Cohen in 2009
April 29, 1958 |
Queens, New York
|Education||Columbia University, '81
B.S., Political Science
|Occupation||New York Mets play-by-play announcer|
Cohen graduated with a political science degree in 1981 from Columbia University, where he began his broadcasting career with WKCR Sports. While at Columbia, he announced soccer games with future presidential adviser and Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos.
Prior to joining the Mets' broadcast team in 1989, Cohen worked as the voice of the minor league Spartanburg Spinners (1983–1984), Durham Bulls (1986), and Pawtucket Red Sox (1987–1988). He also called ice hockey and basketball games for Providence College from 1988 to 1989, and football for Brown University in 1987. Along with his work with the Mets, Cohen has also called postseason MLB games for ESPN Radio and CBS Radio.
In addition to his baseball duties, Cohen has called men's college basketball games for many years, starting with his duties with St. John's on WFAN, whom he broadcast from 1995 to 2002. Following WFAN's loss of the radio rights to St. John's games, Cohen began broadcasting Seton Hall games, which he continues to do to this day. He also served as a backup announcer on New York Rangers radio broadcasts, called Olympic hockey at the 1992, 1994, and 1998 Winter Olympics, and NCAA tournament games for Westwood One on multiple occasions.
Cohen has called many great moments in Mets history, such as Todd Pratt's walk off home run in Game 4 the 1999 NLDS that won the Mets the series, Robin Ventura's "grand slam single" in Game 5 of the 1999 NLCS, Benny Agbayani's walk off home run in Game 3 of the 2000 NLDS, the Mets winning the 2000 NLCS to advance to the World Series, Endy Chavez's home run robbing catch in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, and Johan Santana's no-hitter on June 1, 2012, the first in Mets history.
Cohen's signature radio phrases, which he has carried over to television, include:
- "And a pleasant good afternoon/evening everybody", used at the start of every game
- "Back to talk about it in a moment" at the conclusion of each half inning, pitcher change, or other reason for commercial break.
- "SWING and a miss, (he) struck him out!" after a meaningful strikeout
- "[Player name] would be next" when a player is on deck with two outs
- "The merry-go-round will be in motion" when the bases are loaded, two outs, with a 3-2 count, for the automatic start that the three runners get
- "[Player name] going back, to the track, at the wall, It's outta here!" when a player hits a home run
- "...and the ball game is OVER!" for the ending of the game by describing the final play and finishing it
His trademark opening for 1st pitch thrown is *"[Player Name] takes first pitch (or swings at, or hits) and we're under way" - Starts every game this way.
He is known for his vivid and succinct description of the game action, his smooth baritone voice, corny joking with former broadcast partner Howie Rose, and his sometimes biting, but always well-informed baseball commentary. In 2003, Cohen became the Mets' lead radio voice following the retirement of Bob Murphy.
In October 2006, during the Mets' postseason run, Cohen returned to the WFAN booth with Rose and newcomer Tom McCarthy for a couple of innings each game; he was behind the microphone for Endy Chávez's miraculous catch in Game 7 of the NLCS which the Mets lost.
|“||Edmonds at first and one out, and Pérez deals. Fastball hit in the air to left field, that's deep, back goes Chávez, back near the wall, leaping, and....HE MADE THE CATCH! He took a home run away from Rolen! Trying to get back to first is Edmonds... he's doubled off! And the inning is over! Endy Chávez saves the day! He reached up high over the left field wall, right in front of the visitors bullpen, and pulled back a two run homer! He went to the apex of his leap, and caught it in the webbing of his glove, with his elbow up above the fence. A miraculous play by Endy Chávez, and then Edmonds is doubled off first, and Oliver Perez escapes the 6th inning. The play of the year, the play maybe of the franchise history, for Endy Chávez, the inning is over.||”|
It was announced on November 9, 2005, that Cohen would become the play-by-play announcer for the new Mets cable television network, SportsNet New York (SNY). As part of the agreement, Cohen also calls about 25 Mets games per year on WPIX along with analysts (and former Mets) Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez.
On June 1, 2012, Cohen called the first no-hitter in Mets history, thrown by Johan Santana.
|“||He struck him out! It has happened! In their 51st season, Johan Santana has thrown the first no-hitter in New York Mets history!||”|
On July 31, 2015, two days after shortstop Wilmer Flores was nearly traded to the Brewers for Carlos Gomez, Flores hit a dramatic walk off home run in the 12th inning against the first place Nationals.
|“||Flores drives it, deep left center field, Taylor back, near the wall, ITS OUTTA HERE! FLORES ENDS IT WITH A HOMERUN!||”|
That game, and homerun, were widely considered to be the turning point of the 2015 season for the Mets as they went on to win their first National League East title since 2006. The Nationals, meanwhile, collapsed and finished in second place, 7 games behind New York.
Because of their popularity, Lynn Cohen, Gary's wife, along with Gary and Keith and Ron have created a website www.pitchinforagoodcause.org where the net profits from the merchandise sold by the website goes to different charities.
Cohen is married to Lynn Cohen and has five children.
- SportsNet New York Profile of Gary Cohen
- Ultimate Mets Database – Gary Cohen
- Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling's Charity website