May 2011

Good News/Bad News

May 16, 2011 — My segment on the New York Yankees pre-game show, which I stated (on this blog) would appear prior to tonight’s game, has been pushed back to a later date. I will provide an update as soon as I have one.

Now, onto better news. The Yankees Magazine TV show on the YES Network, will be featuring a segment that will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Alex Rodriguez feature — which is in the May issue of the print version of Yankees Magazine.

The episode debuts on Wednesday, May 18 at noon. It will be repeated several other times during the week. 

–Alfred Santasiere III

Yankees Host Inaugural Charity Golf Tournament

May 11, 2011 – On Monday afternoon, the Yankees held the inaugural New York Yankees/New Era Pinstripe Bowl Charity Golf Tournament. Net proceeds from the event will benefit the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Pediatric Cancer Center, Public Schools Athletic League, Tourette Syndrome Association of Central New Jersey and the Boomer Esiason Foundation Fighting Cystic Fibrosis.

At the outing, which took place at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, New Jersey, I interviewed the University of Notre Dame’s head football coach Brian Kelly – who won the first football game at Yankee Stadium.

“The Yankees treated me so well last year,” Kelly said. “I was happy to help them in any way I could, and I am thrilled to be here.”

That interview will appear in the July issue of Yankees Magazine, but before that, there will be a photo essay on the golf outing in the June issue.

That seven page feature will comprise photos of many of the participants including Kelly, Esiason, Brian Cashman, David Cone, former New York Giants Carl Banks and Howard Cross, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan and Syracuse head football coach Doug Marrone.

–Alfred Santasiere III

 


Yankees Magazine Story to be featured on Pre-Game Show

May 11, 2011 – Alex Rodriguez will be on the YES Network’s pre-game show a half hour prior to the Yankees game on Monday night, May 16 against the Tampa Bay Rays.

In an interview with the show’s host, Kim Jones, Rodriguez will discuss his offseason workout regimen and the cover story of the May issue of Yankees Magazine.

I was also interviewed for the segment, and I was proud to discuss the story, which I believe gives our readers the most exclusive look at Rodriguez.

After we taped the interviews, I received a wonderful compliment from Rodriguez.

“The story is incredible,” he said. “I still can’t believe you got to interview Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, and that they said such amazing things about me. I have already read the story a few times today, and I’m going to read it again tonight.” 

If you’re an admirer of Rodriguez or if you want to learn more about my story on him, tune in to the YES Network on Monday night.

–Alfred Santasiere III

 


May Issue of Yankees Magazine is on the Shelves

May 11, 2011 – The May issue of Yankees Magazine is on the shelves!

As I wrote several times on this blog, this is one of the all-time great issues of Yankees Magazine.

It features a once-in-a-lifetime story with Alex Rodriguez, in which I depict the third baseman’s rigorous off-season workout regimen. As I described in previous blog entries, A-Rod was gracious enough to let team photographer Ariele Goldman Hecht and I spend two days with him in Miami over the winter. He allowed us to shadow him during his cardio, weight training and baseball workouts — an opportunity that he had never given to a journalist before.

On one of the days we were in Miami, Rodriguez brought us to the Boys & Girls Club that he spent so many afternoons at during his childhood. A-Rod has since helped the organization to make massive improvements to the baseball field he played his first competitive game on (see photo below), and he partially funded the construction of a state-of-the-art educational center on the campus.

During the afternoon we spent at the Boys & Girls Club, Rodriguez reflected on his childhood, sharing far too many memories to include in the two-page sidebar I wrote about the club.

Of those conversations, the one that I found to be the most memorable came when we were standing in the outfield of the Alex Rodriguez 40/40 Field (it was given that name in 1999).

“When I was 9-years old, my mom came to see me play for the first time,” Rodriguez shared. “I was so excited that she was there, I swung at a pitch that was literally over my head in my first at-bat. I went back to the bench in tears, but my mom reassured me that everything would be ok. I got a couple of hits after that, and we won the game. We went on to win the Boys & Girls Club championship.”

The cover of this issue is unlike any we have ever published. Yankees team photographer James Petrozzello took the photo on an early Tampa morning during spring training. The shot was taken where sunlight meets the dark hallway that brings players to the indoor batting cages at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

As if the photo isn’t special enough, we decided to add a special effect to it, embossing Rodriguez’ frame and adding texture to his clothes, which make them pop off the page.

If you’re going to be at Yankee Stadium this month, pick up a copy of this issue. And, to subscribe to Yankees Magazine, please call (800) GO-YANKS or log onto www.yankees.com/publications.

 –Alfred Santasiere III

 

U.S.A.

May 3, 2011 – Later this summer, Yankees Magazine will be publishing a story on the 10-year anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

The feature will discuss the impact that the New York Yankees and baseball had in healing the wounded nation.

The story will include quotes from the most significant players on the 2001 Yankees, who made a dramatic and inspired run to the World Series and who came back to tie – and ultimately win — two Fall Classic games with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

And, of course, the essay will reflect on the lives that were lost as well as on the heroes who saved so many lives.

The first words of this feature have not yet been written. The story doesn’t have a title yet, and a writer has not even been chosen.

In spite of the fact that this story is in its infancy stages, it just got a lot better. It would have already been meaningful, of that I’m sure. But because of the efforts of the United States Military and all who contributed to the operation that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, this story will be more infinitely more inspirational than it would have otherwise been.

To all who make our lives safe and peaceful, I am eternally thankful.

–Alfred Santasiere III   


The Face of Women’s Softball

Sunday May 1, 2011 – On Saturday, I had the opportunity to spend some time with one of the greatest pitchers in history.

This hurler has thrown more no-hitters and more perfect games than anyone ever has in organized sports. This flame-thrower practically carried the U.S.A Olympic team to a Gold Medal in the 2004 games.

The person I am speaking of is Jennie Finch, a softball phenom who became a household name when she played for the University of Arizona and later won a Gold Medal (2004) and a Silver Medal (2008) in the Olympics.

In case you’re wondering how dominating was Finch during her college years, maybe this will answer the question … She posted a 29-2 record with a 0.79 ERA during her junior year, and she went 32-0 with a 0.54 ERA during her senior year.

I will be writing a story about Finch in the upcoming Women’s Issue of Yankee Magazine, which will be published later this summer.

The story will appear in a section that includes several people who have furthered the development of women’s sports.

During her collegiate, Olympic and professional careers, Finch’s performance and magnetic personality drew more young women to the sport than anyone who had come before her. For millions of girls, Finch became a role model, symbolizing everything that is good about sports and celebrity.

Since hanging up her spikes, Finch has worked with a countless number of young women on the softball diamond.

In addition to Finch’s nation-wide softball camps — which are in session throughout the year — she is one of the driving forces behind Diamond Nation, the largest baseball/softball academy in the United States.

That’s where I met up with Finch on Saturday for my second interview with her (the first took place in Scottsdale, Arizona in March).

Finch was at the 700,000 square-foot facility in Flemington, N.J. for a softball tournament.

When she wasn’t signing autographs, Finch could be found in the dugout of one of the many fields on site. She also coached first base during the tournament, and she gave pitching, hitting and fielding demonstrations.

And when I asked Finch if she planned to continue to work with young women into the future, she didn’t hesitate

“I will be involved  with this game as long as I can,” she said. “I want to help these girls dream, I want them to dream big.”

This facility is the Disney World of softball,” Finch continued. “It really proves how rapidly our game is developing. To see the opportunities these kids have, to start playing at such young ages, is the best part of what I do. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

–Alfred Santasiere III

 

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