Do you think it's easy to just walk up to Joe DiMaggio and start up a conversation? I've been around him at old-timers' games, and believe me, he's someone special. It's not easy to walk over and say, 'How ya doin', Joe, whaddya say?' You really feel as though this is the one old-timer you have to call Mister.
No one had more impact on my career than Gil Hodges. Playing for him was a learning experience, and he was a tower of strength. Not everbody liked him, but everybody respected him. He went about his job in a very professional manner, and it caused me to do the same with my job.
These kids today, they want to be men, they want to be foxhole guys, but they’re not being allowed to do that. Imagine if these computer geeks who are running baseball now were allowed to run a war? They’d be telling our soldiers: ‘That’s enough. You’ve fired too many bullets from your rifle this week!’