These days baseball is different. You come to Spring Training, you get your legs ready, you arms loose, your agents ready your lawyer lined up.
Good hitters don't just go up and swing. They always have a plan. Call it an educated deduction. You visualize. You're like a good negotiator. You know what you have, you know what he has, then you try to work it out.
Tom Cruise only makes one or two film appearances a year. A baseball player can be the hero or the goat one-hundred and sixty-two times a year.
I chose baseball because to me baseball is the best game of all.
You have to go understand that life and baseball is littered with all kinds of obstacles and problems along the way. You have to learn how to overcome them to be successful in life.
All good balls to hit are strikes, though not all strikes are good balls to hit.
The people like the American Legion Post that gave us a chance to play. A place to play and a chance to play.
And I found out, the other part of it is that I found out and in my desire to life successfully, that baseball fit very well into my life. It's been a great teacher, trainer, mentor and you'll see what I mean in the next few minutes that I have to speak.
You have to be like a clock spring, wound but not loose at the same time.
To the people out there, baseball is a simple sport. But it is complex. It is never easy.
Made it through high school, went to the University of Minnesota.
You know, many of you kids can't relate to what it takes to get to the top rung, the top of the heap, to have success. We're looking for things that come in a minute. It just doesn't happen.
All though I didn't meet him. His legend and his saga and his story is just that. Jackie Robinson, we all have to tip our hat to him. Because he made the game available to guys like me.
And then 45 years later, as I finished my career in the great city of Cleveland, that was another great way to end my career, going to the World Series.
There is no way, believe me, despite my name being Winfield, and loving the game dearly. It wasn't in the cards. I didn't know what it was going to take to get here.
Everyone has a breaking point, turning point, stress point, the game is permeated with it. The fans don't see it because we make it look so efficient. But internally, for a guy to be successful, you have to be like a clock spring, wound but not loose at the same time.
I never had to cheat, I get them with what I got.
The only players that are having fun are those having a good year, feasting on pitching or blowing down hitters and garnering all the adulation that goes with it. But, if you're not hitting or not throwing well, or are injured, you better look for fun someplace else.
I went to jail. I looked like one of those savings-and-loan guys leaving the jail house.
I've experienced a lot of things in baseball, but I've never been traded during a strike. At least I know I'll be in a new uniform the next time I put one on.
I'm just glad to get off three-hundred ninety-nine (career home runs). It sounds like something you'd purchase at a discount store.
I guess I'm the only guy old enough to figure him (Nolan Ryan, 1-Hitter Game in 1991) out.
You know, heroes are ordinary people that have achieved extraordinary things in life.
People I look to: again, Hank Aaron, man you challenged the status quo and the records of the game. Monumental feats in an era where people didn't like that.
The sooner I get into the Hall of Fame the better.
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