WFAN listeners of a certain vintage can recall an era when the station’s biggest stars were arguably not the likes of Mike Francesa and Chris Russo, but rather, the Queens broadcaster’s motley assortment of regular callers. From the peripatetic Jerome From Manhattan, race-relations expert Eli From Westchester to Mets-obsessive Short Al, WFAN long encouraged a elderly, cranky set of participants you’re not likely to hear emulated on The Jim Rome Show anytime soon. Depending on your tolerance level for the highly phlegmatic, the late Doris From Rego Park aka Doris Bauer, was either one of WFAN’s most beloved or most dreaded callers ; Tuesday, the New York Times’ Ken Plutnicki reported there’s an unlikely musical tribute making the rounds.
“Doris From Rego Park,” written and performed by Don Rosler, has been getting radio play on Jonathan Schwartz’s weekend programs on WNYC-FM (93.9) since its debut there on Feb. 12, and WFAN-AM (660) featured it in a tribute to Bauer on Feb. 14.
The song is a valentine to baseball and Bauer, for sure, but also about connection: the way all those lonely voices reach out on local sports radio in the wee hours when they should be fast asleep.
“What it comes down to is aloneness,” Schwartz said in an e-mail. “The city at night. Doris calls. You hear, you listen. It’s snowing. Alone.”
It begins with a snippet of Bauer’s voice from a late-night call in June 2002 after the Mets beat the Yankees, 8-0, in interleague play. Fans will remember: it was the first time pitcher Roger Clemens had to hit against the Mets after he threw a piece of shattered bat at Mike Piazza in the 2000 World Series. Mets pitcher Shawn Estes was expected to hit Clemens with a pitch in retribution, but Estes missed him.