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Hall of Fame Shortstop Ozzie Smith (ep. 53)

Ozzie Smith

Humility, Being a Role Model + Baseball

“Hard work and applying yourself to be the very best you can be every day: That is what life is all about.”

Today my boyhood hero joins us. Introducing him as a friend is a dream come true.

Ozzie Smith is a 13-time, MLB Gold-Glove-winning shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals. When I was burned as a 9-year-old, Cardinals’ announcer Jack Buck promised me John O’Leary Day at the Ballpark when I recovered.

At John O’Leary Day: I got to meet Ozzie for the first time. This summer, on the 30th anniversary of that day, Ozzie hosted me on the Cardinals Insider Show to talk about my getting to throw out the first pitch on the 30-year anniversary of that life-changing day.

Join me and Ozzie today to talk about humility, being a role model, baseball and how each has allowed him to lead an inspired life.

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  • “People are looking up at you, they are watching. Give them an example that is worthy. Make sure you leave people better when they walk away from you then they were when they walked towards you.”
  • Watch Ozzie interview John on Cardinals’ Insider here.
  • From growing up in a single-parent home to being the only African American player on his minor league team: Ozzie shares the greatest lesson he learned repeatedly in life: You are only going to get out what you put in.
  • Hard work, applying yourself to be the very best you can be every day is really what life is all about. It comes from within, you gotta have that drive within you.
  • You gotta be able to kick doubt out.
  • Failure wasn’t an option. No matter what I came up against, I had to strive, to work hard to make it. I didn’t know what making it was. But I knew that if I was successful, it would make life better for my family.
  • Winning is being able to help your team win psychologically. You give them confidence by being there.
  • Today, Ozzie is passionate about the PGA Reach Program.

Ozzie Smith’s Live Inspired 7

1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? Charlotte’s Web, one of the first books I ever read that I really enjoyed reading.

2. Tomorrow you discover your wealthy uncle shockingly dies at the age of 103; leaving you millions. What would you do with it? Kickstart the PGA Reach Program. Finding ways to help people who are less fortunate, John, because there is so much that can be done.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? Rawlings gave me a trophy that has each year I won a gold glove. That would be the one thing I’d grab for my grandkids; something they could look at and refer to who their grandpa was.

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? Jesus Christ that would be great; to sit and have a conversation with him. My first question: Why are we where we are, what happened?

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Be the best you can be. That’s as simple as it gets. If you adhere to that, good things happen.

6. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at age 20? Get involved in the tech world. It would give you the entree to do so much more for the world. You could do so much good.

7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? You were such an important part of my life! Watching you play baseball with my family – that is what we did. We enjoyed watching you and you brought us such enjoyment. It doesn’t get any greater than that.


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I can’t wait to see you here next Thursday! Today is your day. Live Inspired.

Live Inspired with John every day on FacebookTwitterYouTube, Instagram, LinkedInPinterest and get his Monday Motivation email: www.JohnOLearyInspires.com/Monday-Morning