“I was in awe every time I walked onto the field. That’s respect. I was taught you never, ever disrespect your opponents or your teammates or your organization or your manager and never, ever your uniform. You make a great play, act like you’ve done it before; get a big hit, look for the third base coach and get ready to run the bases.”
“These guys sitting up here [previous Hall of Fame inductees] did not pave the way for the rest of us so that players could swing for the fences every time up and forget how to move a runner over to third. It’s disrespectful to them, to you and to the game of baseball that we all played growing up.“Respect. A lot of people say this honor validates my career, but I didn’t work hard for validation. I didn’t play the game right because I saw a reward at the end of the tunnel. I played it right because that’s what you’re supposed to do, play it right and with respect ... . If this validates anything, it’s that guys who taught me the game ... did what they were supposed to do, and I did what I was supposed to do.”
--Ryne Sandberg, retired, Hall of Fame second baseman for the Chicago Cubs (2005).
Excerpts from New York Times op-ed column, What Life Asks of Us by David Brooks, January 27, 2009. For the entire article, click on: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/27/opinion/27brooks.html?th&emc=th