A Quiet Existence
You see, I've always sort of looked upon baseball as something akin to show business, ” Waitkus said, just prior to his debut with the Baltimore Orioles. “Ninety-five per cent of the players you see have an actor's temperament—we're extroverts and we like to be appreciated. And me? I hate to get left out of any act. That's why it's nice to be with Baltimore. Last year was a nightmare for me. Sometimes I felt like I was slowly going berserk. It was an awful feeling sitting on the bench after being in there day after day all those years. I just couldn't adjust myself to it. You've got to play regularly in this game in order to make a decent living. I'm sure I'm going to like it in Baltimore. This city is all excited about getting into the majors and it should prove to be very interesting. The thing I like best, however, is that I'm getting a chance to play. That's all I ask. ”
Waitkus joined his new team in late March in Mesa, Arizona, where the Orioles were playing the Cubs in a spring training game. Baltimore was managed by Jimmie Dykes, who boasted that his infield was potentially one of the best in the majors. “When Eddie Waitkus gets in shape we'll have one of the finest glove men in the game at first base, ” Dykes said. “Bobby Young is the sparkplug of the team at second. Bill Hunter is everything we thought he was at shortstop, and Junior Stephens is beginning to find himself— at third. ”
The first thing Waitkus did when he met the Orioles at Rendezvous Park was run twelve laps around the outfield. He told Dykes that he had little opportunity to run at the Phillies' camp because of a National League rule prohibiting legwork in the outfield while games were being played. Waitkus
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Publication information: Book title: Baseball's Natural: The Story of Eddie Waitkus. Contributors: John Theodore - Author. Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press. Place of publication: Carbondale, IL. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 105.
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