ESPN's 30 for 30 series has been in superb form lately, bringing us arguably the best sports documentary of all-time in The Last Dance, as well as seminal works on Lance Armstrong (Lance) and Bruce Lee (Be Water). Now, it's the turn of Major League Baseball to go under the microscope and, more specifically, the famous home run record chase between sluggers Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire in the summer of 1998. Here's how to watch Long Gone Summer and stream the new 30 for 30 documentary for free.
Long Gone Summer is a one-part ESPN 30 for 30 documentary airing on Sunday, June 14 at 9pm ET/PT. ESPN is available as part of Sling TV's Orange package, which offers a FREE trial period (opens in new tab) - meaning you can watch Long Gone Summer for free!
For the uninitiated, Major League Baseball's single-season home run record was owned by the New York Yankees' Roger Maris for over 35 years, standing at 61 since 1961.
That all changed in the summer of 1998, when two sluggers at the peak of their powers tore up the rule book (both metaphorically and, if you ask some people, literally) to elevate themselves from superstar to folk hero status in the eyes of baseball fans.
The duo in question were Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs and Mark McGuire of the St Louis Cardinals. McGuire ended up claiming the crown, posting an astonishing 70 homers that season, while Sosa also broke Maris' record and ended up with 66.
It was the constant back-and-forth between the two power hitters that captivated the nation, though - and just as importantly, helped revitalize a sport that was still flailing after failed labor negotiations brought the 1994 MLB season to halt in August and result in the cancellation of that year's World Series.
As with ESPN's other 30 for 30 docs, though, the story is far from straightforward. Accusations of doping emerged soon after the record was broken and debate over who the true 'home run king' is rages on to this day. McGuire is generally regarded as more likely to be 'guilty' than Sosa in this regard - though neither player is as tainted as the current single-season 'record holder' Barry Bonds.
Forget this (Red Sox...) fan's hot take, though. Here's how to watch Long Gone Summer and stream the 30 for 30 ESPN documentary so you can make your mind up for yourself.
- 30 for 30's Bruce Lee documentary: here's how to watch Be Water (opens in new tab)
How to watch Long Gone Summer online for FREE in the US
ESPN is airing Long Gone Summer, a one-part 30 for 30 documentary, on Sunday, June 14 at 9pm ET/PT.
Those with ESPN as part of their cable package can simply log in to ESPN's website (opens in new tab) with their provider details to watch online for free - or use the ESPN app (opens in new tab) to similar effect.
Anyone else can get access to ESPN with an over-the-top service like Sling TV. Sling includes ESPN as part of its Orange package (opens in new tab), which normally costs £30 a month but is currently enjoying a FREE trial offer (opens in new tab) that will let you watch Long Gone Summer without dropping a dime.
If you like what you see, Sling Orange includes not only ESPN, but also other stations as diverse as CNN, Comedy Central, TNT and the Food Network.
Long Gone Summer is also being live streamed on the ESPN+ platform.
How to watch Long Gone Summer from outside the country
As we've just explained, its really straightforward for anyone in the US to watch Long Gone Summer on ESPN, and there's more on watching in the UK and Australia below.
But for folk elsewhere, it may not be quite so simple. In some countries, you can buy access to ESPN Player (opens in new tab), but in others geo-blocking restrictions will stand in your way.
This is especially annoying when you're from the US and would normally be able to access ESPN back home. Fortunately, there is a solution in the form of a VPN. This nifty bit of software changes your IP address so that you can access all the content you normally would at home - just from anywhere in the world.
Note that you may be required to verify your credit card or cable subscription details before gaining access to some ESPN streams, so have these to hand to make watching Long Gone Summer online as easy as possible.
While there are hundreds of VPNs to choose from, we always recommend ExpressVPN (opens in new tab). As well as being fast, simple, and straightforward to install, it's also compatible with a whole host of devices - Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation, iOS and Android to name some of the main ones.
Plus, ExpressVPN's flexible 30-day money back guarantee is difficult to argue with. Even better, you can purchase an annual plan for a 49% discount and 3 months extra FREE (opens in new tab) – a brilliant offer for an essential bit of software.
Once installed, select the location of your home country and simply click connect to watch Long Gone Summer from anywhere on earth.
- Even more 30 for 30: here's how to watch Lance online (opens in new tab)
How to watch Long Gone Summer and stream ESPN in Australia for FREE
ESPN has a dedicated Australian offshoot, which is available to Foxtel pay TV subscribers - or more affordably, via great value streaming service Kayo Sports (opens in new tab).
Kayo's basic plan costs just $25 a month and lets you stream on two screens, while Premium is a mere $35 a month for simultaneous viewing on up to three devices.
Of the two, Kayo Sports Premium (opens in new tab) represents the best value as it offers multi-screen support - which means you can effectively split the price of a monthly subscription between friends or family and pay less.
There's even a free 14-day Kayo Sports trial (opens in new tab) on offer, so you can check it out for yourself without committing a penny, and its app works across PCs, Macs, smartphones, tablets, select smart TVs and more - console support is the only obvious outlier but it's said to be "coming soon".
Long Gone Summer is scheduled to land on Kayo on Monday, June 15 - and it's far from all the platform has to offer.
Kayo also lets you watch a load of other great sports, not least offering an NRL live stream for every match of the 2020 season.
How to watch ESPN for FREE in the UK and stream Long Gone Summer
Baseball fans and documentary aficionados in the UK can watch Long Gone Summer using ESPN Player, the network giant's international streaming-only service.
It costs £9.99 a month and offers a FREE 7-day trial (opens in new tab), so you can watch the latest 30 for 30 doc this weekend without paying a penny.
BT Sport has also picked up select 30 for 30 documentaries after they've aired in the US, so if you're a subscriber, it's worth keeping an eye on upcoming TV listings to see if it's crossing the pond.