Yankees: Story behind Suzyn Waldman Anthem promise to Gerrit Cole is heartwarming
By Adam Weinrib
Suzyn Waldman’s National Anthem on Friday was the culmination of a promise to Yankees starter Gerrit Cole.
Gerrit Cole’s Yankees journey has been a long time coming. Even though he only arrived in December of 2019, the more you hear, the more it seems like he’s been preparing to put on the pinstripes since he arrived in the league (after spurning the Yanks’ overtures in the 2008 Draft).
And yes, the man has had a little fun along the way.
When the 2020 Yankees took the field for their home opener at the end of July (like you do), Suzyn Waldman took to the microphone to deliver a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, without her broadcast partner John Sterling by her side.
Waldman came up as a Broadway songstress, and was no doubt built for this task. But Friday night’s Anthem had a little bit more significance than we maybe even realized when it began.
As it turns out, Waldman’s powerful belt was a promise to Cole back in the day, one the pandemic prevented her from fulfilling until this very moment.
During the righty’s days in Pittsburgh, Waldman reportedly promised to Cole that she’d one day sing for him if he ever managed to join the Yankees.
Time passed, contract figures were exchanged, and, well … here we are!
As you’d expect from an ace of his caliber, Cole gave Waldman the respect she deserved for her emotional performance.
Though the environment was downtrodden — after all, how much longer is this season going to last? — the ceremonies before this Home Opener really nailed it.
CC Sabathia’s first pitch made every Yankee fan emotional, and both the Yanks and Sox teamed up together to honor the city’s first responders, who answered every call during the coronavirus pandemic.
This opener didn’t look anything like the way we expected it to, but at least Waldman’s promise from back in the days of yore went completely fulfilled.