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Billy Crystal told a cool story at the Emmys about going to a Mets game with Robin Williams in 1989

Billy Crystal, left, Whoopi Goldberg, center, and Robin Williams on stage at Radio City Music Hall at the end of HBO’s “Comic Relief 8″ in 1989. (Jeff Christensen/Reuters)

Judging from the world’s collective Twitter feed, the Emmy Awards saw its fair share of criticism on Monday night, but the three-plus-hour show had many worthwhile moments, as well. One in particular stands out from all the rest — comedian Billy Crystal’s tribute to his late friend Robin Williams, who died earlier this month.

Of particular interest to those who consider themselves fans of comedy and baseball was Crystal’s recollection of being in the broadcast booth at a 1989 Mets game at Shea Stadium. He said (via Yahoo!):

“Robin, Whoopi [Goldberg], and I were in the broadcast booth on Comic Relief day at a New York Mets game with the great Tim McCarver. Robin knew nothing about baseball. I asked him who his favorite team was, and he said, ‘The San Franciscos.’

He was a little lost in the conversation, so I got an idea, turned to him and said, ‘We have a Russian baseball player with us.’ His eyes got all bright; his ears perked up. It was like he was a little dog that was inside all day and the master came and said, ‘Hey, do you want to go for a walk?’ I said, ‘What’s baseball like in Russia?’ Without missing a beat, he said, ‘We only have one team: The Reds.’ ”

The ball came screaming at us; we ducked down, it went screaming into the wall. The ball bounced back into Robin’s hands. He yelled: ‘I love America! I’m going to defect.’

He could be funny anywhere.”

Here’s the clip, courtesy of

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.



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Marissa Payne · August 26, 2014