I consciously memorized the speed at which every pitcher in the league threw his fastball, curve, and slider; then, I'd pick up the speed of the ball in the first thirty feet of its flight and knew how it would move once it had crossed the plate.
Unless you give it all you've got, there isn't any sense in playing.
Back in my day, we didn't think about money as much. We enjoyed playing the game. We loved baseball. I didn't think about anybody else but the Cardinals.
Used to be bats had thick handles and a big barrel. Then they found it's not the size of the bat that gets home runs - it's the speed with which you can swing it.
I learned to hit with a broomstick and a ball of tape and I could always get that bat on the ball.
A lot of hitters stay away from the plate, some are close up, some are forward, some are back. The thing about hitting is this: You have to know the strike zone. That's the most important thing. Hit strikes and put the bat on the ball.
The key to hitting for high average is to relax, concentrate, and don't hit the fly ball to center field.
Hitting is like swimming. Once you learn the stroke, you never forget it.
It seemed like I always did some great hitting in Brooklyn. The field there was close to the stands. Every time I started walking to the plate, I could hear the fans say, 'Here comes that man again. Here comes that man.'
I love to play this game of baseball. I love putting on the uniform.
The one unbreakable rule about hitting is this: if a batter hits well with his own particular stance and swing, think twice - or more - before suggesting a change.
I started to crouch because that way I could guard the plate better, and I always wanted to hit .300 in the big leagues.
There is no one correct way to bat, and so of course there is no one correct stance for it.
Get eight hours of sleep regularly. Keep your weight down, run a mile a day.
I think I had the smallest handle around. When I got my bats, I even trimmed them down. I used to scrape them. Some years later when I started getting older, I used to start with a 33 and in the summer it got down to 31 and then probably in September got down to 30.
What made me sign with the Cardinals? Because they used salesmanship, the personal touch.
Always wanted to be a Major League player. Loved baseball. Followed it. Loved to play. Plus, I could always hit.
There was never a day when I was as good as Joe DiMaggio at his best. Joe was the best, the very best I ever saw.
I never realized that batting a little ball around could cause so much commotion. I now know how (Charles) Lindbergh must have felt when he returned from St. Louis.
What I try to do is never to hurt anybody else and figure if I don't, then I'm not likely to get hurt myself.
I'm a musician. I play harmonica for relaxation. A good way to relax and entertain people. An excellent way to have fun.
The first principle of contract negotiations is don't remind them of what you did in the past - tell them what you're going to do in the future.
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