ESNY’s Mike Vivalo caught up with Shane Spencer, the mythical ex-New York Yankees outfielder, before his charity event in New York City on Dec. 1.
On Dec. 1, 2018, at Carolines in Times Square, an event so incredible will be going down that it’ll magically take your life back to the good old days. It’ll be a star-studded, action-packed night filled with great people and laughs abound. The years of 1998, 1999, and 2000 will be dancing through your head.
It’s the Roast of Shane Spencer.
Spencer, the former beloved New York Yankees outfielder who ferociously stormed onto the scene late in 1998, smacked 43 home runs while accumulating 167 runs batted in while playing five seasons in the Bronx.
Perhaps more importantly, he’ll be providing the opportunity for so many individuals to roast him to high heavens on Dec. 1.
Shane is a three-time World Series champion with the Yankees and is most remembered for this incredible hitting performance in September 1998. All proceeds of the roast go to The Miracle League.
Mike Vivalo: I know you’re in San Diego right now. It must be nicer than 20-degree New York?
Shane Spencer: Oh yeah, it’s freezing, I’m in my hoodie on the way to a golf outing, it’s probably low 70s.
MV: So you have a pretty big event happening in NYC this week?
SS: Yeah man the roast, should be pretty crazy.
MV: I hope you’re thick-skinned.
SS: Honestly, I never knew what a Comedy Roast was. Then they showed me the Roast of Bruce Willis and I was like “oh crap, this can get nasty.”
MV: I hope these guys don’t have too much dirt on you.
SS: (Laughs), yeah, well they know that I can come back at them with stuff as well.
MV: Another San Diego guy, David Wells, was a big part of those 90s Yankee teams. Do you still keep in touch with him?
SS: Absolutely. We see each other in San Diego and we were together at the 1998 Yankee reunion.
MV: Have you tried his new Whiskey?
SS: Oh yeah. He brought it up to New York for the reunion. I can’t go into too much detail, but that was a fun weekend.
MV: Do you remember back when Wells got in that late night fight at some diner?
SS: Oh man, back in those days, everyone got away with more than they probably should. We all knew it was actually a serious thing but in the locker room, we couldn’t help but laugh.
MV: You hung out in New York for many years. What night spots did you go to?
SS: Dorrian’s on the Upper East Side was like our bar. We were there all the time. My first time there I signed a picture and spelled the restaurant’s name wrong, but they still have it up. China Club was also a spot.
MV: Speaking of NYC nightlife, what can you tell me about the infamous post-World Series parties at the Plaza?
SS: Oh, I think it was like after 1999. I only remember that (Roger) Clemens was in charge of that. I definitely didn’t pay for it. I guess Clemens paid for all that. I have a picture with Clemens at the Plaza and his head is like three times as big as mine, so that’s how I remember that.
MV: OK, switching gears to baseball, isn’t it crazy to see guys you played with on the hall of fame ballot?
SS: Well, you could put the whole 1998 Yankee team on the ballot, but guys like (Derek) Jeter and Mariano (Rivera) are such legends. People don’t realize that when you make it to the pros, there are still three more levels to climb. I was a role player. Then there were the everyday players, All-Stars, superstars, and Hall of Famers.
MV: You have some players coming to the roast.
SS: Yes, Jeff Nelson, Tanyon Sturtze, and Charlie Hayes are involved.
— Elite Sports NY (@EliteSportsNY) November 28, 2018
MV: I’m going to get on Charlie Hayes for being famous only because he caught an easy pop-up.
SS: Yeah, I have some good stuff to get on those guys about.
MV: I’m planning on getting on you for the “overthrow heard ’round the world.”
SS: I don’t know what you’re talking about (while completely understanding it was the famed “flip-play” at hand).
MV: Honestly though, if you look carefully at Jeter’s “flip-play,” the ball had plenty of time to reach (Jorge) Posada.
SS: Yep, it was on-line.
MV: It really was.
SS: Turned out to be an iconic Jeter moment instead of “Shane Spencer’s amazing throw.”
MV: Well, I hope you’re ready for everyone to take shots at you on Dec 1.
SS: I hope they’re ready for me.