Q&A: Singleton enters final season in booth

Yankees broadcaster retiring after 50-plus years in baseball

March 12th, 2018

Yankees broadcaster Ken Singleton announced Monday morning on Twitter that 2018 will be his last year behind the microphone.

What a career Singleton has had. He has been in professional baseball for more than 50 years, first as a player, mostly with the Orioles, and as a broadcaster with the Expos and Yankees.

Before calling the Yankees-Twins game on the YES Network on Monday night, MLB.com caught up with Singleton to talk about his career in baseball.

MLB.com: You made the announcement on Twitter that this is your last year as a Yankees broadcaster. Please explain.

Singleton: There are a couple of people who have already known. Actually, the other night, we had our YES Spring Training dinner. As our group got together, I told everybody that this would be my last year. Some of the people in the room that have been with me the longest already knew. I was just informing others [on Twitter] this is my plan. And it's still my plan. I'm not changing my mind.

MLB.com: How does your family feel about you retiring?

Singleton: They kind of knew. I wouldn't say I'm getting tired of the grind. But when I was coming back from the West Coast trips, it took a little longer to recover from those trips. It's getting to the point that I have grandkids. I can recall my parents -- after they retired -- they moved down to Baltimore where I lived so they can be with their grandkids. I saw how they shaped my kids' lives. I want to do the same for my grandkids.

MLB.com: Do your grandkids live in Baltimore?

Singleton: No. They actually live in New Jersey, but it's just a two-hour drive from my house in Maryland. I could go up there for the day if I want. I can watch my grandson play ball. My granddaughter plays soccer. In fact, my granddaughter said she is going to play T-ball. That's good, too.

MLB.com: It seems like family means a lot to you.

Singleton: It has been, and it always will be. I missed a lot of birthdays and a lot of activities because I was away doing games. But that will come to an end. I will be able to go everywhere. I will be playing a lot more golf with my buddies. Every year, before each season, my golfing buddies would get my schedule so they knew when I would be back in Maryland to play. My wife and I are also going to live in Florida. That's where I am now.

MLB.com: You have been playing or talking baseball since you were 4 years old. What is it about the game of baseball you love so much?

Singleton: My dad loved it. Baseball was always on TV when I was little. I can remember the players on TV made the game look easy. Over the years, as you start to play and you get to the Major Leagues, you realize this game is not as easy as the players made it look to be.

MLB.com: What are your best memories from the game -- on the field and in the broadcast booth?

Singleton: Of course, winning the World Series in 1983 was big. Playing for the Orioles for 10 years was amazing. During those 10 years, we won more games than any other team. We got to a couple of World Series. We lost one and won another. I had great teammates, Hall of Fame teammates, a Hall of Fame manager [Earl Weaver]. Everybody I played with were very good players. Even more so, they were good people. I still stay in touch with a lot of them. Those are my golfing buddies like Al Bumbry, Ross Grimsley and Tippy Martinez. We play golf quite a bit. I'm looking forward to playing even more with them.

As far as broadcasting, I was able to announce two perfect games. I was able to call World Series games and All-Star Games for Major League Baseball International, who telecast games to over 200 countries to help spread baseball throughout the world. In that regard, I thought I was somewhat of an ambassador for the game.

MLB.com: If there was a do-over, what would it be?

Singleton: I think I would have loved to win the World Series every year, because doing it once was really special. I can only imagine what Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Paul O'Neill and David Cone went through winning all those times. It's really special. If I won it multiple times, that would have been great.

MLB.com: Before you leave the game, what do you want to see or what do you want to do?

Singleton: I want to do this season, have fun. I think the Yankees are very talented. They do have an opportunity to win the World Series. The competition is going to be stiff for sure. This is my 22nd year with the Yankees and the previous 21, they had a winning season. So I look for that to continue.

I covered a lot of winning baseball. Of all those years, the 1998 Yankees will stand out. They won 125 games. That was just an awesome team. To me, bringing good news to the fans who are watching the game is what I like to do best. My job is easier when the Yankees win.

MLB.com: What is ahead for Ken Singleton after 2018?

Singleton: My grandson [Jaxson] is only 8 years old and he is a very good ballplayer. He is a very good athlete in general. He plays all sports. I actually want to help him. He is always asking questions. He wants to learn. He was the youngest kid in the league last year, and he was an all-star. I want to tell him what things to look for on the baseball field. His concentration level is now getting to the point where he can sit and listen. This is the time when me and his dad can concentrate on giving him a baseball education. I want him to get a good education in school as well.