KC Royals’ Ned Yost: Dale Earnhardt changed my perspective on competing

Royals manager Ned Yost spent Wednesday night basking in the glory of leading the Kansas City Royals to their first World Series since 1985, all the while going undefeated so far this postseason.

Yost, a huge NASCAR fan who spent his time during the 1994 MLB strike with Dale Earnhardt, Chocolate Myers, and the #3 team, joined Chocolate and Jim Noble on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to talk about NASCAR’s impact on his attitude and career (and the ALCS win, of course).

To watch the way that Dale and you guys never gave up. Ever. No matter what the situation was. The way you guys continued to fight no matter what the situation was, until that last lap was done. The ability that Dale had and you guys had not to be happy with second, not to be happy with third. The only thing that really mattered to you guys was first place, and that changed my whole perspective on competing.

Even on a day that was all about baseball and his club advancing to the World Series, Yost said that Dale Sr. was on his mind.

When Dale was alive I was with the Atlanta Braves and he was such a huge Braves fan, and you know we kept talking about, “you know one day, Dale, I’m going to have to move on and go somewhere else and run my own team.” And he grabbed me by the shirt and pulled me real close and said, ‘You never, ever leave the Atlanta Braves. You never, ever leave a winner to go to a loser.” […] And when I went to Milwaukee and now went to Kansas City, I kept wanting to tell Dale: “Look, I left a winner to go to a loser to build it back to a winner.” So yesterday […] I thought about Dale all day long; about how proud he would have been of us, turning this team from a loser back into a winner, with determination, with spirit, with enthusiasm and just dogged competitiveness.

Halfway through the interview, NASCAR driver and huge Kansas City Royals fan Clint Bowyer called in to congratulate Yost.

Finally, as the conversation turned solely to baseball, Yost talked about what he plans to do during the long layoff between the end of the ALCS and the start of the World Series.

“It’s gonna be a fun week,” Yost said. “It’s gonna be a week where the players are gonna come out and they’ll be in the training room and doing their weight stuff. We’ll be locked up in meetings. We’ve got to decide our roster […] and go over every minute detail of the opposition and be ready to go on Tuesday.”

Hear the entire interview here:

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