New York broadcasting legend and Italian American Chris “Mad Dog” Russo will accept the 2023 Italian American Baseball Foundation Media Award at the annual IABF Gala in November.
Tickets are officially on sale for the November 30 event, which will take place at Marina Del Ray in the Bronx.
“My grandfather and father loved watching Joe DiMaggio and Tony Lazzeri at old Yankee Stadium,” said Russo. “They felt a proud connection to those players because of their Italian-American heritage. As I was growing up and becoming a baseball fan, that stuck with me, and I’ve always had a deep appreciation for the support and kinship of our Italian-American community. I am very grateful to the IABF for this award and am proud to be in the company of the prominent Italian-Americans who have received it before me.”
For nearly 40 years, he has been a fan favorite for his feisty, unflinchingly candid approach to talking sports and the unrestrained, rapid-fire delivery that earned him the nickname “Mad Dog.” His signature show opening, “Aaaaaaaand good afternoon, everybody!” has become one of the most well-known and often-imitated phrases in the sports media lexicon, and many sports TV and radio personalities today count Russo as an important influence on their careers. Russo joined SiriusXM in 2008 to create and headline the exclusive all-sports talk channel Mad Dog Sports Radio. For the past 14+ years, Russo has hosted the channel’s anchor program, Mad Dog Unleashed, every weekday afternoon, and the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel has grown into one of the best all-sports channels in the country.
In December 1988, Russo joined New York’s fledgling, first-of-its-kind all-sports radio station, WFAN, as an overnight, weekend, and fill-in host. He quickly became a favorite of legendary radio personality Don Imus and would appear regularly on the popular Imus in the Morning program. Then in the fall of 1989, WFAN paired Russo with Mike Francesa as hosts of a new afternoon drive-time show called Mike and the Mad Dog. For the next 19 years, their groundbreaking and hugely popular show dominated the ratings in the New York market. Russo and Francesa became the most famous sports radio team in the medium’s history, and the duo would win the prestigious Marconi Award for Major Market Personality of the Year in 2000. In 2017, ESPN dedicated a 30-for-30 documentary on Mike and the Mad Dog that examined the show’s far-reaching impact on the sports talk radio genre.
In 2014, Russo joined MLB Network to host his first TV-based baseball talk show, High Heat with Christopher Russo. High Heat features Russo’s signature energetic delivery and passionate opinions on all 30 MLB clubs. In 2022, Russo added another national platform to his broadcasting resume, joining Stephen A. Smith every Wednesday for a regular co-hosting appearance on ESPN’s First Take. He is the author of two books: The Mad Dog 100: The Greatest Sports Arguments Of All Time, a New York Times best-seller, and The Mad Dog Hall of Fame: The Ultimate Top-Ten Rankings of The Best In Sports. Russo was also a favorite of late-night talk show host David Letterman and appeared on Letterman’s show more than three dozen times.
Russo follows media greats Tom Verducci and Michael Kay, who recently accepted the IABF media honor.
Tickets, tables, and sponsorships are officially available now! More IABF honorees will be announced in the coming weeks.