Meet Troy Benjamin, the producer behind the Yankees games at YES

Yes, the manufacturer Troy Benjamin spends every night telling the story of Yankees games, but his own story is just as good. He grew up in Harlem and the Bronx, listening to WFAN, dreaming of working in sports.

“I wanted to be black Chris Russo49-year-old Benjamin said. “That was a dream.”

That changed around 2000 when Benjamin found out what his good friend and MSG Network teammate, Bill BolandMade as an associate director.

“I said, ‘How much do you get paid?'” Benjamin said. “He said, ‘$67 an hour.’ I said, ‘What? I want to be Eddie.’ I wanted to walk that way.

“I was a security guard at night, making $10 an hour [he also had an MSG gig as a game highlight logger]. I saw $67 an hour, and I was like, ‘Yo, I want to go for that.’ I saw that money dangling. You know, you’re a black boy from Harlem, I thought $20 an hour was a lot of money. I’ve had the bug ever since.”

When you’re watching the adventures of Aaron Judge on the YES Network, Troy Benjamin is the producer who weaves the broadcasts together.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

For the past two decades, Benjamin has been at YES, working his way up, carefully learning from the network’s president of production and programming, John PhilipelliBenjamin’s predecessors in the Yankees producer chair, Kevin Smolen and Boland, as well as big-time directors like John Moore.

Before last season, Benjamin replaced Boland, his good friend and a mentor, which made it bitter. Benjamin hopes to have a longer run than Smolens and Boland, who each had the coveted gig for a decade. Benjamin is up for the task.

If you watch Yankees games, the product does not influence the broadcast, but instead follows and complements it. One aspect that really stands out is how Benjamin, the director and BarrAssociate Director Luke Miller and graphics coordinator Sean Sullivan Once able to show very old videos and graphics Michael K And the company mentioned something from the franchise’s storied history. Benjamin has a feel for the game, which may be the most important trait for a game producer.

“He knows you can’t teach,” Filippelli said. “So he’s a great producer. Those are things we’ve seen in him for a long time.”

Michael Kay stands in the broadcast booth at Yankee Stadium.
Benjamin appreciates the support of longtime Yankees voice Michael Kay.

There are no official records of how many black producers work in sports media, but to Benjamin’s knowledge, he is the only one currently producing MLB games.

“There aren’t black producers in a lot of sports, but certainly not baseball,” Benjamin said. “There’s a lot of pride. Hopefully it inspires TV executives to hire people who look like me.”

Filippelli’s career has been an inspiration for Benjamin. Filippelli taught Benjamin how to prepare for what’s going on and how to make a game, not pre-planned packaging.

“You learn from a guy like Flip, a guy with whom we all want — World Series, Saturday Game of the Week — that’s huge. [making sure you focus on the game,]Benjamin said.

Benjamin mentions acceptance from admirers Marv Albert and Ian EagleAlso, what’s special about him in his career, but the backbone of his success comes from his work ethic, learned from his mother.

YES Network producer Troy Benjamin as a child (center) with his mother, Naomi Carr, and his brother, Eugene Gibbs Jr.
Benjamin grew up with his brother, Eugene Gibbs Jr., and his mother, Naomi Carr, whom he credits with inspiring his work ethic as a child.
Courtesy of Troy Benjamin
Yes Network producer Troy Benjamin (right) with his mother, Naomi Carr, and his brother, Eugene Gibbs Jr.
Benjamin (right) with his mother and brother
Courtesy of Troy Benjamin

Benjamin’s father was not in the picture. his mother, Naomi CarrAn immigrant from Antigua worked two or three jobs at a time, often as a nurse’s aide in hospitals and aged care.

“She enrolled me in a Catholic school [Cardinal Spellman in The Bronx]” said Benjamin, whose brother is in the Army. “She paid for my college [at West Virginia]. I saw his work ethic. West Indian parents, they work hard. I know it’s cliché, two, three jobs, but she did it.

Now Benjamin has one of the most prestigious jobs in sports production.

“I want to do this for the rest of my life,” Benjamin said. “It’s a dream. I want to master it and excel at it.”

Quick clicks

NBC Sports commentator Jack Collinsworth poses for a photo before the 2022 Pro Hall of Fame Game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Las Vegas Raiders.
Jack Collinsworth’s last name helped him land a job as the new play-by-play voice of Notre Dame football on NBC.
Getty Images

In the small print announcing Fox Sports’ new Big Ten deal, the network said it will now be on the road with a “Big Noon Kickoff” every week beginning this fall. In other words, competition with ESPN’s iconic “College GameDay” continues — and is moving to the next level. You have to wonder in 2024 — when ESPN’s SEC contract and Big Ten contracts with Fox, CBS and NBC are fully implemented — how much time “GameDay” will spend at Big Ten schools. Fox won’t hesitate to make its show a lead-in to its top game, which will be the No. 1 Big Ten contest of the week for many weeks. Will “Gameday” go to Big Ten country when it’s owned by the SEC? Maybe as an off to say this is a journalistic effort, but is it in the best interest of its business? However, new generations grow up with new traditions. “GameDay” is going to be “GameDay,” but “Big Noon Kickoff,” which has already made some inroads, may be able to take a bigger piece of the pie. … On Friday, Fox Sports had an old-school “Friday News Dump,” announcing that Urban Mayor Big Noon is back. Meyer, who controversially failed in the NFL, was good on the air for the first time with Fox. … NBC needs announcers for its new Big Ten primetime games. If Fox hadn’t already signed Jason Benetti, NBC probably went after him for the Big Ten. This endeared Benetti to Peacock on Sunday morning MLB broadcasts. It’s still a head scratcher that ESPN didn’t continue to promote Benetti and let him walk out the door. … This brings us to the NBC promotion Jack Collinsworth Notre Dame’s play-by-player. Growing up as the son or daughter of a big-name broadcaster has its perks – some seen, some not. A positive is the child of a broadcaster, was with Jac Chris, parents get to see how the craft worked and whose parents have a better understanding of what goes into the job than someone who sells insurance. It can help you get in the door. But this is the line I always use about anyone Joe Buck, who has a legendary career. his father, Jack, was a Hall of Fame broadcaster. It gets you an internship, not a chance to call the World Series for nearly a quarter century. Jack, now 27 years old and the TV voice of Notre Dame football, should be fine. We’ve seen it work when, like Buck and Kenny Albert, but this is not always the case. Is Jack ready for the big-time spot? From what I’ve heard it’s not a sure thing. Another aspect of your career linked by family names and connections is this: you’ll be better off when you’re young. Growing up in a broadcasting family can be a springboard for your career or it can sink it. …

Dawn Staley, Sarah Kustok and Michael Grady pose for a photo before the WNBA Commissioner's Cup game on July 26, 2022.
Michael Grady (right, with Don Staley, left and Sarah Kustok) was hired as the Minnesota Timberwolves’ new play-by-player after working in the YES Network pipeline.
NBAE via Getty Images

Michael Grady Moving from a sideline reporter on YES’ Net broadcasts to being the TV voice of the Minnesota Timberwolves. It continues an absolutely amazing run by YES to populate the NBA with top play-by-play players and analysts. Grady was the No. 3 play-by-player at YES, perhaps the best active basketball game caller Ian Eagle And another top national boy, Ryan Rucko. yes it is Sara Kustok and Richard Jefferson As game analysts. Kustok has done national stuff, and Jefferson has made an impact at ESPN. in the studio, Frank Isola He is a national voice with his ESPN work and his SiriusXM NBA show Brian Scalabrine. Yes that includes nationally qualified analysts Mark JacksonWho failed – Who failed? – Went to ESPN, YES and then returned to ESPN to become a mainstay on the top broadcast team of the NBA Finals. Greg Anthony Made his mark at YES before becoming the lead match analyst for the Final Four. Other pre-YES voices included Michelle Beadle, Donnie Marshall and Jim Sparkle. Now Grady has earned his promotion. So why has developing broadcasters had so much success? It starts with good hiring, starting with Filippelli, president of production and programming. It then goes into development, where the net manufacturer’s great reputation Frank Degrassi is important. Grady earned this new perch during the NBA offseason by calling Liberty games and then coming off the sidelines to sub in for Eagle and Ruocco. Those two set the bar high, but when you listen to Grady, you hear NBA-level play-by-play. … Big week and big spend for CBS. Not only did the network pick up the Big Ten for about $350 million per year to win the SEC Saturday 3:30 pm window, but they retained the rights to the world’s biggest club soccer tournament, the Champions League, increasing their outlay. $100 million per year to $250 million per year. Amazon came second in the Champions League. UEFA still plans to sell the Spanish language rights to the event.

Who is the greatest player/analyst?

Charles Barkley smokes a cigar during the pro-am round of the Bedminster Invitational LIV golf tournament in Bedminster, NJ, Thursday, July 28, 2022.
Charles Barkley is unmatched in his combination of playing and broadcasting success.

In light of recent news Charles Barclay Dismissing LIV Golf, I was wondering who is the best combo of analyst and player of all time. It may expand into a full piece in the future. This is the unofficial list I came up with:

1. Barclay
2. Michael Strahan
3. Terry Bradshaw
4. Frank Gifford
5. Troy Aikman
6. John McEnroe
7. Team McCarver
8. Johnny Miller
9. Doug Collins
10. Chris Evert

Others that may be considered: Marilyn Olsen, Phil Simms, Bill Walton, Shaquille O’Neal, John Smoltz and Howie Long. If coaches are counted, John Madden Will be included, but will lose to Barkley. Barkley is the most entertaining sports studio analyst and was named to the list of the NBA’s top 75 players of all time.

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