When Sports Illustrated spoke with actor Nick Turturro, the 2020 MLB season was already supposed to be in its second week of regular season action. Instead, the coronavirus shutdown spring training and postponed Opening Day to a date that’s yet to be determined.
For a die-hard baseball fan that’s been waiting since the end of the 2019 season to watch games, that is a bit of a problem. But not for Turturro. The NYPD Blue actor and die-hard Yankees fan found a solution to get his baseball fix by watching replays of old games.
During our conversation, Turturro was in the middle of re-watching Game 7 of the 2001 World Series between the Yankees and Diamondbacks, a game he attended in person and says is the greatest World Series game ever. Despite knowing how the games ends, he still gets excited with every pitch, still claps and cheers with every big hit and ultimately frowns when the Yankees lose the series.
“It’s funny how baseball stays in my head. Everything goes out of my head but baseball,” Turturro admitted while draped in his pinstriped Yankees jacket.
His knowledge of the game is more than impressive, almost bordering on a savant.
“I don’t think many people can top me as a Yankees fan. There’s a few out there that can hang with me, but I don’t think many people can top me … I’m a lunatic Yankees fan.”
Turturro’s love for baseball started when he was a kid in the 1970s. Growing up in Queens, New York, his entire neighborhood was filled with Mets fans, but the Longest Yard star quickly gravitated to the Bronx Bombers.
His obsession with baseball led him to starting a podcast. “Breaking Bread with Nick Turturro” started out as a baseball-only podcast, but over time developed into something a little more than just covering the action on the diamond.
“We’ve had all kinds of guests, comedians, actors, baseball players, fighters. We sit down, eat some pasta, eat pizza, drink a little vino, and we break bread.”
As for his thoughts on how the Yankees will do in 2020, Turturro said: “We were projected to have a great, great year, but we had all kinds of injuries. Judge is injured again. Stanton is still hurt again ... to tell you the truth, I don’t know. I really don’t know.”
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has not yet confirmed a start date for the 2020 season and it is being reported the MLB is considering playing spring training games in stadiums without fans at some point in May.