Monday, August 26, 2013

It-Is-High Exclusive:

Musician/Yankee fan Gary Frenay--a five-tool player with Frenay & Lenin, The Fab Cats and The Flashcubes, among other championship acts--was present at the big Yankee win at Dodgers Stadium on July 31st, just before which John and Suzyn appeared to him, like Mary to St. Bernadette!  Naturally, I have questions about this, and Gary graciously answers them all after the jump!

Gary, you were at the July 31 game, right? The one the Yankees won in the 9th? Jeter, Kuroda, Soriano? Describe your ecstasy.

When Lyle Overbay came up in the top of the ninth of an as-yet scoreless game (Kuroda v Kershaw), with the sacks loaded, I turned to my wife Jackie and said, "watch this, he's gonna put the ball in play." I no sooner got the words outta my mouth, and BOOM, RBI-single. I WAS in ecstasy, although it's always a bit chancy expressing it when you're in enemy territory. Especially important to remember at Fenway where I've seen Redsock fans pour beers on celebrating Yankee fans. 

So I contained myself, as much as I could, and prayed that one run would be enough for the pre-game-feted Mariano to protect. But when the next batter, Jayson Nix, lofted a soft, but tricky pop fly into short right, and LA second baseman Mark Ellis flat-out DROPPED it (possibly because Yasiel Puig was charging headlong into him), I could no longer contain myself, and whooped it up as if I was in the Bronx. Luckily, there were as many Yankee jerseys near me (Mantle, Berra and Jeter) as there were Dodgers (Puig, Puig and Kershaw), so the terminally-mellow West Coasters left me alone. 

What a perfect ending to a perfect night!

Jackie, Gary
What were the exact particulars of your encounter with John and Suzyn? What did you tell them? What did they tell you? Did it ever get awkward?  Did either of them touch you? Did you detect alcohol, or other fragrances? Is there anything you now know about them that you didn't know before? Would you be willing to relive this encounter under hypnosis?

We got to the game WAY early. Batting-practice early. We knew that food better than the usual hotdogs and nachos could be had at Dodger Stadium. You can get sushi there, for God's sake! So we were wandering throughout the concourse, checking out our food options. One of the downstairs vendors mentioned that upstairs had a small deli-type area that had fresh salads and sandwiches. So we headed up, and were perusing the selections, when I saw Suzyn over my wife's shoulder and blurted out, "That's Suzyn Waldman," to her. Suzyn heard me say it, and turned slightly, giving me the once-over, before turning back to the salads. Once I had Jackie's attention, and had gotten over the surprise of seeing Suzyn, I noticed John Sterling, a few feet further away, also shopping for dinner. I whipped out my phone and snapped off a few low-key pics, and then went back to picking out our own food.

The nice coincidence that followed was all of us approaching that cashier at about the same time. I motioned for them to go first, and as John turned to acknowledge me, I said (trying not to seem too Patton Oswalt-ish), "John-Sterling, big-fan, I've-been-listening-to-you-for-years. This-is-my-first-time-at-Dodger-Stadium, I'm-from-Syracuse, NY."

"Thank you. Are we on there," said John.

"Yes, on WSYR," I replied.

"Oh, they're a big station," he added.

I think I was still mumbling something about how nice Dodger Stadium was, when he turned to a man they were with and said, "Carlos, you go first." So I assume that was Carlos Silva, their producer. 

They all paid and left and that was it. I have to say they were both thinner and they look on TV, and specifically for John, older looking that he appears on the Yankeeography editions he hosts on YES. I was lucky enough to meet Phil Rizzuto years ago at the Turning Stone Casino (see pic below) and he couldn't have been nicer, so it was a real treat to actually meet John and Suzyn, and have them also seem nice.

Gary Frenay, Phil Rizzuto, Arty Lenin
What food did John and Suzyn buy? Did you buy the same? Why not?

They bought salads. (maybe that's why they're looking thinner). We bought a Tuna Wrap (me) and a Caprese Sandwich (Jackie) and a huge marguerita hat my wife rated as one of the best she's ever had. Go figure…

The Flashcubes perform the Eddie & The Hot Rods' classic "Do Anything You Wanna Do," 
Hamamatsu, Japan, 2012

When and where can our five readers hear you play?

Frenay and Lenin [a primarily acoustic duo with Gary's musical partner and fellow Flashcube Arty Lenin––M.] plays the Sheraton University Inn every Wednesday afternoon, 5 to 8. 13 years and counting. The longest continuous residency in Syracuse music history!  Expensive drinks, half-price pizza and wings, and we take requests from out 1,500+ song list.


KD said...

Neat story. My first and only visit to Dodger Stadium was marked by one celebrity sighting (Pat Sajak) and the worst spectator-hit-by-a-line-drive I ever saw. Poor 20-something girl on her cell phone paying no attention to the game caught one in the face.

el duque said...

This is magnificent. I don't know how Gary managed to "keep it together" in front of John. I would have melted.

And John is right. WSYR is a big station. HE KNOWS ABOUT SYRACUSE!!!!

JM said...

Good story. But how come we don't have a sandwich/salad deli in our gazillion dollar stadium? The markups must not be as high as on Johnny Rocket's.

SanJoseKid said...

Ah, the memories. Anybody else remember when the Angels played at Chvez Ravine? Saw the Yankees there, Moose Skowron let me take a black & white photo of him. The Mick struck out, but who cares. Thanks for posting this.