May 2012

Monthly Segment on Yankees Magazine (The TV Show)

May 19, 2012 — For the second year in a row Yankees Magazine (the print version) has teamed up with the Yankees Magazine TV Show.

In the First Pitch section of each issue of the print publication, Yankees fans can find out which exciting features will air on upcoming episodes of the weekly TV show.

Additionally, on my monthly segment on the Yankees Magazine TV show, I will continue to discuss my behind-the-scenes experiences, which take place as we prepare each story for the Yankees flagship publication.

On this week’s episode, the show’s host, Nancy Newman, and I will discuss my trip to McMinnville, Oregon, where I spent time with former Yankees third baseman Scott Brosius for a story that is in the May Issue of Yankees Magazine. I will also share my thoughts on this month’s cover story, in which deputy editor Ken Derry delves into the life and career of Yankees centerfielder Curtis Granderson, a star who keeps getting better.

The official weekly television show of the Yankees airs each week on Wednesday at 12 Noon on the YES Network.

–Alfred Santasiere III

The Story of Boomer – Part 2

May 13, 2012 – A few months ago, I wrote about an interview I conducted with former Yankees pitcher David Wells at Pete & Shorty’s Tavern in Clearwater, Florida.

The reason we met at Pete & Shorty’s is because Wells commonly went there with the late George Steinbrenner, and it is where the Boss ultimately asked Wells to come back to the Yankees in 2001.

That interview — about Wells’ time with the Yankees — is for part of a story that will be published in the August Issue of Yankees Magazine.

The other part of the story details Wells’ life today as well as his younger years. Boomer is back in San Diego, which is where he grew up. In addition to serving as a Spring Training instructor with the Yankees and as a baseball analyst with TBS, Wells is the pitching coach for his alma mater.

Wells joined Point Loma High School’s coaching staff prior to the 2012 season, and Yankees team photographer James Petrozzello and I spent three days in San Diego with the Perfect Game pitcher this week.

On our first day in Southern California, we accompanied Wells to his team’s game at the field that bears his name (it was dedicated to him a few years ago).

From the time Wells got to the park until the end of the game, the former Yankee was not only teaching pitching mechanics to his players, but he also passing on the intangibles that helped him to win 239 games in the big leagues.

An example of that came when Wells and Point Loma’s starting pitcher walked from the bullpen to the dugout before the game. Wells put his arm around the young pitcher and made a joke that lightened the mood.

“Sometimes I say the same things that [Yankees former pitching] Mel Stottlemyre used to say to me before a game,” Wells said. “But if a pitcher is nervous, you just have to do something to make him laugh. It just depends on the day.”

The next day, Wells brought us to Ocean Beach, which is the neighborhood he grew up at.

It was interesting to learn about what life was like for Wells as a kid. He was raised by his mother and lived is several different apartments in Ocean Beach when he was a kid.

We drove by several of those locations before going to the Ocean Beach Recreation Center, which Wells credits for much of the success he was able to realize as an adult.

“I was at the OB Rec Center every day,” Wells said. “I’d be at there from the time school let out until dinner time. I would go home for dinner and then go back there for a few more hours.

“I played basketball for five hours a day there,” Wells continued. “If the OB Rec Center wasn’t here, I don’t know where I would have ended up. I spent almost every day of my childhood here from when I was 6 years old until I was in high school, and it kept me safe and focused on sports.”

We also visited the field where Boomer tossed the first of his two Perfect Games. Most baseball fans are aware that Wells pitched a Perfect Game for the Yankees in 1998, but his 1982 Perfecto with Point Loma High School has not been as well documented.

“I don’t remember a lot of details from that game,” Wells said to me as he looked out at the field from a set of metal bleachers. “But I have never forgotten the celebration on that mound. Everyone was jumping for joy, and I had never experienced anything like that.”

Wells is also spearheading a project in which Point Loma’s current baseball field — which is not the same field Wells played on in high school  — will be completely revamped.

Among the renovations that Wells is either paying for or raising the funds for are brand new grass and infield dirt along with a home run fence.

“I want our players to have a better facility that I had,” said Wells, who shares the same alma mater as fellow Yankees Perfect Game pitcher Don Larsen. “If we have a good facility and a good coaching staff, our players will reach their potential, and that’s very important to me.”

Overall, I believe this feature will be as comprehensive as any story written about David Wells, thanks to Boomer’s candid nature and willingness to spend so much time with me.

Be sure to look for it when you pick up your copy of the August Issue of Yankees Magazine.

–Alfred Santasiere III

May Issue of Yankees Magazine – ON-SALE NOW

May 3, 2012 – The May Issue of Yankees Magazine is on-sale now, and the content that makes up this edition is a unique blend of Yankees coverage.

From the cover story, in which deputy editor Ken Derry sheds light on Curtis Granderson’s character and goals, to the feature “Paint by Numbers” in which contributing writer Bryan Hoch discusses the baseball milestones that define careers, this edition covers all the bases.

This issue includes the first alumni section of the year. For the alumni feature, Yankees team photographer James Petrozzello and I spent a mid-winter day with former Yankees third baseman Scott Brosius in McMinnville, Oregon, which I wrote about on this blog a few months ago.

My feature on Brosius provides a detailed look at all that goes into being the head baseball coach at Linfield College, which is located about 40 miles from Portland and in one of the most beautiful areas of the United States.

Additionally, David Bernstein, the Yankees director of hospitality, premium sales and service, and group ticket representative Frank Costa recently announced their retirements. David and Frank worked for the Yankees for more than 20 years, and their kindness and professionalism resonated with everyone they crossed paths with at Yankee Stadium. You’ll find more on David and Frank’s significant contributions to the organization in this month’s Bomber Bites section.

Those are just a few of the many compelling stories in the May Issue of Yankees Magazine, so if you’re going to be at Yankee Stadium, pick up a copy. If you’re not planning a trip to the ballpark in May, you can subscribe to Yankees Magazine through (800) GO-YANKS or www.yankees.com/publications.

–Alfred Santasiere III

Visit from the Capitals

May 3, 2012 – On April 29, a group of players from the Washington Capitals took in the game at Yankee Stadium.

The Capitals were in town for the NHL playoff series against the New York Rangers, and they came to the Stadium after a mid-morning practice at Madison Square Garden.

When the players arrived at the ballpark, I not only gave them their tickets but I also handed them copies of the April Issue of Yankees Magazine.

Before the group posed for a few photos — one of which I was fortunate enough to be in — defenseman Karl Alzner talked to me about the Yankees captain for an article that will be published in the June Issue of Yankees Magazine.

“A lot of people ask me who my favorite athlete is,” Alzner said. “And, I always tell them Derek Jeter. He has that “wow” factor, and I have always been in awe of him. I really respect what he does on the field and off the field.”

–Alfred Santasiere III

Good-Bye, Moose

May 3, 2012 – Old-Timers’ Day has been one of my favorite experiences since I began working for the Yankees. It has allowed me meet a vast number of former players, many of whom are the fabric by which Yankees greatness was built.

Bill “Moose” Skowron, who passed away on April 27 at the age of 81, was one of those men.

The former first baseman, who finished his career with a .282 average, was at his best when it mattered most. He hit a grand slam in Game 7 of the 1956 World Series, a three-run homer in Game 7 of the 1958 Fall Classic and a solo blast in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series. The Yankees were victorious in the final game of the 1956 and 1958 seasons, and Skowron’s home run in the ultimate game of the 1960 campaign gave the Yankees the lead.

In total, Skowron hit eight home runs in 39 World Series games, establishing himself as one of the great postseason hitters of all-time.

What can’t be found in the record books is that Skowron was as down to earth as anyone in the game. Whether he was telling stories to members of the Yankees security detail, giving an hour of his time to a reporter for an interview or signing autographs and posing for photos with young fans, Skowron was always making the people around him feel important. As great as Skowron was on the field, especially in those big games, he was an even better person off the field, and I feel fortunate to have had the chance to spend time with him over the years.

My last conversation with Skowron took place in November, when I spoke to the former Yankee for a story that will be published in the June Issue of Yankees Magazine.

The story details the long series of exhibition games the Yankees played against Army’s baseball team at West Point. Skowron, who was as gracious on the phone in November as he was in all of our in-person meetings, discussed the game between the 1961 Yankees and the Black Knights of Army.

“It was a cold day, but I enjoyed the game,” Skowron said. “We respected them. Those guys were in the service, going to school and playing baseball. We were impressed by them, and we wanted to give them our best effort.”

I will remember my last conversation with Skowron for a long time, and I’m proud that his words will be part of my upcoming story.

But Old-Timers’ Day won’t be the same, because the Yankees family has lost one of its greatest people.

–Alfred Santasiere III

Yankees Magazine Tweet from Dan Marino

May 3, 2012 – As I wrote in a blog entry a few weeks ago, my feature story on Dan Marino’s visit to Yankee Stadium is in the April Issue of Yankees Magazine.

Earlier this month, the Hall of Fame quarterback received the copies of the issue that I sent to him, and on April 27 he tweeted about the story.

I’m sure fans of Marino will be surprised to see a tweet about Yankees Magazine on No. 13’s twitter account, but the mention meant the world to me.

This recent tweet was not the only instance in which Marino referenced his day at Yankee Stadium. While he was in the Bronx on January 7, he sent out three twitter messages including one that read, “Thanks for a great experience at the new Yankee Stadium.”

The link for Marino’s twitter account is as follows:

http://twitter.com/#!/danmarino

–Alfred Santasiere III

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38 other followers