Many people resented my impatience and honesty, but I never cared about acceptance as much as I cared about respect.
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.
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 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.
If I had been white with the things I did, they never would have allowed me to get out of baseball.
There's not an American in this country free until every one of us is free.
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.
The most luxurious possession, the richest treasure anybody has, is his personal dignity.
Above anything else, I hate to lose.
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.
During my life, I have had a few nightmares which happened to me while I was wide awake. One of them was the National Republican Convention in San Francisco, which produced the greatest disaster the Republican Party has ever known - Nominee Barry Goldwater.
When I am playing baseball, I give it all that I have on the ball field. When the ball game is over, I certainly don't take it home. My little girl who is sitting out there wouldn't know the difference between a third strike and a foul ball. We don't talk about baseball at home.
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.
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.
Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he's losing; nobody wants you to quit when you're ahead.
The way I figured it, I was even with baseball and baseball with me. The game had done much for me, and I had done much for it.
It would make everything I worked for meaningless if baseball is integrated but political parties were segregated.
In my opinion, baseball is as big a business as anything there is. It has to be a business, the way it is conducted.
In all my years of baseball, I have always expected to be traded. I never liked the idea.
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.