Michael Kay, New York Yankees Play-by-Play Announcer, CenterStage Host
Michael Kay is the Emmy Award-winning Yankees play-by-play announcer for the YES Network who also hosts the network's CenterStage series and its various programming specials. The 2020 season is his 29th year broadcasting Yankees baseball: the first 10 years on radio, the latter 19 on YES.
The YES Network, the most-watched regional sports network in the country 15 of the last 17 years, is the exclusive local television home of the 27-time World Champion New York Yankees, the Brooklyn Nets, MLS' New York City FC and WNBA's New York Liberty. The network has won 126 New York Emmy Awards since its 2002 launch.
Kay’s Centerstage show won a 2020 New York Emmy for best Interview/Discussion show. He also won the 2015 New York Emmy Award as the best play-by-play announcer for his work on YES' Yankees telecasts, and won a 2017 New York Emmy for his CenterStage hosting duties. He was part of the YES Network's Emmy-winning seasonal Yankee coverage in 2017. In total, Kay has earned 16 Emmy wins and 63 Emmy nominations while at YES. He also won CableFAX Program Awards in 2011 and 2013 for his CenterStage hosting duties.
In addition, The Michael Kay Show, a sports talk show heard weekdays on ESPN Radio 98.7 FM in New York, which Kay co-hosts with Don LeGreca, has been simulcast live weekday afternoons on YES since February 2014. The Michael Kay Show is the No. 1 rated afternoon radio show in New York.
In November 2016, Kay was inducted into the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in October 2018. The following month, he was awarded the Lou Gehrig Sports Award by the Greater New York Chapter of the A.L.S. Association.
Kay received the Vin Scully Award for Excellence in Sports Broadcasting from WFUV Radio in November 2018; WFUV is the radio station for Fordham University, Kay's alma mater. Previous recipients of the Vin Scully Award include Dick Enberg, Ernie Harwell, Bob Costas, Al Michaels, Verne Lundquist, Pat Summerall and Mike "Doc" Emrick.
He was inducted into the inaugural Hall of Fame class of the prestigious Bronx High School of Science in February of 2018. In 2005, Kay was honored in his home borough of the Bronx, having an honorary street sign in his name erected on the Grand Concourse.
Kay handled play-by-play duties for the ESPN Radio Network for the 2016 Blue Jays-Rangers American League Division Series, the 2013 Tigers-Athletics American League Division Series and the 2008 Phillies-Brewers National League Division Series. He has also been a frequent contributor to ESPN's Emmy Award-winning Sports Reporters television show airing on Sunday mornings.
Prior to joining the YES Network in 2002, Kay worked at the MSG Network since 1989 as a Yankees reporter. In 1992, he added Knicks locker room reporter to his responsibilities, and continued in that role until the 1998-99 season.
Kay was awarded the Dick Young Award for Excellence in Sports Media by the New York Pro Baseball Scouts in 1995. In 1998, he was on the MSG Network team that won a New York Emmy for "Outstanding Live Sports Coverage - Series." In 1996 and 1997 he was a member of the MSG Network team that won New York Emmys for "Outstanding Live Sports Coverage - Single Program" for Dwight Gooden's no-hitter and "The Battle for New York: Yankees vs. Mets." He was also a part of the Yankees/MSG Network production team that was nominated for New York Emmy Awards for six consecutive years.
In addition to his television work, the Bronx, New York, native worked as Yankees analyst on WABC Radio from 1992 through the 2001 season, which concluded with the classic Yankees-Diamondbacks World Series. Kay was a winner of "Best Sports Reporter" honors at the 2000 New York Metro Achievement in Radio Awards. In 1998, Kay also began co-hosting Sports Talk with John Sterling and Michael Kay, a nightly sports radio call-in show which aired on WABC Radio during the winter months.
Shortly after graduating from Fordham University in 1982 with a B.A. in Communications, Kay worked at SportsPhone and as the public address announcer for the New York Pro Summer Basketball League.
In 1982, Kay landed the job as general assignment writer for the New York Post. Two years later, he began covering college basketball (1984-85) and then spent two years as the writer covering the New Jersey Nets. In 1987, he moved to baseball at the Post, serving as the Yankees beat reporter. While he was in that position, he got his first television job with MSG Network as host of the Hot Stove League segment of MSG's SportsNight.
In 1989, Kay moved to the New York Daily News, where he was the Yankees beat reporter before taking the job as a Yankees broadcaster on WABC Radio in 1992. With that jump, Kay became the first newspaper reporter in any sport to make the move into the broadcast booth full-time, performing both play-by-play and analysis.
Kay stayed on the radio for 10 years, broadcasting the Yankees' four World Series championships during that time, before moving to the television side to become the lead play-by-play man for YES in 2002.
Kay has been involved in the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.), a charitable organization whose mission is to provide assistance to members of the baseball community. He co-hosted the 2013 B.A.T. fundraising dinner in New York. Kay also was master of ceremonies at the 2013 Thurman Munson Awards fundraising dinner in New York.
Kay is active with the Alzheimer's Association in memory of his mother, Rose, who passed away from the disease in 2006. He also teamed up with former Yankees manager Joe Girardi and Girardi's Catch 25 Foundation to organize annual charity dinners to raise money for Alzheimer's research.
Kay and his wife Jodi Applegate have a daughter, Caledonia Rose Kay, born in January 2013, and a son, Charles Applegate Kay, born in November 2014.