regular-season games for all 26 weeks of the season after the 1989 season….that is when TWIB, sans a strong anchor, proceeded to either lose markets or move to weaker, often independent stations…..as even more so, TWIB was now under the CBS umbrella averaging a 1-2 rating and, in several places, airing at midnight….as opposed to, for example, WNBC New York at 1:30 p.m…..so, in this case, however, TWIB moved to WWOR….which had the rights to the New York Mets at the time…..and aired on Sunday afternoons as the Mets’ lead-in program.