Saturday, October 28, 2006

October 28th, 1935

Bob Veale Born

"[During a rain delay] back in the locker room...the players moved restlessly. Abruptly Veale decided that it was time to make a speech. I noticed that Jimmy Tompkins had draped a towel over his head, under his Blue sox cap, managing to look like a ball player from Oman...the others squirmed on the benches, rained into inactivity.

'You know you maybe think I was a pitcher and that's all I know,' Veale said, beginning so softly he was hard to hear. 'But I could a swing a bat in my day and, besides, I made a study of the game...You were goin' bad in Elmira. I guess you was maybe 0 for 4. But it ain't hard going up to the plate 0 for 4. You already done you worst. You can only get better. Hard is going up to the plate 3 for 4. You got something goin' you want to sustain. You understand? Don't interrupt me, but you can ask me questions later on.

Remember bust your helmet throwing it, it's the only one you got. Next time, you got to hit wearing a busted helmet. You got no protection. Don't look to Doc. He's only got aspirins. They ain't protection.' A few players laughed.

The collected sayings of Chairman Veale, I though. He had his personal syntax and his personal eloquence.

'Remember sayin' "I can't," sayin' "I tried," the two of them ain't worth shit. You got to do it. You got to get it done. There's one thing man don't like that's called fear. You got to make that work for you. God gave every man, big as me [Veale is listed at 6'6"]...the same instinct and we call it fear.

Outsmart 'em...and remind them of their fear. That's all I got to tell you guys in this fucking rain.'"

~Roger Kahn, Good Enough to Dream

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