Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rant #121: Let the Woman Talk!

I hate to put up another World Series-related rant (especially since the Yankees lost to the Phillies in Game One of the series), but here goes.

Yesterday was a historic day for a number of reasons. One that pretty much went un-noticed is that when Yankees radio broadcaster Suzyn Waldman uttered her first words on the WCBS-AM telecast of the game, she became the first female broadcaster to work a World Series game in a broadcast booth.

Yes, there are hundreds of female sports people covering all the sports on ESPN and on local and national outlets, but Waldman--who also holds the title of being the first woman broadcaster to regularly cover a professional baseball team, and perhaps a pro team period, in her duties with the Yankees--is the only lady to do it.

Professional sports broadcasters are a select group to begin with, and it had been a group without a female member until Waldman entered the Yankees broadcast booth a few years ago.

She is not the first Yankees broadcaster to break down the walls, though. Bill White was the first African-American to cover a professional sports team in the broadcast booth when he came to the Yankees in the early 1970s. He was part of the famed, and very much loved, classic Phil Rizzuto, Frank Messer, and Bill White trio that covered Yankees games into the 1990s.

Anyway, Suzyn Waldman, a cancer survivor, deserves kudos for her latest accomplishment.

Sure, she can be screechy and annoying at times--and broadcast partner John Sterling often ignores her entirely--but let's give credit where credit is due.

Congratulations, Suzyn--let's hope you become the first female broadcaster to announce a win for the Yankees in this World Series!

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