Climb Aboard

Updated: October 11, 2005, 1:50 PM ET
By Eric Neel | ESPN The Magazine
It's 45 minutes before batting practice, when a voice rises above the pregame chatter in the Angels clubhouse: "Stay humble." Seconds later, like an amen coming from the congregation, a teammate hollers back: "Stay humble!"

The phrase has become their mantra. Players wear it in white letters across the front of red T-shirts, and it's written with half a dozen exclamation points on a dry-erase board. Kelvim Escobar and John Lackey fist-bump and whisper it, all secret-password style, as they pass each other.

You can't blame the Angels for guarding against overconfidence. It's hard to be humble when you have Vladimir Guerrero and the rest of the league doesn't.


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Eric Neel | email

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Eric Neel is a senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine.