Heroes of Healthcare
Heroes of Healthcare

Episode · 1 year ago

Baseball Can Cure Your COVID Blues

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

It’s obviously important to think and talk about health — it’s why I run a show highlighting heroes in healthcare.

But sometimes, the best thing for your health is to stop thinking about it.

In a world beset by pandemic fears, sports can be one of the best distractions from the stress of worrying about health.

That’s why I invited my long-time friend, Jack Curry, Sportscaster at Yes Network, onto the show to discuss the uncertain state of sports since COVID hit — and what comes next.

What we talked about:

  • Jack’s incredible career journey from the New York Times until now
  • Why sports still matter in uncertain times
  • How COVID has complicated professional sports and what to expect in the future

Heroes of Healthcare is hosted by Ted Weyn.

To hear this interview and more like it, subscribe to Heroes of Healthcare on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

You're listening to heroes of healthcare, the podcast that highlights bold, selfless professionals in the healthcare industry focused on transforming lives in their communities. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the heroes of healthcare podcast. I'm your host, Ted Wayne. Before we kick off today's episode, I wanted to lean in and just talk to our listeners and let them know that this episode will be a little bit different. When I was looking at the ideas of starting a podcast, I was able to reach out to a friend, Sangraum Vaje, who's a marketing expert and has a very successful podcast, and when we were talking about guests and topics and themes, he encouraged me to step outside the norm, to be creative and to illicit different ideas for our listeners that they might find compelling. So, when I was thinking about some of the things surrounding healthcare in our society today and being a big sports fan, I thought that it would be interesting to potentially reach out to a friend of mine who has been following the New York Yankees for most of his career. Jack Curry is an Emmy Award winning sportscaster who started his career following baseball in the New York Yankees with The New York Times for twenty two years and then last ten years has been the sportscaster on the white US network, which is the Yankees broadcast system up in New York. As a sportscaster and key announcer, Jack's also had the privilege of writing two best selling books, one around Derek jeter's career and more recently around David cohnes. I had the privilege of going to college with Jack and he's a good friend of mine. So when I was trying to discover whether this could be a good episode, it came clear to me that not only has baseball been interrupted by the pandemic and Covid as we all have has seen, but also it's been a big relief to people in terms of giving them some sense of normalcy in their lives. I also thought it would be great to understand how baseball was adapting to the pandemic and adjusting with all the protocols that they had. So I hope you'll indulge me as we venture into this next episode of the heroes of Healthcare podcast and join me in welcoming longtime friend of mine, Jack Curry. Thanks for joining us, Jack Teddy, it's great to be on your podcast. It's great to talk to you. I feel as if we're back at Fordham University in the mid S and we're sitting on Eddie's parade somewhere and we're just having a conversation, and that speaks to the friendship that we've developed, because we can pick up from wherever we've talked last and it says if we're in our s again, and wouldn't that be great to be in our twenties again? I think of that too often, I think. You know, I was thinking when we were getting ready to do this. I was thinking how I was trying to think when the first time I eat I met you, and I think the connection was our friend Joe Kramer, was captain of the basketball team and you and Bob Papa, who's also a New York sportscaster's been doing the New York giants for twenty plus, the almost probably thirty years play by play on the radio. We're doing the basketball games for WFUV. First of all, you called Kramer the captain of the basketball team. Although, yeah, that was he was one of the managers, the manager the game. That's right. Go into a twenty point of game scorer. See what like that? Oh, you're right, Joe Kramer and Michael Zukorello. I'M IIN one of my roommates and he wrote for the school newspaper with me. They were managers on the basketball team and Bob Papa and I would broadcast the Gamester wfuv. And you're right, I met Joe and we became instant friends, and then from Joe I met all the guys that he lived with, and that was you and Chris Leonard and Matt Gormley and John Leva. So it was a whole group and I'm very thankful to have formed all those friendships and they've lasted all...

...these years later. Yeah, yeah, I know, during the pandemic we all jumped on his zoom call. So that was fun to see everybody back together again. And you're right, after I don't even want to know how many years, but you know, thirty plus years, it's great that we all can jump back in together. So that's been awesome. So, you know, Jack, I always remember that coming out of college we all jumping. We know where we were going to go, where we're going to go and help me recall. Did you land with the New York Times right out of college? My first job out of college was with The Star Ledger and New Jersey, which is the Lard that's right Jersey. So I ended up working there for about a year and I learned a lot there. The thing about the job with the ledger is it was really locally focused. You were going to cover high school and College Sports, and I had greater aspirations than I wanted to cover baseball. I wanted to cover major league baseball. So even while I was at the ledger, I was still sending out resumes left and right trying to find another job, and fortunately the Times was interested. I had done enough writing and sent enough clips to them that I was able to get a job at the times and I was tell people of this thought. I started at the Times at a very low level. I was hired as a writing clerk, and the clerk part came first. You did thirty five hours of clerical work, answering phones, doing research, making copies, getting coffee, and then anything beyond those thirty five hours you could try and write. You could submit articles to editors and assignment editors and hope that you caught their interest. And that's really how things started at the Times. But today my goal was once I got my foot in the door at the New York Times, I was not going to let them get rid of me. I was going to do enough that they would say, Hey, we have to keep this guy. And probably two and a half three years later I became a reporter. Covered the nets first, some college basketball, some college football, and probably only about four years after I started there I was took over the Yankees, which is where I wanted to be. I always wanted to cover major league baseball. That's my passion and going up you were a Yankee Fan. I won't hold that against you because I'm from the other I'm on the other side of the New York baseball scene, but you've always been a Yankee Fan. Not exactly true. Okay, so when I grew up in Jersey City with my brothers a couple years older than me, the mets won the world series and sixty nine. My brother was seven years old, so he fell in love with the mets. You just follow what your older brother does. Yeah, I started to like baseball seventy seventy one I just followed suit with him and I was just having this conversation with some some of my colleagues at yes last night that I really was a Tom Sever Fan. I was a bud Harrelson Fan, but teddy, even at a young age I just appreciated and loved baseball. Even if the mets lost the game to the Cincinnati reds, I would watch pete rose or Joe Morgan and say, Gosh, if only the mets could have those guys. So I think from a young age I recognize what what baseball greatness was. And the other thing about doing what I do even now at yes, I need to be objective and some people don't get that because yes owns half on the Yankees owe half of the s network. But I can't be I'm jumping ahead of you here, but I can't be watching a game and knowing I'm doing the postgame and be rooting for them to score a run the a thinning. I have to watch the at bad and was that a slider? Was that a cutter? What is the strategy here? So I put my reporter hat on when I'm doing my job, not not really the fan hat that I had many years ago. Well, so I now I like even better knowing that you originally were a met band because I wasn't sure about that. But no, and I think, but I think that speaks a lot to your success and your longevity in the business because of that objectivity. You know, I think sometimes some of the sportscasters who can filter that as well still do okay, but take on a different persona within the industry. Some people figure out a way...

...to do that and I know there are a lot of radio sports talk radio host who will tell you all their teams that they route for, and that's great. That's their passion. For me, the second major league game I ever covered teddy there were two met players, because I was doing mets and Yankees when I first started out. The Times was kind of testing me out to see if I could handle this. I went up to a couple of players after a game and I was so green and so naive and one of them had had three hits and I said, can I ask you a couple of questions and he said sure, and I said, did it feel good to get three hits, which is a terrible question first of all to yes, no, question right. Next of all, know it felt awful right the other the other teammate jumped me and said no, he felt awful. He really wishes that. He went over for and struck out four times. And that happened probably in one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine and I can remember everything about that, although I'm not mentioning the names of the two players go home that day and that was a slap in the face. That was a reminder that, hey, this is a job and you better take your job seriously and when you get in the club out so you better have smart, cohesive questions to ask. You better be able to defend those questions if a player gets angry at you. And I thank those players for kind of giving me that grief because I deserved it. I wasn't as well prepared for my job as I should have been that day and it was just a reminder that, hey, you're here to cover the game and write about the game or now broadcast about the game. You're not here to be the guy giving fist pumps if the team scores the winning run. Well, like always, those hard lessons are always the best lessons, right. I always say we don't remember the easiest teacher. We had at school. I told that story not too long ago on another podcast with a college journalist and I said exactly what you just said. And I did a book with Derek jeter about twenty years ago. We're one of the chapters was about how failure leads to success. You're absolutely right. We remember the assignments or the or the jobs that we didn't do as well as opposed to the ones that that we aced. Yeah, yeah, so as you look back on the let's well stay with the New York Times crew. When you look back, what are some of the greatest moments? When you reflect back on that, what were the ones that you just, you know, at Times said I can't believe them here? There's a lot. I covered the one thousand nine hundred and ninety six world series, where the Yankees hadn't won a world series in almost twenty years, and I remember being in the press box. Teddy, and you you've been to Yankee Stadium, so you know how what that ball park was like. In the press box used to sort of hang over the stands a little bit and the fans got so excited during that game that the press box was shaking. And people think we're making this stuff up. I'm not making this stuff up. I mean I actually wondered if this press box was going to tumble over. So I remember that whole experience because when I started covering the Yankees in ninety one, they were awful. They were a poor team. Gene Michael and buck show Walter helped turn that organization around. Then Joe Tory took over. Ninety six it's jeter's rookie year, so I always remember that ninety six season. I have to mention my relationship with George Steinbrenner. George Steinbrenner is this mythic figure when you're just watching from afar, but I had to develop a relationship with him because if you don't have George Steinbrener, or didn't have George Steinburner when you were covering the Yankees, you were useless to your newspaper or your broadcast station. So I ended up developing a relationship with him and talking to him quite often and calling him, and I mean some of the stories I have with him ended up being legendary stories as well, just things I never would have thought when I was still a kid at forum. Yeah, no, it's amazing, you know. So one of the questions I always wondered as an outsider looking in, how do you get those phone numbers? Like how do you get to George Steinbrenners, you know, or play your cell phone number that I guess. Eventually they would you win their trust and they give it to you. Or the best way right is...

...to get it from the person, so then when the person picks up his or her phone they've given it to you. But quite often in this business right you get it from a colleague, you get it from another source. I won't give up who the guy is, but if he ever listens to this podcast, he'll know there's a friend I've developed over the years who he deals with a lot of players for various reasons, and this guy has so many phone numbers that I probably knocked on his door a hundred times over the years because I know that he has a connection. If he if he doesn't have it, somebody else will have it. But with George, I think I just came right out and asked him and I think I said I want to give you fair coverage in the New York Times. This is your opportunity to do that. If I ever write a story that you're unhappy with. I don't want you calling me after the fact and saying why did you do that when I asked you for your phone number and you didn't give it to me. But I have to tell you this quick, funny steinburner phone story. So I grew up in Jersey City. For I was married, I was still living at home with mom and dad, four rooms for very close quarters at home. We had one phone, no cell phones. This is one thousand nine ninety ninety one or whatever it was. And George Steinburner was supposed to call me on a specific day and he did and it was really the first time I had an extensive interview with him and he was talking and going and I'm taking notes and I'm thinking this is fantastic, I have a great story here. I can't wait to call my editor. All of a sudden you hear a click, you hear someone picking up another phone and it's a female voice in the voice says, doesn't anyone know there's a dinner hour around here? And then the phone clicks. It's timeronner says, who was that? What was that? Who picked up the phone? Now he had previously said to me don't ever lie to me and we'll have a good relationship. So I couldn't lie and I said, George, that was my mom and she's calling me to come for dinner. I'm waiting for the George Explosion, but instead I've got I got the family man. George. He said, she's absolutely right. Why are you talking to me if it's time for dinner? Go have dinner. And I said, George, I have a few more questions. I and he said no, no, go, go finish. Go have dinner with your mom and dad and I will finish this conversation some other time. I was so angry at my mother, Teddy. But in hindsight, what I figured out, I was probably twenty five or twenty six at that point. For the next however many years I know, and George Steinburner's head, I was the Guy Living at home with his parents whose mom wanted him to come for dinner. Yeah, you made it real. That probably softened me up a little bit that I wasn't some hard hitting guy who was going to ask him tough questions, even though I did do that. I think he saw me as the kid waiting for dinner with mom and Dad. Well, you, it made you real to him right, yes, one hundred percent. So really became he came out of the business. So tell me, how do you get asked or how did you end up doing the Derek jeter book? That was when you were still at the Times. If I recall it was a jeter. It had about three or four years in the major's at that point in one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine, and his agent asked me about doing that, I think because I had covered jeter pretty much from day one, from the Yankees drafting him right I wrote about them all he was in the minor leagues. I went to Calamazoo, Michigan once during the offseason and spent a day with Derek, his mom, is dad and his sister. They were doing some charitable works that day and you spend a whole day with somebody, you're going to figure out whether or not you can get along with that person and I actually think that day was was pivotal to me down the line to them saying hey, do you want to you want to work on this book with Derek, because that book could have been done. I'm not saying other other writers could have done that book, but I knew everything about Derek cheater at that point. Everything that I don't want to say. I knew everything about him, but I had covered him to that point. So if Derek cheater sat down with writer x who wrote for People magazine and it never covered baseball, he was gonna have to start from zero, right. If you needed to get to one...

...hundred to finish a book with me, we were probably already at fifty or sixty R I think that was a comfort level for Derek as well. To makes sense. So you with the times for I think he said, twenty two years and then you make this transition to yes, how did that happen? It's interest seeing Teddy Michael Kay, another forum guy who preceded us by about four years, is a really good friend of mine and he would always implore me to try and do TV and I was very comfortable at the Times. I often thought that I could spend my whole career at the Times. I started there when I was twenty two and I often thought, hey, a forty plus career at the New York Times, forty year plus career would be something to be really proud of and I would have had any any regrets. And the business started to change and I'll be quite honest, in two thousand and nine the Times was offering buyouts and I started to review my career and I looked at what I had done at the times and I didn't know, Teddy, that there was a lot left to accomplish there. I could have kept covering baseball, kept covering world series right, writing columns, writing features, but I was never going to leave sports. I'm not interested in covering the Olympics or covering football and going to the Super Bowl. So that, combined with the buyout, combined with and I love newspapers and I'll always support newspapers, combined with the fact that I saw the print journalism side of the business going in a different direction, I got an agent and I asked him, do you think I would be able to transition into TV, and he said let me. It was actually Michael Kay's former agent, Steve Leftowitz, who has since passed on. That's why I said former. So he told me I think I could get you four or five interviews and he was right. I left the Times, I took the buy out and I had four different interviews, probably within a week or two, and yes, was the most interested and I was the most interested in them. So that's how that connection ended up happening. Well, it seems like a logical fit. And what helped me to teddy is I had worked for yes, I guess, on a freelance basis. They have an offseason baseball show, so even while I was at the Times, I was appearing on their air waves to talk baseball. So the people that I work with today, Bob Lorenz, jared Boshnack, I work with those guys already when I was at the time. So I was excited about taking that leap to go from the Times to yes because it wasn't a foreign leap. I knew a lot of the people I was already working with. Sure, sure, so let's talk about sticking with our theme heroes of healthcare and let's start to shift a little bit towards, I guess, like what we're coming hard to believe. We're probably coming up on a year right. January is when we all start, even December. Last year, in January we started hearing about this thing in China that was kind of going around and, as I had mentioned in the Intro, you know, I wanted to talk with you because I think it's obviously hit you personally, like it's hit a lot of us personally, and it's also there's also been a lot of real benefits that we've heard about from baseball from a mental aspect for people coming back. So if you don't mind just kind of sharing with the listeners, you know, I guess it's like January, February time frame and you're hearing about this thing and what are you hearing out of Major League Baseball? I was in spring training in Tampa when everything was shut down and I will never forget that day because, as you said, the drum beat started getting louder and the fear and the tension started to grow and after the NBA shutdown, we actually had a meeting the next day, yes, a meeting preparing for the season inside a ball room in Tampa, and it was one of the most awkward meetings I've ever attended, Teddy. Not that anyone did anything wrong, but we were all talking about planning for a season that I think we all knew this is not going to start on time, something is going to happen, and baseball got shut down that day...

...and I remember being scared, I remember being worried, like anybody would be. My Wife, Pamela, was in Tampa with me at the time and our boss is said to us are we we encourage you to go home. We think at this point you should go home. I still have that reporter gene and me and I have that that reporter antenna up. I stayed in Florida for a couple extra days just in case the Yankees did anything. I didn't know what might happen at that point. Actually, Florida was probably safer than New Jersey. So, for for anyone who's listening to this and saying why didn't you go home, we spend a couple extra days in Florida and then it was it was readily apparent that, yeah, it was time to go home and I didn't know what baseball was going to do at that point. I will be honest with you. I I wandered in my head and had some conversations some colleagues. I said, what do you think, though? They'll take about a month or so. You think in six weeks they'll be back up? We didn't know, and probably should have been more educated on the topic, that know they weren't going to be able to just shut down and get rolling again in a month and I think at that point, Teddy, it was just a ton of question marks as to how are they going to potentially get a season back going? But but let's not forget the other part of it. How are you going to keep everybody healthy? What's going on in our country, what is going on here, so that we can all try and get through this with without misery, and unfortunately there's been too much misery surrounding this right well, and as important as baseball is to the people who are making careers out of it, like yourself and the players and everything, when you start to look at it through the Lens of what the pandemic was in the world and the deaths and the suffering kind of going on around it, we kind of start to starts to realign your priorities a little bit. You're absolutely right, and I would always try and preface my discussions about baseball by saying exactly what you just said. We ended up doing a lot of a lot of content for yes during the layoff, during the period we were waiting for baseball to come back, and they call it yes, we're here. So we wanted to remind our viewers that we were still here and there be various interviews and but we always he's started off every show, where, every interview by kind of saying, Hey, listen, we understand that everybody's going through a lot right now. We're we're here to give you some content to maybe take your mind off that. Let's yeah, let's talk about what the Yankees will look like one scared Cole actually gets to throw a pitch. And the more I talked to people around baseball, Teddy, as the weeks started to advance, I did believe they were going to play a season. I ended up having debates with family members, my brother being one of them. Or people are saying there's no way they're going to play. I actually started to grow in confidence that they were going to be able to play. I just thought that they would figure out a way. I'm not excusing how dire the situation was. To this day, there are some people who will argue out professional sports never should have come back right. I just agree. I think that done the right way, with care that, as you said earlier, there there is a benefit to being able to have something else to focus on and I think baseball help provide that. I know, personally speaking, my wife's parents are in their s and I just know how excited they were to be able to watch baseball games at night. Yeah, so have you guys done or looked at that? I mean, I know that I've heard things about that and, you know, love to you to share a little bit. I know you had that privilege of interviewing Dr Fouchy as Major League Baseball is getting ready to come back, but what have you heard about the mental aspects of it? Have you heard the I guess it? Has It just been what you just stated, the pro and con side of it, or what have you heard about people saying? This gives me some normalcy to my life. For me, and it's probably because I do talk to a lot of passionate baseball fans, for me it was more of the ladder that people needed it, they were waiting for it and even...

...though it was a different version of baseball and there weren't fans in the stands and we had to accept that, I think that people were looking for that type of diversion. And again you had to follow all the protocols, and I had the the protocols that the players got. It was more than a hundred pages and you're looking through that and you're realizing how many different I don't want to say hoops, you have to jump through, because that's not really what I mean. I mean rules that you have to follow. Yeah, we're a mask. Socially, distance as much as you can, when possible, wash your hands, all all the basic things that we talked about, and I'm glad you brought up Dr Fouchi, because when I look back on two thousand and twenty and if you asked me or your highlights of two thousand and twenty, and that's not really a year where you want to reach for highlights. We all probably want to forget this year show. But I was very privileged to interview Dr Fouchi because I thought that he was such a stabilizing for storing all of this and when he spoke I wanted them to continue talking and I was fortunate when I spoke to him that we talked, obviously about what was going on Teddy, but half the interview was also about baseball. And the one thing that struck me after I interviewed him, as several people said to me, you got him to smile. I hadn't seen him smile. Well, he's not going to smile when he's when he's giving a White House briefing and it and it's very dire information, right, doom and Glis. Yeah, you ask them about growing up as a Yankee Fan and he starts talking about Yogi bear, he's going to smile, and even Dr Fouchi at that point. I'm getting to your question. He talked about the mental benefit of just having something else to focus on. I love that, I love the title of Your podcast and I love what you're doing because I think sometimes we forget that there are still positive stories out there. We forget that there are heroes. I don't know about you and Susan and your family, but there are times I have to tell Pamela I can't watch the news tonight, and it's not a I work in the news business and it's not a stick my head in the sand approach. It's just I need a break. Yeah, I can't do it tonight. So I do think the mental aspect of having whether it's baseball, football, basketball, hockey, I mean, you know me, I'm a fanatical music fan. For me, I can't tell you how many live streams I've watched a band, you know, in a basement somewhere and it's different than whatever. If you saw them in an arena, fine, I'm on board. I want to hear it. I need to hear some music. I need that diversion. So one of the things I loved about the interview with Dr Fouchi was your question to him about baseball and sports is all about high fives and chess bumps, and you asked him what about that and wants to share what his response was. Dr Vouchi was blunt, Teddy. He did not want that to happen. His basic message was don't do it. And I know it's hard for players and I know when you get a hit, you you want to be able to celebrate it, you want to be able to enjoy it with your teammates. But Dr Fouchi was telling the truth. They're there's no need to do that and I don't think teams were great at doing that, Teddy, I there were some teams so I thought incorporated some creative gestures. We all know a guy hits a home run, when he gets the third base he slaps the hand of the third base coach. I saw some teams where would be like a fake slap or a little bit of a salute. Every game you you would see guys high fiving and handshakes and fist bumps and that's not really the protocol you were supposed to follow. And I get that it's very hard and I get that it's difficult when you're exerting yourself to want to wear a mask, but those were the protocols that would help you keep yourself and keep those around you the safest. Yeah, well, and we all know that dodgers came under some heat at the end of the world series for some of the players not following the protocols, and so yeah, that was that was so surreal...

...because Major League baseball got to the finish line and it was a lot of work and there were some hiccups and some potholes along the way. Miami marlins being foremost among them. Had more than a dozen cases, I think it was close to twenty early in the year, and you get to the end and then Justin Turner has to leave the game because of a test and then he comes on the field after the game. I mean just, yeah, not smart. And I know we can't put ourselves in his shoes and he's generally known as a great guy and a great teammate, but one of the pictures teddy got a picture with the team. He's near Dave Roberts, his manager, who is a cancer survivor, right with his mask down. Not Good behavior, just very questionable behavior. I get that you wanted to celebrate the world series title at that point, but you can't. Yeah, there's good. There's a lot of things we can't do these days and we could get into a whole conversation of the mask, no mask, and should I and don't I? But will shave that for another time. We're it. Yeah, just wear it exactly. But let's also talk about I know Covid is hit you and your family personally. You know, and I remember, unfortunately, having to find out that you had been infected through a instagram post. But nonetheless you fall and pray and thankfully, thank God, you're all good and recovered and everything. But what if you want, don't mind sharing. Has that hit you guys personally? Well, first of all, I want to say and reiterate what you just said. I'm very thankful that the for people in my family and myself include it. That actually I should say seven, because my wife's sister and our brother in law and our nephew also had it, but we're all fine and I'm very thankful. And I'm very grateful because there are some families whose story did not have that ending and I pray for them and I console them in what has been a dreadful year. But for us, Teddy, Pamela and I, this is sort of a message about this entire situation. My wife worked for the company that makes Lisol for twenty seven years, so she knows a lot about infectious diseases and I tell you that we were as careful as careful could be. What happened is her eighty seven year old mother in law went to a doctor's appointment and had a mask and a shield on and they asked to remove the shield for a certain exam that she was getting and she wasn't comfortable doing that, but they said it would make the exam easier to do, and we have pinpointed that that's where she ended up getting it, because two or three days later is when she started to feel symptoms. She passed it on to her husband, Pamela's Dad, and to Pamela, and then Pamela passed it on to me and the timing was so bizarre and strange because I came home from the final regular season game of the Yankees knowing that I'd be covering the playoffs in a couple of days, and that's when Pamela told me she had gone for a Covid test that day. She wanted me to come home from work. She didn't want to bother me with it while I was doing the postgame show, and we found out a day or two later that she tested. Once she went, I had a call yes and say, well, my wife went for a test I'm going to have to go to and I knew I was going to be out. I know I wouldn't be able to cover the playoffs, but again, you're worried about your health at that point I don't want to just have my reporter work. Hat on and Teddy. It was scary. I'm not going to lie to you. First of all, you her parents are in their S. my wife has an underlying condition. She has something called oursd, I'm a neurological condition. That is a very painful condition and you you get very, very worried. Now the ending is happy for us. As I said, we were all able to conquer it. But Pamela had nine weeks where she was down and she had some really serious and bizarre symptoms. Fatigue was overwhelming, she had dizzyness to the point where we thought she had vertigo. If she had a pen in her hand and dropped it and went down to pick up the pen, it was almost as if...

...sus she would tumble over. So it was just a reminder you could take all of the safety precautions and be as careful as possible. I mean I think I went out three times from March to about October when it wasn't work related. Never went to a supermarket and went to one outdoor dinner and we still ended up getting it. But again, very thankful that everybody is okay today. Yeah, you know. So again with the theme of kind of the heroes, and that's what we've been talking about on this podcast, is those people who are so unsome, and I've been continuing to repeat this, the thing that strikes me all the time is that superheroes are people of superhuman powers. Is Faster than a speeding bullet and all of those sorts of things, and these people who are working in these medical facilities don't have those superhuman powers. To protect them, but yet they're there and they're putting their life on the line to save other people. I mean it's just a call. Yeah, I have a few people who were that sort of hero for us. Dr Chris a Moud has the Yankees team physician and I know Dr Maud well and I've actually gone to him because I have bad knees from running, so I go to him for these Gel injections and it allows me to run, keep running, get out on the road. But Dr Moud heard about Pamela and I and in the middle of the playoffs he's out covering the playoffs with the Yankees. He called US and spoke to us for about an hour and answered a lot of our questions. But then Teddy. He also put me in touch with another Yankee doctor who I actually had never met. We are paths that never crossed, Dr Paul Lee, and he's a Yankee internist who was actually very instrumental in New York City's fight against covid he is not our doctor. I had never met him. He did a zoom call with Pamela and I for an hour and fifteen minutes. He answered every one of our questions and it was the most reassuring call that I've ever had with a doctor, because we were scared. We didn't know what to expect. This was early in the process show and he laid out a plan for us and told us what we should be doing, what we should expect. He followed that up with text messages. So both Dr Maud and Dr Lee, I am forever thankful to them and I could tell why they are the special doctors that they are because of how they helped treat us during this time. Yeah, yeah, no, the stories have been amazing in terms of that way, and I know just from our kind of precuel stuff that you've had lots of people you know touched with this, both from passing on or or surviving. I love the story about Mr is a bit alone, who is the ninety year eight year old Gabe gave vit alone, Teddy. And how about this? It was a he's a foredem Grad, so you have to love that. I love that it was supposed to sing the national anthem at Yankee Stadium in April. If you look at this gentleman's resume and all that he had accomplished in his life, War vetteran college professor and coach has won over a hundred medals competing in senior events, races and things like that. Well, he decided that one thing lacking from his resume was singing the national anthem and Yankee Stadium. So as a ninety seven or ninety eight year old, that was his that was his dream, and he tried out one day Yankee Stadium. They said yes and he was supposed to do it in April. Obviously the game got canceled, so we are postponed. We interviewed him for yes and he was kind enough to do a version of it on the s network. So we actually had his version of the national anthem before he did it at a Yankee game and then later in the season, once spaceball came back, Gabe ended up doing it virtually so, though it wasn't as cool as doing it at Yankee Stadium. Right, I know who's still thrilled to get the opportunity to do it. Yeah, well, it was a perfect...

...two thousand and twenty story right where the bucket list got checked, but it was a little bit different than what he probably expect for. And adding to the two thousand and twenty story is here's a man in his s who was in a facility with his wife. They live in a facility. I mean to try and get the interview and zoom with him. He had never zoomed before. Right had one of his his soninlaw and his son trying to help and they moved heaven and earth to try and make sure that Gabe could do this interview with him, which I'm I'm deeply appreciative of, so that we could get his story out there. And I still email with him and keep in touch with him and that was a pretty a pretty cool story to come out of two thousand and twenty getting the chance to meet Gabe. Yeah, no, that's awesome. So, as we're getting to the end of our time and we're going to wrap things up here, why don't you share with the listeners a little bit? I know the seasons early. You know pitches and catchers don't report until technically until February. I think you mentioned that some of the a lot of this is still being discussed, but what are you hearing about the potential two thousand and twenty one season? Anything you talk around vaccines for players ahead of time, any of that sort of things that you can share? I think Teddy is. We look ahead to two thousand and twenty one. There are schedules in place. There is a reporting date for all the teams, there are spring training game schedule, there's a one hundred and sixty two game schedule that's already been sent to every team. I think the question when I talk to baseball people is will those schedules have to be changed? We don't know what two thousand and twenty one is going to bring yet. I think the vaccines are an interesting wrinkle and all of this. What will teams protocol be about that? I know personally speaking, if I had the opportunity, I would absolutely get the vaccine, but not everyone might share that view. There might be some folks who who don't want that. Will players require it? Can you require it? I don't know that you can do that. So I think we have some unanswered questions hovering over the two thousand and twenty one season. I know we've done some offseason baseball shows a yes where buck show alter works for us now. He's a former Yankee manager, three time manager of the year. He's believes that there's no way they'll play a hundred sixty two games. He thinks that you're you're going to have to have a shorter season. And if you look at the season and you do start a little bit later, well, the longer you wait, Teddy, the the closer you probably are to the more vaccines being of elbow and the closer you probably are two fans having the opportunity to be at Games, which the owners of beviously want because they went through all of two thousand and twenty with with no revenue from fans being in Games. Well, the players side of it, because everything is a collective bargaining agreement, they want to play a hundred sixty two games because they want to be paid for a hundred sixty two games. Sure, they lost sixty five percent of their salary last year, their revenue. So I think we're kind of headed in a direction where we just have to see what ends up being best for the sport best for the players. I do look toward two thousand and twenty one, though, with a lot of hope and a lot of optimism, because if you were able to get through two thousand and twenty with this truncated sixty game season, that was different than anything we've ever seen before, I think whatever version we get of baseball in two thousand and twenty one is going to be much better and I am hopeful that fans will be in the stadium at some point. I can't predict. Will that be June, July, August? I don't know, none of us do, but sure I think that will bring back an important part of baseball for a lot of fans because, as we talked about, just the mental aspect of it and being able to go to a game feeling safe about it, cheering on your team, there's a lot of value in that. Yeah, well, I just hope that the Almighty dollar doesn't doesn't make it, you know, make us make decisions that are not in the best interest because, like you said, you can probably recover from a couple of bad financial years, hopefully, but you can't if you don't recover from the from the virus, then that changes everything. Yeah, and I think that's a theme that that everyone would echo. I think...

...you have to believe that way and I think along the path that Major League baseball has taken you, the health of your players and your staff and everyone around your team should be of utmost importance. That should be your number one priority and, like you, I hope that we continue to see and here that that is the focus, because we all know that two thousand and twenty is something that that will never forget in our lifetimes and that we hope we never have anything close to this ever again. Yeah, absolutely for sure. So we usually close each of these episodes Jack with since we already heroes of healthcare, we always try to close with asking each of our guests who is or was your hero. Now we're growing up. That's an easy question for me to answer, Teddy. My my hero absolutely was my mom, and my mom passed away in one thousand nine hundred and ninety four and I actually was at her cemetery recently for my mom and dad and said a few prayers while I was there and I always thank both of them. And it's not that my father was in my hero, but my mom was more of my hero. And I always tell people who haven't met my mother, if you like anything about me, if there's one small thing that you like about me, it's because of my mom. I know I have my mother's work ethic, I know I have my mother's compassion, I know I have my mother's empathy for people and just her giving side and and I've always tried to to try and give as much as I can to people. I have a platform form as a sports journalist, to be able to cover games and and write about them or talk about them, but I've always been more interested in the people that I've met along the way and the people you could have an impact on, whether it's someone you met who you wrote an article about or someone you've maybe tried to help from a journalistic side of things, mentoring them. All of that comes from my mom and a love of baseball. I mean my brother was really the first one to introduced me to baseball, but my mother really ignited that flame. We would take two buses and a train to go to Sha Stadium Watch a double header and I remember those days fondly. So of all the questions you asked me on this podcast, that was the easiest one for me to answer. My mom was and always will be my hero. Well, that's awesome in it and you know I'd see that obviously in you and I'd probably be remiss and if I didn't kind of tell this story. So you know, Jack, your ability to touch people and kind of leave them with that lasting impression, and it may seem like a small thing or kind of a funny story, but to me and in my wife Susan, and our girls, you know, Jack has a special place in our house. I remember the Yankees were playing the braves in an inner. I was one of the first, probably interleague ball games that started again. So you had the opportunity to come visit us in Atlanta and there's not a lot of things I've got good recollection about, so you can tell why this touched me and our family. So we said it's meet for dinner and you said, okay. I think we if I remember, at the hard rock cafe in downtown Atlanta and not far from the stadium, and I brought my my two daughters with me who at the time, I think they were about maybe six and twelve or ten and four, and we had dinner and you were very gracious to pay for it, which I remember, and they didn't really eat much, being young girls, and you offered them dessert and I, being the Dad, said no dessert for them. They didn't even eat their meal, and you retorted back, why don't you share with them what the retort was? Well, I said that they're entree or their dinner shelf was full, but their dessert shelf was empty. So we needed to fill up the dessert shelf that was wide open and they to this day, have never forgotten that and probably to mine and Susan's dismay, certain nights reminded us of that when they wanted dessert and dinner was over. But you know you're...

...interested in them and my older daughter who's now living in New York and pursuing acting career, and you know you're back and forth with her and you, you embody those characteristics that you love in your mom and you. I see it in you every day and thankful that I can call you a friend. I appreciate that. I appreciate you saying that because, as I said, anybody who makes that connection to my mom, that's that's heartfelt and that means a lot to me, and I say the same to you likewise, that I can call you a friend. And I remember, I'll say this. I remember sleeping over your house one time too and, Alpharetta, I stayed. I stay with you guys one night. Had I think it was impromptu. I don't think I was going to stay, and then I decided to say and I remember Susan just giving me. I didn't have anything. All of a sudden I had a toothbrush, so I think I had a pair of your sweats, I had a t shirt and I was like hey, this is this is better than the Hilton or the Hyatt or whatever, Ris Carlton, that the Waynes know how to do it and I do keep in touch with Melissa. We have a we have a music a connection, and we talked about that and I loved when Becca, your daughter, who helped you out with this podcast, she dropped the dessert shelf reference on me and one of the email exchanges. So that made me Chocole and I realized that that story has resonated for years. Yep, it'll. It'll be a be a wayne tradition forever. That Jack delivered for us. So listen, I appreciate your friendship, I appreciate your time, thanks for sharing this a little bit outside of the box of heroes of healthcare, but nonetheless relevant in terms of everything that we're dealing with. So all the best to you and the Pamela, continue your speedy recovery, and her family, and thanks again from your time. Thanks so much, Teddy. Good luck with the rest of the podcast. This is a great idea. You've been listening to heroes of healthcare for more. Subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player or visit us at heroes of healthcare podcastcom.

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