“Buffett started very middle class, Central High School, summer jobs, so unaffected, still lives in the same house he bought in the ’50s. He has nice wit and a great ability to communicate in baseball metaphors. He gave me one for the Wiley edition of Supermoney, the book that introduced him, which I never would have thought of.
I remember when Buffett thought up, on the spot, a baseball image that became quite famous.
You are the batter, the market is the pitcher, and the market has to keep pitching; it can pitch GE, it can pitch WalMart, it just keeps pitching – but you don’t have to swing until you see a pitch you like.
Wait a minute, I said, you would be out on called strikes.
The quick answer was: In this game, there are no called strikes.
So you might not swing for six months?
You might not swing for two years, and never mind the guy on the third base line, calling out, ‘swing, you bum’!
Buffett could make a drawing on a restaurant napkin of Ted Williams’ 77 squares of the strike zone. He said Williams could hit over .400 because he only swung at balls in the middle squares.
Buffett’s very nice quote for the Wiley Edition of Supermoney:
‘In this book, Adam Smith says I like baseball metaphors. He’s right. So, I will just describe this book as the equivalent of the performance of Don Larsen on October 8, 1956. For the uninitiated, that was the day he pitched the only perfect game in World Series history.’
That was nice. Wiley splashed it on the cover—but in truth, I don’t think Larsen had an outstanding career after that day.”
To be sure to catch the start of Adam Smith’s Interrogation, available in ai5000 Magazine after February 3, click here.
aiCIO Editorial Staff