The other day, I overheard an 8-year-old boy say he wanted to be the next Jose Canseco, so he could make $20 million and drive a fancy sports car. And I immediately thought back to when I was a boy and how I, too, dreamed of becoming a major leaguer. The next Gil Hodges, I used to say. However, my love for Gil had nothing to do with his salary or his possessions. I loved him .
I remember watching the games with my mother, and it was Gil’s tradition that after he hit a homer, as he rounded third base he would blow a kiss to his wife. “Such a nice man,” my mother would say. Gil, in his moment of glory, was giving recognition to the woman he loved. He was telling us what was important in life.
So, to the future Jose Cansecos out there, think of Gil Hodges the next time you feel the urge to brag about your salary or go 90 m.p.h. in your new sports car. There are a lot of boys and girls out there who want to know what’s important in life, and, like it or not, what you say or do matters.