Advertisements
Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Yankees Media’ Category

Masahiro Tanaka dons the cover of Sports Illustrated’s 2014 Baseball Preview. The cover story: “In Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees buy a ready-made ace.” Tom Verducci gives you a closer look at the Yankees new superstar, and goes into detail over what Tanaka’s transition to America has been like. SI issued three additional regional covers with Mike Trout, Robinson Cano and Yadier Molina.

Photo Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Marty Appel, former PR Director of the New York Yankees, was kind enough to answer a few questions for me about our beloved team and his role with the ball club.

Photo Courtesy of Marty Appel

Bill Dickey – Marty Appel – Mel Allen

Q&A with Marty Appel

1) Q: You started out answering Mickey Mantle’s fan mail. You later went on to become the head of public relations of the New York Yankees. You really started from the bottom and climbed your way through the organization. Did you always envision yourself working for the Yankees?
  • A: I was always a huge fan, but the idea of writing to the Yankees for a summer job came to me after a year as sports editor of my college newspaper.  It was just a bolt out of the blue; no grand scheme. And I never even thought I’d get an answer. Also, answering the fan mail wasn’t the bottom of the food chain. I’ll reserve that for the post-game cleanup crew, who used to augment their low wages by drinking the leftover beer left under the seats. I was a few rungs above that.
2) Q: When your mentor, Bob Fishel left the Yankees after the 1973 season, you were promoted to PR director of the ball club. You were just 24 years-old. What was that like?
  • A: George Steinbrenner called me in and asked if I felt ready for this assignment. No one my age had ever been a team PR Director, let alone in New York. But because I had been trained by Bob Fishel for six years, I absolutely felt ready. It was like learning democracy from Jefferson or Madison. I learned from the best and I was ready.
3) Q: Upon meeting George Steinbrenner for the very first time, what was your impression of him?
  • A: Very dynamic guy, and he said all the right things about winning. We were hungry for that sort of direction after all the disappointing finishes in the CBS years. One thing you don’t appreciate at first is the huge celebrity he would become. He was unknown on that January day in 1973 and we didn’t see what was to come. He went out and redefined what owners did, and he made the Yankees a bigger brand than they had ever been.
4) Q: Take us through a day as a PR director of the New York Yankees in the 1970’s.
  • A: Well it changed a lot after 1974 with the Catfish Hunter signing, and a year later with free agency. It really made the job a 365-day task. Prior to that, the winters were slower and people used to ask “what do you do in the off-season.” Of course it was spent preparing yearbooks, media guides, scorecards; doing a winter media caravan, preparing for spring training, attending dinners, announcing the schedule and promotion dates, making news when you can. Today the newspapers are told they must have a Yankee (and Mets) story every day. Then it was more of a struggle.
  • A: In season, I made all the road trips, prepared the daily press notes, fielded questions from the media, contacted the next team to exchange ‘probable pitchers,’ and established good friendships with press and the players, many of who were my age. And oh yes, in the days before ‘modern communication,’ I would often be on a pay phone in the press box, giving Mr. Steinbrenner the pitch-by-pitch account of a game if he was in Florida and couldn’t listen. And I’d fill in between pitches with plugs for the new Yankee Yearbook, which he didn’t always find amusing if we were losing.
5) Q: My father was in the upper deck of Yankee Stadium with his brother when Chris Chambliss won the pennant for the Yankees in 1976. That was “his moment.” Thirty-three years later, I would be in the grandstands with my father watching the Yankees win the pennant in 2009. That was “my moment.” In all the years you’ve watched the Yankees play, what was your favorite memory you saw in-person and why?
  • A: I would say Mickey Mantle Day in 1969 just edges the Chambliss home run. I had a lot to do with the planning of Mantle Day, which worked flawlessly and hit just the right emotional notes.  It was one of the better “Days” I’ve ever seen.  We had a great front office team in the planning then – Bill Guilfoile, Howard Berk, Bob Fishel and myself, fortunate enough to be there.
Photo Courtesy of Marty Appel
6) Q: In the ESPN TV miniseries, “The Bronx is Burning”, there was an intriguing Kangaroo Court scene. The perpetrator was Mickey Rivers. He was charged with a so-called “lunch meat violation”, where he was reaching for a cupcake and his private parts touched a ham. I’m aware you were a consultant on the show. Is this a true story? Were you ever present for these locker room gatherings? Were they always this silly?
  • A: The clubhouses were fun and crazy things could happen there – like Fritz Peterson’s hockey games, during which Rich McKinney got injured and it helped end his Yankee days. Mickey Rivers was always funny. Dock Ellis too – he was a special character in the clubhouse.  And Sparky Lyle. Oh, I could go on. Great collection of personalities.
7) Q: Can you please share an odd story from your time with the Yankees? Something the average fan might not know.
  • A: Mickey Mantle would always give me his gift certificates from doing pre-game radio interviews. I couldn’t imagine he would use “$10 off” at Thom McAn shoe store in Yonkers, so he’d give it to me. And eventually he’d save them up from road trips and bring them back to me. I couldn’t use “free dessert” in Minnesota, but it was a fun ritual. I should have had him sign the certificates and saved them instead of using them. Nice memory. He was great to me.
8) Q: How would you compare the Yankees of today to the ball club’s you worked under in the 70’s? How has the role of the PR Director changed over the years in baseball?
  • A: The role dramatically changed in the mid-’70s when, led by Murray Chass and Moss Klein, the media decided that they would decide what was news and go after it themselves, rather than using our daily press notes. So the PR department became reactive and not proactive. And it has been the same ever since, although the media gets far less access to the players today. Everything is much more controlled. Writers don’t even travel with the team anymore.
9) Q: Whether you like to believe it or not, you are a part of Yankees history. When I think of the Bronx Bombers, I think of Ruth, Steinbrenner, Jeter, Cashman, Sheehy, Torre, Michael, Appel, etc. As you grow older, you start to realize that there’s a lot more to a ball club than the players on the field. How does it feel to be part of such an iconic franchises’ history?
  • A: The Yankees are such a strong brand, that even after you’ve left the club, your time with the team sort of defines you. And I’m happy about that – it’s a great association. I’m honored to still be connected, doing video for Yankees on Demand, or writing for their publications. I love when someone in the front office calls to clarify some piece of history. I’m actually the last man standing (and still active in the field) who worked in the original stadium, worked when Mantle played, worked when CBS owned the team. Very proud of that. And proud to have been able to write Pinstripe Empire and get a lot of those memories on record.
10) Q: If someone wanted to be the Director of Media Relations of the New York Yankees today, what advice would you give them?
  • A: Well, it’s hard to always give time to social media, but ultimately, they are read and they are helping to form opinions among fans. I’d lobby to add someone in the department assigned to be the contact person for that category of “media” (bloggers, online columnists, large groups on Facebook, etc., so that the team is reaching its fan base through them. I’d also suggest having a strong sense of the business of baseball so that you better understand decisions made by other departments.  It’s not just knowing how many MVP awards Yogi Berra won.  It’s understanding the dynamics between the players, management, media, fans, the city, and even the nation.  The Yankees matter to a huge number of constituencies, and you have to be aware of all of them.
I can’t thank Marty enough for taking the time to be part of this Q&A interview. If you haven’t already, go out and pick up Marty’s book, “Pinstripe Empire: The New York Yankees from Before the Babe to After the Boss.”

Read Full Post »

From the NY Post’s Page Six:

One source told us: “Derek likes to keep his relationships quiet. In the past, when his girlfriends become famous and start doing sexy shoots, that’s when they break up. Exactly the same thing happened with Minka and Vanessa Minnillo.”

Another source said, “Derek and Hannah broke up a few months ago. She wasn’t at his Celebrity Golf Classic last month. He is in Tampa and is completely focused on being fit and ready for the upcoming baseball season.”

So, Derek Jeter doesn’t like his girlfriends to get “too famous.” That’s understandable. But why date some of the biggest and brightest of them all? Yeah, we get it…Hannah Davis is gorgeous. But if he wants to take his relationship to the next level..maybe he should stop going after the biggest Hollywood stars. Let’s take a trip down memory lane: Minka Kelly, Lara Dutta, Rachel Uchitel, Mariah Carey, Vida Guerra, Vanessa Minnillo, Jordana Brewster, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Adriana Lima, Joy Enriquez, Scarlett Johansson, Tyra Banks and  Gabrielle Union.

Hannah might very well be announced as the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover model in the issue coming weeks…not that Jeter cares. I’m sure he won’t have trouble finding another lady friend. Good luck, Derek.

Read Full Post »

Bronx Bombers: A New American Play

Illustration By: Mark Ulriksen

That’s right. The New York Yankees have hit the Broadway stage. The show comes from the same creators of Broadway’s “Lombardi.” The story centers around Yogi Berra and his wife Carmen, as they take you through the New York Yankees storied history. Legendary players such as Ruth, Mantle, DiMaggio, Gehrig, and Jeter are portrayed on the stage. I’d bet this would be a real treat for any Yankees fan to attend, both young and old.

**If you’re interested in attending a show, visit: BronxBombersPlay.com or call: 212-239-6200 / 800-432-7250. Box Office Information: Hours: Mon: 10 – 6, Tues – Sat: 10 – 8, Circle in the Square Theatre, West 50th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue.**

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

New York Daily News

NY Daily News

Chris Russo made back page headlines in yesterday’s paper when he called out his former partner, Mike Francesa, for going easy on Alex Rodriguez. Chris Russo admits himself that he’s “buddy buddy” with MLB commissioner Bud Selig, and spoke about how everyone in the business has their own “favorites.” Alex joined Mike in studio along with his lawyer, Jim McCarroll, fielding questions from The Sports Pope.

Alex said he “lost his mind” and “banged a table and kicked a briefcase” out of frustration when he realized that Bud Selig wasn’t coming in from Milwaukee to face him in person. He explained that it shows a lack of courage on the Selig’s behalf for handing out a 211-game suspension for something he didn’t do. Rodriguez said, “I shouldn’t serve one inning.” When asked if he used performance enhancing drugs, A-Rod simply stated, “no.”

What do you guys think? Was Mike giving A-Rod a “soft landing”?

Francesa/Alex Rodriguez Interview: Part 1 & Part 2

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Over the last few days, there were a lot of rumors in the online media outlets that Metallica was set to play “Enter Sandman” live at Yankee Stadium to honor Mariano Rivera on his special day. They were playing the Apollo Theater in Harlem the night before, so they were already in town. Those rumors were confirmed yesterday, as a concert stage was set up in front of Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park. And they put on quite a performance. This is the best footage I could find (I’ll update it if I can find something better):

Metallica - Yankee Stadium - Mariano Rivera Day

Read Full Post »

On September 23rd, 2001, Bette Midler took the stage at Yankee Stadium in “A Prayer for America,” a tribute to those who lost their lives in the September 11th attacks. Bette sang her biggest hit, “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

Derek Jeter stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon yesterday and put on quite a show. He sat down for an interview and stuck around for a second segment to do a musical skit. If you haven’t noticed already from his pre/post game interviews or the press conferences he’s held, Derek’s got a great sense of humor.

What we learned:

  • Derek Jeter is willing to host SNL again if Fallon is involved.
  • He once allowed Fallon to pick up the tab in a club..costing him $2500.
  • Fallon once accidentally kissed Michael Jordan on the lips at one of Derek’s parties.

Read Full Post »

On August 2nd, 1979, Thurman Munson was killed in a plane crash which rocked the baseball world. He was one of the most beloved and respected players to ever don the pinstripe uniform. Munson was the first team captain since Lou Gehrig and was considered the driving force behind those Yankee teams.

Thurman’s plaque in monument park reads: “Our captain and leader has not left us, today, tomorrow, this year, next … Our endeavors will reflect our love and admiration for him.”

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: