Yankee TV broadcasters threatened TV/RADIO SPORTS

October 06, 1992|By Bob Raissman | Bob Raissman,New York Daily News

NEW YORK -- This is as sick as it gets.

On Sunday, the final day of the baseball season, some lunatic called the switchboard at Fenway Park and told the operator he was going to kill one of the New York Yankees' five broadcasters. The caller didn't specify which voice. He just made a blanket threat.

"We were alerted during the end of the pre-game show," said Leon Schweir, Yankees producer for Madison Square Garden television, which broadcast the game in the New York area. "I asked security if they thought the threat came from New York or Boston. They said New York."

Schweir said all announcers were alerted and two security guards were posted outside the TV and radio booths. "Of course our people were concerned, but Fenway's press box area is enclosed, and they felt secure," Schweir said.

Al Trautwig, who was in MSG's booth with Tony Kubek and Dewayne Staats, said: "Nothing like this was ever directed at me or the people I was working with. It didn't sit well with me. I was looking at rooftops a lot on Sunday. We got through the day kind of joking about it. It was shocking to think someone would think we were that important in the scheme of things."

Yankees radio voice Michael Kay said he was alerted to the threat while he was giving the lineups. "John Sterling was out of the booth, and a guy with the Red Sox came in with another man. The Red Sox guy tapped me on the shoulder while I was reading the lineups," Kay said. "When we went to commercial, he introduced the other guy, who was a policeman in plain clothes. He told me about the death threat."

Initially, Kay said, he was stunned. "For a quick instant I got nervous," Kay said. "When you hear something like that, you start wondering. Then you just settle in and do the job. When I told John, he was cool. He said he didn't believe if someone was going to kill you, they would call up and let the world know."

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