Children were playing by the massive hotel pool. Sutton watched them through the coffee-shop window. "You know, what I do for a living isn't that big a deal. That I can do it is the big deal. I'd like to keep doing it as long as I can meet my own standards. But there are bigger things. I run everything through the filter system of my Christian beliefs, but I do believe in having fun. You see a lot of Christians running around in sackcloth and ashes, not having any fun at all. I like to have a few beers with the guys. I love good California wines, particularly the Cabernets—Stags Leap, Sterling Vineyards. When I was with the Dodgers, we had tickets to the L.A. Philharmonic. A perfect weekend for me would be spent listening to Jerry Jeff Walker down at the Palomino Club in North Hollywood on Friday, then taking in the symphony at the Music Center on Saturday. Both Patti and I read a lot. We like to have pizzas with the kids on Sunday nights. We like to go out to eat at fine restaurants."
He sat back in his chair. "When I die, I'd like people to say of me that he was an honest man we could count on, who left a positive influence on his family, friends and profession. After people have forgotten what team I played for, I hope they remember me as someone who strived to be consistent and dependable."
He would have a last word, too, for those who make snap judgments about people as complicated as he. "You know, there are people who insist on deciding who and what we are with less information than they use to buy a loaf of bread." He smiled as he got up from the table. "It's not really that complicated. What I am is pretty evident, no matter what people say. I'm the stubbornest person I know. And for all the rest of it, I've never been anything but a semipolished hick. Maybe that's the best kind of hick. Maybe that's the best kind of polish."