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November 10, 2006

Golden Stairs

Johnny Sain died the other day. He was a major-league baseball pitcher in the 1940s and 1950s, but I know him from the book Ball Four. Although he is only a peripheral character, he acts as a mentor of sorts to Jim Bouton, and come across as one of the few wise people in baseball at the time.

His most famous advice was on asking for more money. This was back in the days before free agency, when baseball contracts essentially bound players to their teams for whatever salary they cared to offer, but Sain was adamant that you could always go ask for a raise if you deserved it. He told Bouton, "Now, don't be afraid to climb those golden stairs. Go in there and get what you're worth."

Those golden stairs. In honor of Johnny Sain, I'll keep that in mind the next time reviews come around.

Posted by AdamBa at November 10, 2006 10:47 PM

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When the (Boston) Braves won the 1948 NL pennant, they had only two successful pitchers, Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain. Their slogan was, "Spahn, Sain and a day of rain." They lost the World Series to Lou Boudreau's Cleveland Indians. Indians vs Braves.

Posted by: marble chair at November 11, 2006 10:31 AM