The ghosts of heroic figures from the past loom very large in seven seasonal sports videos just out or due shortly.
"Generations of Heroes," linking former baseball stars to those of the present, gives the older players a leading role. The video, from Major League Baseball Productions and PolyGram Video, shows connections in styles between pairs of stars who may be forever linked in baseball history.
The engaging comparisons -- always asking, "Who was better?" -- include Babe Ruth and Mark McGwire; Willie Mays and Barry Bonds; Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens; Roberto Clemente and Sammy Sosa; Henry Aaron and Ken Griffey Jr.; Mike Schmidt and Scott Rolen; and a trio, Johnny Bench, Mike Piazza and Ivan Rodriguez. The 60-minute tape retails for $19.95.
PolyGram Video also offers four NBA titles for off-season viewing. The most engaging is "Michael Jordan: His Airness," a commemorative post-career documentary that chronicles the superstar's inimitable career (60 mins., $19.95).
The Jordan profile begins with his childhood and goes on to his seasons at the University of North Carolina, his early NBA years and his eventual place as a role model on and off the court. Selected interviews provide a rare glimpse of Jordan's determination and talent and the depth of his character.
"The NBA's 100 Greatest Plays" and "Greatest NBA Finals Moments" both list for $14.95 and run 60 minutes.
The fourth NBA title is the league's championship video, which traces the season of this year's winner through the playoffs and finals, with exclusive footage of the last NBA title-holder of the century. The video is scheduled to be released July 20 (60 mins., $19.95).
"Lord Stanley's Cup: Hockey's Ultimate Prize" features the most thrilling goals, saves and plays in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Among players featured are the now-retired Wayne Gretzky. Others include Mark Messier and Bobby Nystrom, recalling what it was like in years past to hoist the 106-year-old trophy over their heads and skate around the rink (43 mins., $14.98).
Like the NBA tape, the NHL championship video, due July 16, also takes fans through the winning team's 1998-99 season and focuses on pivotal battles in the playoffs. The video lists for $19.95 and has a running time of approximately 60 minutes. For hockey tapes, call 1-800-446-8423.
CAPTION: The story of "His Airness" -- Michael Jordan, now retired from the NBA -- is recounted on an hour-long video.