I love to play baseball. I’m a baseball player. I’ve always been a baseball player. I’m still a baseball player. That’s who I am.
Ryne Sandberg’s Hall of Fame induction speech is arguably one of the best that I’ve listened to thus far. I particularly enjoyed his discussion of the proliferation of home runs in the game. Even I can’t deny that home runs are exciting, but small ball, in my opinion, is much more of an art form. Sandberg was inducted in to the Hall of Fame as a Cubs second baseman in 2005.
The reason I am here, they tell me, is that I played the game a certain way, that I played the game the way it was supposed to be played. I don’t know about that, but I do know this: I had too much respect for the game to play it any other way, and if there was there was a single reason I am here today, it is because of one word, respect. I love to play baseball. I’m a baseball player. I’ve always been a baseball player. I’m still a baseball player. That’s who I am.
~Ryne Sandberg, from his 2005 Hall of Fame induction speech
I was taught you never, ever disrespect your opponent or your teammates or your organization or your manager and never, ever your uniform.