9-10-18 - Amaury

Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

Interview with Suzyn Waldman, New York Yankees Broadcaster

By Amaury Pi-Gonzalez
The New York Yankees paid their recent visit to the Oakland Athletics at the Coliseum. Prior to the last game of the three-game series, I spoke with WFAN's Suzyn Waldman, who handles commentary on all Yankee games with play-by-play man John Sterling.

Suzyn has been broadcasting sports for 32 years. This interview was conducted inside her broadcast booth at the Coliseum a good three hours prior to the game that night.

Q:  Suzyn, how did you get started in sports broadcasting after 30 years of doing this?

A:  Oh boy. Well, when I started I was in theater before I did this and musical theater was changing and the only other thing I knew was sports. I had my own season tickets at baseball games with my grandfather when I was three and I was a sports person but it was always my avocation, because little girls didn't do that. I was on Broadway and I sang and danced and did all that and I went to ball games, and a friend of mine who used to be the announcer for the Boston Red Sox, Ken Coleman -- we were very very close friends -- said, "You know, I have a friend and this next year they are starting this thing in New York. It's going to be called WFAN and I told him he's going to meet you, because you know more about sports than anybody I know and you're female and they're going to need a woman." So I made a tape.

I didn't know what I was doing and I was hired to do updates. I was actually the first voice on WFAN in 1987 so that's the beginning, but then I realized that nobody wanted me there because I was female, so then it became something else and it became, "Don't you dare to talk to me like that," and "Don't you tell me I don't know because I am female..." and so that's how that started with people saying "No."

Q:  How do you feel about being a pioneer? Actually there are still not that many women in sports broadcasting, in baseball, like Jessica Mendoza anymore.

A:  Well, I wasn't trying to be a pioneer, I was just trying to make a living and I didn't like being told I didn't know anything. To tell you the truth, I expected there to be a lot more women. It is just me in the broadcast booth. I know Jessica does ESPN but it is only one game a week. It is just me and I am waiting for someone else to do this. I know there are women down in the minor leagues trying to do this to get a chance but whether or not they give up, I think there are no failures. It's just that people give up too soon.

Q:  Is this more fun that playing Dulcinea in Man of La Mancha?

A:  Nothing is more fun that being Dulcinea in Man of La Mancha. You know, I did get over theater. Although I miss it everyday, I am still on stage. This a different stage but I'm still performing. I don't sing and dance anymore and I don't get applause ... Yeah, I miss theater everyday...but this is important and this is where I should be.

Q:  Your best message for a young female that aspires to be in sports broadcasting, like you, maybe in baseball?

A:  Think of what you can do that's difference from everybody else. Go and look in the mirror and say to yourself, 'I have a different way of looking at this, and I am going to do this.' Don't let anybody stop you, because people are going to say, 'No.' You do commercials on television, you'll get 200 No's before you get a commercial, but don't let people tell you 'No.' You will know ... and you don't want to be me, don't want to be Jessica. Just be you, because if you take my job it's just one, but if it's you, then there are two of us. Don't let anybody stop you.

It was truly a pleasure to interview Suzyn for the first time, despite the fact we've known each other for decades during baseball games at many parks across the country.

Amaury Pi-González is the Spanish voice of the A's and since 2016, he's in the Advisory Board of the American Sportscasters Association in New York City.

3-6-17 - Pops

Michael King (left), with an associate from USF (center), and Karla Granadino-King, are pictured at the Olympic Club in San Francisco,  proudly sharing with the world their  Pops Premium Rumpopo. A King family secret, Pops Premium Rumpopo is a  delicious rum cream liqueur recipe brewed in the family tradition.  The award winning recipe is a Belizean family favorite and now available at all Total Wine & More stores in California and Bay Area retailers.
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