Regis and Jeter take center stage at BBWAA dinner
NEW YORK (AP) -- Regis Philbin looked over to Derek Jeter and frowned.
"To be here and have Jeter saying over and over, `I want to be a millionaire. I want to be a millionaire.' You are a millionaire! Read the paper! Drove me nuts all night," the TV host said, feigning annoyance.
Jeter and Philbin were among the high-priced talent on the dais Sunday night at the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America dinner.
While Philbin joked, a song sung by Bobby Thomson and Ralph Branca drew the biggest response.
To the tailored lyrics of the old standard "Because of You," they serenaded each other -- just like they did at the New York writers' dinner in January 1952.
On Oct. 3, 1951, Thomson connected off Branca for one of baseball's most famous homers, a game-winning shot in the bottom of the ninth inning that lifted the New York Giants over the Brooklyn Dodgers in a pennant playoff.
A few days ago, Thomson and some other former Giants admitted they'd used a spyglass-and-buzzer system to steal catcher's signs that season.
"I'd forgotten about the darn thing. Then this happened," Thomson said.
"This past week has changed a little bit of the story," Branca said.
Jeter's status is about to change, too. Any day now, the World Series MVP is expected to sign a 10-year, $189 million deal.
In the meantime, the New York Yankees' star shortstop is piling up championship rings. At 26, he's already got four.
"I know I've been spoiled," he told a cheering audience.
While Jeter was presented with the chapter's Babe Ruth honor, several top names came to collect their BBWAA awards.
Oakland slugger Jason Giambi picked up his AL MVP award, which was presented by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.
"A year from now, this man's going to be a free agent. Tonight, he's sitting next to the general manager of the Mets, Steve Phillips, and he's introduced by the GM of the Yankees," Cashman chuckled.
Said Phillips: "I want to thank those in charge of the seating assignments."
Giambi took note of the byplay.
"Well, everybody knows my two best friends now -- Mr. Brian Cashman and Steve Phillips."
Yankees pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre won the "You Gotta Have Heart" award. He was not present -- his immune system is still building after recovering from multiple myeloma -- but he will be at spring training shortly.
Yankees manager Joe Torre presented the honor to the coach's son, Arizona pitcher Todd Stottlemyre.
"It gives me great pleasure to tell all of New York that Pops is cancer-free," his son said.