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June Issue of Yankees Magazine – ON SALE, JUNE 6

May 23, 2016 — The June Issue of Yankees Magazine will be on sale on June 6 at Yankee Stadium and on newsstands throughout New York City and the surrounding areas.

You can purchase a subscription to the print version of Yankees Magazine by visiting or by calling (800) GO-YANKS. Additionally, we recently put our long-form content online at

For the cover story, managing editor Jon Schwartz sat down with Carlos Beltran for lunch in New York City a few days before the slugger hit the 400th home run of his career. In the feature, Schwartz details how Beltran’s example has made him one of the most respected players in the clubhouse and the game, and it’s a great read.

Deputy editor Nathan Maciborski took a closer look at Beltran’s approach at the plate, in a separate story, and he looped in fellow switch-hitter, Mark Teixeira who — at press time — was three homers shy of the 400 mark.

For this issue, I put together a Q&A feature on Didi Gregorius, who I interviewed over dinner during spring training (see blog entry below). I also penned a feature on former Yankees catcher John Flaherty, who I spent a day with in Rockland County, New York, where he was raised and where he resides today.

This edition also includes two very special Art of Sport Q&A pieces. Vince Papale and Devon Harris were both immortalized in movies, and their stories are both in the June Issue of Yankees Magazine (see blog entry below).

Enjoy the June Issue.

–Alfred Santasiere III


Q&A Feature with Didi Gregorius – in the June Issue of Yankees Magazine

May 23, 2016 – During spring training, I was fortunate enough to sit down for dinner at Charley’s Steak House in Tampa with Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorius. During our meal, I interviewed both players for the cover story of the April Issue of Yankees Magazine on Castro (see blog entry below). Near the end of our dinner, I asked Gregorius several questions for a separate feature.

That Q&A with the Yankees shortstop will be published in the June Issue of Yankees Magazine. During my one-on-one with Gregorius, I asked him a few questions about the challenges associated with replacing a legend in Derek Jeter.

“My mindset was to just go out there and play the game,” he said about the 2015 season. “I really wasn’t worried about anything else. I’m all about controlling what I can control, playing the game the right way and always trying to get better. To be completely honest with you, those were the only things I was focused on.

I also asked Gregorius what advice he would give to whoever replaces Peyton Manning or any other sports legend.

“I would tell that person to always be mindful that they are in that position for a reason,” Gregorius said. “If the team believes you are good enough to be the next guy, then just be yourself and work hard to constantly improve. Do things the way you’ve always done them, and most importantly, don’t try to be like the other guy.”

While just about everything about Gregorius’ approach to taking over at shortstop was impressive, what really resonated from our conversation was his outward respect for Jeter, who he said he speaks with occasionally.

“I use everything that Derek says,” Gregorius explained. “But the thing that sticks out the most is when he told me to just be myself and not try to do too much.”

There’s a lot more in this feature about Gregorius. Check it out in the June Issue of Yankees Magazine.

–Alfred Santasiere III


The Art of Sport with Devon Harris – in the June Issue of Yankees Magazine

May 23, 2016 – There will be a Q&A with Devon Harris in the June Issue of Yankees Magazine. Harris was part of the famed 1988 Jamaica national bobsled team that was immortalized in the 1993 Disney movie, Cool Runnings. I recently met up with Harris for lunch and a memorable interview nearby his home in Rockland County, New York.

Like my other Art of Sport subject for the June Issue (see blog entry below on Vince Papale), Harris’ story is as inspirational as it gets. After falling short of reaching his dream of competing in the Olympics as a member of Jamaica’s track team, Harris was presented with a true once-in-a-lifetime chance to try out for the barely-formed bobsled squad.

“The idea came from George Fitch, who was an American businessman and ambassador living in Jamaica,” Harris said. “He and his friends were in a bar, drinking, and they started talking about this belief in Jamaica that Jamaicans were the best athletes in the world. According to George, to prove how good an athlete is, you have to see how quickly they could adapt to a new sport. They watched a pushcart derby, which was similar to bobsledding except it wasn’t on ice. They discovered that you needed sprinters at the start, and Jamaica had a lot of sprinters, so that’s how they settled on bobsledding.”

When Harris was approached by his colonel with the Jamaican Defense Force, he put little faith in the prospect of anything good coming out of a Jamaican bobsled team.

“I thought it was ridiculous,” he said. “It sounded dangerous, and thinking about it practically, how were they going to train for a bobsled competition in Jamaica? Also, it was already August, and this team would have to be ready to compete in the Olympics by February. That didn’t seem possible.”

But it was possible. Harris made the team, and along with a few other young men, they were off to Lake Placid, New York, for the start of their Olympic preparation.

A few months later — during which time the team also trained in sunny Jamaica — they converged on Calgary for the Winter Olympics.

After a competitive showing in the two-man bobsled competition, the Jamaicans crashed in their four-man run. The bobsledders escaped the crash unhurt, and as they crawled out of the sled, Harris led his teammates on an inspiring and brave march to the finish line.

“I was thinking that the fans didn’t think we belonged in the Olympics, and had we just proved them right,” Harris said. “But people started to cheer, and they were shouting, ‘We love you,’ to us. One guy reached over the wall and shook my hand, and then it seemed like everyone else reached out. I tried to shake every person’s hand that I could.”

As our lunch at Il Fresco restaurant in Orangeburg, New York, neared its conclusion, I asked Harris what he thought that Olympic moment symbolized.

It proves that for every piece of adversity, there is an equal seed of positivity,” he said. “I was feeling bad, but it looked like I was doing a hero walk. I often talk about how failure is part of success and it’s not fatal. It didn’t feel great at the time, but it’s serving a greater purpose today.”

There’s so much more on Harris’ experiences in the Art of Sport feature, set for publication in June.

–Alfred Santasiere III


The Art of Sport with Vince Papale – in the June Issue of Yankees Magazine

May 23, 2016 – On a rainy day last autumn, I watched the movie, Invincible, a 2006 Disney production based on the life of Vince Papale, with my family. I was so intrigued by the story that I reached out to Papale in hopes that he would sit down with me for an interview.

In late April, I met Papale for lunch at Ralph’s in Philadelphia. As I spoke with Papale at the oldest Italian restaurant in the United States, I quickly realized that my Art of Sport Q&A with him would be very special.

Papale grew up just outside of the City of Brotherly Love, and from the time he was a child, he passionately rooted for the Philadelphia Eagles. Papale only played one season of high school football, and went on to compete in track at the collegiate level.

But after graduating from college, he played football in a bar league — while also purchasing season tickets for the Eagles — then for a semipro team and then for the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League.

After only two seasons, the World Football League folded, but Papale was able to get a tryout with his beloved Philadelphia Eagles a few months later.

“The general manager for the Bell told me that he wanted to become my agent and that he could get me a chance with the Eagles,” Papale said. “He went to the Eagles general manager and got him to put my name on a list of players who would be invited to a free agent tryout.

Papale also described what it was like to walk into the Eagles locker room and to take the field for the tryout.

“I felt like I was in a museum,” he said. “I got caught up in looking at the lockers of all my favorite players, and I actually got out to the field after all of the other players.

When I got out there, [then-Eagles coach] Dick Vermeil said, ‘What’s your problem, 83?’ I said, ‘Sorry sir, I had some equipment issues to deal with.’ When the tryout began, there were a few hundred players on the field, but they were cutting guys right on the spot during the agility drills.”

Papale, who was 30 years old at the time, was not one of the guys who got cut during the tryout. In fact, he was offered an opportunity to go to training camp with the team. The wide receiver made the most out of that opportunity, and a few days after a pre-season game against the Miami Dolphins, he was given once unimaginable news.

“No one said anything to me until we got onto the field,” Papale explained. “Then Coach Vermeil came over and said, ‘Welcome to the Philadelphia Eagles. Congratulations, old man. You made the team.’ I started crying, and so did he.”

A few weeks later, in the Eagles 1976 home opener, Papale made the play of the game, forcing a fumble and recovering it deep in New York Giants territory.

When Papale described that play, I asked him how improbable he thought his journey from season ticket holder to player was.

“I don’t know if improbable is even the right word,” he said. “It might be impossible. I don’t think a guy who never played college football will ever get that opportunity again. Coach Vermeil once said that opportunity is worth exactly what a person’s preparation enables them to make it. If you get the opportunity, you’ve got to be ready. I was ready.”

The entire Q&A will be published in the June Issue of Yankees Magazine, and it is a must read.

–Alfred Santasiere III


May Issue of Yankees Magazine – ON SALE NOW

May 6, 2016 – The May Issue of Yankees Magazine is on sale now at Yankee Stadium and on newsstands throughout New York City and the surrounding areas.

You can purchase a subscription to the print version of Yankees Magazine by visiting or by calling (800) GO-YANKS. Additionally, we recently put our long-form content online at

The cover of the May Issue features a portrait of relief pitcher Dellin Betances that team photographer James Petrozzello snapped during spring training. On the same day that he captured the cover shot, Petrozzello took several photos of Yankees pitchers showing off the way they grip their signature pitches. Deputy editor Nathan Maciborski penned the cover story, which analyzes several of the Yankees pitchers’ most effective pitches. Whether you interested in learning more about Michael Pineda’s four-seam fastball or Betances’ knuckle-curve — or just about any other pitch you’ll see in the Bronx this season — check out this fascinating read.

Over the last few months, I sat down with two pitchers for stories in this issue. My feature on Luis Severino details the young righthander’s rise through the minors last year as well as what he’s doing to make his second act as good as the first (see blog entry below).

Long before Severino was perfecting his craft, Dwight Gooden made history with the Yankees. Twenty years ago this month, Doc tossed a no-hitter against the powerful Seattle Mariners at the old Yankee Stadium. For the first of many Q&A features with key members of the 1996 Yankees championship team that will appear in Yankees magazine this season, I met up with Gooden for a memorable lunch and a candid interview about the night he stunned the world (see blog entry below).

There are plenty of other compelling stories in the May Issue, including managing editor Jon Schwartz’ feature on Billy Bean. In late March, Schwartz spent some time with Bean, Major League Baseball’s vice president of social responsibility and inclusion. Bean, who is one of two former major leaguers who have publicly come out as gay, spoke at the Yankees’ minor league facility in Tampa, Florida, about the importance of maintaining a safe and welcoming environment. You don’t want to skip over this well-written feature.

Enjoy the May Issue.

–Alfred Santasiere III


Q&A Feature with Dwight Gooden – in the May Issue of Yankees Magazine

April 19, 2016 – Earlier this month, I met up with former Yankees pitcher Dwight Gooden and interviewed him over lunch in Jersey City, New Jersey, for a Q&A that will be published in the May Issue of Yankees Magazine.

The feature on Gooden is one of several Q&A pieces that we will publish this year with key members of the Yankees 1996 championship team. The celebration of the 20th anniversary of that special season will most notably include a ceremony at the Stadium prior to the Yankees’ Aug. 13 game.

That season, Gooden tossed a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners at the old Yankee Stadium, and that was the focal point of my conversation with him. But before we began to talk about the May 14 no-hitter, Gooden spoke candidly about his return to baseball in 1996, which followed an almost two-year suspension for repeated violations of Major League Baseball’s drug policy.

“When I got the letter from [acting commissioner] Bud Selig saying I was suspended for the entire 1995 season, I pretty much gave up on my career,” Gooden said. “I went into a heavy addiction. At that point, I was so sick with my disease that I really thought I was going to die before I ever took the mound again. Fortunately, I was able to get clean, and once I started straightening up, I began going to Eckerd College to work out. But I didn’t have the same motivation as I had in the past, and even after the suspension was over, the phone wasn’t really ringing from teams. I hadn’t totally given up, but I felt there was a very small chance that I could make it back.”

After Gooden signed with the Yankees, he had to deal with other obstacles.

“I was pitching so badly in the beginning of the season that I didn’t just get demoted to the bullpen,” Gooden said. “I actually got benched. During a series in Minnesota, [then-Yankees pitching coach] Mel Stottlemyre came out while I was throwing, and he said, ‘Forget about your days with the Mets. Nobody can pitch the same way for 11 years. We have to go with what you have now until whatever magic you had comes back.’ I had to make the transition to becoming a complete pitcher who could pitch to specific locations, study hitters and throw more off-speed pitches. Once I did those things, I became more confident, and that changed everything for me.”

Gooden was re-inserted into the team’s rotation, and he made the most of what he considered his last chance. After retiring the final 22 batters he faced in a game against Detroit, Gooden picked up where he left off when the high-powered Mariners came to the Bronx.

Gooden brushed off a long fly-ball that then-Mariners star Alex Rodriguez hit in the first and began to dominate one hitter after another.

“The more zeroes I put up, the more confidence I was gaining,” said the former New York Mets star, who won the 1985 National League Cy Young Award. “I was walking out to the mound with more of a swagger. Even though I wasn’t the Doc Gooden of ’85, I felt like I was back that night.”

Besides battling A-Rod on several occasions that night, Gooden also had to contend with Ken Griffey Jr. He struck out the superstar centerfielder in the sixth, and then faced him again in the ninth.

“It was mentally challenging because the no-hitter was right there, but before I knew it, I was behind in the count,” Gooden said. “I knew I couldn’t make a mistake. I wanted to make a quality pitch, but I didn’t have much left. I was like a boxer in the last round just trying to hang on. Tino Martinez made an incredible play at first base on a ground ball that Griffey hit. That saved the no-hitter.”

A few minutes later, Gooden completed a most unlikely feat. To read Gooden’s words about the rest of that night — including the final out — grab a copy of the May Issue of Yankees Magazine.

–Alfred Santasiere III





2016 New York Yankees Official Yearbook – ON SALE, APRIL 4

March 31, 2016 – The 2016 New York Yankees Official Yearbook will be on sale on April 4 at Yankee Stadium when the Yankees take on the Houston Astros on Opening Day.

The 2016 Yearbook is also available for purchase on, by calling (800) GO-YANKS and on newsstands throughout New York City and the surrounding areas.

The cover of the 2016 Yearbook features a beautiful photo of the late great Yogi Berra, who passed away last year. In my opinion, the photo that we chose for the cover illustrates so much about one of the greatest Yankees of all time. In the photo, Berra, a three-time MVP, has one shin guard on, and he is holding a bat. In other words, the photo captured him in between the two aspects of the game that made him a legend — hitting and catching. Another special aspect of this photo is that Berra’s No. 8 stands out prominently.

Our tribute to Berra doesn’t end with the cover. The 2016 Yearbook also includes a 33-page commemorative section on the Hall of Fame catcher. In that section, you will find contributing writer Jack O’Connell’s comprehensive retrospective on Berra’s career and life. That feature is followed by a personal account of Yogi Berra, the family man and specifically, the grandfather. Not only did Berra’s granddaughter (and journalist) Lindsay Berra share her touching words in “The World According to Grampa” but she also shared a collection of wonderful and never-before-seen photos of her grandfather with his family.

Yankees great Ron Guidry also contributed a first-person story chronicling his close friendship with Berra over the years. During the time Berra coached and managed the Yankees, he also had a huge impact on former captain Don Mattingly. I sat down with Mattingly for a Q&A feature about his love and admiration for his former skipper and long-time friend (see blog entry below).

In addition to the commemorative section on Berra, there is a ton of content on the 2016 team, including managing editor Jon Schwartz’ feature on the newest Yankees, associate editor Hilary Giorgi’s story on the organization’s top prospects and deputy editor Nathan Maciborski’s season preview.

From cover to cover, this is a special publication. Be sure to grab your copy this season.

–Alfred Santasiere III


April Issue of Yankees Magazine – ON SALE, APRIL 4

March 31, 2016 – The April Issue of Yankees Magazine will be on sale on April 4 at Yankee Stadium and on newsstands throughout New York City and the surrounding areas.

You can purchase a subscription to the print version of Yankees Magazine by visiting or by calling (800) GO-YANKS.

Additionally, for the first time, we’re putting our long-form content online at We hope that you’ll enjoy this development.

The timing of this expansion couldn’t be better, because the upcoming April Issue includes as many behind-the-scenes features and diverse topics as any issue we’ve published in a long time.

I wrote the cover story for this issue on Starlin Castro (see blog entry below), and chief photographer Ariele Goldman Hecht snapped an incredible portrait of the Yankees’ new second baseman with shortstop Didi Gregorius in Tampa this spring.

Besides manning the shortstop position, Gregorius also contributed to our magazine during spring training. For an exclusive Yankees Magazine photo essay, Gregorius —a talented photographer himself — took a wide array of photographs.

A few months before heading to spring training, I traveled to Miami to interview Alex Rodriguez and his childhood idol, Dan Marino, for a very special Q&A that will be published in the April Issue and that was also published in the New York Yankees Official 2016 Spring Training Program (see blog entry below).

Around the time I was in Miami, deputy editor Nathan Maciborski was in Ontario, Canada — where the temperature was a lot colder — spending time with Yankees bench coach Rob Thomson. Maciborski’s feature on Thomson’s Canadian roots provides an interesting look into the life of a man who has been on a baseball diamond since his childhood in the small town of Corunna, Ontario, in the 1960s.

There are two features in the April edition that focus on more serious topics, as well. Managing editor Jon Schwartz visited CC Sabathia in Tampa, Florida, during spring training and spoke with him about his struggle with alcohol use disorder and the positive steps that have him feeling better — and more confident — than ever. Schwartz’ well-written and revealing story on Sabathia is a must read.

When I got back from spring training, I accompanied former Yankees shortstop Bucky Dent to two hospitals in Rockland County, New York, where he visited cancer patients and gave them blankets as part of a mission started by his late wife. In my story on Dent, he speaks candidly about his wife, Marianne, who lost her battle to cancer last October.

There are even more compelling stories in the April Issue. Whether you will be at Yankee Stadium for the team’s first game on April 4 — at which time a special commemorative Opening Day cover will be available — or for any other game, be sure to pick up a copy of the magazine.

–Alfred Santasiere III



Special Story on Bucky Dent – in the April Issue of Yankees Magazine

March 31, 2016 – Earlier this month, I spent a day with former Yankees shortstop Bucky Dent, to document a very moving story for the April Issue of Yankees Magazine.

Last October, Dent’s wife of more than three decades — and the mother of his twin children, Cody and Caitlin, who were born in 1991 — passed away. Marianne Dent had been diagnosed with brain cancer 19 months prior to her death, and she fought the illness in a most courageous way.

Soon after Marianne was diagnosed, she began undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. During one of the first chemotherapy sessions that she went to, nearby her home in South Florida, Marianne came to the realization that most of the patients she shared the room with —including herself — were uncomfortably cold during the treatment.

With that in mind, Marianne purchased blankets for everyone who was receiving treatment at the same time she was. Marianne would soon find out that the selfless gesture meant much more to the patients than she could have ever imagined.

Inspired by the reaction from the patients, the Dents began to raise money through their already-established Legends on the Links not-for-profit to purchase larger quantities of blankets. They continued to distribute them at the cancer center Marianne was getting treated at, and they began to expand their reach to other facilities in South Florida.

Within a few months, the Dents teamed up with a manufacturer who designed a logo for blankets and also made clear bags for them to be easily transported in.

Since Marianne passed away, Bucky Dent has honored her legacy by continuing to raise money to purchase blankets and by personally distributing the blankets to cancer patients in Florida.

In early March, Dent brought his good will efforts north for the first time. A day after he participated in a charity event, which raised $14,000 for the purchase of blankets, the iconic Yankee delivered blankets to two hospitals in Rockland County, New York.

I had the privilege of shadowing Dent for the entire day, beginning at Nyack Hospital that morning. At the first stop of the day, Dent spent time with several people, who were being treated for cancer. Besides giving them each a blanket, Dent also gave them encouragement through his words.

After Dent’s visit to Nyack Hospital and before making his way to Good Samaritan Hospital a few towns away, we sat down for lunch at Il Fresco restaurant in nearby Orangeburg (see photo below). There, he spoke candidly with me about Marianne for the feature story.

“Marianne wanted each cancer patient to feel more comfortable during their treatments,” Dent said. “She wanted them to feel as if they were wrapped in love, comfort and support. Instead of saying, ‘Why me,’ she said, ‘Thank God it’s me, because this is what I’m supposed to do.’ This is what she believed was her legacy.”

In addition to the discussion that focused on the last few years of Marianne’s life, Dent also shared some fonder memories, including one about the day they met each other (which did not make it into the Yankees Magazine story because of space considerations).

“I met Marianne on a flight during the 1981 season,” Dent said. “I tore a ligament in my hand that August, and it was in a cast. I was flying back down to Fort Lauderdale, and they had me in the middle seat. I was afraid that someone was going to bump into my arm, so I asked the flight attendant if I could move. She said, ‘Just go to the back of plane and grab a seat there.’ I sat down and put my head down. When I looked up, Marianne, who was also a flight attendant, was pointing at me. After the flight took off, she came over to me and said, ‘I’m sorry I pointed at you, but someone told me that you were Bucky Dent. I don’t know who Bucky Dent is, but I know you’re famous. When they told me where you were sitting, I pointed at you.’”

Before he got off the plane, Dent initiated a second conversation with his future wife.

“As I was getting off the plane, I stopped to talk to her,” he said. “She told me that her parents lived in Ringwood, New Jersey, and that was right near where I was living. I asked her for her phone number but she told me that she didn’t like giving it out. Eventually, I got her to give me her number. When I got off the plane, my friend who was picking me up at the airport, asked me what took so long for me to get to him, and I remember telling him, ‘I had to get this girl’s number.’”

To read the entire feature, grab your copy of the April Issue of Yankees Magazine. This edition will be on sale on April 4.

–Alfred Santasiere III



The Art of Sport with Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis – in the April Issue of Yankees Magazine

March 31, 2016 – Last September, I spent some time with Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis at the Joe Namath March of Dimes Celebrity Golf Classic. My interview with The Bus, which is set to run in the April Issue of Yankees Magazine – in addition to another Art of Sport piece with longtime Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher — took place on a beautiful morning on one of the golf courses at the famous Bethpage State Park (see photo below).

During our conversation, Bettis spoke extensively about his time with the Steelers, and the storybook ending to his career. After nearly retiring following the 2004 NFL season, Bettis decided to give it one more shot. That decision paid off, as he accomplished his ultimate goal of winning the Super Bowl in his final season. Making the story even more special, Bettis played his last game — Super Bowl XL in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan.

“After we lost the 2004 AFC Championship Game, I was ready to retire,” Bettis said. “I was done. I figured that I had a really good career, but winning a championship was just not in the cards for me. I was starting to come to terms with that when I got an opportunity to go to the Pro Bowl. There were a lot of other Steelers players there, and our coaching staff was coaching the AFC team. Even our owners, the Rooney family, came to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. They hosted a big dinner for all of the Steelers who where there. I will never forget that dinner because as we were sitting there, [former Steelers linebacker] Clark Haggans reminded me that the next Super Bowl was going to be in Detroit. That really got me thinking about coming back. I thought to myself, ‘If the Steelers go to the Super Bowl and I’m not there, that would be awful.’ So I decided to give it one more shot with the thought that we had a team that was close to winning a championship.”

I also asked Bettis to discuss how he was able to stifle the emotions related to playing his last game when that game was also the most important one of his career.

“It wasn’t hard at all because this was the dream that I always had,” Bettis said. “This was the one opportunity that I always wanted, so the fact that my career was ending was irrelevant at that time. I didn’t even think about it because this was really my one opportunity, and I always said to myself, ‘Hey, if you win this championship, you can celebrate it forever. Let’s not get caught up in being here. It’s not about me; it’s about winning a championship.’”

At the end of the interview, Bettis spoke with me about the four things that got him to greatness. In my opinion, that is the most poignant part of The Art of Sport feature.

“You have to make sacrifices to reach your goals,” Bettis said. “While you know that those sacrifices are for the betterment of yourself, your family doesn’t always understand that. You don’t get an opportunity to spend the time that you’d like with your family because of the dream you’re chasing. Then, there’s the pain. There is a lot of physical pain that comes with training and having to work out all year round. You’re hurt, you’re beat-up, but you’ve got to keep doing it. You have to deal with mental pain and mental fatigue, as well. The next thing is failure. You have to understand that you are going to fail sometimes. There are some things you are not going to be able to accomplish. But you can’t let that deter you from the ultimate goal. Failure has to become another opportunity for you to do it again and do it better. Dealing with failure the right way teaches you how to become a positive person internally. The last part is love. Love is so important because if you love what you’re doing, then you’ll be willing to make those sacrifices and accept the fact that there will be pain along the way. I think that all four of those things play a part in becoming great at anything in life, not just football.”

–Alfred Santasiere III