William Moak started singing “Pinstripe Blue” long before the Yankees succumbed to Cleveland in the first round of the 2007 postseason.
By day, Moak is a senior environmental specialist in Environmental and Site Services. Nights and weekends, he’s Willie The Moak, a singer-songwriter who has recorded three CDs and performed in cafes and coffee houses throughout the Northeast. He is known for his folk-pop style and songs that capture a slice of life.
Moak wrote “Pinstripe Blue,” his tribute to the Bronx Bombers, back in 1979, while returning home from a trip to Yankee Stadium. The song tells of Moak’s love for the Yankees, “all my life.”
Recently, a co-worker at Rensselaer heard Moak perform the song and suggested it would be a perfect fit for late-night radio’s The Joey Reynolds Show. The co-worker was right.
Moak sent a demo to the show and on Oct. 6, just hours after the Yankees lost to the Indians, 2-1 in Cleveland, he found himself on the air, performing “Pinstripe Blue” for the hundreds of thousands nationwide who tune in to listen to the “Mr. Nice Guy of Night Radio.”
“It was humbling to be on such a highly regarded show, with a host who has so many accomplishments,” Moak said. “He brings out the best in people.”
A former Top 40 radio personality, Reynolds was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his achievements in radio, television, and music. His show is broadcast live coast-to-coast via the WOR Radio Network.
Moak spent almost 45 minutes on the show, answering Reynolds’ questions, discussing Moak’s experience as a Yankees fan and, of course, performing “Pinstripe Blue.” At the end of the segment, Reynolds declared Moak “a folk hero of this generation.”
For Moak, it was the opportunity of a lifetime and a reminder of what Rensselaer can make possible, even indirectly.
“If you work or go to school here, there are so many things you can take advantage of to pursue your own interests,” Moak said, “whether it’s the library, the computers or, as in my case, a colleague’s suggestion.”
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