Torre, wife start 'Safe at Home' foundation

Updated: November 6, 2003, 6:35 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees manager Joe Torre says his father had violent rages, the reason he helped establish a foundation to combat domestic violence.

"When he was home, it was like walking on eggshells for us all the time," Torre said during an interview with "Dateline NBC" that was released Thursday and airs Sunday.

Torre and wife Ali established the "Safe at Home" foundation in memory of his mother Margaret. Torre said his father's behavior left him with self-doubt.

"It's not comfortable," he said during the interview, which was recorded last Friday. "It brings up old memories you certainly would like to forget. But here I am, a successful person, and I need to let people know that, you know, it doesn't always have to be a dark hole out there."

Torre, the youngest of five children, feared for his mother.

"When he was yelling at my mom, it was sort of ... you cringe because you didn't know what was going to happen. I sort of went in a shell. Obviously, I wasn't protective. I wanted to be, but I was too frightened."

Torre said his wife got him to open up, and that he went to a self-improvement seminar.

"Here I was with a bunch of strangers telling people how I felt. Things that I never let out," he said. "It was painful, yet it was like a cleansing. All of a sudden there was a revelation that you started understanding why I had these fears and why I had this lack of confidence in me."

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press