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Monday, October 10, 2011

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: JACK CURRY

I've had my share of being star struck in my lifetime. meeting Joe Torre after the 1996 win was in my mind, one of the top 5 moments ever. But there are others. Being able to interview Jack Curry, someone whom I've admired for a while now is up there as well. The whole YES gang is terrific; Along with Curry, Bob Lorenz, Kimberly Jones, David Cone, Ken Singleton, Michael Kay, Paul O'Neill and John Flaherty do it better than any other sports people out there.

Jack Curry is tops in that group and of course, that passion he has stems all the way back to childhood. You remember when you were a kid, we all tried to make a newspaper, writing about sports or news, or whatever, handwriting it and then drawing pictures in boxes on several pages, then secured it with staples. Well, Jack probably did that too, but then followed through and became an actual sports news guy and now a top sports analyst. He's a huge success and had a drive for that success. Luckily for me, I got to interview one of my idols and Bleeding Yankee Blue is bringing it to you, as an Exclusive. So enjoy it...here's Jack Curry.
BYB: Growing up, were you always a sports fan and more specifically a baseball fan and is this the career path you dreamed of?

Jack Curry: I liked every sport as a kid and played whatever was in season, but baseball was, by far, my favorite sport. I played it in high school and attended one practice at Fordham University before I gave up on playing. It just seemed like it would be too time-consuming to be a backup outfielder (if that). But I still play in the New York-Boston media games at Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park and I still get pretty excited about a game of Wiffle ball.

When I was 12, I started a newspaper at my elementary school. I was fortunate to have a teacher who understood my passion for writing and for sports and he helped me produce these little newspapers. I loved the idea of reporting and writing on things that were happening around the school so, in some ways, I kind of knew what I wanted to do with my life by the time I was in the seventh grade.

BYB: You were with the New York Times as their national baseball correspondent. Tell us how that came about?

Jack Curry: During college, I worked for The Jersey Journal for three summers. About a year after I graduated from Fordham, I was hired by The New York Times. I started at the bottom. I had to prove to them that I deserved a chance to write. Eventually, I began covering some college sports and then I became the New Jersey Nets' beat writer for one season. I took over the Yankees' beat in the middle of the 1991 season and stayed on that position through the 1997 season. From 1998 until 2009, I was a National Baseball Writer at The Times. I loved my years at The Times. I got to cover the Yankees during their dynastic period and got to travel to places like Cuba, Japan, Venezuela, Colombia and Puerto Rico to cover baseball.

BYB: I hope you realize that since you came to YES there is a much different energy. You and Lorenz are appointment television because of your complete analysis. How did that develop and is it because of your passion of the game?

Jack Curry: It's nice of you to compliment us on the energy you see. Bob Lorenz is as selfless as anyone I've ever worked with. He wants the people around him to do well and he works to make that happen. I think the reason we provide thorough analysis is because we study the games and the story lines and work with Jared Boshnack, our producer and another team player, to present this information to the viewer. All three of us have a passion for the game and for our jobs.

BYB: We wrote JACK CURRY: NEW YORK BAD ASS because we felt as though you needed "Props". What was your reaction the first time you saw it?

Jack Curry: When I saw the "Bad Ass" headline on your blog, I laughed. Not sure how many times I've been called a bad ass in my life, but I can assure you that I wouldn't need more than five fingers to recount those times.

BYB: What advice can you give young people that have a dream in becoming a baseball analyst like you?

Jack Curry: If you want to become a baseball analyst or a sports writer, the path to those positions is like the path to any other job. You have to work at it. It sounds like a cliche, but it's true. If you want to be a sports writer and you're not even working for your college newspaper, you're already adversely impacting you future. My advice to someone who wants to get into the news media business, whether it's TV or newspapers, is to try and focus in on what type of job you'd like to have. Once you answer that question, you need to do everything you can to get an internship in that field and network with other professionals. Make yourself stand out. Companies will make room for someone who shows he is exceptional at what he does.

BYB: If you had to name 1 player on the Yankees that was most impressive, approachable and kind, who would it be and why?

Jack Curry: In more than 20 years of covering the Yankees, I've developed a working relationship with a lot of different players. If I had to pick one player who was always a pleasure to deal with, it would be David Cone. Interestingly enough, we're now colleagues at YES. If David's baseball career hadn't worked out, he talked about how he wanted to be a sports writer. What I liked about David was that he gave thoughtful answers and didn't act as if every interview needed to be conducted as if there was a 30-second play clock over his head. They were conversations, not interviews. He didn't dismiss questions or issues. He embraced them. Cone was so approachable that his willingness to talk to players ended up helping his teammates. Since Cone was willing to deal with reporters and was very good at it, other players were allowed to avoid interviews.

BYB: My son wants to know, is what you do the best job in the world?

Jack Curry: Tell your son it's a very cool job, but Derek Jeter has a cooler job. Seriously, I love being an analyst at YES. I get to talk about baseball. Your son is right. Very cool.

BYB: Do you ever read Bleeding Yankee Blue? If so, what do you think?

Jack Curry: Ever since your called me a "Bad Ass," I've been checking out Bleeding Yankee Blue. Keep up the solid work.

Jack, I can't thank you enough for doing this interview with us. You are truly great at what you do and you bring sports analysis to another level because like I've said, you actually know what you're talking about and you never talk down to the fans. You deserve everything good that comes your way. The best to you!

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