Suzyn Waldman

Suzyn Waldman

Suzyn Waldman
Birth nameSuzyn Waldman
BornSeptember 7 1948 (1948--) (age 59)
Newton, MA
ShowNew York Yankees baseball
Station(s)WCBS-AM
Previous show(s)YES Network
WFAN


Suzyn Waldman (born September 7 1948 (1948--) (age 59) in Newton, MA) is a sports broadcaster.[1] Starting with the 2005 season, she has been the color commentator for New York Yankees baseball, working with John Sterling on radio broadcasts for WCBS-AM in New York City. She is a graduate of Simmons College with a degree in Economics.

She is famous for various "pioneering" feats in regards to female sports broadcasters. She is the second woman in major league history to serve as a full-time color commentator on a regular basis. (Betty Caywood of the Kansas City Athletics served as a color commentator for a year in the 1960s.) In the mid-1990s, she was a play-by-play announcer for the Yankees' local TV broadcasts on WPIX, which made her the second woman to serve that role for a major league team. (Gayle Gardner was the first to do so in 1993 for the Colorado Rockies.)

She is an award-winning veteran of more than 20 years of sports reporting, as a former broadcaster for the YES Network as the reporter on the New York Yankees Pre-Game Show and the New York Yankees Post-Game Show and New York sports radio station WFAN. Her voice -- on a live sports update -- was the first heard on WFAN when it premiered at 1050 AM on July 1, 1987. At WFAN, she covered both the Yankees and the New York Knicks basketball teams and co-hosted the daily mid-day sports talk show.

In 2007, she and Sterling signed contract extensions to continue as the Yankees' radio team through at least the 2011 season.[2]

Prior career

Prior to her broadcasting career, Waldman worked for many years as an actress and singer in Broadway musical theatre. Her most notable role was as Dulcinea in Man of La Mancha.[3] Her rendition of "There Used To Be a Ballpark" appeared on the 1995 WMHT-TV documentary Local Heroes: Baseball on Capital Region Diamonds. Also, she has performed the National Anthem at many Yankee home games.

Breast Cancer

In 1996, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.[4] She eventually sued Mount Sinai Hospital and two of its pathologists for misdiagnosing her as being cancer-free, winning over $2 million dollars in damages from the case.[5] While her chemotherapy regimen limited (and eventually ended) her day-to-day role of broadcasting Yankees games on TV, she continued in her role at WFAN throughout her illness (now long in remission).[6]

George Bell / Jesse Barfield controversy

At the start of the 1987 baseball season, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder George Bell wasn’t talking to the New York media, thinking they had cost him the Most Valuable Player award the year earlier. He broke his silence after a win at Yankee Stadium; expectedly the regular beat writers hurriedly gathered around. New on the beat (women had just recently been allowed access to the locker room), Waldman joined the group; Bell immediately started screaming at her in Spanish and English.

“There was a deathly silence. I think the other writers were shocked, but I also think they still resented me more than a bit, and they certainly didn't want to lose this interview,” she recalled on a radio show. “At the time I was a little less tough than I am now. Tears welled up in my eyes and I said I better get out of there.”

As she hastily gathered her tape recorder and notebook, she heard Bell’s fellow outfielder, Jesse Barfield, ask a fellow writer, "What's her name?" When told, he then called out to her: “Suzyn, I went three for four today. Don’t you want to ask me any questions?”[7]

Waldman and Barfield, now a baseball announcer himself, have remained fast friends.[8]

Criticism

In an online poll by Newsday, Waldman was voted the worst commentator in New York by the fans. [9][10] WFAN-AM hosts Chris "Mad Dog" Russo and Mike Francesa have poked fun at her over-the-top reaction to the Roger Clemens signing in which she repeatedly exclaimed "Oh my goodness gracious!"[11] Suzyn eventually confronted the duo in a long expletive-laced tirade, in which she expressed her obvious embarrassment of the situation. After the conversation Mike and Chris vowed never to play the clip again, only to play it repeatedly later on in the evening.[12] The clip is also played to mocking effect on Boston sports radio WEEI[13][14][15] and for comedy on ESPN Radio's The Herd with Colin Cowherd as well as The Opie and Anthony Show.

Waldman was both criticized and empathized with by various people for her breakdown on the air following the Yankees 2007 Divisional Series loss to Cleveland.[16] She openly cried on the air for WCBS 880 AM while reporting about the morose atmosphere in the Yankees clubhouse on the post-game show. Waldman made reference to her emotional nature, the sight of fellow coaches in deep emotion, and their collective realization that Joe Torre's tenure as manager was likely at an end as reasons for her tears.[17] In response to the incident, Waldman stated:[18]
This one's getting me angry, because I don't play this card a lot, but this is as sexist as it gets. What's the big damn deal? That I cried for four seconds of a 10-minute postgame? The idea that I can't choke up because a man I went through cancer with 11 years ago is going to lose his job and I was describing his coaches crying? It's absolutely ludicrous.

References

1. ^ Curt Schleier (2005-04-01). A Voice For The Ages. The Jewish Week. Retrieved on 2007-06-29.
2. ^ Neil Best (2007-03-19). Waldman and Sterling ink new deals. New York Newsday. Retrieved on 2007-06-22.
3. ^ Joanne Korth (2005-04-17). Broadcaster in a league of her own in Yankees radio booth. St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved on 2007-06-29.
4. ^ SPORTS PEOPLE: BASEBALL;Waldman Sues Hospital. New York Times (1996-05-22). Retrieved on 2007-06-29.
5. ^ Associated Press, "Waldman Sues Hospital," from New York Times, 22 May 1996.
6. ^ Peter Tarr (2000-07). Never Give Up! The Courageous Story of Suzyn Waldman. InTouch. Retrieved on 2007-06-30.
7. ^ Curt Schleier, "A Voice for the Ages," from Jewish Week, 1 Apr 2005.
8. ^ Suzyn Waldman, Reunion Weekend, at WFAN.com, 1 Jul 2007.
9. ^ Neil Best (2007-06-24). Vote: Favorite radio/TV personalities?. New York Newsday. Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
10. ^ Neil Best (2007-06-24). Announcing what the fans think. New York Newsday. Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
11. ^ Roger Clemens is BACK!. WCBS (2007-05-07). Retrieved on 2007-06-22.
12. ^ Neil Best (2007-05-22). NBC's ill-timed lineup shift. New York Newsday. Retrieved on 2007-06-22.
13. ^ WEEI - Dennis and Callahan] - Jerry Remy]. WEEI (2007-05-09). Retrieved on 2007-07-01.
14. ^ WEEI - Pete's Bits - Tickle Me Suzyn Waldman Doll. WEEI (2007-05-08). Retrieved on 2007-07-01.
15. ^ WEEI - Pete's Bits - Suzyn Waldman Gushes over Roger. WEEI (2007-05-07). Retrieved on 2007-07-01.
16. ^ John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman (2007-08-09). Postgame Clubhouse Report. WCBS Newsradio 88. Retrieved on 2007-08-10.
17. ^ Richard Sandomir (2007-10-09). "Yes, There Is Crying in Baseball (and It's OK)". New York Times. Retrieved on 2007-10-09.
18. ^ Neil Best (2007-10-11). "Suzyn Waldman defends her on-air sobs". Newsday. Retrieved on 2007-10-19.

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John Sterling (born on July 4, 1948) is an American sportscaster and the radio play-by-play announcer of Major League Baseball's New York Yankees. He has announced Yankees games since 1989, calling 162 games a year, plus pre-season and post-season, without missing one.
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YES Network

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