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The Time Joe Torre Broke Down At A Self-Help Seminar

Illustration for article titled The Time Joe Torre Broke Down At A Self-Help Seminar

Former Yankees manager Joe Torre, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame last month and will have his number retired by the Yankees tomorrow night, sat down for an interview with The New York Times. During the conversation, Torre was not shy about revealing personal details about his past.

Torre talked about the inferiority complex that he carried with him when he got the job with the Yankees in 1995, feelings he says stemmed from growing up in an abusive household. Just before the start of the 1995 season, Torre attended a weekend-long self-help seminar with his wife, a moment he credits with allowing him to get over his insecurities:

"I don't even remember what caused it, but obviously, one of the speakers was speaking on the subject. And it wasn't only about domestic violence or whatever. I mean, if people wanted to go there to quit smoking, it was whatever you wanted to improve your life with. And this came out of left field for me. And I started crying, because at this point in time I realized a lot of my insecurities — low self-esteem, a lot of nervousness when I was a kid growing up — seemed to be caused by what was going on in my home with my dad abusing my mom. And I was witness when I was like 9 years old or something, him going for his gun. He was a cop, going for his gun and threatening my mom and my sister.

"So I started talking about it, which people don't do, even to this day. Once I realized I wasn't born with these feelings of being inferior, which is the way I categorized them, I was excited. Because now I found out that, 'O.K., I'm normal like everybody else.' I just had something that — and not that I'm blaming my father — but at least I knew that this was created as I was a kid growing up. So it was a freedom to talk about it because I could just say, 'Hey, yeah, this went on in my life.' "


In 2002, Joe Torre started the Safe at Home foundation, which focuses on helping victims of domestic violence. The foundation has also created school programs that provide students with in-school "safe rooms," where they can speak with counselors trained in domestic violence prevention.


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