Keens Hosts

Each post-tour New York Sports Tours meal is hosted or co-hosted by a New York sports personality at the storied Manhattan restaurant Keens Steakhouse. The meal is included in the ticket price.

Keens has been a part of sports history for well over a century. There, the hosts add to the tour story of how sports in New York has helped shape culture and society. 

Each lunch and dinner host is identified at some point in advance of the meal date. Guests can then see the name of the host by clicking on the date in the ticket system.

  Celebrated  New York Post  sportswriter Fred Kerber (fourth from right)

Celebrated New York Post sportswriter Fred Kerber (fourth from right)

Travel back in time with . . . New York’s sports history and top it off with a delicious meal at Keens Steakhouse . . . with a New York sports personality . . . you’ll be able to ask questions and get more insight and details of how sports in the city have shaped the culture of New York.
— New York Family Magazine
  Melissa Ludtke (center) with New York Sports Tours’ Jordan Sprechman (left) and F.A.O. Schwarz, Jr.

Melissa Ludtke (center) with New York Sports Tours’ Jordan Sprechman (left) and F.A.O. Schwarz, Jr.

. . . 40 years ago, Sports Illustrated reporter Melissa Ludtke, in her 20s, fought Major League Baseball and the City of New York. Female reporters were a no-no in men’s team locker rooms. Melissa took a stand — and won. The landmark Ludtke v. Kuhn equal-rights decree granted women reporters access to the Yankees clubhouse. Other teams followed. The ruling served as a catalyst for equality rights . . . she’s hosting a New York Sports Tour around NYC . . . The [next day] is a Keens Steakhouse private luncheon. Her attorney, who’ll attend, is F.A.O. Schwarz’s great-grandson . . . Lunch is in Keens’ Lillie Langtry dining room, named for its first lady customer.
— Cindy Adams, Page Six columnist, New York Post
  T he Pride of the Yankees  author Richard Sandomir (third from left)When  The New York Times ' Richard Sandomir (fourth from left, seated) hosted dinner at Keens, each guest received a complimentary copy of his acclaimed book  The Pride of the Yankees: Lou Gehrig, Gary Cooper, and the Making of a Classic .

The Pride of the Yankees author Richard Sandomir (third from left)When The New York Times' Richard Sandomir (fourth from left, seated) hosted dinner at Keens, each guest received a complimentary copy of his acclaimed book The Pride of the Yankees: Lou Gehrig, Gary Cooper, and the Making of a Classic.

. . . at the iconic Keens Steakhouse . . . our charming dinner host was New York Times’ Richard Sandomir, the author of The Pride of the Yankees.
— Woman Around Town
  Left to right at a luncheon to recognize former  Sports Illustrated  baseball reporter Melissa Ludtke:  Sports Illustrated  managing editor Chris Stone,  New York Post  baseball columnist Ken Davidoff and former  New York Post  sportswriter Henry Hecht

Left to right at a luncheon to recognize former Sports Illustrated baseball reporter Melissa Ludtke: Sports Illustrated managing editor Chris Stone, New York Post baseball columnist Ken Davidoff and former New York Post sportswriter Henry Hecht

I attended a luncheon in Manhattan, hosted by New York Sports Tours, which commemorated the 40th anniversary of Ludtke vs. Kuhn . . . It was great to meet Melissa Ludtke and learn more about her courageous battle as well as the support she received from her employers at Sports Illustrated and contemporaries like Henry Hecht, who wrote for The Post at the time.
— Ken Davidoff, baseball columnist, New York Post
  Former World Boxing Council international champion Boyd Melson of Brooklyn on Keens’ second floor after he served as a post-tour lunch host

Former World Boxing Council international champion Boyd Melson of Brooklyn on Keens’ second floor after he served as a post-tour lunch host

All tours end at Keens Steakhouse, an iconic restaurant that has hosted sports figures for more than 130 years. On select days, the experience continues with an intimate lunch or dinner with a New York sports personality.
— Insider Travel Report
  Melissa Ludtke (in white) with New York Sports Tours’ Kevin O’Keefe (left) and two tour guests, actress Christine De Lisle and television host Jon Haggins, in Keens’ storied Lincoln Room

Melissa Ludtke (in white) with New York Sports Tours’ Kevin O’Keefe (left) and two tour guests, actress Christine De Lisle and television host Jon Haggins, in Keens’ storied Lincoln Room

Forty years ago . . . in a federal courtroom in New York City, Melissa Ludtke . . . won the right for female reporters to have access to professional sports locker rooms . . . ‘It’s an odd answer, but it feels both like a long time and a short time ago,” the lifelong Massachusetts resident (Cambridge by way of Amherst) said from New York, where she was in town to host New York Sports Tours.
— Tara Sullivan, sports columnist, Boston Globe
  Soccer legend and New York City native Shep Messing (right), star goalkeeper for the New York Cosmos during the team's North American Soccer League championship run and analyst for MSG Networks game telecasts of the New York Red Bulls, with guests outside Keens' Lambs Room

Soccer legend and New York City native Shep Messing (right), star goalkeeper for the New York Cosmos during the team's North American Soccer League championship run and analyst for MSG Networks game telecasts of the New York Red Bulls, with guests outside Keens' Lambs Room

The one way that many of us can relate to each other is through sports . . . New York Sports Tours . . . conclude at Keens Steakhouse with a sports personality. What a super-cool experience . . .
— Michael Patrick Shiels, Michigan's The Big Show (syndicated)
  Marty Appel (third from right) pauses with tour guests in Keens' famed Lincoln Room following a post-tour dinner he hosted.

Marty Appel (third from right) pauses with tour guests in Keens' famed Lincoln Room following a post-tour dinner he hosted.

. . . food lovers will savor the lunches and dinners offered after the tours. The fact that the meals are hosted by various New York sports personalities make them all the more special.
— Mom in the City
  On the evening the New Jersey Devils' first-round 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs opponent was determined, Devils radio play-by-play voice Matt Loughlin (third from right) served as the Keens post-tour dinner host.

On the evening the New Jersey Devils' first-round 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs opponent was determined, Devils radio play-by-play voice Matt Loughlin (third from right) served as the Keens post-tour dinner host.

Keens is easy to recommend . . . serves a steak that is in the same league as the best in the city, if not at its top. And you won’t find a more civilized steakhouse.
— Serious Eats
  Former  New York Times  sports editor Neil Amdur (in jacket)

Former New York Times sports editor Neil Amdur (in jacket)

No chophouse in the city (and therefore the country) has a stronger pedigree, and none exudes a more pleasingly funky sense of old-fashioned charm.
— New York magazine on Keens
  New York Yankees legend Mickey Rivers (in hat), the Yankees' next World Series champion starting centerfielder after Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle

New York Yankees legend Mickey Rivers (in hat), the Yankees' next World Series champion starting centerfielder after Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle

. . . the tour ended with dinner at historic Keens Steakhouse, where guests dined with former Yankees centerfielder Mickey Rivers.
— Newsday
  New York Yankees historian and  New York Times  bestselling author Marty Appel (third from left)

New York Yankees historian and New York Times bestselling author Marty Appel (third from left)

Marty Appel . . . was a most gracious and affable host. He talked with all of the participants. He shared stories. He was kind, thoughtful, and respectful . . . Keens, the restaurant host, was also tremendous . . . We were provided with a special menu that allowed for a wide selection of great dishes . . . Keens is a New York landmark with a great history all of its own. It is the perfect location from which to conclude this experience.
— Start Spreading the News (New York Yankees blog)
  Shep Messing (left)

Shep Messing (left)

Keens . . . is a century-old restaurant that has long catered to sports figures.
— Latino Sports
  Legendary New York sports broadcaster Sal Marchiano with two tour guests in Keens’ Bull Moose Room, a room inspired by former Keens patron Theodore Roosevelt. Each guest at the post-tour dinner Marchiano co-hosted received a copy of Marchiano’s book  In My Rear View Mirror.

Legendary New York sports broadcaster Sal Marchiano with two tour guests in Keens’ Bull Moose Room, a room inspired by former Keens patron Theodore Roosevelt. Each guest at the post-tour dinner Marchiano co-hosted received a copy of Marchiano’s book In My Rear View Mirror.

The ride starts near Grand Central Terminal and
. . . ends at Keens . . . the restaurant almost as famous as the many sports figures who have walked through its doors . . . enjoy an intimate lunch or dinner with a New York sports personality.
— Succesful Meetings magazine
  On occasion, special guests from New York sports history join the Keens hosts and other guests on the tour and at the post-tour meal. Emmy Award-winning sports broadcaster Ed Lucas (second from right) poses with a fellow guest and two New York Sports Tours officials in Keens during a sold-out tour experience. Lucas, who is blind, is the subject of the Jeter Publishing book  Seeing Home: The Ed Lucas Story  and each tour guest received a complimentary copy of the book.

On occasion, special guests from New York sports history join the Keens hosts and other guests on the tour and at the post-tour meal. Emmy Award-winning sports broadcaster Ed Lucas (second from right) poses with a fellow guest and two New York Sports Tours officials in Keens during a sold-out tour experience. Lucas, who is blind, is the subject of the Jeter Publishing book Seeing Home: The Ed Lucas Story and each tour guest received a complimentary copy of the book.

. . . Madison Square Garden . . . is seen towards the end of the tour, blocks away from Keens Steakhouse, the final stop.
— NY Sports Day
  Award-winning New York sportswriter and  New York Times  bestselling author Wayne Coffey (left)

Award-winning New York sportswriter and New York Times bestselling author Wayne Coffey (left)

If you’d like, your tour will cap off with a meal at Keens Steakhouse, a Midtown legend founded in 1885. Keens . . . serves a delicious New York strip steak. As a bonus, you’ll dine with a . . . guest who played a part in American sports history . . .
— City Guide NY
  T he Pride of the Yankees  author Richard Sandomir (third from left)

The Pride of the Yankees author Richard Sandomir (third from left)

Our meal was being hosted by . . . Richard Sandomir, who had recently written the book The Pride of the Yankees. At the meal we were all handed a copy . . . Keens Steakhouse . . . has a lot of sports history in itself and makes it the perfect place to end the tour. A specially made menu exists for tour participants from which you can choose a non-alcoholic beverage and a meal option. The meal was intimate and relaxed so that the dinner host and the members of the tour share stories and information, which made it an enjoyable experience with never a dull moment.
— Socially Superlative magazine
  Legendary New York sportswriter Filip Bondy (top, second from left)

Legendary New York sportswriter Filip Bondy (top, second from left)

New York’s oldest and still the standout among the city’s dozens of high-end palaces of beef . . . Virtually every famous figure in American history the past century has patronized Keens, from . . . Babe Ruth to Albert Einstein . . . Floor to ceiling memorabilia makes Keens as much a museum as a great eatery, and if you can try just one classic NYC restaurant or steakhouse, this should be it.
— Forbes
  Prominent New York Yankees beat writer Pete Caldera of  The Record  (second from right) and former  New York Times  sports editor Neil Amdur (third from left)

Prominent New York Yankees beat writer Pete Caldera of The Record (second from right) and former New York Times sports editor Neil Amdur (third from left)

. . . astonishing that a 120-something-year-old restaurant has managed to stay both relevant and wildly popular in the middle of Manhattan.
— James Beard Foundation editors on Keens
  During the two New York Sports Tours outings in 2017 that included dinner with host Marty Appel (left), each tour guest received a complimentary copy of Appel's 2017 book  Casey Stengel: Baseball's Greatest Character.

During the two New York Sports Tours outings in 2017 that included dinner with host Marty Appel (left), each tour guest received a complimentary copy of Appel's 2017 book Casey Stengel: Baseball's Greatest Character.

No restaurant in New York City pays the kind of lavish, often kooky, sometimes even touching tribute to the past than Keens does.
— The New York Times
  Most of New York Sports Tours' mid-tour lunches and dinners are hosted in Keens Steakhouse's historic Bull Moose Room, where many legendary sports figures have dined.

Most of New York Sports Tours' mid-tour lunches and dinners are hosted in Keens Steakhouse's historic Bull Moose Room, where many legendary sports figures have dined.

. . . an amazing place to eat — there really is something for everyone . . . It is vibrant and fun, but not loud . . .
— Johnny Prime on Keens
If the walls of the restaurant could talk, they would be able to tell many stories of scandalous, historical and fascinating content.
— AM New York on Keens
New York City’s classic midtown steakhouse — still perfect after all these years.
— Bon Appétit on Keens
The list of dignitaries who’ve dined here is long enough that it might be simpler to name the ones who haven’t.
— Thrillist on Keens

Mary Carillo

Peabody Award-winning sports broadcaster Mary Carillo was the host of a luncheon to launch New York Sports Tours. At the event, she recorded a video that can be heard only by tour guests.

Carillo narrates the vast majority of the original mini-documentaries played exclusively to New York Sports Tours guests. Other brief documentaries on the tour are narrated by New York Sports Tours founder Jordan Sprechman.

Acclaimed sports broadcaster and New York City native Mary Carillo . . . narrates more than 30 of the brief documentaries . . . ‘This is a ride through time,’ Carillo said. ‘Sports is its thread, but the experience covers so much terrain that you don’t have to be a sports fan to enjoy it. Even so, sports die-hards will learn a lot.’
— Global Travel Media

Tour Hosts

Each tour ride includes and least one live host, to provide narration and insight and to show historical items that are tied in to the tour route and narrative.

Gary Sussman and New York Sports Tours president Kevin O'Keefe were the hosts for the tour launch and rollout. Sussman was the public address announcer for the NBA's Nets for more than 20 years and moderates player press conferences at tennis' US Open.

  Gary Sussman (third from right) and Kevin O’Keefe (fifth from right) stop at the 69th Regiment Armory with tour guests and post-tour dinner host Boyd Melson (third from left). The armory is the former home of the New York Knicks and the site of many events from sports history.

Gary Sussman (third from right) and Kevin O’Keefe (fifth from right) stop at the 69th Regiment Armory with tour guests and post-tour dinner host Boyd Melson (third from left). The armory is the former home of the New York Knicks and the site of many events from sports history.

From the very first minute it started, we found the tour to be illuminating. Our renowned, ‘Play by Play Announcer’ was Gary Sussman . . .
— Woman Around Town
The tour begins outside Grand Central Terminal, as good a place as any to transport people back in time. Below the street is a labyrinth of ancient tunnels with rail lines that go uptown, downtown, crosstown, out of town. One of the chutes is for the Lexington Avenue No. 4 train, the quickest way to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Guests make themselves comfortable in a black van with the logo of New York Sports Tours on the side. The striking trademark for Kevin O’Keefe’s new company is the goddess Diana taking aim with her outstretched bow, arrow pointed at her target . . . The Diana logo is an homage to the statue that once towered over the second of the four Madison Square Gardens. O’Keefe has researched, plotted and planned an exhaustive but not exhausting trip back through time . . . O’Keefe has done his homework.
— Steve Wulf, senior writer, ESPN.com
  Kevin O'Keefe (left) with New York Sports Tours guests on Lexington Avenue

Kevin O'Keefe (left) with New York Sports Tours guests on Lexington Avenue

The New York Sports Tours vehicle stops at the actual locations of each historical reference or story being mentioned or described . . . New York Sports Tours’ president, Kevin O’Keefe, explains the references, or guests are shown a short video or handed a piece of historical memorabilia to see and touch . . . You will be flooded with knowledge . . .
— Socially Superlative magazine
The way that the information and content was delivered helped to make the tour unique and very special . . . O’Keefe is . . . providing a unique and special experience . . . Our interaction with him was direct. He made eye contact. He spoke to us individually. He brought a personal approach to the experience . . . brought life to the experience . . . supplemented the information with unique and rare historical items and memorabilia . . . the participants actually get to hold the items. This is a difference that is groundbreaking. When one actually interacts with the historical item, the history and the stories about that item become even more real . . . Sussman provided additional background to add to the stories. In short, he brought more color to the overall picture . . . Mr. O’Keefe and Mr. Sussman interacted and complemented each other’s work. It was a great balance.
— Start Spreading the News (Yankees blog)