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Local Sports

July 29, 2009

Kubek no longer defined by baseball

COOPERSTOWN _ Ford C. Frick Award winner Tony Kubek categorized his life into three segments Sunday.

There is his nine-year playing career with the New York Yankees, where Kubek was the 1957 American League Rookie of the Year with three All-Star appearances and three world championships in 1958, 1961 and 1962.

Then there was the 24-year career spent as an analyst for NBC Sports, where he brought national viewers into clubhouses and dugouts on a weekly basis as part of NBC Sports' Game of the Week Saturday broadcast after his retirement from the sport in 1965.

And now, Kubek is in the post-baseball chapter of his life.

Since his retirement from baseball broadcasting in 1994, Kubek said he has not watched a single pitch.

"I don't miss it at all," said Kubek, who walked away from broadcasting after working for Madison Square Garden Network from 1990-94. "I've heard people write and even say that I quit because I hate baseball. I've heard people write and say that I quit because (I feel) the players are making too much money. Neither one of those is true. I spent 40 years traveling as a player, as a broadcaster. I thought it was fulfilling, I enjoyed every minute of it. It was time to go home, that's what it was and spend more time with my wife and now my grandkids.

"I still love the game, but I don't watch it," he continued. "I've got a new life. That was my first love (and) now I've got another love, aside from my wife (Margaret). Now that is doing stuff in the community, being home working with the grandkids and just getting on with my life and as long as we're healthy we're going to continue to do that."

Kubek, 72, spent late Sunday afternoon at a reception in his honor at the Hartwick Room of the Best Western Hotel, about three miles south of Cooperstown. It came after Kubek spoke in front of an estimated 21,000 fans during the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Clark Sports Center.

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