From Where I Sit...

Successful Catcher, Man’s Best Friend

No one ever looked less like an athlete than the short, squat ball player who showed up at Yankee Stadium in 1947. Bench jockeys around the league jeered at his face, his gait and his malapropisms. His throwing was wild. Once when firing to second base he hit the pitcher in the chest.

Another time he beamed the second base umpire who was standing ten feet from the plate. But he worked endlessly to overcome his short comings as a catcher, spent extra hours in the batting cage and studied rival hitters until he knew their every weakness.

Casey Stengel, his manager, saw something special in the catcher and made him a regular starter. Yogi Berra played on 14 pennant winning teams, hit 358 homers, was voted the league’s most valuable player three times and set 18 World Series records.

The Wrong Legacy

In 1057 Lady Godiva exasperated her husband by persistently pleading with him to reduce the taxes on the people of Coventry. To silence her he declared he would do so only if she rode naked through the town’s marketplace. Lady Godiva called his bluff and set out for town the next day on horseback completely naked.

However, by concealing most of her body with her long and copious hair she preserved both her own modesty and her husband’s price enabling him to reduce taxes without loss of face.

Lady Godiva made a pact with town’s people that they would remain indoors behind shuttered windows if they wanted their taxes reduced. Everyone complied with her request except for a tailor named Tom. He peeped through his curtains and was instantly struck blind, or in some versions of the story, dead. Poor Tom, blind or dead as the case may be, left the epithet “a peeping Tom” as a permanent legacy to the English language.

Man’s Best Friend

Sir Winston Churchill had a poodle named Rufus. The dog was so loved that he even ate in the dining room with the rest of the family. A cloth was laid for him on the Persian carpet beside the head of the household and no one else ate until the butler had served Rufus.

One evening Churchill was watching the film Oliver Twist and Rufus had the best seat in the house, on his master’s lap. At the point in the movie when a dog was about to be drowned to put the police off the villain’s track, Churchill covered Rufus eyes with his hand and said, “Don’t look now dear. I’ll tell you about it afterwards.”

Borrowed Money

A banker called an oil man to his office. “We loaned you a million dollars to revive your wells and the wells went dry,” he said. “Could have been worse,” the oil man replied. “Then we loaned you another million dollars to drill new wells and they all turned out to be dry holes,” said the banker. “Could have been worse,” replied the oil man.

“Then we loaned you another million dollars to buy new drilling equipment and it all broke down,” the banker said. “Could have been worse,” the oil man replied again. “I’m tired of hearing that! How could it have been worse?” snapped the banker. The oil man said, “It could have been my money.”

A final thought for this week. The six things necessary for success are sincerity, personal integrity, humility, courtesy, wisdom and charity.