Suzyn Waldman Sings National Anthem at Yankee Stadium, Paying Off Promise to Gerrit Cole

Lou DiPietro
July 31, 2020 - 7:54 pm

Suzyn Waldman is no stranger to the spotlight of a stage, and no stranger to singing America’s National Anthem – but this time, it was different.

Suzyn performed the National Anthem on Friday at Yankee Stadium, prior to the Yankees’ home opener against the Red Sox, to pay off a promise she made to new Yankee Gerrit Cole a long time ago.

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As the story goes, Waldman met Cole in the visiting clubhouse at Yankee Stadium two years ago, when Cole was with the Astros, and told him, "you'd make a great Yankee when you get to be a free agent." Cole, who knew of Waldman's background, responded: "If I do, you have to sing the national anthem on Opening Day."

"I thought that was never going to happen, because they do everything except shoot cannons off on Opening Day here," Waldman told's Bryan Hoch on Friday. "But since they don't want to let anybody in the park, maybe I'm the only one left."

Waldman’s voice has been heard on the WFAN airwaves in various capacities literally since minute one, as she was the first voice heard on the station when it went on-air at 3 p.m. on July 1, 1987. And, long-time listeners to the Yankees’ radio broadcasts know that she and partner John Sterling are never shy to break into show tunes in the booth during games – something that comes naturally to Suzyn, as a former Broadway star.

It was already special that it was the Yankees’ home opener, and notable because it was the payoff to a wager of sorts – something Cole himself was caught relishing, seen smiling by YES Network’s camera’s during the performance – but it had even more added cache because of the visit from the Red Sox; Waldman is a Massachusetts native, and perhaps her most famous rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” came in Beantown, prior to Game 7 of the 1986 American League Championship Series.

The opening performance was likely to be Waldman’s only one on the night, though, as long-time partner Sterling is sitting out this weekend’s series to rest after a bout with illness, so Waldman is paired with usual WADO Spanish play-by-play man Rickie Ricardo for the three games against Boston. 

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