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Willie Mays Quotes


A former American baseball player.
(1931 - )

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And my father didn't have money for me to go to college. And at that particular time they didn't have black quarterbacks, and I don't think I could have made it in basketball, because I was only 5' 11". So I just picked baseball.
 

At ten I was playing against 18-year-old guys. At 15 I was playing professional ball with the Birmingham Black Barons, so I really came very quickly in all sports.
 

Baseball is a game, yes. It is also a business. But what is most truly is is disguised combat. For all its gentility, its almost leisurely pace, baseball is violence under wraps.
[Baseball]
 

Defense to me is the key to playing baseball.
[Baseball]
 

Every time I look at my pocketbook, I see Jackie Robinson.
 

I always enjoyed playing ball, and it didn't matter to me whether I played with white kids or black. I never understood why an issue was made of who I played with, and I never felt comfortable, when I grew up, telling other people how to act.
 

I didn't say I was that smart, I said I went to class and I enjoyed what I was doing.
 

I don't compare 'em, I just catch 'em.
 

I don't mean to be bashful, but I was.
 

I played with the Birmingham Black Barons. I was making 500 at 14. That was a lot of money in those days.
 

I think I was programmed to do good things when I came into the majors. I knew how to play.
 

I think I was the best baseball player I ever saw.
[Baseball]
 

I was a baseball player, I taught baseball, and all of a sudden I was in the business world. Now I used the baseball world to talk about their product. Not too much, just enough to keep going. Just be yourself and you'll never have a problem. That's what I did.
 

I was very blessed with a good body. Never got hurt. Never was in the hospital. The only time I was in the hospital was when I would get exhausted a little bit, and go in for a check-up or something.
[Blessed]
 

I was very fortunate to play sports. All the anger in me went out. I had to do what I had to do. If you stay angry all the time, then you really don't have a good life.
 

I would try and help everybody, because the game was so easy for me. It was just like walking in the park.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
[Dedication]
 


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