Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A small favor leads to a good day

The Yankees are in town, which means Suzyn Waldman is in the house with the rest of the Yankees radio broadcast team.

Waldman was the first voice ever heard on New York's famed WFAN and has acted on Broadway. Bet you never knew that?

Now, Waldman has taken her share of knocks over the years, but let me tell you a good story about Suzyn Waldman that happened during another trip to the Trop by the Yankees.

A few years ago I asked her for a favor. My sister-in-law's father wasn't doing well. His heart was failing.

Roger, or "The Chief" as we called him because he was a retired chief of the Fire Department of New York, was a big Yankees fan. Watched as many games as he could. Listened to the rest.

This was a Sunday afternoon, and I knew Roger and some of his family, including my brother, Jack, and his wife, Jill, (Yes, Jack and Jill) would be in The Chief's backyard enjoying a lazy summer afternoon on Long Island. I also knew the Yankees-Rays game would be on the radio.

I found Suzyn outside the visiting clubhouse at the Trop that morning and asked if you she could give Roger a shout out. You know, tell him the Yankee family was thinking of him and wished him well.

Suzyn said yes. Told me to tell my Jack to make sure the radio was turned up at the start of the third inning. I did.

Sometime around the sixth inning Jack, also a chief in the FDNY, called to tell me The Chief was listening when Suzyn wished him well.

Jack told me he saw a spark in Roger's eyes that they hadn't seen in a long time.

Jack said the phone at The Chief's house soon started ringing. It was friends of Roger calling. They were listening to the Yankee game, too. They called to see how their buddy was doing.

Unfortunately, Roger didn't have too many good days left.

But that was certainly one of them.

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