"We don't want to be Baseball Classic," he said. "This is today's players, but taking advantage of the history of the sport. That's what makes it the best game."Here's the list of upcoming specials and regular nightly shows as January heads toward the opening of Spring Training on Feb. 17 and the regular season on April 5: Hall of Fame Election Special on Jan. 12. The big announcement will be made by Hall president Jeff Idelson at 2 p.m. ET, with a prime-time special at 9 p.m. celebrating the careers of those players who made it. Former Yankees and Indians second baseman Joe Gordon was elected by a Veterans Committee last month and will be inducted along with anyone selected from the writers' ballot on July 26 in Cooperstown, N.Y. Pride and Perseverance: The Story of the Negro Leagues on Jan. 19, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, at 9 p.m. This one-hour documentary narrated by Hall of Famer and current Padres vice president Dave Winfield will be making its debut. It describes and analyzes the only league where African-Americans were able to play professional baseball before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. Prime 9 will follow "Hot Stove Live" at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Monday nights. Running 30 minutes, it will focus on the "Prime 9" players and events throughout Major League Baseball history in various categories: the top nine players at each position, the "Prime 9" comebacks or events, etc. The show will debut on Monday by focusing on the "Prime 9" all-time center fielders, followed at 8:30 p.m. by the nine top home runs. Cathedrals of the Game will follow "Prime 9" at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Monday nights. The 30-minute show highlights ballparks around the big leagues and events that occurred in the cities that support them. The show will debut on Monday with a look at St. Louis and Busch Stadium III, which will host the All-Star Game on July 14. It will be followed by Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies won their second World Series in the 126-year history of the franchise this past October. Baseball, a film by Ken Burns will follow "Hot Stove" at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. The award-winning nine-episode series that first aired on PBS, beginning in September 1994, is one of the most comprehensive documentaries ever produced about the game. Perhaps its most poignant pieces are Inning Five, called "Shadow Ball" about the Negro Leagues, and Inning Six, entitled "The National Pastime," which encompasses Robinson breaking the color barrier in 1947. Baseball Seasons will follow "Hot Stove" at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. The one-hour series of shows will tell the stories of the great seasons in baseball history set against the annals of the times. It will debut on Jan. 7 with a look at the 1995 season, which was shortened at the outset by a strike and ended with the Braves defeating the Indians in the World Series. American League and National League Award shows will follow "Baseball Seasons" at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays. These hour-long shows will highlight Players of the Year, plus MVPs, Cy Young Award winners, Rookies of the Year and Managers of the Year as selected at the close of each season by the BBWAA. Thursday nights from 8-10 p.m. are reserved for Home Run Derby highlights. Friday nights from 8-10 p.m. will feature World Series highlights. Weekends during the offseason will be filled with theme days, beginning in January with recent World Series games.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.