I was 12 years old that year. I taped their full page magazine photos to my wall. I collected their cards.
My role models then were all baseball players. One of my role models was Nellie Fox, the Chicago White Sox second baseman. That year, 1959, the Go-Go Sox finally won the American League pennant. It was really a big deal. In a Society for Baseball Research article: Nellie Fox, Robert W. Bigelow and Don Zminda described my role model this way:
The image of Little Nel in his batting stance has become iconic – a choked-up grip on his bottle bat with a wad of chewing tobacco bulging in his cheek. Fox was an unimpressive physical specimen at 5-feet-9 without much innate athletic ability, but determination and opportunity helped a gritty kid with a burning love for the game become a perennial all-star and ultimately a Hall of Famer.
I was built like Nellie Fox and I tried to be as determined as he was. What kind of bat do you suppose I used? As you might imagine, I choked up on my bottle bat also. Since I was too young to chew tobacco (thankfully), I chewed a big wad of bubble gum that came with my baseball cards. I had the look, but my jaws hurt from chewing. I remember a photo my dad took of me during our summer vacation when I was 10. I wish I could find it to show you because I had my White Sox hat on and my cheek looked something like Nellie Fox’s cheek in this photo that was included with the Society for Baseball Research article.
When I began practicing law I had role models. Over time I had several role models and I borrowed a little from each one to form my own attributes as a lawyer. I learned how to dress like a lawyer from one role model. I learned how to connect with an audience from another role model and I learned how to meet with clients from a third role model.
Who are your role models? What are you borrowing from the them and how are you using their attributes to create your own success?