I always could hit, but fielding I had to work at. I took as much pride in fielding as hitting. I became a complete ballplayer. I knew when to take the extra base. I knew about the outfielder hitting the cutoff man. I knew when and how to bunt. I knew when to hit-and-run.
It was much more fun playing with him than against him. If you wanted one pitcher to start the seventh game of the World Series, which he did in 1945, you'd pick Hal Newhouser.
I don't know anybody else who lives 1,000 miles away from their job and gets to commute back and forth. The owner said, 'You can live in your beloved Swifton, but don't you dare miss a game.' I had a few close calls, but I didn't miss any.