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What I found fascinating was just how quickly the best of the young Negro League players were drafted into the major leagues once Branch Rickey broke the color line by hiring Jackie Robinson. It was clear that all of the major league owners already knew the talents of the black ballplayers that they had refused to let into their league.
Walter Dean Myers
I'd rather play in the major leagues and have some bad games than play consistently good ball in the minors.
I came into the game when I broke into the major leagues, the minimum salary was seven thousand dollars, and I'd have to go home in the wintertime and get a job.
I'd like to help educate kids about the Major Leagues - what to anticipate, what to expect, what they'll need to do to prepare themselves.
Not many people get to the major leagues and succeed right away. There are some struggles. Everyone seems to struggle.
The Cubs gave me a chance to play. They signed me as a free agent and brought me to the Major Leagues. The first day I walked into Wrigley Field was one of the best days of my life. And I owe them an awful lot.
I knew I'd never make it back to the major leagues as a player. Lee MacPhail came to me and asked if I wanted to manage the Yankees' Fort Lauderdale club. I thought about it for a day or two and decided to take the job. That was the turning point. I knew it was what I wanted to do.
To me, there is no more conscientious umpire in the Major Leagues than Jim Joyce. He gives you a hellacious effort every time.
Tony La Russa
I guess what really made me a Dodgers fan from the beginning was that the team had Jackie Robinson, the first 'Negro' in the major leagues.
When you're a kid growing up, you say you want to make it to the Major Leagues, and when you reach that dream, that's what it's all about.
All of a sudden I'm in the major leagues and we're traveling from town to town. I see the other players dressing different every day. I've got only one suit and I keep wearing it over and over. I'm really embarrassed.
I started in for the ball but I just couldn't get it. I should have caught it because I was used to catching everything on the sandlots. But they hit the ball a lot harder in the major leagues and I just couldn't reach the ball this time.
Well, I wanted to play twenty years in the major leagues. I never made it twenty though. I played nineteen.
My high school coach was Ray O'Conner. He has coached a lot of players that have signed professional contracts, and many of those have gone on to play in the major leagues.
I always wanted to say I came out of the cornfields and got to the major leagues. That was my biggest thought. But now I can say I came out of the cornfields and got to the Hall of Fame.
I was not bitter by not being allowed to play in the major leagues. I just said, 'The time has not come.'
If some guys couldn't stand the heat, then they didn't belong in the major leagues. I don't know anybody who refused the World Series checks I helped them get.
But baseball bounced back in the next decade to reclaim its place as the national pastime: new heroes, spirited competition, and booming prosperity gave birth to dreams of expansion, both within the major leagues and around the world.
I perform in the major leagues of what I do. It's incredible.
I was a great base umpire, but I was the most mediocre plate umpire to ever come into the major leagues.
I enjoyed hitting in the Major Leagues more than in the Minor Leagues. I didn't want to tell anybody it was easier, because I didn't want to sound cocky. But Major League pitchers had better control, and most of them were around the plate.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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