Getting To Know You
He doesn’t eat chocolate, but still served it at his birthday parties because everyone else liked it. He chose rice cakes instead. After reading the sports page in the New York Daily News, he catches up on politics. For his Kindergarten interview at Village Community School in Manhattan, he was asked to draw a picture – so he took his crayon and wrote “I’ll do this later” and handed it to the supervisor. He was accepted on the spot.
Zach sits 15 feet to my left, on the backside of the structure that houses Major League Baseball’s Instant Replay booth. He turns 25 on May 23rd – sharing his birthday (not the year) with the Senior Producer who sits 5 feet to my right. He grew up in Manhattan – his parents met at Brooklyn College in the late 1960’s and have been married for 26 years. Zach’s a fairly private person when it comes to his life-changing experience at age 8 – but he’s not shy talking about his first time walking into Madison Square Garden to see his Knicks on March 4th, 1993. There are certain days that we remember everything about and March 4th is one of those for him. “Knicks beat the Jazz 125-111,” he told me. The Knicks won that game as part of a season-long 9 game winning streak – a season that saw them fall in the Eastern Conference Finals in 6 games to the Bulls. He liked Patrick Ewing on the court, but not as much off. His favorite player was John Starks – “just seemed like a regular guy. He went from bagging groceries to playing the NBA, easy guy to like,” he recalled. Starks hit 4 three-pointers that night scoring 22 points after suffering a broken nose in the first 2 minutes of the game only to return early in the 2nd quarter with a facemask. Starks said after the game, “It didn’t hinder my play at all. In fact, I think it enhanced my play.” Easy guy to like is right.
Zach (or Z-Bo as I call him after former Knick Zach Randolph – the two Zach’s have zero in common) doesn’t keep a journal anymore – but he stomached a few fourth quarter collapses from his team this season which was always the topic of our discussions over the Winter.
After graduating from Friends Seminary in New York City with a class of 62 – he was ready to live in the dorms and have the college experience while staying close to home. He co-hosted “Cheap Seats” – a sports talk show on NYU’s student radio station – and his ultimate goal is to get back into broadcast journalism. He graduated with high honors in December, 2006 with a 3.7 GPA and after a few months of enjoying not having to go to class or the dining hall – he landed a paid internship with MLB.com and has been here since.
And he’s a fan of Life Cereal.
“It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.”