The baseball spit story, which was inspired by the film JFK and the real-life assassination of former President John F. Kennedy, is undoubtedly one of Seinfeld’s most quoted moments. The creative casting of Major League Baseball star Keith Hernandez, who portrayed a warped version of himself, was at the center of this story.
While Seinfeld gained popularity for its guest starring roles, Keith Hernandez was one of the few who played himself. Hernandez had never acted before and knew nothing about the Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David series, so this was a brilliant creative move.
Hernandez revealed years later that he had a complicated relationship with the series and his critically lauded episode, “The Boyfriend.” Here’s what he said about it.
Keith Hernadez said to Vulture in an interview that he hadn’t heard of Seinfeld before being cast on the show. This was because he was playing baseball at prime time on weeknights when the show first aired.
“When I was playing, I was the guy who could never have dinner with regular people living in Manhattan at 8 p.m. because I would be in the second or third inning of a ball game,” Keith Hernadez told Vulture.
Even after retiring, Hernadez did not become a diehard Seinfeld fan unlike many who approach him on the street to this day.
He said, “In my retirement, I was enjoying being able to go out and have dinner at a normal hour. The ’90s were just terrific. I lived in Manhattan for 24 years, and that’s when I really got to take advantage of what the city had to offer — going to Broadway plays, eating great food, meeting interesting people, all that stuff.” He aaded, “I wasn’t ever able to do that before because we played predominantly night games. So, no, I wasn’t going to sit at home in my condo on 49th and 2nd and watch television.”
Hernandez stated that he had only watched his episode “The Boyfriend” just a few times. “I feel like it’s embarrassing to me. I don’t think I did that great a job.”