Doris from Rego Park, Mets fan and WFAN caller, remembered in song, You Tube video
Doris Bauer, the Mets fan who found her voice as a caller to late-night sports radio and became a New York institution before she died in 2003 at age 58, is being heard from again, this time in song.
- Jonathan Schwartz’s weekend programs on WNYC-FM (93.9) since its debut there on Feb. 12, and
WFAN-AM (660) featured it in a tribute to Bauer on Feb. 14.
The song is a valentine to baseball and Bauer, for sure, but also about connection: the way all those lonely voices reach out on local sports radio
- in the wee hours when they should be fast asleep.
“What it comes down to is aloneness,” Schwartz said in an e-mail. “The city at night. Doris calls. You hear, you listen. It’s snowing. Alone.”
It begins with a snippet of Bauer’s voice from a late-night call in June 2002 after the Mets beat the Yankees, 8-0, in interleague play. Fans will remember: it was the first time pitcher Roger Clemens had to hit against the Mets after he threw a piece of shattered bat at Mike Piazza in the 2000 World Series.
- Mets pitcher Shawn Estes was expected to hit Clemens with a pitch in retribution, but Estes missed him.
Speaking of the Mets’ victory, in which Piazza and Estes homered, Bauer says, “The fact that the Mets rattled the Yankees so much and beat them, 8-0, that to me [coughing], that to me was the best answer, you know, um, the Mets could have given the Yankees … ”
And the song begins.
Doris from Rego Park Calls by day, and calls by dark. She just phoned in at 2:10 a.m. In N.Y.C. on F-A-N.
Rosler, from the West Village, wrote and recorded “Doris From Rego Park” about a year before she died. “I never go to bed without my headphones on, or, when my wife’s not around, without the radio on,” he said.
- He said he has called the FAN on occasion: about Tom Seaver way back when, about Piazza.
But mostly he listens.
Doris talks about the Mets Who they shouldn’t have got, who they should get I’m not quite sure if she ever sleeps She seems to keep all her hours with me
“Doris was a nightlight for me,” Rosler, 51, said last week. “It was almost as if once I knew she was O.K. …”
- “When she died, I was very upset,” he said. “She was a big, big part of my life. I didn’t know what to do at first.”
He decided to send the song to Doris’s brother and sister-in-law, Harold and Kathy Bauer, in Closter, N.J., and ended up being invited to the memorial service, in Rego Park, where the song was played. “In the end, the connection and the heartbreak of her life, believe me, it was very, very resonant,” Rosler said. “My wife and I were shaking.”
Harold Bauer was surprised last week when told that “Doris” would soon be released on CD — “Rosler’s Recording Booth,” a concept album that mostly uses Recordio and Voice-o-Graph messages to segue into the CD’s songs. (The single is available from CD Baby.) Just three months ago, he said, he was paring down the letters and cards he received after his sister’s death
- and came across the lyrics again.
“Anything in memory of my sister and the life she lived is a good thing,” he said. “It’s a shame she couldn’t live this far to enjoy the heroics after the fact. Nobody in our family knew she was such a hero to so many people. She wasn’t what you’d think from hearing her on the radio. She was emotional, high-strung. Her life was much more complicated than what you would hear on the radio station.”
People who attended the service, a number of them wearing Mets jerseys, knew Doris’s voice, cough and signature sign-off, “Thank you for your time and courtesy.” But in death they learned that she battled neurofibromatosis and breast and lung cancer, that she never dated or married, and that she lived with her mother in an apartment in Queens.
- To Rosler, that summed up the wonder of the song, and of late-night sports talk radio.
“Imagine what it was like for someone so isolated to reach out,” he said. “I don’t think she set out to be a sports caller immortal,
- but she found a place.”"
3/2/11, NY Times Bats blog, "Doris from Rego Park lives on in song," Ken Plutnicki
(I remember hearing Joe Benigno say he gave a eulogy for Doris at her funeral. The NY Times magazine once wrote an article about Benigno's then late night callers and mentioned Doris in particular.) ed.Tweet Stumbleupon StumbleUpon