The curve and the fast one are important; the change of pace and the other trick deliveries are great but they're not worth a plugged nickel unless you have control to go along with them. And by control I don't mean the ability to put the ball over the plate somewhere between the shoulders and knees. I mean the ability to hit a three-inch target nine times out of ten, the sort of control that lets you put the ball in the exact spot you want it, and to play a corner to the split fraction of an inch.
If it wasn't for baseball, I'd be in either the penitentiary or the cemetery. I have the same violent temper my father and older brother had. Both died of injuries from street fights in Baltimore, fights begun by flare-ups of their tempers.
Sometimes when I reflect on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. I think, 'It is better to drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.'
The most important thing that a young athlete must do it pick the right sport. Not one that they like just a little bit, but one that they love. Because,if they don't really love their sport, they won't work as hard as they should. Me? I loved to hit.