Robert Redford Narrates Fourth of July Baseball Special 'The Glove' (Exclusive Video)

 ESPN; Todd Williamson/Invision for Hennessy/AP Images

Robert Redford played a baseball pitcher in the 1984 classic The Natural, and he has returned to the baseball field to narrate a new special to commemorate the 4th of July holiday.

The 77-year-old Oscar winner read an excerpt from an essay penned by MSNBC's Mike Barnicle that will run during ESPN's 4th of July major league baseball doubleheader on Friday.

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The Redford-voiced feature will air during the 3 p.m. ET New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins game and the 7 p.m. ET Tampa Bay Rays at Detroit Tigers showdown. The two-minute piece titled The Glove centers on the special relationship people have with their cherished baseball gloves.

In the eloquent commentary, Redford, who was classmates with baseball great and Dodger Hall of Famer Don Drysdale at Van Nuys High School, tells the story of the beloved leather.

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"The glove doesn't care how old you are, or how young, go ahead — put it on your hand, punch the pocket, shut your eyes," he tells fans of all ages.

The piece is produced by Barnicle's sons, Nick and Colin Barnicle, and Jeff Siegel, of Prospect Productions, who have previously produced 30 for 30 shorts for ESPN, as well as other essays for the network's Sunday Night Baseball and Baseball Tonight shows.

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It was inspired by the idea of owning a baseball glove and how cathartic finding your old glove can be, explained Colin Barnicle. "People are so stressed and busy these days, but finding a beloved glove in the attic or basement or in the back of the trunk of your car can bring you back to childhood and make you feel young again. 

"Mike McQuade and Tom Archer, who produce Sunday Night Baseball for ESPN, suggested Redford for the voiceover, and we said, well, that’s funny because our dad is old friends with Robert!" he revealed, as Mike Barnicle had a small part The Candidate in 1972.

Redford's latest assignment "took him one take — he’s such a professional," added Colin.

Watch an exclusive video clip of the segment below.

 

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