Welcome to Cooperstown
Congratulations to Jim Rice, Rickey Henderson and the family of the late Joe Gordon. As you are all inducted today into Cooperstown I hope you enjoy every minute of the experience, and have a chance to reflect on your career achievements in the game we love so much.
My induction was a dream come true. During my 20 years managing the Dodgers I never once thought of being inducted until Peter O’Malley brought it up in conversation during my retirement. Of course I still didn’t believe him until spring training of 1997 when I got a call from Ted Williams. He said, “I thought I was the only guy in Cooperstown who loved you but it turns out everybody loves you.”
When I was a kid I used to actually dream of playing in Yankee Stadium. I could picture all the Yankee greats playing the field behind me. And then all of a sudden my mother would be shaking me telling me it’s time to go to school. The dream was so real. Why didn’t she let me stay asleep? Standing at the podium in Cooperstown making my induction speech I felt like it wouldn’t be long before my mother would be shaking me and telling me it’s time to go to school.