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Paul Goldschmidt goes to his happy place by quoting ‘Billy Madison’

Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt follows the athletic habits of one character created by comedian Adam Sandler by quoting another.

Like Sandler’s “Happy Gilmore,” who wins a golf tournament by going to his happy place, Goldschmidt finds peace on the baseball field by reciting quotes from the comedian’s other hit movie, “Billy Madison,” before games.

Sports Illustrated writer Ben Reiter uncovered this hilarious anecdote in his feature of Arizona’s first baseman published this week.

He tries to apply some of the lessons from his reading to baseball, such as those he derived from Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage.

“The premise of the book is that if you’re happy, you’re more likely to have success,” he says. “There’s a study the book talks about that found that when people are happier, their eyes actually work better, they can see better and focus easier.” Hitting, of course, is largely a matter of seeing, and so Goldschmidt began a ritual in which, 20 minutes or so before games, he sits in the dugout and recites quotes to himself from one of the things that makes him the happiest: Billy Madison, the 1995 Adam Sandler comedy that he has watched nearly 100 times.

Since he burst upon the scene in the majors, Goldschmidt has always been a hard egg to crack. He’s a soft-spoken player who will downplay his work ethic and talk about his teammates rather than crack a joke.

And that’s why it’s so fun to imagine Goldy, by himself in the dugout, whispering lines from “Billy Madison”like this or this — to himself.

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