Ken Singleton announced last March that 2018 would be his final year at the YES Network, ending the longest active stretch in local TV baseball analysis — a term that began in 1997, before there even was a YES Network.
But there he was recently at YES headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, shooting promotional videos for another season on the job, albeit with a reduced schedule of 25 games or so.
What happened? Several things, he said.
First, it was social media reaction. “It seems as though there are quite a few fans who didn’t want me to stop,” he said.
Then it was pressure from colleagues, including Michael Kay and Meredith Marakovits, and his boss, YES president of programming John Filippelli.
“He called me shortly after the All-Star break and said, ‘You have to come back,’ ” Singleton recalled. “I said, ‘Flip, I already said I’m not.’ He said, ‘Oh, we can fix that.’ ”
So they did. The schedule focuses primarily on games against the Orioles and Rays near his homes in Maryland and Florida, plus select other road cities, such as San Francisco.
“There are other things I want to do,” Singleton said. “I have [three] grandkids now, and I want to watch them play ball.”
He also enjoys golfing and exploring Florida with his wife, Suzanne, and friends. They recently attended a Greek festival with his former Expos teammate, Mike Torrez, and his wife.
“These are things that in the past I wasn’t able to do, and they’re kind of fun,” he said.
Singleton, 71, is not sure what 2020 will bring. “I’m slowly kind of moonwalking my way out of this,” he said.
In the meantime, he is enjoying the fact that after more than two decades, he is part of the local baseball furniture. It means even more as someone who was born in Manhattan and raised in Mount Vernon, attended Hofstra and was drafted by the Mets.
“A lot of people say, ‘You were my voice of summer,'” he said. “I didn’t really know how to reply to that. I was flattered, certainly, but all good things have to come to an end sometime.
“You have to stop. I don’t want to be out there past my time.”