Those are real heroes. Hilton Smith, guys that played in the Negro Leagues, never got a chance in the Major Leagues. But you kept on playing.
He didn't bask in fame or glory or the money he made. He relished in the notion that a little short kid from the projects in Chicago couldn't accomplish anything in life.
Baseball realizes it's not the only game in town. You have to do these kinds of things to introduce people to baseball.
I chose baseball because to me baseball is the best game of all.
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.
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.
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 people like the American Legion Post that gave us a chance to play. A place to play and a chance to play.
There are a lot of people who influenced me, nurtured me, helped me along the way. But I can just recall looking back, the first time I got my baseball glove. Put it on the wrong hand, all those kind of things.
It won't taint (his memory). Leave it alone.
To give you an idea what it feels like to be going in with some of the best baseball players of all-time, I mean it is fantastic. I have to say this about them, there are so many of these guys up here that were my role models, people I looked up to, people I wanted to be like.
I never had to cheat, I get them with what I got.
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.
The Yankees won the pennant, we went on to the World Series, 41 years after that in the city of Toronto. The great city of Toronto, and all the provinces in Canada, everybody reached out and they were excited because we won the first World Series ever, across the border.
Roberto Clemente, not only because you played right field like it was supposed to be played, but your humanitarian efforts will live on forever.
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.
The sooner I get into the Hall of Fame the better.
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 am truly sorry that a fowl of Canada is no longer with us.
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.
He was the first person I met in pro ball because we both wore a size 14 shoe. He had interesting comments on exactly how far to stand away from the plate. He introduced me to the importance of being prepared for everything that you do. I took that in, on calling games and accepting responsibilities as a catcher.
To the people out there, baseball is a simple sport. But it is complex. It is never easy.
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.
Made it through high school, went to the University of Minnesota.
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.
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.
There are other people like Henry Aaron. Man, just for being the best and breaking records at a time when people didn't want you to.
But I'll tell you this, it started with my mother. I have to give her. God bless her and rest her soul. I had a good foundation at home, so when I was able to go off and do these things in baseball there was always support.
Now it's on to May, and you know about me and May.
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.
You know, heroes are ordinary people that have achieved extraordinary things in life.
The people in my life that were not only what I call heroes, but these are the people that overcame extraordinary circumstances in life.
More Dave Winfield Quotations (Based on Topics)
Baseball - People - Life - Heroism - Education - Time - Fame - Spring - Deduction - Chance - Planning - Man - World - Cities - Soul - Money & Wealth - Idea - God - Stress - View All Dave Winfield Quotations
Shaquille ONeal - Nadia Comaneci - Zinedine Zidane - Sergei Bubka - Ruud Gullit - Jurgen Klinsmann - Joe DiMaggio - Jackie Joyner-Kersee - Greg Norman - Evander Holyfield