BY NICO VAN THYN, Designated Contributor

Nico Van Thyn (former boss and mentor of your DW co-founders) and his forever wife Bea live in a nice retirement spot in Fort Worth. One of his fellow retirement teammates is … a recognizable name. For a New York Yankees fan such as Nico is, it’s like living next door to a boyhood baseball card. He wrote this in July and I read it with joy then and … forgot to post it. Because I am selfish. Unlike former Yankees star infielder and American League President Bobby Brown. The picture is from 2016 at the 70th annual Yankees Old Timers Game; Dr. Brown is in the middle, flanked by Don “Perfect Game” Larsen on the left as you look at the picture and first baseman Eddie Robinson, still the oldest living Yankee at 97.)

One of the real treats for me here at Trinity Terrace is that Dr. Bobby Brown — Yankees star third baseman from 1947-54 (with two years interrupted by the U.S. Army and the Korean War), American League president (1984-94) and well-known Fort Worth cardiologist for 25 years — lives here.

We see him at breakfast every morning, Bea more than me because I don’t go down for breakfast too often, but I speak to him in the dining room (he is there almost the same time every night, sitting in or near the same area, by himself).

I have sat with him several mornings at breakfast, and here are some stories, opinions from Dr. Brown …

Dr. Brown mentioned that Joey Gallo has something like 200 strikeouts already. I told him that Judge has 132 and asked what he thought the difference was in today’s game. He talked about the big swings and lack of sacrifice with two strikes, how emphasis used to be on just making contact. Said he struck out 88 times. I asked, “That was your season high?” His reply: “That was for my career.”

Said players asked longtime Yankees third-base coach Frank Crosetti — “a great guy” — for advice. “Until you get two strikes,” Cro told them, “swing from your ass.” “That was our hitting coach.” He was laughing. So was I.

I was telling Dr. Brown about the YouTube video John W. Marshall had sent me about one of baseball’s best umpire-manager arguments: umpire Jerry Crawford and Cubs manager Don Zimmer. (Look it up; it was quite a scene). The mention of Zimmer brought a couple of Dr. Brown stories. They were friends — Zimmer was a young player late in Dr. Brown’s career, and then there was the late Yankees’ connection when Zimmer was Joe Torre’s bench coach.

When he was the Cubs’ manager, Zimmer lived on the 60th floor of the Sears Tower (then the tallest building in the U.S.). He was asked why so high.

“If the ballclub is going bad, and I feel like I want to jump out the window,” he answered, “I don’t want to be merely wounded.”

Zimmer’s daughter was an airline stewardess. When they asked Zim if she looked like him, he replied, “Good God, I hope not. If she does, she is in trouble.”

He said Lefty Gomez, long one of the Yankees’ pitching aces and known for his humorous personality, had a ball hit back to him one day with runners on base, and he kind of froze, then threw the ball to second baseman Tony Lazzeri, who had no play anywhere. After the game, they asked Gomez why he threw the ball to Lazzeri. He replied: “He’s the smartest guy on our team, so I figured he would know what to do with it.”

Gomez married an actress, June O’Dea, and the talk was that the marriage would not last 30 days. (I looked it up and early on, it was a quite contentious marriage). But when they reached their 55th wedding anniversary, Lefty observed that, “Well, I guess we beat that 30-day mark.”

Said he brought Gomez here to speak one day at Shady Oaks CC (where Ben Hogan hung out). Picked him up at airport and was driving him and went past the zoo. It was a very hot day (like today) and they heard a loud noise. “What was that?” Gomez asked. “Those are the lions,” Dr. Brown told him. Another roar. “Must be too hot for them,” Gomez observed. “You know,” Dr. Brown answered, “it gets pretty hot in Africa, too.”

Dr. Brown loved Whitey Ford, said he is “a wonderful guy” and he told this story about Ford’s rookie season (1950) …

Said Ford came to the majors at the All-Star Game break and he immediately was sensational, something like 10-2 in mid-September when the Yankees were fighting Detroit for the AL pennant and barely had a lead. Three-game series, first two games were split, and Ford was the starter for the third game with first place on the line.

“We were worried about it,” Dr. Brown said, “and we did not know what to expect from him in a big game.” Ford’s mound opponent was Dizzy Trout (I looked this up, and he was right about everything in this story.)

In the middle innings, the Yankees had the lead and Ford was cruising. When he was about to face the Tigers’ catcher — Bob Swift, Dr. Brown said — Ford signaled to Dr. Brown at third base and gave him a “come here” wave. Dr. Brown thought, “Oh, oh, he’s about to let the pressure get to him.”

Dr. Brown trotted to the mound. “What’s that guy’s name?” Whitey asked him. Dr. Brown gave him the name.

“You know, he looks fatter than he did when he batted last time,” Whitey said.

“I knew then that this kid was going to be all right, and so were we,” Dr. Brown said. “He was not going to get shook up.”

He has lots of Yogi stories. Here are just a couple of quick ones:

Yogi was being introduced as an Astros’ coach in 1985, and at the same time, the Astros had signed a reserve outfielder and when they were introducing him, they gave his statistics, and the year before he had something like 19 RBI.

Afterward, Yogi said to this outfielder: “Did they say that you drove in 19 runs last season?” “Yes,” the young man replied. “I drove in 22 one day in Newark,” Yogi told him. “And that’s true,” Dr. Brown confirmed. “I was on that Newark team with him, and it was a doubleheader and every time Yogi came to the plate, there were men on base, and he drove them in, so … 22 RBIs in one day.”

Yogi was at the New York Giants’ press conference when they announced the signing of Paul Giel, a terrific all-around athlete at the University of Minnesota who chose to play baseball as a pitcher (he later was the AD at Minnesota).

It was the off-season and Yogi, who lived across the river, went to Toots Shor’s for the press conference … “he didn’t have anything else to do,” Dr. Brown said, laughing.

Afterward, Yogi saw Giel and said, “Did they say you are a right-hander?” Yes, Giel confirmed.

“I murder right-handers,” Yogi told him.

I have asked him about various Yankees’ players — Gil McDougald (who platooned with him at third base a couple of years), Vic Raschi, Allie Reynolds, Billy Martin, Mantle.

On Raschi: “If we got to the seventh inning and we had the lead with him on the mound, the game was over. Every pitch he threw from then on was faster than the one before. He was not going to get beat.”

On Reynolds, like me, he thinks he belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame. “The biggest crime in baseball,” he said of his omission. “When that Big Indian came in late in game (he often was used as the closer), he did not mess around. It was bang, bang, bang … strike one, strike two, strike three. You’re in the clubhouse.”

On Martin: “He was impossible. Crazy. You never knew what he was going to do off the field. If they could have put him in a cage right after a game ended and then let him out right before the game the next day, they would have been all right.”

About Mantle: “Just a great talent. But his brain didn’t work that well.”

Casey Stengel: “I would watch him in the dugout and listen to him. A guy would go up and swing at the first pitch and Casey would say, “Why does he do that? Why doesn’t he wait and see what this guy is throwing?” Next guy up would take the first strike, “Why doesn’t swing the bat? The pitch is right in there, that’s a good ball to hit?”

Dr. Brown: “You never knew what he was going to say.”

I asked if he thought Stengel was a great manager. He was evasive, or diplomatic with his answer. “Well, he had great players,” he said, smiling. “Casey always said, ‘I couldn’t have done it without my players,’ and he was right.”

I asked him how players felt about being platooned by Stengel. “Well, they didn’t mind,” he said. “We had such great teams, we always had 4-5 guys on the bench who were just as good as the guys on the field. … We had guys who really were better in big games — DiMaggio, Tommy Henrich, Yogi, Johnny Mize, Gene Woodling, me,” (and he didn’t even mention guys like Hank Bauer, McDougald, Martin and, obviously, Mantle.)

Asked him if he ever had contract battles with George Weiss, who was a penny-pinching general manager for the filthy rich Yankees. “I did,” he said. “But they didn’t last long. I had an advantage. I was a medical student and they knew (in the early 1950s) that I eventually was going to have a career in medicine. So I would tell him [Weiss], ‘Look, I don’t need to be playing baseball. If I don’t play, the sooner I can get my medical studies done and go into practice.’ So he would raise the offer some and we would settle on a figure.”

About Steinbrenner.

“A total shit,” he said quickly, shaking his head at the thought. “Really, I did not have much to do with him, or him with me.”

“If he was dealing with a baseball executive who had not been a player, he would say, ‘That guy never played. He doesn’t know anything about the game.’ If he was dealing with a former player or a manager or GM, he would say, “He doesn’t know anything about running a business.

“He did not know what to do with me — I was a former player and I had my medical practice for all those years. So he left me alone.”

But, “He loved my wife; she was a really good-looking woman. So we’d see him in New York City, and he would acknowledge me, but he always gave her a big hug and he’d pay a lot of attention to her. I would just be standing there watching him, thinking, ‘What a guy.’ ”

He said when Buck Showalter was the Yankees’ manager, Steinbrenner would demand that Buck could not leave the ballpark without talking to him. Sometimes it would be 2:30 in the morning, and Buck is still there.

“I told Buck (who came here, Dallas-Fort Worth, often because he had a kid at SMU), ‘You can’t keep doing this. There are a lot of guys in hospitals with coronary problems because they worked too many hours.’ … And the first chance Buck got to leave the Yankees, he took it.”

Here is a story he told me today. His Rangers’ tickets are in row 12, seats 1-2-3-4, in the section just to the first-base side. They offered him tickets behind home plate, but he knows that the scouts like to sit there — they find seats that are empty — and he does not like to ask them to move.

Anyway, the guy who has seats in the row in the front of him runs some kind of business and he sees him a couple of times a season and visits with him. This guy brings in some customers or friends sometimes. One night before the game, Dr. Brown was sitting there and one of the customers or friends in front of him noticed a scout sitting down the way wearing a huge ring. He speculated it was a World Series ring and Dr. Brown confirmed that.

“Think he’d let me see it,” the guy said. Dr. Brown told him he probably would.

The scout was Gene “Stick” Michael of the Yankees.

So Dr. Brown waved to Michael and indicated that the guy in front of him wanted to see the ring. Michael came over and complied, and the guy was oohing and aahing about the ring.

“He’s got one, too,” Michael said, pointing to Dr. Brown.

The guy was incredulous, and he asked Dr. Brown to see it. His 1949 ring — which I have seen him wearing it — isn’t nearly as fancy as you can imagine Michael’s was. The guy looks at Dr. Brown and asks, “Who are you?”

Dr. Brown’s answer: “Babe. Ruth.”