Peter Botte is a graduate of Boston University but he found himself in the thick of the New York sports scene having been on the beat for the Yankees, Islanders and Knicks. Botte has gone on to pen “The Big 50: New York Yankees” which chronicles the Bombers history in a countdown format featuring stories about Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter and Aaron Judge. Which international sports superstar’s final game was Peter in attendance for? Find that out and more as we ask Peter Botte 10 Questions in Quarantine.
While stuck in quarantine, if you could only watch three movies, which three would you pick?
During the shutdown, my editors at The Post have had me writing a daily recommendation for a sports movie, book or TV show for our readers and I’ve tried to have some fun with it and spread it out over the various sports.
But if I had to pick 3:
Sports movies: Caddyshack, Hoosiers and any one of about five baseball movies (Bull Durham, Major League, A League of Their Own, The Natural or the original Bad News Bears)
Non-sports movies: The Shawshank Redemption, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction
What is your favorite TV show of all-time?
Again, there’s no chance I can pick just one, so here are my Top 5 in each category:
Comedy: Seinfeld, The Office, Cheers, Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm (I even have a George Costanza chapter with a hilarious Larry David interview in my book).
Drama: Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, The Wire, Game of Thrones, The White Shadow
What is the best concert you have ever attended?
First show: My friends and I snuck into the U2 concert at Nassau Coliseum (aided by someone we knew who worked there) when I was 16 on The Unforgettable Fire tour in 1985. (Have seen them at least a dozen times since).
You wouldn’t believe me if I listed all of the various other acts I’ve seen in recent years, but one that stands out was having second-row seats for Living Colour opening for Prophets of Rage (members of Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill) at the legendary Apollo Theatre in 2017. I even caught Chuck D’s hat.
What is your favorite meal?
Anything seafood (lobster, crabs, shrimp, clams, sushi, etc).
What was your first part time job?
My first paying gig was delivering Newsday on Long Island at like 12 or 13, but my favorite job (pre-writing days) was working as a vendor at Fenway Park while in college in Boston.
Did you have a hidden talent you’d like to tell the readers about? If not, what is your favorite hobby?
I’m a world-renowned yodeler and balloon-animal artist. (Nah, not really. I’ve got nothing). I did play the saxophone as a kid, though.
What is your favorite sports moment as a fan?
I grew up playing soccer locally, and in 1977, I attended Pele’s final professional game at Giants Stadium. The 1980 Olympic hockey team and the New York Islanders winning their first of four straight Stanley Cups that spring really got me into hockey as a teenager. I remember watching the Mets’ comeback in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series in the Meadowlands parking lot after a Journey concert.
While you were on the beat for the New York Yankees, is there one game that you covered that really stands out from the rest?
I can’t begin to explain the atmosphere on the back-to-back nights in the 2001 World Series, when Tino and Brosius ripped game-tying home runs in the ninth inning. Especially after 9-11, and even though Arizona ended up winning that series, being inside the old Stadium those two nights was absolutely bonkers.
Who is the one baseball player that you never had the chance to interview, past or present that you would love to speak to?
Babe Ruth (I have so many questions). And Jackie Robinson, of course.
Your book, “The Big 50: New York Yankees” is set to release on April 14th. It looks to be a great read during anytime, not just when we’re all stuck at home. Can you give the fans an idea of what to expect when they read it?
Obviously, nobody wants to be indoors with no baseball to watch, but I truly hope the book can help fill some of the void for Yankees fans this spring (and perhaps into the summer). Paring down a century of the most successful franchise in sports history into the 50 greatest figures and moments was a supreme challenge, but we combined all of the Babe Ruth moments into one chapter, the same with Jeter, and so on with the countless other team legends and championship seasons. I feel like we covered all the bases in that regard, as well as the historic individual feats. I also wanted to interject some personal touches and (hopefully) a few funny anecdotes to put a fresh spin on the chapters. I think readers also will really enjoy the thoughtful forewords by Bernie Williams and Chazz Palminteri, who I can’t thank enough for sharing their insights.
You can follow Peter on Twitter @PeterBotte
Stay tuned to our "Questions in Quarantine" as we have some great interviews being published throughout the next week!