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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Willie Mays

Baseball Hall of Fame

I think the key to that particular play was the throw. I knew I had the ball all the time. In my mind, because I was so cocky at that particular time when I was young, whatever went in the air I felt that I could catch. That's how sure I would be about myself. When the ball went up I had no idea that I wasn't going to catch the ball. As I'm running -- I'm running backwards and I'm saying to myself, "How am I going to get this ball back into the infield?" I got halfway out. As I'm catching the ball I said, "I know how I'm going to do it." I said, "You stop " -- I'm visualizing this as I'm running. It's hard to tell people that -- what I'm doing as I'm running. I know people say, "You can't do all that and catch a ball." I said, "Well, that's what I was doing. Okay?" I was running, I was running. I'm saying to myself, "How am I going to get this ball back in the infield? "So now as I catch the ball -- if you watch the film close -- I catch the ball, I stop immediately, I make a U-turn. Now if I catch the ball and run and turn around -- Larry Doby which is on second, Al Rosen on first -- Larry can score from second. Because Larry told me -- I didn't see this, Larry had told me many times -- "I was just about home when you caught the ball, I had to go back to second and tag up and then go to third." So he would have scored very easily. So I said, well -- as I'm running, I've got to stop and make a complete turn. You watch the film and you'll see what I'm talking about. I stopped very quickly, made a U-turn, and when I threw the ball I'm facing the wall when the ball is already in the infield. So when you talk about the catch, more things went into the play than the catch. The throw was the most important thing because only one guy advanced, and that was Larry, from second to third. Al was still on first. And that was the key. To me it was the whole World Series.
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Craig McCaw

Pioneer of Telecommunications

I think Dickens' whole approach to that question, the whole moral question of whether we are or are not different because of our upbringing and our social status, I think has put me in a stead to where I think I'm more comfortable with an egalitarian world, such as we're seeing evolve from the Internet where everyone really is nameless, faceless, you don't know where they are, you don't know what they mean. And in a sense, you can't put them in a box, because you don't know what box they would belong in. So, I think Dickens to me had a very sad message about human behavior, but also a very optimistic one. That if you recognize that, if we get beyond that, that there's a wonderful life beyond for all.
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Craig McCaw

Pioneer of Telecommunications

If you give something to people in their interest, they will eventually realize it. If they don't know it on day one, it really isn't important. It's your job to think almost anthropologically about humanity and say, "What would be in their best interest?" And then try to get there first, and know that eventually they'll learn that what you have is worth their while. If I ever got a vision in business it was that, the Field of Dreams mentality, and that's how I've really operated in my career. I've never worried whether somebody else thought it was the right thing. If I believed it was the right thing, then I was prepared to build it and hoped that "they would come," based upon if I were that person and I were in their circumstances, that I would appreciate what product was being created and it was worthwhile.
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Craig McCaw

Pioneer of Telecommunications

With cellular telephony, in particular, we saw an enormous gap between what was and what should be. The idea that people went to a small cubicle, a six-by-ten office, and sat there all day at the end of a six-foot cord, was anathema to me. I mean, it makes absolutely no sense. It is machines dominating human beings. If one thing is obvious, people will pay, people will contribute something for control of their lives, the right to choose. And I think if anything we saw in cellular telephone it was that people were being subjugated needlessly to 1890's technology.
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Frank McCourt

Pulitzer Prize for Biography

My mother was always amused by my father. He had a laconic sense of humor, and she was a good storyteller too, because she'd go to the movies and we couldn't go. We didn't have the money. She'd come home and tell us the whole movie frame by frame. She went to see a movie once called Reap the Wild Wind with Paulette Goddard and John Wayne who was a bad guy in there, and Ray Milland, and she told us every line of that and we sat around the fire. I remember that fire, looking into the flames darting and leaping, and she's telling the story and we're having tea. So this is what we got from them. No television. There was no television. No. We had none of that. We had no electricity so we couldn't have anything. But there was always this stuff going on between us at home and in the streets and with the neighbors. That was rich.
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Frank McCourt

Pulitzer Prize for Biography

I remember reading James Baldwin talking about his mother fighting the cockroaches, trying to keep the kitchen clean, trying to keep things growing up in Harlem, and I said, "That's it. This man understands," because you read so little about poverty in American literature or any other literature. There was Dickens, I know, but Dickens -- I became suspicious of him because he had all those happy endings. I wish Oliver Twist had died of TB, or David Copperfield. That used to piss me off when they're all -- they all found out they were related to somebody in the Royal Family or some damn thing. So when I came across Baldwin and George Orwell's book Down and Out in Paris and London and another one called The Road to Wigan Pier, they had -- he knew. He knew the details, the stink of poverty.
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Frank McCourt

Pulitzer Prize for Biography

We were asked to write about a single thing, an object in our childhood. And the object that meant most to me that was so significant was the bed I slept in with my brothers, all four of us. This half acre of a bed with a disaster of a mattress, which collapsed in the middle. Everybody peed in the bed, so the spring was gone, and we tried to keep it together with bits of string, but after a while the acid from our bodies rotted the string. We'd get into bed and we'd roll into the middle, the four of us, and fight, "Get out of my way." Meanwhile the fleas were feasting on us. And if you had to go the john you went to a bucket and so on and came back. And we were -- we'd light a candle to get at the -- and we'd hold the candle and we'd go slapping at each other's legs and bodies killing the fleas. That was probably the most concrete image I brought away from my childhood and I wrote about that. The professor gave me an "A+." And I said, "Jesus, this is very strange." And then he says, "Please read this to the class." And I said, "No." "Would you?" "No." "Would you please?" I said, "No, I'd be ashamed." And he read it. He said, "Do you mind if I read it?" So he read it to the class and I think they sensed that I was the one who wrote it, and good looking girls started looking at me in an interested way, but I thought they'd be -- I thought they'd be disgusted. But I found myself being stalked leaving the class that day. "Is that how you grew up?" And it seemed -- I seemed to suddenly have become kind of an exotic in the class.
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Frank McCourt

Pulitzer Prize for Biography

I realized that I hadn't finished my story. I had brought it up to the age of 19, but what I wanted to show was, I think, the effects of that childhood, the poverty and the religion, and everything else on a young man coming to New York. What it does to your self-esteem, how I was damaged and also how I benefited from it. Because no matter what I say about the poverty, there was a richness. No matter what I said about the church, there was a richness in that religious experience. If we hadn't had the church, the architecture, which was Neo-Gothic or Neo-Byzantine -- I don't know what the hell it was. But there was the liturgy, the Latin, the ceremonial, the sense of mystery, the sense of awe, the sense of wonder, and the power, the art, the duplicated paintings of the stations of the cross, all of that.
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