Get to know the voices of the New York Yankees, from play-by-play announcer Michael Kay to color commentators Paul O’Neill and John Flaherty.
Checkout this video:
Yankees have a long and storied history, dating back to their founding in 1901. They’ve won a record 27 World Series championships, and 40 American League pennants. Along the way, they’ve had some of the most iconic players in baseball history, from Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig to Mickey Mantle and Derek Jeter. But the Yankees are also known for their broadcasters. Some of the most legendary names in sports broadcasting have called Yankees games, including Mel Allen, Phil Rizzuto, Michael Kay, and John Sterling. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the current broadcast team.
The Yankees broadcast team is led by play-by-play announcer Michael Kay. Kay has been with the Yankees since 1989, and he’s been the primary play-by-play voice since 1997. He’s also the host of “CenterStage” onYES Network, and he’s a regular contributor to WFAN radio in New York City. Kay is joined in the booth by analyst Paul O’Neill. O’Neill is a former Yankee himself, having played for the team from 1993 to 2003. He was part of four World Series championship teams during his time in New York, and he was named American League Championship Series MVP in 2000. O’Neill has been working as a broadcaster since 2006, and he joined Kay in the booth full-time in 2013.
The Yankees television broadcast is produced by YES Network. The YES Network is available throughout New York state, as well as parts of Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The network produces game broadcasts for all of the Yankees’ regional opponents ( Baltimore Orioles , Boston Red Sox , Tampa Bay Rays , Toronto Blue Jays ), as well as select national broadcasts on FOX and ESPN .
Mel Allen- “The Voice of the Yankees”
Mel Allen was the voice of the Yankees from 1939-1964, returned in 1979 and continued calling Yankee games until his death in 1996. Allen started out as a play-by-play announcer for the University of Alabama football team. His big break came in 1939 when he was hired by the Yankees to do play-by-play on their radio broadcasts, replacing current NBC broadcaster Red Barber.
Allen became known for his gravelly voice and signature phrases like “How about that!” and “Ballgame over,” which he would say after a Yankee victory. He also coined the nickname “The Bronx Bombers” for the Yankees.
In addition to calling Yankee games, Allen also did play-by-play for NBC’s coverage of the World Series and All-Star Game from 1947-1963. He was also the host of The Mel Allen Show, a post-game show that aired on WOR after Yankee games.
Phil Rizzuto- “The Scooter”
A graduate of Mount Saint Michael Academy, Phil Rizzuto spent his entire 13-year career as a Yankee. The 1949 American League Rookie of the Year, he was a key member of seven World Championship teams. His 1951 Home Run off Detroit’s Virgil Trucks at the Polo Grounds is considered one of the most memorable walk-off home runs in history. After his retirement as a player in 1956, Scooter became a fan favorite as a member of the Yankees Broadcasting team from 1957-87. He called Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series and Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series home run for ABC.
In 1994, Rizzuto was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his ninth year of eligibility. He became just the second Yankee broadcaster to be so honored, following Mel Allen who had been enshrined in 1978. In 1985, he was presented with the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting by the Hall of Fame.
Bobby Murcer- “The Yankee Clipper”
Bobby Murcer was born May 20, 1946 in Oklahoma City, making him a lifelong Yankee fan. He was signed by the Yankees in 1964, and he made his major league debut in 1965. He played with the Yankees until 1974, when he was traded to the San Francisco Giants. After a few years with the Chicago Cubs, Murcer returned to the Yankees in 1979 and finished his career there in 1983.
Murcer was an All-Star five times (1972-74, 1976, 1979) and won a Gold Glove in 1972. In 1969, he helped lead the Yankees to victory in the World Series. Following his playing career, Murcer became a broadcaster for the Yankees. In 2008, he passed away after a battle with cancer.
Michael Kay- “The Play-by-Play Announcer”
Michael Kay is in his 23rd season as the play-by-play voice of the New York Yankees. He is also a host on ESPN Radio and TV, and a contributor to YES Network’s CenterStage. In 2002, he was honored with the New York Emmy Award for Outstanding On-Camera Achievement.
Prior to joining the Yankees, Kay served as the television play-by-play announcer for the New York Knicks on MSG Network from 1992-1997. He also called play-by-play for CBS Sports’ coverage of college basketball and NFL football, and was a sports anchor at WPIX-TV in New York City.
Kay has written two books: “See You Tomorrow, Mickey” (with Don Mattingly) and “Jeter Unfiltered” (with Derek Jeter). He is a graduate of Fordham University.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know the Yankees broadcasters! We hope you enjoyed learning about these talented individuals.
We hope you have a great time watching the Yankees this season!