The Baseball Collection

Today's Quote

"Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world. If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can't get you off"

-- Bill Veeck, White Sox owner

Previous Quotes

"I never threw an illegal pitch. The trouble is, once in a while I toss one that ain't never been seen by this generation."
-- Satchel Page, Negro league pitcher

"Wait until Tommy meets the Lord and finds out that He's wearing pinstripes."

-- Gaylord Perry, Giants pitcher (on Tommy Lasorda's belief that God wears Dodger blue)

"Do they leave it there during games?"

-- Bill Lee, Red Sox pitcher (Said after seeing Fenway Park's 37-foot-high left-field wall for the first time.)

"Man may penetrate the outer reachers of the universe, he may solve the very secret of eternity itself, but for me, the ultimate human experience is to witness the flawless execution of the hit-and-run."

-- Branch Rickey, baseball executive

"Baseball is the very symbol, the outward and visible expression of the drive and push and rush and struggle of the raging, tearing, booming nineteenth century."

-- Mark Twain, author

"Baseball is like church. Many attend. Few understand."

-- Leo Durocher, baseball executive

"Baseball is dull only to dull minds."

-- Red Smith, sportswriter

"The only real way to know you've been fired is when you arrive at the ballpark and find your name has been scratched from the parking list."

-- Billy Martin, Yankees Manager

"I never look back. I love baseball and you have to be patient and take the good with the bad. After all, it's only a game."

-- Tom Yawkey, baseball executive

"Whether you want to or note, you do serve as a role model. People will always put more faith in baseball players than anyone else."

-- Brooks Robinson, Orioles third baseman

"You're a liar. There ain't no Hotel Episode in Detroit."

-- Rube Waddell, upon being fined $100 for his part
in a "hotel episode" in Detroit.

"There never is any set way to pitch to a great hitter. If there were, he'd be hitting .220."

-- Don Drysdale, Dodgers pitcher

"If Satch and I were pitching on the same team, we'd cinch the pennant by July 4 and go fishing until World Series time."

-- Dizzy Dean, Cardinals pitcher, on Satchel Paige

"Baseball is the only thing besides the paper clip that hasn't changed."

-- Bill Veeck, baseball executive

"Everybody judges players different. I judge a player by what he does for his ball club and not by what he does for himself. I think the name of the game is self-sacrifice."

-- Billy Martin, Twins/Yankees manager, former Yankee shortstop

"You must have an alibi to show why you lost. If you haven't one, you must fake one. Your self-confidence must be maintained."

-- Christy Mathewson, Giants pitcher

"Trying to throw a fastball by Hank Aaron is like trying to sneak the sun by a rooster."

-- Curt Simmons, Phillies pitcher

"Baseball is green and safe. It has neither the street intimidation of basketball nor the controlled Armageddon of football.... Baseball is a green dream that happens on summer nights in safe places in unsafe cities."

-- Luke Salisbury, author

"Maybe I'm not a great man, but I damn well want to break the record."

-- Roger Maris, Yankees outfielder

"If you aim to steal 30 or 40 bases a year, you do it by surprising the other side. But if your goal is 50 to 100 bases, the element of surprise doesn't matter. You go even though they know you're going to go. Then each steal becomes a contest, matching your skills against theirs."

-- Lou Brock, Cardinals outfielder

"Carlton does not pitch to the hitter, he pitches through him. The batter hardly exists for Steve. He's playing an elevated game of catch."

-- Tim McCarver, Cardinals catcher

"Wertz hits it. A solid sound. I learned a lot from the sound of the ball on the bat. Always did. I could tell from the sound whether to come in or go back. This time I'm going back, a long way back, but there is never any doubt in my mind. I am going to catch this ball. I turn and run for the bleachers. But I got it. Maybe you didn't know that, but I knew it. Soon as it got hit, I knew I'd catch this ball.

"But that wasn't the problem. The problem was Lary Doby on second base. On a deep fly to center field at the Polo Grounds, a runner could score all the way from second. I've done that myself and more than once. So if I make the catch, which I will, and Larry scores from second, they still get the run that puts them ahead.

"All the time I'm running back, I'm thinking, 'Willie, you've got to get this ball back to the infield.'

"I run fifty or seventy-five yards--right to the warning track--and I take the ball a little toward my left shoulder. Suppose I stop and turn and throw. I will get nothing on the ball. No momentum going into my throw. What I have to do is this: after I make the catch, turn. Put all my momentum into that turn.

"To keep my momentum, to get it working for me, I have to turn very hard and short and throw the ball from exactly the point that I caught it. The momentum goes into my turn and up through my legs and into my throw.

"That's what I did. I got my momentum and my legs into that throw. Larry Doby ran to third, but he couldn't score. Al Rosen didn't even advance from first.

"All the while I was running back, I was planning how to get off that throw.

"Then some of them wrote, I made that throw by instinct."

-- Willie Mays describing "the catch"

"Yer fulla shit to ask that and I ain't gonna tell you why."

-- Casey Stengel responding to what he considered impertinent questions from sportswriters

"Willie is ten feet nine inches tall. He can jump fifteen feet straight up. Nobody can hit a ball over his head. Willie's arms extend roughly from 157th Street to 159th Street. This gives him ample reach to cover right and left as well as center field. (The Polo Grounds were between 157th and 159th.) Willie can throw sidearm from the Polo Grounds to Pittsburgh.... Willie's speed is deceptive. The best evidence indicates he is a step faster than electricity. Willie does more for a team's morale than Marilyn Monroe, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Rita Hayworth, plus cash.... That's about all there is to Mays, except that every authority added, "And if you think that's something, wait till you see him."

-- Roger Kahn, from a 1951 New York Herald Tribue article

"Let me tell you about Leo. Figure, you and Durocher are shipwrecked and you both end up on this little raft with sharks swimming all around. Leo slips into the water. A shark closes in. You dive in and pull him out. But while you're rescuing him, the shark comes up and takes your right leg. You bleed like hell, but somehow you survive. The next day you and Durocher start off even."

-- Dick Young, reporter for the Daily News on Leo Durocher

"I was pitching on all adrenaline...and challenging them. I was throwing the ball right down the heart of the plate."

-- Blue Jays pitcher Roger Clemens, speaking after the first time
he struck out 20 batters in a single game.

"Catching a fly ball is a pleasure. But knowing what to do with it after you catch it is a business."

-- Tommy Henrich, Yankees outfielder

"Everybody thinks of baseball as a sacred cow. When you have the nerve to challenge it, people look down their noses at you. There are a lot of things wrong with a lot of industries....baseball is one of them."

-- Curt Flood, Cardinals outfielder

"You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time."

-- Jim Bouton, major league pitcher, author of Ball Four

"My high salary for one season was forty-six thousand dollars and a Cadillac. If I were to get paid a million, I'd feel that I should sweep out the stadium every night after I finished playing the game."

-- Duke Snider, Dodgers outfielder

"A ballplayer has two reputations, one with the other players and one with the fans. The first is based on ability. The second the newspapers give him."

-- Johnny Evers, Cubs infielder

"The sport to which I owe so much has undergone profound changes...but it's still baseball. Kids still imitate their heroes on playgrounds. Fans still ruin expensive suits going after foul balls that cost five dollars. Hitting streaks still make the network news. And the hot dogs still taste better at the ballpark than at home."

-- Duke Snider, Dodgers outfielder

"You always get a special kick on opening day, no matter how many you go through. You look forward to it like a birthday party when you're a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen."

-- Joe Dimaggio, Yankees outfielder

"Baseball has no penalties at all. A home run is a home run. You cheer. In football, on a score, you look for flags. If there's one, who's it on? When can we cheer? Football acts can be repealed. Baseball acts stand forever."

-- Thomas Boswell, author

"There'll be two buses leaving the hotel for the park tomorrow. The two o'clock bus will be for those of you who need a little extra work. The empty bus will leave at five o'clock."

-- Dave Bristol, Brewers manager

"When I was a small boy in Kansas, a friend of mine and I went fishing. I told him I wanted to be a real major league baseball player, a genuine professional like Honus Wagner. My friend said that he'd like to be President of the United States. Neither of us got our wish."

--Dwight D. Eisenhower, thirty-fourth president of the United States

"Throwing people out of a game is like learning to ride a bicycle--once you get the hang of it, it can be a lot of fun."

--Ron Luciano, American League Umpire

"One reason I never called balks is that I never understood the rule."

--Ron Luciano, American League Umpire

"The best thing about being a Yankee is getting to watch Reggie Jackson play every day. The worst thing about being a Yankee? Getting to watch Reggie Jackson play every day."

--Craig Nettles, Yankees third baseman

"The first big-league game I ever saw was at the Polo Grounds. My father took me. I remember it so well--the green grass and the green stands. it was like seeing Oz."

--John Curtis, Giants pitcher

"A hot dog at the ballpark is better than steak at the Ritz."

--Humphrey Bogart, actor

"Baseball was, is and always will be to me the best game in the world."

--Babe Ruth, Yankees outfielder

"It is an American institution and more lasting than some marriages, war, Supreme Court decisions, and even major depressions."

--Art Rust, Indians third baseman


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