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.
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You know the amazing thing? I love Henry Aaron . I think he's a wonderful guy and a great credit for baseball. To break Babe Ruth's record he went to bat 2,000-some more times than Ruth. When you look at it that way you see how great Ruth was. Ruth was probably the greatest athlete to perform in any sport. Never has there been anybody like him. Look at him. They talk about steroids. Nobody can argue he had steroids. He just ate. He was a great one.
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A part of control is learning to correct your own weaknesses. The person doesn't live who was born with everything. Sometimes he has one weak point, generally he has several. The first thing is to know your faults. And then take on a systematic plan of correcting them. You know the old saying about a chain only being as strong as its weakest link. The same can be said in the chain of skills a man forges.
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How to hit home runs: I swing as hard as I can, and I try to swing right through the ball... The harder you grip the bat, the more you can swing it through the ball, and the farther the ball will go. I swing big, with everything I've got. I hit big or I miss big. I like to live as big as I can.
Aw, everybody knows that game, the day I hit the homer off ole Charlie Root there in Wrigley Field, the day October first, the third game of that thirty-two World Series. But right now I want to settle all arguments. I didn't exactly point to any spot, like the flagpole. Anyway, I didn't mean to, I just sorta waved at the whole fence, but that was foolish enough. All I wanted to do was give that thing a ride... outta the park... anywhere.
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I've heard people say that the trouble with the world is that we haven't enough great leaders. I think we haven't enough great followers. I have stood side by side with great thinkers - surgeons, engineers, economists; people who deserve a great following - and have heard the crowd cheer me instead.