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Kevin Lidle: 'I'm in some kind of state of shock'

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- New York Yankees' pitcher Cory Lidle was killed when his plane crashed into a residential high-rise on Manhattan's Upper East Side on Wednesday. His twin, Kevin Lidle, talked with CNN's Larry King by telephone from Lakeland, Florida, about his bond with his brother and his terrible loss.

LARRY KING: Thank you so much for spending this time with us, Kevin. We really appreciate it. How did you learn of this today [Wednesday]?

KEVIN LIDLE: I was actually at work ... I teach baseball and in between lessons with some kids a buddy of mine called and he kind-of started yelling in the phone, "It was Cory's plane! It was Cory's plane!" And, I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about.

He finally spit it out and said, "The plane registered with your brother's name crashed into a building in New York." And I was -- I couldn't believe it.

KING: Did you know he was flying today?

LIDLE: No, I did not. I talked to him yesterday. I didn't ask him when he was leaving New York or anything like that -- just the normal conversation that I have with him frequently, you know. Basically, he was going to make some plans to go out to Phoenix [Arizona] and watch my baseball team play baseball out there.

I play in an adult league baseball in Orlando and we're going out for the World Series in Phoenix and I had invited him to go. He wasn't going to be able to go because obviously we expected the Yankees to still be playing. And, when they got eliminated, you know, he had called me and said "When are you going to be out there? I want to fly out there." So, you know, that's the last conversation I had with him.

KING: Were you worried, Kevin, when he took up flying?

LIDLE: I wouldn't say worried. I guess I had a little concern, you know, when he first told me. I was, like, "Why?" But apparently he had flown in a private plane and really enjoyed it and learned to fly.

I never questioned it and I'm not one to worry. I'm not going to go on worrying every day of my life because he's flying. You know, I just hope for the best and today was unbelievable news to me. It still hasn't sunk in.

KING: How close were you, Kevin?

LIDLE: Well, we were really close, although the last few years I had been living in Florida and he's been in California when he wasn't flying, so we didn't see each other all the time. But we talked on the phone quite a bit. And, growing up, you know, we're [fraternal] twin brothers. We both played baseball. We competed at everything and for that matter we were as close as you could be while you're 3,000 miles apart.

KING: Now, you had quite a high school team, right? You caught him, right?

LIDLE: I caught him in high school and along with both the Giambi brothers, Jason and Jeremy, Aaron Small played on that team, Shawn Wooten and myself, so we made up a pretty solid team.

KING: What kind of guy was he?

LIDLE: Cory was a normal person, and when I say that, if you were to meet him on the street, Larry, you would not know that he was a New York Yankee or a professional ballplayer. He's not one to brag and boast.

He had a tremendous sense of humor. He loved to laugh and he was good at making other people laugh.

He was not afraid to speak his mind and it got him in a little bit of trouble every once in a while -- but that was him. And, I'm sure he wouldn't regret anything. He sees things level-minded and, you know, sometimes he just would speak his mind.

KING: Was Cory happy to come to the Yankees, Kevin?

LIDLE: Oh, he was ecstatic. I talked to him the day he got traded and, you know, I congratulated him and he said, "Yes, this is going to be different." And, obviously it's the biggest stage in the world and he was very excited. He didn't know what the future held with the Yankees but I know he was -- he was hoping that they were going to ask him to come back.

KING: Have you spoken to your parents?

LIDLE: I've spoken to my mother and my father. They're obviously having a tough time -- but what can you do? I mean, somehow you hang in there and get through it. I don't know that it has hit them as hard as it's going to hit them and I can say the same for me. I've had a lot of calls from friends and family, people calling and crying and they've released some emotions. And, I haven't done that yet.

I don't know. I guess I'm in some kind of state of shock. I just got home about a half-hour ago and saw TV for the first time and it was kind of weird. The first thing that really hit me hard was I saw a picture of him and underneath it said 1972-2006 -- that was the first thing that I looked at. And, I was, like, that does not look right.

KING: Kevin, was he enjoying New York?

LIDLE: Oh, yes. He was loving it up there. Cory in my opinion was -- he liked to be on the big stage I think. When he was on the big stage, I don't know if he concentrated more, but he seemed to get more out of himself against tougher teams. And, you know, a lot is expected of you as a player in New York and those were the kinds of things that Cory thrived on.

KING: Kevin, was he, for want of a better term, was he fearless?

LIDLE: Yes. He was fearless. He's a true competitor. He liked to -- he knew what his job was. His philosophy in pitching was basically work ahead, work fast, and get out ... he liked to try to go three pitches or less to each hitter.

And, if you're afraid of hitters, it's tough to do that. I mean you have to get after those guys. And, that's what he tried to do. I would watch a lot of his ball games on TV and it wasn't out of the ordinary to see him in the 6th or 7th inning with 70 or 80 pitches and doing just what he knew he needed to do.

KING: Did he want to pretty much fly the rest of his life?

LIDLE: Yes, I never really got into a deep conversation about flying with him. As a matter of fact, I had never flown with him.

But I do know this: This spring, when he was in Clearwater, I went out to visit him and I went up to his apartment and he waved me over to the window. And he had, I don't even know what it was, it was some kind of device for a plane.

He was reading the weather and he was telling me, "OK, these clouds are going nine knots and the air is going." He was way out of my league when he was talking about that. But I knew at that point, right there, when he got out of his car, went in his house, he went over to his little toy and, yes, to make a long story short -- he loved it.


Kevin Lidle, who teaches baseball in Florida, is the fraternal twin of pitcher Cory Lidle, who died Wednesday.



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