Entire family: Yes
2016, 20 hours, Color
Not rated (would be G)
Aspect ratio: Widescreen
Featured audio: DTS-HDMA 2.0
Bonus features: C
Includes: 8 single-sided Blu-ray discs
There are plenty who would lay claim to the title of “World’s Biggest Cubs Fan,” but I think I could build a case as well. As a kid I attended one to three games per week over the summers, working to raise money to afford the $1 bleacher seat, 10-cent program, 35-cent Frosty Malt, and 15-cent bus fare. During the school year I faked being sick more than a few times so I could watch Jack Brickhouse call the games on WGN-TV. Once, a friend and I even bicycled six hours round-trip across the city to knock on the door of Cubs player Glen Hobbie to ask for his autograph (many players were listed in the phone book back then). So you’d have to say that I’m part of the intended audience for this 2016 World Series Champions: Chicago Cubs (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray.
But let’s be clear about what this eight-disc collection is, and what it’s not. The set includes a single Blu-ray disc for each of the seven World Series games plus a bonus disc of Game 6 of the NLCS that the Cubs won in order to advance to their first World Series since 1945. And each of those discs is a complete game telecast, sans commercials, 7th inning stretch, and pre-game show, and with only an abbreviated wrap-up—no locker room celebrations.
It’s too bad, though, that there’s not more postgame coverage. I don’t even remember seeing the Cubs carry David Ross around the field on their shoulders after Game 7, for example, but it was one of those moments that fans (and, of course, Grandpa Rossy) will never forget.
Some fans might also sniffle that the games seem to be 1080i instead of 1080p, but once that first pitch is thrown and you’re reliving the experience, you won’t care one bit. Plus, a nifty feature is that you can choose from four audio options—the original TV coverage or home radio, away radio, and Spanish-language broadcasts—making this watchable from different angles and points-of-view. In fact, that’s probably the best thing that this set has going for it, other than the games themselves.
Since there’s also a cheaper single-disc 2016 World Series Champions: Chicago Cubs that’s a nifty documentary with new interviews, you might expect the Collector’s Edition to contain that disc plus the seven World Series games. The bonus disc in this set could easily have been the documentary instead of Game 6 from the NLCS, but don’t blame Shout! Factory. At least they included a nice full-color booklet that gives complete stats for every game plus attendance, temperature, total pitches/strikes, a box score, and great trivia notes that point out all the firsts and records established in the series.
MLB has a way of doing things, and this set is similar to others that have come out in previous years. One suspects that bonus features and parade coverage are still coming, as Chicago fans will recall happened when the White Sox won it all in 2005. That means Cub fans will want to buy the single-disc documentary, this multiple-disc full-game set, AND whatever bonus features are yet to be marketed. It’s the way the marketing world works, but after waiting 108 years, I suppose it’s a small price to pay. Certainly, it’s cheaper than paying for a Game 7 bleacher seat, which started at $2,107.16. Enjoy!