Warren Spahn in Retirement

In Stolen Season, a book by David Lamb, Lamb visits Warren Spahn, a World War Two veteran and the left-hander with the most wins in major league history. Here’s some of what Spahn told Lamb in 1989, as Lamb was traveling around the country in his RV, visiting minor-league baseball parks and some old Braves players:

“I’m just not sure the kids now have the same dedication we did. We’ve gotten too lazy as a nation, too spoiled.”

“That saying – it’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game – well, that’s the dumbest thing I ever heard. You show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser, period, someone who didn’t try hard enough.”

“The consensus of everyone in baseball was that I played a year too long. Maybe I did. But I honestly thought I could still be a winner.”

“I still see a lot of the people from the old Braves days as I travel around, but more and more I go back to Boston or Milwaukee and I ask people, ‘Where’s so-and-so?’ and I find out they’ve died.”

Spahn, who died in 2003, summed up his old age like this: “I see someone with gray hair who’s growing old, and you know what? It makes me feel good, sort of content. I like where I’ve been and where I’m at. Baseball and the military did that for me. They gave me everything.”

Published in: on June 7, 2009 at 11:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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