"You get the kind you like, that's the best kind," said Hornsby with a diplomacy that would have surprised the adult baseball world.
"Will Milwaukee take the pennant?" came an anxious question.
Hornsby answered fervently: "I hope so, and the Yankees have practically got it sewed up. The Yankees have the best team today."
"Now boys," Hornsby said, "you should catch with the glove under the ball and your bare hand over it. Most every boy uses one hand. That's not good. Now for ground balls, take the fielding position with hands on knees [he did]. Keep your weight balanced so you can shift fast. Don't let the ball roll to you, go in and get it on a hop. Give with the ball as you catch it, don't shove it away from you. Field all balls in between the legs."
A boy asked: "Shouldn't you keep your legs together? My friend—he's a real good player—said so."
"No," Hornsby explained patiently. "Field with the legs apart for balance. Every boy has his idea of how to do things, but we're trying to teach you the right way. This is the ABC fundamentals of baseball. Always hold your glove under the ball; that way, you see, boys, there's less chance of its dropping out."
A boy shyly asked, "Won't the ball hit you that way?"
"Now I'm glad that came up, boys," answered Hornsby, "because if you're going to play ball, you can't be afraid of getting hit. You're not going to if you keep your eye on the ball." The timid boy seemed convinced.
The Rajah saved his favorite subject for last. "Want to talk about hitting?" he said finally. A chorus of cheers greeted his suggestion, and the boys ran after him and crowded into the batting cage to watch him hit.
"Now boys," he began, "you walk into the batter's box and take a natural position, any position that's comfortable, but don't have one foot forward and one backward. Have the weight evenly balanced. Be sure your arms are away from the body. Now drop the bat back even with your shoulders in the batting position, with the weight on the rear leg. Now pay attention, boys, because I led the National League seven times, my lifetime average is .358 and I played 154 games every year [a slight exaggeration]. It's the timing, the break of the wrists and the follow-through that counts. [He swung.] All records are made to be broken, and you boys might become greater hitters than any one of your heroes. I don't think Mantle will break Ruth's record, but that's just my opinion. To bunt, face the pitcher, slip your lead hand just below the trademark, using only the first finger and thumb of the lead hand. By having the bat out in front of the plate, you'll always hit it fair."