May 1, 2014 – The May Issue of Yankees Magazine will be on sale this Friday, May 2. You can purchase the print version of Yankees Magazine by calling (800) GO-YANKS, and you can purchase a print or digital subscription by visiting http://www.yankees.com/publications.
This edition of Yankees Magazine includes an interesting group of features, beginning with the cover story on Brett Gardner. In managing editor Nathan Maciborski’s story on the outfielder, he reveals some of the off-field antics that make Gardner a popular clubhouse presence. Maciborski’s story also delves into the Yankees’ decision to sign Gardner to a multi-year contract extension over the winter — even through he was still a year away from free agency and they had already signed centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury to a long-term, free-agent contract.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman summed up the team’s commitment to Gardner with a quote that is included in Maciborski’s feature.
“Gardy represents a player that is a success story for us,” Cashman said. “We don’t typically [sign players to extensions before they become free agents], but it shows the level of confidence, belief and trust in the type of person and player he is.”
This issue also includes deputy editor Kristina M. Dodge’s story on former infielder Andy Phillips. Today, Phillips serves as the University of Alabama’s hitting coach, and Dodge traveled to the campus to spend a few days with the Phillips for this alumni spotlight feature, which is a great read.
This edition includes a feature about another University of Alabama alum. On March 3, I earned the distinction of becoming the first person to sit down with Joe Namath and Derek Jeter to interview them together (see blog entry below). I am very proud of my exclusive Q&A with the New York City icons, and I hope you will enjoy reading it.
Finally, the May issue features “5 Minutes with…” Q&A’s with two of the most prolific goal-scorers in the history of the National Hockey League. A few months after Yankee Stadium hosted two hockey games, I met up with Jaromir Jagr of the New Jersey Devils (see blog entry below), who played in one of the 2014 Stadium Series games, and Mark Messier (see blog entry below), who attended the other game. While both interviews are interesting, the piece on Messier really stands out.
Grab a copy the magazine so that you can read the rest of this in-depth issue.
–Alfred Santasiere III
May 1, 2014 – In November, I sat down with legendary New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms for a “5 Minutes with…” Q&A that will be published in the July Issue of Yankees Magazine, along with my interview with the Giants Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells (see blog entry below).
I spoke with Simms at the 2013 ALS Association Greater New York Chapter’s annual dinner, and the former quarterback discussed his admiration for Lou Gehrig — whose life was cut short by ALS.
“I wish I could have seen him play,” said Simms, who was honored at the dinner. “I know everything about Lou Gehrig. He stood up to what he had in the most dignified way, and I am honored to be here tonight.”
Simms also shared his thoughts on playing for Parcells.
“He was tough,” Simms began. “The way he talked to players was different from anything I had ever been around. It was very cool, but you couldn’t be sensitive. He was good to play for, and he made all the hard work tolerable. Bill was as tough as any coach that has ever been in professional football, but at the end of the day, you didn’t hate him for it. That’s a great quality.”
When I asked Simms about his MVP performance in Super Bowl XXI, he spoke about the significance that game has had in his life and the emotions he felt when he took the field.
“Well, when I really think about it, I’m here tonight and you’re talking to me because of that game,” said Simms, who completed 22 of the 25 passes he threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns. “It sure isn’t because I beat the Detroit Lions twice in 1985. I didn’t know how important that game was at the time, and that’s probably a good thing. [Super Bowl III MVP] Joe Namath and I were laughing recently about the fact that if we knew what a big deal it was to play in the Super Bowl, we would have been a lot more nervous. I was not afraid to fail in that game, and I took the field with an aggressive approach. I wish I had played my whole career like that.”
In April, Simms came to Yankee Stadium for an exclusive Yankees Magazine photo shoot, and team photographer James Petrozzello snapped several portraits for the Q&A piece, including the image below.
While we were on the field, Simms showed off his passing ability.
“I bet you I can throw a football underhanded farther than any of you guys can throw it overhand,” Simms said to me, Petrozzello and managing editor Nathan Maciborski.
Before any of us took him on, Simms threw an underhanded strike to me that sailed about 40 yards. Had I not gotten in front of the pigskin, it would have gone several more yards. I threw the football back to Simms from where I was standing, and it hit his hands with much less velocity than the pass he threw to me. At that point, I knew he had won the competition, and instead of prolonging it, we played catch from a shorter distance (see photo below).
As much fun as it was to interview the NFL great, catching a football from him was the best part of the experience.
–Alfred Santasiere III