Plain Lucky

At the age of fourteen, while still a schoolboy shortstop on Long Island, I received a surprise invitation to a tryout camp at Ebbets Field, the old home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. With scouts from several teams looking on, I’d be put through my paces and rated on my batting, fielding, and basepath speed. I was too young to be offered a contract—my Babe Ruth League coach made that clear—but if I did well the scouts would keep tabs on my progress and maybe—no, probably—sign me in the future, or so I believed.

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