Jews In Sports: Exhibit Page @ Virtual Museum


Harold U. Ribalow and Meir Z. Ribalow
Page 267 of 290

Jewish Baseball Stars

the clubs I was on was under .500, possibly .400. It's difficult to have a .600 winning percentage on a team like that. Coming over to Baltimore was an important change for me."

A pitcher needs confidence to win. This statement cannot be overemphasized. And Steve Stone, like any pitcher, had to make a believer of himself before he could convince major league hitters. "I used to try not to lose before," he told Henry Hecht of the New York Post before taking the mound and starring in the 1980 All-Star game in Los Angeles. "Now, when I go out, I go out to win every time, and I'm certain I am. I try to envision myself literally walking off the mound a winner. I allow no negatives in my thinking. When certain ones start creeping in, I erase them and make it like a blank blackboard waiting to be filled in with things like, 'The team is going to play well, is going to score some runs, I'm going to throw strikes, I'm going to win.' "

At the age of thirty-three, Steve Stone had finally achieved superstar status, gaining recognition as the league's best pitcher; but the journey to that lofty plateau had not been easy. Like so many other young ballplayers who try to make it in the major leagues, Steve had starred in sports when he was growing up. In his native Cleveland, he won several tennis championships and was a proficient golfer. Attending Kent State University, he starred on the bowling and volleyball teams, and was no mean hand with a pool cue. His prize "victim" was the late Thurman Munson, his catcher at Kent State, later to be the All-Star receiver for the New York Yankees. "Thurman fancied himself a pool shark," Stone confided to Ray Kennedy of Sports Illustrated, "and I was careful never to disillusion