This story resembles something I heard a long time ago. So, I guess, would surmise, there is some truth to it. A family that comes from a poor background works hard, take advantage of their breaks and builds a nice family business. They send their oldest son off to Harvard or Wharton or whatever and the educated prodigy returns to the roost. Father says before you start I’d like you to walk around, examine and come back with a report. Josh dutifully applies himself to the task, and the more he delves into this byzantine, complex business the more perplexed and troubled and confused he appears. Finally, he sits down with Dad and explains, ” I graduated the top of my class from one of the finest schools in the world. I have an I.Q of 150. I have studied this business from A to Z, from soup to nuts. Nothing makes sense. Everything appears dysfunctional, nothing works, there is no logic or common sense.No convention. nothing fitting the norm. That being said, I am totally at a loss to explain how the heck you make so much money! …
The Nice Guys Finish Last line came about because of Eddie Stanky too. And wholly by accident. I’m not going to back away from it though. It has got me into Bartlett’s Quotations— page 1059, between John Betjeman and Wystan Hugh Auden—and will be remembered long after I have been forgotten. Just who the hell were Betjeman and Auden anyway?
It came about during batting practice at the Polo Grounds, while I was managing the Dodgers. I was sitting in the dugout with Frank Graham of the old Journal-American, and several other newspapermen, having one of those freewheeling bull sessions. Frankie pointed to Eddie Stanky in the batting cage and said, very quietly, “Leo, what makes you like this fellow so much? Why are you so crazy about this fellow?”
I started by quoting the famous Rickey statement: “He can’t hit, he can’t run, he can’t field, he can’t throw. He can’t do a goddamn thing, Frank—but beat you.” He might not have as much ability as some of the other players, I said, but every day you got 100 percent from him and he was trying to give you 125 percent. “Sure, they call him the Brat and the Mobile Muskrat and all of that,” I was saying, and just at that point, the Giants, led by Mel Ott, began to come out of their dugout to take their warm-up. Without missing a beat, I said, “Take a look at that Number Four there. A nicer guy never drew breath than that man there.” I called off his players’ names as they came marching up the steps behind him, “Walker Cooper, Mize, Marshall, Kerr, Gordon, Thomson. Take a look at them. All nice guys. They’ll finish last. Nice guys. Finish last.”
I said, “They lose a ball game, they go home, they have a nice dinner, they put their heads down on the pillow and go to sleep. Poor Mel Ott, he can’t sleep at night. He wants to win, he’s got a job to do for the owner of the ball club. But that doesn’t concern the players, they’re all getting good money.” I said, “you surround yourself with this type of player, they’re real nice guys, sure—‘Howarya, Howarya’ and you’re going to finish down in the cellar with them. Because they think they’re giving you one hundred percent on the ball field and they’re not. Give me some scratching, diving, hungry ballplayers who come to kill you. Read More:http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/173887.html