When I was growing up, my favorite player was Reggie Jackson - and I never got the opportunity to get an autograph from Reggie. I was so frustrated. I mean, he was my idol. And I couldn't get no autograph. I would go through punishment waiting on him (after games) because he was always the last guy to come out. And I would go back home with no autograph.
When I was a little-leaguer, I was sort of famous for stealing bases - and it started only because my mom wanted to be sure where I was in the afternoons. Mom always used to say, "If you don't come home dirty, you didn't play a baseball game." So I always tried to get in a situation where I had to slide so that I could go home dirty.
A good friend of mine took me out and had me hit off a tee. He made me understand what was my strike zone and - with my speed - the importance of making contact. So I give him a lot of credit for changing my game and making me the player I became. He showed me how to work on me and my game, and not worry about patterning myself after someone else and focusing on what they were capable of doing rather than what I was capable of doing.
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The only thing I wish I could figure out is how I got misunderstood regarding the type of person I really am and what I accomplished ... Just because I believed in what I was doing on the field and dedicated myself to playing the game, does that mean I'm cocky? Does that mean I'm arrogant? People who played against me called me cocky, but my teammates didn't. I brought attention, fear.