"They lost today," the boy told him.
"That means nothing. The great DiMaggio is himself again."
"They have other men on the team. "
"Naturally. But he makes the difference. In the other league between Brooklyn and Philadelphia I must take Brooklyn. But then I think of Dick Sisler and those great drives in the old park.
There was nothing ever like them. He hits the longest ball I have ever seen."
"Do you remember when he used to come to the Terrace? I wanted to take him fishing, but I was too timid to ask him. Then I asked you to ask him and you were too timid."
"I know. It was a great mistake. He might have gone with us. Then we would have that for all of our lives."
Some years back, Sisler's copy of The Old Man and the Sea, a gift from Hemingway, was stolen from his house in La Jolla, Calif. "I hated to lose that book," he says. "He autographed it to me personally."
Another important document is, fortunately, still in Sisler's possession. When he was hired to manage at Nashville in 1957, he wrote his father, asking all the questions about hitting he had never asked as a player.
"He typed me back a letter," says Sisler, "which is actually my bible today when teaching young hitters how to overcome their faults. He was very knowledgeable about hitting. I remember him telling me, 'A guess-hitter is a .250 hitter and under.' Well, look around baseball today—there are a lot of hitters at .250 and under."