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DP: You revolutionized the role of the leadoff man by hitting for power. At what point did you say, I want to make that leadoff position different?
RH: The power came after I stole 130 bases [in 1982] and went to arbitration, and they said that the only guy who earned the [big] salary was a guy that hit home runs. That's when I decided I had to elevate my game and do something different. I decided to develop the physique. Hitting home runs came from practicing how to get the ball to carry. I talked to Willie Horton when he was a coach with the Yankees, and he said I had a lot of power but I didn't get the backspin on the ball. So we developed a flat [swing] with a chop to get the backspin.
DP: There's a story that when you were with the A's you didn't cash a million-dollar bonus check because you framed it.
RH: Yes, I did. That's a true story.
DP: And then eventually the team called?
RH: It was toward the end of the season. I got the check in January, and when they made an issue about the check it was December. They were trying to do their books and came up a little short and wondered where the check was.
DP: If they hadn't called, would you have kept it framed?
RH: Probably. It wasn't important that I had the money, it was just something that I had achieved.
Now Hear This
1. Tony Dungy discusses Michael Vick's potential reinstatement.