The Obit For Matthew Wasser

Taxi crash victim was Sox PR aide

By Mike Underwood

The Boston Herald

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A devoted Yankees employee who was recruited to help the Red Sox [team stats] with media relations during the playoffs was killed when a suspected drunken driver slammed into his taxi.

Matthew B. Wasser, 22, was drafted by Major League Baseball to help the Red Sox handle press during theirplayoff series against the Cleveland Indians.

“He was such a bright, bright young man. They loved him at the Yankees. He had everything in the world to live for. It is a terrible tragedy,” Wasser’s mother, Marilyn, told the Herald from her home in Bernardsville, N.J.

Wasser had been working in the Yankees’ media relations department only since the spring, but already had become a valuable member of the staff, his boss said.

“A loss of this magnitude is impossible to put into words,” said Yankees director of media relations Jason Zillo.

“Matt will long be remembered for his boundless enthusiasm and uplifting, selfless spirit,” Zillo said.

Red Sox staff who worked briefly with Wasser also were hit hard by news of his tragic death.

“We were all very shaken by it on Sunday because a number of people saw him late on Saturday night, right before he got in that cab,” said John Blake, director of media relations for the Red Sox.

Wasser had been at a media day at Fenway on Saturday and caught a cab back to a relative’s home.

State police said his cab inexplicably stopped in the left lane of northbound Route 128 near Waltham in the early hours of Sunday and a Jeep Wrangler SUV smashed into it from behind. Wasser died at the scene.

The Jeep’s driver, Lawrence P. Laine of Templeton, escaped injury but was arrested and charged with operating under the influence of alcohol. He was arraigned Monday in Waltham District Court and released on $15,000 bail. His next scheduled court date is Nov. 26.

The Yankees have sent a signed baseball to be placed in his casket, his mother said.