Dugout Wisdom

Nothing like a rain delay to get you to daydreaming. While infosnacking on the Interwebs today (okay, while avoiding writing a synopsis!), I came across this nugget from Hall of Fame pitcher Leroy “Satchel” Paige:

“Never let the odds keep you from pursuing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.”

Timely advice, considering I was letting odds and everything else keep me from pursuing this particular book idea. This is the fourth book in a series I need to pitch to Dream Agent, and it’s bolloxing up the whole works.

Satchel Paige is rightly recognized as a true star of baseball, one who make the Negro Leagues such tough competition and classed up the joint once the Majors got their act together and integrated the sport. Not only that, but he pitched to major league hitters–Joe DiMaggio said that Paige was the toughest arm he ever faced–until he was 59 years old. Fifty-nine! That’s like 112 in baseball years!

He was colorful off the field, too. He named his nearly-unhittable fastballs and took pride in what he called his “be ball,” because it would, as he said, “be where I wanted it to be.”

But I have another reason to love me some Satchel Paige. My father’s favorite advice (and this is a man who grew up with a first-class raconteur in the house) was Satchel Paige’s famous “How to Stay Young” from Collier’s Magazine in 1953:

  1. Avoid fried meats, which angry up the blood.

  2. If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.

  3. Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.

  4. Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society–the social ramble ain’t restful.

  5. Avoid running at all times.

  6. And don’t look back–something might be gaining on you.

Good advice. Time to go work on that pitch.

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