Longtime SNY and Fox Sports Director Bill Webb has died as a result of his longtime battle with cancer.
To say the beloved director known across baseball circles as Webb lost his battle with cancer would be a great disservice to the man. He battled the disease for well over a year. In that time, he persevered, and yes, he even directed a number of baseball games.
For that, Webb might have been one of the greatest ever. Better than anyone before him and perhaps better than anyone after him. He was the best at capturing the intensity of the moment. The close-up of the starting pitcher about to throw the crucial pitch. The view of the fan who is desperate for a big hit. The batter staring down the third baseline, getting his signals, and taking his practice swings. Webb not only captured it all, but like a true master, he captured the moment.
For nearly 40 years and since the inception of SNY, Mets fans have raved about the telecasts. With respect to the SNY telecasts much of the credit for that belongs to Gary, Keith, and Ron. It also belongs to Webb who captured everything and who directed Gary, Keith, and Ron. Webb even helped turn an over qualified sideline reporter in Kevin Burkhardt into a budding star in the industry.
2nite Im having a vodka soda no fruit, to honor my friend Bill Webb. The greatest baseball director of all time. I'll miss you Webbie. RIP pic.twitter.com/EBu79aewX2
— Kevin Burkhardt (@kevinburkhardt) March 8, 2017
It’s not just having the talent around you but knowing how best to utilize that talent. To that end, there were none better than Webb.
In total, Webb directed 18 All Star Games, 19 League Championship Series, and 17 World Series in his career. Sadly, the World Series Webb missed was the 2015 World Series between the Royals and the Mets. In many ways, it was unfair that a figure so important in how both Mets games and World Series games were televised would miss it. However, despite Webb missing the series, he was not forgotten.
Overall, Webb has received 30 Emmy Awards and over 40 Emmy nominations. He was inducted in the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. If Cooperstown ever begins admitting directors, he should be the first elected. Certainly, the Mets should honor him by putting him in their own Hall of Fame.
Webb is survived by his wife and three children. Webb leaves not just friends and family behind, he leaves behind a whole network in SNY. He leaves behind the fans whose enjoyment of the game has only been enhanced due his innovative work.
Hopefully, he is now working in heaven with Bob Murphy, Lindsay Nelson, and Ralph Kiner in preparation for calling the next Mets World Series.
On behalf of everyone at MMO and Mets fans everywhere, I offer our sincerest condolences to Webb’s friends and family. We have all been blessed by you and your work, Bill. Rest in peace.