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‘Radio Free’ Montone: Baseball Fan’s Midsummer Night’s Dream

John Montone

John Montone

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By John Montone, 1010 WINS

If you’re one of the millions of listeners who wakes up each morning to 1010 WINS, you’re likely familiar with the voice, and tone, of the station’s intrepid reporter John Montone.

Best known for his no holds barred, man on the street reporting, Montone has been getting in the faces — and ears — of New Yorkers for what seems like an eternity.

Montone is ready to add to his repertoire and bring his unique reporting style to print.

So please take a look and listen to John’s new venture: Radio Free Montone — a weekly blog where Montone takes you behind the scenes of news radio in New York City, and gives his observations on reporting in the greatest city in the world.

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — It was a New York baseball fan’s mid-summer night’s dream. Two pitchers whose presence on the mound can intimidate even the game’s great sluggers.

And while the Mets Matt Harvey is at the dawn of his career, the sun is setting on the unparalleled tenure of Mariano Rivera.

So then we had the perfect metaphor: Harvey starting the all-star game, throwing flame — hotter than the heat wave — 99 mph in two scoreless innings.

Then near the end,  to a thunderous applause and the heavy metal music of, “Enter Sandman,” was Mo.

He’s a baseball deity now, soaking in the admiration of not only the fans, but the players, coaches and managers. And as incredible as his statistics are, it borders on the unbelievable that he has done it all with one pitch. A vicious cutter that breaks either right or left. The batter knows it is coming, but the knowledge does him little good. And yes, Mo retired the National League All-Stars —  one, two, three.

And so in our perfect baseball fantasy, we have glorious Yankee Stadium memories of Mariano while Harvey stands for hope at Citi Field.

But there was a third New York pitcher on hand: Tom Seaver, “the franchise,” whose right arm and tenacious bearing made champions of the Mets not long after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.

To many people the Mets winning the World Series was harder to comprehend. But while baseball is played without a clock, life isn’t. In recent years Seaver has suffered the ravages of Lyme disease.

He may be winning the battle, but it has sapped him of that bull-dog athleticism. Seaver walked slowly to the mound to deliver the ceremonial first pitch. He stood in front of the rubber and even from closer than 60-feet, six inches, the arm that once delivered Matt Harvey-like heat, let him down.

The pitch did not reach home plate. But stealing a line from Randle McMurphy in “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” “But I tried, didn’t I? Goddamnit, at least I did that.”

John Montone, 1010wins news.