The Bookshelf Conversation: Dick Flavin

September 21, 2015

In the Seinfeld episode, “The Boyfriend,” Jerry and his friend George Costanza encounter guest star and Mets player Keith Hernandez at their gym. look at this guy. Does he have to stretch in here?

JERRY: You know who that is? That’s

GEORGE: Keith Hernandez? The baseball player?

JERRY: Yeah, that’s him.

GEORGE: Are you sure?

JERRY: Positive.

GEORGE: Wow, Keith Hernandez. He’s such a great player.

JERRY: Yeah, he’s a real smart guy too. He’s a Civil War buff.

GEORGE: I’d love to be a Civil War buff. … What do you have to do to be a buff?

JERRY: So Biff wants to be a buff? … Well sleeping less than 18 hours a day would be a start.

(By the way, the two-part episode aired in 1992, two years after Hernandez retired as a player. Just sayin’.)

That’s the way I feel about laureates: how does one get that position. I’d like to be a laureate.

Dick Flavin, the PA announcer for the Boston Red Sox day games at Fenway Park, has such a distinction, having been appointed the team’s poet laureate. The 79-year-old Quincy native has enjoyed a varied career:¬†playwright, political commentator, and long-time satirist for WBZ-TV. He has received seven Emmy Awards for television writing and commentary and was the narrator of The Teammates, an ESPN documentary that was nominated for three 2004 Emmies. Flavin was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2011.

I spoke with him recently about his new book, Red Sox Rhymes: Verses and Curses and the difficult task of finding a rhyme for Yazstremski. Apologies for the inexplicably poor quality of the audio this time around.

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