A Baseball History Podcast
Secondary Lead is a serialized documentary-style baseball history podcast. The show tells stories of the national pastime's larger-than-life characters, stranger-than-fiction events, and tragedies. Secondary Lead uses cinematic storytelling techniques, exhaustive research and expert interviews to weave a compelling and unique narrative each season.
SEASON ONE: THE RISE AND FALL OF KEN CAMINITI
Ken Caminiti was revered for being the toughest man in baseball. He would play through any pain and was a hard-nosed competitor between the lines. He was never afraid to sacrifice his body for the good of the team, and was a loyal and caring teammate and friend. Ken won the 1996 National League MVP Award, was a three-time NL All-Star, and won the NL Gold Glove at third base three times. He was a record-setting power hitter and did things he teammates thought were impossible.
All of this was overshadowed by his 2002 admission to Sports Illustrated that he used anabolic steroids in his playing career. He was the first player to freely admit to using steroids, and his confession had huge consequences on the national pastime.
The Rise and Fall of Ken Caminiti is a detailed look at the tragic narrative of Ken Caminiti that has never been done before. His story is more than a baseball story, but a tale of drug addiction, expectations of masculinity and how we deal with these topics as a society. Through it all we tell an important story that has been somewhat forgotten, and remember an extraordinary life.
Season 1 Works Cited
SEASON TWO: OPERATION SHUTDOWN
Derek Bell was the life of the party. He danced and joked in the clubhouse to keep the mood light. He bucked baseball's conservative dress and wore baggy pants and listened to rap. He lived on a yacht. He was the kind of veteran presence that the young Pittsburgh Pirates were looking for.
After seven straight losing seasons, things were looking up for the Pirates heading into 2001. They were opening up a brand-new stadium in PNC Park and had exciting youngsters Jason Kendall, Brian Giles and Aramis Ramirez in the lineup. General Manager Cam Bonifay signed Bell to a rich free agent contract improve the defense and bring a veteran presence with postseason experience.
It was a disaster. By the end of 2001 Bonifay was gone, and the Pirates were looking to move on from Bell, who hit just .173 in 46 games. Manager Lloyd McClendon made right field an open competition in spring training. When Bell found out, he said, "I'm going into 'Operation Shutdown,'" and one of the most bizarre sagas in Pirates history began.