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BE A CHARACTER!
After a while me and Ducky Med wick, Leo Durocher. Rip Collins, Kayo DeLancey and Pepper Martin developed what you might call a real knack for harmless high jinks. They called us the Gashousc Gang. Maybe you remember. Like that time in Philadelphia, the Cardinals was camped out at The Bellevue-Stratford Hotel, plenty high-tone diggings. A fancy banquet was goin’ on. Right in the middle of the soup a bunch of men in overalls walks in. They sets up ladders and starts hammerin’ and sawin’ on the ceiling. The toastmaster screams for the manager. He comes a runnin’. He wants to know, “What’s the meanin’ of it?” Well, them painters and carpenters was Os Diz, Rip Collins and Pepper Martin. The toastmaster was nice enough to invite us to sit down to the rest of the dinner and we did. It was a fine meal. Bat the real meanin’ of it was that the newspapers carried a lot of stones aboat it, and the ball park was jam-fall up the next day. When Babe Herman was playin’ for Brooklyn he was a swell fellow and a great man with a bat. But the sports writers said he couldn’t held a soap bubble. Then one day, so the story goes, a hot liner slipped through his hands and he stopped it with his head. The ball rolled ofT into his glove, tame as you please. This taught Babe how to use his head in fielding. The fans got a good laugh. Everybody liked Herman and next year he got more money. Lean to Take It Now, it's true that once in a while bein’ a character gets you in a jam. Still, if you want to make something of yerself you got to be willing to learn to take it. I remem ber one time back in Houston I was pitchin* a cool no-hitter. Then Al Todd gets a nice, clean single. I got terrible upset. Next time Al come up, my hand was shakin’ so hard the ball whistles past his head and he hits the dirt. He give me a dirty look and says, “If you do that again I’ll punch your nose!" Well, I get even more nervous and the next pitch bums his ear. Down he goes again. He drops his bat and starts for the mound. I walk in, ready with a good wise crack. Every fight I ever been in, there’s a lot of talkin' before the hittin’. But Al fools me. He slugs me on the jaw and I sec stars. 1 figured that the talkin’ would then commence, but he hits me again. He never did do no talkin’, and I never did get so tired of bein' knocked down in my whole life. That’s what I mean about being able to take It. Tow Hood Confidence It’s awful important to have confidence in yourself. Babe Ruth hit a lot of home runs, but the one people remember is the time he pointed right where he was gonna put it and then put it there! Then there was Satchel Paige. He didn’t get up in the major leagues much before he was old enough to be a grandfather. Otherwise he would sure of made baseball’s Hall of Fame, like I. But Satch knew the value of being a character. Many’s the time in the minors a hotshot batter would be standin’ up to him and he'd call in all the outfielders and make ’em sit down cross-legged on the ground. Then with everybody on both teams and tlie managers and the owners all pretty near ready to faint, he would strike the feller out. Back when St. Louis was playin’ Detroit for the World Series, 1 told everybody that me an’ my brother Paul together was gonna win four games and the Cardinals would take the Series. We did and they did. You can be a crystal-ball gazer, too, if you want. I will tell you how. All you got to do is be willin’ to stick out your neck. If you know your onions you are bound to be right some of the time and when you aren't, just don't remind no one. Like me, last spring I picked the Brook lyn Dodgers to win the National League pennant and the Cleveland Indians to re peat in the American League. It looks like I'm sure to be half right anyway. I make a prediction every year. When I’m right I run around town sayin', “Remember? Didn’t I tell you?” And everybody says, “CM’ Diz sure knows his baseball!” But when I'm wrong, I don’t say nothin'. Most people remember your successes and fergit your failures. ■ ” B 1 A little gesture that helped win a large war M K • 5 He had one other little “prop” called the Empire State Building 8 Our top piano player, till Liberoce took over Os course, nobody can get away for very long with bein’ a blowhard. That’s when you got a big, ferocious windup and can’t deliver nothin’ but feather balls. I once knew a pitcher who never went out to the mound without he said, “I’ll strike out the whole side!” Well this feller couldn't hit the side of a hunnerd-cow barn with a basketball. He weren’t funny. And pretty soon he weren’t pitchin' neither. Some Vliet But if you want to make your mark on the world, don't let no side-windin’ critics discourage you from givin’ it a try. AU my life I liked to sing. But some folks is un kind. They used to tell me, “Diz you got a pretty good voice —for a bobcat with the aigue!” But after 25 years of gettin’ up my nerve I just finished makin’ a record of my favorite tune, “The Wabash Cannon Ball.” Some say it ain’t music. But you'd be surprised how many are buyin’ it. You got to have faith enough in yerself not to get rattled when you throw a few wide ones. When I first went on the radio, ail the schoolteachers in Missouri came 2 Even the stars bow to this bonnet's splendor BBk » . 6 One of five brothers who made good. This is not a recent photo 9 It’s no microphone it's a live hand grenade! down on roe. They said I was sayin’ “ain’t” and pretty soon all the school kids that listened to me would be sayin’ “ain’t.” I felt right humiliated, and I fixed things up the best way I knew how. I advised the children to stay in school and listen to their teachers. Just the same I felt I had to team them something, too. “But don’t forgit,” I said, “a lot of peo ple who ain’t saying ’ain’t’ ain’t eatin’!” If you just tell yourself there ain’t a person in the world without some kind of ability, you’ll be makin’ the first step toward success. Find your ability and learn to make the most of it. Don’t bother puttin’ on no false front people always see behind it. But people always think good of the fellow who does a good job and ain’t afraid to advertise it! That’s the way I look at it. What I mean is, if you learn how to aggravate your own natural talents, you’ll get all the recog nizance you got cornin’. * * * NEXT QUESTION: Elsa Maxwell, Amer ica's most famous hostess, answers two in triguing questions from readers next week in, “People and Parties l'U Newer Forget *. - 3 It hasn't dropped out once in a 60-year career n 7 These glasses turned out to be history’s most penetrable disguise w .. „> 10 His watches droop but never his mustache Td 4 This glass proved 50 million Frenchmen wrong M kJMKWk Bf Tjßr J|| 11 Some years ago this chap up and quit his job For answer* see page 23 9