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Steve Levy remembers: Baseball’s summer of ’98, Gretzky’s reign and his favorite SportsCenter co-anchor

SportsCenter anchor Steve Levy (Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)
SportsCenter anchor Steve Levy (Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)

Steve Levy has been a SportsCenter anchor since joining ESPN in August of 1993. Along the way, he’s become one of the network’s most respected anchors. In addition to wearing his passion for hockey on his sleeve, Levy has amassed an impressive Hollywood resume with cameo appearances in six major-release films: Mystery, Alaska, Fever Pitch, The Ringer, The Game Plan, Tooth Fairy and Parental Guidance.

1995: Steve Levy on the set of SportsCenter. (Rick LaBranche/ESPN)
1995: Steve Levy on the set of SportsCenter. (Rick LaBranche/ESPN)

In fact, the Long Island native recently shot scenes for future releases, Grudge Match (featuring Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro) and Million Dollar Arm, with 2013 ESPYS host Jon Hamm.

Favorite SportsCenter memory?
When we took the show to Kuwait in 2004 for “Salute the Troops” and spent the week with our brave men and women in uniform.

Most memorable breaking news stories you’ve covered on SportsCenter?
The summer of 1998 covering Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, who seemingly hit home runs every night while we were on SportsCenter. That was thrilling.

Favorite co-anchor?
[Former SportsCenter anchor] Gary Miller. I just remember having the best time on the set with Gary. A lot of it was during commercial breaks, but I just thought he was so funny on and off camera.

What is your pre-show ritual?
Perspiring on the walk from the newsroom to the studio!

Favorite ‘This is SportsCenter’ commercial?
John Clayton’s “Ponytail” spot. It’s just so far-fetched and so out of character for John.

Of any story in sports history, what’s the one you would have loved to have covered on SportsCenter?
I would have loved to have covered Wayne Gretzky getting traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988.[Note: Levy appears in Gretzky’s This Is SportsCenter spot.]

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