11 Jul Getting to know….. NY YANKEES FIRST BASEMAN GREG BIRD
Name: Gregory Paul Bird
Nickname: Bird, Birdy, Birdman, Bird dawg, anything related to Bird
Born: November 9, 1992 (age 25)
in Memphis, Tennessee
Hometown: Denver, Colorado
Height: 6’ 3”
Weight: 220 lbs
Name of cat: Mr. Delicous
How are you feeling these days? I’m feeling like I’m ready to play ball.
What did you miss most about the game when you were out last year, after shoulder surgery to repair a labrum tear?
A: I’ve really enjoyed being back with everyone and being a part of a team and competing. Obviously there’s not much competing in rehab, and that was hard.
Do you feel any pressure being the guy after Mark Teixeira? A: I mean, honestly, I’m not trying to fill anyone’s shoes. I’m just trying to help the team win, and do my job.
What drives you? A: To go out & win. I want to win the World Series and be the best team out there. That’s what it’s about. I’ve always said for me it’s maximizing my potential, become the best player I can, however I can. If everyone does that, good things happen, and it’s kind of a contagious mentality, so I think that’s what’ll make us good.
Who is your biggest baseball influence? A: I had a coach named John Cronican when I moved to Denver from Memphis, Tenn. who taught me the importance of the little things in baseball — discipline, swinging at good pitches, stuff like that. “Do the little things,” that’s what he used to harp on. The little things count, defense counts, stuff like that, saving runs. It just always stuck with me, and I think it served me well.
Who was your favorite athlete growing up, any sport? A: I would have to honestly say Brett Favre. I grew up a Packers fan and always enjoyed watching him play with my dad. From a baseball standpoint it was Mark McGwire.
What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time? A: I would probably say fishing. Fishing and outdoorsy stuff. In Denver there’s a lot of that around and I’ve come to appreciate that over the years. Just outdoorsy stuff, hiking, fishing, that whole deal.
If you can have 3 people for dinner, anybody from the beginning of time, who would it be? A: Babe Ruth, George Washington, Martin Luther King.
How good can this Yankees team be? A: I think really good. We have a really good group. We get along well together.