By Michael Gioia
20 Jan 2014
|Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN|
Although Peter Scolari and Tracy Shayne have only been married for six months, the couple met nine years ago and act as though they've known each other forever.
The two, tucked away in an uninhabited corner of a coffee shop near Central Park, excitedly talk over one another and complete each other's sentences as they recount their October 2013 encounter with Yogi and Carmen Berra in preparation of embodying the real-life MLB legend and his wife in the Broadway sports drama Bronx Bombers.
"... From across the room," added Scolari.
"Yeah, it's just beautiful."
"... Like people say about you and me."
Scolari and Shayne, who were introduced by a mutual friend, find numerous parallels between themselves and the Berras — from double dating, much like Yogi and Carmen with catcher Joe Garagiola and his future wife Audrie Ross, to the infamous love letters Yogi would compose, which are now displayed throughout the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center in Little Falls, NJ.
"We had a couple that we'd go out with," explained Shayne about their beginning. Scolari adds: "We call them Fred and Ethel."
Shayne laughs and continued, "We're Ricky and Lucy... And, that's what we did. We ended up talking on the phone for a couple of weeks... We would talk every night. At the end of our day, I would look forward to his phone call, and we would talk for hours on the phone — talk about life, talk about love, talk about romance, talk about everything. And then he started sending me poetry."
"Talk about Yogi and Carmen and their letters!" said Scolari, who took off into a comparison story. "With our modern email technology, I actually decided — on a given night — that I'd fallen in love with her. I drafted an email and put it in a saved draft folder, but it had its date, so I could prove it at a later time that I had come to hold this very dear opinion. So, on another night, a few weeks later, I said, 'Well... I'd better send you this email that's been saved, and it has a date on it, so I want to be very clear that I came to have this feeling before you did…' And, I said to her, 'I love you.'"Continued...