MSG's Fran Healy reconnects with the 1977 Yankees
There was one thing above all that veterans of the 1977 Yankees wanted to know when the ESPN series "The Bronx is Burning" premiered in 2007:
"The one question most had was, 'Is the guy playing me good looking?'" Fran Healy said. "I swear to God."
In recent months Healy has been talking to many former teammates in preparation for MSG re-running the mini-series beginning Sunday night.
The network is supplementing it with its own interviews of the real people behind the based-in-fact ESPN version, calling it "Summer of '77."
Among the subjects are Bucky Dent, Mike Torrez, Willie Randolph, Ron Guidry, Sparky Lyle, Willie Randolph, Chris Chambliss, Graig Nettles, Tommy Lasorda, Hal McRae and George Brett.
"It was like Id never left them," Healy said.
Then there was Reggie Jackson, who spent two hours with Healy, with whom he was close when they played. Many who were there believe Jackson was portrayed unfairly and inaccurately in "The Bronx is Burning."
"The writer of the movie, nice guy, loved Billy Martin," Healy said. "So if you love Billy, youre not going to like Reggie. They didnt do him justice . . That wasn't fair."
What did Healy think of how he himself was portrayed?
"That was one easygoing guy, man," he said. "When I told Reggie in the movie [that he was not going to be playing], they had me saying, 'I would take the high road.' In reality, if I had his home runs, Id have gone in that office and torn the place apart."