Sunday, July 02, 2006

Suzyn Waldman, Pioneer

When WFAN first went on the air on that July 1, 1987, the first voice heard was that of Suzyn Waldman.

A strong, brave woman in the often unforgiving male-dominated environments of media and professional sports, Suzyn has perservered, more than holding her own in the toughest media town in the nation.

A former Broadway musical star, Suzyn remains a headliner and trailblazer in second distinct career, serving as a color commentator for the New York Yankees on that team's radio broadcasts. She is only the second woman to ever hold such a position in Major League Baseball (the first was Betty Caywood of the Kansas City A's in the 1960s, according to

Suzyn was the first woman to do play-by-play on televised Major League games when, in the mid-1990s, she worked Yankees games on that team's local broadcasts. She remains the only woman with that distinction.

So, on a personal note, it always has been and continues to be a privilege to work with Suzyn. It is not easy to often be one of the precious few, if not the only woman in the male bastions of the Major League press box or pro clubhouse or locker room. I have seen Suzyn not only survive, but thrive as we lived through such things as the World Series earthquake in 1989 or navigated the treacherous waters surrounding the Yankees beat in the 1980s and 1990s.

So when you think about Suzyn, think about more than just the journalist who won the 1996 NY Sportscaster of the Year, by The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters, and the American Women in Radio and TV's Star Award for Radio in 1999, the WFAN and Yankees' broadcast pioneer.

Think about the grace, the professionalism and the courage. These are the core of the legacy still being artfully written by Suzyn Waldman to this day.

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