CR: I was just answering his questions. He was asking about different cities' fans. De Niro was very interested in Boston fans, how crazed they are, how personal they take it.
DP: Did fans root against the streak? Did anyone yell, "Break a leg, Cal!"?
CR: No, but some fans took offense to [the streak]. The funny part is, I was compared to Lou Gehrig. That's unfair, because Lou Gehrig was one of the greatest players to play. I was pretty good, but I wasn't Lou Gehrig. And certainly a Yankees fan with a rich history—especially some of the crazy ones—they wanted [the record] to stay with Gehrig. In '95 there were many different threats. I can't imagine why you'd get a death threat for going out there and trying to do what you thought your job was.
DP: Would you rather not know about a threat?
CR: Ideally, but one time there was one on the Internet that came [before a game] in Seattle, and all of a sudden there were policemen all around the dugout and I was asked not to take BP.
DP: Did you ever consider sitting?
CR: No. My way of dealing with it and how I kept perspective was to think, It's crazy, it's more like a prank call. It wasn't a funny prank, but I treated it that way.
Now Hear This
Listen to the podcasts at danpatrick.com/interviews
1. Sean Miller discusses his new gig: Arizona's basketball coach.