By John Cirillo
“Many hands make light work,” my mom always said to me as a kid growing up in Brooklyn. No truer words were ever better spoken than in the case of the Thurman Munson Awards Dinner.
This week, Yankees top-shelf relief pitcher Andrew Miller graciously took time from his schedule to appear on the Michael Kay Show on ESPN NY 98.7 Radio on Tuesday, simulcast across the nation on YES Network, and Mike’d On, Mike Francesa’s program on WFAN Radio (660 AM, 101.9 FM) on Wednesday, to promote the benefit for AHRC New York City Foundation. Just as graciously the two hosts, and their producers – Kay’s Andrew Gundling and Francesa’s Brian Monzo – handling the bookings. Miller’s agent Mark Rodgers expedited the interviews.
Last week, when scheduled-MC Kay learned of an unavoidable conflict, the YES Network Voice of the Yankees served as the conduit to John Sterling, the longtime radio Yankees voice, to pinch hit as Master of Ceremonies.
Kay was also one of the lightning rods in the reach out to Jim Abbott, the ex-Yankee “No Hit” hurler Jim Abbott, another “Thurman” recipient for this coming Tuesday. YES Network’s VP of Production and Programming Woody Freiman was another who helped to contact Abbott, and has always taken the time from his hectic schedule to provide video highlights of the Yankee honorees to be played at the gala.
Today, Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts had Miller’s batterymate Brian McCann on the midday show on WFAN, again giving the Munson Dinner great additional “Fan-fare.” Producer Ernesto Acosta is always at the ready for a booking that will help a cause. Agent BB Abbott and aide de camp Stephanie Khoury get big time assists in McCann’s commitment to attend the AHRC NYC Foundation benefit on Tuesday night.
The Mets and Yankees PR gurus – Jay Horwitz and Jason Zillo – are always there to lend a hand in securing countless players as both honorees, award presenters, major donor table hosts, and their organizations supporting the dinner for many years.
Jay-Jay and SNY’s Kevin Sornatale teamed to provide Amazin’s pre- and post-game lead analyst Nelson Figueroa to present Mets closer Jeurys Familia with his “Thurman.” Josh Yates and Marie Rivera were said “YES” in rapid fashion on the request to honor Familia, and Sam and Seth Levinson, the principals of the agency, will be in attendance and have lent their financial support to the AHRC NYC Foundation.
YES Network’s John “Flash” Flaherty is a fixture at the Munson Dinner, and this year will present Miller with his hardware.
Sports rep supreme Mead Chasky produced Jesse Orosco as yet another to join the Munson “Class of 2016,” and in previous years, Robby Cano, Gary Sheffield and Melky Cabrera had been honored thanks to Mr. Chasky.
And a just announced coup-de-grace: Yankees great Bernie Williams, a previous recipient, will be on hand to present Abbott with his Munson Award. Bernie’s rep Steve Fortunato was diligent and of great import in making the appearance happen.
Thurman’s teammate Roy White has been a frequent attendee, and will be on hand once again, as will ex-Yank and Mets hurler Doc Gooden.
Former Giants SB champs Karl Nelson, Chris Canty and Steve Weatherford – all previous Thurman recipients – will all be back to support the cause.
Powerful people who care! Many hands make light work, indeed!
Here are the links to the Andrew Miller interviews, followed by information on the Munson Dinner:
Michael Kay Show/ESPN NY Radio: http://espn.go.com/espnradio/newyork/play?id=14699998
Mike Francesa Show/WFAN Radio: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/audio/mike-francesa/mike-francesa-with-andrew-miller/