TAKE 5: With pitcher Yuri Higgins

Oracle: How did you get your name?

Yuri Higgins: My godmother who passed away before I was old enough to remember her named me after the Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin.

O: Do you ever listen to music that you wouldn’t normally admit listening to?

Y.H.: I listen to country music sometimes. I would not (normally) tell people that.

O: Do you have any unusual rituals you do before games?

Y.H.: On weekend games I wear the same outfit (every day) if we win with it – not the same drawers now; the same shorts and T-shirt.

O: If you could play for any major league team, what team would it be?

Y.H.: The Yankees, that’s my favorite team in the world. They have the best payroll and they have the most championship rings.

O: Have you ever met anyone famous?

Y.H.: I met Derek Jeter. It was my prom night, and I took the girl I went out with – she was the prom queen – to eat to J. Alexander’s, and Derek Jeter was in there at that time. I told him I was his favorite fan.

O: Do you still talk to your prom date?

Y.H.: She runs track for UCF, but I don’t talk to her anymore.

O: What music do you listen to before a game to get pumped up?

Y.H.: I listen to my favorite singer, Anthony Hamilton. (It’s) not really pump-you-up music, but it keeps me calm. He’s a neo-soul artist.

– Kevin Smetana