Trevor Hoffman: The Whole 1998 Show
Updated: Jun 4, 2018
Thank you for reading my blog and watching the segments from the 1998 show about Trevor Hoffman so far. Here is the back-story of how it came about and watching the whole show is just a “press play” away.
I first met Trevor Hoffman in Dallas Texas in February 1997, just weeks before the launch of the new TV partnership between COX and the Padres called Channel 4 Padres. One of my roles was to do feature stories for the pre-game show to help connect the fans with the players.
Trevor had been key to the Padres clinching the West in 1996. But other than, for example, a magazine article about how he ate bugs in the minors, fans didn’t know much about him. The small crew from the Padres and I were greeted by Trevor and his wife Tracy, and their baby Brody. In the interview, I learned a few things that offered good insight into his colorful personality and way with words. Rather than just “butterflies” in his stomach as he was waiting to come out of the bullpen, he had, “pterodactyls …big old birds in your stomach.”
Also, when I asked if he was a “tough guy”, saying, “You really do have the aura about you—steely-eyed, tough guy,” Trevor shook his head and said, “Turn that camera off. I don’t want anyone else in baseball to know I’m really not.” Of course, we didn’t turn it off. He was joking; but there’s often some truth in a joke. For the sake of competition, he was somewhat protective of his professional image. We didn’t want to jeopardize that, but we would learn that our stories showing him off the field had no bearing on how incredibly talented he was on the field.
In 1998, the season was off to a great start, Trevor was broaching a National League record for consecutive saves, and the Padres had started playing the AC/DC song, “Hell’s Bells,” when he came into a save situation. With my half hour show One on One now in its second season, I knew I wanted to feature Number 51. But would he be open to it? This is how it finally happened.
I was on the road with the team in Arizona, staying at the team hotel. One
evening after a game, I was in the hotel lounge with some of the other broadcasters
when I saw Trevor. I approached him just to be social, and the subject came up
of Channel 4 and One on One. I boldly asked, “So when do I get to tell your story?”
To my surprise, he said, “Well, it’s about time. I’ve been waiting for you to ask.” I
was stunned, but seized the moment and said, “Okay, let’s do it.” And we did, starting with the interview at his mother’s house in Anaheim, right after his first appearance at an All-Star Game.
This half-hour edition was the first in-depth piece telling his life story, and I thank and credit editor Dan Roper for his creativity as we wove in home movies, his parents’ artistry and interviews with his family. I’m grateful we were given latitude at Channel 4 to have the time and resources to gather and produce with great detail. I thank Trevor for trusting us, not only by opening up, but also allowing us to capture him watching the sunset, running at the stadium, and walking from the bullpen to the clubhouse for his in-game routine. This took the viewer into Trevor’s world like never before. As it turns out, it would be the first of several One on One editions documenting his evolution and growth.
More on those later, but for now, sit back and enjoy our first One on One taste of Trevor Time.