Robin Roberts’ Rise to Hall of Fame Greatness
This story originally appeared in the 2008 Baseball Hall of Fame Yearbook
Robin Roberts was deceptively quick in his 19-year major league career. Harry “The Hat” Walker, the National League skipper who managed against Roberts, once said of Robin, “When you think you have him solved and are ready to cut yourself loose, Boom! Comes the fastball. Faster than you think.”
Born in Springfield, Illinois, on September 30, 1926, Roberts first experienced sporting success on the basketball court for Michigan State University, even appearing in an NCAA Tournament basketball game in 1947 for the Spartans. But it was his transition to the diamond that became his field of dreams, dominating the opposition in the early-to-mid 1950s. With six straight 20-win seasons from 1950 to 1955, Roberts was the ace of a Philadelphia Phillies staff that captured the 1950 National League pennant, forever known as “The Whiz Kids,” after the fact that every member of the starting lineup was under the age of 30.
Over the course of a 19-year major league career, Roberts would win 286 games, posting a .539 winning percentage and a 3.41 career era. In his best year, 1952, Roberts went 28-7, finishing second in the National League Most Valuable Player Award voting, while being named “Major League Player of the Year.” His 286 wins rank 27th all-time (at the start of the 2008 season), while only 20 pitchers in history have pitched more innings than his 4,688 and two-thirds frames.
Throughout his career, Roberts used a combination of speed and control to perplex batters and stifle rallies. “He looks like the kind of pitcher you can’t wait to swing at,” once said Hall of Famer Willie Stargell. “But you swing, and the ball isn’t where you thought it was!”
Roberts did surrender his share of home runs, however, giving up a record 505 in his big league career. When he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976, Roberts told the Induction Day audience he asked then-Museum director, Kenny Smith, if he thought it would be appropriate if Roberts were to invite everyone that ever hit a home run off him to Cooperstown for the induction. Smith replied, “Cooperstown isn’t big enough.” Offering a glimpse of his self-effacing humor, Roberts replied to Smith, “I am going to have little cards made up that say, ‘I hit a home run off Robbie.’ There were a lot of them, by the way.”
Roberts is a picture of grace and class in a gentleman’s game. He remains active with baseball today, serving as a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Board of Directors and makes frequent appearances on behalf of the Hall of Fame and other baseball organizations. “I never had a real job,” said the 81-year-old Roberts recently from his Florida home. “I was always doing something that was unbelievably exciting for me.”
This spring, Bradford Horn of the Hall of Fame, and Cooperstown-based historian Bruce Markusen, sat down with Roberts at different times to talk about his memories of a career well-spent in the game of baseball.
Hall of Fame: You were born and raised in Springfield, Illinois, and played collegiate basketball before going into the Air Force in 1944 during World War II. Did you think you would one day be known as basketball star, Robin Roberts?
Robin Roberts: I graduated from high school in May 1944. In those days, you could wait to be drafted, or you could join up. I joined the Army Air Corps. On July 1, they sent a group of us to Michigan State University to be a part of a reserve program. We had college instructors, and we took different courses. We did that from July through December, and then we had a three-month break before we went into the regular Air Corps. The guy at Michigan State had seen me playing intramural basketball, and he asked me if I’d like to have a scholarship to play basketball. So, from January until the middle of March, I started playing basketball and then when I came out in November the next year, I played basketball again. After two years of basketball at Michigan State, I went out for baseball and the coach knew me from basketball. He asked what I was doing out there, and I told him I played the game. He asked me what I played and I asked him, “What do you need?” I really wanted to be a third baseman, but he needed pitchers. I told him I could pitch, and it turned out I could pitch!
HOF: What lured you to baseball from basketball? It seemed to happen pretty quickly.
RR: I probably wasn’t that good in basketball, although I competed well at that level. I had always played each sport. I was a football player in high school, and then when Thanksgiving arrived, we’d start playing basketball. When the snow melted, we’d start playing baseball. We did that routine every year starting at about 12 years old, and I had no favorites. If I had to choose, I think basketball was more exciting and something I enjoyed every day. But once I got to pitching, and pitching well, I enjoyed pitching.
HOF: And you realized you were better at that?
RR: Well, the Phillies signed me and gave me a bonus. I built my mother a house with the bonus. So, there were a lot of reasons. I enjoyed playing all of the sports. It turned out that getting paid to play baseball was a pretty good way of life for me.
HOF: You had a choice to sign with the Phillies or the Boston Braves. Why did you go with the Phillies and not Boston?
RR: I actually had several clubs lined up to work out with, the Yankees, Braves, Red Sox, Tigers. The first one I worked out with was the Phillies. Of course, we had no agents in those days. I went to Chicago to work out for them, as they were playing the Cubs. The first day, they said, “We’ll give you $10,000.” I warmed up, and the next day, they said, “$15,000.” The next day, “$25,000.” Rather than being smart about it, I told them I’d promised my mother I’d build her a home. I asked if $25,000 would build a nice house, and the guy said yes. I told him that was enough. So, I don’t know what I could have gotten if I’d worked out with the Yankees and all the rest of them. It is kind of a silly, naive story, but it was my story.
HOF: So they literally raised the offer each day?
RR: Oh, yeah. I was on the sidelines in the bullpen, and a heavy-set guy who was a coach said to the traveling secretary, “Don’t let that kid get out of here!” Later on, I signed with the Phillies, and that guy became my coach. His name was Cy Perkins. He’d been a catcher for years with the A’s. I asked Cy why he said that. He told me, “You threw harder and easier than anybody I ever saw.” I had an easy motion, and it would sneak up on you if you weren’t ready. It couldn’t have been nicer the way it worked out, but it would have been interesting to see if they’d have been bidding against each other. They didn’t have a draft then. I know my friend, Curt Simmons, had signed in May of that year and he got $65,000. He had about three clubs bidding for him, but like I say,
it turned out great for me.
HOF: Once you reached the big leagues, you were known for remarkable control.
RR: I had a good, smooth delivery, and everything worked toward home plate. I always ended up straight. I could throw a ball accurately. You throw a lot of home runs, as a consequence. If I won a game, 6-2, and threw two home runs, I didn’t care. I didn’t know they were counting them.
HOF: Did you pay much attention to your statistics during the start of your career?
RR: When we played, I must have pitched 10 years before I even knew what my earned run average was. I never even looked at it. The first time I was even aware of it was when I went to Baltimore. I was pitching there, and near the end of the season, Hank Aguirre, Whitey Ford and I were battling for the earned run champion. Turns out, Aguirre won it. That was really the first time I ever noticed an earned run average. In our day, it was strictly wins and losses. There’s so much built into the whole performance schedule now – quality starts, earned run average, and many things that work into contract negotiations. A lot of older people say the game has changed, and it has, but that’s just the way it is. A lot of other things add to a player’s income today than just winning and losing.
HOF: Let’s talk about the 1950 Whiz Kids and the first pennant for the Phillies since 1915. What is really forgotten is the fact that the Phillies had a seven and a half game lead down the stretch, with only 11 days to go in the regular season, and that the entire year almost went up in smoke.
RR: I didn’t forget it. We had a tough break. Curt Simmons had just come into his own that season. He’d won 17 games, so they put him in the National Guard to try and keep him from being drafted. A lot of people did that. So wouldn’t you know, on September 10, they call him into the National Guard. After becoming a 17-game winner, he’s gone. He was as good a pitcher as there was in baseball. Bubba Church was pitching well for us. He got hit in the eye by a line drive from Ted Kluszewski, and he’s out for the season. He was lucky he didn’t have permanent damage, but he recovered from it and pitched the next year. Bob Miller, who was another good pitcher for us, hurt his back terribly. So, here we go, with a 7½ game lead on September 20, and now we’ve got three
of the four regular starters that are gone. That’s why they talk about me pitching so much at the end of the year, and that was the reason we didn’t have any other guys.
HOF: Your final start in 1950, you’re playing Brooklyn, and you have to make your third start in five days. You must have been exhausted.
RR: Not really. I was young. I had a good arm, but I hadn’t anticipated that kind of a load. Don Newcombe did the same thing for the Dodgers down the stretch, but they were coming up on us and winning. Newk and I pitched Saturday night in Philadelphia, and he beat me. My next start was Wednesday against the Giants. We had a doubleheader because of a rainout, the first of back-to-back doubleheaders against the Giants. So I started the first game against the Giants, and Henry Thompson hit a three-run homer off me in the fifth inning to make the score, 5-1. The manager took me out and then next day, I go to the park for a doubleheader, and I pitched the whole game.
Saturday, we go into Brooklyn with a two-game lead, and Bob Miller tried to pitch, but he still wasn’t right and we lost. Then Sunday, I didn’t know for sure who was going to be pitching, but I was sitting in the clubhouse before the final game, and (Philadelphia manager) Eddie Sawyer – the only time he ever did it in his life – came over with a new ball, rubbing it up. He said good luck and that was it. This was about two hours before the game, and I went out to warm up. I wasn’t feeling top drawer, as I warmed up, as you can imagine. But I looked over, and Newk was warming up, too! That saved me, because I knew he’d done what I’d just done, so we were even. I never thought about it again. We both pitched 10 innings and (Richie) Ashburn threw a guy out at home in the ninth inning, which was a miracle for us and then of course, we won it in 10.
HOF: That throw got Cal Abrams out at the plate. Was that the most memorable moment of the season?
RR: For me, it was, and for Abrams, it was. Richie (Ashburn), who didn’t have a strong arm but was accurate, came in, picked it up, and Abrams was out by about 15 feet.
It wasn’t even close. If Abrams would have stayed at third, the bases would have been loaded with no outs and Jackie (Robinson) up. As it was, the runners moved up on the throw, so first base was open, and the manager said to walk Jackie and keep the ball down on (Carl) Furillo. On the first pitch to Furillo, he popped it up. And then (Gil) Hodges flew out to (Del) Ennis in right field.
HOF: Now in Game Two of the World Series, you also go into the 10th inning and pitch brilliantly against the Yankees. Today, we almost never see a starter go into extra innings, no matter how well he’s pitching. Not even a second thought was given to sending you back out there, even in the postseason?
RR: Nobody ever said anything to me. I mean, I just kept pitching. Nobody came out to get the ball. It was a different era, I would just pitch. They wouldn’t tell me when I was going to start or when I was going to leave. A lot of times, I had more trouble overthrowing early in the game. But once I got my rhythm, I could throw for quite awhile.
HOF: After the 1961 season, the Phillies placed you on waivers, ending your run with the only team you had known. Was this surprising?
RR: No, it made sense. Around 1958, there was a real strong rumor, that I didn’t know about, that the Cardinals wanted to trade (Stan) Musial for me, even up. At the time, it would have probably made sense for both teams, but Stan went in to see the boss and said no. So that never materialized, but as it turned out, we were rebuilding. We had a terrible club in 1960-’61, and I was terrible. I won one game in ’61. I went to spring training and worked hard. I was expecting to have a decent year, and I went 1-10. It’s hard to be 1-10 in the season. I probably had 25 starts, and then went on the disabled list that year. I hurt my knee sliding into second base and wrenched my ligaments in my knee. I was on the 30-day disabled list, and after that, they waived me.
HOF: Then you were picked up by
RR: I was in spring training with the Yankees in ’62, and I went with them to Yankee Stadium on Opening Day. I was there for a week and Ralph (Houk) called me in to say it was the hardest thing he’d ever had to do, but that I was released. I was 34. I went home, and the only people that called me were the Tokyo Giants. I called Freddy Hutchinson with Cincinnati, because they were playing in Philadelphia at the time and I could just go out to the ballpark and work out for them. He said, “Meet me at 4 p.m.” I got out there a little early and was loose by 4 p.m. Freddy came out and said, “Are you loose?” I said, “Yes.” I threw five pitches, and he said they’d give me 10 starts, but that I’d have to sign a contract with Bill DeWitt, the general manager. I thought that was more than fair, so I called Bill and he asked me what I’d like for salary. I told Bill, “I got four kids in school and I need $33,000 a year, which is what I was making.” He said he couldn’t give me that, and there was only one guy on the team making over $30,000. He said they could give me $15,000. So, I went to Baltimore, worked out, and they signed me for $33,500. I had three years with Baltimore, and they were coming together as a good young club. In July 1965, they released me, and I signed with Houston. I was there a year, then three months with the Cubs, then I got a
HOF: Seven times in your career you were an All-Star. How were those games?
RR: Well, I never did that well in them. I had maybe two starts of the five that were any good. I had two out in the 3rd inning of one game, and Al Rosen hit a 3-run home run. Then the next guy, Ray Boone, hit a home run, so that didn’t work out well for me. Then another one, after the first four batters, we were losing, 4-0, but Leo (Durocher) let me pitch the full three innings. We came back to win that game in 12 innings. My All-Star Game success was mixed at best, but I did enjoy them. We didn’t have inter-league play then, and we didn’t associate on the field. They were the only time we got to meet many of the guys in the other league. It was just fun.
HOF: But you really liked the All-Star Game. So much so that you even pushed for two each year from 1959-1963.
RR: When I was involved in the Players’ Association, we got money for our pension from the All-Star Game. I was always trying to get money for the pension, so I thought it would make sense if we played two games a year. There were four of us on the Pension Committee and Walter O’Malley was the only owner. I suggested it, and right away, he grabbed on to the idea. As much as I enjoyed the All-Star Game, I thought everyone would enjoy two. After the first year of playing two games, I realized most of these guys would enjoy having the three days off,
just as much, after playing every day.
HOF: What was the general consensus throughout baseball?
RR: The players really disliked having two All-Star games. It was kind of like having two Kentucky Derbies. It shows that money can be the root of all evil. I was only doing it for the pension, which was the only reason I suggested it. After the first year, I called Mr. O’Malley. I told him I made a terrible mistake, and that I was sorry I suggested it. He said not to give up on the idea yet, and it wound up going on for four years.
More money went into the players’
pension fund, but finally, near the end, both games weren’t even selling out. Some of the players were complaining about playing two All-Star games. One of the highlights of my career came when baseball went back to one game. The guys were so happy. From then on, I was a little careful about my suggestions.
HOF: But you did remain active with the Players’ Association throughout the rest of your career.
RR: The first time I was a player representative in 1953, I just went along with everything. I wasn’t really that involved. We were at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado, and a number of older guys were closing in on the end of their careers. There was a good discussion about the pension plan, which was very nominal at the time. In my only World Series, in 1950, Granny Hamner was our player representative with Philadelphia. We were getting ready to go out to the field for the first game, and Ham comes into the clubhouse and yells out, “Nobody go out yet, we got something to settle.” We didn’t know what was going on, but Ham and Tommy Henrich, the Yankees player rep, were outside the clubhouse with Ford Frick, the National League president, Will Harridge, the American League president, and Happy Chandler, the commissioner. That World Series was the first time money was paid for television rights. Gillette was paying $1 million for the rights to televise the World Series. They were out discussing who got the $1 million.
In the course of their conversation, and I only heard this later through Hamner, Chandler said that the money should all go into solidifying the players’ pension. At the time, contributions to the pension had been paid by owners, out of gate receipts. Some of the clubs weren’t making any money, so they were not too thrilled with having to pay into the pension. There was actually a 90-day cancellation notice of the pension, in the event leagues couldn’t make ends meet. So, Chandler’s decision was quite a thing to do.
HOF: Did the funding for the pension continue?
RR: The next time there was a television contract for the World Series, it was up to $3 million. Ralph Kiner and Allie Reynolds were the N.L. and A.L. player representatives, respectively. Now, they are negotiating on the premise that, since Happy Chandler gave all of the television money before, the players would like to see that continue, in order to solidify the pension. It was 1953, and Chandler was no longer the commissioner, it was now Ford Frick.
Kiner, Reynolds and the players’ lawyer, J. Norman Lewis, sat down with Hank Greenberg and John Galbraith to discuss the new contract. Out of this came a 60-40 split, with 60 percent going to the players pension, and 40 percent to the owners. It was obvious that to solidify the pension, television money was going to be the secret. I got out of being a player representative, but I could see that television was going to go up and up.
HOF: And your involvement continued right through the end of your playing career.
RR: Well, I went to the player representative meeting in Houston in 1965, even though I wasn’t still directly involved, other than being a player who was a member of the Association. I called Bob Friend, who was the N.L. representative, and a guy I had known for a long time. We had both been involved in this. I said to Bob I’d like to attend the meeting, and I’d like to suggest something. I suggested that we establish a search committee for a candidate to establish the office of executive director for the players, someone who was there full-time and could stay aware of everything for us. Not many of our active players had a background in this.
HOF: Out of this, you chose the first-ever executive director to keep an eye out for the players’ affairs?
RR: We interviewed a number of guys, and this is where Marvin Miller came into the picture. The players had agreed to establish this full-time position. None of the guys who were brought up at the start struck a bell with me. I had heard about this professor from the Wharton School, George Taylor, who was a very famous and well-known labor negotiator. I had read about him, so I called him on the phone. I was living in Philly at the time. He said, “Yeah, Robin, I know who you are. I follow baseball.” I asked him to do me a favor. I told him what we were looking for, an executive director of full-time operations who could monitor the players’ interests and affairs, particularly the players’ pension. He told me he’d talk to some people and call me back in three days. So he called back and said, “Lane Kirkland isn’t interested, but Marvin Miller would like to talk with you more about it.”
Harvey Kuenn, Jim Bunning and I were on the committee, and we met Marvin in Cleveland. I felt he had the background to do this, but I had no idea how really qualified he was. At the time, we weren’t anticipating free agency or other things. We were just talking about getting the pension and licensing money. I knew that he was someone who could handle that. Jim and Harvey weren’t that excited about Marvin, because of his union background. I was persuasive. I knew he had the qualifications to handle it. He was overqualified.
HOF: What was Marvin’s reaction to the meeting?
RR: I told him, “Marvin, I’ll back you if you just promise me you won’t strike baseball. We’re not hiring you for that; we just want to get the pension and licensing.” He said, “I have no thoughts of that.” So Marvin was one of six candidates selected by the players for the position. I sent the list to Commissioner Eckert and told him in the letter if there was any one on the list who wouldn’t be good for baseball, for the commissioner to cross him off the list. I did not hear back from him, consequently, I assumed that the six guys on the list were all right by the commissioner.
So, after we didn’t hear back, we had a meeting in New York in February 1966. There were 20 teams at the time, and we voted on the six guys. Judge Cannon won that with 13 votes to just six for Marvin. I do not remember who received the other vote. Now, it is assumed that Judge Cannon will be our executive director. One of the stipulations of our decision to have this full-time position was that the office would be in New York, and be compensated with a five-year, $50,000-a-year package. In going through this process, Judge Cannon was a federal judge in Milwaukee. I never assumed that he would give up his position in Milwaukee, but Bob Friend was in his corner. Once we voted, I congratulated Bob. We asked for a unanimous vote on Cannon and we then got it.
I had this premonition, and I told Friend, “What are you going to do when you find out this judge won’t be moving to New York?” I told him, “There’s no way he’s going to move from Milwaukee to New York and set up the office here.” We held the vote on Saturday and by Sunday morning, Friend called me and said, “How did you know this?” I told Bob it made no sense that he’d want to move to New York and give up his job in Milwaukee. Bob said let’s have another meeting and another vote. In March in Florida, we held another vote among the other five candidates. Marvin was elected and then the vote went to all the clubs. (Miller was approved with a 489 votes for and 136 votes against).
At that time, I told him I could envision our part of the pension would be up to $15 million. It was probably $5 million at the time. When it got to $15 million, Marvin called me and said, “Remember what you told me?” Now I think it is up to $85 or $90 million. Of course, they have a wonderful pension now.
HOF: Why was the pension so important to you and other players at the time?
RR: There’s no specific reason why people should have a pension for playing baseball, but that started it and to me, it was something that should be funded. The television money was the way it should have been funded and it turned out so, so big for the ballplayer.
HOF: Did you have any idea the role of the Players’ Association would grow so large?
RR: Marvin, with his knowledge of federal rules and his abilities, was just so qualified. He turned the association into a labor organization. From the start, the owners made a mistake in fighting him tooth and nail. The owners were just terrible to him. He was the players’ director – our man – and the owners treated him like he wasn’t real.
I was really mistaken in my thinking as a player. At the time, I thought the commissioner really represented the fans. Because of the way Chandler had reacted to the players’ situation by designating the money for the players’ pension, I assumed the commissioner was between players and owners. I assumed that Marvin would have represented the players against the owners, with the commissioner solving the problems. Once Marvin was able to convince the world that the commissioner was on the owners’ side, you had no one representing the fans. They’ve never been able to have a commissioner who is impartial and for the fans since. The game became strictly owners against players. That’s why you’ve had the problems that you’ve had.
The game has gotten so financially involved, the owners are making so much money, and the players are making so much money. The fans are so excited about baseball, so you really can’t look back and say that it has hurt anything.
HOF: What’s the biggest impact to come from these changes?
RR: What is important to the players now, the fans couldn’t resolve that in their minds before. Now, they have accepted it. It’s like the set-up man and the closer. Who’s to say it’s not a good part of the game’s evolution? That’s like talking about complete games. As long as you have the set-up guys and the closer to do it, who cares? Unless you want to go back and reminisce about old times, they’re gone. Records can be misleading, but they changed the ball when (Babe) Ruth came in, brought fences in at different points in time, and lowered the mound when (Bob) Gibson wouldn’t give up a run.
No one was more responsible for bringing in Marvin Miller, except for George Taylor, who, ironically, I never met. It’s ironic the guy could change the game so much, and I never met him. We players had no way to know. I had read his name in the paper. I had three conversations with that man on the phone, and that’s how Marvin became the executive director.
HOF: And how has the game changed because of Marvin?
RR: When the players struck, I called Marvin. He said he’d been waiting for my call. I told him, “Marvin, you told me you weren’t going to strike.” He said that the players made him do it. I didn’t believe him. After that, Timmy McCarver and some of the other guys in those meetings said that Marvin really didn’t want to strike. He left it up to the players and they voted to do it. Of course, Marvin went along with it. Once he knew that he had that kind of loyalty from the players, he knew that he was strong.
HOF: Robin, you were also influential in being a part of the formation of the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.). Talk about your involvement and what the organization means to you.
RR: In 1986, Peter Ueberroth was commissioner, and he called 12 of us into his office to suggest that we come up with an organization that could help former players in need – not a pension, but a charitable effort to help those who were down on their luck if they had major expenses. When we first started, we were able to provide $12,000 of assistance in that first year to help other major league players. Last year, B.A.T. provided nearly $2 million in assistance, not only to former major league players, but to those in the entire baseball family — minor leagues, scouts, umpires, front office employees and former Negro leaguers.
Frank Slocum was our first executive director, and when he passed on, Jim Martin has taken over. There have been a number of players and baseball executives who have served on the B.A.T board. Bob Gibson and I have been able to serve since the beginning. The commissioner’s office covers the B.A.T operating expenses and the active players have been generous in their donations the last four years. It’s an effort from all of baseball personnel to help those who have fallen on tough times. I’ve enjoyed being part of the B.A.T organization.
HOF: In 1976, you were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
RR: There wasn’t a bigger baseball thrill for me. I was in a World Series, and we won a pennant. That was exciting, but the Hall of Fame is a special thing. In my day, you didn’t think about it when you were playing. But nowadays, it is so well-publicized and such a big thing to so many people. When we went in, it was a nice ceremony, but once you made it, there was nothing really big about it. It was special to the player, then, but now, it is also special to many other people, too.
HOF: Robin, what are some of the close friendships you’ve developed with the Hall of Famers over the years. Are there two or three guys in particular – maybe guys from your era, maybe some earlier eras – who you’ve really become close to among the other Hall of Famers?
RR: Not really. I’m kind of involved with them all. We’re all in the same club, and it’s just fun to be there, especially the guys you played against. The numbers are getting a little light now. Most of them have moved on. I enjoy being around Ralph Kiner, because I was with Kiner in the middle of his career. He was some hitter that guy. I pitched against Harmon Killebrew, and I pitched against so many other guys, Mickey Mantle, of course he’s not with us any more. I don’t have any particular one guy. I enjoyed Warren Spahn a lot when he was still with us, because he and I had pitched against each other 12 to 15 times. He was like 10 wins and three loses against me. It wasn’t fair! He was too good, but he did have a good club. I was always a little jealous of the outstanding team that he had. They were something.
HOF: You are a regular in Cooperstown, coming back for every Induction Weekend and for other programs throughout the year.
RR: I enjoy it. I enjoy it as much when the ceremony’s not on, as when it is. I’ve never missed an Induction. My family enjoys it so much. I have four sons and, when my wife was still with me, she used to have a good time. She was the official photographer, but nobody knew it. She took pictures of everybody, and then would mail them out when they were developed. To be honest with you, it’s quite a privilege for me. Baseball is something I just played as a kid, and I ended up in the Hall of Fame. There’s a lot that happened in between, but it was a nice journey.