Seinfeld, Hernandez to team up in booth
Comedian will call three frames in Mets game Wednesday
The National League MVP in 1979. Eleven Gold Glove Awards at first. It isn't just Mets or Cardinals fans who can rattle off Keith Hernandez's career distinctions.
It's "Seinfeld" fans, as well.
Hernandez, who actually shared that 1979 NL MVP Award with Willie Stargell, became famous with a whole new demographic with his appearance on the '92 "Seinfeld" two-part episode "The Boyfriend." Eighteen years later, it's still one of the most memorable moments of the famous series and one of the best cameos by a professional athlete on television.
Hernandez, now a broadcaster for the Mets, and Jerry Seinfeld will catch up on old times in the SNY television booth tonight during the Mets-Tigers game, which will also be broadcast live online on MLB.TV. Seinfeld is set to join the booth for a minimum of three innings, starting in the third. His wife, Jessica, helped broker the deal with SNY's Gary Apple as a Father's Day present for Seinfeld, a lifelong Mets fan who has always enjoyed SNY's colorful broadcasts.
"I love that booth. I think those guys are great," Seinfeld said during one of his occasional appearances with friend Steve Somers on WFAN radio on Monday. "The combination of the team having a lot of personality and the booth having a lot of personality, it adds up to a great evening of television for a lot of baseball fans."
In the booth, Seinfeld, along with SNY play-by-play announcer Gary Cohen and Hernandez, will also look back at clips of the classic episode.
"The Boyfriend" aired as a special hour-long edition of "Seinfeld" on Feb. 19, 1992, during the series' third season. It focuses on the awkward process of making new friends as you age, centering on a friendship between Seinfeld and Hernandez that was sparked by a chance encounter in a gym locker room. The episode features several memorable scenes, from Kramer and Newman's "JFK" parody about Hernandez spitting on them outside Shea Stadium -- relief pitcher Roger McDowell was, in fact, the "second spitter" -- to Hernandez asking Seinfeld to help him move.
It also makes plenty of references to the Mets' 1986 championship and the memorable Game 6 of that World Series, in particular.
To this day, Hernandez is greeted by fans who offer to help him move or allude to the episode more generally.
"I feel very lucky I was on that show; it was a great experience." Hernandez said. "I'm looking forward to having him in the booth. He's a good guy. It ought to be a lot of fun."
It will be Seinfeld's first visit to the SNY booth and the first time he and Hernandez have discussed the episode in the 18 years since it was filmed. The two have been friendly ever since meeting on the set, at which point Hernandez was the comedian's favorite player. During his radio appearance with Somers, Seinfeld said he wasn't sure if he'd be doing more play-by-play or analysis during his time in the booth. He wasn't intimidated by either.
Joked Seinfeld: "How hard is it to say, 'There's a hit'?"
Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.