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" Above anything else, I hate to lose. "
" The most luxurious possession, the richest treasure anybody has, is his personal dignity. "
" I felt unhappy and trapped. If I left baseball, where could I go, what could I do to earn enough money to help my mother and to marry Rachel? The solution to my problem was only days away in the hands of a tough, shrewd, courageous man called Branch Rickey, the president of the Brooklyn Dodgers. "
" Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he's losing; nobody wants you to quit when you're ahead. "
" A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. "
" There's not an American in this country free until every one of us is free. "
" I want everybody to understand that I am an American Negro first before I am a member of any political party. "
" My protest about the post exchange seating bore some results. More seats were allocated for blacks, but there were still separate sections for blacks and for whites. At least I had made my men realize that something could be accomplished by speaking out, and I hoped they would be less resigned to unjust conditions. "
" Today, Negroes play on every big league club and in every minor league. With millions of other Negroes in other walks of life, we are willing to stand up and be counted for what we believe in. In baseball or out, we are no longer willing to wait until Judgment Day for equality - we want it here on earth as well as in Heaven. "
" I think if we go back and check our record, the Negro has proven beyond a doubt that we have been more than patient in seeking our rights as American citizens. "
" When I look back at what I had to go through in black baseball, I can only marvel at the many black players who stuck it out for years in the Jim Crow leagues because they had nowhere else to go. "
" I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world. In 1972, in 1947, at my birth in 1919, I know that I never had it made. "
" I had practiced with the team, and the first scheduled game was with the University of Missouri. They made it quite clear to the Army that they would not play a team with a black player on it. Instead of telling me the truth, the Army gave me leave to go home. "
" Many people resented my impatience and honesty, but I never cared about acceptance as much as I cared about respect. "
" I cannot possibly believe that I have it made while so many black brothers and sisters are hungry, inadequately housed, insufficiently clothed, denied their dignity as they live in slums or barely exist on welfare. "
" It would make everything I worked for meaningless if baseball is integrated but political parties were segregated. "
" Blacks have had to learn to protect themselves by being cynical but not cynical enough to slam the door on potential opportunities. We go through life walking a tightrope to prevent too much disillusionment. "
" I guess you'd call me an independent, since I've never identified myself with one party or another in politics. I always decide my vote by taking as careful a look as I can at the actual candidates and issues themselves, no matter what the party label. "
" The colonel replied that he didn't care how my men had got the job done. He was happy that it had been accomplished. He said that, obviously, no matter how much or how little I knew technically, I was able to get the best out of people I worked with. "
" I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me... All I ask is that you respect me as a human being. "
" My problem was my inability to spend much time at home. I thought my family was secure, so I went running around everyplace else. I guess I had more of an effect on other people's kids than I did my own. "
" The black press, some liberal sportswriters, and even a few politicians were banging away at those Jim Crow barriers in baseball. I never expected the walls to come tumbling down in my lifetime. "
" How you played in yesterday's game is all that counts. "
" If I had been white with the things I did, they never would have allowed me to get out of baseball. "
" Pop flies, in a sense, are just a diversion for a second baseman. Grounders are his stock trade. "
" After two years at UCLA, I decided to leave. I was convinced that no amount of education would help a black man get a job. "
" In all my years of baseball, I have always expected to be traded. I never liked the idea. "
" In my opinion, baseball is as big a business as anything there is. It has to be a business, the way it is conducted. "
" The old Dodgers were something special, but of my teammates overall, there was nobody like Pee Wee Reese for me. "
" Life is not a spectator sport. If you're going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you're wasting your life. "
" The right of every American to first-class citizenship is the most important issue of our time. "