Mr. Piniella started his career as an outfielder in the major leagues. He played sixteen seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees. During his playing career, he was named AL Rookie of the Year in 1969 and captured two World Series championships with the Yankees in 1977 and 1978.
He was nicknamed "Sweet Lou", both for his swing as a major league hitter and, facetiously, to describe his demeanor as a player and manager.
You were a player, a coach a manager and a broadcaster? What career did you like the most, and why?
“Well playing was by far the most fun. Managing had a lot of responsibilities. Broadcasting is Okay, but playing definitly is the most fun. You get to play with a lot of great players. You can make a lot of great friendships. I had the opportunity to play on many championship teams, so playing was by far the most fun for me, “
What piece of advice were you given at an early age that you value most today?
“To work hard, pay attention to my teachers and my coaches, and to never give up on myself and to keep striving to get better.”
What memory out of your entire career in baseball, was your favorite?
“I have many. I really had. My first at bat in the big leagues. I played six full years in the minors, so I, I struggled to get to the big leagues, I really did. First at bat for the Kansas City Royals in 1969, First championship we won, the Yankees in 1977. And then the 90’s Season with the Reds, world championship in 1990.
Who was the biggest influence on your life? Why?
“Probably my mom. She encouraged me. You know, she loved baseball. So she was somewhat of a coach, but the encouragement she gave me was second to none.
What is the one thing you wish you knew as a teenager that you know now?
Well a lot of things? A whole lot of things. There’s no substitute for experience and going through the trials and tribulations of life. At age 16, 17, you’re a young bull who wants to go through the wall. When you’re 73 years old like I am now, you slow things down. You think things down a little more, thoroughly before embarking. Yannno, taking your time, and assessing things. I think that’s probably the most important thing. Don’t be so quick and rash in making decisions and think things out rationally, more rationally.