David Bruce: The Funniest People in Sports, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes — Hitters, Honesty

Hitters

• Even the truly great athletes need to retire at last. George Brett, hitting sensation for the Kansas City Royals, once was asked what he wanted to do in his final at-bat. He replied, “I want to hit a routine grounder to second and run all out to first base, then get thrown out by a half-step.” Lots of people would love to hit a home run in their final at-bat, so why did Mr. Brett say he wanted to go out in this way? He explains, “I want to leave an example to the young guys that that’s how you play the game: all out.”

• Slugger Josh Gibson hit towering home runs in the Negro Leagues. In Pittsburgh, he once blasted a home run that went over the stadium walls and kept on going. It was such a shot that everyone soon heard about it, including umpires everywhere. The next day, he was batting in Philadelphia when a strong-armed fan hurled a baseball from a high seat onto the field, where an outfielder caught it. The umpire turned to Mr. Gibson and joked, “You’re out yesterday in Pittsburgh.” • Even the truly great athletes need to retire at last. George Brett, hitting sensation for the Kansas City Royals, once was asked what he wanted to do in his final at-bat. He replied, “I want to hit a routine grounder to second and run all out to first base, then get thrown out by a half-step.” Lots of people would love to hit a home run in their final at-bat, so why did Mr. Brett say he wanted to go out in this way? He explains, “I want to leave an example to the young guys that that’s how you play the game: all out.”

• Slugger Josh Gibson hit towering home runs in the Negro Leagues. In Pittsburgh, he once blasted a home run that went over the stadium walls and kept on going. It was such a shot that everyone soon heard about it, including umpires everywhere. The next day, he was batting in Philadelphia when a strong-armed fan hurled a baseball from a high seat onto the field, where an outfielder caught it. The umpire turned to Mr. Gibson and joked, “You’re out yesterday in Pittsburgh.”

• Just how strong a batter was Oakland Athletics player Jose Canseco? While taking batting practice before a game against the New York Yankees, Mr. Canseco checked his swing, stopping in the middle, but still managed to hit the baseball with such force that it soared over the right-field fence. Mike Pagliarulo, the Yankee third baseman, was amazed, saying, “He checked his swing and hit one of the longest shots I’ve seen.”

• While in the midst of a hitting slump in Chicago, Pete Rose boarded the Cincinnati Reds team bus only to run into a non-player who was disembarking after finding out that he had boarded the wrong bus. Mr. Rose told him, “If you can hit, stay on the bus.”

• When the great hitter Rogers Hornsby was working as a batting coach, a young player asked him for advice: “What would you do, Mr. Hornsby, if you got in a batting slump?” Mr. Hornsby replied, “When you have a lifetime average of .358, you don’t have any slumps.”

• Aaron Bimler once declined batting help from his father, St. Louis major leaguer Mike Bimler, saying, “That’s okay, dad. I’ll strike out on my own.”

Honesty

• Early in his career, African-American tennis great Arthur Ashe played a friend, Stan Smith, in a match. At an important point in the match, Mr. Smith hit a return that was controversial. The officials were indecisive about whether Mr. Smith had hit the ball before a second bounce, but Mr. Ashe asked Mr. Smith if he had gotten to the ball before the second bounce. Mr. Smith said, “I think I got it,” and Mr. Ashe told the officials, “Hey, if he thinks he got it, he got it.” Mr. Smith says, “That demonstrated his faith in me as a friend and my being honest.”

• DeeDee Jonrowe has competed as a musher in the Iditarod, a 1,049-mile dog sled race in Alaska. During one competition, she ran out of batteries for her headlamp and had to make a deal with another musher for some batteries. She promised not to pass him, and he gave her the batteries. She kept her word during the race. Ms. Jonrowe says, “When you’re out there for 10 days, you have to depend on each other and trust each other. You have to be as good as your word.”

***

Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

***

The Funniest People in Sports, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes — Buy

The Funniest People in Sports, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes — Buy the Paperback

The Funniest People in Sports, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes — Kindle

The Funniest People in Sports, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes — Apple

The Funniest People in Sports, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes — Barnes and Noble

The Funniest People in Sports, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes — Kobo

The Funniest People in Sports, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes — Smashwords: Many Formats, Including PFD

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: