History Lesson – Indians (Guardians) / Yankees

March 23, 2023

Andy Billman

The Indians and Yankees, in a tight race with the White Sox, met at the Polo Grounds on August 16th, 1920. In the fifth inning, Mays threw one of his “submarine” pitches that hit Chapman in the head. Chapman collapsed at the plate. He was rushed to the hospital and died the next day. Grief tore through Cleveland and the pivotal moment led to an explosion on and off the field. The Indians, sparked by the addition of young shortstop Joe Sewell, recovered in time to win their first World Series Title. What resulted was a rivalry that would last 100 years. The rivalry featured fights on the field, tension-filled fans, exciting pennant races, championship glory, hall of famers, and one prominent Clevelander, George Steinbrenner, who was denied the chance to own his hometown team and would go on to buy the Yankees, which the family still owns.

WAR ON THE DIAMOND explores why one of the richest rivalries between the Indians and Yankees still boils today. Based on the award-winning book by Mike Sowell, “The Pitch That Killed.”

Andy Billman – Director/Producer

Andy Billman is an award-winning (two-time Emmy winner, Peabody Award, and NAACP winner) producer with a passion for sports and storytelling. Billman started at ESPN in July of 2002, and he has worked on SportsCenter, The ESPYs, Playmakers, Tilt, and Dream Job. He has produced other ESPN Films projects such as The Announcement, Unguarded, and The Book of Manning. Finally, Billman has directed two documentaries under the ESPN Films flagship, including the 30 for 30 film Believeland.

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