Momma Knows Best

It was August of 1999, when the Yankees’ newest pitcher asked the manager if he could use his office to call his mother. When Joe Torre happened to stop by a few minutes later, he heard the newcomer confide to his mother, “I’m still just trying to fit in and be one of the guys.”

A perfectly ordinary moment — until you realize that the new pitcher was 4 time Cy Young winner, Roger Clemens. If this 38 year-old future Hall of Famer struggled just to “fit in and be one of the guys.” it’s easy to understand why acceptance and peer approval mean so much to boys as they go through the “slings and arrows” of adolescence.

“Fit in my —” Torre told him.”You be who you are. Be Roger Clemens.”

“I know,” Clemens said. “That’s what my mom is always telling me.”

(From “The Yankee Years” by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci)

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