My dad played for a coal-mining team in eastern Ohio; he was a very good pitcher. If he hadn't hurt his arm, he probably would have got a shot somewhere. He hurt his arm one spring, didn't warm up good enough, couldn't throw a fastball anymore. Another coal miner taught him how to throw the knuckleball.
I started in investment banking at Allen & Company in 1991. It was the go-go days of media mergers, and we were incredibly busy with one deal after another. Unlike typical investment banking groups, even in the midst of merger mania, we didn't have a formal face-time culture - and I felt empowered by that.