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When I got to professional ball I used to play 150 games every year. It depends on how many games there was.
They throw the ball, I hit it. They hit the ball, I catch it.
The greatest challenge I think is adjusting to not playing baseball. The reason for that is I had to come out of baseball and come into the business world, not being a college graduate, not being educated to come into the business world the way I should have.
That's how easy baseball was for me. I'm not trying to brag or anything, but I had the knowledge before I became a professional baseball player to do all these things and know what each guy would hit.
Robinson was important to all blacks. To make it into the majors and to take all the name calling, he had to be something special. He had to take all this for years, not just for Jackie Robinson, but for the nation.
People talk about that catch and, I've said this many times, that I've made better catches than that many times in regular season. But of course in my time, you didn't have a lot of television during the regular season. A lot of people didn't see me do a lot of things.
Maybe I was born to play ball. Maybe I truly was.
It's not hard. When I'm not hitting, I don't hit nobody. But when I'm hitting, I hit anybody.
In order to excel, you must be completely dedicated to your chosen sport. You must also be prepared to work hard and be willing to accept constructive criticism. Without one-hundred percent dedication, you won't be able to do this.
In 1950, when the Giants signed me, they gave me $15,000. I bought a 1950 Mercury. I couldn't drive, but I had it in the parking lot there, and everybody that could drive would drive the car. So it was like a community thing.
If you can do that - if you run, hit, run the bases, hit with power, field, throw and do all other things that are part of the game - then you're a good ballplayer.
I'm a very lucky guy. I had so many people help me over the years that I never had many problems. If I had a problem, I could sit down with someone and they would explain the problem to me, and the problem become like a baseball game.
I would try and help everybody, because the game was so easy for me. It was just like walking in the park.
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